Working my way towards playwright.

Whoever has been sending me all kinds of get-shit-done, positive vibes and energy, I owe you a boat load of thanks.

Now that I’ve (for the most part) gotten my mental health and pain management under control with my CBD oil and not being on anything else… I have been kind of severely lacking of energy at times, so I got some Vitamins (don’t laugh at me, they’re the kids Flintstones ones) and adult chewy energy gummies. I think they’re working because I feel a little bit better and more energetic and go go go. I’ve also cut out a lot more of the bad food and traded it in for healthier, not that I didn’t do that before, but I was slipping. By using hemp oil and hair growth shampoo, my hair is finally growing out… my goodness I miss my long locks. If you ever want to cut your hair off – just don’t.

Due to all of this plus my inner changes, my mind is a lot clearer than it was and I’m able to be creative again in a writing different kind of form. Plus, the suggestion from a while ago to paper journal is working too, so thank [you] for that. I haven’t gone back to working on my failures–I got to 20 or something–and had to stop so I can work on something else… but it really helps digging up that old stuff and settling it. Being okay with failing only works if you know the reason you failed so that it works into success the next time. It’s almost like a karma cross out thing. I don’t know. Everything seems to be working in a weird mysterious way. Something’s happening, I just don’t know what.

But anyway, that’s not why I’m writing.

I dug out my finished plays to edit them. I’m glad I did, because I did not realize I had so many…. and here they are just sitting on the computer and not being circulated out in the world for production. I want my chance to be called a playwright, so I’m getting on that. There’s one local submission calling coming up and another in Seattle that is open to all subjects. So those two are on my radar for now. Both with March deadlines.

I don’t want to drop titles or subjects of my plays here just in case the readers/judges read my blog. I don’t want to give away anything. There’s one play that I wrote several years ago at the beginning of my theatre career, and after all of this time, I went back to it and I have all of the answers I was waiting on that stumped me. Amazing how that works. At the beginning I had too many scenes, I fixed it and redid it when I had my writer’s group, lost the written scripts with the notes, found the script in a safe place, lost it again, and never went back to it until now. There were a few plays that I wrote over the course of the beginning of last year and I fixed a lot that needed to be fixed. It’s also really creepy how I was just writing fiction (with a few pieces of truth to it) and the fiction just ended up being truth, or at least a good portion. I mean. That’s happened so many times, I’m almost afraid of writing anymore .. if things are going to come true like that. Gotta watch what I write. The genie delivers.

Anyway, I marked up 3 scripts today with red pen. I felt like I was back in English class. Up to 30-40 marks on each page, and I typed up all of the new changes. I still have about 5 more scripts to edit, but a few of those need a lot of help in between the pages, so those won’t be ready for a bit.

Also, journaling on paper is kind of helping me exercise keeping one thousand thoughts in one place. I have book notes, writing notes, personal notes and feelings and reviews all in one place… and I haven’t contributed to my iPhone notes or emails to myself habit for a while.

I’m currently reading a few books at one time (and that’s what a lot of my journaling thoughts are coming from): Liv Ullmann – Changing (I mentioned this a few entries back), Brian Weiss MD – Only Love is Real and then Fifteen American One Act Plays (c.1960s).

I’m reading Fifteen American One Act Plays because in order to become a really good playwright, I need to make sure I stay on top of my game and write well, so this is helping me think of ideas or see what I may need to change in my writing. I’ve only read 3 of the plays so far. They touch on different subjects and definitely have a way about them or either make you think or question something. There’s a play in there called The Lottery–not one I’ve gotten to yet–but I’ll tell you a quick little story on that. I don’t know if this was a Lifetime movie or what, but I saw The Lottery movie when I was really young. If you don’t know what it is, basically you draw your name out of a lottery pot and if you are chosen, then you get stoned to death. Hence the reason I have only played the actual lottery once, and have stayed far, far away from it otherwise. I know it sounds crazy, but there are just some things that stick with you…and that is one that stuck with me.

