Fatal Attractions and life

I was reading the latest newsletter from Book Riot about the most disturbing books and chuckled when I realized I’ve read all of the titles Romeo Rosales had listed. Oops, I definitely have eclectic and morbid reading habits. I’m sure you’ll recognize the titles, too! Why as readers are we attracted to true crimes and horror stories?

American Pyscho by Brett Ellis appealed to me because at the time I was trying to find myself similar to the author except I’m definitely female. Ellis comments about American Pyscho  “Whenever I am asked to talk American Psycho, I have to remember why I was writing it at the time and what it meant to me. A lot of it had to do with my frustration with having to become an adult and what it meant to be an adult male in American society. I didn’t want to be one because all it was about was status.” Me either, the status quo wasn’t appealing at all. The character of this book represents everything that is wrong with American culture, extreme consumerism, making a lot of money at any cost, and nihilism of some group of young people. We hate the character yet we wonder secretly if we have some of those traits. (1991) (1)

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote appealed to the younger me because I was told this book was too graphic for me to read so, of course, I snuck it and read it anyway.  In Holcomb, Kansas the Herbert Clutter family was brutally murdered in 1959. Capote and his friend Harper Lee went there to research the case. It took him 6 years to complete the first non-fiction crime drama. The killers, Richard “Dick” Hickock and Perry Smith, were arrested six weeks after the murders and later executed by the state of Kansas. I read it by flashlight in my bed at night and needless to say, I didn’t sleep well but I couldn’t put it down either. My grandmother did discover her book missing and I got grounded to boot.(1966) (2)

The Excorist by William Peter Blatty I originally saw at the drive-in theater on the Barre-Montpelier Road back in the dark ages it seems. I was a whopping 16 years old, married to my first husband when it was released. I couldn’t sleep at all that night after the movie. Nor could I forget the movie, I had to know more so I purchased the book and read it in two sittings.  I was like a moth to the flame. The novel was inspired by a 1949 case of demonic possession and exorcism according to Blatty. He heard about demonic possession while he was a student in the class of 1950 at Georgetown University. (3)

Wolf Boys by Dan Slater This was a grisly yet compelling tale of impoverished Mexican-American youth molded into assassins by Los Zetas, the fearsome drug cartel. It’s an engrossing read with a nightmarish vision of a hyperviolent and corporatized narcotics industry, seducing a new generation with minimal alternatives. A reminder what lies behind the social landscape in the border region of extreme poverty and garish wealth…elaborate courtesy and low-barbarian violence. I stayed up all night with my head wrapped up in all 352 pages because of all the media coverage about the need for a wall between our countries. A wall will not solve the issues. (2016) (4)

Blood Meridan by Cormac McCarthy I was reading a lot during this time about the old west when someone recommended this one to me. I was interested in learning more about the Glanton gang but soon found out they were not appealing characters at all. “The bulk of the novel details the gang’s conversations and depraved, murderous activities as they travel on horseback throughout the borderlands. The gang encounters a traveling carnival, and, in untranslated Spanish, each of their fortunes is told with Tarot cards. The gang originally contracts with various regional leaders to exterminate Apaches and are given a bounty for each scalp they recover. Before long, however, they murder almost anything in their path, including peaceful agrarian Indians, unprotected Mexican villagers, and even Mexican and American soldiers.” I gagged a few times but persevered to the end. Zane Grey’s book about the west are a lot easier to read than McCarthy’s. (1985) (5)

Helter Skelter  by Vincent Bugliosi  Like everyone else at the times it seems I wanted to know more about the Tate/LaBianca  murders and Charles Manson. What created this monster? Why were so many young women attracted to this morbid man?  It wasn’t enough to read the book, again that moth in the flame moment I watched the movie, too! I can’t imagine what went through Bugliosi’s mind writing the book. (1974) {6)

The Road Out of Hell by Anthony Flacco I couldn’t believe this man was a decorated WWII vet, a loving father, and grandfather in addition to being an active community member. Just goes to show how deceiving surface images can be. “The heinous murders were committed by Gordon Stuart Northcott; a Canadian-born sadist who murdered between three and twenty young boys. The story is told by Sanford Clark, Gordon’s nephew and captive from the age of thirteen to fifteen. Sanford was beaten, molested, and raped by his uncle while he was held captive. But the worst part: He was forced to take part in the murders or risk being murdered himself. ” The movie Changeling is loosely based on this book. Yup, I saw that too! (7) (8)

People are morbidly fascinated with crime scenes and horror and sadly some feel the need to replicate the scenarios.  How can we treat our fellow humans so deplorably?

