Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year , New Projects, New Ideas!

Welcome to the first post of 2014 folks! Lets get right to it, shall we?

1. Picture time! www.DaveBoyerPhoto.com  check it out!

2. Here's a link to Bareback Lit magazine and a promotion I'm running with them 

3. We can't do this without you! http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-goldminds-showcase-project

4. We're doing great things!  check us out at : http://www.skysajeenterprise.com

5. Alice Pero will feature Sunday, Jan 19,  at the Wanda Coleman Memorial.  She will be doing a flute solo Time: 2 pm PST Location: The Church in Ocean Park, 235 Hill St., Santa Monica 90405 Be there if you can!  

6. Open mic night at the creative wellness center: 320 North Goodman Street
Rochester, NY 14607 P-(585)325-3145, ext. 144 January 16th 2014 5:30-7 :00 p.m. all welcome!


Saturday, December 21, 2013

On to 2014!

1.For Fantasy; Sci-Fi Authors: Need book promotion and review? We can feature your novel in Fantascize.com and advertise it in an active Fantasy &Sci-fi page with 226,000+ Likes- http://www.facebook.com/fantasyscifi , where you can reach thousands of readers. Email us at fantasynscifi@gmail.com if you're interested.

2. https://www.facebook.com/events/553773531364999/?ref_dashboard_filter=calendar 
Check it out and come if you can! 

3. https://www.facebook.com/events/1394617567449795/?ref_dashboard_filter=calendar
Check this out too. go if you can! 

4.  Junk.tank poetry series @Amante.in 2850 Baseline in Boulder,CO 720-612-7901
Amante is pleased to open a new location in Boulder, using the same bean, brand and feel of our other stores. Located at 2850 Baseline Rd, we have sufficient parking around the back. Ample seating downstairs, a comfortable lounge upstairs for our sports watchers, and a beautiful outdoor patio with a fireplace and an amazing view of Boulder's Flatirons. Stop by to energize for school or work, or stop by afterwards for a beer, wine or cocktail!We are in the new Baseline Crossing Development located next to Sprouts, across the street from Denny's. We are excited to serve you!

5. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-goldminds-showcase-project/x/151759 
We're looking to produce this event in October of 2015 but we have to put a deposit on the space long before then. This is phase one of the fundraising efforts so please give what you can!

6. https://www.facebook.com/events/553773531364999/?ref_dashboard_filter=calendar


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

First "Grandamama Wanda" now Nelson Mandela. Who's next?

Hi folks: We're losing a lot of the great ones huh?  Here's a few new opportunities to start again:

1.Freedom of Speech Thursdays @ Sabor y Cultura extends a warm welcome to all creative souls: poets, musicians, singers, comedians and those with the gift of gab. Time:8p-11p, all love all the time, check link below for more info. Peace and Blessings!This is an on-going event every Thursday.
Time: 8p-11p. Donations are welcomed!!!!! All ages. Address: 5625 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (on corner of Gramercy Place, and 2 blks west of Western Ave.)

2. We are excited to bring The Profitable Artist to the wider artistic community, reaching professors, career advisors in the arts, as well as industry leaders. This guide compiles a wealth of information for artists of all disciplines, gathered by arts professional and NYFA through more than thirty interviews and in-depth case studies. 
  • Techniques for planning your career
  • Innovative fundraising for artists
  • Marketing and selling your work to new audiences
  • Networking strategies for a digital world
  • Budgeting and financial basics made clear
  • Legal requirements and terminology in plain English
Edited by Peter Cobb, Susan Ball, and Felicity Hogan
Copublished by the New York Foundation for the Arts
Retail Price: $24.95
NYFA’s Price: $20 (plus shipping)

For more information, please contact profitableartist@nyfa.org

3. The Critical Pass Review: Published in an interactive ebook  format 2x year in Fall and Spring.
Publishes poetry, prose, etc. Do not submit previously published works. Reads year round. Do not
submit more than once when you have an outstanding submission. Responds in 3-6 months. Only accepts online submissions. Do not mail or email submissions. Sim subs ok with  notification of acceptence elsewhere.
Submit up to 5 poems, max of 10 pages   in one submission. Submit poems in a single document. Free and formal verse accepted. If work submitted  is not in English, include proper translation. Pays one contributor
copy. Acquires First North American Serial Rights. Copyright reverts to author upon publication.