I’m learning in Only Love is Real about regression therapy and how getting in touch with past lives and settling those issues help close the issues (fears) that you have today. I remember reading in a different book about this topic about being hypnotized and going back to experience those past lives to settle. I have plenty of flashbacks but nothing to this level, I mean, I want to do this regression therapy one day… so I can see what all happened in my past lives. I’ve been told my entire life that I’m an old soul, so that means that my soul has been recycled many many times, but to/from where? I also want to know what my purpose is of having a plethora of deja vu moments, premonition dreams and such. This book also talks about twin flames and the deep recognition and connection you feel with them. The wonder of how you feel you’ve known that person for your entire life, then you find out that they’ve been there the whole time. It’s based up on karmic solutions. I also love how the book (through patient’s memories) has described that souls are just that – souls find bodies to live in and recycle… that’s how you end up finding your twin flame eventually. Your hearts and souls have set out for that moment. A written contract each time you passed by one another in another lifetime…. that eventually, after all is said and done, you will be together.I love it, and cannot wait. That’s why I am doing some really hard work on myself right now, to catch up, so that I will be ready.

Last but not least.. I am so very thankful that I decided to use my free time wisely and be a part of the theatre for the past almost 4 years. Working as a stage manager has allowed me to develop so many qualities–ones that are more useful than jobs I’ve had. I love the work and organization that it takes, and the position it actually puts me in. Everyone wanted to know why I didn’t want to act. It’s not that I don’t, it’s that: 1) I had my own theory of where I wanted to start and 2) almost all of the plays we ever do are older characters and I never look older than a teenager. My theory was starting at the back and working towards the front. Stage manager first, writer / director / producer next in whatever order, helping with costumes / lights / sound / etc, then finally, being in the spotlight. When you work backstage – you see everything and how it all falls into place, what works, what doesn’t work – therefore, making one much stronger in writing plays and putting one ahead of those who don’t know all of the stage rules. I’m just so grateful.

I’m stating the fact above because I was able to make some important changes to my plays that I didn’t note before, and it was all because of my staying in the background and learning. On the other hand, this has also made me extremely bossy in my stage notes, and that may work for or against me when I turn these things in. Ha.

I’m out to read some more. Have a good one!

Vday

I remember when you said Happy Valentine’s Day to me
it was in such a tone I felt you already loved me
The way you let it linger from your lips
and a gigantic smile…
You couldn’t really hide it,
then you went back inside and I smiled…
that’s just another thing I’ll never forget.


valentine’s day.
by karen maeby 2/14/12

glitter. scissors. paper. glue.
paper hearts; lots of i love yous.

valentine’s day!

it’s time to put on your happy face!

let’s place our plastic masks
yes, that’ll do –
the fake smiles,
you know those flowers won’t last.

a day of expectancy,
you’re supposed to do this, that, the other
try to impress
whose got the best gift?

compare stories, gossip.
the day just begs to be fed,
but most get too distracted to realize
they shouldn’t feed into that fake garbage.

drink. drink. drink the night away
dinner for two,
valentine’s for all
what else, after all is done, will do?

the day after
we will then have to clean up after you.

folded paper heart
floating in the wind
falls to the ground
as another statistic

a number will break up before valentine’s day
a number will be engaged this day
but after the holiday,
what happens?

love. love. love.
you’re supposed to love all the time.
every day. not just this day.
love unconditionally and all the time, every day.

The pull of a full moon.

What a v. successful day it has been with getting things on my to-do list completed. My energy level has been way up, and at the speed of lightning! I definitely couldn’t say that yesterday when I took Shabbat for what it is — rest all day long. Woke up super early then rolled back around and suddenly it was mid afternoon. Oops. I have definitely become a full-on hermit crab; though, it is much deserved after working a lot of weekends. Day as follows: staying in, not talking to anyone, catching up on TV shows, cleaning and ordering pizza. I will definitely make up for my hibernating in the upcoming next few weeks when I have events to attend. Anyway, I also need to pay more attention to the calendar, because every full moon I am most active in getting things done. I must have witch tendencies. I have been relying on crystals, wearing my stone bracelets, lighting incense and it’s getting me places. I’m also back to having v. weird dreams again along with tapping back into my psychic side because I’ve been able to guess some things (by intuition) that happened.

