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 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/



dbcb
And that was the first time I saw my Mother punch my boyfriend in the face.
Let’s put it in reverse and start from the beginning, shall we?
It started out innocently enough. Sometimes, Lori and Mark and Bobby and I did what passed for entertainment in Sayreville back in the day, we drove around town with a six-pack or two blasting really cool, mostly obscure music also known as Punk Rock and it’s roots. The New York Dolls, Alice Cooper, Silverhead, Mott The Hoople, The Stooges, The Sweet to name a few, as well as Ramones, Dead Boys, Buzzcocks, Sex Pistols, Heartbreakers, you know, all the good stuff.
There wasn’t much to do around town, the drinking age had just been raised (I was grandfathered in so I was able to drink at 18) but there wasn’t a rock scene to speak of much closer than New York City.
I have no idea who came up with the harebrained scheme but it wasn’t me. I think.
One minute Lori was dropping us off one at a time at our respective houses, next thing I know she and I were back in her little Volkswagen sneakily on our way to CBGB’s.
Without our boyfriends.
Well, it’s not like any of us were engaged or anything.
It was a Friday night, but there wasn’t anything big going on at CBGB’s that night band-wise. There weren’t a lot of people there but the ones who were there were the crème de la crème, at least in my big blue eyes.
I remember sauntering in, Merv in his yellow hardhat near the door giving us the nod that meant ‘walk right in and sit yourself down’ as Lori and I walked in, looking for an empty seat at the bar. I figured we should go say hi to Cosmo but it wasn’t to be.
That’s about the time I felt a leather-clad arm wrap around my waist and pull me in, planting a kiss on me while ruffling my hair.
It was him.
I mean THE Him, as in Steve, the man/boy I lost my virginity to.
Yeah, I know, everyone called him Stiv but his name was Steve and he was the lead singer for my favorite band, The Dead Boys.
*Sorry Mama, I can’t censure myself, and besides, it’s not like it’s a big secret! Besides also, remember, you went out with musicians before you got married too, so apples and trees.*
I guess it was Rock Star Night because Cheetah Chrome and some of the rest of the Dead Boys were there, as well as Joey Ramone, a bunch of roadies and other bands but the truth is all I knew was Stiv pulled me on his lap and talked me into sipping his Margareta (I hate tequila!) and my mind went blank. In my defense I was only 18 with a history of nearly zero boyfriends… yes I know, Bobby, but we were dating, we weren’t exclusive yet (um, I think).
I was young, innocent, inexperienced, infatuated, and my Rock Idol was asking me to come back to The Diplomat Hotel with him and a few of his friends for a bit.
Lori, in the meantime, had managed to hook up with Joey Ramone in her tiny little Volkswagen. I was on my own for awhile anyway so away we went.
One of the best parts was sitting in the back seat of Stiv’s friend’s car singing along to Staying Alive by the Bee Gees. Well that and his hand on my leg, but I digress.
We hung out for awhile as they all snorted coke and I said “no thank you” then went back to CB’s within in hour.
Lori was gone.
She left me in New York alone.
She left me in New York alone and we were on a sneaky mission!!!
I was so dead.
~
I guess I have to weigh the good against the bad, so the good outweighs the bad, at least in my memory.
Imagine, you’re 18 years old and the Rock Star you lost you virginity to a few months ago hails a cab and brings you back to his room at The Diplomat Hotel to sleep over and take a train home the next morning. Imagine lying next to him while he plays Iggy Pop’s Kill City over and over, you know, the one with the song “Johanna” (which my Mother really wanted to name me), imagine him saying all the right things, recognizing and acknowledging my innocence, talking and treating me gently and sweetly (at least that time and I really am going to Hell aren’t I?), as he continued to do for years. But again, I digress.
I don’t know why I didn’t think of it, but I should have known.
After sitting with Stiv making phone calls (no cell phones back then kiddies) to make sure someone could pick me up at the bus station I hopped in a cab, got on a bus where I proceeded to tell a complete stranger my entire night and finally, there was my friend and savior, JB (RIP), waiting to pick me up.
He dropped me off in front of my house and like a scene from an Afternoon School Special about abusive boyfriends, Bobby’s car came flying down the street and I mean flying. He slammed on his brakes and sprang out of his car, hand around my upper arm pulling me into his car, screaming at me incoherently.
That’s when it happened.
My Mother, the one I’d lied to by telling her I was sleeping over a girlfriend’s house, flew out of the house, grabbed my other arm yanking me away from Bobby and then she let loose with an Irish Temper fueled punch right to his face.
I’m not talking ethics or morals or who was right or wrong, but let me tell you, it’s kinda awesome to see your Mom punch somebody in the face on your behalf when they deserve it. And Bobby deserved it, as you’ll find out…to be continued…
punch
AUTHORS NOTE: I wrote this bit for the daily prompt, but in all honesty, I’ve got a WIP going on offline, non-fiction, because you know me, it’s all about me, me, me! Right? (be careful how you answer that) Point is, I guess this is kinda a first draft of something I have up my sleeve because after all, they say write what you know and what do I know better than my past? Especially since it really was pretty awesome!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/daily-prompt-lets-go-crazy/

