{May 31, 2014}   I Am A Garbage Can

At least that’s what my Dentist told me.
Oh, it has nothing to do with my teeth or what kind of food I eat. She was talking about middle-child-guilt-ridden me. And she’s right.
Let me put it in reverse a bit. First of all, I have the most awesome dentist in the world. She’s about the same age as I am and we have a lot in common. You know, except for the part where she’s a doctor and has children and travels around the world with her doctor husband and I don’t. But other than that, she’s the best friend I should have had.
It’s like I can talk to her about anything, and I mean anything. And I do.
Let’s put it this way, she calls me Crazy Joanne and in my book (and hers), that’s a compliment.
So I had an appointment this morning and it didn’t take much more than half a second for her to know I wasn’t me. I walked like me and talked like me and looked like me but she saw right thorough my fake bullshit smile and my “everything’s great” stride.
Didn’t take much longer for her to blast a big fat hole in my self-made fortress and break everything down to one little sentence; “you have to love yourself”, she said.
You know that punched-in-the-gut-breathless feeling? That.
“Oh,” said I. Quietly. “I guess I don’t really do that.”
“I know,” she replied.
I barely managed to halt the instantaneous tear trying desperately to escape my eye but I did. Then I told her she was only supposed to make me cry when she was sticking a needle in my mouth and wasn’t she supposed to be my dentist, not my therapist?
She just did that cocked eyebrow thing she does so well and may have possibly slapped me upside the head, or it just felt that way.
“You’re a garbage can,” she told me.
And in much more eloquent words than mine, she explained how I let everybody throw their garbage at me, that they get rid of it and I hold on to it. That I should close the lid of the garbage can and let it roll off my back.
She used a lot more words, better ones too, but that was the general gist of it all.
I am a garbage can.
And it’s time to take out the trash.

{May 29, 2014}   Moon Shift

everything seems to have shifted
and to my surprise, i don’t even care,
of course if i take a step back,
and check the phase of the moon,
i’ll remember i am the moon and predictably,
i will rise after i sink,
but first i must sink, and this time i’m sinking deep,
throw it all at me in frantic spurts then
leave me in silence huddled on the floor,
unsure and on the edge,
set it on replay, with frequent pauses
just to throw me off,
none of it matters, because i don’t care,
not anymore,
it’ll all just shift back again regardless,
the infrequent bursts of joy will appear unannounced
and i’ll forget nothing is for keeps
till it takes me by surprise once more,
catches me unawares
and everything seems to shift again,
like the moon

{May 23, 2014}   Ignorance Is Not Blissful

Paying attention to life.
I’ve been slacking off again and I have no valid excuse. Reasons? I got a million of them but valid excuses? Well they’re just nothing but that, excuses. And I’m kinda getting sick of excuses. I want to grab myself by the cuff of my neck and give myself a stern talking to followed by some sort of punishment….
Wait. I should stay on topic. And that would only be funny if you were me.
Ok so everything is piling up as far as my To Do List is concerned and do you have any idea how exhausting it is to fake your way through every day as if life actually is a bowl of cherries? And did I already mention all the cherries in my bowl have worms inside them? Metaphorically speaking.
I have a screaming toothache I’m desperately trying to ignore because I have a dentist appointment next week and I’m determined to tough it out till then. I have an earache that is playing tag with my toothache, another thing I’m toughing out since I know they’re related. My stupid fibromyalgia has decided now would be a good time to rear it’s ugly head without consulting me first and all of my go-to people aren’t here to go to anymore. Mostly.
I can’t remember the last time I’ve been truly all-the-way 100% happy and yes I’m well aware that it’s my own fault.
I know I need to grab the reins and steer myself back onto the right track, wherever that is.
And I get that I have to do this myself, that nobody else can do it for me, but…
There’s that word, “but”, because there’s always a “but” and that’s just another word for excuse so I really shouldn’t use it, but, I kinda have to.
Because the but here is this: it’s really hard to yank yourself up when you’re so far down you can’t even see yourself anymore. When, for the most part, the role of The Go-To Girl normally played by me is now being played by An Imposter who doesn’t care about anything.
I want my life back.
I want the pain to go away, all of it. The outside pain and the inside pain.
And I know none of it will go away until this me, the real me who isn’t an imposter, does something more than avoid everything on my To Do List and instead, you know, does something about it.
Maybe I should start with actually making a To Do List.
to do