I wrote about 5 pages in my private paper journal just scratching the surface of my failures in life. These failures are what one would call “monsters” that I just need to face head-on to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it or whatever the case may be. I went back to 2013 or so to start out. Instead of becoming superbly depressed after that, I actually feel relieved… like this is something I’ve been needing to do for a very long time, but now, the time is here and I’m taking it seriously so that I can put myself on that right path. I won’t be talking about this anymore in great detail or specifics online, however, some of the patterns I have noticed was giving up on something (a dream or goal) and a possible fear of failure/success. I don’t know how the fear of success is actually a thing, but to me, it definitely is. I’m so afraid of failing at points that I either get stuck or just stop trying or lose motivation or something, then it stops me from even being anywhere close to becoming successful. It’s like I may have an opportunity that I absolutely want so much, but then, I think about it and it may turn out to be too big for me and I just don’t think that I can handle it… and I either settle for less than or don’t take the chance to see what would happen….instead of putting on the brave face, facing that irrational fear, and becoming successful at something that challenged me.

Fear plays such a huge role in my life when I’m supposed to be fearless. I love change and I’m addicted to it, but I’m scared of it all the same. I just don’t make any sense sometimes. I give myself a headache. It’s like, I’m really good at helping get things started and really, really good at experiencing or overseeing something and seeing what needs to be improved up on or changed or worked on (and helping do that), but sticking there in the middle when things just become the same every day every week every month… that’s the spot I don’t like so much. I have also lacked some serious confidence and believing in myself. I have a feeling that now I’m just another day closer to knowing who I am that part will become easier and easier as time goes by.

But either way, I feel like facing my failures will result in a some sort of poetry and prose chapbook because it is sort of a poetic topic. And definitely something that was brought on by the depth of soul talk this past weekend at ReadOut. I’m dipping below the surface on this one. We’ll see what kind of art or writings will come out of this experiment, I mean, I may spend a really long time on this and making something out of it. I do have to say I feel a lot better after getting it out, and I just thought of some more, so I need to hit my paper journal in a minute.

So I haven’t read any more on my books yet. I cleaned the CrabHouse and they were freaking out when I was doing that, so I purposely switched all of their furniture around on them. I sort of caught up on Good Trouble, SuperStore and The Goldbergs TV shows all on Hulu. I went through a bunch more papers, finally wrote back to my penpals, and attacked numerous other tasks. I am a such a bag hoarder so I’ve been switching bags lately like it’s nobody’s business, well, I cleaned one of my normal ones out and so much unopened mail from the middle of last year.

I failed so much on being present last year. I don’t know what the fuck happened. I don’t know where I went wrong. I was just getting by – day to day – just merely surviving. There’s this thing I’ve been saying for the past two years and it’s “I just need to get through this month or this event” then I continuously say it about the next one and the next and then there’s no end in sight and suddenly time is so lost that I don’t even remember the day before … only as if it was three years ago. I don’t want to say that or experience that anymore. Everything that I volunteer for or experience should never, ever, ever have to be a “I’ve just gotta get through this” … I’m not sure when that started taking place, but I never want to say it again. I’m going to have to make a swear jar for that one, and any time I feel that way, maybe I shouldn’t be doing it anymore. At least for a while until those feelings pass.

I’m getting ready to find and open the file to ex-blog “Chantilly Lace” .. I’m really honestly not looking forward to re-reading that. I have a feeling I’m going to be super disappointed in myself when I do, considering. I would just delete the entire file, but I think there are some poems on there that I want to save, otherwise, I would throw it right in the computer garbage and hit empty in a heartbeat. I can’t express that feeling enough, and I am being completely sincere. I just want to do that now so that it never lives on my computer and I don’t have to look at it anymore.

I suppose that’s all for now. I have auditions to help with tomorrow and Tuesday night. I’m very much looking forward to my seeing my fireball friend and whoever else will show up… and hopefully, maybe, some of us will go out for drinks or something if it turns out to be a family reunion like most auditions. That would be lovely.

A miraculous change is on the horizon.

Shabbat Shalom, Happy Friday… it’s time to turn on Rebecca Black’s Friday song. (I’m only sort of kidding.. Save your ears, don’t listen to the song. Ha.)

Apparently there was a big storm and tornado in this area at some point last night into this morning. Well, I guess I slept through that one. I had no idea when it happened, just knew it was coming eventually. I heard nothing. I felt nothing. I was completely knocked out. Thursday morning – at 3/4am – the crabs were being loud monsters again and woke me up super early so I was very tired. They never stopped being loud and annoying, so I didn’t really get back to sleep after that.

