Featured Post

This Phoenix Speaks

Seven years in the making, my first published book, This Phoenix Speaks , is now a reality. The tireless and tiring work invested to ma...


a hum of silence washes over my thoughts
if that makes any sense to you
you might have been or are where I am

flutters of the heart show that life is present
yet presently life is lacking
that pounding fervor of warmth necessary

vision is blurred
sense of hearing dulled
nothing tastes good

There is a vibrancy surrounding my every breath.
When I do not have strength, someone stands in for me.
I have so much. I have friends.

lovely purple flowers from a friend

My Lady Jam

Girls Just Want to Have Fun brings back so many fun memories, and I always want to get up and sing and dance when I hear this song. Cyndi Lauper really captured something delightful with it.

Also, I've heard it's a great workout song.

The Purple Ranger

In a rut, in a rut, in a rut rut rut
In a rut, in a rut, in a rut rut rut
In a rut, in a rut, in a rut rut RUT! in a RUT rut Rut RUT!

If you can guess what tune this goes to, you might just get a laugh out of my slice of life on this fine day.

WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comments to (at least three) other slicers.If you're leaving your comment early in the day, please consider returning this evening or tomorrow to read some of our evening posters' slices.

my education


I have been going to school for ever it seems. I couldn't even tell you all the courses without looking at a transcript, yet I would say that my education has not only been from my time spent inside a classroom. Every time I see a good example of kindness, giving a soft word when someone else would be angry, generosity of heart, and true charitable service, I am educated. My friends teach me these things every day. My children show me how to be pure in heart and keep things simple sometimes on a moment by moment basis. My parents educated me in how to treat others and many other things. All of my family has provided a very thorough instruction on how to love (and what love is not).

For all of my education, I give a hearty thanks. I feel as if I've lived three lifetimes of learning and experience so far. Maybe I'll be like a cat and have nine lives worth? Who knows really, but I do look forward to continually learning throughout my entire existence.

ATTENTION: Usage Survey 1 Participants NEEDED

Many of you already know that I am taking grammar classes, but if you hadn't heard, now you know. In order for me to complete one of my lessons, I need to get five (5) participants to complete a usage survey.

So, if you don't mind, the first five lucky readers who seize the day get to help me with my homework. Lucky is the word, right?

The instructions are simple. Just go to the six polls found in the right hand side column of the blog and answer all six questions in order of succession. Your answers need to be what you actually say. And DO NOT peek at other people's answers. Just put what you say. Then, after you take the polls, please come back here to the comments section and let me know what part of the world you are from. You do not need to give specific city name if you don't want to. I am only looking for regions.

As soon as I get five participants, I will take down the polls.

pure salt

I cracked the shell myself
And poured salt into those holes
With no help
I did it all myself
Wishful and romantical
Breaking through all the doors
I built with strong locks
Only to give away the key
So quickly
I gave it brazenly
No requests were made
I gave it all
On my own accord
I broke my own heart
There are no victims here
Why even have locks
When you'll open the door
To a known wolf
Why run
When you won't hide
When will you be safe
From your very own self
Maybe never
Maybe you like
Salted wounds, tears
Because that's what you know.

a bubble

I know it will take a lot
But I dare you to try
To set aside the sad
Set aside the angry
and broken up feelings
That drive you mad
And come away with me
Into a bubble of peace
Join me for a moment
Of pure simplicity
Where none of it matters
Where no one
Not even ourselves
Can hurt our hearts more
Or tell us what to think
Or say or feel or do
Come talk with me
In my bubble castle
I've imagined up
For you and me.

no regrets

We live our lives out with every breath we take, yet do we really live?
Do we take advantage of every opportunity possible to show we care to those that need it most?
Do we seize the day as much as is in our power in order to live with no regrets?

I think about these things today and many days. They are a gauge for myself when I am in a rut and not seeing how to make better use of my opportunities. The most pressing of them all is making sure the best that I can to not live with regret. I've done it, and it hurts so much once regret greets you at it's closed, locked door.

Time cannot be brought back, so before it slips through our fingers, we must grasp onto it tightly and live.

WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comments to (at least three) other slicers.If you're leaving your comment early in the day, please consider returning this evening or tomorrow to read some of our evening posters' slices.



