Friday, December 6, 2013

God On A Roll

Stu and I were headed south on Interstate 75 from Dayton, Ohio, after a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with our friends (who are really family) Lorie, Justin, Johanna, Dale, Erin . . . and so many others who came to sing and party with us in Lorie's lovely home. Our precious little dog, Joni, was riding high in her cage, perched above the guitars in the back seat, sleeping in a warm pool of sunlight. I occasionally glanced at her, my heart filling with love every time. Stu and I were imbued with the afterglow of a cherished visit. I had been driving for awhile, and we were now in Tennessee.

I sensed the driver in the left lane pausing beside me, pacing me, trying to get my attention. I glanced over. He began to gesticulate wildly, a harsh expression on his face. He pumped his arm rapidly up and down and pointed to a sign on the passenger side of his car.

I looked down and this is what I saw.

As soon as the driver got that we had seen the sign, he sped away, eyeballing us in his rearview mirror for our reactions. Without any discussion, Stu and I both immediately responded with the old one-finger salute. Stu gave it to him with both barrels. I had to keep one hand on the wheel.

We turned to each other, and in unison, said, "The bumper stickers."

Which sticker had set that God-fearing Christian off? Was it the one that says, "Free Your Mind of Racism?" Or, maybe, "Marriage Equality?" I doubt he got the meaning of "Matriotic." Maybe it was the quote by Jimi Hendrix, "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."

I know giving someone the bird isn't enlightened, nor is it in keeping with the sentiment of our bumper stickers, but damn, it felt good in the moment.

You don't see many bumper stickers where we live, and almost never any with messages of inclusiveness like ours. Two days later, driving home from running an errand near our house, another driver pulled up beside us, pacing us, trying to get our attention. Stu was behind the wheel this time.

"Great bumper stickers, man!" the driver yelled to us. "I love them! Thank you!" He was clearly excited to see someone in our neighborhood whose beliefs mirrored his own.

I gave him the thumbs up . . . and, thanked God for the timely reminder. Beliefs have power, and we have the power to choose our beliefs.
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Friday, November 22, 2013

If Not Now

Welcome to the first post of my new blog.  Thanks for checking it out!

I'm naming this blog "If Not Now . . . " in honor of the women in my recently published novel, Magenta Rave. Many years ago, I felt a deep calling to write their stories after reading about Lorena Bobbitt. I was intrigued by what would cause a woman to commit such an intimate act of violence.

I decided to make Magenta Rave a page-turner, with plenty of comic relief, and as soon as I made that decision, characters, some hilarious and some tragic, began to emerge. Frankly, I had gotten tired of women always being the victims in novels and films. I hated the salacious camera angles connecting sex and violence. I REALLY hated the idea in a lot of fiction that women enjoy being hurt.

But more than that, I am tired of the reality of sexual violence -- of reading in the newspaper and hearing on the news that one more woman, or child, has become the victim of a worldwide culture that tolerates, and often promotes, violence towards women and children. Magenta Rave turns the tables on sex offenders, because sometimes cruelty is easier to understand when it's taken out of a cultural context considered "normal."

Over time, the characters in Magenta Rave changed, asserted themselves, and finally pressured me to finish and publish. "If not now, when?" they asked.

I had no answer other than, "Now is the only time I have."

Now is all any of us has. No one is guaranteed tomorrow. I realized that whatever I want to do, I can no longer let others' opinions, or my own fear, stop me.

What are you waiting to do? What both excites and terrifies you? What dream from childhood still visits your thoughts, bringing a feeling of sadness for "what might have been?"

I hope you'll share your creative vision with me and together we can support each other in bringing our dreams to fruition.

If not now, when?

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I'd love to hear your thoughts.  If you'd like to post a response, please click on the word "comments" below. A text box will open up for you. Thanks so much!