Tuesday, January 28, 2014

"JUST IN" @ (ricks picks!)

Handcrafted "Mag Time Frames" by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Thank you gifts...

Lights up any room he's in.. (My handsome prince!)

Xoxo

DUBLIN CRUSH by (Ann mottola!) with submissions from (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Recently received an email: Dublin's First Writing Project, launched by Ann mottola, heritage & cultural arts manager: contact: Ann.mottola@Dublin.ca.gov. -project invites anyone/everyone to "tell a tale, write a love letter, or craft a poem or essay, telling how you fell in love with someone or something in Dublin, California. Deadline for enteries: Monday, feb 3rd. Now..Didn't I just enjoy typing "Dublin" in the search bar of my own blog.. And re-reading, re-visiting some of my Dublin crushes! I wanted to copy/paste, and re-post them, but, when I do that, the words/sentences/paragraphs get all squished, I don't have the time and definitelt lack the patience to edit/unsquish.. But, oh! My valentines with Emily Dickinson! And.. Josh! The sweetest kid in America! And .. The Saturn dealership! And testing, testing, 1,2,3... I've mailed 3 stories to Ann for inclusion.. And! You know what else I would love to copy/paste and re-post.. Through the eyes of faith (ALPHER). My review of her one woman show at the Bankhead.. It was this performance that replayed in my mind, and inspired me to.. Ask her with courage, to be my Dr Maya Angelou in Kissin' The Chocolate Blues... Xoxoxo

Monday, January 27, 2014

"Which reminds (me!) " ... Sandra, tvgp

*** ***.View from The Pleasanton Ridge: k, now.. Stay with me.. In this picture, what you should see, is gorgeous, breathtaking luscious green rolling hills - NOT "golden brown.". It is January after all.. Where is our rainfall? Everyone is buying sunscreen and sunglasses instead of umbrellas. Clearly we are being called upon as a people, to join in on a spiritual, community rain dance followed by prayer.. But! While we are waiting for liquid love to wash over us from the sky.. We should also, simultaneously, be thinking more seriously about WATER CONSERVATION. Now, I know absolutely nothing about how plumbing and water temperature works.. All I know as a layperson is how to turn a faucet on and off, how to flush a toilet, etc. -and that is only when sinks and toilets are in perfect working order. I'm not a good troubleshooter either.. But! Even with just a laypersons knowledge, I have a great idea! For how we can immediately start conserving tons of gallons of water that currently go to waste. Ready? k, -when I am working in the Danville ricks picks store and wash my hands after using the toilet, I have two choices.. Freezing cold water (write knob) or.. Hot (left knob). I always choose hot. Now, here's the thing: there is something about the way the temperature is set (where/how/why? I don't know, but) I have about exactly 3 to 5 seconds to wash the soap off my hands or else the water will boil the skin off my bones. So, I wash my hands really fast, which ultimately, saves a lot of water. On the other hand.. When I use the shower at HP's or Carols.. It seems to take -too long- for the temperature to get comfortable enough for me to dare to put my naked body under the shower head. I wonder in houses all across the state.. How much water gets wasted while people wait for the write temperature before they hop in the shower? Now, it finally gets the write temperature.. And in pretty short fashion, it starts feeling cold.. Therefore I hurry up to get out.. And save water I just wasted, waiting for it to get the warm to hot temperature that makes a shower such a gloriious experience. So! And in conclusion.. What we need to do, is make it so that the shower water -in every home that has one- gets immediately to the perfect showering temperature (SAVING who knows how much but A LOT!) and! Then -make it so that the water remains that perfect temperature for say.. 5 minutes, then gradually gets cold -which creates a disincentive for taking too long a shower.. And SAVES even more water... See? Clothes and dishes are indifferent to temperature for the most part.. But we must cater to our beautiful, sensitive, human skin.. -It is said, that he who owns the water, rules the world. But I might adjust that some.. "He who can tweak the water temperature..

