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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Meet Guest Author Jo Linsdell-Feliciani















Today I want to welcome guest author, Jo Linsdell-Feliciani. I know that I said that she would be on last Thursday and then again this Thursday, but it's kind of difficult to work out times when you are an ocean and a continent away from someone. Yes, there is the internet, but somehow between time differences and her schedule we didn't quite connect. However, she is here today and I know you are going to enjoy learning about her and her books.

Jo is a freelance writer who though English by birth, is living in Rome, Italy with her husband and young son. She is the author of two books: Italian for Tourists and A Guide to Weddings in Italy. She also runs a very informative blog for writers called Writers and Authors, another one: As the Romans Do, and the very new 1st Time Mums. Jo also has several ebooks you can find here: Jo Linsdell's Storefront. She became the editor of Robins Falls Magazine since 2009. In addition she was listed on The Literary World as part of their Who's Who in the Literary Society in April, 2009.

I am delighted to present Jo Linsdell-Feliciani my guest author for this week.

1. What made you decide to move to Italy?

I came for 3 days back in 2001 and just ended up staying. I’d been planning on traveling around Europe and had chosen Rome as a destination by closing my eyes and having my finger land on a map. Days turned into weeks and then months. Finally after about 6 months here I decided Rome was now my home and officially moved here.

2. How does it feel being a non-Italian living in Italy? What was it like for you when you first moved there?

After so long here I feel part Italian now or maybe it’s better to say less non-Italian. I speak mainly Italian and my life is fully integrated here now. A lot of people I meet think I am Italian at first.

In the past it wasn’t quite like it is now though. I’d struggle with the language and get frustrated by the cultural differences at times. If I’m honest, the first few months I was here I was basically a tourist on extended stay. I worked in a hostel as a receptionist and only spoke the little Italian needed to deal with the odd phone call or the cleaners. Most of the people that stayed there spoke English so I wasn’t under pressure to learn Italian.

It was only when I met my husband that I started to really learn the language. Love is a great motivator

I guess I stopped feeling like a tourist when I changed jobs and started working in an office on publications for the dental industry. I rented a room and started to have a normal life again. The changes I made during that time really helped me integrate into the Italian way of life.


3. It says in your bio that you took Business Studies, History and Art. When did you decide to start writing?

Yes, I took them as A-Levels in college. Before that I’d studied English language and literature in school and passed my GCSEs with the highest grade. I kept writing but it was more for venting my feeling than anything else. I wrote a lot of poetry when I was younger, especially in those years.

If I think about it, I’ve always loved writing. Even when I was very young I’d always be making up stories to tell my friends or writing them out and crafting little books. I’d staple the pages together and even design cover art for them. It was one of my favourite games. I only started to take my writing seriously in 2005. I’d had various jobs working on publications and writing research articles, when a new English language newspaper was launched in Florence. I sent off an article just to give it a try and they printed it straight away. That was when I realised I could do it and started considering myself a proper writer.

4.Please tell my readers what made you decide to write Italian for Tourists.

I came to Italy with the plan of staying for 3 days and figured I could get by for such a short stay using English. With this in mind I hadn’t prepared for the fact that Italians might not speak English. In fact a lot of them don’t or if they do it’s very limited. I felt rude not being able to thank or greet people in Italian, after all I was in Italy. If an Italian came to England not being able to speak English how far would he get? I got myself a phrasebook to help me but a lot of the information was irrelevant and it took ages to find what I needed. I decided to write the book I couldn’t find. A tourist doesn’t need to know everything about Italian grammar and the in’s and out’s of renting an apartment. They want to have an easy to use reference book of the language they will need to use and understand during their stay.Italian for Tourists actually started out as just an e-book but people started requesting a print version and so the book was born. I later revamped it and released the pocket edition. Again following requests from the public. Italian for Tourists has grown with me in my writing career and been a great learning curve.

5. Tell us a little about both of your books, Italian for Tourists and A Guide to Weddings in Italy.

Italian For Tourists: Pocket Edition, a phrasebook published through the online content marketplace Lulu.com, is a basic guide to the Italian language covering phrases and words most needed by tourists. It includes all the words and phrases a tourist is likely to need during their stay in Italy as well as a pronunciation guide and a map of Italy.

