Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Book Review: Maestra by L.S. Hilton

Favorite Quotes:

"I cried for a long time, cried properly with my throat full of tears and snot, until I heard a strange noise. It seemed to come from outside, a keening, a baby, maybe, or mating cats. Then I realized it was me, howling. I cried out all the tears I hadn't allowed to fall since that day in London..."

"It was relief. Just for once, at last, someone else was in charge."

"Rage had always been my friend, and I neglected it. Rage had kept my back straight; rage had seen me through the fights and the slights. Rage had propelled ma from my no-mark comprehensive to university; it had been my strength and my solace."

"I wasn't sure yet how to play this. I didn't wanted to be relegated to the Estonian slut category, but then I obviously was the kind of girl who hopped a boat with a virtual stranger at a moment's notice."

This was actually a very engaging read. It had some great hilarious one liners and kept me interested. Some parts I found confusing. A good beach read. Maybe a good book to take with you on a flight.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


ONE DAY by David Nicholls

My favorite quotes from this book: 

"They had met again in London in April, at their mutual friend Callum's twenty-third birthday party, spending the whole of the next day in Kensington Gardens together, drinking wine from the bottle and talking. Clearly she had been forgiven, but they had also settled into the maddening familiarity of friendship;"

"The attraction of a life devoted to sensation, pleasure and self would probably wear thin one day, but there was still plenty of time for that yet."

"... while all the time Dexter regarded her a look of affectionate disappointment, as if she were a puppy who had soiled a rug."

"Emma stopped writing, then looked away and stared at the ceiling, as if giving someone a chance to hide. She looked back at the page in the hop of being surprised by the brilliance of what was there."

"Dexter was sitting on the bed, his shirt unbuttoned. "Em? Are you crying?"
 "No. But it's still early."

"Shouldn't she have an opinion, take a side, boycott something? At least with apartheid you knew where you stood. Now there's a war in Europe and she has personally done absolutely nothing to stop it. Too busy shopping for furniture."

"... I think she enjoys bossing me around a little too much, but she's very attentive. Eat this, take these, sleep now. Strict but fair, that's your sister. It's revenge for not buying her that pony."

One Day left me an emotional wreck. I haven't been this brokenhearted since Atonement! I was just blindsided by the whole thing. I loved it. Piecing together the story as we get one glimpse into July 15 each year was so much fun; like going through an old scrapbook found in the attic under the floorboards. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Tiffany Girl

TIFFANY GIRL by Deeanne Gist

I was so thrilled to receive an advanced copy of Tiffany Girl! Deeanne Gist is one of my favorite authors!

"The heir to Tiffany's jewelry empire is left without a staff when glassworkers go on strike just months before the opening of the much-anticipated Chicago World's Fair and the hyped mosaic Tiffany Chapel. Desperate and without another option, Tiffany turns to a group of female art students to finish the job. Flossie Jayne answers the call, moving to a New York City boardinghouse with high hopes of making a name for herself as an artist and defying those who say that the work can't be completed in time--least of all by a set of young, inexperienced women."

My favorite quotes from this book: 

"The closer she came to the Manufacturer's Building the more it dwarfed her. Climbing its steps to the grand portal, she passed beneath a triumphal arch, then paused at the imposing entrance. She looked behind her, almost expecting to find the celestial city had vanished like an illusion, but the magic spell of its ravishing vista remained unbroken."

"Holiness encompassed every corner, every crevice, and seeped into her very soul."

"Dragging a hand through his hair, he looked about her room, reminding her of Mr. Darcy when he'd gone to profess his love to Elizabeth but was unable to spit out the words. Of course, Mr. Wilder had no such feelings for her, but his discomfort was palpable nonetheless."

"The earnestness in her expression, the natural love she had for everyone, shone through her eyes. It nearly undid him. Cupping her cheek, he grazed her lip with his thumb. 'You deserve someone a lot better than me.'"

All of Chapter 74 made me giddy with delight. Quoting anything from there would be a talent spoiler. 

I loved how history came alive in this story. Compelling storytelling. I was so emotionally invested in these characters I actually got mad at their behavior and quit reading for a bit. I related most to the Reeve Wilder character. He was the typical writer: observant, doesn't speak much, but his brain was always swimming. He wrote in his journal every day and that really propelled his fiction writing to the next level. When was the last time I wrote in a journal - stream of conscious writing without thought, without using the backspace key? Reeve and Flossie had two breaks they took from each during this story. When they found each other again, they were more sensitive and mature. They saw each other with new eyes. I think a lot of couples could really benefit long absences. 

As always, Deeanne Gist delivers a story that stays with you long after you've stowed it away on the bookshelf. 

Monday, April 18, 2016


Ok, so here's the thing.

I lost my child yesterday.. while walking around in my neighborhood.

And the award for worst mommy goes to .... ME!