{May 21, 2014}   Lie As I Lay Dying

ask me how i am
and i will lie as i lay dying
while i tell you i’m just fine
and everything is grand
say you don’t believe me
and i will swear on my own life
that all i say is truth
and i am basking in the sunlight
ask me why i’m silent
and i will tell you i’m just thinking
of everything that’s wonderful
while writing in my head
say i’m holding something back
and i won’t disagree
instead i’ll redirect the conversation
towards anything but me
i’ll lie as i lay dying
before letting down these walls
there’s nothing for me now
except my final curtain call

writing woman

I’m just the instrument in this one, I’m honored to post Maryanne’s leg of the Writing Process Blog Tour, so with no further ado, take it away Maryanne!

1.What are you working on?

I am now tweaking a fictitious chick lit love story that takes place in the 1980s called “Love Cats.” I’m thrilled that Cynthia Santiglia will be copyediting. She’s worked as copy editor with an author I highly admire, Lisa Carver, so it’s an honor that Cynthia took an interest in working for me!

2.How does your work differ from others of it’s genre?

For my first book, “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” it’s different than other rock ‘n’ roll memoirs because there’s no downward spiral into drugs and depression. (That’s how one of my endorsers, columnist and author Judy McGuire, put it!)

“On the Guest List” is an upbeat book with many fun stories. I don’t knock anyone. It’s just my perspective on life as a music journalist and it’s written to inspire other writers to tell their stories too.

For “Love Cats” it’s different than other chick lit fiction, I think, because it has the lead male role taking on the sensitive part and the female lead screwing up the relationship only because of her insecurities. The characters are real to life and I’d like to believe the story is unpredictable with first-time experiences and a slight element of danger that most 20-somethings experience.

It’s a fun and fast moving love story with growth. The moral is that people do change!

3.Why do you write what you do?

For my memoir “On the Guest List” – I was always told that I should write a book. I had a bunch of great stories and wanted to share the best of them that I thought others could relate to. I saw a similar book that was very negative. The author put down most of the people she bragged about meeting; which, to me, was very sad. My book comes from a place of admiration for not only the musicians I wrote about but all the people I’ve experienced some of the adventures with, those who were my “plus one.”

For my upcoming fictitious “Love Cats” I simply write what I know and then let the imagination run wild. But to make it 1980s authentic I did a lot of Google searching, as my memory is great but not that great!

4.How does your writing process work?

I write from my heart, then go back and edit. With “On the Guest List” I went through years of paper diaries and online diaries to pick out the best stories. I also consulted many of the people I wrote about, asking for their blessing. There’s a brother and sister in the book that were a grand part of my youth. They never answered my emails about whether or not I could use their names, so I just gave them fake names – either way, it’s an honor, they were cool kids!

For “Love Cats,” since it’s fiction, I just grab a glass of wine and then go for it! Since the book is also from a male perspective, I asked a friend for advice on the dialogue – “Is this how a guy would say something?” My friend is a screen writer from Massachusetts, Todd Gordon, and he’ll definitely be thanked in the book.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist”

Pear Tree Enterprises

HOURS: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Mon. to Fri.)


In continuing with the Writers Process Blog Tour, I am honored to (re)introduce you to someone I look up to, someone who inspires me every day in every way. Maryanne is as beautiful inside as she is on the outside. Here’s a little bit of information about her to be followed by Maryanne’s leg of the Blog Tour.
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta has been writing professionally since 1995. She’s a self-employed award-winning writer and public speaker. Her work has appeared in The Paterson Press, Westfield Alternative Press, Millburn-Short Hills Alternative Press, South Orange Alternative Press, Maplewood Alternative Press, Suburban Essex, The Patch, The Montclair Times, The Jersey City Independent, Skinny News, NJ Health & Fitness, The Aquarian Arts Weekly (which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, April 2012), The West Sider, The Chelsea Clinton News,, Tattoo Review, Punk Magazine, and Exit, to name a few.

Her first book “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” is available on Amazon.

Maryanne lives in Union County, New Jersey, with her husband and cat, Derick. Other interests include: music, health/fitness and public speaking.

