joannebest











This isn’t quite accurate as far as a Secret Santa Prompt, but in a way, it is, because William The Bloody Good Kitten was a secret gift from me to my husband.https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/secret-santa/
And I’m a rule-bender, so with no further ado, meet my secret pre-Santa gift.

wills1Now perhaps you can see why my life has been hijacked by cuteness.

wills2He loves to sit on my legs and I have the scratches to prove it.

wills4He does look good in blue….

wills5...and he knows it.

wills6He wanted to learn how to roll cigarettes.

wills7He’s obsessed with my computer.

wills8Which means anything I write that turns out bad is William’s fault.

wills10William wanted a quick shower but quickly realized the dishwasher wasn’t the answer.

wills11He decided to give me a bad review on Yelp after I showed him Siamese cat videos on Youtube.

wills15He’s very observant.

wills16And always ready to attack anyone who bothers me. He thinks only he can attack me.

wills17But when it comes down to it, William is pretty damn awesome!

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jessicag

Since I’ve been told on more than one occasion I’m a ‘show-off’, (I am so not a show-off, well, unless the category is Guilt for $1000 Mr.Trebeck) I’m going to give my bragging rights to my cousin Jessica. You see, she’s earned them in one of the most painful ways I could ever imagine, she fell more than 40 feet and basically broke her back.
There are medical terms involving vertebrae and pelvic bones but it boils down to this: a young woman just barely out of her teens is now lying in a hospital bed and will be in a wheelchair for months. And of course, since we share the same bloodline, she has the luck of the Irish because this happened to her the day before she was going on vacation with her Mom.
You might be wondering why I consider an unexpected drop over the edge of a waterfall something to brag about, but that’s not the part I’m bragging about.
What I am bragging about is her Irish Step Dancing attitude.
We all remember what it’s like to be a teenager, the default mode for most of us could probably be summed up in two words: “why me?”. Come on, you know you said those words, or something similar a million times as a teenager. I know I did. I was sulky and whiny and felt like there were invisible neon arrows pointing straight at me, making me a target for all that was bad.
Jess has every right in the world to feel sorry for herself but you know what? She’s not.
She’s feeling grateful to be alive, thankful for all the prayers being said on her behalf, and determined to make it through this nightmare and come out of it stronger than ever.
Allow me to share Jessica’s status update on facebook:
jessicag1

“life is truly something that shouldn’t be taken for granted. it is pointless to stress, worry, and have a rotten attitude towards everything. life is an amazing gift. i have come to realize that i am very lucky to have walked away from my accident with the injuries i have. although the pain is unbearable i have to be strong and fight through this. not sure who was watching over me, but i am extremely thankful; i could’ve died in more ways than one. we all have a purpose in life, we are here for a reason. so whether your hurting from a broken heart, depression, loss, anything; please don’t give up you’re here for a reason, everyone is. god all has us living a story, and mine isn’t over yet. i appreciate more than anyone knows with their hopes and prayers. my pelvis is broken in five different places; and a cracked vertebrae in my lower back. they also found very small kidney stones but they will be taken care of after this recovery. cannot walk for two months, & cannot work for four to six months. if anyone needs to contact me text me, if i don’t answer my phone it’s because it doesn’t receive all messages. so message me on here. i will get a new phone soon. the long road to recovery begins, but i will sure as hell fight through this. thank you everyone.”

~
This, my friends, should be a lesson to us all. We live, we (hopefully) learn, and we grow to become whoever it is we become. I hope one day, when I finally grow up, I can learn to be as brave as my cousin Jessica. She is a true inspiration and I am proud to share a branch with her on the Family Tree. I’m thinking (hoping) it just may be the Writing Branch of our Tree.

jessicag2 My beautiful cousin Jessica in green. Look out world, she’ll be back soon, stronger than ever.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/right-to-brag/
Tell us about something you (or a person close to you) have done recently (or not so recently) that has made you really, unabashedly proud.



