The Month in Review, May-June 2022: At Home & Work, Debut Book Update and Writing & Blogging, Freedom of Choice, Book Reviews, and A Poem

Home & Work

It’s been a couple of months since I’ve created a month in review, and, as you know, it’s been busy in all aspects of my life. Life is like that, it comes, it goes, both the painful and the pleasurable, and today, I accept all aspects, even when it’s really difficult.

It’s summer time here in Oregon, which means the sun will be out more often, and the temperatures will rise, which I always enjoy. 

I didn’t spend much time in the community garden until last weekend, and I made a lot of progress, as you can see from the pre and post pictures above. I’m going smaller this year, only planting tomatoes, peppers, and some herbs. I also planted some lavender, which I love.

This summer I will get out on some hikes, and may also travel down to see my mom and sisters in Los Angeles.

The team is doing well, creating new personal enrichment classes, new leadership training opportunities, training new teenage drivers, getting people ready for new jobs in the workforce, and advising our local small business on how they can grow and gain traction in their businesses.

It’s a wonderful department to belong to, and serving our local communities is a blessing each day. Here is a look at our summer schedule of classes

Debut Book Update and Writing & Blogging

This month, I sent my book manuscript to Ingrid Wilson, and we are now in the editing phase, which is not my favorite part, yet, as we all know, it’s one of the most important. 

I am hopeful to reveal the cover and title in the next month, though I am in no hurry at all, so we shall see.

I’ve had a poem accepted and published at Spillwords Press almost every month this year, which included being voted Author of the Month for Jan/Feb and three nominations for publication of the month. Such an honor to have my poetry so well received and read. 

I was also part of the #1 Amazon Bestselling Poetry Anthology Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women. Every part of this experience has been a blessing to me.

Additionally, I am still submitting two poems a month to MasticadoresIndia & MasticadoresUSA, and will continue to do so for the remainder of this year. 

Photo by ractapopulous, Pixabay

The blog just had its two year anniversary, and we have now surpassed 3,400 readers. I am so honored and grateful to each of you for being here. Some of you have been here from the beginning, and some of you just joined recently. Either way, I honor and appreciate each of you for your participation in this blog and your engagement with me. Thank you!

I’ve iterated my posting schedule on this blog many, many times. There was a time when I posted about 10 to 11 times a week, and now I am posting 2 to 4 times a week, which is perfect for my life today. 

I am also now going to iterate how I read, which means that I will not read every single day as I do now, rather, I will read every other day. This is a change that will be hard for me, as I love reading all of your poetry and posts each day, yet because I am resistant to it, it means it is needed. All that it means is that I will read more on the days I read, and then have a couple of nights each week, where I can write and focus on other things.

Overall the first half of this year has been one of continuous growth in every aspect of my life, as I am stretched at home, work, and in my writing. It’s exactly how I like it. When we are challenged each day, we get to grow, and we get to experience the many emotions we have as human beings. It’s the experience of true aliveness when we get to experience all that life has gifted us, even in the most painful moments. A blessing.

Freedom of Choice

Photo by 10302144, Pixabay

It’s taken me a couple of weeks to work through my emotions about the recent overturn of Roe v. Wade, and I am still processing.

Though I love this country, and wish everyone that celebrates today a very happy Independence Day, I recently responded to a poem on Yard Sale of Thoughts, by K Kartless, and wrote that I’d never been so embarrassed to be a US citizen as I am right now. A paradoxical truth.

The bottom line? The United States has tremendous wealth, and yet people go hungry, have to fight for the rights to choose about their bodies, while systematic and structural oppression continues in this country every day. 

Though this angers and saddens me, I know that continuing to take my actions each day, however small or large they are, to mitigate and eliminate these horrible injustices will continue. 

For, it’s not the size of the action we take in life, it’s that we take our action, and then take another, and continue to do so, working toward, in this case, a better version of this country, which, collectively, I believe we can achieve. 

Speaking of a better version, I was elated when I read about the new addition to the Supreme Court, Ketanji Brown Jackson, on I didn’t have my glasses on, by Beth. How wonderful for the Supreme Court, and for this country.

Book Reviews

Photo by Myriams-Fotos, Pixabay

Lightning Rhymes, by Navin Manik

Lightening Rhymes, by Navin Manik, is a tour de force of poems that enter into the reader’s heart, blossoming like wildflowers stretching towards the sun of spiritual transcendence. Navin’s poetry is raw and powerful, connecting spiritual experiences to nature in a way that leaves the reader breathless, and in want of more.