Sometimes, we act on impulse: it could be something as small as ordering that special dessert on the menu, maybe asking out that cute boy or girl, or as large quitting your job and selling everything you own to become a shepherd in New Zealand. What’s the most crazy, outrageously impulsive thing you’ve ever done? If you’ve never succumbed to temptation, dream a little. If you gave yourself permission to go a little crazy, what would you do?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us IMPULSE.



cindere
I am woman hear me roar.
Not that it does me any good to roar, I am still always cast in the role of Cinderella.
You remember her: “Cinderella, Cinderella, all I hear is Cinderella, from the moment that I get up, there isn’t any let up”*
Yeah, that’s me.
From the moment that my feet hit the floor I know what I’m in for: a big fat mess waiting for somebody to clean it up.
Would you like to play a game and guess who that somebody is? You get three guesses and the first two don’t count so that leaves me.
See, I don’t have a job. You know, a real job that requires me to leave this house and do something that results in a paycheck.
Nope, no paycheck for me because housework doesn’t count when you have two children and five animals to clean up after. Oh wait, they’re not children, they are adults, the hubs and his older sister.
And guess what? They are worse than an overcrowded kindergarten class.
“I’ll clean this up later” is a favorite, it turns into a Mexican standoff (hey, that’s a real phrase, if you’re looking for politically correct you’re in the wrong place) as to who can hold out longer, the slobs or me. And as usual, I fold first because I can’t abide living in filth and disarray.
Just take a look around, see what I mean?
For those of you without x-ray vision allow me to describe my immediate surroundings:
Chinese takeout for dinner last night (which by the way, I didn’t eat one bite because I was upstairs writing) is still sitting on the counter, smack dab in front of my tea kettle. Half empty beer bottles and overflowing ashtrays are mixed amongst the left-out-all-night Chinese leftovers and we are now on bowl number five full of those little packets of duck sauce and all that stuff they fill the bags with. Allow me to add that they are never, and I mean never used.
There are empty cans of dog food sitting on the counter and may I add that the sink is full of dirty dishes? I guess it’s too much work to take that one step to the dishwasher and put them in, I mean after all, less than 12 inches away from the sink is much too strenuous for the average lazy person.
I’m going to Hell, aren’t I?
Ok so in the midst of writing my little tantrum, I had to stop and go to ShopRite to buy food because as usual, there’s another blizzard on the way and I had to make sure I had enough tea.
I lied, I did get tea but I also got an order for the week so it was a decent amount of time that I was gone.
Thinking I’d come back to at the very least, a cleaned off countertop, I was sadly disappointed and had to clean the counters so I could empty the bags so I could put the food away then pull out the makings for homemade lasagna (I’m a sucker and a chump)which also required me to run and unload the dishwasher in order to have room to- oh forget it, you get the idea.
I am Cinderella and Rapunzel with a dash of Snow White thrown in.
There’s also some Buffy The Vampire Slayer mixed in there but she only comes out when I’m sticking up for anyone who isn’t me. I’m beginning to realize that is about to change.
So yeah, I can roar with the best of them, and believe me, not only am I woman, but I am a hell of a woman; I just need to remind myself of that fact a little more often.
And maybe throw either A. a tantrum or B. everything that isn’t cleaned up either in the garbage, or in the person responsible for the mess’s bed.
Or possibly both.
Or I can go with my usual, What Would Buffy Do?
buffyme

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/01/prompt-chain-gang/
*Cinderella song from the Disney version.



{December 22, 2013}   Cherish ~ Daily Prompt

sexytempta

i wonder sometimes if you realize
how i cherish you
it’s not just the way you press all my buttons
or your power to make me lose control over my ability to speak
on certain occasions
it’s not the way you glow so bright it can hurt my eyes
or the way you make me believe i’m worthy,
a feeling i’m not quite comfortable with
as you point out to me,
there’s a twinkle in your eyes that mesmerizes me
and when i see you looking back i shiver,
you can loosen your tie one minute or unzip your jeans the next,
makes no matter to me what color your collar is,
not when you slipped that invisible collar, the one that counts, round my neck,
marked me as yours long before i knew it,
once upon a time you gave me the gift of my self,
you stole a piece of my soul and filled it with this,
me,
cherishing you,
bits of us merged together always
seexxy

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/22/prompt-number-one/
sexyrosepearl



et cetera