I was responsible for chores alright. My brothers and I were made to rotate responsibilities, so at some point in my childhood I had done every household chore you can think of at least a million times--or so my childish memory recalls. I can't say I actually enjoyed any one chore though. It never came (comes) natural to me, and I never got (get) into a "cleaning mood" like some of my friends. It was (is) a necessary evil, and that's it. However, my first job I worked at taught me to enjoy one chore, and I still go to it first to this day.


I worked at Miller's Outpost. And yeah, they don't exist anymore, so that pretty much dates me to high heaven. So anyways, I worked in the Miller's Outpost in the mall, and at nighttime, we had to vacuum the entire store from wall to wall. Since I had zip training in counting down a cash register drawer, I usually got stuck with the vacuuming and straightening any messed up racks. After a couple weeks of this routine, I found that it was relaxing to pace back and forth across the floor with the hum of the vacuum surrounding my thoughts.

Not to say that I love any chore, but vacuuming is my go to when it's time to get busy on keeping the house in order.

In one word, I shall tell you the chore I have always never "enjoyed": Laundry. End of story.

Laura and Oscar: Week 16

Lessons Learned

Thinking back now, I really ought to blame (I mean thank) Oscar for my shameless lack of game-playing skills. This boy instilled in me an expectation for genuine and unaffected honesty in a relationship because he accepted me as I was and loved me in his young, immature ways so perfectly. I completely believed we would be together forever. (Now just stop laughing, ok. Since growing up, I do realize that all girls thought this of their first boyfriend but that does not mean my experience was not truly authentic.)

These memories are not in perfect sequential order, yet somehow it feels good that they aren’t. As I encountered each enchanting layer of remembrance individually and unconnected, it brought with it a newfound awe and wonder, and time stood still for a few short moments. You must know--this sort of love transcends time. There is no way to put a cap on it or tie it down to one particular moment. I see now how it has been a seed of joy planted in my heart which took root and has never died because I nourished it with fond recollection and genuine heartfelt appreciation.  In hindsight, I must admit he entered my heart and never left. I recognize it as an undeniable fact I was blind to. Sometimes we can not/should not see what is hidden because it would damage our present lives too much to allow ourselves to feel into the realm of impossibility. Yet, sometimes, when time offers us a crossroads that realm is transformed into something else--something beyond description. Call it what you will.  

One challenging aspect to meeting your potential soulmate in junior high is that if you don’t stay together, you probably will take such different routes along your life paths that you will never be able to reconnect romantically again.  To love someone so deeply without the ability to do anything with it hurts, and it hurts forever.  There is genuine gladness in the other’s successes and compassion in their pain, but to never be able to touch again--like they once did--requires so much love that it must be able to consume the disappointment.  

Without a doubt,  it has been a small price to pay to have loved and been loved so well no matter how short its duration.

Related links:

more than you know 

a desert beauty

impossible kiss

Enchanted with you by the magic of friendship
I expose myself as I inelegantly trip
Through an arid roomful of unspoken deliciousness
And you swiftly break the fashioned silence
With a uniquely warm boyishness
Making it all appear as pure innocence
A hidden delight and a charm
Is what I've found beneath your surface
A darling, brave heart that disarms
With kind gestures and flirtatious chase
You put me at ease at once with your quips
As I skirt around the daydream of your lips

PURPLE: an acrostic poem

Possesive by nature; taking hold of people's hearts
Undeniable versatility that climbs off the charts
Royal and ravishing whether soft, bright, deep, or plain
Perfection so perfectly perfect it incites jealousy and disdain
Luxuriant delight permeates every tint and hue
Encompassing not only color but moments both red and blue

a rambling toward home

Looking back and looking forward together--at the same time--I wonder at the complexities of life. I wonder about love and loss and everything in the middle. There are times in my life that I wish I could capture more clearly in my mind, yet my memory will not allow it. I have potholes in my path, blank spaces where entire stories would reside if I could merely pull them out of the recesses of the nothingness that now traps them. Even so, I know I have lived and will continue to live with vibrancy. I know there are cherished moments that I do recall. And that is why I write. I write so I may put the path straight before it fades into the blank space as if nothing ever were scratched upon the pages of my life, before the potholes engulf everything and I remember no more. I write that I might capture these moments now and not let them fly past with no notice. Moments like this when my heart is cracked open, wide, ready to burst with emotion and longing--longing for home. Home. A simple word with so many layers. Home for my heart and mind and soul. I long for all of them. All the versions of home a person could ever need, that is what I need. Discovering and exposing portions of home each time I write compels me to keep at it, to keep wishing and longing and hoping for home in all its splendor and glory now and into all eternity.

WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comments to (at least three) other slicers.If you're leaving your comment early in the day, please consider returning this evening or tomorrow to read some of our evening posters' slices.

answers to prayers


Right now, at this time in my life, I believe that my prayers are answered on a daily and even moment by moment basis. It is hard for me to narrow it down to only one instance, so I won't. Instead, I shall make a list of the first ten answers to prayers that come to my mind.

1.  When my family gets together to share a meal and visit
2.  Good friends who listen to promptings of the spirit when I am in need
3.  Comfort from the spirit when I am feeling near comfortless in my afflictions
4.  A best friend who is as close as a phone call away no matter how late
5.  A best friend who is three houses down the street
6.  Tender notes from my little girl when the day has been especially trying
7.  Thoughtful texts, tweets, and phone calls when no one could know how much I needed contact
8.  Family who reach out loving me for who I am
9.  The ability to step outside of my own problems and comfort someone else
10. Somehow having enough to cover all our needs especially when I don't know how we'll make it

To Mom With Love

We remember the days when we would drive you nuts.
You'd get the wooden spoon and spank our little butts.
A couple--or so--got broken in half.
Since time has passed, we all have to laugh.

Many things bring to mind fond memories of you.
Without such a great mom, we don't know what we'd do.

written for Mother's Day 2001

related links:

Mother's Day 2011: In Her Footsteps

Hopeful Rest: Mother's Day 2012

Laura and Oscar: Week 15

A Crossroads continued...

There is a middle school built atop some leveled foothills hugging Sunrise Mountain, then a parking lot and long stretch of stairs ascending to a tennis court that overlooks an unfettered view of the Las Vegas Valley with all of the glittering lights on one side, and on the other, there’s the mountain. It is at the highest point in the Valley without hiking up the mountain as far as I know.

She is simply amazed as she twirls to catch both views in her spin. I revel with delight witnessing her experience as I was when I discovered it on a lonely night riding my motorcycle trying to out run my thoughts.

I stumbled upon this little gem while broken hearted by a woman who stole and abused my heart. Although we were done, my heart refused to believe it and it pined for her still. I pulled my bike over when I saw the stairs and raced to the top to enliven my heart. I’ve noticed sometimes if I increase my heart rate it lessens the pain it didn’t work this time. Now my heart was pounding like a kettle drum, only amplifying  my pain. I slumped over in defeat at the top of the stairs and let the feelings come to the surface of my mind and wept.

However, this night was not for sorrows but for celebration, and as the song says “living the life” that is really the secret to everything--not to ask the meaning of every detail.

So there we are. I park my truck in the parking lot and we make our way up the stairs, she steadies herself with my forearm and admits “I could use the rail but I like it better this way”, and I agree. We make it to the top and we look out over the glitter and shimmer of our town and we spend time reflecting. Trying to explain to her my experience of our night and reconnecting she sums up the words I’m looking for…”surreal”. It truly was. Even now, as I remember the night so vividly, I feel that sense of wonder and mystery life has to offer us if we pay attention. I ask myself why now of all the times in my life, why tonight, and I remind myself to simply experience this moment and enjoy it. So I do. We laugh and poke fun at one another. I listen for that unmistakable laughter I heard a million times as a boy. I watch her throw her hair back in excitement and marvel at the childlike wonder she has maintained in all of the confusing and harsh experiences life has given her. Her inner light has not dimmed from these experiences; on the contrary, it is focused and pure. I show her a star map on my phone and we try to match the constellations with the chart. She falls back while gazing up into the night and I support her with my hand. This is the first and only contact I had with her that night with the exception of a hug as she hopped out of my truck back into her family home, but she was close enough for me to fill my lungs with her effervesce and it was magnificently satisfying.