"Happy Presidents Day!" From (me!) Sandra, tvgp

One of my favorite Heart Seen photos.. Took it, as you can tell, of President Obama on TV..  Write when the camera man zoomed in, so that a beautiful red heart is sitting above his shoulder.   -when the camera man zoomed out.. I learned the red heart is actually from a painted portrait of President George Washington..  Near a table, with a red table cover, where the folds -I believe, naturally, unintended by the artist, yield a treasure of a heart shape.  -beautiful.  But.. Something about President Obama wearing a tuxedo, the formal black & white, with the red heart.. Makes this, aesthetically speaking, extra special to me.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Q: "Is grapevine one word or two?" Asks (me!) Sandra, tvgp

A:  "Depends what side of the street you're on"

Saturday, January 25, 2014

SPIRITUAL HUSBAND POINTS for (my handsome prince!)

..42,000.. For helping me pass out flyers for upcoming event..  I so adore and appreciate and love you!  

"CONGRATULATIONS!" (Carol newman!)

You look so beautiful!

BRAGGING WRITES.. (Carol Newman!)

As you can see here..  Not only does she have a kind and compassionate heart, the woman (and friend)  I rent a room from.. But turns out she has an exceptional work ethic too. 

Write words at the write time (again!)... From (Dr Maya Angelou!) To (me!)

Now, I won't go on and on.. But! .. I put a great deal of time and effort,  " blood, sweat, tears " as they say, into coming up with the idea, writing/adjusting the script.. Lots of behind the -seens, work.  But when all that work is over.. The responsibility of finding people to come see it now begins..  And I'm pounding the pavement. And I'm sending emails and all that.. But the truth is,  we are all committed to this without knowing if it will be performed in front of 20 people or 200.  So, didn't i appreciate reading this passage! ...

Write words at the write time! For (me!) Sandra, tvgp

I love when this kind of thing happens.. I have such a high appreciation for humor.. I know its value in written works and I tried to incorporate it in Kissin' The Chocolate Blues..  But.. Didn't fit.  I had to sacrifice the desire to make people laugh in order to tell this story .. They way this story demands to be told..  So, when I ran across this passage from Dr Maya Angelous, The Heart of a Woman..  I received it as almost a super natural permission slip to stick to the script just the way it is..

Would you stop messin with (me!)...

And so now this morning.. The steps we figured out yesterday to upload pictures no longer work..  Feels like every Frickin day offers a new cyber obstacle course..  All we want to do is share our stories. And they seem to want us to lose our minds... I had a much higher success rate and convenience from my PC..  This phone thing is killing me.  Set out a beautiful red carpet.. Lure you in.. Pull it out from under you.. Again and again and again...

Friday, January 24, 2014

"Rocks & Pillows" by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

"The heart seen.. In downtown livermore" by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

"Thank you" to HP..  We figured out that if I go to gallery first, select photo, then blogger.. Etc.. We can upload a pix.  And that's good news. Better than not being able to upload at all.. But at the same time,  highly irritating.  Like.. I used to just -click-   walk across the street.. And now I have to make 3 lefts and flip a u turn to get to the same location.. Know what I mean?   Gives me a headache.

"She is 16 going on 17.." (Sabrina!)

"Happy birthday!"

"Code Orange" for (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Blogger.. Or, this phone..  Or some combination of the two..  Its no longer allowing me to upload pictures.  /very, very sad face here.   -I can take a picture. I can see it and select it from my gallery. But when the photo box uploads in my blog post... Its just a pitch black square..    And I have several photographs to post and share...  Are there any awesome troubleshooters out there?  .. Help..  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"KISSIN' THE CHOCOLATE BLUES" by (me!), starring (faith alpher!)

Tickets On Sale Now: FirehouseArts.org.   -my onstage valentine to Dr Maya Angelou...   Tues. Feb 11th, 7pm.

CHERISHED Memory Locked In:   dear Jesus..  I felt your presence... During the dry read with my daughter. I felt it in the outdoors, where we sat next to each other.. In the nature around us, in the warmth of the sun shine you provided.. But.. As we read!  ..that magical/intuitive thing that happened.. How she knew exactly when the words became too tough for me to read, and would pick up immediately for me and keep reading .. So beautifully! Without skipping a beat, as they say... Until I could read again without getting choked up.. The silent understanding and rhythm the reading took on without any preparation...   I felt your presence and want to say "thank you! Thank you! Thank you Jesus!"