Her website is:

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist”

Pear Tree Enterprises

HOURS: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Mon. to Fri.)


Pete is awesome. It’s an honor to share Pete’s writing process with you, so take it away Pete!

Pete Armetta

I was asked by childhood friend, writer Joanne Best, to participate in The Writing Process Blog Tour. Please take a look at her wonderful and energetic writing:   Joanne Best

The Writing Process:

1.) What are you working on?

Along with writing poetry and essays regularly, my main priority is my short fiction collection. It’s called Fairview.  This year I submitted ten stories (10,000 words) in a preview manuscript to a publisher and he verbally said “yes” they want to do a book with me. And want 30,000 words. I now have the 30,000 (I compiled it from previously published and new work). I haven’t submitted the finished manuscript to him yet as I’m waiting for more particulars plus I’m not committed.  I haven’t submitted Fairview to anyone else yet (due diligence) and first need to do that. That’s work. And fees. And waiting.  So I’m quite driven editing and reordering and improving…

View original post 495 more words

The Writing Process Blog Tour continues as I hand off my first torch to Pete Armetta, an amazing writer who I’m proud to be able to say ‘I knew him then…’. Here’s some information about Pete (which I did not write), to be followed by Pete’s answers to a few questions which are actually harder to answer than one might think. So first, heeeeeeere’s Pete:

Pete Armetta is a new writer of Flash Fiction, Poetry, Short Stories and Essays. With a style that’s accessible and broad, his poetry and stories fend off conventionality.

He’s impossible to pigeonhole.

Pete’s a native New Yorker living in Charlottesville, VA, via too many other places to count. It’s a life of big sky and mountains and dogwoods and hawks. Of back roads and wood-burning stoves. It’s bourbon and mint from the garden in spring and swimming in the river in summer. Currently pursuing writing fellowships and residencies, Pete writes full-time, shedding that former button-down existence to fully embrace his craft.

You only live once right?

Pete’s work has been published or is upcoming in Estuary Magazine, Hük Magazine, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Inclement Magazine, Zest Literary Journal, Gadfly Magazine, The River Journal, Marco Polo Arts Mag, Expats Poetry, Subtle Fiction, Take It To The Street Poetry, Best New Poems, Cynic Magazine, Blue Lake Review, the Stone Path Review and numerous anthologies. His short stories have been regularly featured in The Piker Press. Pete’s first poetry chapbook, New Future was published by Lost & Found Press in 2012 and is free for the taking.

{May 14, 2014}   Her Imposter

when he begins to pull away
he does it slowly,
like a bandage caked with blood, peeled off careful,
to lessen the pain,
she doesn’t let on, that she feels it already,
pieces of her flesh tearing, still stubbornly clinging tight,
but oh how she wants to rip it off at once,
just to get it over with,
dancing mechanical with her shadow self
her heart slides and hides in the darkest corner
as her imposter takes the driver’s seat
for appearances sake,
the one who cares for nothing, the way nothing cares for her,
the girl who lives inside her mirror, looking just like her,
down to that freckle right there, in his favorite place,
the one he labels sexy, just to see her blush,
the imposter can carry on and play his games,
while her bloodied heart stays in seclusion,
until the coast is clear
and she can reemerge once again
back to the solitude that constantly calls her name



The sweetest alien fell to the earth and man, can she write! Last week Ali asked me to participate in a Blog Tour. I said yes before I knew what I was saying yes to, that’s how much I love Ali. I didn’t realize what an honor it was to be asked until I realized I was going to be writing about my writing process. I am very honored to involved in The Writing Process Blog Tour, and delighted to be able to pass it on. Here’s a link to Ali’s blog, and with no further ado, let us commence.

1.) What are you working on?
Too many things at once! Oh wait, sorry, I think I’m supposed to keep that to myself so I don’t sound scatterbrained and unorganized. Ahem.
Truth is I have a few irons in the fire right now, I’m spending a lot of my fiction-writing time fine tuning a novel length urban fantasy about a girl and her Muse who get caught up in an Apocalyptic war amongst the Djinn. I’m also working on a vampire romance as well as my own version of the Persephone Myth but no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to keep myself away from writing poetry/prose. I just love to write, and writing here, on my blog, gives me an opportunity to play with words. Ok I cannot tell a lie, my most serious, now off-line project I’m working on is The Tower Story, about a girl surviving the apocalypse in Cape May NJ and I was afraid I’d jinx it if I said it. I think there’s a special unjinx thingy if you’re being honest though. Did I mention I’m unemployed and allocate my time? Still sound scatterbrained? I’m more organized than I sound. Really!

