SO FAR, SO HAPPY!

This blog entry is not going to be clever or thought provoking.  I don’t have anything special to share except that I have diligently been putting out my writing work entering contests and mentorship programs  since February when I left my 9-2-5 job. I’ve gotten some rejections, but also acceptances.  Including this graphics attached to an email I recently received.

I submitted an essay to be part of a community of writers for a full color, hard cover book.  Last week I got an email with the announcement that I will be included in the book on writers from around the world telling their stories on why they write. This is, so far, the best news I’ve had this year.  More on the book, coming this Autumn, as things progress

I am beginning to find my place in this world. Here’s hoping we all find where we belong.  So far, so happy.  Cheers!

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GRIEF IS REAL, SO IS LIFE

I recently took a leap of faith and walked away from a horrible, but good paying job in search of what my place is in this world.  Now I am struggling and why?  Why would anyone do that to themselves, quit working with no help and no back up?  In my quest for answers it did not take a therapist to tell me that I am punishing myself for living after burying my mother and euthanizing my boy cat, my two major duties in life.  Losing a job was my final loss of duty.  I am grieving.

Being dutiful was all I knew, it was all I had ever been.  I had dreams of becoming a mother mainly because I wanted to take care of people.  But, I never seemed to focus on MY life, on what makes ME happy.  I realized being dutiful was all that made me happy, made me shine, but it was not about ME.  I felt safe and comfortable being dutiful and when loss occurred, my duties were gone and grief set in I had no idea where to go from there.  Taking a “leap of faith” did not help me find my way in life, rather, it became my punishment, it was grief clinging to my spirit and that is not good.

A couple of days ago I began binge watching a new Netflix special called, Street Food.  Asian and Filipino street food vendors share their stories of sacrifice, loss and success.  Just when I thought my leap of faith was wearing thin, just when I began to regret my decision to finally find my own way in life, just when I thought of giving up and go back to working a 9 to 5 and spend the rest of my life living only to pay rent and bills, I found Street Food.  These folks (chefs, cooks) refused to give up, even in their struggles they found their purpose in life. 

It was no coincidence that I stumbled upon this series, I am sure of that.  I might watch all the episodes over and over just to drown out the noise in my head; “You failed!  Go back to work, forget about being a tee vee writer, Hollywood is a closed door industry filled with narcissistic hateful people who don’t want you to win! Working class is the only road for you!”

No, I CAN win, I realize that now. And I am grateful for this subtle sign from mom, God, the universe, whomever or whatever made me click on Netflix and watch the stories of these lovely people who have endeared way more than I could possibly imagine.  I believe I was meant to watch these stories because I have always played it safe, I always had a job and I always paid my bills, on time. What I want in life is to get paid doing what I enjoy even if I have to struggle and sacrifice.  Grief is real, but moving forward is vital.  I will move forward, I have to move forward.  We all do.  Thanks for reading. LDS

Boy in a Bubble

The Hollywood “clique,” as I call it, of entertainers is to me a very strange environment of talented artists, many of them, but also of narcissism, fantasy, excess, often-times back stabbing. And, it is a closed-door society that is unbelievably revered and envied by folks who have no clue how damaged that closed-door society is. A person who is elevated to a high tax bracket by parading in front of cameras on reality shows, or acting or making music and selling out arenas is not immune to being HUMAN. They can be damaged, insecure, unhappy, jealous, angry, nervous, just like regular working class folks. They possess a plethora of mental health issues, they abuse drugs and alcohol, they were molested and raped and treated poorly by their partners and family members, just like regular working class folks.


I find the Hollywood clique not just a closed door, but a unique “bubble” that is sometimes difficult to comprehend. I mean, from all appearances people in the Hollywood clique hang out together, everybody is everybody’s cousin or child, they marry the same people. These people understand the closed door world they live in and would never share or explain that world with “outsiders.” On the other hand, even if they did explain and share many of us would not believe or want to be part of it. Yet those of us not of that world find those folks enviable and interesting.