Now.. Truth is.. I was still getting choked up during certain scenes during the dry read..  I prayed on this and with Faith (spiritually and literally)  attended our 1st rehearsal not knowing if I could get through it..  I am so thankful and excited to report I made it through the entire script with only 1 -minor-  setback, from which my recovery was pretty quick.   I do not have any techniques up my sleeve, or anywhere for that matter, for controlling my emotions when I read out loud like that..  Well, actually I have one. One technique outside of prayer:  to read the challenging paragraphs out loud when I'm alone, over and over -surrendering to the tears when they come.. And then, it seems to happen naturally/organically, that the emotion subsides; lessens with each read until at last it disappears for good.  But.. What a fine line! Holding onto the power without sounding detached.  Communicating Emotional pain but without crying...  RELATED Memory: rakestraw books:  a conversation I heard.  I overheard actually, while shopping for a book.  A lady had just been to meet/hear an author..  Who/where, etc I don't remember. What I do remember is that with a very distinct uppity tone, she talked about how the author cried during her own reading..  The lady said, "how egotistical is that? To be moved by your own words?".  And I did not intervene..  I was eavesdropping after all, but I thought..  God, - she is clueless!  That probably had nothing to do with ego and everything to do with emotional pain rearing its ugly wet head..  I can promise you this, as far as my experience goes..  If and when I accidentally and against my will, cry some, get choked up during a reading of my own words. It is certainly NOT because I think my words are so beautiful and moving that, "I can even bring myself to tears..". It IS because..  The memories still hurt.

BACK TO TOPIC:  I'm very pleased with our 1st rehearsal!  Faith/jessica; awesome!  Julie, andrea.. Valuable feedback, beautiful flyers..  The chemistry/present..  Collaboration; blessed..   Ideas for improvement ~ wonderful.    I'm filled with a larger confidence and anticipate a solid 2nd rehearsal .. Then its showtime!   .. And I've always wanted to say "Thank You!" To Dr Maya Angelou in a bigger way than just a card or a letter.. In this regard, I feel like an unarticulated dream is coming true..   Thank you Jesus! Amen

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

"Skippy" by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

This is what remains of my peanut butter bagel this morning..  Do you see what I see?  A fish.  A tortoise. A seashell. A dolphin. A sand dollar... 

Monday, January 20, 2014

KISSIN' THE CHOCOLATE BLUES by (me!) Starring (faith alpher!)

Tomorrow is our 1st rehearsal..  I admit to some nervousness.. And in prayer I found myself thinking, -you gotta have faith.  And then like, that's so funny because "I do! I do have FAITH".  God has such a sense of humor...    Now:  strange prayer but true..  Sometimes I ask God to boil things..   What this accomplishes is that everything (analogously of course) goes in a big pot and the heat gets turned up.  Things that need looked at bubble to the service.. And are often removed..  One by one...  Otherwise its too overwhelming.  Then.. What remains..  The essence.  Good and pure and tested. This remains and can be served.   To some extent I have to trust the process..  I started Kissin' with a much larger vision for the theatrics..  As time has passed, it has been boiled down to just me, faith & Jessica.  This was not my choice, but rather by circumstance..   Some of my earlier choices opted out or had schedule conflicts..   So in prayer I have said two things: 1. "Thank you Jesus for Faith Alpher! I can't wait for people to witness her portraying Dr Maya Angelou.. Thank you for Jessica! I can't wait for people to hear her sing "suddenly I see". Thank you for Julie, Andrea, mark.. The  Firehouse..    2. Please remind me never to take on an event like this again.   In your name Jesus...  Amen. 

The Heart Seen... In HP's Chinese Dinner...

Friday, January 17, 2014

THE REASON I JUMP by (naoki higashida!)

Another amazing read!  Grateful to Carla Graci for the recommendation.. And grateful to the author for every word.   Xoxo

"Centered" by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Thursday, January 16, 2014

LIFE'S NOT FAIR but! GOD IS GOOD by (Robert H. Schuller!)