While I am on this topic I would like to send prayers for all the families involved in the bombing incident in Manchester, England yesterday. I pray for a time when all violence stops and we exist peacefully together.

Speaking of peacefully, I cannot say Round 66 on my mandala has been a peaceful journey. This row and I established a love-hate relationship. I’ve taken each of the eight sides apart more than once now so the spacing works. It is so easy to miss a stitch and when you do the end of the section will not work. I am on the final section and when it is done I will share a picture with you.

In Vic and Lyn’s world, this is our first week of being an Airbnb hosts and thus far our first guest initially booked for one week but now as extended his stay for three more weeks. He is here Sunday evening and leaves on Friday morning to return to his home. He works less than a mile from our home so it works out perfectly. We have guests joining us each weekend for the next month as well.

When I put the listing up on Monday, May 15th, I never anticipated how quickly this would all come together. My husband and I did some quick renovations to our home over the weekend and finished an hour before our first guest arrived. Phew!

I hope all of our guests will be as easy as our 1st one has been. Time will tell.

My writing time took a serious hit over the weekend with all the cleaning and renovation projects but hopefully, I’ll be back on track. Yesterday, I was too tired to write and reality wise I was too tired to crochet too but I did it anyway. Unfortunately, I ended up having to take it out and fix my mistakes there too. 😦

Today, I’ve accomplished 35 minutes straight. 🙂

1.https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/authors/interviews/article/47587-american-psycho-at-20-catching-up-with-bret-easton-ellis.html

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Cold_Blood

3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Exorcist_(novel)

4. http://www.npr.org/2016/09/10/493436482/wolf-boys-tells-the-story-of-americans-lured-to-join-mexican-drug-cartel

5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_Meridian

6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helter_Skelter_(book)

7. http://bookriot.com/2017/05/22/the-most-disturbing-book-i-have-ever-read/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Riot%20Rundown&utm_term=BookRiot_TheRiotRundown_Tue-Thur

8. https://anthonyflacco.com/the-road-out-of-hell/

Writing Challenge Continued

The rough draft of the poem I shared several days ago about life in moments and another one about wildflowers I took with me to my writing critique group. They enjoyed the imagery but the feedback was the cadence was off in both. One of the authors Raz Steel suggested I merge my poems into paragraphs with punctuation and see what comes to mind with it in a different format. This is both poems together with punctuation.

  Life in a Snapshot

This morning, I saw the droplets of water on the glossy leaves and fragrant spring petals. The plants bowed in the breeze, joyful for their reprieve from Mother Nature’s exploits. The birds sang sweet melodies, and a squirrel chattered noisily. Each sure, they have the remedies for the making of a beautiful day.

I sat with my coffee cup to my right while I scribbled with my pencil on paper. I tried to keep my thoughts reined in, but I’m enchanted at the moment. My youngest kitten nudged my hand startling me out of my musing. I happily agreed to Macavity’s insistent demand.

Unable to focus, I asked Vic to come dance with me in the field of clover. Our toes tickled the sweet fragrances free. I entwined garlands of wild flowers for us to wear as the bumblebees happily buzzed from blossom to blossom. The celandine and berries add brilliant color to the spring canvas. The birds sang magical notes as we strolled hand in hand back home as the sun faded behind the treetops.

At our age, we cherish every minute in this revolving door called life.

Life in a Snapshot evolved further with Raz Steel ‘s help. He hates adverbs and redundancies and I’m guilty of using both. Needless to say, he jumped all over them and immediately brought them to my attention. I’m eternally grateful for his editing prowess.

What do you think of Life in a Snapshot now?

Droplets of water beaded on glossy leaves and spring petals this morning. The plants bowed in the breeze, joyful for their reprieve from Mother Nature’s exploits. Birds sang and squirrels chattered, each sure they had the remedy for rendering a beautiful day.

I sat with a coffee cup and scribbled with pencil on paper, my thoughts reined in, but enchanted, nonetheless. Macavity, my kitten, nudged my hand and startled me out of my musing, and I agreed to his insistent demand.