Submit online:
https://thecritical passreview. submittable. com/submit

Announcing the 2014 Skysaje Enterprise Poetry Contest. All styles within the guidelines format welcome!
The official contest guidelines: 1. Maximum of 5 poems per entry. Unlimited number of entries accepted
from each poet during submission period.2. English only! 14pts Garamond, Arial black, Times New Roman or
Courier fonts only! 30 Lines max!  $15 per entry non-refundable  reading fee must accompany all submissions. As long as the poems are in English this contest is open to any and every writer/poet on the planet earth willing to  compose a poem and enter it in the contest! Prizes: Winner gets  $500.00 US and all entries will  be considered for publication in  Working Title 2 The Anthology of  the Skysaje Enterprise Poetry Contest. However, being  considered does not guarantee publication! Submission period: January 1st 2014- December 31st 2014! Submission methods: 1. Poems can be submitted electronically to laughingl@skysajeenterprise. com   Payment of the $15 fee can be  submitted via Pay Pal.com to the same email address. Please use
the phrase "poetry contest submission" in the subject line of your e-mail with the poems.
2. via US Postal Mail to:  Skysaje Enterprise Poetry Contest 50 Amesbury Rd. Rochester, NY 14623.
Make checks or money orders payable to Skysaje Enterprise.
http://www.skysajeenterprise. com

5. Hi and Happy Holidays! Lauri Beth Peterson hopes all your wishes come true this holiday season and beyond. She had hers come true. She finished her course on "The Magic of LinkedIn" Leveraging The World's Largest Professional Online Network For Profitability. She attaching a coupon for 50% OFF for 100 of your readers to scoop up!

6. Spoken Funk:POETRI and JUREN'S mission is To use SPOKEN FUNK to bring laughter and joy to as many people as possible...CALLING ALL NON-PROFITS and BEYOND...
Join the many churches, colleges, corporations, and more that have experienced SPOKEN FUNK.  Get 2 POETS, 2 COMICS, 1 DJ, the BEST HOST to ever pick up a mic, and UNLIMITED LAUGHTER & FUN for YOUR whole organization.  We can help fundraise too.  ...Ohhh, and did we say FOR FREE!!! 
JUST CALL (661) SPOKEN-5 or visit Spoken Funk.com

See you next time

Thursday, December 5, 2013

a Lasting Legacy!

Hi: I keep this calendar going to help keep Wanda and Merleine's faith in both poetry and  me alive so lets get right to it, shall we?

1. Announcing the Skysaje  Enterprise Poetry Contest: All styles within the guidelines format welcome!The official contest guidelines:  Maximum of 5 poems per entry. Unlimited number of entries accepted from each poet during submission period.  English only!  14pts Garamond, Arial black, Times New Roman or Courier fonts only!  30 Lines max!   $15  per  entry  non-refundable reading fee must accompany all  submissions and as long as the poems are in English this contest is open to any and every writer/poet on the planet earth  willing to compose a poem and enter it in the contest! Prizes:  Winner gets $500.00 US and all entries will be considered for publication in Working Title 2 The Anthology of the Skysaje Enterprise Poetry Contest.  However, being considered does not guarantee publication! Submission period:  January 1st 2014- December 31st 2014.

Submission methods: 
1.       Poems can be submitted electronically to laughingl@skysajeenterprise.com  Payment of the $15 fee can be submitted via  Pay Pal.com to the same email address. Please use the phrase “poetry contest submission”  in the subject line of your e-mail with the poems.
2.  Via Postal Mail to:   Skysaje Enterprise Poetry Contest 50 Amesbury Rd.  Rochester, NY 14623. Make checks or money orders payable to Skysaje Enterprise. GOOD LUCK!

