Tribute

Elisabeth Hirsch is a once in a lifetime person.

She’s one of the funniest writers I have known, and her blog has given me light on many a gloomy day.

But what makes Elisa so absolutely amazing is the light that she shares in through her utter honesty of her life.  She has suffered greatly, but has found hope in her life and is brave enough to share her journey with us.

Tomorrow, her memoir “The Golden Sky” is being released and I am HONORED to be a part of her blogfest.

Let me tell you, I’ve been looking forward to the release of this memoir ever since I heard about it, back in August.  I have been waiting semi-patiently and will be snatching up my own copy as soon as I can.  And I think you should, too.

So as a part of the Blogfest, Elisa has asked us to write a tribute to someone we have lost.

This is a Eulogy I wrote for my grandmother when she passed away but was too chicken to share with anybody.

Well, here it is.  I know my grandma is watching me, always smiling.  She’s my guardian angel.  So, grandma, this one’s for you.

————–

I walk into the house and my nose is immediately filled with the scent of grandma and I want to walk back out.

Nothing and everything has changed in the museum of my childhood. There’s less furniture and more dust and my memory fills in the blanks with the phantoms of what used to be, of what is no longer there
(sitting over there in my Easter clothes, fed up with dull and useless conversation, flinging my body across the shoddy couch they always talked about replacing with a new one and never did because it’s sitting there right now, shoddier but without my little body wrinkling itself in its Sunday best)
.

There’s a wall of mirrors and I can see the ghost of myself in them if I look too long, so I don’t. I don’t want to see the smiley seven year old, the twitchy fourteen year old, the twirling five year old oblivious to all that, the ten year old trying not to cry after grandma got gum out of my hair with peanut butter (finally peanut butter after mayonnaise and ice didn’t work, but lord help us I didn’t have to shave my head).

They’re all there, but I don’t want to see them.

The area under the stairs is dusty and empty. It used to be filled with plants, potted plants, green plants that didn’t make me sneeze with pollen, that used to make the room seem brighter. There is only one left, wrinkled and leaning to the side, crippled with age and trying to stay alive.

I hadn’t realized….

My mother has already barreled her way in to the back room, where my grandfather is sitting on the couch staring at the TV, but I linger in her footsteps because I’m not my mother. I have about one minute and thirteen seconds before they’ll miss my presence and call my name (but I don’t want to hear my name today) and my mother will talk about the preparations in the same strong way she talks about everything (Do you need eggs, we can go get eggs) like a shopping list that can be erased and re-written.

She’s braver than me.

So I smile [and for once it doesn’t fill my eyes] and walk back.

(Why would anyone smile at a time like this?)

My grandfather is sitting on the couch and he’s the same but different, his stained shirt open and his hair uncombed, his chiseled face soft and bewildered. I give him a hug and we both try not to cry and don’t state the obvious, but the electricity of not crying passes through us and shocks the part of the heart that pumps out tears

(I didn’t realize at the time that I would be this sad but I am this sad and now people are admitting that I’ll be this sad forever [which is a longass time if you think about it] so I’ll have to find a way to live with the sadness [even though we shouldn’t be sad, we should be happy she’s in Heaven{then why am I so sad?}])

and they glisten in our eyeballs and coat our throat with mucus, but the hellos still come out and the tears retreat for a moment, until the next moment which could be at any time.

My mother bustles around, getting this, looking for that, and I am terrified of being left alone with my grandfather because I don’t know what to say (I WISH MY SISTER WERE HERE), but my mother is trying to find a photo album and goes upstairs to look for it while I sit at the edge of the corner of the couch, looking at my grandfather who looks at the television.

This room is even worse.

(I bet she was really happy the day I was born.)
[I wish I could have been there]

“I miss her,” his hand on the couch, palm down on the couch and he says “I miss her”. I wish he hadn’t and am excited that he did, but I have nothing to say that won’t make me burst into tears, so I just nod that I’m listening but don’t think he knows I’m there because he’s still watching the TV.