For anyone who knows me and has been around me for a while, you know that there’s this legit thing called post-show depression (it works for events too) that hits me pretty hard. After spending so much time working towards something, there’s this huge high while working the show/event, followed by a feeling that would be like someone is letting helium out of a balloon. It’s a slow letdown that everything is over.

I just concluded working ReadOut after being on the committee probably since more than 6 months ago (I can’t even remember). A week before that was OBR. A week or two before OBR auditions/rehearsals, I was working TBW’s Evening For the Bay doing my first work of volunteering in the hospitality section and loving every minute of it. And, few months before that was the SOAs that intertwined with Next Fall which intertwined with my conversion which was led by the finalization of our class. That was just 2019, and a month into this year…. and everything already feels like it was two or three years ago. That’s how far away in my memory it is. That’s why it’s super important for me write things down, because at least then, I remember it like yesterday… as opposed to struggling to remember and not being able and wondering what’s wrong with me that I can’t remember.

Last night I was cleaning up a newer huge mess that started nearly 6 months ago in my living room. All of the things I mentioned above that mess included souvenirs, important papers, notes, schedules, scripts, programs, books, holiday items and whatever else. I started sorting through them, and thought about the entire paragraph above. I have forgotten the really nice feeling of going through things and throwing them away or cleaning up unnecessary clutter.

I’m truly not sure what happened the last couple of months, but it was almost like I was just getting by. I feel like I wasn’t exactly present at anything. My body was, but mind wasn’t. I wasn’t really there, present, in the moment like I should have been. And now, those are moments I know I can never get back.

Truth be told, I still have messes or a shit ton of unfinished business from early 2018 when I went on that crazy journey of doing like 3-4 productions both the first and second half of the year along with working full time, taking my Jewish class and embarking on that, as well as doing other things in between. While doing that, I have neglected a huge part of me – my soul – my well being – things that would make me become a better person or worker or soulful treat to the Universe. I’m never one to turn down opportunities especially if I think I or the other party will benefit from it in whatever positive way. I also needed the experience of everything in 2018 to bridge my future. However, there should have been a limit. I remember a few specific times that I was such a zombie. I had a to-do list a mile long and just kept adding to it, and any time I would open my calendar to show anyone, they’d freak out. “Are you fucking insane?” Well… yes. Also, here I am being crazy and asking for that same 2018 energy. Maybe the energy was a highly contagious positive one right before falling into the zombie state.

I didn’t take care of myself in 2018 and I paid for it in 2019 by being stupid or doing things or saying things that I didn’t really mean to do or say or being someone that I really wasn’t because I was just trying to get by. And here it is the beginning of 2020 and I’m realizing it. At the end of January 2019, I completely locked my heart and brain of ideas and the right kind of creativity and anything else. I didn’t let myself grow on any of that. I completely shut down. Just a few days ago I wrote almost a page and half of notes for our ReadOut debriefing that was chocked full of ideas like I used to have, and I was told they were great ideas. I felt happy after that. I finally unlocked that part of me that I shut off. After being on CBD oil for over a month now, I believe that change is the best yet. I feel better, healthier, back to before I was taking the other junk for my pain. I can actually think again. I don’t feel like a zombie. I feel more me. And I’m back to having ideas again and a true marketing plan and solutions to problems and everything the way it used to be before January 2019.

I’ve become inspired so much by this realization that I am going to be tapping into my past and realizing where I went wrong or why I gave up doing something or got distracted and abandoning things I loved in a previous life. One of them is tapping into why I went from being BSG to completely disliking the boating industry and not wanting to see another boat again. No one can help me find the answers as to when I turned my back. It’s left up to me to find out. Of course, this is one of the major things that I will not be sharing with anyone, unless it’s in a book a lot later down the line. I realize some things are meant to stay private… and taking a trip down “Karen Lane” is definitely one of them. Because it’s for me, and not anyone else. This is where my healing will begin helping me pave my future, my true future, my destined future.

Someone very smart once said to me “decide what is really important and what is just clutter” — I should have listened to that advice a long time ago. That is going to my personal and private lesson that I will be working on every night until I have solved every issue that I may still struggle with to this day. I even put that on a post it note on the back of my front door as a reminder. It’s been up since 2018 I believe.