The phrasebook is divided into 17 chapters including; Emergency, The basics, Common expressions, Learning Italian, Greetings and introducing yourself, Transport, Hotel, Sightseeing, Asking and giving directions, Food and drink, Health, Shopping, Offices and bureaucracy and Signs and notices and more.

I wrote
A Guide to Weddings in Italy after marrying my Italian husband in July 2006. When it comes to documents, of any kind, Italy is not the easiest of countries to have deal with as they have a very confusing bureaucratic system. It occurred to me that lots of people must go through the hassles I was going through to try to understand the system and organise my wedding, so I decided to write a guide that explained what you can and can’t do and how to go about it. I also included sections on additional related topics like Italian wedding traditions, proverbs, useful contact details etc…

6. What is a typical writing day like for you? Do you have a writing routine?

As a fulltime mum to a two year old I don’t have a typical writing day. I grab time when I can. I usually manage an hour or two if I’m lucky in the afternoon while he naps or watches cartoons.

This summer I’ve done some article writing with notepad and pen whilst sat beside the paddling pool in the garden.

I’ve learned to break down my tasks into bite size pieces. It’s easier to get 5 minutes to work on writing than a longer stretch of time.

7. Do you plan to write any fiction books? Why or why not?

I’m working on a few at the moment. I like to try new genres and experiment with my writing. I’ve recently written a children’s book called ‘Matteo goes to the zoo’ which I’m now working on illustrations for.

A romance called ‘Twice’ which I’m doing using the site www.textnovel.com This is the most fun to write. It’s about a girl who has a knack for finding Mr. Wrong. Can she find true love? Can she find it twice? Definitely in the chick-lit category. Text Novel is a great system to keep the action flowing. People can vote for your novel and leave comments on site too which also helps keep motivation high.

I’m also working on another romance. Very different in style to Twice though. This one has mystery and crimes to solve in addition to the love story.



8. What are you doing to market your books? Do you have any tips for authors for marketing their books?

I’m very active on numerous social media sites and guest blog for other people as well as managing three blogs of my own. I organize an annual online promotional event called PROMO DAY that takes place in May each year and participate as presenter in other online conferences for writers.

I have a fan page on Facebook for ‘Italian for Tourists’ and video book trailers posted to various websites.I have a media kit that I send out by email and also have it available as a download from my website http://www.jolinsdell.com/ I sometimes write articles for websites and other printed publications and always include a byline that mentions my website so people can find out more about me and my books. When I can, I also do virtual tours and individual author interviews for other people’s sites and internet radio shows.

The best advice I can give other authors is to use their imagination and experiment with different ways of marketing. Have fun with it and don’t be afraid to step out of the box.

9. Do you have any other tips for beginning writers?

My top three would be:
1) Being a writer involves lots more than just writing. Learn as much as you can about the writing industry and publishing as possible. The more informed you are, the better. A bit of knowledge about marketing is also a good idea.

2) Don’t be afraid to try new genres and experiment with your writing. Just because you’re good at writing crime doesn’t mean you might not be good at writing children’s books too.

3) If you don’t believe in yourself you won’t get very far. Even when you have down moments. Remember just because one person rejects you doesn’t mean another won’t think you’re great.

10. Do you have any WIP’s? Are any of them accepted by a publisher?
I already answered this is the other question. None yet have a publisher. I'm going to start looking for one for the childrens book as soon as I have some illustrations to go with it.

I'm hoping to find one for Twice through textnovel.com once it's finished. The other romance is a long way off from seeing a publisher for now. I'll be happy if I manage to get the first draft finished this year. I'm going to start looking for a publisher for the social media book soon.

Thank you, Jo for being my guest author this week. I am so glad you took time from your busy schedule to visit us.

Please leave a comment or question for Jo. All people who comment will get a chance to win a free book. At this time I don't know which one she is giving away.



What Are You Doing to Help People with Disabilities?

