This is a snippet from the WIP (Short, Broke…& Homeless) I’m starting. I don’t know how far I’ll get with it but something happened last week that made me want to write this scene. This is the third in a series of stories about three generations of women, one based on my grandmother, one based on my mom, and one on me. This is based on me and some of this really happened unfortunately. This is very raw–I’m trying to write this in a hurry because I only get thirty minutes on the computer.
I hate bullies. I hate bullying. I’m also loyal to my friends, whether I’ve known them forty years or four months. So when my roommate, Kenyatta, comes into the room very upset because she’s being harassed by some of the “ladies” who stay here, I’m not happy.
I try to talk to her, but she’s a Scorpio, like my late husband. She says she’s scared they’re going to come after her. I don’t know why, and neither does she. She’s supposed to be getting her new apartment next week, so they’re probably jealous. So I do what I always do in a crisis. Since I’m a singer/songwriter (not very successful, or I wouldn’t be here), I get out my guitar and start playing and singing “Laugh at Me” by Sonny Bono. It’s a great song about bullying, and I try to adapt it for a woman singer. I get my roommate to smile a little. She has been nice to me from the very beginning. I’m going to miss her when she leaves and since I’ve been bullied, I understand how she feels.
“I’m going to do something and I don’t want you to freak out,” she says.
This is from a book I was working on before all the things happened to me–there will be three books in the series, one about my grandmother coming to America from Lithuania, the second about my mom and dad and how they met and the third is about me, and may be a chick lit story if I add what’s happened to me lately. This is from the second book, which has no title, and I can’t remember the name of the heroine, so I picked another name because the files are on a flash drive in storage right now. I was watching a video of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers last night and thought of my mom and dad–they were very good dancers. So this is a scene from one of their dates.
Goldie sighed as she looked up and into Sy’s brown eyes. He reminded her of Tyrone Power, only much more handsome. His hand was warm on hers as he led her into the Club Royal, a music and dance spot in Newport. The streets and the Suspension Bridge were filled with light and noise. Inside, a singer stood at the microphone and crooned while a piano player tickled the ivories with “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.” Goldie was sure that Sy said “tomato” and “potato” and not “tomoto” and “potato.”
“Goldie…” Sy’s voice was as soft as a kiss. He leaned toward her and she inhaled his manly scent. “Goldie, may I kiss you?”
She stood on tiptoe so he could reach her. He was a full head taller at six feet. She took a deep breath and waiting, her attraction growing with each second that passed.
What did you think? Any suggestions will be appreciated. It might be a while before I get to Book Three. First I have to re-write Book One from a version I wrote in high school, then finish this. Or should I call the whole thing off?
I know this blog has been more serious lately, so this week since the Oscars are tonight, here are my choices for the 2018 Nutsie Nan Awards. It’s been quite a year, to say the least… And the Nutsie Nan Award goes to…
Best supporting actress in a Comedy/Drama — Jessica Chastain as Vanessa (Van) Brown (Karla), “Short, Dark…& Homeless”\
Best supporting actor in a Comedy/Drama — John Travolta as Frank Finney (Dan–RIP), “Short, Dark…& Homeless”
Best actor in a Comedy/Drama — George Clooney as Jay Galloway (Greg), “Short, Dark…& Homeless”
Best Actress in a Comedy/Drama — Cher as Tess T. Rosenthal (Nutsie Nan’s other personality) and Lauren Graham as Nutsie Nan, (moi), “Short, Dark…& Homeless”
Best costume design — Jay Galloway’s Sono Bono disguise in the 2017 Greg Appreciation Day Parade (7/19/2017)
Best Soundtrack and Original Song
Soundtrack, “Short, Dark…& Homeless” Original Song, “Laugh at Me” by Sonny Bono
Best set design
“Short, Dark…& Homeless”
The Four Roses Boardinghouse, “Short, Dark…& Homeless”
“Short, Dark…& Homeless”
Seriously, I’d like to thank the (Nutsie Nan) Academy and everyone who is supporting me through this difficult time. You all deserve awards for everything you do!
At the end of last week, I was feeling pretty low, trying to figure out what I could have done to prevent being in my current situation–homeless, no money, etc. A resident here started talking to me because I use a cane to get around due to arthritis in my left knee (had my right knee replaced, but the left knee needs it now). She said she was going to look around at thrift stores and see if she could find me one of those walkers that has the seat on it and the basket to hold stuff. I told her that my friend, Dan, who passed away, had been looking for one for me at thrift stores and yard sales.
