Saturday, December 27, 2014

the misdirected text in the night

The first text (in bold) was received 1.11.13 12:45am.
(the words in italics were my responses. I have no idea who the sender was)

 I hide the body

can we eat it?

No Nigga I burned it wtf

Whats wrong wit u? Waste a good meat!

I wont it Shit are you on bath salts?

Bath Salts and Pepto...goes down smoooth

No try it with Lyn youll get fucked up. 
It'll help you to dont feel like you wanna eat human meat.

But I LIKES fresh flesh..mmm, tasty. All this zombie shit has made me a believer.  amen!


Go to bed stupid zombie

Aint a shieet you trippin zombie

wasting words texting is  the leading cause of nut and brain shrivel, doncha know Gomer?

damn looks like someone is in a bad mood now

So who was it you ate?

Ill get you some meat so you can chill out stupid zombie

Man how is life?

Life  is long and hard if you dont mend your ways

I need an advice from your smartself


Be honest with me tho. No bs

Best I can

Should I kill myself because I dont like life or should I deal with my shit and live unhappy

Deal. Be bold...all shit is fertilizer for growth

Cool but how about your happiness

Happiness is over rated. Satisfaction with self is the real, lasting best feeling. Happiness is a fart.

I  wanna be like you when I get old. You are a happy person

What do you think old is?

Idk dude. What is it?

Paying close attention to every waking moment. Learning from mistakes.

Cool but that is been mature not old. I think

How old are you

Almost 22 and you

Omg a mere child with your whole life ahead of you

How old are you dude

Timeless, ageless

Do you believe in God?

Oh yes. She's looking after you right now.

She? God is a female?

She is the source of all.

In My whole god dam life I thought it was a dude.

God loves you. Sleep now.

Monday, December 15, 2014


The streetlights and the traffic light over the intersection stuttered once and failed when the truck glanced off the power pole at the crest of Main Street at the top of the quarter mile glide down into town.

Engine dead, headlights blind, inertia carried it forward and gravity gave it wings. The sky’s blue hour pulled the last purple edge behind it and, with the glare of the streetlights gone, Bea looked up at the sweeping arc of stars aligned in the blackness over her head. 

In the moments after the lights went out there was a three count before the fireflies and crickets struck up a round of applause and then fell back to the serious business of finding husbands and wives before dawn.

from "Murders in Monkeytown" c. Deborah Lacativa 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

"Stick & Stones" by Joe Henry

Sticks & Stones 

Gather wood against the weather
Pile up stones against the sky
String of lights like pearls between us
And the heavens' blackest eye

Tell the hour
Go take another
Go down Moses
Without a fuss
Taken to the
Lawless water
And send that later boat for us

Sticks and stones
Blood ash and bone
I shake the tree
Swim out alone
Turnin' over the dark Missouri
Now that every new leaf I had
Is gone

Moon's near empty, a swinging saber
Keeping every prayer at bay
At the throat of love for ransom
From the dull approaching day

There's no law
That rides this border
No fences stretch this far
To show
How times will side
Against another
As one arrives and others go


Whores are dressed in fire and feathers
On a beach, sit in a row
Climb the bank through scrub and tinder
Disappear where rabbits go

They had nothing
That I needed
But I gave them
All I had
Just to share
Some dirt between them
As we waited, smoked and laughed

Now that every new leaf I had is gone x3

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Importance of Story

With so much strife going on in the US, not to mention the world, and my own ongoing melancholy, it was a pure pleasure to lose myself to the self I was in December, 1960 when the teleplay, starring Mary Martin first aired in dingy black and white. I tried showing a tape of the show to my sons when they were old enough but they were like fleas on a griddle and didn’t last ten minutes. Me neither.

 I remember laying on the floor in the living room watching it on the big console TV that dominated the room, indeed, our lives. Beyond that I am shy of situational details – who was there, what I was wearing - the kinds of things I usually have plenty of. I was oblivious to the world because I was completely absorbed by the story. As overblown and self-indulgent as it remains, there were elements of the story that really got my eleven year old attention.

Here was a family asunder and yet, the kids were the focus and they were having a hell of an adventure! My parents, who were on the brink of divorce for as long as I could remember, had called the annual December truce, something I had learned to be distrustful of. New Years Eve invariably brought emotional disaster and heralded a long, bitter winter. It's no wonder that I spent much of it outdoors despite the harshness of a New York winter. I learned to dress like an Eskimo early. If I wasn't moving, building, burrowing or throwing snow, I was on skates out on the ice.

Back to the Darlings, the family name alone was gag worthy. So here we have this girly girl Wendy with her tongue hanging out for this rangy boy Peter who was deeply clueless about the whole boy-girl thing. He was retarded after all, my assessment at the time of all boys. Thanks to my parents I had long been aware of the ongoing war between the sexes. I was still unclear on the point of the whole two by two thing, there seemed to be little pay off for either camp.