A disabled athlete waterskiing. From:
http://www.disabledathletics.org/

Recently a blogger friend of mine, Jason Mayo of Outnumbered, asked me to participate in this awareness blogging event to heighten the sensibilities of our audience to people who are disabled in any way. You know, the people who need to use the handicapped rest room and the ones who need the ramp to go into a building. You may take these conveniences for handicapped people for granted, but until the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990 and subsequently amended as late as last year by Congress, people with disabilities did not have these accommodations as a rule. Many were unable to do even the simplest tasks without help. With the invention of individualized motorized vehicles handicapped people began to live more independent lives. Today it is a common sight to see a disabled person on a scooter living a normal independent life. Changes in lifestyle have enable changes in equipment for athletics resulting in a whole array of sports equipment geared to people with disabilities. There is no sport that cannot be played by a disabled person if he or she has the right equipment. The picture on the top of this page shows a talented water skiier who happens to be disabled. Nothing is closed to disabled people now.

Meanwhile just this week I had Franny Armstrong on my show River Writers Live Tales from the Pages and she related to me how she had been disabled pretty much for about 8-10 years due to several reasons. She was forced to go out with a mask on her face or stay inside of her house. Her disability was caused by environmental factors. All of a sudden she became highly allergic to almost all fragrances, household chemicals, etc. If you listen to the show you can hear her describe her experience. Because of her disability she gained a great deal of weight, so Franny has started a website, Strive 4 Good Health to start herself back on the road to good health.

I have a special empathy for disable people since I was disabled myself for about half a year. We lived in Long Island and in the winter it can get very icy, especially in the driveways. So my whole family was waiting for me since we were going to my daughters' dance recital and it was a bit of a drive. I walked over to the car and didn't see the black ice right by the passenger door. I slipped and fell banging my leg against the ice. I was dressed for a performance in good pants, but we were late, so I just got into the car not even thinking about myself or how I felt. I was in too much shock to even feel pain, but when we got to the auditorium where it was held and I had sat in one of those school auditorium seats for awhile I started to feel extreme pain. By the time we headed home all I wanted was an ice pack and pain killers. By the next morning I was one solid wall of pain. After going to the doctor, who checked to see if there were any fractures,

I was told I had contusions of the muscle. I thought, oh, that won't be too bad. It isn't broken.
Was I wrong!! The pain centered on my right calf and stayed there. The doctor told me I'd need to rest it and ice it, then I would need rehab. I couldn't walk on it so I needed a cane and since I was so slow I needed to get a handicapped sticker for my car.

Life is different for someone who needs a cane to walk. You walk slower. You think about climbing anything. So even getting up on a curb is a struggle. The store that used to be so close to the parking lot suddenly seems like a marathon course. You are always the last person to reach a destination. People have to wait for you, since you can't run to catch up with them. Driving a car with your right leg damaged is difficult, but you can do it. It's painful, though.

After going to rehab for months the leg started to heal, but I still needed a cane to walk. So I appreciate the problems people who are handicapped face. With my leg I was able to have a full recovery. I was lucky, but many handicapped people are not so lucky. Their disabilities are permanent and they have to live with them every day. That is why I will always help a disabled person anywhere.

In recent years the American Association of People with Disabilities has worked to make sure that disabled people could be integrated into society and it is still working to pass legislation to help disabled people. Due to their efforts disabled people have been able to work and enjoy recreational activities with the rest of society.

So I hope that next time you are with a disabled person you will remember how much they would appreciate it if you treated them like any other person. The only difference between disabled people and the rest of society is they need accommodations to be able to function independently.

I noticed a couple more followers for the blog and I welcome you. Thank you. Also to readers who aren't so new thank you for enjoying my meanderings.:)

Immediately following this post I am giving you a fantastic guest author interview with Jo Linsdell-Feliciani. She lives in Italy and we had a little difficulty connecting for this interview. But I assure you that you will be very happy you read it.:) So as soon as you finish this post go right to the next one to learn about Jo Linsdell-Feliciani.:)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I've Won An Award and Thoughts on Summer


I got on my IPhone yesterday while we were on a road trip and found I had won an award. It's The Versatile Blogger Award and I got it from Writers and Authors.


According to the rules, I'm required to:

1. Thank the person who loved me enough to bestow this gift.
2. Share seven things about myself.
3. Bestow this honor onto 10 newly discovered or followed bloggers–in no particular order–who are fantastic in some way.
4. Drop by and let my ten new friends know I admire them.