We took a normal walk around the retention pond area. It's a normal circle of a little less than a mile. We've done this route many times before.. with our dog, Sahsha. My son explores the trees. He finds odd  paw prints and plays a game of going ahead of me and I catch up. He goes really fast, catches his breath, I eventually catch up and he can hardly keep up after two rounds of those sprints.

He turned the corner, I didn't see him until I turned that corner, he was running.. I thought he would explore the rocks in the ravine... like he always did.

I got closer, and closer and didn't see him.

I looked around the hill and STILL didn't see him.

Before the panic took me somewhere where I couldn't breathe, couldn't think rationally, I prayed that God would keep him safe and help him find his way.

A peace washed over me. The peace the surpasses understanding and doesn't let me sit in a corner and rock back and forth.

Then... I didn't see him playing by the rocks, I looked everywhere I knew.. OH MY GOD! I can't find him. OH MY GOD! I have to call my husband and tell him what a sorry piece of shit I am and I lost our child.

Holy FUCK! Sheer cold dread washed over me.

I called... no fucking answer... dammit! My imagination ran the fuck away and ... oh. no.

I ran into the street, screaming my boy's name in a manic frantic fucking panic.. DREW!! DREW!!! DREW!!!

Cars stopped and slowed as I ran crazy in the street looking up and down, surely I will die right now of a heart attack. I called my husband again... and he answered with, "Drew's home."

Oh, my god. I was torn between peaceful relief and sheer terror of what could have happened to him.

On the walk home, I wasn't sure if I was going to hug him and praise him for finding his way home or beat the crap outta him for running away from me.

I've been working on writing this story for a couple days and I wanted to end it with a moral, a quote, something to tie it up with a pretty bow and say everything will be alright.

Truth is, some days suck. Some days I fail miserably. Some days I'm lost in the "what-ifs."

What if I never saw him again? What if he ran into the street with an oncoming vehicle? What if?


Saturday, March 12, 2016

To The Person Who I Thought Was My Friend:

To The  Person Who I Thought Was My Friend:

It's been a rough couple weeks.

The day was Thursday. That would be the morning if we find out.

Not one of us slept.

Stomach in knots, tension in my shoulders, chin breaking out, heart in my throat. Am I going to make it through this?

I love this job. This company. These people. This is family.

I had everyone I knew praying for me not to get a pink slip.

Whether they were praying to Jesus, Allah, Bramha, Vishnu, Shiva, or sending me good vibes, they showed up for me.

They were from everywhere around the world: good friends, maybe not so good friends, family, those I hadn't seen in forever, those whom I may have hurt or rejected; they took time on their knees, faces planted on the floor in love for me.

Once the news reel came down, people I hadn't spoken to in months were checking on me.

But... I never heard one word from you.

I looked. I looked for a note of encouragement, a sentiment of affection, but there was only an empty space.

Part of me is not surprised.

Most of me is sad and disappointed among the joy and elation when I was notified that I will continue my employment.

I was thankful for my family, my friends, my job.

But, if I'm being honest, part of me died that day when I realized who you really are.

Friday, January 29, 2016

I Saw The Sign

I have a tendency to gravitate to the idea that coincidences do not exist. When like things are coming at you, there is a message. Like 2 weeks ago at church when Dinah's story came up. I unearthed an old copy of The Harlot By the Side of the Road and Other Forbidden Tales of the Bible. It opened my eyes again to the magic and amazing storytelling within the pages on this ancient text. Then, Dinah's name kept appearing and through a strange set of circumstances, I stumbled upon The Red Tent The Miniseries. 

I was convinced Dinah was speaking to me from the grave with a massively important message. I got through the movie in about 3 days and the words hit me deep, cutting my heart in pieces and bleeding. Words need to be said, I need to stop asking why and lay this burden of bitterness at the feet of redemption.

I've seen this sign before, read the scriptures, but this time it was clear and unmistakable. The path was light up bright and I still just stand here paralyzed.

Then another message...

Our bedroom area has a bit of an electrical short. Every so often, I plug in the vacuum and boom! darkness. The mister has to go flip a breaker switch and we're back in the light. It's been happening more and more these days. Yesterday when it shorted, it took out some lights in the master bath. Not just any lights, the bulbs on my side of the vanity. I heard them speaking to me again. My fear of rejection is dimming the lights on our marriage. I stand still, frozen in time, unmovable, my pride taking center stage unable to let go and forgive.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Go Set a Watchman

BOOK REVIEW: Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Good parts of the book:

"She sat up. 'I don't know if I can tell you, honey. When you live in New York, you often have the feeling that New York's not the world. I mean this: every time I come home, I feel like I'm coming back to the world, and when I leave Maycomb, it's like leaving the world.'"

"Blind, that's what I am. I never opened my eyes. I never thought to look into people's hearts, I looked only in their faces. Stone blind... Mr. Stone. Mr. Stone set a watchman in church yesterday. He should have provided me with one."