While we’re on that almost same subject… I have some upcoming things (that are only one or two days or just a few hours) that’ll keep me out and about: helping with auditions next week, LGBTQ movie night, Jewish Food Festival, all the fun Purim things coming up in a month. I will not be participating in the Purim Spiel this year, unfortunately, for all of the reasons above. I feel as if I very much needed it last year due to the coincidences of music fall over from Corset Line to Purim Spiel and before becoming Jewish. This year, I just want to enjoy as an audience member (or help the day of if they need it).

I started reading Liv Ullmann’s book “Changing” last night and I definitely want to write a review of that book when I’m finished. It’s a good one, which kind of inspired me to write this entry, actually.

I don’t know if any of you will understand when I say that this weekend opened up a whole another world to me, another secret door that opened or was uncovered, another piece of myself I have discovered. It was like… I had to be a part of this event (the key) to unlock my feelings or pieces of me that’s been hiding (the treasure chest). What a difference this weekend made me feel. I took a chance on working another event that wasn’t under the realm of theatre. It makes me very happy. I’ve been very weirdly blissfully happy all week (except with the stressful drama Adirae is creating in the CrabHouse and pushing me to the edge having to deal with finding her stealing another crab’s shell while they’re molting) and I know this true blissness is because I am finally uncovering my true self. I am already feeling different. I am already processing and making these healthy choices and changes. … and it’s not just the pieces of me that are broken that I will be repairing and fixing, it’s the happier parts of me too, so that I can be everything I need to be and put my whole entire heart and soul towards loving someone else that will fully love me in the same way, finding and staying in my passions without losing interest, and inspiring people to do the very same.

Originally written 9/26/2013, titled The Quarter Life Freak Out

[2/6/2020: Once again, another blog entry from my past that I copied this over to my blog drafts, comes in handy. This one has a lot to do with what I’m going through right now, so that’s why I’m sharing it. I also feel like I’m going through another life crisis, and I’ve already had plenty to go around. I just want to state this fact: I can honestly 100% say that I am happier than I’ve ever been considering all the things I’m unraveling so that I can live life authentically, and really truly be myself because I am figuring out myself without unnecessary hiding or shoving things deep down inside. I am really seriously working on making myself become better… and I am very, very, very happy on that part. Anyway, if you’re any where near curious about my past, I shall share with you my past….]

Originally written 9/26/2013 (when I was 27).

The Quarter Life Freak Out: Why I’m a 27 year old calling herself a Pirate all the while wanting to become a Lady Captain of the high Seas.

In the last month or so, there have been several {really good} articles surfacing online about turning 25 and freaking out about whether or not they have life in the palm of their hands… according to today’s society.

As I read these articles, I find myself wanting to write one of my own. (Please stay with me, as this is actually really long and I do apologize for that… but my point is made.)

When I was 17, graduating high school, and walking down the aisle to get my diploma – I remember being so worried about not having done enough and I felt some major regrets surfacing within my soul. Everyone else had plans. They had been accepted into colleges of their choice; I, on the other hand, waited until the very last minute to apply to the local college. I didn’t live on campus, and had never lived on campus, so I completely forfeited that “college” experience.

For a first few months of my senior year, I wanted to attend UofL. Then, it changed to NKU. Then, I wanted to go to some school in Pennsylvania but there was no way I could afford it. So… all of those choices just slipped under the table. I started out with ideas of going into music as a major, then it slipped to English. Then, by the time of my 2nd year of college, I was working in retail and thought that’s what I wanted to do… so I left school to do that.

I worked a couple of retail jobs over the span of 4 years before leaving that industry permanently. I was in love with the business side of things, the visual merchandising and the marketing. I then fell into being an administrative assistant, and finally, when moving to Florida I landed a job in the boating industry where I helped build a business and was able to do what I loved doing (from the retail standpoint).

In my middle school years, there was this game that we played called reality store or something like that. We gathered in the library, were given a piece of paper and we had to draw (out of a bag/hat/whatever) what kind of job we had with that salary. We would go around to each table where we had to pay bills and a certain amount was taken off the sheet. That was one of my most memorable times in middle school. I loved that game. Maybe I was already developing my love for ‘real life’ back then.

Out of all of this experience, I have found my real life and hands on experience to be most beneficial for me. Sitting in a classroom was okay but I was often bored and writing poetry or drawing in the corners of my notes.. unless it was a class that was quite interesting (like anything humanities, lol).