2.) How does your work differ from others of its genre?
In my opinion, regardless of what we write, we can’t help but be influenced by our own life experiences. Does that mean I’ve had experiences with vampires or Djinn? While I’d love to answer that with a resounding yes, unfortunately I haven’t, so that’s where the making-stuff-up part comes into play. I know that there are countless excellent books out there written in the same genre that I’m drawn to and it’s important that my own style shines through. I believe the sum of my parts have given me a multifaceted unique view of the world, therefore I believe I have a multifaceted unique voice. It’s important to me that the words I write be relatable to each reader, so while I may be writing about vampires or Djinn or crazy mad Muses, I try to humanize them to a certain degree.

3.) Why do you write what you do?
I guess for the most part I write what I would like to read. I’ve been an avid reader from the start and was lucky enough to have access to an endless amount of books. Most of my employment history consists of managing bookstores but even as a kid I always had a book with me wherever I went. I’ve been known to sit alone in a corner reading while a loud band was playing in a club. Those novels later turned to blank books as I began to write song lyrics. A lot of what I write comes from observing anything and everything, then filling in the blanks, but I’ve always been drawn to all things paranormal and apocalyptic. Maybe it’s partly from being a Baby Boomer who remembers getting into position under my school desk when we had Air Raid Drills, or some of the apocalyptic images burned in my brain from Catholic School and Revelations. I still remember being a kid and dreaming about the end of the world and thinking about surviving it, going so far as to dig myself a little shelter in the clay pits up the street, complete with shelves, tables, and a sleeping area. When I was really young, maybe 7 or 8 years old I would kneel on the backseat of the car on the drive back from Grandma’s house and pretend the car lights behind us were dragons or monsters chasing after us and all the cars ahead of us had already gotten away safe and we were the next in line. In my tiny little mind I knew the only way we’d get home safe was if I kept watching them so I wouldn’t take my eyes off those monster-lights till we got off the Parkway, for some reason, off the Parkway was the safe zone. I’d dream of Angels and then I’d dream of vampires. One vampire dream was so real I actually checked my neck the following morning as the dream took place in my room with me dressed in the same clothes I fell asleep in, and I woke up feeling drained. I was only 16 when I had that dream. Although I would read anything about anything when I was a kid, I gravitated towards the paranormal direction, so I guess it’s only natural that my writing is influenced by my favorite books. If I had to pick one book that influenced my writing choices/needs, it would be The Stand by Steven King; it’s got all my favorites, an apocalypse, a battle between Good and Evil, mystical magical happenings… yeah, that book left a big impression on me.

4.) How does your writing process work?
My writing process is pretty simple, I just write. I write what I want to read for the most part. My blog is a big part of my writing process because I can experiment, try different things as I search for my voice. I try to push myself to do things I’m not comfortable with, for example, dialogue: it’s been a fear of mine so I force myself to write dialogue as much as possible. I’m also grateful for the theater classes I took throughout high school because I’m able to step into my characters shoes, so to speak, it helps me especially with dialogue and enables me to look at things in a different way than the actual “me” might. I’ve heard writers talk about whether the plot drives the character or the character drives the plot, I try to let the characters move the plot along rather than the other way around. Oh who am I kidding, the characters usually don’t give me a choice! When I’m doing some of my best writing it’s like the characters are just using my fingers to tell their story. And when things like that happen, it’s a very good thing.

5.) Say who is on next week (up to three people you would tag), and provide a bio and link to their website).
I hate to be a copycat, but as with sweet Ali, I’m still on the waiting part with my fellow hoppers, and will unfortunately have to add them here or write another post tomorrow. I didn’t want to wait to post this so I’m looking at it this way; now we have more time to read sweet Ali’s post, as well as Silverleaf’s, and hop around their blogs before hopping around some others 😀 Although it may be a day late, I guarantee it’ll be worth the wait.


et cetera