2. Would you like to be a guest on the upcoming series of Verses In Motion Radio Show 2014?

http://versesinmotionmedia.com/vim-radio-show/  Submissions OPEN NOW Until January 15th ,

3. Moonday West, now "Moonday on Soonday" (third Sunday of the month) will feature Jeanette Clough & Judith Terzi on December 15th at 4 pm  at its new venue, The Little Theater on the West Side. Conveniently and centrally located, The Little Theater offers an intimate yet  theatrical setting for our excellent readers.
We look forward to a very exciting afternoon of poetry from these two excellent poets and our usual amazing open. Date:  Sunday, December 15, 2013 Time:  4:00 pm
Place: The Little Theater, 12420 Santa Monica Blvd, LA, CA  Directions here: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=The+Little+Theater,+12420+Santa+Monica+Blvd,+Los+Angeles,+CA+90025&hl=en&

4.If you would like to take advantage of our Holiday Special, where you can purchase all THREE titles for $22 (includes free shipping). Emailmarie.lecrivain.pd@gmail.com  for details. Marie wishes you all a safe and happy holiday season. Marie Lecrivain
5.  The Alaska Quarterly Reviews now taking submissions.University of Alaska Anchorage
3211 Providence Drive (208 ESH) Anchorage, AK 99508 The  Alaska Quarterly Review <UAA_aqr@uaa.alaska.edu>;

Check it out!
A lot of  words this time so I'll make it short . See you soon! 

Monday, December 2, 2013

(To Love)
You are a beautiful flower
through the Woods.
like a yellow butterfly-
Like a queen butterfly!
Through the vastness of space,
Through the vastness of space, 

who's fragrance dwells within the 
flower-pot of my soul.
You are like a woman from 
Samaria or from Galilee, floating

A born spirit among the flowers,

You are a white sea gull 
flying everyday over my heart, 
over my blue sky, blessing me
through the colors of sensitiveness, 
of joy, of love!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Rest in peace Grandmama Wanda!

The world lost a strong voice this time! visit http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-poet-wanda-coleman-67-has-died-20131123,0,2667185.story#axzz2lVcs6IgO  for details. This blog post is dedicated to Wanda Coleman and her protege The Late Meriline M. Murphy who left us back in 2003.  I have no doubt they are together in Heaven eating greens and swapping poems. Here's what's going on this time:

1.Beyond Baroque: 15 December, Sunday - 2:00 PM THE GREAT BEYOND OPEN READING
Our every-third-Sunday open reading series hosted by JESSICA CEBALLOS welcomes poets and writers of all ages. 5-minute limit. Featuring KAREN RIGBY. Sign-up starts at 1:45 PM.
FREE, but donations are always welcome. 681 North Venice Blvd. Venice, California 90291
(310) 822-3006  http://www.beyondbaroque.org  

2. Sunday 12/15/2013 at Lift Bridge Books 45 Main in Brockport, NY 585-637-2260 Start: 2:00 pm End: 4:00 pm Please join us for our Annual Holiday Author event. Here's a list  of the local authors who are planning on attending. They will have their books for sale and will have the opportunity to read from their work. Signed books make a great holiday gift! - Sue Boracas, Carol DuPre, Sue Savard, Frank Judge, Rick Iekel, Bill Nielsen, Larry Berger, Ron Mazzarella, Rachel Doll, Ted Auble, David Seaburn, Reginald Prior, Niki Barrie, Eric Evans, Sheryl Stewart, Craig Raleigh, Mary Grace, Carolyn LaDelle Bennett, Tim Arsenault, Mike McCarthy, Sybil Reich, Julie Daugherty, Bill Andrews, Mark DuPre, Lorna McDonald Czarnota, Marilyn Wright, Margot Fass and Armen Pogharian

3. Word up! A Tuesday night featured and open at: Freakin' Frog 4700 S Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, Nevada 89119 7-9 p.m. call to make reading arrangements.

4. https://www.facebook.com/groups/professionalpoets/  check it out! 

5. Each year the American Library Association honors books, videos, and other outstanding materials for children and teens. Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the ALA Youth Media Awards, including the prestigious Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, and Coretta Scott King Book Awards, guide parents, educators, librarians, and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Selected by committees composed of librarians and other literature and media experts, the awards encourage original and creative work in the field of children’s and young adult literature and media.
The 2014 Youth Media Award announcements will take place during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibition at 8 a.m. ET, on January 27, from the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.  The ALA also will offer a live webcast of the 2014 announcements.