Is it any wonder, then, that a person of the Hollywood clique, an actor on a popular television show decides one day to pull an alleged prank by pretending to have been brutally attacked and lassoed with a noose by MAGA hat wearing “haters” in below zero weather when he went out early one morning to grab a quick bite? Why would he not? He is in a bubble, a world that is protected by his “people” who all stick together and support each other. Of course, we later learned from police and FBI that two brothers from Wakanda, okay Nigeria, were the alleged perps who were allegedly paid by the actor to perform the ruse.


If in 1955 Mamie and Louis Till’s 14 year-old son Emmett had the same privilege to shout, “no, I did not whistle at that white woman, please leave me alone,” and walk away free and clear on his word as a human being, I would not mind the ruse. If in 2018 stabbing victim at MacArthur BART, 18 year-old Kia Wilson had the privilege to walk away from the devil that took her life, I would not mind the ruse. Many other brown men and women and non-brown men and women who were cruelly unfairly mistreated and killed in this “great” country, due to HATE, should have all had the privilege of life.


It is a shame that time, money and media attention was given to an actor who for whatever foolish, poorly plotted reason chose to pull a ridiculous prank on his fellow human beings, some of us who live paycheck to paycheck. Perhaps this might be the time to rally for donations and support from that young actor for fallen loved ones who were brutalized and murdered for no other reason than HATE.

In the REAL world, you blow bubbles, you don’t live in them. Period.

Photo credit: Bubbles: ashgreenprimary.uk

Don’t Twerk Like Cardi B. If You’re NOT Limber (and DRUNK), Like ME!

Being of a “mature” age does not mean I cannot “get down” and party along with the young talent that’s on display in this Millennium, of course I can.  Age is only a number and I am as young as I feel.  Period.

Photo Credit: livekindly.com 

Okay, well, age may only be a number, but being in shape and taking a good stretch before I get up for work has become my morning routine ever since I joined the 50-somethig club.  I cannot do anything like I used to do that doesn’t involve stretching first, not even bending down. One day I bent down after having sat at my desk for five straight hours and I nearly went blind, my vision became shaded, I was dizzy…all I wanted to do was pick up my pen, ‘the hell?

So, why am I bringing up a youngin’ like Cardi B?  Well, two things, liquor and bravado.  I’ll explain. 

I can’t seem to go online anywhere and not hear about this young lady.  And one night when I was drinking, about two or four cocktails, I found a very pregnant twenty-something Cardi B twerking!  Twerking while pregnant?!  I had never been pregnant, so it looked kind of scary.  All I could think was, won’t the baby pop out?

Photo Credit:  capitalxtra.com

Miss Cardi B, a very feisty Trinidadian/Dominican artist and wonderfully down to earth character, is a lot of fun to watch.  But, it was her twerking while pregnant that impressed me, drunk one night, did I mention that?  Looking at her made me feel young, well young, or something, brave and fearless and FIERCE!!  I guess.  I thought to myself, that doesn’t look too hard, I just move my hips and butt.  I can’t salsa, I don’t dance with a whole lot of soul, hardly any soul at all, but I can probably do that twerk thing.  Besides, Cardi B is a young Latina woman, right?  Well, hell my maternal grand pappy was West Indian, I’m kind of similar to Cardi B, just older and more brown, but we’re kind of kindred spirits, somewhat. And she’s from the Bronx, my mother was raised in South Bronx, Southern Blvd., so yea, we’re almost distant cousins.  I took another sip of my cocktail. 

I first noticed Cardi B on one of those horribly violent “scripted” reality shows where everyone fights each other.  Where’s the “talent” in these shows and why do people watch?  Anyway, there are some talented people on those shows besides Cardi B including a Jamaican dancehall artist/rapper, from Love & Hip Hop Atlanta named Spice.  I really like her as well, great messages to her music including her latest song, “Black Hypocrisy.” As for Cardi B, she stood out to me because she was able to branch out and make a name for herself in the very competitive, cut throat and often troubled music industry.  And if Cardi B could twerk with all that weight on her, I can twerk being my age AND drunk!!  I did what my brain told me to do, “Remember when YOU were twenty-five?  And thirty-five?  ‘Member?  You still have moves, go on then, go on and try it.”  I had always admired strippers and pole dancers, they have great movement and they’re very flexible. Why not? Drunk.

