Together.

The message from the counter groups in Boston today are not only aimed towards the free speech group that will attend. It is a message for the country and a call to the president. I have strong hopes for peace as all races stand together to counter racism and all of the hate it represents. 

This stance is not just for our city but for everyone in the country. It is for all of our children. They are well aware of what is happening and we must set the tone and denounce acts of hatred and discrimination. 

I will be there with you all today. Please be safe. 

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Spoiler Free Review: Captain Fantastic

The movie introduces a family of seven who live in a remote part of the mountains. Collectively, they share different views of health, happiness, and the ways of life. The film challenges the viewer’s thoughts on proper parenting and what contributes to the long term success of a child. The family goes on an unexpected journey where they reevaluate how they live and compare it to that of others. What is considered an unfathomable way of living to some is what they value most.

Does that make it right? Is their lifestyle appropriate? What is home? All questions you may ask yourself as you watch the film.

The children are highly educated but lack social skills. Some of the film’s characters argue that these skills are key to surviving in the “real world”, where they are forced to face real problems. The father teaches them to embrace a natural lifestyle, participate in rigorous physical activity, and stick to an intense learning schedule. All in all, the children are brilliant human beings but is it too much?

The encounters with modern civilization allow the children to compare all they’ve ever known with what they’ll make of the outside world. Common themes such as visible health, food, and greed of the wealthy are intently highlighted in different parts of the film. Was it a bit dramatic at times? Yes. However, morbid obesity, greed, and narrow minds are a thing.

I appreciated the film and the focus on what makes a family, love. Different walks of life call for variety in what’s served at dinner, recreation, and the beliefs of the afterlife. There are multiple “rights” and they should be celebrated as the elements that make each family unique. Takeaways were to keep an open mind and learn from others. The experience of learning from someone else’s lifestyle may add significant value to your life. Share some of your valued family traditions below!

Racism: Are you a part of the problem?

Hey peeps, we’ve reached 2017. Is racism still a problem? Hell yeah. If you cannot understand why, keep reading.

We are living in a world where the same image people imitate, people die over. White? Wear a hoodie and listen to trap music = you’re cool.

Black? Wear a hoodie and listen to trap music = how about you die because:

-You can’t breathe

-You didn’t say you had a gun license

-You made a mistake and deserve death

-You didn’t announce you were in a specific area unannounced and were allegedly trying to scare people with the color of your skin

Yes, it’s a problem. Does this hit home? Good, it should. People are dying and my brothers, my husband, and other relatives could become the next hashtag. A huge population is included in the injustices people of color face. White privilege is a thing. Though, it shouldn’t be a thing to hate white people for. Don’t respond with hate. We should stand with those who stand with us and say they reject this privilege. We all deserve the rights to live free of these biases.

Do you have a relative of color who is at risk of discrimination because of the color of their skin? No? Could you sympathize with this fear? After all, this fear is universal. Power is abused.

Reject both “in your face” and subtle racism. Know your rights. Seek support. Know you’re not alone and people are fighting with you.

Interested in the impact we can have in solidarity? I’ll be sharing local events and examples in future posts in a series titled “Don’t be a part of the problem”

Are you a part of the problem? Tune into our upcoming weekly series highlighting subtle conscious/unconscious bias.

Next post: The next post will highlight conversations I’ve had with my eight year old. What she doesn’t know but I’ve had to tell her….

All love,

Linette

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fangirling over Roxane Gay

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If you don’t know who Roxane Gay is, please take a moment to check out this badass TED Talk. Also, read this article explaining why she chose to pull her book from Simon & Schuster. She is proving to be an active advocate for women and cultural diversity. As I continue reading her work, I am impressed with how real she is. She believes it, she is trying to live it, and she is honest about ways it doesn’t always happen. She admits, she is a Bad Feminist.

The love of money often makes people afraid to use their platforms to stick up for what they believe in. I’m sure she knew it would be a risk to pull her book. She did it anyways. In fact, she has urged writers to stand up against publishing houses that lack diversity by withdrawing or not submitting to them at all.  If this is not admirable, I don’t know what is. Sigh, fangirling.