6. For those of you who don't know I do have books available. Please visit http://www.skysajeenterprise.com and click on the Products link for a complete list or click on the Services Link for a complete list of  what I actually do for a living.  Again  , RIP Wanda Coleman and Merline M. Murphy.  See you next time.Oh by the way, I also  have an Amazon.com Affiliate e store where I sell my books and those of my friends and clients. check it out at Edit http://astore.amazon.com/skysajeenterp-20  The Holidays are coming up after all and books do make for great gifts!   Again, see you next time!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Yet even more stuff happening for the Ha-Ha days!

Hi folks : This is the busiest time of the year for events !   Let's get right to it, shall we?

1.Subscribe to Poetry magazine. Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on tumblr Share on email Print NEW SUBSCRIPTIONS Order a subscription for yourself  Order a gift subscription Order a student subscription   Promotional code?
New subscribers will need to wait 4-6 weeks to get your first issue. International subscribers need to wait 7-9 weeks.DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS Poetry is now available through the Apple Newstand.

2. The National Speakers Association has multiple conferences coming up. Chose the one that's best for you at: http://www.nsaspeaker.org/attend 

3.I think most of you know him from readings or meetings.  You might also know
that when he's not writing poetry, He makes his living doing house cleaning and yard work.  If you or anyone you know is looking for those services please call me, David Michael Nixon, at 585-865-0965.  You can also email me at this address dmnpoet45@gmail.com, but I have to go to the library to access my email account, so I don't check it regularly.  I can get back to you sooner if you phone.Thanks for your consideration. David Michael Nixon
4. Don't miss this one!  a Special holiday reading featuring " Laughing" Larry Berger, Lu Highsmith , Dane Kemp and  Elder " Tweedy" Cox- Robinson on Sunday December 8th 2013 at 4:00 p.m. at Books Etc. 78 West Main Street,  Macedon NY  call 585 474-4116 or e-mail  books_etc@yahoo.com  for directions and additional info. This event is made possible in part by a grant from the New york state council on the arts as arranged through Poets and Writers inc. The participants are very grateful for the support. 
5.Lift Bridge Book Shop 45 Main St. Downtown Brockport, NY 14420  585-637-2260 We are making preparations for our annual Local Author Holiday Extravaganza this year to be held on Sunday December 15, 2013 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Lift Bridge Book Shop. See you there!

6. Dead poets night at the Art Bar reading in Buffalo NY presented by David Clink. : The Art Bar Poetry Series is now held in the second floor lounge of The Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Avenue, just east of Broadview Subway Station. With a great stage and sound system, comfy leather armchairs and a full bar at the back of the room, we hope you will join us at our new home!Click for more info: http://www.artbar.org/

See you next time!       

rRobinson - See more at: http://www.nsaspeaker.org/attend/?inf_contact_key=baaf253ba5c040c48a0d142dc2c4e97489239dcebb90ef6f57c3a8856e1903ef#sthash.zEUt50OC.dpuf

Bundle Pricing - Available until December 3 (or While Seats Last)

- See more at: http://www.nsaspeaker.org/attend/?inf_contact_key=baaf253ba5c040c48a0d142dc2c4e97489239dcebb90ef6f57c3a8856e1903ef#sthash.zEUt50OC.dpuf

Bundle Pricing - Available until December 3 (or While Seats Last)

- See more at: http://www.nsaspeaker.org/attend/?inf_contact_key=baaf253ba5c040c48a0d142dc2c4e97489239dcebb90ef6f57c3a8856e1903ef#sthash.zEUt50OC.dpuf

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Even mMre Stuff Going on for the Ha-ha Days!

Hi Folks: It's that blog update time again! Let's get right to it, shall we?

Registration for the 9th annual ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO, being held April 24th-26th, 2014 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles, is now officially open to the public. For the entire month of November, Early Bird pricing – the lowest pricing of the year – will be available for all who register.  www.ascap.com/expo

2. M.O.U.F. PEACE presents SPOKEN FUNK- ONE NIGHT ONLY, a Spoken Funk show with a twist. Along with the poetry, comedy, games, and prizes, we mix it up with some dance. Be there for the BIGGEST Spoken Funk show in history.  Advanced Tickets $10 @ The door $15.  Will be held at Chuco's on 1137 Redondo Blvd, Inglewood.  ADVANCED TICKETS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE. Spokenfunk.com

17th Annual Rochester Children’s Book Festival Saturday, November 16, 2013 10am – 4pm at MCC http://www.rochesterchildrensbookfestival.com/

4. World Book Night! April 23, 2014 register by January 1, 2014 to participate http://www.us.worldbooknight.org/

5. Sunday December 15, 2013  Annual Local Authors Extravaganza

At Lift Bridge Books Shop 45 Main St. Brockport, NY 14420. 585-637-2260 2-4 p.m. call to get place on the list to receive more info.