I bent over just a little bit, I had never before twerked.  I looked behind me to see if my booty was moving, it wasn’t, but my legs were, or they were shaking or twitching, I don’t know.  I grabbed a quick sip of my cocktail then continued.  I shimmied a little bit, looked over at the computer at Cardi B dancing online, then I shimmied a little harder, okay, okay, then I jiggled some, not quite like Cardi B, but I was jiggling, I was…kind of twerking in a jiggling sort of nervous energy, spasm type twerk, I guess.  Finally I saw myself twerk, or I felt like I was twerking, I mean I bounced up and down and made at least one of my tiny butt cheeks jiggle to her song with Bruno Mars called “Finesse,” a great song!  And I did the damned thing, I twerked, and twerked and I twerked and…oh, good Lord, no, no, no, oh, no!! 

Photo Credit: toofab.com

I felt a slight pinch in one of my tiny butt cheeks, then it quickly became a bigger pinch that moved all the way down to my calf, my calf!!  And when I went to stand straight up I screamed out, sort of like an angry starving zoo animal at feeding time.  Like a dyslexic pigeon that took a wrong turn and flew into the side of a brick building.  Like a drunken Pterodactyl getting a pedicure with a monkey wrench, I mean that pinched nerve hurt like a mofo!!  I fell over on my side, I could literally feel my kidneys dislodging.  I’m surprised my neighbors did not come banging on my door, although, my elderly girl Calico who’s afraid of AIR, fainted when I bellowed, poor thing.  She looked like a Black, Orange and White ball of dust at the foot of my bookshelf.  I mean, I screamed loudly!  Why did my brain, on Whiskey, lie to me?  Am I really that old?

Photo Credit:  elle.com

Being of a “mature” age does not mean I cannot “get down” and party along with the young talent that’s on display in this Millennium, I can and I will.  Age is only a number and I am as young as I feel.  Period. 

Then again, the next time I set my sights on dancing or twerking or any new trend that some young entertainer masters, dipping, flipping or twerking or slurping or whatever the vernacular is, I will stop and think, no make that, I will have the common sense not to let my brain talk me into doing what my body can’t.  At least not until I do stretching exercises first! Period. (PS- Pemba, my girl Calico is fine, but from now on she acknowledges me with a hiss, paw swipe and growl.)  ~sigh~ Oh well.

“A heart is not complete…”


“…Unless it is completely broken.” Steve Perry

Words from a man who walked away from what some of his fans believed was his gift, his calling, but in making his decision he broke the hearts of many.  Then Perry returned and his fans learned he eventually found love, lost love and found his passion when his “love” made him promise not to go back into hiding. 

Many years ago I made a few silly videos where my character coined the desperate phrase, “Where are ya, Perry?” in search of the ever elusive Steve Perry former lead singer of the band Journey. In the videos I poked fun at why he left, where he could be and that I missed the way he sang and danced in circles on stage like a drunken puppy summoning the rain gods.  I had a few fans, people who loved Perry and probably thought if he saw my videos he would return.  I had, however, no idea what Perry was going through at that time.  Eventually, I moved on from making the videos, but I wondered why, when so many artists NEVER give up on what they love, why did Perry walk away?  Hip replacement, failed relationships, nothing, in my mind, warranted the man to simply leave, especially with the talent he possessed.

Photo credit: Columbus News

I had found online a huge and often-times fanatical Steve Perry and Journey fan-base, some of whom I met. These people are the most devoted, but especially to the ever elusive Perry.  I had no idea people were so into the guy!  I had penned a book draft filled with fans’ online testimonies of having seen concerts and their love for Perry and messages and just tons of heartfelt thoughts and cries from fans who wished Perry would return.  But, I gave up on publishing that book.  I am a fan, but I guess I am not that devoted, I figured if Perry didn’t want to sing again then that was that.