On a recent drive to or from somewhere my handsome prince said, "life's not fair.". /and may I be so honest as to tell you I can't remember what it was in regards to..   Anyway, I said, "I caught on to that truth at a very young age".  And there were two things I thought to myself that I didn't say out loud..  That's what blogs are for, -write.  So here they are:  1.   -you are almost 50 years old dear handsome prince.. Are you just now figuring this out?  And 2.  -do not search for fair; you'll come up empty.  Search for God, and you'll be filled.    Now..  I'm rereading a book I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend:  Life's not fair but God IS Good by Robert H. Schuller (of hour of power.. Crystal cathedral).  He discusses the topic better than I ever will..  And its interesting to me because in one part he shares how he snuck bibles into Russia..  And try though I may and continue to do.. I have never read any part of the bible and thought.. This is amazing.. So amazing I want to share it with everyone! And sneak it to people..   -although every spiritual leader I consider a personal teacher/mentor of mine connects with the bible in this way.   When I read it..  I think...  I need 12 consultants.  But!  When I read this book..  I connect clearly, quickly, immediately and deeply.. And I would love to sneak this book into classrooms and backpacks and coffeehouses everywhere.    What are you watching? Reading? Thinking about.. Write now?  You choose (via free will).. And if it is serving you, growing you.. Keep choosing that.  If it is not.. Unchoose it and choose something else.  -that is exactly how I ended back up with my Robert schuller book..  I found myself listening /reading about things that fed insecurities and watered distrust..  I said to myself..  Honest to God..  I need to feed my self worth and water trust, love, and faith seeds... So I pro actively stopped listening/watching/reading (giving any air time) to that which I knew was having a negative impact.. And searched out that which I know will encourage and spiritually nourish (me!).   -I remain highly selective about what programs, books, articles, websites, people, places I invest time in.  What's invested in you?  In Jesus name..   Amen.

"STOP WITH THE FRICKIN UPDATES!" Begs (me!) Sandra, tvgp

I, sandra Harrison Kay, vow! On this early thursday morning of the sixteenth day of the first month of the two thousandth and fourteenth year.. NEVER! To press OK for updates on my phone again.    -what the hell has happened to my pictures? My ability to take, retrieve, edit/crop, upload...   Oh! To live at your whim and mercy like I do...  And not know exactly WHO you are..  When and why you do what you do..   It is indeed and again: the best of times and the worst of times, in technology.    In Jesus name..  Amen.

"Cowgirl slippers" by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"Mixed salad of soaps" by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Thats JulAina.. Not Juliana ..by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

I wonder how often that must happen..  My mind reads Juliana.. I even pronounced it that way.. But on 2nd glance..   And in re-typing it..   Anyway.. Juliana <-----(hey!..  Even autocorrect does it. Let me try again: JulAina is the woman who told me she started her blog after taking my blog class several years ago..  Made my day to hear! But, what was also a pleasure to learn from Julaina is that some words I incorporated in the poem I read, " tell him I said thank you".  Are also part of a popular Hawaiian mantra called HOPONOPONO:  "I love you.  I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you".   And I like being reminded that all over the world.. Name any time, any country, and use any language..  Humanities spiritual evolution is the same..  We come to certain universal conclusions about what lessons, learned AND APPLIED,  teach us best how to be human-flawed loving beings in a world with human-flawed others still learning how to love and be loved.