6. Undergraduate/faculty reading series  featuring Robert Glick  and William Consagara Francis open to the public! Food and refreshments will be provided. The next reading will take place at 5 p.m. on Nov. 21 in the RIT Campus Center Reading Room.
For more information about the free series, contact Glick at robert.glick@rit.edu. Interpreters will be provided upon request.

See you next time!

Friday, November 1, 2013

More Stuff Going On.

Hi Again: Here's the most recent calendar info:

1. I'll be presenting my "So you want to get into print?" workshop covering the publishing industry on Sunday  November 10th 2013 from 4-5:30 P.M. At Books Etc. 78 Main Street In Macedon ,NY (585) 474-4116 see http://calendar.yahoo.com/books_etc to verify.

2. On Friday November 15th 2013 I'm one of the 10 Authors participating in the "New Writer's " night at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Webster, NY  Here's the info:Author Signing. Start the season off by supporting local authors from our community! This very special event will feature over 10 area authors looking to introduce themselves and their work to readers of all genres.
Friday November 15, 2013 7:00 PM Towne Center at Webster Towne Center, 1070 Ridge Road, Webster, NY 14580, 585-872-9710 come join us and learn who the other 9 might be.
3.  November 16th and 17th I'll be joining the folks participating in Astronomicon 12 visit: http://astronomicon.info/ to learn how to Join us!
4. Reading for Christmas with Larry Berger Sun, Dec 8 2013, 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM  with Christian Poets: Dane Kemp, Lu Highsmith and Elder Tweedy Cox- Robinson at Books Etc. 78 West Main STMacedon, New York 14502

(585) 474-4116

5. Issue 73 of The Pedestal Magazine will post on December 21, 2013. We will be receiving submissions of poetry from September 1-November 30. Please read below for further information regarding desired content and submission procedures. As editors of The Pedestal Magazine, we intend to support both established and burgeoning writers. We are committed to promoting diversity and celebrating the voice of the individual. All queries should be sent to pedmagazine@carolina.rr.com.

6. Hello all! My name is Sara Rose Salih. I am a brand new author and my first book should be available this fall on Amazon. I was wondering if anyone would be interested in a brief interview over your writing style, regime, and influence on social media for my website. The interview could be strictly by email, or which ever way is easiest for you. If anyone is interested in being interviewed you can contact by email: Flyingunicorn99@yahoo.com. Thanks! :)

See you next time!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I'm Back!

Hi Folks : Lynelle did a great job as a guest poet didn't she?  If you think you can do as well let me know and I'll talk about giving  you a chance to try.  For now though back to the Events Calendar Format:

1. 10/26/13 2:00 p.m. I'm giving a reading at Bindings Bookstore 28 West Bank Street  Albion, NY 14411 http://www.bindingsbookstore.com See you there!

2. 22 nd  Annual IBC Trade and Expo: November 7th 2013 at the Radisson hotel ,in down town Rochester,NY

3. 33rd Annual Charleston Conference on Collection Development being held on November 6 – 9, 2013 in Charleston, South Carolina

4. Young Democrats and Rochester Improvement Society This grand event will be Wednesday, October 30th from 5:30 to 7:30pm at the Abilene Bar & Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Way).

5. http://www.jasonluckett.com/ new site, new look , new vision check it out.

6.  check out my web site at :http://www.skysajeenterprise.com

Bonus this time: Friday November 8th 20013 7:30 P.M.  a dance recital at the Tango CafĂ© Dance Studio: 389 Gregory Street in Rochester NY. visit http://tangocafedance.com/ for details

See you next time.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013



I am not a mother. 

Never have been. Never will be. Besides, I'm 56 years old.

I knew at age 4 that children were not going to be extracted from my body. Fortunately, my husband knew that at about the same time in his own life.