Unable to focus, I asked Vic to dance with me in the field of clover. I entwined garlands of daisies and lavender to wear, as the bumblebees buzzed from blossom to blossom. Our toes tickled the sweet fragrances free, and celandine and berries added brilliant color to the Spring canvas. Magic guided us home as we strolled hand in hand, and the sun faded behind the trees.

*************************************************************************************

My writing was derailed again. Unfortunately, it was for bad news.  My deceased husband’s aunt texted me to let me know my ex-brother-in-law Jimmy had passed away.  Wow, He’s the same age as me. Jimmy’s health had been complicated with diabetes and heart issues for some time now. I’ll miss him but I know he is in a better place.

RIP Jimmy Osborne.

angel

               Don’t Cry For Me © Deborah Garcia Gaitan

Don’t cry for me,
I will be okay.
Heaven is my home now,
and this is where I’ll stay.
Don’t cry for me,
I’m where I belong.
I want you to be happy
and try to stay strong.
Don’t cry for me,
It was just my time.
But I will see you someday
on the other side.
Don’t cry for me,
I am not alone.
The angels are with me
to welcome me home.
Don’t cry for me,
for I have no fear.
All my pain is gone,
and Jesus took my tears.
Don’t cry for me,
this is not the end.
I’ll be waiting here for you,
when we meet again.

Source: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/dont-cry-for-me

“I have come to know that it [death] is an important thing to keep in mind — not to complain or to make melancholy, but simply because only with the honest knowledge that one day I will die I can ever truly begin to live.”

—R.A. Salvatore, The Halfling’s Gem

I’m going to give a shameless plug too for my friend, fellow author Raz Steel. He has two published books available on Amazon. I’ve posted one link the other is easy to find.

Quote

 

 

 

“In books I have traveled, not only to other worlds, but into my own. I learned who I was and who I wanted to be, what I might aspire to, and what I might dare to dream about my world and myself.”
~Anna Quindlen

9781483454665_cover.indd

Let’s have coffee together

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Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening… I think I have everyone covered.

I’m on Round 7 of the Mandala Madness. Phew. Round 6 had some interesting quirks that hopefully, I won’t be repeating the same errors. No worries, it’s not with the pattern at all. It was totally my yarn choices. I chose my light turquoise yarn to do the shells in Round 39 which was a huge mistake because in Round 41 you are using the back loop of Round 39.  You’re probably thinking so… well the turquoise wasn’t a Caron or a Redheart yarn which hold up very well with more complicated stitches. The turquoise was a Bernina product and it was very disappointing in this case. It kept splitting apart and stretching which means I had to work slower and pick up a lower stitch behind it to help reinforce the back stitch.  😦

I decided after this frustrating round I would read ahead instead of simply following the video. Esther is great but I need to plan so I am not stressed with my work. It defeats the whole meditation process if you’re frustrated.

http://www.crystalsandcrochet.com

The designer’s website provided me with all the tools I needed to plan ahead. Wow, it’s not a lap size blanket as I originally thought to glance at the videos. It’s 7 feet, okay I’m working on a queen size bed project. I can do this.  It’s 111 rounds. I can do that too.

Then I got thinking how to best maximize my color usage. I decided on 18 colors that would give me the vibrancy I am looking for in the finished product. These colors are very prominent in nature and in my home. That’s even better. Eighteen colors means I will be repeating the colors 6 times if I want to have a color balance throughout the project. I can do this.

Since we last discussed colors introduced I added white to my mandala because I wanted innocence to be among my meditative journey. As I completed the white round and was moving on to the next round I remembered how quickly as a child I lost that innocence in my life. I was only nine when my father decided to steal my childhood from me.

 I saw her nine-year-old trusting eyes

trying to cope with her father’s lies.

Her cheeks streaked with silent tears

whenever he tossed back a few beers.

She felt the guilt inside her swell

her young body revolted with the smell.

Needless to say, my color change became abrupt in the next round from white to black. Just like in my life, innocence shattered so did the colors in my mandala.  Unfortunately, so did my peaceful crocheting experience.

I wrote in my journal and wrote 2 poems discussing the abuse I faced as a child. Overall, it became a productive writing day and helped me get back on track for my next color choice which is gold.