So thank you, Jo Linsdell-Feliciani for including my blog in this award.

Here are seven things about me.
1. I'm a native New Yorker but we had to move to Connecticut because of our place becoming condemned due to a fire in our neighbor's apartment.
2. I love lions and Betty Boop and collect both of them, but the lions only in statues, photos and stuffed animals.:)
3. I was a teacher for over seventeen years, but I retired in 2008.
4. The thing that bothers me most is typos. I try never to make any if I can.
5. In the past ten years I have written four novels, three of which are YA and one a romance/suspense/adventure and none have been published yet.
6. I have a children's story published "The Trouble with Follow the Leader" and an adult story published, "Out On A Ledge".
7. The reason I started my blog was because I couldn't get either my husband or my daughters to understand how important my writing was to me and to listen to what I said.

So here are the 10 blogs that I think deserve this award:

I am adding 5 more blogs to this, because someone else who got this award said it was 15:

Thoughts on Summer

For me it has been a hard and at times both lonely and difficult summer. Though I am in the company of people most of the time it has been lonely. However, now that my husband is better we are spending more time in each other's company, but sometimes it feels like I am alone. If I can't get my writing done during the day I have to do it at night. My husband and daughters go to bed much earlier than I do and then they are up earlier than I am. I try each night to go to sleep earlier, but there is always something to keep me up writing. Tonight it's The Versatile Blogger Award.

This summer has been brutally hot these past two weeks. This week we had days of over 90 degrees almost every day. So it's like being in very cold weather when you go from car to house and house to car without spending too much time outdooors. We are lucky that we have a pool and yesterday I actually got into my bathing suit. (This is for the GUYS) Yes I did get a bathing suit. In fact I got two of them at of all places Costco. They have no place to try them on, so my daughter and I tried them on over our clothes. With no mirrors except each other this was funny. But I liked the way they felt and bought them. Yesterday when I put it on without clothes I was happy to see that it didn't look too bad. But still I went out in a cover up and didn't take it off. I don't think the world is ready to see my legs. Since I stopped exercising due to the constant hospital visits, they have gained even more cellulite and it isn't pretty.:) But I am getting back to exercising soon, maybe tomorrow. Then I will actually go into the pool and swim for the first time in a long time. It's so inviting and I will even take off my cover up for that. Let the world see me.:)

As far as writing goes, I still have to revise the last half of my novel and then I am sending it out again! With the whole Body Calendar to bring attention to eating disorders, my novel might have a good chance of being published now. It's not about eating disorders, but one of the characters in the novel has an eating disorder. It's more about the problem someone would have if she encountered a person who had an eating disorder and had to keep it a secret from everyone she knew. It is geared for young teens and I'll let everyone know when I send it out!!!

Coming Attractions

This Thursday I will have the pleasure of having as my guest author, Jo Linsdell-Feliciani, who also gave me The Versatile Blogger Award. She has two books written, Italian for Tourists, and A Guide to Italian Weddings. Plus she has lots of ebooks. So please stop by for a visit on Thursday to chat with Jo. Anyone who read last week's blog saw that she would be here last Thursday, but that wasn't possible. So she was moved to this Thursday, July 22nd. As it turns out that is the same day as my radio show, Red River Writers Live Tales from the Pages.

On Thursday's show you will meet a very interesting and unusual young man who calls himself Comedy Writer Mr.J. He has written Meet Mr. J: Amphigory Almanac of Hebetudinous Humor, Linguistic Levity & Pedantic Prose. Also on the show will be Franny Armstrong who has written Forever Blowing Bubbles a paranormal romance and the combination should be very interesting! Please drop by at 3PM Central Time on Thursday, July 22nd to meet these authors.