And his hand is on the couch and he says “I miss her” in a way that sounds like my grandfather but isn’t my grandfather and of all the words in all the worlds, I cannot think of a single one to fill this moment.
So I put my hand on his
He looks at me
Like he’s seen a
Ghost
And says “She would do that every night.”

What?

“Every night she would put her hand on mine and we would sit side by side, with her head on my shoulder and her hand on mine, we would watch TV until we fell asleep. Every night, she would put her hand on mine and we weren’t alone.
Who’s going to hold my hand now?”

And he’s just written the poem I couldn’t.

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Happy Halloween, all!

I’m a Guest Blogger over at the HILARIOUS Paige Kellerman’s blog, There’s More Where That Came From.  You can hop on over there to see my advice on surviving scary movies!  Click HERE!

 

So. Today’s the big day.  The day that we’ve all been waiting with bated breath for.  The trick-or-treaters are ringing the doorbell and the dog is going nuts.  What did you all decide I would be for Halloween?! A terrifying Alien?  A gross Mummy?!

No.

Yes, I am a pumpkin.

Thanks all.

If you want me to draw a stick figure picture of YOU in a Halloween costume, leave a comment below with your costume choice.  There will be a costume parade on my blog sometime this week!

Well, it’s been fun, guys.  If you missed any blog posts or are drunk and have nothing better to do for Halloween, you can catch up on them below.

As, always,

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  Don’t eat too much candy!

Monday – Regected Candy

Tuesday – Interview with a Dead Playwright: William Shakespeare

Wednesday – Why Movies Have Made Me Terrified of Lakes

Thursday – How to Survive a Scary Movie

Friday – Guest Blog: April Denton’s Poem, Ultimate Regection

Saturday – Since When Did Monsters Get So Pretty?

Guest Blog: Ultimate Regection by April Denton

Hey all!

Toady I’m a Zombie in honor of one of my favorite writers, Miss April Denton!  You can check out her blog HERE

April is one of my favorite writers; she’s writes everything from poems to zombierotica to fiction and she’s the leader of the Zweeps Army.

So, without further ado, I give you her wonderful eerie poem,

Ultimate Rejection

“Prepare for the end” they said,

for we must survive among the dead.

The zombies came from to and fro,

they came crashing through my window.

My shot rang out loud and clear,

then I realized my worst fear.

For the shot was like a call,

“come horde, it’s a feast for all.”

Retreat now don’t haste,

these decaying monsters won’t be outfaced.

Avoid their bite that is how it’s spread,

first the fever and then you’re dead.

One sunk their teeth into my wrist,

blew the head off that ugly witch.

Praying for useless hope,

maybe with this I can cope.

Immortal and hungry,

decaying and angry.

Death I reject you,

my hunger I will pursue.

A zombie I will become,

feasting forever in bedlam.

Hunting and stalking my next fare,

my lungs will need no air.

My body will never tire,

sleep I don’t require.

Death a rejection,

my gift the infection.

———-
April Denton is a zombie poetess that enjoys the darker side of the undead. When she is not writing, which is very rare, she is drawing or singing. She resides in Indiana with her husband and young son. Read April’s work at
poetry & zombies and follow her on Twitter

 

Interview with a Dead Playwright: William Shakespeare

Day Two of Regected Halloween Week!

I love a good theme.

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite Halloween Creature HERE to help me decide what to be for Halloween.

If you’re AWESOME and voted, you’ll notice that the option of Ghost is missing.  That is because it’s officially the first LOSER, which also means it’s my first costume:

Freakin’ terrifying, I know.

So people don’t like ghosts.  Shocking.  Well that means I won’t be a ghost for Halloween – so what will I be?!  Only you can decide.

Speaking of ghosts and a segway as smooth as butter,

It’s time for my latest Brain Wave – Interviews with Dead Playwrights, because the live ones won’t talk to me !  Using the newest and latest and most expensive technology of Beer and Imagination, I sat down with the Ghost of the Bard himself, Mr. William Shakespeare!