I chose gold because I know how important it is to strive every day to be your best. It’s often said that change is the only constant in life. Yet humans are evolutionarily predisposed to resist change because of the risk associated with it. I feel change is essential to our existence, granted there will be the moment of relapse as I had yesterday but it’s important to recognize that you can’t linger in the painful memory you must move on.

When you’re finished changing, you’re finished. -Benjamin Franklin

I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better. -Georg C. Lichtenberg

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. -Maya Angelou

Be the change that you wish to see in the world. -Mahatma Gandhi

Thank you for joining me on this journey.  Crochet on… Write on

 

The Rising Need for Poetry

As a poet I cannot go gently, I must write.  We are living in a new literary era which I feel is now the poetry of social connections. There has always been a long tradition of political activism in poetry. But with the internet, it has become the new Avante Garde.

“I see protest poetry as a genuine means of encouraging someone to feel the inconsistencies, the horror of the lives we are living. Social protest is saying that we do not have to live this way. If we feel deeply, and we encourage ourselves and others to feel deeply, we will find the germ of our answers to bring about change. Because once we recognize what it is, we are feeling, once we recognize we can feel deeply, love deeply, can feel joy, then we will demand that all parts of our lives produce that kind of joy. And when they do not, we will ask, ‘Why don’t they?’ And it is the asking that will lead us inevitably toward change.” —Audre Lorde

Shelley, Longfellow, Whitman, Eliot,  Plath, Sexton, Lennon, Thomas, Angelou, Nelson, Davis, Lorde, just to name a few poets who chose poetry as a means to give social injustices a voice. Much of what these writers vocalized in their poems gave a voice to people of similar experiences. However, their words are also a charge to me, to us all…. to not continue feeling comfortable with the privileges enjoyed because they often came at a cost to others.

Jane Hirshfield said in a recent NY Times article that poems are more visible right now because of the difficult times we are facing. It is ironic for a poet because when there is not abundant poetry it means times are okay, and their craft is overlooked. When times are dire poetry becomes prominent because it provides comfort in difficult times to the masses. As poets, we must learn to ride the waves.

The recent resurgence of protest poems reflect the strains of our communities and our very existence. The New York Times says the flood of protest poems recently stands apart from earlier eras in both quantity and intensity. I wonder if it is because the poems that appear today in social media speak with urgency and social responsibility in a time that it is so desperately needed.

History has shown people turn to poetry in times of crisis, and unfortunately, we are definitely facing dark times on this planet we all call home. Every day, around the world change, is happening and those changes are not promising.

Imperfectly Perfect By Lyn Crain
People Saw It at The Time 
Mismatched Yet Perfectly Paired
Idealism 
And
Horrific Brutality 
Up-close and Unsettled 
Inspired by What Lies Beneath 
Purposely 
Seduced and Betrayed 
We See
Belief is Potent
Every Angle
Mismatched Yet Perfectly Paired
We Understand 
The World
Doesn’t 
Change 
For Better 
Or Worse 

Live

********************************************

 

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night~ Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

************************************************************

 

American Dream by Lyn Crain

To understand
The world
Fight For
Injustice…

Fight
Old Boy Mentality
And
Small Talk

See it from
Every angle
Where
Rage
Intersects
Our own
Chaos and Bliss…

 

Successful Brand Creating

In writing, the primary requirement of an opening is that the first few lines plunge the reader into the story instantly. The reader is hooked with the writing. But is it enough to keep them coming back again and again as you build your brand, your writing career?

I found myself contemplating how I am going to market myself as an author again after my encounter with this young woman.  She swears it is more than selling a book. It is about selling ourselves to the reader. I tried to decide in my head how to approach the first few minutes with a stranger.

What should matter most in the first initial conversation I have with the new individual? Is it the few first lines spoke or the way I  present myself before speaking.  I’ve been told a strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for a successful introductory encounter.

What about once I get into the conversation?  How important are the first words uttered?  Should I focus on hooking them like I do in my writing with the first few lines? Like having a practiced opening dialogue in the back of my head or should I simply fly from the seat of my pants.

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”– Albert Einstein  Great advice Mr. Einstein but how do I know the rules of the game when I’ve never marketed myself.

I’m very visual. I’m guilty of noticing the individual’s appearance like for instance is the person relaxed or tense. Did they make eye contact when approaching? Did the person extend his hand for a handshake? What kind of grip? Did it linger or not?