"It had never fully occurred to Jean Louise that she was a girl: her life had been one of reckless, pummeling activity; fighting, football, climbing, keeping up with Jem, and besting anyone her own age in any contest requiring physical prowess."

"She did not stand alone, but what stood behind her, the most potent moral force, was the love of her father."

"She felt that time had stopped and she was inside a not unpleasant vacuum. There was no land around, and no beings, but there was an aura of vague friendliness in this indifferent place. I'm getting high, she thought."

It's taken me quite awhile to recover from this book.
It's that moment when you realize Santa isn't real
You grow up
You learn the roads in life are rough
Not everything is as it seems
Too many grey areas
Too many unknown variables
A math problem that goes on an on

I can't say anymore. It hurts too much.

Monday, January 11, 2016

It’s coming for me

It’s coming for me.

I can feel it. The anxiety is kicking in. There’s a disturbance out in the seas of my stomach. It’s ready to wage war on my heart, my body, and it wants to take my mind captive. This is the time of year I can’t escape the grips of the black hole. Numbness takes over. Apathy is a constant. Time ceases to exist. My eyes cannot capture light. Welcome to my hell.

The only thing to do is to weather this storm and try and hold on for dear life. I try to remember: this does end.

My childhood home was a built on a pile of ashes. The spirit of anger, bitterness, and rage rose up to destroy everything. My mother hated me for being born. She must have had other dreams for her life. She detested that I bared the image of my father. She couldn’t stand his affection for me. She lived in the midst of jealousy and rejection. I was never accepted. I never could belong… anywhere. I didn’t know how. I was easy prey to anyone in the world. Anyone who showed me affection became my obsession. Any substance that made me feel good became a way of life.

I found life in these words I write. I found meaning in literature. I saw stars align in physics class. I had a gift no one else did. I could put things together, solve difficult problems, make equations balance.

I found my way out, the path I could carve myself with my hands and feet.

But she wouldn’t let me go. Oh no. Her words seared and branded my soul:

“You’re ugly.”

“I hate you.”

“I wish you were never born!”

In an effort to end it all, I tried to take my life at 17. Thanks to my father, I was unsuccessful. He finally showed up. He finally let me know that I mattered. He finally protected me from her mental illness.

It was much too late. The damage was irreparable.

The minute I left my house, I searched this earth looking for a home, a place of refuge, somewhere to belong. I still wander in this black hole seeking forms of light as these walls close in on me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Happy Diwali

Happy Diwali

Today is one day when I truly miss my family, my roots, my culture, my heritage.
I've run far, I've run long and I realize I can't go back.
I am the original prodigal son.

Don't get me wrong... I am grateful for my life, my faith.
I just miss the majestic beauty of the rituals.
The lights
The new year celebrations
Cleaning like crazy
Cooking up a feast
Sharing with friends, neighbors, even those who have wronged you in the past.
It's a day of forgiveness, of joy and reconciliation.

I celebrate in my heart.. with a bit of pain.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

On Marriage, part deux

This story is changing. Curtains opening to Act 2. Drama unfolding. Uncertainty remains. Bone crushing responsibilities weigh on our shoulders.

As we weather a wintry brutal season in our marriage, we should bolster each other and hold on until the smoke clears. But we don’t. We move onto divergent paths. He’s steady, strong, undeniable in who he is. I never thought I’d question my faith. I’ve always believed in goodness, mercy, love. I’ve believed in love most of all; that the heart can expand… enlarge amidst crushing defeat.

These days, I take a minute to refresh, to breathe, and meditate. I focus on the good… no... the GREAT things: more than ten years ago, we danced in the moonlight, fireworks exploded when we kissed, lightning struck when we touched, love changed everything. These days, he doesn’t write me love letters anymore or stop everything to kiss me in the middle of a busy day. He does much more than that. He lays down his life. It’s in the ordinary moments weaved together into the testimony of a most honorable man who comes home to his family every single night and overlooks the mess and chaos.

He battles alongside me again and again, holds my hand, and stands behind me as I fail yet again to battle my demons. When I’ve deserted the troops and go AWOL, he finds me and helps me fight my way back. 

I walk in my father’s shoes now, down the same roads he’s traveled. I finally understand the whys. I am humbled by my father’s sacrifices and as I lay down my bitterness and finally forgive, walls crumble. 

I find my heart. Glory, Hallelujah. 

Ahh, so THAT’S what love feels like. 

The dust settles and Steve is behind the mist, holding it all together. He lays down his life, his heart. There are no trumpets and a parade to welcome me home. There’s just bone deep, remarkable love that walks the ordinary, normal, mediocre, daily doldrum. Sometimes it’s one step, one climb, one limp, one leap forward.

It’s one more Kid Cuisine, one more modge podge project, one more story, one more swim lesson, one more band aid, one more spill to clean up, one more kiss before bed, one more night where we commit to do better tomorrow.

This love in action.

This IS happily ever after. Our story evolves, some days can be rough but it’s still OUR story. This is when it counts. This is when love shows up.