 Poor Wendy, she seemed to want something from Peter that she couldn't even articulate. I didn't figure it out until I realized that Tinkerbell was a girl and Peters interest in Wendy was making her jealous. It seemed like this boy-girl thing even troubled fairies.

I know my attention wandered back then because last night (in glorious color that we so take for granted) scenes played out and subtleties emerged that I no memory of. Christopher Walken's droll turn as Hook was riddled with snide little asides that made me laugh out loud. And the bit about clapping to save that jealous little tramp Tinkerbell after she saved Peter by taking his poison. You bet I clapped, but back in 1960 it was not because I wanted to save her, I did it because Peter wanted me to. Peters motivated me to do a lot of things in the coming years.

Flashback to 1960. I do remember not being able to identify with any of the players until that magical moment when Wendy, who had allowed herself to be conned into mothering a rabble of dirty teenagers and never got to be anyone's Girl Friend, Bride or Wife, tucked them chastely into their beds and sang them that heartbreakingly sappy lullaby.

That was a crystallizing moment for me. It became clear to me that the point of being a female was to eventually have and love and guard over these babies who might never grow up. Self sacrifice seemed to be the order of the day for girls. It was sobering and galling at the same time.

I remember being overcome with emotion. I was a terrible tomboy, all scabs, dirt and attitude and I think my mother was relieved to see me snuffling and trying to hide embarrassed tears. She had had a daughter after all, and not a troglodyte.

The deal was sealed three years later when I sat in the exact same spot and watched the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. In front of my entire family, I screamed (into a couch pillow) cried and clutched my hair with the best of them, but this time I was totally unembarrassed. This flock of Peters were not looking for a mother. They wanted to hold my hand! Thanks to Wendy's timely warning and my parent's bad example, I was ready to play the game and win.

This may not have been what JM Barrie was gunning for but it's what I took away from it.  I'm sure there are learned thesis out there that have picked the bones of this story, but this eleven year old miner found her own treasure, however unintended.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

I feel like Dr. Frankenstein

I had to save it.

It was a good scene, hot as hell. Too hot. Hot but pointless. So I took it apart, line by line, threw out the ones that didn't serve and crafted new ones. I poured cold water on the lovers, retarded their spark and made the waiting serve the story.


Thursday, November 20, 2014


Lately, whenever Inspiration and the Muse want to go for a ride I 

can't find the damn keys.

A friend said "get out and push it."

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"Writing is like sex.  
If you’re doing it right, you will not be thinking about success." 

(From somewhere on the internet, font of all wisdom, right?)

Wow. What if you are writing sex? 


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

AQE 2012

"Using vintage fabrics in my art is a constant and welcome reminder of the character and original purpose of this cloth - beautiful utility.

Old damasks and linens take to contemporary surface design techniques,such as dyes and resists, in unexpected and satisfying ways.

This composition came about while waiting in my car in the winter sunshine outside the laundromat and observing several women inside go back and forth between heated arguing and companionable agreement as they watched their own laundry churning.

"The fabrics of our lives" seemed to be the theme of the day for all of us."

Artist statements have been the bane of my existence, but they are required for many exhibitions. Just LOOK at the shit folks!  This piece was juried into Art Quilt Elements in Philadelphia, PA and sold the last night of the exhibit. I miss it.

Friday, November 7, 2014

the fluffer moon

I knew he'd come.

The same buttery moon
who kissed me between the eyes last evening, now probes my eyelashes
from the blueblack of the west.

I got up, shed my gown and stepped outside to show him what a woman has to offer. “Bring it braggart.” I said 
and give him a twirl.

Back inside, my husband was
watching from the warmth of our bed.
He pulled me in all chilled to points and said “He'll have to wait his turn.”

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Paying attention

It's not the first time it's happened, but I'm going to make sure that it's the last.

While I was doing the dishes this morning a half dozen scenarios, threads of action and dialogue camped out briefly in my head. Rather than peel of those rubber gloves and take off after those ideas, I parked them in my brain. Right. And forget to set the parking brake.

A busy, emotionally and physically taxing day passed and by the time I sat down here, all the birds had flown the coop. Next time I do the dishes (it's not a daily event) I'll make sure that the laptop is down in the kitchen with me.

This is NANOWRIMO month. Rather than commit to pounding out what might be 50K of nonsense, I plan on culling the 110K that I already have and reading a couple of novels that have been on my list and celebrating someone elses  hard fought victories.  

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The writers group

Have I mentioned the fine pack of jackals that I run with twice a month?

I used to think that being a visual artist working in textiles was a solitary pursuit, but stitchers everywhere are finding ways to "bee" together. They gather in public places, gang up in each other's living rooms, or meet in the ether through the web. They knit, spin, crochet, quilt and embroider for each others edification, envy or the pure pleasure of just sharing. It's nice.