{May 7, 2014}   Entertain Them

mic1
It’s always loud.
People.
Laughing talking drinking arguing bodies pressed against each other humming electric.
Waiting.
Sometimes they’re waiting for me.
Of course I’m not stupid enough to believe it’s just me, it’s the whole band. And it doesn’t make it easier knowing that more than half the crowd consists of far better musicians than myself.
It can be petrifying, nothing but me and a mic-stand on a stage surrounded by real musicians.
As I peek out from backstage I flash back to the day I ran out of the auditions for the high school musical because I was afraid to sing alone in front of my chorus teacher.
I see familiar faces mixed amongst strangers eyes. It’s times like these I’m glad I only wear my glasses when I drive, I figure it’s ok because I only have one bad eye. Don’t tell my eye doctor I said that.
The faces are a blur for the most part but I can tell who’s who, hell, if I squint a little I can see who’s standing at the back door smoking a cigarette outside the exit.
So I try not to squint.
It’s time. There’s no turning back. The me that hates being the center of attention, the shy girl, she’s got no say in the matter.
The me that decided it’s my life? Well I’m me, deal with it or don’t.
She’s the me that slinks onto the stage, stares them all in the eye as I spill my blood.
Here they are now entertain them.
mic2
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/witness-protection/
this is my response to the daily prompt, ‘witness protection’ with this description: When you do something scary or stressful — bungee jumping, public speaking, etc. — do you prefer to be surrounded by friends or by strangers? Why? It brought to mind my still-on-hiatus band, and these words…



{May 6, 2014}   Yours

yours
when you call me pet
or you tell me i am yours
my whole world glistens

yours1

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/pick-me-up/
~This is the prompt today, whether it fits the technical definition of haiku or not, this is my version of the haiku style we were taught in school~ and the prompt is: What is the one word or phrase that immediately cheers you up when you hear it?



{May 5, 2014}   Between Heaven And Hell

perseph2
It was mostly my own fault.
Maybe I should take all the blame but when I think about it, and believe me, it’s all I think about lately, I was seduced.
Seduced by the idea of something new.
Something different than the same thing day in and day out.
Sure my life was a beautiful day after day. Always surrounded by nature, the warmth of the sun on my face as I’d stroll lazy through the fields of colorful flowers. Admiring the fruits of my Mother’s labor never failed to comfort me. Look up the definition of “green thumb” in an encyclopedia and there’s a good chance you’ll see her picture instead of a wordy definition.
I, on the other hand, have what I like to call a “black thumb”. I can’t even grow a weed never mind breathtakingly beautiful fields of flowers like she can.
It’s not like I haven’t tried. Since I was a tiny little girl barely able to walk on my own I’d cling to her, follow her everywhere hoping to be just like her when I grew up. Gardening, for lack of a better word, comes as easy to my Mother as breathing, naturally I expected to follow in her footsteps, make her proud of me. Create something beautiful.
Actually that’s what was on my mind that day. I was giving myself a mental scolding after another unsuccessful attempt at growing something. I’ll never be like her, she could wave her hand and just like that, the most perfect roses in a shade of red unlike no other would appear.
Breathtaking.
Me? I could barely walk through the woods without tripping over an unseen tree root.
I was not the daughter my Mother deserved.
My thoughts grew darker as I walked through a field of forget-me-nots, coincidently one of my favorite flowers, so engrossed in the pity party going on in my head I stopped paying attention to my surroundings.
And just my luck, that’s when Hades appeared and stole me away.
~
To say it’s complicated doesn’t come close to describing my relationship with Hades.
I know all the stories out there; abduction, rape, trickery and deceit. Hades gets a kick out of them, it adds to his reputation, he says. I say it all depends on the way you look at it.
My Mother insists it’s just a stage I’m going through, that every girl goes through a Bad Boy phase and eventually I’ll grow weary of the Underworld. She said if Hades loves me as much as he says he does he’d let me go for more than a few months a year to make me happy.
But that, me being happy, was the whole problem.
Because no matter what I did, someone would be hurt. The thing is, I like it down here in the Underworld. And I wasn’t a girl any more, I was a woman.
Besides, what’s not to like? Down here I’m treated like a Queen. Hades showers me with anything I desire. He even got me a kitten knowing he’s allergic to them. Just because he rules Hell doesn’t mean he doesn’t have allergies too.
See what I mean? Just like my Mother says, I’m always making excuses for Hades.
The problem is I’m torn.
I’m a Mama’s girl in love with every Mother’s nightmare.
I’m also a people pleaser and that’s why it’s mostly all my fault.
I knew what I was doing when I ate those pomegranate seeds. I knew I was going to have to split my time between two different places, two different lives.
What I didn’t know was that the walls of both places were going to start closing in on me.
There was only one thing I could do, my Mother had sent Thelxiepeia and her Siren sisters to find me and Thellie had been the only one to find me. She was also the only one who knew my secrets.
It was time for me to call Thellie.
perseph4
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/a-tale-of-two-cities
AUTHORS NOTE~ this is my response to prompt ‘a tale of two cities’, I couldn’t stop thinking about Persephone and her living in two different places hence my response…although I have a Persephone series/WIP, this is a stand-alone story but does not contradict anything else I’ve previously written.