These are my people.. By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

For reasons of both time restrictions and high gratification from the blogosphere..  I have not attended local writer groups or participated in readings for several years really.. I was once so active. But! My current position as poet laureate has me back out there, so to speak..  And what a gift this is turning out to be.  Last night I attended "me & my friends" at the pleasanton library.  My favorite thing about it was the variety! Not exclusive to poetry, but prose of different genres and music too..  Missed out on seeing my literary friends.. Alice, Fred, Marilyn..  But heard some of their work read.. And met some wonderful people!  The hostess/author, Jordan.. Recently published.  And.. Juliana, who told me she started her blog after taking one of my blogging classes a number of years ago.. Was such a treat to hear.  And bill, whose wife, now deceased, was a writer .. And even though he himself doesn't write or participate behind the microphone,  In honor and memory of his wife..  He continues to attend and ...listen... And be a part of this wonderful community.   -sometimes, without realizing my heart longs to hear something caring and good and beautiful,  I'll hear it..   Like in my conversation with bill.. And just think "thank you.. For being you and sharing that with me...".  -same with another beautiful woman who read from her memoirs.. And explained she had recently been told by the doctor that because of a heart condition she "cannot do anything.". No stress, nothing that will excite, or over stimulate.. No lifting anything, no running.. A long list of don't do's.   -and yet there she was.. With a radiant spirit.. A beautiful reading presence and voice.. Making us smile and laugh with her stories and sense of humor..  And kay speaks with her wonderful painting inspired poetry... And there were several others. The turn out is very good.. I can't recapture them all.. But in my mind, and from my heart I am filled with gratitude..  Grateful for the exposure to these diversely talented, entertaining, welcoming and kind people.   2nd Monday of each month (save June) 6pm. Pleasanton library.   -God shines there...

Monday, January 13, 2014

Mixed media in progress by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

"Pets" by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Saturday, January 11, 2014

WOULDNT IT BE THE NICEST THING IN THE WORLD for (me!) and people like (me!) by sandra, tvgp

wouldn't it be the nicest thing in the world.. in the cyber world.. if when i cut/copied/pasted an archived blog, into a current re-read that my spacing from the original was honored/duplicated and not all squished together.. i do not have the time or patience to re-space my rakestraw/jeannette walls re-post.. you'll have to guess where it was.. when you think (there should be a period there.. what a run on sentence!) -that's where my spaces usually are.. if you type rakestraw in the search bar.. you can pull up the original. -kinda. it reads like the original was in 2012 at first.. but in the actual story, you can read it was 2009. -that's because when i unpublished/re-published.. it reposted as if new... wouldn't it be the nicest thing in the cyber world if original dates, and original spacing could be honored/protected... in Jesus name, amen.