Until then, thank you again to the people who continue to send me encouraging thoughts and who prayed for my husband and my family when we were going through that whole tzuris these past months. He is doing much better and has started exercising. So I went back to exercising today and feel good about doing it. I hope to be able to get into our pool when I can.:)

Thank you to all of you who continue to read my writing and welcome any new people. I appreciate you all and hope that once you read it you will leave a comment for me. It's moderated, so you won't see it right away, but I will and if you are not a spambot you will have it posted and I will answer you.:)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My Life Changes and New Poetry

This is a view from the shoreline after rain at low tide

It's been a few weeks since I last posted and a lot has changed!!! My husband came out of the hospital a new person and he has pretty much gotten back almost all of his energy. The prednisone is taking away the calcium and hopefully it is working on the sarcoidosis. he has been able to tolerate it so far [knock wood]. But it does make him kind of manic and it's like truth serum. Anything he thinks comes out of his mouth with no regard for the feelings of the other person. This makes it kind of difficult to feel good, since he knows exactly what will push my buttons. However, there are many things about him in this new incarnation that I like. :)

Meanwhile, I have been writing poetry and tending to my own self. I went to the opthamologist and found out that I have to have a cataract removal operation in August. I don't really have that much trouble seeing, but the doctor said that it should be removed. When I do get it removed they will replace the lens with a new one that will let me see things at a distance. That is something I haven't been able to do since I was 11.:) I will let everyone know the date when it gets closer. It is only a few hours of my time and you get to go home that day.

As for the writing poetry part I am posting all the poems I have written in these two weeks. You will see that some of them are different from my usual style. Enjoy and let me know your comments, please. As always my poems were written to the prompts on Poetic Asides, the website for Robert Brewer who also thinks up the prompts each week. It's hard to write just one poem for each prompt and the people who post there are prolific and excellent poets. Each week we all post and discuss each other's poetry while coming back day after day until Wednesday rolls around again. You could say I and many others are addicted to the website. :)

I wanted everyone to know that one of my poems has been published on the website for Poets for Living Waters. It's called Earth and you need to look for it by title, because they left out my byline. Just click on the link for the poem and scroll down. Though they left out my byline it is in the right alphabetical order on Open Mic (D-G). I wrote to the editors who wrote back and said they would fix the error. However, tonight I went to check on it and they hadn't done it. So I wrote to them again and I am still waiting for an answer. I will let everyone know if I do hear from them in the comments for this blog. Poets for Living Waters was created to use poetry to bring attention to the effects of the oil spill on the Gulf's waters. Poets submit poems that apply to this topic and you can submit by email if you are interested. They are still accepting new poems. You can submit 1-3 poems each time. I am very happy to be in the company of other people from Poetic Asides who have their poems there too.

So here are all the poems I have written since the last post:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Prompt: Write a poem for any of these titles:
  • Spectator falls from 2nd deck
  • Life under melting Arctic ice
  • Disheartened by the disaster
  • The Many Voices of Lauryn Hill
  • If You Can't Take the Heat, Use Fewer Jalapenos


Life Under Melting Arctic Ice

The ice formed around you
Clinging to your chest
Centering around your heart
And it formed a barrier
Shutting me out as if I were
suddenly stuck under the ice
Searching for a hole in the melting
glacier as I swam blindly shoving my
arms up toward the clear frozen
shelf reaching the flat surface
unable to push through the layers
as your words built more
And I floundered gasping for air
The energy to keep pushing sucked
from me in the vacuum of your
disinterest and disdain

And as I swam in the distance between
us my heart cracked thinking of this
formless existence without you
A tiny hole appeared, a pin prick only
Yet I fitted a finger through and
realized it was melting as I poked my
head through the larger hole and your
arms surrounded me in a warm apology
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu


Spectator falls from 2nd Deck

A few hours out of port
he spied a figure in the water
beckoning as she rose revealing
her tail swishing behind
Mesmerizing him

He leaned over the
railing confirming her lustrous
locks trailing in the azure water
Blinking his eyes the image
remained taunting him singing
a strange high melody, and he leaned
further to hear as the notes hit his ears

In the dark no one saw or heard the splash
But a passenger on the first deck saw a
blob pass the porthole
Too late the announcement came over the
ship’s loudspeaker.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu



Disheartened by the disaster

He sorted through the mounds
of clothes finding pants six sizes
too big barely worn, creases crisp
Swimming on his smaller body.