At dinner that night, she asked to talk to me privately. I thought I’d violated one of the rules of the shelter, or done something else wrong. It turns out, she wanted to buy me the walker and she had found them on sale. She was afraid I’d be offended, and wanted to ask if it was okay. I said “of course!” and started to cry.
The next day, after I had lunch with my friend, Karla, I came back and she and some other ladies who live here were waiting for me with a brand new walker in my favorite color–blue!
I’m still surprised and amazed that someone who lives here would do that for me. And she didn’t want any recognition–she said it was just something she had to do because she saw me struggling with that cane every day!
So thank you again and thanks to everyone who has been helping me out!
I finally got a room with a bed. I also got a roommate who is more tech savvy than me and showed me how to listen to music videos on my phone. I also met someone who loves brown sugar Pop-Tarts. She didn’t watch “Gilmore Girls” when it was on, so I told her about Lorelai and Rory Gilmore’s love of Pop-Tarts and how they were mentioned frequently in the show. This all makes me happy, although I have to take everything a minute at a time.
Here is my playlist to get me through this. There are so many songs that I had to include some honorable mentions on my list.
- “Wake Me Up” by Avicii — If this is a bad dream, wake me up when it’s all over. This is my favorite song.
- “Hey, Brother” by Avicii. I love the sentiment of this song and it’s how I feel about my pretend family.
- “Let It Go” from “Frozen.” I love this movie, and the song has been me for a while, and especially now.
- “You Gave Me a Mountain” by Elvis. I heard this song a couple of weeks ago, and started crying because after all the other things I’ve been through, I don’t think I will make it up this particular mountain on some days.
- “I Got You Babe” and “All I Ever Need is You.” Not only does my friend, Greg, kind of look like Sonny Bono, this reminds me of my junior year of high school, when a friend’s parents had tickets to see Sonny and Cher in person. It was a really big deal for me–first they took us out to eat at a fancy restaurant, and then to the concert, which was a lot of fun.
- “I’ll Be There for You” (Theme from “Friends”) by the Rembrandts. I never got into the show or characters. There were only a few episodes I actually liked (I never liked the “Smelly Cat” one–I just thought they were making fun of that poor kitty, but that’s just my opinion. The sentiments expressed in the song are what I love.
- “The Lady is a Tramp” by Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett. First, I love Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett’s duets. They are great together. Second, several people where I am staying made some remarks about me and other people and I was referred to as the equivalent of a tramp. Although it hurt me a lot, taking me back to my elementary and junior high school days, I tried to consider the source, and adopted a Lady Gaga attitude.
- “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter . I’ve liked this song since it first came out. I always tried to cheer people up if they had a bad day. I’ve told this story before, so if you know me and you’ve seen it on my blog or heard me tell it, you can skip this or read it again–it’s my favorite story about my friend, Greg…I sent a novella I had written with a character in it who is loosely based on him to an e-pub, and he was going to pick me and my parents up to drive us to the store. I checked my e-mail before he was supposed to get there and the story was rejected. Not only that, the e-mail had typos in it and the editor referred to the scene I wrote where the heroine makes a toast at her brother’s wedding as “tasteless.” I cried to my mom about it–how could they reject this book that I worked to hard on–a book that had characters based on my wonderful friends in it? I got into Greg’s cab and read him my rejection e-mail. I’ll try to set the scene for you in case you haven’t heard this story (a fictionalized version of this anecdote appears in my e-book, “Mr. Short, Dark…& Funny). Greg leans back in the leather seat of the taxi. He’s got a handlebar mustache and he wears a baseball cap, and he gave me one of his crooked smiles and says, (drumroll or “Ta Da”) “Just send her an e-mail and say, “I may be tasteless, but you can’t type. And then send her a picture of your finger.” Well, I cracked up. To make a long story short (which I didn’t), the song “Bad Day” was playing in the grocery store when we got there.
- “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor–this just makes me feel stronger whenever I hear it. I heard it at the Social Security office where they were showing “Rocky III” when I went to get my husband’s benefits (not much) after he passed away.