AG: Seriously? You knew this was the Halloween week and you couldn’t even put on a costume?

Bill: You look ridiculous

AG: Yeah, says the man with the frilly collar.  Seriously, clown much?

Billy Shakes:  Don’t do that to me. Do you know who I am?

AG: Uh yah, do you know who I am?

Billy Shakes: No

AG: Fair enough. Can I offer you some black licorice or candy corn?

Shakes: Sure, I love black licorice and that candy corn is amusing in shape and texture.

AG: You really don’t read this blog, do you?

Shakes: I’m WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE. Let’s get on with it, shall we?

AG: Fine, fine. So Will,

Will: You may call me The Bard

AG: ….So Will, What made you decide to be a playwright?

Mister S: I couldn’t do anything else –

AG: AH YES! Being a playwright is a calling that surpasses all others, leaving you void of breath and full of words

Bill:  No really, I tried acting and I sucked so I wrote plays instead.  And then I got rich.

AG: You made money being a writer?

Shake Yo Mama: No, I made money being a Playwright.  And from writing the Sonnets. The Queen Looooved My Sonnets

Shakes: Yeah she did

AG: ….

The Bard: Put it in a metaphor, baby!

AG: …Too much candy corn?

Shakes: Too much candy corn

AG: All right, well, the real reason I asked you to be a part of this series is because you have a new movie coming out

Peare: Ugh, don’t remind me.

AG: And everybody wants to know-

Shakespeare: Listen. I probably wrote those plays, all right? I may or may not have put my blood, sweat and tears into each lingering word, which I  or somebody else probably  wrote by hand and with ink.

AG: What are you talking about? I wanted to know how it was working with Vanessa Redgrave

Shakespeare: You really focus on the wrong things, you know that?

AG: Oh, look, a butterfly!

Shakespeare: All right, I’m leaving

AG: NO WAIT! Can you give my readers some advice on Regection?

Shakespeare: You know you’re spelling it wrong

AG: We spell it like this around here.  It’s a whole thing. Please read my blog, William Shakespeare.

ShakeyShakes: Well, all I can say is Keep writing.  Because one day they’ll make a movie about you claiming another writer wrote all of your plays and it will all be worth it.

AG: WELL, that’s inspirational

Free Willie: Thanks.

AG: Do you have anything else to share?

Shakespeare: Just keep writing.  Never stop the words from flowing. And ah heck,

AG: What are you supposed to be?

Shakes: I’m Zorro.

AG: Yeah but why the hat?

William: Yeah but why the sheet you little –

 

What My Dad Taught Me About Regection

Today’s my Dad’s birthday! He’s multiple years old.

My Dad is awesome.  Here’s a picture:

You can automatically tell he’s awesome because he has an awesome mustache.

But there are other reasons, too.

Every time I receive a rejection letter, I tell my dad.  The conversation usually goes something like this:

Me: Well, got another rejection

Dad: What for

Me: The ten minute one act play festival fellowship contest that I kinda sorta really wanted.

Dad: Good

Me: IT SUCKS AND I’M GOING TO GIVE UP AND BECOME A JANITOR

Dad: Don’t do that

Me: Fine.

Dad: What you gotta do is find a place for all those rejection letters and put them somewhere special.

So, after about 20 conversations like that, I made a special little  rejection folder in my e-mail that would get fuller and fuller by the day. I would contemplate deleting all of them in one fit of electronic rage, but would always decide against it at the last minute because of Daddy’s words in my ears, telling me to save them and put them somewhere special.

SO, I decided to keep them on a blog.

And it’s all because of my Dad.

Happy birthday, Daddy!  Thank you for making me realize failure is not being told no, it’s when you stop trying.

Guest Blog: Paige Kellerman

Rejection’s Not Just About Being Perfect
by Paige Kellerman

When AG asked me to do a guest post for him, I was over the moon. After writing “I’m a guest blogger” on my driveway, stenciling it on the dog and turning it into a magic marker barbed wire tattoo on my ankle, I ran back to the laptop and sent an email.