MEMORY TRIGGER: JEANNETTE WALLS/RAKESTRAW BOOKS by (me!) sandra, tvgp

unfortunately anne and i did not make it to see amy tan at rakestraw.. but of course that triggered this memory: Sunday, August 05, 2012 HUGE, GIANT THANK YOU TO JEANNETTE WALLS from (me!) sandra, tvgp have you read the glass castle? if you haven't, you must. if you have, you will totally understand: how when i got a last minute call that there was a ticket available to her sold out event at rakestraw books, i did what i needed to make sure i could go the ticket was $35. i don't have an extra $35 write now, so i called my new hair style person, and cancelled my hair cut. said a quick apology prayer to God, about not being able to put any $ in the offering dish this sunday then called my sister to see if she could watch my kids green light. green light. green light. go! drove to the ladies house in danville who made the whole thing possible and gave my last $35 to her husband -got directions from their house to rakestraw, and started on my way only when i glanced down at the ticket, it said $7 ? i just gave that man $35! so raced back up the stairs all concerned... was reassured that even though the ticket said $7, it was $35 because a signed book was included -somehow they would know- back on my way then.. and the very nice husband man of the woman who made this all possible even called me on my cell phone in route to correct directions from their house to rakestraw got it only when i get to rakestraw books in danville at 6:50pm for the 7pm event to see jeannette walls it's closed. no cars filling up the parking lot. lights out in the book store. empty. vacant. very closed. i look 6 more times at my $7 ticket from the stranger man in danville who is supposedly a kind person and the husband of some woman i talk to over the phone -but definitely don't know this IS october 21st. ticket says... october 21st. 2009? ticket says... 2009 this IS wednesday.. wednesday, october 21st, 2009 it is at 7pm, write? ticket says.. 7pm it is at rakestraw books in danville, california, write? ticket says... and i read real careful, real slow now: rakestraw books presents an evening with jeannette walls in celebration of the publication of half broke horses diablo country club 1700 clubhouse rd, diablo october 21st, 2009 - 7pm $7.00 - general admission non-refundable oh! oh! oh no! oh no! rakestraw books persents an evening with jeannette walls in celebration of the publication of half broke horses DIABLO COUNTRY CLUB 1700 CLUBHOUSE RD, DIABLO october 21st, 2009 - 7pm $7.00 - general admission NON REFUNDABLE SO HURRY UP YOU IDIOT! i have no gps. and by that i mean, i have no gps, as in the gadget many people have in their cars these days that helps them navigate unfamiliar territories but i also mean i have no gps, as in.. as in that compass many people have in their brains these days that helps them navigate unfamiliar territories so thanks be to God for the handsome couple that just happen to be walking in front of rakestraw books when i rolled my window down in total disbelief the couple who confirmed the book store was very closed, but was kind enough to read the sign outside which described the event as being at and i think they read it on the sandwich board, write about the same time i read it on the ticket "diablo country club" and thanks be to God one more time, because it just so happens this couple was MEMBERS OF THE DIABLO COUNTRY CLUB! -and gave me very wonderful, perfect directions (i love you!) and so i drove the long, dark, curvy, dark, long, road to the diablo country club where my saturn view hybrid waited in line with fancy mercedes, and the likes, for valet parking oh my i did not have one penny to tip these valet parker people.. just gave my last $35 cash for the ticket but wasn't about to turn around, so "i'm so sorry," i said with a smile, "i am completely unprepared.. i didn't know it was here.. don't have any money to tip you with" and do you know what he said back? that valet parker person he said, "don't worry for a second. we are here for you. just go and have a good time." ( i love you too!) oh, and my car was a mess.. how embarrassing, really now. then i get inside this gorgeous, gorgeous building, and see that if i did have some extra money, i would have been able to enjoy some wine and hors' d (oevers) [will check spelling later/you know what i mean] and maybe purchase some raffle tickets but oh well i head inside the room where jeannette walls will be giving her talk oh my again chairs lined up for six days across and twelve days forward.. and they were all filled. people everywhere.. if i wanted a seat, i would have ended up on the far, far, write.. in the far, far, back -and so why even be there i decided instead to stand. to stand directly in front of the podium, only against the doors in the back. draw a straight line down the middle of the walkway from me to jeannette.. camera ready.. heart settled.. and during the weight.. the wait, i mean, i met the dad, of the owner of rakestraw books and talk to him some about his family... he was going to stand too, instead of sitting in a chair too far away and then, mike (michael?), the owner of rakestraw, he got up, made some announcements.. and introduced the one, the only.. "one of the greatest, bravest, memoir writers of all time" (that's my intro, not his) jeannette walls! [applause, applause, more applause] and didn't she look so beautiful in her black dress, with her long hair and her radiant smile and as always, i can't repeat her talk, can't reiterate in any way that will do it justice but i cried and laughed and laughed, and cried, and smiled and listened to every single word; every story. what a great soul! very evolved. and i tried to take a picture, but it came out totally BLACK, because i didn't have the lighting i needed rather than get too sad or frustrated i just turned my camera off, and decided to fully enjoy the actual event -lock it in my memory soak up the experience with both eyes and in what felt like 10 minutes, it was over. she thanked everyone graciously, and without any q&a, she was escorted off the stage. no q&a. heart bro ken. but really.. how many times can you listen to people go on and on about how wonderful you are. it must reach its limits but no personal book signings? no.. no.. no pictures? none? it was almost more than i could bare and asked around a little, and was reminded -told- in authoratative, parental, God-like fashion "she spent two hours signing books before the program" "you have a signed book!" [like, shut up, be grateful, go away] and normally i am grateful for what i get. normally i am empathetic, i understand.. i get it. and i understand the rule.. what you do for one, you have to do for everyone.. and how it gets all out of control and how awful it is, how we tax our authors the way we do how we take, and take.. and how it ends up in book tour burnout.. i get it. and so heart up from her talk, but shoulders down from the absence of a picture and personally inscribed book i headed out the door. and there was a long line of people waiting for the men to return their cars and so i went back in and i saw a couple of people talking to jeannette and my heart jumped -if they can do it, i can do it!- and so i went next to where she was sitting.. and waited real patient, and mannerly for the woman in front of me to shut up already and get out of my way and i took a couple pictures of jeannette while i was waiting because the lighting was better and then, really i can't remember exactly what i babbled but i know i asked her what the cut off was... like if you read for 100 people, do you personally inscribe books? ... but of course.. it would be asking too much, if there are 500 people.. and as i'm talking, with my book in hand poised for the personal inscription all of me is longing for her -gate keeper- person let's call her mrs. meany she has her feet apart, hands on hips, eyebrows scrunched, and with some kind of miliary boot camp voice says to me -like i'm some kind of high criminal "SHE IS NOT SIGNING BOOKS! NO PICTURES!" and at the same time mrs. meany is putting me in my proper place jeannette is gesturing to me with her hands and eyes to sneak her my book and so i did and i said my name.. and showed her my book with my name write there where she could see it, because it was hard to hear [i gave her one of my books.. well, i gave mrs meany my book to give to her, so we don't know, but anyway] wasn't i the happiest, luckiest person in the entire diablo country club! and then, exactly because i was in this elated state, i decided to push the envelope a little further and try and get my picture WITH jeannette walls and thanks be to God and jeannette walls because even with mrs meany standing write there saying "NO PICTURES!" she posed with me, and another lady took our picture. and i know it was selfish. i was so selfish. and normally, .. well, you know me by now, don't you i'm not the elbow my way through the crowds to get what i want kind of person but if you read the glass castle and you listened to jeannette walls give her presentation and you collected personally inscribed books and had a literary scrapbook on your website well, i'll let you decide if she brought out the best in me or not. late for work. the end. amen.