I became friends with a lot people from high school on Facebook and watched everyone “grow up” in front of me. I was sad that everyone was finding boyfriends or girlfriends and becoming serious with them, they had a path paved for them, some even got out of the city or state – and I was becoming so envious of them. They were getting a ton of experiences… while I had nothing. I was already freaking about being “older” and my quarter life BEFORE I turned twenty.

In school ~ I was more mature emotionally than a lot of people, but physically (getting to actually “do” things), I was way behind. I hated that. When I was doing research for my book in the first half of the year, I came across soooooo many dreams and goals that I had when growing up. I think that was one of the things that struck my chord of ‘man, one problem I’ve had my entire life is always dreaming and never achieving’ and, with that, I began my journey of finding and exploring me deep within the walls of soul.

Before I jump into that, though, I must mention that life didn’t really begin for me until I was 21-25. I felt like I missed out on so much that so much WAS shoved into those few years. I had the chance to travel a lot (back to Philly, 1st time to NY, 2 times to DC, back to TN, 2 times to FL), moved to North Carolina for two years then Florida, helped close down a store (another check off that bucket list), switched industries, met some of the most amazing people in 2009, etc. Also in a committed relationship…until that changed. All in all, I know I have been blessed with my life choices and life chances and nothing has ever been taken for granted.

But almost turning twenty seven and turning twenty seven has been the best year marker yet. I *finally* achieved that chance to tap into the part of me that’s determined to make my dreams come true. I’m done talking (for the most part) and ready to make things happen. Other than a to-do list, I’ve tried and failed at making bucket lists… If given a chance upon the spot between A and B, do you take it? Perhaps… especially if you didn’t know it was a dream of yours to do that, since it wasn’t on your bucket list, or you hadn’t thought about it before.

I always had a way of letting life control me, I just fell into whatever “career path” of a job that I got at the time. I couldn’t ever make up my mind of what I wanted to do. But it wasn’t until I got to reading some articles about teenagers and I actually got offended, then I realized, “Holy shit. Why am I getting offended at something written about teenagers????? I’m not a teen anymore, I’m (nearly) 27.” But.. that’s sort of a good sign because I still don’t look 27 (I hope) and I feel like I’m still early 20s. I definitely don’t feel my age, and with my thoughts and the way I conduct business, I can be defined as an old soul.

Now that I’ve accidentally told you my entire life history,  I’m getting the point of my writing this entry. Why am I, a female, so interested in Pirate life on the Sea and life as a Captain? All in all, I think it’s the whole life journey thing. It’s hands-on, and you have to be really good at what you’re doing in order to succeed in that world… not only that, but it’s a challenge and I am a woman going into a man’s world. And… a slight pinch of being adored kind of keeps me high.

As a Captain, you are in charge of your ship, the people on your ship and where you’re going. You have to see your course through and through. Viewing myself as a Captain in my own life, I finally have the chance to be in control. I have my map, the compass, directions and determined to go after whatever floats my soul at the moment. The Sea life is also unpredictable. Life is better that way.

Adventure always had me by the heart. I didn’t want kids; for the sheer fact that, if by the drop of a hat, I was asked on a trip, I could leave without any prep other than packing. And, if I were to be a “mom”, I’m such an animal person. I really seriously want one of every animal one day, including the ones from God’s green Earth and his Seas. You guys know how much I gush over my BFF, Mr Hans.

Being a Pirate – being a Sailor – being a Captain gives that ‘flight to freedom’… of which, I love the feeling of. Being free. To do whatever. Whenever. (But how can I say this when I find myself working all the time, haha.)

One day, I really hope that my story changes some younger souls when they read it. As one that has always wanted to be a teacher but never pursued that career, I want to help those teenagers and early 20 year olds who have no clue why they’re here on Earth find their path. To give advice, to be a cheerleader, to help them find their inner Sailor to sail their life and explore… to follow their map that THEY create… and even if you’re a 30+ year old still trying to find what you’re supposed to do – watch The Giant Mechanical Man and your life will be changed.