Photo credit: The Oakland Press.com

In my research I found that some of his fans did not give up like I did.  They are faithfully devoted to the guy, some with a longing to meet and even marry the man!  Some fans wish Perry would return to Journey as if his voice would register as it did when he was younger.  And some fans make a living being fans, rather, they turn their fan worship into a fan based-business that keeps them connected to Journey and Perry as associates, secretaries, business partners.  I had never before known such admiration, especially of a recluse like Perry.  But, he does have that beautiful voice!  And, I have to think back to when I was a little girl and the fanatical devotion I had for a beautiful black boy with doe-shaped eyes, a big afro and beautiful full lips and bell pepper shaped nose, who brilliantly sang and danced his heart out, the late Michael Jackson.  Oh, how I wished I could have married him and had 10 kids and become the Black Brady Bunch!  Of course as soon as poor Mike went from being the “King of Pop” to an unusual-looking, strange behaving recluse and a converted Caucasian with almost no nose whatsoever, well I just lost interest.  But, anyway, back to Perry.

Photo credit: Classic Rock History

I continue to be a fan of Schon and Perry and all the other Journey members, Valory, Cain and Smith.  And I occasionally see Mr. Schon when his son does venues here in San Francisco, they both treat me like they know me, that makes me very happy.  But, as for Perry, I stopped making my silly “Where are ya, Perry” videos and rightfully so at this point.  Steve Perry has returned to the spotlight and to singing, and most importantly to his PASSION.  And, he has opened up, literally bled out to his audience of his life, his loves, his losses and something I have lived with my entire life, depression, self-doubt, anxiety.  To be perfectly honest, I admire Perry for sharing his life with his fans.  I also admire that his new CD, Traces, is his way of letting his fans know through music that although he is in pain, he is willing to pull through with an open heart.  Good for Perry, as I call him.  I will not give a music review, I’ll just state that I enjoy all of the songs, although, two of them make me very, very sad and cry like a baby – won’t be listening to those songs on replay, sorry.  But, it is Perry’s voice that makes me very happy, I thoroughly enjoy hearing him sing.

Photo credit: Rolling Stone

I don’t know if I agree that “a heart is not complete unless it is completely broken,” but if a broken heart is what it takes to take a leap of faith, forsake fears and other issues, I am happy Steve Perry finally took that leap and I cannot wait until I have the courage to do the same.   Thank you, Perry!

Traces, 2018

PRESS RELEASE

Press Release for: Treasures of a Bronx Warrior, Photographs and Memories of a Devout New Yorker, Movie Star Hopeful and Loving Mother is now available for view at Pr.com.  Treasures of a Bronx Warrior is a three-book Collection, a tribute to my beloved Mother Doris Banbury.

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Check out a  tribute page on INSTAGRAM.  You can also find the books online at AMAZON, AMAZON UKBARNES & NOBLE and other fine sites and book stores!!

 

MERCIFUL

Loss is never easy to fathom, no matter the form of “loved one.”  But, the difference between having human loved ones especially children is that you won’t hear a parent say, Well, they’ll probably only live 15 or so good years.  Naturally parents want their kids to live longer than themselves.  When you have pets, however, especially sick ones, one must be merciful, not selfish.  It is not about “you,” it is about the quality of life or lessoning pain to bring the animal to a peaceful ever after.

Pets see you through life-altering events, through childhood, adolescence, single life, adulthood, etc. You bond, you depend upon them as much as they depend upon you.  And when it is time to free them…you must let go.  In my case, he outlived my beloved mother. Matter of fact I only adopted him when mom was first diagnosed. 

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Goodbye to Najee Zaire, my nearly 16 year old diabetic Tabby, my baby boy, was the sweetest male I have ever in my life known. (My heart is truly broken having to put that boy down). He was euthanized and his ashes were spread with other pets’ ashes along the Santa Cruz mountains.  (I watched him being Euthanized, but I was not there when his ashes were spread; it was done by a pet memorial service).

NAJEE ZAIRE

7/2002 – 3/22/2018

Bub

LEARNING, GROWING AND NOT BAD AT WRITING!

One never stops learning, life is patterned that way, you ALWAYS and forever learn until you can no longer breathe air.  It is how one absorbs the lesson and takes heed to the lesson, however, that matters most.  Each lesson is designed to help one grow.

Back in the day, when I was younger and inexperienced about certain aspects of life, I fancied being an actress.  I studied at an acting conservatory in  my hometown then I moved to Los Angeles, California and was excited about “breaking in” to Hollywood.  I learned it was not the business of Hollywood that was difficult for me to navigate, it was the people in Hollywood that made “breaking in” very tough.  I was always independent, not the type of person who ran with the pact; I was never into cliques, not in school not anywhere.  In Hollywood, however, if you are not part of that closed door “clique” if you’re not someone’s relative, lover, spouse or partner, if you have no one to usher you in, you can’t get in.