So I try very hard to match the social cues so we remain on equal footing. I always note something the person is wearing and specifically comment about it. I’m not really comfortable with small talks like the weather or the day itself so I tend to focus on the purpose of our meeting whether it be networking or social connections and go directly to the purpose of our getting together. “Success means doing the best we can with what we have. – Zig Ziglar   Thus far in life that has worked very well.

“For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” – Harry F. Banks

But then my never ending mind went back and forth on… is the real hook in the introduction and the presentation or the conversation that follows. For me,  both are important but I can never decide what has more value in the long run. I feel it is important to make the encounter memorable and connectable for the future with the minimalist of effort and time. Time is priceless to me and I would rather spend my time in pursuit of my passions than being a social butterfly but I do need my book to sell.  I agree with Picasso that “Action is the foundational key to all success.”– Pablo Picasso

So as I was crocheting Round 33 and 34 on my Mandala I was trying to decide again how do I market myself better. I would love to hear your thoughts and how you approach marketing yourself.

 

http://www.lyncrainpoet.com

 

 

 

 

ABC Momma

 

ABC Momma 
A cool momma always
becomes a child’s best
consistent companion
during difficult times
encouraging and supportive
A cool momma

finds ways to make
good and fun things
happen when needed most
invests herself without
juggling too much

A cool momma has

kisses and hugs in abundance
love shines like honey on a comb
multiplying over time and
nurtured just right
only to improve with time

A cool momma

propels us on a course
quintessentially perfect
regaling us with directions to
sail through life’s obstacles
taking strides confident
united universally on a mission

A cool momma is

vital to a child’s success
without ever losing sight
xenia rocks way
yelling joyfully
zealous always

A cool momma knows
she is blessed to have a child.©

ABC Acrostic
Dedicated to my children, I love you!

Babble Along Alone

Brooks and people babble

Artists and writers dabble

Dabble with hobbies

Dabble with life

Life satisfies

Life really hurts

Hurts so much

Hurts so little

Little pieces of me

Little pieces of you

You haunt me

You made me choose

Choose to stay

Choose to leave

Leave the way I came

Leave the bubbles

Bubbles floating

Bubbles bursting

Bursting in color

Bursting in rage

Rage filled with nonsense

Rage shutting down

Down so sad

Down underneath the soil

Soil surrounding me

Soil crushing…no air

Air intoxicating

Air musty and heavy

Heavy with wetness

Heavy and chilled

Chilled to the bone

Chilled and alone

Alone gratefully

Alone babbling

Babbling alive

Alive ©

 

This is a form of looped poetry where the last word is the first of the next line. I took liberties with the first two lines.

World Poetry Day

“World Poetry Day is on 21 March, and was declared by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 1999. The purpose of the day is to promote the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry throughout the world ‘to give fresh recognition and impetus to national, regional and international poetry movements’.”

Acrostic poetry is where the first letter of each line spells a word, usually using the same words as in the title.  A twist on the acrostic is using the alphabet as the first letter of word in the line.

In this poem I’ve chosen to use the alphabet acrostic to tell you about me.

A-Z of Lyn Poem

Author of  In My Shoes, My Poetic Journey from Abuse to Victory
Brilliant at times, usually in the kitchen
Crocheter, chef, I love wearing different caps
Deliberate who me, I’m an angel of sorts
Energetic daily, life is to short not to be
Fiber oh please, I am not that old
Grains a bowl of cheerios, how can you go wrong
Habitual why yes I am, guilty of loving routines
Involved in too many things at one time
Jovial usually, negativity does not suit me
Kinky I have my moments ask my spouse
Liberal indeed I am, I am very open minded.
Mom, to four wonderful children and nine awesome grandchildren
Nice that’s been said a time or two
Optimistic more often than not that would be the Irish in me
Pessimistic seldom, and If I am a good Irish whiskey will cure it
Quilter with a serious fabric stash
Reads avidly particularly history and biographies
Silent type not hardly, I am definitely opinionated
Typical never, I’m an Irish lass
Unique very so I am told
Vindictive no, in the long run it is not worth it
Wicked yes I am a Mainer
Xi fourteenth letter in Greek alphabet
Yes I play scrabble, actually very lucky at it
Zealous, I am indeed devoted to my family and friends.