{April 24, 2014}   MonkeeMania

monkees
My entire body trembled, my heart pounding as Gail Jeanne and I made our way down the aisle to our center stage seats.
We weren’t teenagers anymore, but we’d been too young the first time around, back when The Monkees were in our living rooms once a week, and there was no way my Father was going to let single-digit me go to a concert no matter how many tears I shed.
My Parents indulged me enough when it came to my Monkee Mania. The Monkees lunchbox, a Monkees hardcover binder for my schoolwork, every Tiger Beat and Sixteen magazine with every important update about Micky, Davy, Peter and Mike I could find. I even had a groovy little white and red plastic record player that only played records when you closed it (because the needle was in the lid) and every single album and 45 the Monkees put out. If it said “The Monkees” on whatever it was, I wanted it. Although I never did get that 4 headed Monkees talking hand puppet.
And yes, I even wore a Monkees costume one Halloween, Micky Dolenz because he was my favorite Monkee.
But I digress.
I don’t even know how it happened, it’s all a blur when I look back on it. I was heading into my late 20’s and I turned into a giddy teenage girl finally getting to see her teen idols when Gail and I somehow became cohorts in that Immortal Summer Of Monkee Mania.
Atlantic City was the first show in New Jersey, a two hour drive give or take, and don’t hold me to it but I’m pretty sure we listened to Monkees music the whole ride. All I can remember is giddy girlie giggling.
I mean, we were about to see our Teen Idols, we were excited!!!
They were doing two shows that night and we had tickets for the second show so we wandered a little bit around the casino. There may have been cocktails, after all, we were seeing our Teen Idols but we weren’t teenagers anymore.
Standing outside the theater was driving us crazy, knowing they were right there on the other side of the annoyingly soundproof wall and I just kept checking my watch trying to make time move faster.
Gail had a better idea.
Like opening the doors and walking right in.
It was the encore as I recall, so security was lax.
When we walked into Daydream Believer I was 8 years old again and I couldn’t help it. I immediately cried.
Shut up you.
They weren’t heaving sobs, just the kind of tears you get when you’re so happy your eyes get watery because you’re smiling so hard you hit your tear ducts.
It’s a thing.
Then came our turn, our show, time for us to finally see our Teen Idols.
Ok so money was exchanged so we could bribe our way were shown to front row seats, it was The Monkees! We had to be up front!
Remember how I said it was a blur? It really was because I have no linear timeline in my head for that whole crazy Monkees Summer, all I remember is the feeling of pure happiness, right there, just a few feet away, close enough to touch and, one minute we’re singing and screaming and then Gail goes for it and jumps up onstage and throws her arms around Micky. At that moment in time, Gail became my hero. It was awesome! Micky was having fun with it and then the security guys came onstage and gave her a talking to and uninvited her from future visits to their fine establishment which was actually pretty cool of them to not call the police.
I felt so bad she couldn’t see the rest of the show that night. After we got her out of the security office Gail and I knew we had no choice, we had to see them again. As many times as humanly possible.
Talk about a blur, I just have flashes of show after show in NJ and NY, always up front. Gail talking our way backstage and getting their autographs and photographs taken with each of them which they later autographed at another show.
The night we saw them at the pier in NYC Gail and I took the train in. We decided we needed a “We love you Monkees” banner because, um, because, just because we wanted to.
Hell, we missed it the first time around because we were too young, The Monkees have a lot of awesome songs and it was like we stole the TARDIS and went back in time, those shows were just like the footage we’d seen of their concerts in their heyday. Females and males alike of every age were screaming and singing along, crying and hysterics, it truly felt like Gail and I had gone back in time and damn, they really sounded good. They also played their own instruments for any naysayers out there.
The day before that show I got a white sheet and some red and black magic markers and made the banner we’re holding in the above picture (I’m in the middle above the heart), what you can’t see is what the magazine cropped out of the picture; since Mike Nesmith decided not to do the tour it didn’t seem right to put his name there. Ok so I, as a fan, was pissed he wasn’t joining the tour so instead of writing his name I drew a bottle of Liquid Paper because Mike Nesmith’s Mom invented Liquid Paper.
Well the Monkee-boys seemed amused when they saw it.
Actually they all signed it and Gail and I share joint custody of it. It’s almost my turn with our autographed baby.
That entire summer was based around The Monkees but alas, I wasn’t able to go to Las Vegas with Gail to see them, where she not only spent time with them but also, if I’m not mistaken, did some babysitting for Davy and his wife. During the summer we’d become such familiar faces and eventually met them and most of their spouses and some of their children. One of my favorite memories is sitting with Davy Jones’s youngest daughter, I think she was around 4 or 5 years old; anyway she was fascinated by my armful of dangly glittery bracelets so I gave her one and I can still remember the smile on her face. In some strange way it was almost as if I had come full circle, as if me giving something of mine to a Monkees’ daughter was a way for me to give them back something for all the joy and happiness they gave me over the years when I was a child.
And yes I do realize you might have to bend your vision around a few corners to see my point, it makes more sense in my head.
They usually say never meet your idols because you’ll probably be disappointed.
I’m happy to say in this case, they are wrong.
~
monkees2
AUTHORS NOTE: While there are still a lot of fun little details to be told about the Summer of Monkee Mania, I have to hold something
back for my WIP…I will give you this though, I will be producing photograph proof of Gail Jeanne onstage with Micky Dolenz. Because it’s kinda cool…