Motherhood, however, is fascinating. Most people I know or have known over the years went this route. The sheer overwhelming absorption within this seemingly divine activity of even looking at, or holding and caring for, a baby, a young child, and on and on -- I've heard it never really ends -- amounts to the raison d'etre of these people's lives. 

I never really appreciated that, and the sound of a baby's scream can still knock me insane. I guess it reminds me of something.

With age, with some new sense of compassion for humanity, indeed all life forms, something has slightly changed:

This morning, I entered a busy coffee house and stood in line. In front of me, a man held a baby, I don't know, 8 months old max? Normally, I would merely appreciate the fact that a young man was caring for his own beloved child, which was and always is gratifying. The baby I would purposefully ignore.

This day, I watched the child's face. "It" smiled, toothless, at me, right in the eye. I wondered, "Why is this baby smiling at this perfectly dangerous stranger??" This was a serious question for me. I kept watching, fascinated. The baby's teeny little clinched fingers, ones I've seen mindlessly for a lifetime, looked...cute. I took hold of the hand and shook it a bit, just to watch the smile return, risking a "get away from me, who the hell are you" look and possibly tears. 

It was definitely a risk--in its father's clutches? The baby burst out laughing and stared hard at me. The mysterious father figure turned around and looked at me, smiling himself. He was very sweet and happy appearing. I said to him, "Girl? or..." He answered, "Yes, it's a little girl," bouncing her up and down in his arms. I noticed right away, and remarked, "Oh my golly, she looks just like you already!" He laughed, bouncing her again.

She went on to smiling at something else.

I thought to myself, What is this little being here? She seems to just exist and be happy. No one in life is like this!

It appears, simply, that they are the essence of life, just the essence right now. Society and its cultured belief systems, its prejudices, its divisions, its sense of You vs. Me, is not formatted yet. But it will be. Kittens, puppies, cute little baby things of all species, sure, they're all precious and everyone loves them -- until the little pit bull puppy gets sold to a tattooed truck driver to protect his property; or the just-fledged parrot gets a black bag stuck over its head and is smuggled to another continent to be sold into slavery as a breeder and ends up wild, mean, and picking its feathers for the rest of its life. 

And humans? Somehow, without knowing anything about it, I feel there's a big, looming alteration that takes place and the singular essence splits, like the zygote did long ago, and the long split that began with an innocent gender difference grows wider and wider. Finally, the essence is masked, as though gone.

I knew this when I was about 4 and didn't want to watch my own child go through what I was already aware that I would have to. This is why I'm beginning to appreciate mothers and motherhood--

What guts they have.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

She's good huh?

Isn't Lynnelle a fantastic storyteller?  Would you like to join her as a guest poet on this blog?  if so Drop me a line and Let me know and we can e-chat about it okay? the e-mail is laughingl@skysajeenterprise.com for  brand new viewers of this blog. Those who have been with me a will can e-mail me at the yahoo.com address. y'all know that one right?  Anyway, please feel free to check out my website at http://www.skysajeenterprise.com  for more about what I do and what I'm all about. See you next post.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Up the Arroyo, Part VII

"Okay, Laurie, we need to have a little talk."

               "What are those two standing back there like that for?? What the hell's going on?"

               Ignoring the question, Joel said quietly, "I've been assigned the duty of Ranger Rick and here's what we've decided."

               Laurie was immediately taken aback -- "what we've decided"? Oh, this is really sick, she thought to herself. Meanwhile, he continued, while Laurie felt deeply that she was being seen as a stupid child. Quite the contrary, she was lucid and livid. She could see clearly that no one was going to care one bit that she was worried for their own safety. She had to be punished, because they had been worried for her safety. It reminded her of a life perhaps 50 years previous, far away.

               "Nate and Takiya are holding back for now because they are very upset and they wanted to give me some time to talk to you."

               "At you" was what Laurie heard, not "to you." Voices inside were screaming obscenities; but Laurie was actually rather tired; and honestly happy that everyone was just fine after all, she said nothing. Just let it play out, she admonished herself. Yet all the time, feelings of an animal-like distrust seemed to be growing and taking on a life of their own.