The last couple of years, I’ve turned my life around. I went from feeling like I’ve not done anything or accomplished anything, to feeling like I have everything in the world by just having dreams come true. I went from no changes in my early years to all the changes in the world – especially this last year. I’m forever grateful for every experience I’ve had and for every second chance I’m given… and for being prepared and given that allotted time to figure out this summer that all I needed to do was to follow my dreams in the industry of which I belong…

At twenty seven, I finally found me. At twenty seven, I finally have a career path. At twenty seven, one of my BIGGEST dreams will be coming true soon: publishing a book: after all the years of talking about doing that. At twenty seven, I have been out on my own for quite some time and have been able to support myself and pay my bills and pay for anything I’ve wanted or needed. At twenty seven, I don’t have a house yet because having a house means settling to me. I don’t want to settle. I would rather own a boat because it can move from place to place.

The only thing missing at twenty seven is #27, that f’ing flamingo I almost had a chance to thief in Vegas last year, but chickened out and ruined my Pirate name. (If you don’t know this joke, then wait to read it in my book.)

MY ADVICE to everyone in the world that’s worrying about finding your path or whether you should be married, having kids or owning a house or whatnot at a certain age… just STOP.

You need to find YOU before YOU settle down. Find your energy and what you want. Never settle. Learn those lessons. Be positive. Be smart. Love life. Take life for what it is. The way you handle your downfalls in life is how your character will be perceived. What you make out of life is totally yours. Please don’t use YOLO. Travel. Journal. Treat yourself well. Love and love often. Just LIVE. STOP making excuses. Dream and dream often. BE DETERMINED. Success is measured in happiness, not materialistic things or money. Don’t pay attention to what other people have. MAKE YOUR LIFE MORE UNIQUE THAN ANYONE ELSE’S. Life’s payoff is yours and yours alone. If you were given one more day to live, will you be happy about how you left? Have you done everything you wanted? Your only regrets should be if you haven’t done something. Live and live well.

Readers, please… for me… LIVE LIFE UNIQUELY. I can’t stress this enough. If you follow the path of everyone else, you will become just another robot. Make your “AMERICAN DREAM” your own and not about white picket fences and children and one career your entire life. Make a change in the world. Contribute. Volunteer. Be lovely. Be yellow when everyone else wears black. Take something that’s broken and nourish it back to life instead of taking something brand new (the results and feelings you will have after this will be better and you will feel better about yourself, too).

If you are continuously positive even when times get really tough, believe me, if you WORK REALLY HARD things will pay off. You will soon find that your dreams are coming true because YOU helped make it happen. Don’t have enough money? Don’t worry because once you have reached happiness and success without that, those material objects really don’t matter, and they’re just extra gems to living life. Dream and DREAM BIG because dreams DO come true… all it takes is YOU and a little (a lot) of effort and work. But, in the end, it is well worth it.

Also, don’t question everything. I found this does not help. Take it as a life lesson and use it to your ability. Life is mysterious for all the right reasons.

[2/6/2020 added note: Dear Younger Me, you are now Jewish, therefore, what the hell were you doing giving advice on not to question everything? YES! DO QUESTION EVERYTHING! IT’S IN YOUR BLOOD. Also, Dear Younger Me: What happened to you when you got older? Why did you let everything consume you and nearly kill you with depression yet again? Get offline, and start doing again. Read your books, write your poetry, make advice become your art, and connect your intuition with your old soul again. Get your shit together, figure out what you truly want, map out your dreams and follow them, because on the other side of that is a beautiful woman waiting to love you and that can’t be done until you are finally you – through and through.]

Thoughts in between the thoughts.

First of all, I have to remember that when I ask the Genie for something, she usually delivers….needless to say I asked for lesbian energy, and I got it, an overabundance full of energy… an overflowing waterfall of energy, so to speak… so much that Sunday I was just drained with/from emotion. I can’t even write about Saturday and Sunday right now because I’m trying to process my thoughts silently before I say them out loud or type them. I guess I need to use a notebook to really figure it all out. I mean, I guess there’s nothing really to figure out, it’s just like when I finished reading Anne Frank’s friend’s book… It’s just a lot. Pieces of the weekend that effects me deeply like so deep within the soul and cutting me open to let me bleed out.. that kind of thing.

There were so many moments that I was brought to tears, especially during the Nia & Ness show and the last event from yesterday where we did a Q&A. I definitely have a lot to say about the Nia & Ness show but I want to email them my thoughts first, then figure out how to put it into words here. Both of the moments I mentioned were so raw – so deep – so real – so everything like I’ve never really felt before. It opened up another piece of me and made me really think.