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/teen-age-idol/



{April 22, 2014}   Showdown ~ Daily Post

hand4
out of nowhere i’m back there
flying head-on into my past,
it hits me hard and
bruises me,
like the time you slapped me across the face
outside that store on st. marks place
mad because i was without you
or your permission,
a stranger walked by and told you to stop,
in retrospect i’m surprised you did
but i just filed it away,
forgot it like the rest of the night and like so many other times, i  made my fake excuses,
i left with you because 17 knew no better,
a self proclaimed king possessed you
and you sat me on red velvet because i was your queen,
meant to be at your side,
everybody worshipped the you they imagined
and your puffed-up pride inflated
along with your legion of fans
but i always kept your secrets,
that other version of you showed up again,
when you backed me against the bathroom wall of cbgb’s
before you smacked my face for talking to someone who wasn’t you,
my words were meant for you alone,
that’s what you told me so that’s how it was,
and i walked out the door with you, hand in hand
because you loved me,
you drove my car into a telephone pole that night
even though i was driving, you grabbed the wheel,
but still, it was my fault you said,
right before your knife slid into my thigh
and blood dripped down my leg,
it wasn’t your intention but
you woke me up that night, brought out my violent
when my fist hit your face without thought,
truth is i was more upset about my ’68 chevelle than bleeding on my favorite jeans,
but you finally brought out my irish and i kept on walking,
deaf to your promises of white picket fences and a dog on a leash,
i walked away,
it was the other ones,
‘friends’ crawling out of the mud
because they all knew you when,
they made you a legend after you died
living your rock star dream,
but even after all that time,
inbetween the always phone calls
and all the ‘we shoulda’s’ from you up to the bitter end
we both know without a doubt,
the last thought you would have would be of me
you reminded me the other night, we were right,
when you made your latest dreamtime visit,
to tell me you still love me
hand
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/showdown-at-big-sky/



black moon3
because the night can hide a multitude of sins
or expose the brilliance of countless stars,
it keeps me doubtful of it’s loyalty,
i’m unsure of where i stand,
who i trust,
i’m fearful of the shadows and unable to determine
anything,
once,
we switched the order of day and night,
living like vampires we fed off each other
and the whole world went away,
we barricaded the doors and locked the windows
until we nearly ran out of air,
i followed you then, straight into the sun,
the heat was welcome but i was blinded by the glare,
before i knew it i faded away,
every trace of me scattered across the vast wasteland
and like a waning moon,
you never even noticed i was gone,
blackmoon
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/because-the-night/