Dear AG,
That sounds cool or whatever. What would you like me to write about?
Paige

Re:
Dear Paige,
    Rejection.
P.S Do you just comment and not read the blog?
AG
My excitement turned to panic. “Rejection”..? Stopping the presses, I went to Urban Dictionary and tried to figure out what it meant. From what I could tell, it was negative word, implying I’d failed at something. I felt terrible. Poor AG picked the one person who’d never failed at anything in her whole life. For instance, when I was fifteen, all the boys loved me. At night, I’d record all the compliments I’d received that day, in my diary:
“Your sister’s really pretty. Would she go out with me?” “Could you move to the left so I can get a better look at the girl in front of you?” “Have you seen your hair, today?..The circus must be missing a bear.” “It’s a good thing God made you funny.”
Imagine all that in one day.
When I got to college, my professors had as much or more faith in me, writing praise-filled comments on my papers like, “What is this?”, “Maybe you should think about going into the food service industry..”, and “Did you read the book?”

My then-boyfriend was equally as encouraging when he left me at graduation with the parting words, “I think we should see other people. What’s your roommate doing later?”
By the time I got married and became a writer, I was riding the type of high a person can only get from enjoying a life-long history of never failing. I began blogging, submitting stories, and working on a book. The feedback I got from judges was always up-lifting; Usually along the lines of “We accepted everyone’s story except yours.” or “Did you edit this before you emailed it?”
Today, my confidence is lifted continually when I tell people I meet I’m a writer, and they respond with, “No really…what do you do? I’m looking for a maid.” So, it pained me to have to send another email to AG:
Dear AG,
     While I’m extremely flattered you’d like me to write for you, I can’t think of a time I’ve been rejected. I’ll get back to you when I think of something. Gotta run, the cake’s burning.
Sincerely,
Paige

——

Paige spent most of her formative years reading anything besides her school books . Made to write five paragraph essays, by her mother, like it was her job, she garnered enough knowledge to paste a transcript together on a Word document and sneak into college. After a reluctant Dean handed her a degree in English, and she managed to escape the claws of insurance underwriting, Paige found someone who felt sorry enough to marry her. Together, they made a child, that turned out to be two children. Today, she spends her time writing funny stories, taking care of kids, mixing the perfect Gin and Tonic, and figuring out how to get people to stop calling her “that home schooled girl”. She blogs four times a week at paigekellerman.com and is hard at work on her first book of short stories.

—–

Paige always makes me laugh and this entry was no exception, so I’d like to present her with the You Inspire Me blog award:  Thanks so much for sharing your gift of laughter with everybody.

HOLY CROW!

An amazing, amazing thing happened.

I have been officially rendered speechless.

Yes, yes I have.

I have been awarded FOUR AWARDS!  The Irresistibly Sweet award by Isis Rushdan and Julie Fedderson, which makes me blush and look shyly away into the distance:

And the Versatile Blog award by the same wonderful ladies; an award that makes me want to go dancing in outerspace:

I am so honored to receive these awards by these two wonderful ladies – I highly recommend both of their blogs.

Isis Rushdan is a madd tight writer who always has something interesting to say and reviews movies and books.  She is honestly one of the most natural writers I have read; her writing is fluid and appears effortless; clearly not only a sign of talent, but a hard worker.

(I’m sorry for the poor construction of that sentence, please forgive me, Isis)

Julie Fedderson always has something funny and witty to say- she makes me laugh and then makes me think, which is an awesome combo.  Her posts are full of passion; you can feel the fire of her soul at the seed of each post.

CHECK. THEM. OUT.