He mourned their loss
as the pile to give away grew larger
Pain showed in his face
A remembrance of the waste of a life

Not sure why he bought them all
Confused by the emergence of
the man he’d hidden all these years
who no longer fitted these “clown pants”
as he called them

The loss of money, time, and fashion
too much for his recovering body
he grabbed the bag and tossed it into the
metal charity box hoping somewhere there would
be a man to fit all these oversized disasters.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Prompt: Write a poem using the title: After the rain


Shoreline after the rain

The water fled leaving bare rocks
Brown mud pocked with broken
shells normally hidden by the water
lay empty devoid of its usual occupants

My sneakered feet squeaked on the wet
boards of the boardwalk
as I passed the space where the blue heron
usually stood regally searching for prey

Searching for their hiding place i
walked along the shoreline
feeling the rain softened humid air
stick to my face as water dripped
in a fine mist as if sent through a sieve

Even the fireflies
toned down their show
after the rain.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu



Waking after the rain (Inspired by a newspaper story)

Warm from sleep they rubbed their eyes
remembering the fury of the rain pelting
their windows and banging against their roof
They had feared the new shingles replacing old
rotted ones would not hold and cause dripping
Creating a need for holders for the drops invading
each sacred inch of their pristine home

Elated the ceiling above their bed had held
they hugged and reaffirmed their love
Preparing for work, he came downstairs
whistling. Feeling ten years younger
as he took the stairs two at a time
a smile on his face

Debris covered the living room floor
bits of tree bark and pieces of leaves
Did the storm blow them through the door?
Confused he moved down one more step
past the protruding wall that had blocked his view
of the ceiling and the hole containing two large
tree branches poking into his living room
So the bang he had heard was not in his dream
after all.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Sunday, July 4, 2010

What I Did on 4th of July and More Poetry

The fireworks at Trump Golf Course in Briarcliff, NY


I haven't posted for awhile since my husband's illness took my time and energy. He went back into the hospital last Friday and is still in there. But, finally, after four months of testing and prodding and probing him and after a kidney biopsy the doctors have found that he has sarcoidosis of the kidneys and maybe the lungs, and that may or may not be causing the high calcium. We are still going up to Massachusetts General, but the appointment was moved up to middle of July. So the doctors now know how to treat him. They are giving him prednisone and he was getting dialysis.That has stopped now. Since he started on this treatment he is much better. This time they are giving him the prednisone in graduated doses. So far it has brought him back to almost normal and that is why I am keeping my fingers crossed that he will be okay from the third treatment. He got the third treatment today and other than moving his blood sugar up to 180, that was all that happened. They are monitoring him and making sure that it doesn't go higher. Best of all his calcium is down to 10.8, which is borderline normal. It hasn't been that low in over 4 months!!!


So for the third year in a row, my daughters and I spent 4th of July at Trump Golf Course eating tons of food and then watching brilliant fireworks that are in my opinion better than Macy's. This year during a beautiful recorded "It's a Wonderful World" with Louis Armstrong singing, one of the fireworks had a heart in the sky. I had never seen that before and it was something I may never forget. The sound of Satchmo and a heart in the sky. I love that song too. The rest of the fireworks were outstanding and hard to describe. I took a few photos and my daughter videoed them for my husband. The ending was so incredible with red, white and blue fireworks exploding into huge circles and then a giant explosion at the very end. My daughter, who is not effusive ever, said that this brought back her joy for fireworks.:) Giving her back joy is worth anything, and spending the day and night at Trump Golf Course is a highlight of my year. I hope to be invited again next year and this time with my husband.

The amount of outpouring of affection for me and my husband makes my heart so full. Thank you to all who have taken the time to send me a message. Sometimes people say that the internet is impersonal, but my experience has been the opposite. You are all the best!!!

Now to catch you all up on the poems I wrote for the last two weeks, I am posting them here. There is one more for Wednesday, June 16th that I didn't post last time. They are also posted on Poetic Asides comments for Wednesday prompts for each of the days listed here.


Wednesday, June 16. 2010

Stuck in Time

Your pictures surrounded by ornate frames
used to grace the piano
Those photos show you, my dad, smiling in
uniform, jaunty cap covering thinning hair

Recently I found an old single view plastic case
Its secret hidden from view until placed on the eye
both of you dressed up sitting together smiling
Caught by a Catskills photographer on a warm
summer night at a resort far from your everyday
life in the sticky. humid Brooklyn apartment
we escaped a few years later.