The feelings Navin evokes throughout the book are stunningly descriptive and can resonate with any human being on this planet, for we’ve all been to places Navin describes. Deep pain, trauma, heartache, anxiety, depression, etc., are woven into the language inside of these beautiful poems with an expert hand. Likewise, Navin expresses deep love, hope, and the beauty of human connection throughout his verse. I highly recommend Lightening Rhymes, it is a book that will resonate in your heart and mind.

Woman: Splendor and Sorrow: | Love Poems and Poetic Prose, by Gabriela Marie Milton

In the book, Woman: Splendor and Sorrow, Love Poems and Poetic Prose, Gabriela Marie Milton creates contexts that spark the imagination, while inviting the reader to take a deep dive within themselves. The poems and prose are full of vibrant imagery, evoking a multiplicity of worlds, which seem far away, and paradoxically right next door; for we have all felt the deep sorrow and splendor of being in love with another human being.

Gabriela’s language is stunning, continuously creating juxtapositions between nature and the self, reimagining what it means to be in love as a human being. What does it mean to feel deep sorrow; to feel the elation of delight and splendor? Gabriela shows us through a language of love that entices the senses. (You can read more of my review of Woman: Splendor and Sorrow: | Love Poems and Poetic Prose on Amazon).

A Poem

Alright, that’s all for this month. Sending you all my love and blessings for a wonderful July.


#book-reviews, #community-garden, #debut-poetry-book-update, #development, #freedom, #home-work, #ketanjj-brown-jackson, #leadership, #masticadoresindia, #masticadoresusa, #month-in-review, #nominations, #spillwords, #systematic-oppression, #writing-blogging

ravens flying on wings, Published at MasticadoresIndia

I am excited to share my poem, ravens flying on wings, which is now available at MasticadoresIndia. A big thank you to Terveen Gill, and the entire team at MasticadoresIndia for publishing this piece, and for their continued support.

ravens flying on wings

the curtains, pulled tight, made of silk, and
reminiscent of the night, reminds me of
a time, before transgression,
and

possessions of body and mind…

I would be honored if you would go here and read the rest of my poem. Thank you!


Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on Unsplash


#poetry, #clarity, #connection, #contemplation, #dream, #freedom, #heart, #illusion, #introspection, #masticadoresindia, #mind, #nature, #poems, #publication, #reality, #reflection

The Sound of Series #2: The Sound of Wheels

Photo by The Nigmatic on Unsplash

I love the sound of skateboard wheels. That tik tak sound they make as they come into contact with the pavement. It reminds me of growing up in Southern California, and of the skateboarding I did as a youth.

It is interesting to consider how sounds take us back to particular times in our lives. For me, the sound of skateboard wheels remind me of a simpler time. A time when getting up on a bright sunny morning, included having breakfast, watching a skate video, and taking to the streets with my board.

That tik tak sound also reminds me of my first experiences with punk rock, which is an often cited contributor to skate culture. Though I don’t skate anymore, I still regularly listen to punk rock. Fun.

Skateboarding also reminds me of freedom. When out skating, it’s just you and the streets, or ramp, or riverbed. Not much else there. You and the board, and the creativity that lives inside you. Creating new tricks, trying new things, pushing yourself further.

The sound of wheels also remind me of roller skating. Especially, roller skating at the local roller rink. Totally 80’s. I remember being dropped off at the roller rink as a pre-teen, hanging out with friends, and going around and around again. For hours.

Photo by Lukas Schroeder on Unsplash

Now, we are talking about the early 80’s and the music playing in those roller rinks was that early MTV mix between disco and new wave, with a splash of dance pop. Wow. I loved that music then. I listened to so much of it at that time, that today I don’t fancy it as much.

Nonstop 80s Greatest Hits Best Oldies Songs Of 1980s Greatest 80s Music Hits YouTube

The roller rink was the place where kids would let loose, and just be. Away from all of the school drama and parental pressure. Just be kids. I also loved the creativity that came inside of the roller rink. Creating different ways to roller skate, like skateboarding, trying new tricks, and new things.

Roller rinks, however, are mostly a thing of the past. When we moved to where we now live, we passed a roller rink on the outskirts of town, and it was a sad sight. Dilapidated building, rotting, and falling down. No music playing in that building any more.

Skateboarding on the other hand, is still rather present all over the country. On my daily walk, I pass a skate park, where, up until about a week ago, kids and youth were not allowed to skate, due to COVID-19. Now it has reopened, and if you walk by on a weekend afternoon, you can hear that familiar tik tak sound of the wheels hitting the pavement. I love that sound.

#creativity, #freedom, #punk-rock, #roller-skating, #skateboarding, #youth