I went to Barnes & Noble a couple of months ago and met my spirit book animal. We have a similar reading interests and a thirty year age difference. I told her I was submitting to a literary magazine and thirty stories would be presented to Roxane Gay to judge. I  said I was interested in buying one of her books to keep me distracted. At this point, I was convinced I would lose my coconuts if I waited two months to hear back. The woman stopped leading me towards Bad Feminist and shared a story about one of her paintings that was initially rejected but later won an award. She spoke about the amount of submissions received each year and how at times, you can land in a pass pile before you are thoroughly considered. This was beyond comforting. I was eventually rejected but this time it was ok. I survived. I am still writing. I am still fangirling. I haven’t dared to look at the piece since. I have moved on to another writing project, learning as I go.

I did not read Bad Feminist. I picked up “An Untamed State” that day. The woman at the store suggested I read this book first. It was published prior to Bad Feminist and she said it was too good to be ignored. I learned a lot while reading this book.

untamedstate

Break the rules if it feels right. Have you ever been sucked into writing things the right way?  The “I shouldn’t do this or that” way of thinking. This book liberated me from that thought process. She uses the same words frequently, jumps into the plot within the first few pages, and brilliantly keeps the intensity going throughout.Write the damn book and include what you see fit. Edit later and stay true to yourself.

It has been a great ride so far. I look forward to Bad Feminist, Hunger, and hopefully attending one of her book signings.

I also look forward to the day where I’ll have my very own book signing and courage to speak up using my platform if something doesn’t feel right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lucky 3?

Hello friends!

Three blog drafts have disappeared from my folder. There is nothing like having to redo work. Sweet mother of troy!

On another note, I submitted pieces to three magazines. I’m hoping 3 negatives in draft losses+ 3 positives in the form of new submissions will result in being published! There are a few deadlines I plan to hit by the end of the month. Here’s to a month of productivity!

I was able to draft an interesting essay on my commute to and from work. Hoping to submit April 14th. If it is not published within the next couple of months, I’ll share it here!

10 years old! Writing for therapy today…

Dear Maya, I woke up this morning with your beautiful face in mind. I cannot imagine what you would have looked like today. I can only remember your two year old face. The thought of not having that opportunity tears me up inside but the thought of YOU not having the opportunity to live hurts even more.

*Flips bird to cancer

I only wish to sit beside you and study your face, fold your ten year old clothes, and stop you and Alexandria from fighting over the remote. I wish for all of the headaches we complain about our children. They woke up too early! They didn’t eat their food! They got their clothes dirty!

It’s amazing how you touched so many lives in just 2 years. Over 300 people attended your funeral. The love you have given the world is the only thing that humbles me today. I am crying because I looked at a picture where you touched my face and I could still feel it. Yes, I felt the warmth of your hand. The pain is fresh even after all of these years. People ask if I only have one daughter and sometimes I say yes to avoid talking about it. I then feel a swarm of guilt for lying. It feels as though I am denying your existence. Yet, I know it’s part of the lifelong grief.

I have great memories of us together, good and bad. I just wanted to let you know that I haven’t forgotten and that I miss you everyday. I wish you were here with me. The pain of losing a child is nothing like you could ever imagine. The pain of watching them suffer for months and months before it makes it even more unbearable.

I know how sad it would make you to see me cry. You’d probably give me a hug or a kiss, inclined by your nurturing spirit. I will try to find comfort in that thought of you.

maya

I will always love you. Forever and always.

Love,

Mom

She’ll be in a better place soon.

I noticed it recently. Her reflexes were delayed. She didn’t connect with the world as fast as she used to. I tried watching her for a while, cleaning her up to see if she had too much baggage built up over time. Nothing has helped. Can the dell update I’ve avoided this week bring her back to life? It is scheduled for this afternoon.

sick1

I have been doing tons of research over the last few months because I know the day will come. Though my laptop (Sheila) hasn’t died, I know she’ll be in a better place soon. I’ll need a replacement.

Top must haves:

  • Light
  • Messenger bag friendly
  • Lots of memory
  • Quick

sick

Let’s hope for the best and wish her a speedy recovery. I’ll need her for a few more weeks until I reach a decision. There are a couple of submission deadlines I need to meet by the end of the month!

I love you.

If you are reading this, I love you. We are all different. If we try to find some common ground, we can start to heal. Please be kind.

Healing thoughts

Mend the division

Love and let love

Drive your decisions

Look at the person beside you

Look into their eyes

Try to think about a day in their lives

Smile at someone

Show them peace

Prove that togetherness overcomes defeat

Lead by example

Show your colors

Love yourself

Love others

Ban these ways from being learned

So that our children may have a turn

To truly exemplify what it is to be one

We all reside under the same sun