You are stuck as that smiling couple both
looking jovial and relaxed a different pair than the one
I knew. Stuck in 3D forever dressed in 50’s clothes
Mom in the same red lace sheath my girls used for dress up.

Both of you are gone from this world, but now
here in Technicolor a memento of your night
Frozen in time my parents stealing moments in
the borscht belt.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Finish the title: The Meaning of….. Write a poem about it.

The Meaning of Love

When it’s all dried up
Like a piece of cheese left out too long
The succulent sap of it
long gone leaving you empty
And all that is left are the memories of memories
Photos with arms entwined and smiles
Sensual moments recorded while swimming
in each other’s eyes

A series of still lives hung in an invisible room
Depicting scenes clasped to your breast
years ago when cheeks were unlined and
love reigned as the star of the day
Alive you opened your mouth and breathed
in the lust and the pleasure of each second
Afraid to leave each other for fear of loss

You never thought why
For the joy overwhelmed all questions
There would be time enough at the end of this
journey to wonder as the layers peeled away
and the truth is bared
Why this one? Why that time?

Love came stealthily like a cat-footed thief
to steal your inner core
Never asking to be
Only being and in the being changed
you and dragged you along on this wild ride
And you slid along only to be dumped in the
whirlpool alone and wrung out like an
old ragged washcloth
Yet still ready to do it all again.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu


July 1, 2010
Prompt: Write about being confined
Auto Prison

She spends her days in cars
Her pathway changes little
Trapped in an invisible cage
she rails against the idea
Yet each day takes her seat
behind the wheel
an unpaid chauffeur with her
radio tuned to Broadway
she maneuvers the same
roadways sllently, her chestnut
streaked hair up revealing the
curve ofher neck

She has locked her youth in a box
Afraid to let it out
to play, romp in verdant meadows
run toward a phantom lover
whose arms would open wide to hold her
No drinking in clubs for her
in miniskirt and revealing skin tight top
She wears her uniform, jeans and
a tee shirt, covering her shape
unable to accept who she is

There may be men who turn to glance
at the curve of her cheek
the youth she keeps at bay
But she stares ahead caught in an
impossible nightmare as she travels
back and forth along the miles of her prison.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu



Trapped in Space

The wheel turned moving the people
Around and around
And I imagined it would be like
Twirling, the room spinning in front
Of my eyes like a kaleidoscope
Butterflies formed as I stepped into the
Open basket and moved the steel bar
Over my eight year old body as my mom
Watched them check the tension
I smiled as the wheel started turning
Around and around from the ground to the top

I saw the fairgrounds in front of me
Nothing but air to cushion my descent
If the mechanism broke and then the
Unthinkable happened and we froze
In space. To take on passengers, I thought,
But the time stretched forever as I tried to
Keep the basket from swinging, worried
It might crack off the wheel and go flying
Onto the hard pavement

I hung there frozen as a ball of fear
Threatened to push me over the edge
Willing the wheel to move to feel the
Whoosh of the air as we traveled in a giant circle.
When at last the movement happened
I wanted to kiss the air as we got to the bottom.
Instead. there was mom rushing toward me
Guilt that she had not taken the ride in her face.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Coming Attractions:

This Thursday I will have a guest author here, Jo Linsdell- Feliciani. She has
written two books, Italian for Tourists and A guide to weddings in Italy. Also she manages a few websites and is the editor of Robin Falls Magazine. I can't wait to learn more about her.

Red River Writers Live Tales from the Pages July show, July 22nd at 3PM Central time with co-Host Freda Roberts and guest author, Comedy Writer Mr
J whose real name is Brandon C. Jones. He has written a very unusual book, Meet Mr. J: Amphigory Almanac of Hebetudinous Humor, Linguistic Levity & Pedantic Prose. Think Woody Allen in book form.
Also on this show will be Franny Armstrong, author of paranormal romantic suspense/comedy.


Franny Armstrong






Comedy Writer Mr. J AKA Brandon C. Jones


Goodbye for now and thank you to my new followers:) Again, the people who continue
to follow my meanderings thank you too. Here's a question for all of you. What did you do this 4th of July? Did you watch fireworks? Oh, those are two questions. Sorry.:) Hoping to hear from as many of you as possible.

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