OKAY!  So this time, I was totally prepared to take my picture upon receiving these awards, I even dressed for it:

WHAT! Nobody told me I had something in my teeth…crap…

Well anyway, to quote the man behind the mask “With great power comes great responsiblity” aka there are rules to these here awards!  And I am so excited because I get to pass them on to FIVE MORE BLOGGERS! ::cartwheels::

OKAY HERE ARE DA RULEZ:

The rules are:

1. Thank and link to the person who nominates you CHECK THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU
2. Share seven random facts about you
3. Pass this award to five new blogging friends
4. Contact and congratulate the awarded bloggers

 

SEVEN RANDOM FACTS ABOUT MEEEE

1. I love showtunes. I KNOW RIGHT but yeah, I do.  And right now I cannot stop listening to Follies and Memphis.

 

2. Something that inexplicably freaks me the frick out?  Giant Bunnies.  No.  Just no.  THEY FREAK ME OUT AND I DON’T UNDERSTAND.  Also, yes, the idea of the Easter Bunny scared me so much, my parents had to tell me he wasn’t real when I was five.  Like I really was expected to believe THAT.

3. In public, I am actually painfully and irritatingly shy.  Yes. YES I KNOW but it’s true.  When people are like Yo, sup I’m like TONGUE NO WORK and then they’re like Do you need a doctor and I’m like GIANT BUNNY SCARE-Y and then they run away screaming for the police and I have to go running in the opposite direction, it’s a mess.

4. I take my coffee and my tea black. And I also drink both of them equally.  And every morning I wake up, make myself coffee before I leave the house…then I will sometimes buy a tea on my way to work and then make coffee for the office, as that is in my job description…and every time I buy a tea, the dialogue between me and my boss goes a bit like this:

BossMa’Am: What are you drinking?

AG: Tea

BossMa’Am: You don’t drink coffee?

AG: Nono, I drink coffee, too, like the coffee I make and drink in the office every single day, even after I drink my delicious tea.

BossMa’Am: Oh. I only drank tea when I had menstrual cramps

My boss just celebrated her 85th birthday, God love her.

5. I take the subway to work everyday and it takes an hour to and from, so I WRITE THE ENTIRE TIME otherwise I would actually go insane.  I call it a Subway Fellowship.  It’s great how I fool myself.  But I do get a lot of writing done, which is really great.  And I totally encourage people to pick up the pen if it seems like they have nothing else to do in their spare time.

6. My imagination is wild, so I’m never really bored.  I get frustrated sometimes that I can’t write exactly what my imagination is telling me, which is why I think I’m best as a playwright; because you can work with a director to have your vision come to life on stage.

7.  I really care about people achieving and reaching their dreams and goals.  If I could buy every single book any of my friends has ever written, I would.  I would throw money at them like freakin CONFETTI if I could.  I want my friends to do well and believe that there is enough room in this pond of writing and theater for us all to make a splash, so I will promote you to the bitter end and never feel jealousy or animosity for someone who is achieving their dreams.  There is no such thing as competition; the only competition you should be in is the one with yourself.

ALL RIGHT AWARDS!

So in the spirit of the Versatile nature of the awards, I chose bloggers who really go out of their way to make their blog different everyday, and cover a range of topics and do a lot of things.

Also, Five Strong Women! YES.

In no particular order:

April Denton: How can I not?  She does writer quotes everyday, writes poetry, has compiled an army of zombies, writes stories; basically she isn’t afraid to write whatever she wants whenever she wants and I think that’s not only admirable, but inspirational.

Tinkerbelle: I never know what to expect when I read her blog; she can make even the most mundane seeming day into an adventure.  She truly is a tinkerbell on earth, spreading sunshine and cheer.  She isn’t afraid to be herself and that is quite refreshing.

Saronai: This lady never ceases to amaze me.  She write fantasy in a way that makes me believe it exists, whether it be a poem, a story, or just showing that there is magic in everyday life.

Merry Farmer: I just discovered Merry Farmer and I gotta say, she is amazing.  She is not only an interesting writer, but a brave one, unafraid to share her opinion in a way that commands your attention.  And also, Medieval Monday. Done deal.

Rhiannon Paille: Just entering her blog page is an experience, but her writing is out of this world.  Visit her and see what I mean.

Well youse, CONGRATS on your awesome awards, and don’t forget to follow the rules and keep being awesome.