BE THE FIRST TO TELL by (me!) sandra, tvgp

i must speak to this issue. to this article in the pleasanton weekly titled, YMCA forum deals with sex abuse arrest.. it is in regards to an andrew michael nisbet, a golf coach, who has been charged with 65 felony counts.. as a rape survivor myself, i am hypersensitive to articles regarding sexual abuse.. while as you, if you have not experienced anything so horrific, you may read the article, unaffected, sip your morning coffee, shovel some eggs and toast in your mouth, (DEAR READER.. LONG PARAGRAPHS I JUST TYPED SPONTANEOUSLY HAVE JUST BEEN WIPED OUT.. -SOMETIMES i feel so defeated i want to scream and .. i can't get them back, my words, the way they just came out.. let me keep going anyway). Where was i? i'm not even going to worry about what was just lost.. my post will make less sense, but let me get write back to where i was before the wipe out: i was sharing my ultimate goal: my ultimate goal is this: to get victims of sexual abuse to speak out. speak out first. speak out early. speak out. SPEAK OUT! SPEAK OUT! -SILENCE.. is still, in 2014.. the number one weapon employed by predators. they can count on it.. count on it in our culture.. they literally use our shame based culture to their advantage. it sickens me. i'm awkward on the subject with my own children.. imagaine that! as a rape survivor.. wanting with my whole heart and entire being to protect my children, and everyone's children, from this horrific crime.. even i feel awkward. -that is also used to their leverage. it sickens me. i return briefly to when i learned that the rapist i helped put in jail, had been arrested (or held) before.. victims who for reasons i am not priviledged to know but certainly can guess.. changed their minds about going to court. decided not to prosecute. guess where that left me: a victim. -i wont pretend to know the truth about this article in the pleasanton weekly, the truth about this specific alleged predator.. how many victims, etc. -but i do know, and can confidently share the pattern that continues to this day: silence as a weapon which yields more and more victims. the crime -the criminal does not, will not stop until someone SPEAKS OUT! IF you are a victim who does not speak out, your silence literally contributes to the success and empowerment of the predator. If you are not a victim, just an everyday citizen, and you do not create an environment where victims feel they can safely SPEAK OUT.. you are literally contributing to the success and empowerment of predators. i know, i know, i know, no one wants to conspire with predators.. it is not with intention..it is ignorance. but we have got to wake up.. speak out. and so, to the young boys who did speak out.. "Thank You!" -your courage is enormous, i'm well aware, and you should receive honor, badges, glorification for helping PREVENT Further victims in the predators line of fire.. to the victims who were rendered, manipulated into silence by both the predator and our culture: i understand. the odds were stacked very high -very high- against you. do not absorb shame or guilt that belongs to the predator, and to our culture at large. we've all got some work to do.. and now let me share with you, that very recently, i woke in the middle of the night.. it has been over 30 years since i was kidnapped at gunpoint and covered up and raped.. i still wake at night sometimes. i refuse to process this as some kind of weakness on my part, and rather process it as a result of the severity of the traumatic crime -anyway.. my brain tries so hard to understand: i go like, okay.. i can understand when someone car-jacks.. they have a drug addiction maybe, need money, need transportation.. they go steal the first car they see.. got it. i can understand gang violence.. territory wars.. i can understand when one gang member does something offensive to another gang member and i can understand -revenge. i understand that violence.. i do not approve or condone.. but i understand. i understand (again, always.. dont approve or condone, just understand) i understand when people steal money and things.. and i understand when people hurt people who have hurt them.. got it. got it. got it. -but! under what set of circumstances, does a person, -who does not steal a car? who does not steal money or things? under what set of circumstances does a person.. go kidnap, rape and terrorize someone who did nothing to them ever? whatsoever.. and the rapist doesnt steal the car? or any material things in the car? -the crime is literally exclusive to terrorizing an unknown human being.. there is no revenge involved? or perhaps that is exactly what it is about.. revenge against.. women (a given gender), a race (white people), an economic system (capitalism) -taken out on a human being that represents a larger internal war and struggle for the criminal... i dont know. but, sometimes, even though over 30 years have passed. i wake. in the middle of the night. and wonder about these things....

