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Showing posts from September, 2012

Things I Know About Me: Me, fluently

Shapely thighs, strategically placed curves, definitively sexy lips; I love being me. All of the experiences, education, creativity, emotions, and relationships I have cultivated and collected over the years have shaped me in to a person I absolutely adore. I love me, I’m in love with me; but, I wouldn’t date me.

As much as I value time, I don’t seem to be able to make any for anyone else. I am a difficult person to get to know. It’s not just balancing three children, teaching at multiple colleges and writing that occupies my time. But it’s my selfish pursuit of ‘me’ time: time where I learn to be myself and what it is that makes me happy.

The more I consider dating again the more I struggle to answer the question: “what do you like to do in your free time?”

I don’t know when I lost the ability to think of myself as a separate entity with my own interests.

“Relax” the doctor advised.

I was relaxed. I was sitting in the office after racing, already late, to my appointment. I slid …

Scent of Innocence (Scenes from the Attic): Fiction

Scent of Innocence

A breeze lingers before my window and on it the faint scent of innocence.It’s a slow moving, salt laden breeze and oh, how I’ve missed it—the breeze, not the innocence.I’ve been away from home for six months, long enough to forget how it makes my hair frizz; long enough to forget the slick feel it adds to everything it touches; long enough to forget a lot of things—but not to forgive them. Soon it will be time to get dressed in the black dress my grandmother picked out and out of respect, at least for her, I will wear.She thinks it will give me the aura of mourning not reflected in my eyes: I, for one, doubt it.I cannot mourn the death of a man I did not know in life.Well that’s not true; I’ve mourned the deaths of innocents everywhere. I’ve even mourned the loss of my own innocence, though I can’t remember it.It’s not even true that I didn’t know him; I just didn’t know him as one might expect under the circumstances.So I mean to say I won’t mourn this particular m…

201 Grammercy Place: Making a House a Home Part III

As an adult I moved into a townhouse when I moved to Baltimore, it was where I lived. Then my family and I moved to another townhouse. We purchased a home just before my middle child was born. I like the house but it never quite felt like home. When my ex-husband first moved out, I still couldn’t connect this house with home. And now, as I look at what to pack and what to give away, I pass his clothes still hanging in my closet, bags of his jackets and shoes clutter corners. Not memories—those are gone—but actual items remain. Items take up far more room than memories do. The house doesn’t feel like a home but then again, no place does.

“No matter where life takes us, your home will always be with me,” I assure my daughter. “You will always have a home.”

I believe it—home is where your family is.

Now to start making this house feel like home; no matter how long we are going to be here.

201 Grammery Place: Making a House a Home Part II

It’s been almost twenty years since I stepped foot in my grandmother’s house; since it was there to step foot in to. Decades ago, in the name of imminent domain, the city of Atlantic City and its Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) “purchased” 201 Grammercy and the many old houses around it to “build houses” for future residents. The city gave my grandmother a fraction of her asking price which was a fraction of what the house was worth but with my mother out of the country and my sister and I building homes or preparing lots for future homes, there was no one but my grandmother to fight the city.

She lost.

For years, my grandmother was upset about selling the house. One day she seemed to have let go of the hurt and settled in to her home in Charleroi, PA: the home “Papa” built with his “own hands” back when Gran was a kid. Many years and many more renovations later, the house felt like her home.

They say in dreams houses represent our bodies.

Gran died six years ago. I …

On Kickstarter

Just over a month ago I launched my first Kickstarter project. While it was not financially successful, the experience taught me more than I thought it could.

I learned to ask for help early. After talking with my mother, she gave me lots of advice on how to get the public interested in my topic—if only I had talked to her more than three days before my project was due to expire.

After my project ended I learned even more.

My project is about reuniting families after the emancipation. Mothers searching for children they quite possibly will never find; children alone, scared and vulnerable searching for an idea of family that they have only seen through skewed vision; people searching for people they have never known: fragments of these stories bring tears to my eyes and they aren’t even written yet.

I believe in my project.

Kickstarter, though a platform where people and funding connect, is more than about gaining financial support for your project; it’s a way to inspire passion.

Aft…

201 Grammercy Place: Making a House a Home Part I

Of all the places I have ever lived, my home remains 201 Grammercy Place in Atlantic City, New Jersey. 201 was one of four houses my grandmother owned. The house, now that I think of it, was much like its owner. The house was old enough to have history—though I never quite learned all of its past. Slick, grey stairs led up to the large, pale-pink and white guest house with a circular sun porch. Behind the doors, a foyer with stained glass windows and dark wood chairs with lion’s mouths adorning the arm rests greeted both guests and residents.

The house was full of contradictions.

The foyer faced the winding staircase, always shiny from polish; the dining room where guests devoured Gran’s cooking; and the living room—the room where my grandfather did most of his living. Dimly lit by a mini-crystal chandelier, the foyer hid, beneath rich, dark-paneled wood, the glass knob that led to the downstairs bathroom. The kitchen hid a staircase which led first to an area dubbed the pantry. The …