...to be continued next week. 

be disconsolate no more

As I carefully read your tear-streaked words
Placing my own words imperceptibly between each one
I see your troubled, broken heart, setting it next to mine
With all the smashed like shattered glass dreams
And the tormented nightmares that come
With every inevitable close of day
Weaved within all waking moments
Creating a twisted, unhealing injury.

Harrowing slivers of hope salted
Throughout every unassuming friendship
And the wistful dream of a love that might never be
Come to me as I spin a melancholy string
Of words that I hope you'll read
In the hope that I might delicately contradict a few
Of your disconsolate tears which you hide behind your mask
A few of your dreams gone wrong which you attempt to pretend away
And even that I might entertain the possibility of showing you
How a true and treasured friend shall always be found in me.

Because I have been where you are right now
Because right now I am where you've been
I can say with pure sincerity that I feel your words
I hear you more deeply than you would like for me to perceive
Your heart cannot hide, yet it is safe in my hands
And you need not be afraid, but may practice being safe
For I have not machinations nor desires to make claim
On anything other than your precious trust; Your caring confidante I'll be. 

a perfect and priceless moment

We get into the car, and of course the music must be blaring for a truly authentic Mom Time. What was not expected was when my Sweet 16 with autism says in a loud voice, "Rock out!" when this song came on:

Naturally, I yell out an emphatic "WOOHOO!!" and proceed to sing and dance and rock out along with my big girl and Selena Gomez like any other mom and daughter would do as they drive down the road to get a bite to eat.

I think this might be one of my favorite songs now. If it gets her past the autism and able to talk, it's a favorite in my book. 

eleven lines about me

1.  Talkative; to the point of irritation for some.
2.  Curly hair; describes my personality too often.
3.  Can't remember learning to read; it came natural.
4.  Words enchant me.
5.  Making friends is as fun as riding roller coasters.
6.  I love riding roller coasters.
7.  Poetry is part of the way I think.
8.  Dresses are more comfortable than jeans to me.
9.  Being able to help people brings me joy.
10. I have an affinity for trees, dancing, and sparkly things.
11. While my penchant for purple borders on obsession, I am fond of color in general.

WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comment-goodness to three other slicers.

purple is always part of the answer


I would never be an animal nor do I want to be one. So, I might as well choose a mythical creature.

I would be a purple Pegasus. I could wear my favorite color forever and have the ability to fly where ever I choose, visiting friends and family.

Sometimes, I think I should be more imaginative, but I can't help it. I'm just not creative in that way.

You tell me what animal you'd be and why, and we'll see if this can be a little bit more amusing. 

Seeking to Become -- May 2013

Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. 
2 Corinthians 3:2-3

At times throughout my life, I have not been an epistle--not an elegant nor didactic letter which is formal in nature. I have lived a life full of poor choices as well as problems not of my making. However, I have learnt to repent. Through faith and the power of Christ's atonement, I believe I now live a life that is closer to being an epistle of Christ. I do not claim anything close to perfection, but I do recognize my desire and actions to live a more godly life. 

Pondering on what it means to be an epistle of Christ causes me to wonder at what my life says to others who know me and, more especially, those who do not but look at my conduct for an example. I wonder about how my weakness for swearing might make someone think I am a hypocrite because I don't want people swearing at or around me. I wonder if my more heinous of sins causes others to think me a fraud as I work to live a righteous life. I wonder if my moments of brutal rudeness that I cannot seem to squash cause people to believe that the kindness I am striving to cultivate is forced or not genuine.

In contrast, I also wonder if the change I seek--to be more spiritual, kind, and even good--might help others to see how someone like me who is terribly imperfect might make changes in their life and succeed in many ways. That is my hope. 

My hope is that my life might stand as an epistle of hope, faith, and charity before I am finished here. 

The challenge this month is to seek out ways to become more like an epistle of Christ. I hope you will join me.

Laura and Oscar: Week 14

A Crossroads continued...

The next day we spent the afternoon together, and I showed her as much of my town as I could. We stopped by the coffee house/art studio which formerly housed a medical clinic downtown in the old days when the heart of the city was in bad shape--now revitalized by the arts district, a triple bypass, and a pacemaker.