There is nothing as solitary as writing. Long periods of being alone inside your head with your characters and your doubts will make you crazy. Getting together once and a while with similarly plagued individuals is both daunting and uplifting. We learn about the craft from the more experienced members of the group and take turns reading from our works in progress. It's a diverse bunch.

We meet in a local, family style restaurant where we used to command a back room, but lately have had to share the space and our stories with a handful of hungry strangers who appear to have mixed emotions about the floor show.

I have a hard enough time sharing my work with the group, now I have to think about making total strangers extremely uncomfortable with my bloody homicides and steamy sex, or should I just pass the tip jar after I read?

Friday, August 22, 2014

the Office

Right there on that beach blanket cobbled together from my husband's old blue jeans. I have a radio plugged in, books and papers and stuff strewn along the edge, stuff weighted down with sweaty bottles of whatever.

I stand in the water, armpit deep, and scribble long hand on whatever paper is laying around. The next morning I sit at the computer and decipher the scribbling.

It's been going good lately and I'm wondering how this is going to work over at the public pool during the winter months. I'll probably have to go back to writing in the car.

"She watches him play chess in the park with strangers. He is ruthless, but he loses as often as he wins.

"Why don't you read the other player?" she said.

"It wouldn't matter. Chess is a game of skill. There is no chance involved. The only way to lose is to let your emotions get in the way of logic. It happens, but the fight is always fair. Like at the track. No matter what the jockeys may want it's always up to the horses."

Thursday, July 31, 2014

I was celebrating my blood pressure being normal for the first time in memory, at the grocery store, of course.

I dumped everything out of the basket onto the belt at the register. The commander at this checkout was a 40ish woman with her red hair in braids and pale pink lipstick. She was either bold as hell or a time traveler. The bag boy, a very small teenager from somewhere in the middle east, name tagged "ELVIS", slouched at the end of the counter.

Together we studied my choices; Doritos, raw cookie dough, two six packs of beer, a pound of roast beef, a bag of pizza rolls, salsa and a quart of coffee ice cream.

"Looks like a frat party." she said "You got everything but the condoms".

(Cue the rimshot)

"Aisle six." said Elvis.

It was a three-way, silent eyeball showdown to see who would laugh first.

 I lost. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Dreaming in dialogue

The two men sat at the kitchen table with a pound of compressed marijuana in chunks on sheets of newspaper between them. They were cleaning the pot and making up ounces in baggies by hand and eye.It was not their kitchen.

So the guy says to me 'thirty bucks for an ounce?'
And I say 'yeah, that's right.'
So he says 'I only got two twenties.'
And I say 'I got no change.'
So he says 'Keep it.' and he takes the weed, but he gave me three twenties. I swear I didn't notice until a half hour later. They look pretty real.

Jack reached for a fresh baggie and said “That's your ineffable charm, Donald.”


“That's right, my man. Can not be fucked.”  Jack said. 

Donald looked down at the pile of weed he was picking at, wiggled his fingers and brightened.  

"I'll use them to pay that parking ticket."

Monday, July 21, 2014

the day job

I am reporting from the Whine Mine on the day BEFORE the full Flower Moon - the moon of compassion and healing. I can't wait until tonight!!!

The Scene & the Players:

Young Miss-On-the-Job in upscale mall ragshop approaches three customers who are busily pawing through the piles of $50 graphic T's straight from the child labor sweatshops back East somewhere.

Sig-MOMMA, per her neck tattoo (size 22, platinum teeth and a diamond studded ear piece blinking frantically) complains loudly and profanely to Young Miss-On-the-Job and her phone that there is nothing in this store in her size and it's DIZCRIMINASHUN! 

Meanwhile, BUGZY (face piercings, bald head, giant plastic breasts) is busy at the T table stuffing stacks of shirts into her booster bag, but her erstwhile assistant/lookout, ANGELFACE (tiger face tats, three different colored wiglets and 2" red toenails hanging out her sandals) has fainted away under the same table - the drugs finally kicked in!

Sig-MOMMA switches deftly over from her lawyer to call 911 and uses the distraction to stuff a full stack of shirts down the back of her spandex shirt as if Young Miss-On-the-Job was carrying a white cane and walking a harnessed German shepherd. “WHAT &#$@! HUMP? ARE YOU DISSING MY @%$# PERSON??!”

Young Miss-On-the-Job has gotten nervous and pushed her Panic Button summoning Mall Security and as they come through the front door, BUGZY takes out her Taser for self defense and accidentally tases Sig-MOMMA who's earpiece shorts out setting her blond helmet afire.