- “Hit the Road, Jack” by Ray Charles. After a fire in my condo in 2005, my cat, Jack Funelli (Jackie) had to move in with my parents for eight months. Jackie was a very large, playful tom cat who thought he was a kitten his whole life. My mom’s three cats, Babe, Tootsie and Cutesie were very laid back and wanted no part of being chased around by Jackie. So when Jackie and I got ready to move back to the condo, my mom put the Ray Charles CD in her player and sang “Hit the Road, Jack” to Jackie. Those are my ten go-to songs. And the honorable mentions go to: “Karma Chameleon” by Boy George–it’s just fun. “Walk Like an Egyptian” is fun, too, and somehow, I keep picturing myself in the cafeteria line at the shelter walking like an Egyptian. But somebody will probably make some comment about how silly I look. “Happy” by Pharell Williams. I didn’t really like this song when I first heard it. Now it’s growing on me. “It’s in His Kiss” by Cher–I want to sing along with this one, but I keep imagining one of the women at the shelter yelling “Shut up!!!!!!!!!!!!” as soon as they hear my singing voice. I’d better just lip sync. “The Twist” by Chubby Checker. This brings back memories because this was the first dance I learned. My ballroom dancing skills suck, but I can still do the twist. “Accidentally in Love” by Counting Crows is just a fun song that makes me feel better when I listen to it. I also like “Gone Gone Gone” by Philip Phillips–this is how I feel about my friends and my mom–I would do anything for them and more if I had the means. What music do you listen to to get you through a very stressful time? Do you have any other ways of coping?
I usually try to write funny things for this blog, but the things that have happened to me since August 2017 have been anything but funny. I try to keep my sense of humor, but this is ridiculous.
This is hard for me to talk about to close friends, let alone share on my blog, but I need to get this out in case of my friends been wondering where I’ve been for the last six months.
In August 2017, I lost the condo my husband and I bought 30 years ago. I also had to give up my cat, my sweet Jay, and send him to the SPCA. I was promised that the SPCA has had a bad reputation, but they try to find homes for all animals. Jay is so cute that I’m sure he found a home but I don’t know and it broke my heart to lose him, as well as my condo. I couldn’t take care of the place due to health problems and couldn’t keep up with condo fees and taxes due to my job being seasonal and only working sporadically.
I stayed in motels (one was great, the other was not) until money started to run out. Now I’m in a shelter and have a team trying to get me back to where I was (which would be nice). I would like to thank everyone who is helping me (and you know who you are) as well as my friends who I love like family, especially Karla and Greg (Greg, you’re still making me laugh even when there’s not much to laugh about).
The first four nights in the shelter, I didn’t have a room with a bed yet, so I slept on a mat on the floor with five other women. I have arthritis, so I had to have people help me up from the floor every morning. On Friday, we were awakened by the fire alarms going off and had to evacuate and stand outside in the sub-freezing temperatures — they’re still not sure what happened, but everyone got out and things seem to be okay now.
I can’t promise that any of the blogs I write in the future will be funny (I don’t even know if the ones I wrote in the past were that funny). Read this blog to see what happens next on this journey,
I’m sorry I haven’t been online for a while. In addition to other problems I’ve been having my friend and co-worker, Daniel W. Dover passed away on Sept. 5th at the age of 64.
I met Dan when I went to work for the government in 2006. He was funny and a good friend. He was always helping other people, including me. He loved trains and I learned that he had worked for his parents for twenty years publishing a magazine about railroading. He loved going to yard sales and thrift stores. He liked to give advice, which sometimes I listened to and sometimes I didn’t. He made me mad once in a while, but all in all, he was a great friend and will be missed.
He did a lot of things for me, including driving me back and forth to work, and saving my life, but there are little things that I remember most of all. On Monday nights, he played trivia in Mason, where my mother is in a nursing home, so sometimes, he would drive me up there and drop me off so my mom and I could visit. Once he took me there before Christmas and afterward, we drove around and looked at holiday light displays (I’m Jewish, but I love those displays).
Once he asked if I had ever made him a character in one of my books. He’s a secondary character in my alter ego, Vi LaNance’s book, Nutsie in Disguise, and now that I think about it, Carson Finney, the hero of “Devil in Disguise” is a younger version of Dan.
I’m having a hard time getting used to him not being at work, but the memories live on!