Friday, January 10, 2014

She's Done It Again.. (Dr Maya Angelou!)

Predictably amazing...  Great, & wonderful read:

The heart seen... In a leaf on our patio!

Thursday, January 09, 2014

"Me & My Friends..."

"January" by (me! And patricia!)

Yesterday/DANVILLE:..  Packed up Christmas.  Which meant we got to "re-do the window displays!".  

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

"New Heights" by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

"MVP" by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Monday, January 06, 2014

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY SQUIDMANN!"

From -sandy cheeks-

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Literary Arts in Pleasanton with (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Workshops, inspiration & entertainment!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

"February" by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

IVE SAID IT BEFORE. ILL SAY IT AGAIN.. (Me!) Sandra, tvgp

"All editors pale in comparison to father time".   -where is my post on this..  How when you are close to an event..  Traumatic or glorious or otherwise..  You can fill up pages and pages and pages talking all about it.  a whole book!  Move forward 5 years.. Less pages -a few chapters.  Move forward another 5 years.. Only a few pages within a chapter... Move forward..  A mere paragraph now of what once was a book.  ..to a sentence.   To ultimately: A bullet point.   This is a natural, organic process. (Vs. Imposed)  Both experienced and seen by me too many times to mention.  But "WOW!".    I've just recently re-read I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS and am in the process of reading MOM & ME & MOM. (Thank you Chris!). ..and!  The organic editing that has taken place!  ..the way long passages in CAGED BIRD have been...  Summarized; reduced; filtered; simplified...(I'm searching for a specific word here..)  And when you consider how much writing/speaking Dr Maya Angelou has done between these two books..   It is why I believe ...  Well,   -it is certainly fascinating to let life.. Father time, And the writers themselves..  Rewrite their own stories without any professional editing at all.   Natural; organic vs. Imposed.  

Dear God, It's (me!) -sandra, tvgp

Written on back side of rejection letter from St Marys

From the archives... For (me!) Sandra, tvgp

My handsome prince commented recently on a piece of underclothing I had on, "is that new?".   I go, "no..  I just found it!".  -so it kinda feels new.   And also as part of my ultimate declutter which is progressing at an injured turtles pace...  I came across these letters...  It did my heart good to see a whole line of "out standings" marked by Cedric.  "Thank you!".   And I loved Sarah mcaulay and her class..  She later came and spoke at one of the writing workshops I hosted .."thank you!" Again too.   The rejection from St Mary's was quite a disappointment at the time.. But I just added it to that pile... Some I've kept. Most I've thrown away. But to the people who created the blogosphere..  My deepest and ongoing gratitude is to you!