{April 16, 2014}   Becoming Me ~ Only Sixteen

1moreofme
Confession: when I was sixteen years old I started to become me.
Becoming me didn’t come without a price, I was pretty much a pariah once my Faerie Godmothers got their hands on me and transformed me into a swan.
You know, if swans wore red lipstick and hung out at gay bars and underground dance clubs in NYC on a regular basis.
While the other girls in school were buying prom dresses and doing whatever other normal girlie things they did, I was being plucked and primped and made-over by my gay best friends. Transformed.
I was a quiet book-nerd with not a lot of girl friends, but for some reason I had a handful of really close boy friends who just happened to be gay. I may have been 16 but they were 17 and 18, not much of a difference really but in the later ’70’s, 17 and 18 came with drivers licenses and an entrance to brand new world, where I didn’t have to have fluffy hair and bouncy boobs but instead was embraced for me, all 100 pounds of me. And at five feet nine and a half inches there wasn’t much surplus weight for bouncy boobs. But I digress.
Sixteen years old. How can it seem so long ago yet just like yesterday?
I was so lucky.
Timing isn’t my strong suit but this was one time my timing was timely.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show was just beginning it’s weekend midnight ritual, I wish I kept count of how many times I saw it but I know it was move than 50. It showed every weekend half a block from Manny’s Den, a low key gay bar in New Brunswick, and if we weren’t there, we were at The Gallery in NYC, where the weird and wonderful went to dance.
The beauty of it all was I could tell my Parents where I was going, as long as I was with my gay friends I could go out at 10pm and come home at 9 the next morning (on weekends only, I may have forgotten to mention the times I ditched school to hang out in the city for a few hours).
I can’t do The Gallery justice. A members-only club, hidden amongst dismal surroundings by the Bowery, but inside was Heaven. Nicky Siano was a friend of my GBFF Steven and it was Nicky’s club. New York Magazine called The Gallery, “one of the five most visually breathtaking nightspots of our time” for a reason; it was amazing. Balloons everywhere, mannequins, artwork of all kinds, indescribable light shows and huge gigantic puffy pillows strewn everywhere. Oh yeah, all kinds of celebrities hung there too but that wasn’t a big deal to me.
It was the music.
It’s no secret I’m a Punk Rocker at heart but a good beat is a good beat and when I can feel the bass pumping through my veins and hundreds of people are dancing while the lights go wild, well, how can you not move?
And I gotta tell you, you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen Grace Jones carried onto a stage like Cleopatra by all these muscle men before she belts out a song.
When we were at The Gallery, me just 16 years old, we were invincible. Monday mornings always brought reality check time with it and I was (usually) back in school, another ignored teenage misfit but inside? Inside I was smiling. I was engraving those memories onto my sixteen year old brain looking forward to making more. It was good armor for the desolation of being 16 and all the emotions that come with it.
~
Because I’m feeling nostalgic already on this very subject, I’m including 2 links for anyone who wants to bother, you can click and see some pictures of The Gallery. It just so happens that Nicky’s movie about The Gallery is coming out this week. It’s extra sad for me that I have to add that Frankie Knuckles narrates the movie and he passed away a few weeks ago. Frankie Knuckles is a legend himself, when I went to his birthday party a few years ago he let me touch his Grammy, which is supposed to be good luck, and when we went back to his living room Chaka Khan came in and sang Happy Birthday to him. RIP Frankie, a huge loss to the music world.
Also, the illustrations were drawn by one of my GBFF’s Robert Ambrose. We’d sit around his room and he’d sketch me and some of our adventures. He would have been a famous fashion designer but he died when he was 22 from brain cancer. I’ll never forget him and always love him. This was sketched after a night out. Yeah, I wore harem pants and platform shoes.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/only-sixteen/
1ofme
http://www.nickysiano.com/Bio.htm

http://www.groovescooter.com/catalogue/nickysianogallery.html



hiddenhug
once,
you whispered in my ear
telling me we are inevitable because
we just are,
i grinned in return,
positive i heard you wrong over the beat of the band,
wondering how you were able to see the invisible girl,

once,
you claimed me as yours
just to keep me safe from harm and
i smiled and agreed, laughing the whole while,
knowing your warrior instincts kicked in,
as you would never leave a damsel in distress,
even though i’m tough enough to save myself
the flash in your eyes was enough to scare away the riff-raff,
making my heart beat a bit faster, yet not knowing why

once,
you took me by surprise,
unaware that your arms were about to wrap around me,
pulling me closer,
into your leather-clad embrace,
the world melted away when your mouth took mine,
a hint of possession in your kiss
my surrender unmistakable when you made my knees buckle
and i sank into the inevitable
hiddenhold
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/prompt-moments-to-remember/



et cetera