               "Here's the deal," Joel began. He went on to explain to Laurie what the others had been doing over the past hour or however long it had been. Essentially how they suffered. No matter that they had the gallon of water, the oranges, the sun lotion, the GPS.
               Laurie felt bad for them, but had to resist accepting this request for a guilty plea. No questions were asked about how she herself felt or what happened with (or to) her at any point, ever. She noted this silently. Rage was pocketed while Joel finished his scripted lecture.

               "So, what you need to do" --

            "What do you want me to do, Joel?" Laurie asked, and if no one but the wind heard the violence and hate in her voice, she alone did. It was physically painful. The confusion was louder. Her compassion for the others and what they themselves may have gone through was not being accepted or addressed; it was all and only about Laurie's horrific and selfish transgressions and how she must repent.

               And these four friends had always chuckled about the silliness of traditional religious dogma.

               "Here's what you need to say": With carefully mapped out and documented words, delivered in a slow and measured cadence, he concluded,

               "You say to them, 'I am contrite and I have learned my lesson and it will never happen again.'"

               Speechless, Laurie could only watch upriver as slowly the other two wandered down and everyone turned toward the car. All three smiled, but without making eye contact with "the Wild Card," and expressed jovially (read: faked) great hunger and a wish for a pitcher of margaritas. Joking and laughing, just as the journey began, was the only way the three "adults" could allow it to end. No apology was made -- by either side. And the word "contrite" would never leave Laurie's lips as long as she lived.


               As the prologue to the story just told, there are a few important things to remember when out in any wild area of the physical world. This includes mountaineering; scuba diving; desert or any other kind of hiking in unknown or untraveled areas; and certainly many other adventures out in Nature:

1. Always, always use the "buddy system." This is standard; every experienced wilderness traveler, diver, climber, and so forth, knows this. If there are problems in the ranks, at the very least the most experienced member needs to stand forward and explain the dangers of acting in ways that could break apart the continuity of the buddy system.

               For example, in the case of wilderness trekking, each member must be responsible for each other member. No separation, in the existential sense as well as the more obvious geographic sense, can be allowed. This means that if one person balks at the company atmosphere, this must be communicated; then either a compromise on how to handle a temporary amount of time away from the group, or a discussion about why that is not presently appropriate, has to take place. It does not need to be hurtful, accusatory, rude, emotional, said with annoyance, any of that -- such is irrelevant. However, in extreme conditions, a subcategory needs mention:

               If there is a compromise in the physical/mental stasis of any or all of the members of the group, extra vigilance, sometimes extraordinary vigilance, must be taken on each individual's own behalf to be as responsible as possible for his or her own actions as a member of a group of frail human beings. In extreme conditions, if one member feels or acts "compromised," chances are the other or others may also be getting to that state, perhaps without yet knowing it. There can be no excuse for reactionary behavior; such reaction can have dangerous or fatal consequences.

               The most experienced member of any group, even if only two individuals, must accept a great deal of responsibility; not only for himself or herself, but more specifically, for others in the group. Whatever the chosen endeavor, that individual's responsibility is to explain the dangers of any activity a less-experienced traveler might want to exercise that is out of the range of what the experienced member considers prudent.

2. In the context of mountainous trekking, there will usually be high walls along one or both sides of the travel route. It may also have many turns and winding areas leading along the path. This means that if an individual is somehow separated from the other(s), yelling will be perfectly useless. The reason is that when a sound is emitted from the mouth, regardless of how loud or how cupped the hands may be around the lips, the sound will hit the nearest wall and stop or bounce off -- and go, randomly, anywhere. Sound does not usually go around corners, except by diffraction.

               Diffraction is a discussion to take place in a physics context, which the reader should look into. It is related to small wavelengths and big obstacles; or conversely big wavelengths and small obstacles. The former is most likely related to a single human voice yelling into a very large and high-walled canyon filled with equally large obstacles.

               Thus, when attempting to contact another trekker by yelling, it is merely sapping the physical and vocal energy reserves and is most definitely not advisable.

3. Communication. Trust. Understanding

Thank You for Reading.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Up the Arroyo, Part VI

               Quite shortly ahead appeared the famed Shanty. The old man was sitting outside his house and saw her right away. He stood up and said something. She came down toward, but not inside of, the wire fence around the property. After some confusing verbal interaction, Laurie realized he was telling her to come around the side of the wire, past the dogs and chickens. She did, and walked right up to don Juan himself.