An example of one type of “clique’ is that I was once referred to an acting agent who offered to represent me.  We sat, we talked, he told me the parts I would be good for.  And then in his next breath he said, “Oh, by the way if we started dating…”  (Whoa, what?)  I walked out, or ran out, of his office and never looked back.  I was not scared, I was angry.  Why the f**k did I need someone getting ten percent of my paycheck as a boyfriend?  I wasn’t in his office looking for a date and what did dating have to do with finding me a job anyway?  I had begun not to like Hollywood, but I persevered.  Except…

…I dropped acting and turned to writing plays, something I had done since I was a young girl.  I did not need to “date” an agent to put on a play, so I stuck with it.  I enjoyed writing, I especially enjoyed writing dialogue, plays in particular.  My biggest playwright influences at that time was Neil Simon and Jules Pfeiffer, mainly because of the way they crafted their characters’ monologues, long and drawn out.

While still living in Los Angeles I joined a playwrights group, wrote a couple short plays, even won an award for one of my plays.  It was through the writing group that I met actors and people behind the scenes of television shows.  I made friends with some of the people behind the scenes who seemed nice enough to me.  And the best part about those friends, they appreciated my writing skills.  Cool!  I was part of the Hollywood clique and all I needed to do was be talented.

I shared some of my writing work with those people whom I trusted, people who promised to help me become a writer for television.  Back then I wrote my scripts on a very slow Brother Word Processor and saved them on floppy disks, anyone old enough to remember floppys?  My friends gave me scripts to study, they read my treatment ideas and I felt confident I had finally found my way.

A few years later I found it difficult to support myself in Los Angeles; I lost my job, greedy apartment landlords evicted us tenants and sold our refurbished apartments as condos.  I returned to San Francisco “fallen down, but not destroyed.”  To make me feel better about my failed attempt at Hollywood I watched two of my favorite television shows, In Living Color and Married With Children.  I watched them every season they ran on television.  During Season 5 of In Living Color and Season 6 of Married with Children, I noticed two of my script ideas were filmed on those shows.  Now, back then I was upset.  I never said anything about those scripts, matter of fact, I kept them hidden away in storage.  I thought to myself, “wow, I sure am naïve.”

One never stops learning, life is patterned that way, you ALWAYS and forever learn until you no longer breathe air.   

What did I learn after my years in Hollywood?   I learned that there are people, not just in Hollywood, but all over, who are more ambitious than me, more aggressive and more cut throat than I could ever be and that is fine with me.  Someone out there wants something harder than me and will do whatever they have to do to get it, good for them.   I may not be part of a certain type of “clique,” I may not be aggressive and “cut throat,” but I am talented enough to keep writing and talented enough to have my work be in the clique.  I have decided I no longer need to run and hide embarrassed that someone took my ideas and profited from them.  I am, therefore, proud to show off my work and to state “hey, here is where you can see my work!” I learned about myself that I am one good writer who wrote two pieces that are forever part of Tee Vee history.  And there it is!  I’m kind of proud of myself, actually.

Until next time, Cheers! (Another of my favorite shows, but one I never scripted an idea for)

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Married With Children – (written by L.D. Sargent) Episode idea title: “Dedicated to His Feet.”  Al has a Shoe Groupie.  Married with Children (Fox TV, December, 1991) Season 6, Episode title:  “So, This is How Sinatra Felt.”

In Living Color – (written by L.D. Sargent) Episode idea title: “Yo Mamma The Game Show” parody.    In Living Color (Fox TV, 1993) Season 5, Episode Title: “The Dirty Dozens,” game show parody

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE!

Treasures Of a Bronx Warrior is Available for ADVANCE-Sale!!!
Treasures of a Bronx Warrior, Collection I, II, III is available for advance order online at the author’s “spotlight” on Lulu.com. Books will be made available on Amazon and other sites March 2018. Thank you all for your patience and support!  See full press release HERE.