The next day I spent working and unexpectedly she was staying another day which gave us another night, together. We chatted over spicy Spanish Tapas and cold iced tea, and she poured out her life and I listened in amazement at the terrific experiences of her life. It was getting late
; I had a full day of clients in the morning and one thing I’ve learned from working with people in therapy is you can’t drag through your day. The amount of mental focus required to listen, truly listen for that many hours takes an incredible amount of energy. So as much as I wanted the night to last into the next day, I forced myself to drive her home, but not directly. I paid the bill and weaved my way out of the crowded restaurant almost losing her in furor of whirling waiters and chatty shiny plastic women. She emerged a little disoriented from her trip to the powder room and I guided her out of the noise and the chatter, back onto the street into the warm summer night.

I helped her into my truck. Which is a shiny 4x4 Jeep with dark tinted windows, with
over-sized tires and custom rims that makes some people think I’m a drug dealer, when a cop pulls up to me and sees me smiling holding my current registration, proof of insurance, and valid driver’s license they usually give me a pass. We head out down the road listening to music; I take the surface streets which takes a little longer but so much more satisfying. Driving by old buildings and familiar streets that have special memories for both of us. I over shoot the way to her folks house and end up on the last main road, Hollywood which is the side of town we grew up on. This road Hollywood was carved out of the foothills leading to Sunrise Mountain. Whenever I come to this side of town “The Eastside” my mind is flooded with images and experiences of my childhood and teen years that help me to reflect on just how far I’ve traveled without even leaving my hometown and I have a deep satisfying sensation of victory as I catch myself glancing into my own eyes in the rearview of my truck. With the Vegas skyline getting smaller in my rearview mirror we climb in elevation then make a left turn on to Hollywood Blvd. We are now traveling parallel to the mountain range.

The night air has begun to cool from the hot summer day and she wants to feel the wind in her hair. So I help her as she fiddles with the controls and we open all the windows which is considerably cooler and relaxes me. Then she dives across the console to hug me and giggles with delight. Then her attention catches the song playing on my radio “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay
. Without asking, she cranks it as loud as she dares, looks at me with a slight expression of asking my approval. I smile and crank it up even higher, percussing my steering while she throws up her hands and dances in her seat, and we sing the chorus together. I drive her to the only place I can.

...to be continued next week. 

My Muses

I don't know about you, but after having writing prompts handed to me and challenge after challenge being posed, I seem to get burned out. It's as if only air fills my head where words once resided. Over the past couple of days I have spent a great deal of time pondering on what to write about.

What should I write about?! Are you kidding me? Normally, I have ideas spinning for days on end and have too much to write about and not enough time to get it onto the page. I think I need to go on a trip somewhere. I need to meet up with one of my muses or just get one of them on the phone to text or talk, and then I will be filled with words.

I hope you know I'm not joking about the muse thing. It's totally real for me. There are a handful of people who, when I communicate with them via phone or in person, cause a wellspring of ideas and the most fantastic words to come to the surface of my heart and mind. I'm not sure what it is about any of them in particular except for maybe the mutual respect we share as well as the ability to carry on the most diverting conversations.

So anyways, if you know you're one of them and you're reading this--call, text, or tweet so I can find some of my words again. xoxo

30 Days of Poetry 2013

Never before have I written a poem every single day for a month! This is a new thing for me, and it feels amazing. I pushed myself to look for fresh perspectives on the everyday and to find new words for old and even eternal elements of life. It was healing and invigorating in many ways.

One thing that left me wanting was the lack of feedback. Many people came and read, but left no word as to how it made them feel or think about things--or if they thought it was stupid! I'd even take that if they'd just explain why. That sort of feedback is helpful because it points out where one can improve.

I am including every poem from this year's National Poetry Month in the hope that someone might find some leisure time and leisurely provide a comment here and there.

Let me know your favorites and/or some that you found dull or in need of something different to make it interesting.

Thanks for reading!

30 Days of Poetry--April 2013:

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9
Day 10
Day 11
Day 12
Day 13
Day 14
Day 15
Day 16
Day 17
Day 18
Day 19
Day 20
Day 21
Day 22
Day 23
Day 24
Day 25
Day 26
Day 27
Day 28
Day 29
Day 30