               Containing her fantasies of magic (in Carlos Castaneda's books, don Juan -- or "man of knowledge" -- was often associated with the term nagual [na'wal], meaning variously sorcerer, shaman, shape shifter, and the "unknown"), she asked him in the best way she could if he had seen anyone either on the road or coming down the riverbed. The answer was a clear no. The only way they could communicate was using numbers, hand signals, and indicating "up" or "down." Four up, one down, then three more down? No, four up. Si, si, four up; but what about down, three down? Anywhere? Forgoing the verbiage, he put up a spindly forefinger and motioned her to wait -- esperas, esperas, momento! It was quite clear to him, and Laurie, that he had decided they needed to go searching. He disappeared inside the house. While he was gone, Laurie checked out the front of his shack and generally looked around, not focusing too hard on anything in particular. Something she did see caused a chuckle: a metal sign reading "¿Traes Chicles?" ("Do you bring Chiclets?") overtop of a 6- x 10-inch wired-in opening in the adobe, one of the perhaps two such ways of allowing light into the dark interior surrounded by dirt and dust.

               When don Juan first returned out the main doorway, he was carrying a very long walking stick; then he disappeared and returned again wearing a wide-brimmed hat; then disappeared and returned once more, with "mis zapatos, momento!", very politely. He even offered a slight smile. The shoes were real and pretty nice hiking boots, albeit dusty and used. He sat on his old bench and put them on, noticeably tying them in haste. "Un momento, por favor!" Laurie tried to answer or converse, but the energy was just not there, and she could not remember any of her Spanish for the moment, except the very basics. And indeed, he had a few teeth missing along with a strong accent, possibly an Indian dialect; so it seemed a real bother to even try holding a conversation....

               Laurie realized vocalizing was unnecessary. She needed only to watch, follow and listen. He beckoned. Along with the dogs, she and the old man headed down the left over uneven ground and rocks toward the arroyo. Don Juan walked spryly over the terrain while Laurie floundered a little, falling behind. At this moment, the "unknown one" turned and said something Laurie never wanted to forget:

               "No tenga miedo, NADA. No tenga miedo--NADA." This means "Do not ever fear--NOTHING" (or "anything," as English would have it). He said this two or three times, with no emotion, no real inflection whatsoever. Yet with pure certainty and authority. Laurie stepped up her cadence to remain as near as possible.

               What an incredible moment this is, Laurie thought. Will it ever end? But, yes, it did. Very shortly after they left the Shanty, in fact:

               Up the now-familiar arroyo lingered three colorful bodies with safari hats on, one about 100 yards in front of the other two. These two stood talking and kicking small stones around, with their heads facing down suspiciously while the lone third safari-covered head walked down the trail and toward Laurie and the old man. Laurie ecstatically yelled out, "Hey, hey, hey! I can't believe it! Are you guys okay?? Look who I found!" There was no response, positive or negative, in Laurie's direction. Joel continued silently walking toward Laurie.

               Laurie felt herself falling, falling down, heavily, into a troubled human body. It was like an airplane slamming into the ground nosefirst. Not willing to go there just yet, she continued:

               "This is my friend, don Juan!!" she smiled at the old man. She then turned in reverence to address him, partially to not leave him out of the interaction, but also in appreciation of his humility and helpfulness. Laurie easily put her arm around him, knowing not to expect anything back, and gave him a hug. Very clearly he was not accustomed to female companionship.... She said,

               "Gracias, muchas gracias, mi amigo!!" as she smiled and shook his slight hand. One finger made an audible cracking noise, and both of them broke out laughing. They couldn't really say anything, but the laughter was freedom to Laurie, and perhaps to the old man as well, just for that last moment.

               Then she sighed to herself and walked up to Joel, feeling both fight and flight, generally sensing trouble. There had obviously been an agreed-upon plan of action, or non-action. Joel took Laurie's shoulder with a soft compassionate touch. Joel and Laurie were very close friends. But she could not tell if the touch was real or merely the habitual manner of addressing his patients in analysis. Whatever, he was good at it, and very convincing. Laurie listened as he began: