Monday, December 16, 2019

Short Fiction: Time Travel

My 101 Word Flash Fiction, Compression, is one of the stories featured in the December Time Travel Issue of 101 Fiction 
Visit the website for more. 
Enjoy the escape! 

Friday, December 13, 2019

Happy Holidays!

TO YOU!  and Yours!  Wishing you a Holiday that is Merry and Bright! 

May Democracy Ring through the World and Crumble Oppressive Structures left by the Patriarchy! 

May our planet return to that Paradise is it! Offering all we need to flourish without exploitation, without decimating every animal, tree, or indigenous person and their land! 

Keep our water clean! 

Our air breathable -- the animals are counting on us! We must protect those without voices who cannot SHOUT! 

Peace to YOU! Peace to All. 

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Climate Strike. We're All in This Together!

"LISTEN TO THE SCIENTISTS!"  ~ Greta Thunberg.

I've been an environmental activist since the days I hoarded glass bottles under the sink in my Williamsburg apartment in 1989-90s, to the chagrin of my roommate who constantly teased me about my "collection" of bottles.

But I couldn't throw them in the garbage! and no one was even talking about recycling in New York City in those days. Well, I was talking ...but there were few answers. So I basically hoarded a huge collection of glass bottles under my sink. Not sure what became of those bottles, it's likely my roommate issued an ultimatum to get rid of them. And then came the plastic bags ... the bane of humanity and the rest of our plastics hanging in our trees in the City. (I also have a certificate as a "green medicine" herbalist. During the Bush years, there was a concern the war-loving administration would take our supplements and access to medicinal plants and herbs. )

This is actually a post, for the Climate Strike! I'd say in SOLIDARITY but we're all in this TOGETHER. We have one BEAUTIFUL paradise of a planet. We're the stewards and we've done terribly.

Sharing a few photos from the 2014 "People's Climate March".  My #ClimatePact   "I swear in all my power to help this planet and its creatures thrive and return this planet to the PARADISE it is!  #ClimatePact   I will STOP abuses when I see them. I will STEP IN. Help find solutions.

 For my #ClimateStrike #ClimatePact I will:

*Ride my bike every day -- even through the snow. (so much fun!)


*Wear repurposed clothing! (eBay!)

* Mend and repair the things I have. (also kind of fun.)

* Plant trees.

* Return to being a vegan.   ~ While I had two vegan births, I'm now a vegetarian but also lactose intolerant. So, I must heed the warnings of my gut.  ;) My body is much smarter than I am.

(I'll return to add more to this list.)

What are a few things you've done that helped our planet, please share so we can do more! 

Here are a few photos from 2014. New York City's People's Climate March, to rev you up for the rally at Foley Square tomorrow 12PM. No matter where you are if you can't attend a rally or march in your town -- start cleaning up! Walk around with signs. Post the photos on Social Media. Share anything you've done that helps clean up our environment and tag #ClimateStrike.

Don't forget the little guys that make a HUGE impact on our planet. 

photo by me! 

Monday, September 9, 2019

When Billie Holiday Addressed Our Health Care System and Opiates.

This country sure is Slooooow to change.  

I'm busy revising my YA historical fantasy, though the story only has one supernatural element. It's set in 1935 at the cusp of the Swing Era and the build-up to WW2.  Believe, me, there're too many similarities to the persecution of Jewish people, to what the current administration is doing to black and brown people in the U.S.A. TODAY! 

A dear friend and jazz singer gave me Lady Sings the Blues last week for my birthday. Hearing Billie Holiday's voice, her words and her mind has been profound, learning about her life and struggles and jazz music, and then reading this near the end of the book ...

" American used to make fun of the British health system, where sick people could go to doctors and hospitals for free and the government picked up the tab. We laughed about them handing out false teeth and wooden legs for free. We hollered about this being government interference with the practice of medicine."
"Well, let me tell you, in America if they haven't got government interference in medicine I don't know what it is. If you're on and you get a doctor for help, he can't help you because the government has passed out regulations saying, in effect, that if he does he will go to jail along with you. If you go to the doctor, he's liable to slam the door in your face and call the cops."

"Most countries in Europe are civilized about it and they have no "narcotics problem" at all. One day America is going to smarten up and do the same thing.  Not as long as the US has systematic racism! Imagine how far we'd be if bigots and cheaters didn't get their way. I'm sure we'd have advanced beyond our current realities. 

"It may not even happen in my lifetime. Whether it does or not is no skin off mine, because I can't possibly be hurt any more than I have been. But for the sake of other people who've got to suffer until the country wakes up, for the sake of young kids whose whle life will be ruined because they are sent to jail instead of a hospital, I pray to God we wake up soon over here. " 

"If you think you need to suffer to play music or sing, you're crazy.  It can fix you so you can't play nothing or sing nothing. The only thing that can happen to you sooner than later you'll get busted, and once that happens you'll never live it down. Just look at me."
"I don't want to preach to nobody. I never have and I don't want to begin now. But I do hope some kids will read this book an not miss the point of it. Maybe because I have no kids of my own--not yet--I still think you can help kids by talking straight to them."

"On a recent Sunday, Judge Jonah Goldstein talked about the narcotics problem on TV from New York. He told the people the same thing I've been trying to tell them; that narcotics has to be taken out of the hands of the police and turned over to the doctors! He said that in all his years on the bench he'd never seen anybody but poor people brought in for violation of the dope laws."

"He also said a man had come to him for advice recently because his twenty-year-old son had been hooked on dope. What did the judge advise him to do? Send the boy to England o school where doctors could treat him legally, cure him if they could, and if not, give him treatment legally just as if he had diabetes or something, so he could live a useful normal life."

"That's a hell of a recommendation for a judge to have to make in a civilized country; to admit that the only help a sick person hooked on drugs can get is outside the country,..." 

This is from the 1950s from Billie Holiday's autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues.  

My heart. <3 and="" brilliant="" day="" in="" lady="" many="" nbsp="" p="" profound="" so="" was="" ways.="">
Her voice lives on! 
In the YA I'm revising the MC is also dealing with barbiturate use. Commonly prescribed for sleeping pills during this time.  

We must make good change happen Faster!   

Friday, August 9, 2019

"The Garage" Ghosts in Tight Spaces ~ 1K Fiction.

                                    The Garage

           “Billy, did you find it?” Mike asked from under the car. 
Billy, his fifteen-year-old brother, enjoyed getting lost in the tools, lingering over the washers and brackets, pieces he might add to a new work of “art”. He wasn’t much help around the garage.
But it was summer and he’d promised to keep Billy busy from ten until four o’clock during the week while their parents worked. Billy spent more time studying his surroundings than actually participating in them. “Did you find the torque wrench?” Mike held out his hand.
Billy’s green-laced black doc martins were planted next to Mustang while he waiting for the wrench to fall into his hand. “Any time now.”
 “Thank you," he said when it landed. 
Billy walked away. A kid of few words unless it was a subject he obsessed over, like Wars and Spirits, a video game, that had to be peeled out of his hands or spend his life eating intravenously at the console. At least he wasn't talking about Magic cards today or subjects Mike didn’t really understand.
More than a decade younger, a surprise, just when his parents thought their Golden Years were ahead. Mike shook his head. At least Billy could bring the tools he needed while he was under the car. 
Crashing noise echoed throughout the garage, like hubcaps smashing to the ground, the sound rattled the tin walls. 
Mike slid out from under the car. Wiped the grease off his hands on a bandana and then made his way in that direction. “You okay, buddy?” he called.
A dozen hubcaps circled the floor and Billy wasn’t there. Probably scared off thinking he was in trouble. Billy usually retreated when the hint of a confrontation arose but Mike knew how to tread lightly.
 “It’s all right, Billy, nothing’s broken! No harm no foul.” Mike laughed because he sounded like their father. “Where are you?” 
Not seeing his brother, he began picking up the hubcaps and stacking them against the wall. He checked his watch. “Looks like lunchtime!” Mike shouted, sure that would get Billy out of his hiding place. “I’m ordering a pizza unless you want to go for a drive?”
No answer. He checked the restroom. Billy wasn’t there. “Well, I’m starving,” Mike made a beeline for the phone on the wall and as he dialed the number for pizza delivery, Billy ran past.
“Hey, wait. You want pepperoni?” 
Billy stopped. He turned and shook his head vehemently before continuing on his way with a determined expression. Mike rolled his eyes. It was going to be a long day. “I’m ordering the usual," he shouted and then muttered,  "You’ll eat it eventually.”
Mike organized the desk in the office while waiting for the delivery and Billy walked in, his eyes skimmed the desk. A collection of items from the garage and junk from the dumpster were strewn across the room.
“Whacha looking for?” Mike asked.
Billy opened a cabinet drawer. “Just need ...” He pulled out a coil of copper wire.
Mike gave him the eye as he darted out of the room, not even asking what the pizza toppings were. He didn’t mind if his brother kept busy with another project. Maybe he’d get more work done with Billy entertained. 
When the pizza arrived Billy wouldn’t respond to his calls. If he wasn't hungry now, he would eventually. Mike finished his lunch and got back to fixing the Mustang. 
Billy’s Doc Martins pass by. Back and forth rattling and clamoring and now he was dragging a long metal pipe. What’s he up to? “Are you building a spaceship?” Mike chuckled. 
Billy passed by again and again. 
"You must be building a masterpiece!"
Mike scooted out, he was finished correcting the alignment of the wheels.
Cold pizza waited in the office. He shook his head and went to find his brother. "Must be some work of art you’ve got outback,” Mike said as he trudged through the exit door. 
“Hey, Van Gogh, you aren’t eating?" 
 A disk of light materialized before his eyes and lifted above the ground but with the sun beaming in his eyes, it was hard to determine what he saw. 
Below the spinning orb, a mound festooned with assorted metal links, wrenches, hammers, and bolts held together with twisted copper wires pointed up into the shape of a pyramid.
The spinning orb hovering above the mound expanded and retracted. Mike turned to his brother, eyes trance-like, staring at the orb and it zipped away.
“What was that?” Mike asked.
“They came after I made it,” Billy said. “They said the pyramid is a phone."
“A telephone?”
“Yeah, they heard the signal.”
“My brother doesn’t believe me," Billy shouted up into the coiled cone of wires and gadgets. 
The orb returned. 
Out of nowhere. 
Hovering at the point.
More arrived, until the sky pulsed with flocks of white orbs competing with the sunshine.
“Now what?” Mike asked. 
 “The others can't enter unless we build more communication systems. It's the way they used to visit a long time ago.”
Mike rubbed his chin, and his eyes shifted toward the disk fading in and out of visibility.

The End

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Audio of the Mueller Report!

Our country is under attack!  The POTUS is illegitimate!  
Tax march in March of 2017. 

Here is an audio of The Mueller Report ... 

"Delivering the Mueller Report, in an audiobook-style format, without political commentary." There's a link to donate if you're able to.  

"On April 18, 2019, the Department of Justice released the "Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election." This section covers some background behind the creation of this audio podcast and the "Introduction to Volume 1" from pages 1 to 3 of the report.  Introduction to Volume 1... (link) 
Or if you prefer reading the report and reviewing the summaries, the link. 

We need to get this mobster-grifter-family of nepotists (white supremacists) out of OUR House! Then work on the air we breathe and the water we drink! And listen to scientists!  
We have little time left! 
And there's nowhere to hide from the roll-backs and destruction the GOP and the House Leader, #MoscowMitch McConnell have unleashed. They've enabled this demagogue in the White House. The narcissist has rolled back ALL of Obama's protections. Things we've fought hard for over the years!! 
Gear up, my friends. The battle is for the TRUTH! 

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

A 1K Short Story from my Collection "Ghosts in Tight Spaces."

The Department Store

“Can I just try on this last piece?” Kathy asked the salesgirl.
“Sure, but we’re closing in twenty minutes.”
“Okay, okay. Wendy, hold my bag I’ll be faster,” Kathy asked her sister, Wendy, who'd folded her arms.
 “Make it fast, we have to meet Gary and Paul at Rockland. They’ll be pissed if we’re late again.”
“Not to worry, I know how to deal with Gary,” Kathy said, before running into the dressing room. Passing rows of curtained rooms, no one was in the fitting room with her. She stopped at the first room and drew the curtain closed. Shimmied out of her jeans, and tugged the bias-cut silk dress over her head and camisole. Half the price of yesterday. Was it enough to ignore the bulge under her armpit? No. She released herself from the sausage encasing and pulled a brush out of her purse.
The lights went out.
“What-the ... ?” 
Kathy ran and made her way to the entrance of the dressing room. The department store was dark throughout. “Hey, is anyone here? Wendy!” she called for her sister. She turned through each of the isles looking to spot someone. Anyone. “Wendy? She must have gone out to the car.”
Kathy dropped the dress next t the cash register and hurried to the double glass door facing the interior mall. The doors were locked. She pushed and pushed again on the levers. The doors wouldn’t budge. “Is ANYONE here? Let me OUT!” Kathy screamed.
Pulling the phone from her bag, she dialed her sister. “This is ridiculous . . . come on . . . answer.”
“Wendy? Where the hell’d you go?” Kathy cried. “I’m locked inside the department store.”
“Who is this?”
“It’s me--goofball, your sister.”
“My sister? . . . my sister died, two years ago.”
“You’re funny. Gary put you up to this? He’ll pay, all right.  Can you please, get me out?”
“I’m sorry.” Wendy hung up.
“What?” Kathy called again, but Wendy wouldn’t answer. She called three, four times, and still, no one answered the phone.
Then she dialed Gary’s number shaking her head. “They think this is funny? I thought we were in a hurry to get a good seat for the show.”
The number you have reached has been disconnected . . .
That’s strange. Kathy searched around the dark unable to process what was happening. She dialed 911.
“You’ve reached  911.”
“Yes! Hello. Can you hear me?”
“Yes, ma’am, what is your emergency?”
“Oh my God, yes. Thank goodness. I’m trapped inside Wooltstein’s Department store -- at East Line Mall. Everyone’s gone and I’m trapped inside.”
“Where did you say you’re calling from, Ma’am? I’m not getting a computation for your location.”
“East Line Mall. In Woolstein’s--at the entrance! Can someone get me out?”
Kathy heard whispering.
“East Line Mall burned down two years ago.”
“What? That’s impossible. I’m inside the mall right now. “
“It is a crime punishable up to fifteen years for playing with the emergency call system.”
“No—Please don’t go. My name is Kathy Driver. I live at 500 Beacon Road. Please call my sister, Wendy at (500) 225-1515.
“Someone is headed to that address to see about your emergency.”
“The mall?”
“Of course, not.” The operator sounded irritated. “You say you’re inside the mall’s department store that burned to ash two years ago. They’re checking with the folks at 500 Beacon.”
What else was there to say? “Yes!”
Kathy kept watch over the ghost town scanning the shops she could see. She’d forgotten about the emergency exit. There’d be an alternative exit, somewhere.
Keeping the phone line open, using the light of her phone to navigate, she made her way through the racks to the opposite side of the store.
The EXIT sign wasn’t lit. She pushed on the metal door. It wouldn’t budge. Spotting a water fountain, grateful to get a cool drink, she bent over, but no water trickled out of the fountain.  How long could she survive without water?
Her phone’s battery down to the red, the clock off. Surely, Gary and her sister would come looking for her.
It felt as though hours had passed. The concert would be over by now. With her phone dying, no water to drink, sitting in the dark, Kathy found a piece of gum inside her purse and she chewed it, fading away.
Baby Baby, Baby, Yeah.
It was her cell phone.  “Hello, hello?”
“Is this Kathy Driver, who once lived at 500 Beacon Road.”’
“I live there now.”
“Not according to the Beacon family. They said you perished in that fire at the mall, two years ago on this day. They are very upset.”
“That’s impossible if I’m talking to YOU? Isn’t it? Why don’t you just send someone out here? Then you’ll see.”
“Ma’am, there are two patrol cars out at the old site of the East Line mall now.”
“Great! Where? Where are they?” Kathy ran to the back entrance of the department store and watched the parking lot.
Two police officers passed near the door and she banged on the glass. So close, one of the officers glared into her eyes. But did nothing. He picked up the radio dispatch when he returned to the vehicle and they drove away.
“They left,” Kathy whispered.
“The officer radioed in that there was nothing to see at East Line. No mall, no cars, people, not anyone. Maybe this game has gone too far,” the operator suggested.
“Yes, it’s gone too far . . .” 
Kathy turned her back on the glass window and slid to the floor. Out of ideas. Her cellphone went black.  

The End.