Overcome with anxiety and lattes, Young Miss-On-the-Job vomits on ANGLEFACE who revives, rolls over and bites BUGZY on the ankle. Sig-MOMMA is busy stomping out her smoldering wig, one mallcop has handcuffed the sleeping ANGELFACE to his partner's leg as EMS arrives on the scene and takes over.

BUGZY fled the scene with approximately $900 worth of merchandise and Young Miss-on-the-Job complains about having to phone in the report AFTER she has clocked out and she wants to be reimbursed for her Kung Pao rabbit & three iced mochaccinos - $44.99 and another teeth whitening session, $110.00. End of report.

(When do I get my Fox Pilot and Which of the Tramps of NJ will play the part of Young-Miss-on-the-Job? Stay tuned - DISCLAIMER - the preceding was overheard and here paraphrased from a meeting at a local Borders "Writers At Large" meeting. The topic of discussion was "New Stir Fry recipes using rejection slips for extra fiber" but the speaker was successful and without credence.-ed)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Carpe Noctem

A train of thunderstorms passed through the area  last night. Brief, violent and not wet enough. The power flicked off while I was wrapping up a long report for a customer. Whoopee! No power means I'm offline until it's restored. Of course, it also means I don't get paid for the missing time.  But, oh well, act o' god and all that.

It was too early to sleep and I caught the bones of a good story while paddling around in the pool earlier in the day. I took a few notes at the time, but couldn't read them in the dim light so I just started from scratch scribbling away by candlelight. Five minutes into it,  I heard a huge splash from the pool and went out on the deck to investigate.

A large limb fell from one of the overhangs and circled lazily with all the other tree trash that happens every night. The drizzle stopped, the clouds parted and a brilliant moon turned everything blue-white. I shut off the flashlight, took my tarot deck and went down onto the pool deck for the blessing. Starkers.

Moontan and sanity restored, I came back upstairs and put down the first eight longhand pages  of what I had started in the water. Now to key it all into the magic writing machine.

 I wish, though, that I had gone into the water, but that limb and all the rest of the detritus moved around in a way that made me think of the scene in Star Wars where they are trapped in the garbage chute on the Deathstar. You know, before the walls started closing in, something swimming by in the soup, brushing Luke's leg. The thought of creatures in the water put me in the proper frame of mind to paint this story with dark colors.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


"The Waterwitch"

Now that I can hear them again, my characters are talking to me, talking to each other.
Every he said and she said is a stepping stone forward.

Dialog is the connective tissue that the story's flesh and bones have been missing.

They wake me in the night.

Saturday, June 28, 2014



I watched our writing group leader line edit a chapter for one of the members the other night and I have been paralyzed at the keyboard ever since. I try to pass myself off as a tough guy, but now I know I'm made of glass.

I need to get over myself.

Taking time out for input only.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

deeper than rewrite

"Sometimes, when accepted and welcomed, divine wisdom and enlightenment flow freely like a calm river. The rest of the time, wisdom is blocked until it rages forth like a tidal wave and crushes anything in its path, including the recipient of the wisdom. 

This is the energy of the Tower card, an energy very similar to Death in that it is both a destructive and a creative force. When a building is old and decrepit, it must be demolished so that a new structure may stand in its place." J. Rioux 

I'm trying hard to not be crushed  (I'm a great floater),  but the words "kill your darlings" were never more true. I'm only glad that I won't continue polishing pearls without properly grading, setting and stringing them for a really effective outcome. 

For the next week I can't even dwell on the revisions; they  will only be happening inside my head. Family duties have to take center stage. 

Thanks to TH, CL and a close revisit with "Shakespeare in Love" for the honesty and the revelations.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

groping in the dark

That's what it feels like when all you have is a cool title and only a vague notion of what you are going to do with it.

In the writer's group I belong to one member put forth the notion that all you get from an editor reading your manuscript is 250 words before they roll their eyes up in their heads and pitch it in the trash or hit "delete".

I did some grubbing around on the web but couldn't find any yeas or nays to corroborate this, but it wouldn't surprise me. I won't let it bother me much either.

Maybe I should have called this blog "Honing the Hook" but that sounds vaguely pornographic, which, given the genre I'm attempting, is not all that far off the mark.

I was rummaging through old notebooks with the intention of not letting them go to waste when I found the dry leaves and the hard cash  in the notebook that holds the bones of my first two novels, both patiently waiting their turn while I get this one done.  I pissed the money away on lottery tickets..keep you posted on that one.

 Then, in a spiral lined notebook I came across this written in pencil so light it had to be a 4H, my old dear favorite from a very long time ago.

"The 11th Commandment"
Thou shalt heed these my commandments, not out of fear of the Lord's retribution, but in the certain knowledge that He has given you the ability to weigh your actions, the wisdom to foresee the consequences and the strength to live with the outcome."

And under this,   "see your options"

WTF?    I checked it in Grammarly.    It's sui generis. What was I smoking?