I almost feel like a fraud. I’m not, if you know me, you know I’m definitely not a fraud. I might be confused sometimes or not know myself (like most don’t anyway) or change their minds (I do that a lot too), but I’ve tried my best to be real as much as I can even if it means hurting my heart/soul/everything. The reason I even say that about myself is because the show and Q&A there were levels of thinking and commenting that went so deep. So much that some people are afraid to look this deep in the eye. I definitely feel like my art (the few paintings I even have) are just surface bound. I’m not Dali – if you see his work – it’s so deep – and you read so much into it. A picture is worth a thousand words. That’s kinda how deep things were, or got. With my writing, I’m there at the surface, but what do I feel underneath? What do I actually really feel? I feel like this experience this weekend will help me improve my writing skills and getting to that level of depth.

One thing that I do want to say since I’m holding everything else back: I told the ladies I was on the ReadOut committee with that while sitting there at the event this weekend I felt as comfortable and at home there with hundreds of lesbians, as I did when I researched Judaism, became Jewish and attending all the events with my Jewish fam. I’m not sure why 2017 Hanukkah was the chosen date, not sure why all the things that happened in 2018 happened the way they did, especially me taking the intro to class because of it not being offered this year, me converting on Anne Frank’s birthday and the other pieces in between while on my Jewish journey. I do not know why some time last year I decided to contact this ReadOut committee and ask to join. Even though I have spent my entire life supporting LOVE of all kinds (I mean.. hello Rent 24/7)…2018 opened up something and brought me to questioning 100%, 2019 brought me to dipping my toes in the water, and 2020: my roaring twenties my very own jazz age I have decided that I am no longer questioning but I know. For a fact. 100%. Just like I knew I was a Jewish soul. And it’s been a long time hiding.

What a journey this is becoming. More from me in a couple of days.

A come to Jesus moment.

Oh hey, Shabbat Shalom! I’m almost way too tired to write considering it’s been a long day since the crabs woke me up at 3-4am, I worked half the day, then working at the festival tonight…. I also had wine at our last event of the evening, so you all know what that means. I need sleep. Terribly. But… I didn’t want to forget my fresh feelings from tonight, so here goes…

Lesbian energy. Whew. That is something fabulous. There’s nothing better than being in a room full of lesbians who are very happy because they clearly love who they are and where they’re at in life (celebrating), therefore, putting out some great energy. I love it, I love it, I love it. How much is too much to express how much I loved being in a room full of lesbians?

We set up in the small room at the front of the library for our first panel which was romance. There were so many people–place was packed to the gills–and I was severely fighting claustrophobia. I had a black faux tux jacket and a thin velvet jacket on with a tank underneath. Trust me, it got so warm in there, I took 2/3 of those things off. I was almost still too hot but I had nothing more to strip out of – ha!

So… reading panels: holy guacamole…. was some of what was read from the authors smokin-hot. There were a few reads that I nearly lost my mind because it was borderline erotica-romance…but in the most classy of ways. And it was breath taking. There are a few authors I’d love their books because of the content. There’s one author that wrote about Jewish lesbians back in 1800s? early 1900s? something like that, and it’s driving me batshit crazy that I can’t seem to find the play that I read for TP’s 2020 SOAs, because it seemed like it was written from that same author. I will have to find my notes because I wrote down what each play was about with notes. Our creator read from her memoir about her first time with a woman. I love it. It’s so real and brave to share such intimate details. One of my favorites read a very juicy poem that was breath taking as well.

After that sesh was over, we cleaned up as fast as we could, and then broke for an hour and half of break. I walked to one of my normal places and ran into someone from the theatre. He asked me what I was doing and I told him and he said he didn’t realize I was part of the family. I was like, “What?” He meant LGBTQ. We talked through the whole time about our previous show, other shows, and such. After we ate, we said goodbye, and at the goodbye he said he didn’t realize that I was LGBTQ because I wasn’t anything particular (leaning one way or another to be stereotyped) … I was just being myself.

I walked back to the library and we continued the evening with wine and cheese. The authors–who could be there–were all introduced as well as our keynote speaker and our entertainment couple taking place at the CH tomorrow night. They gave such a beautiful teaser preview. It was so real that you could feel everything – one of them danced while the other spoke in poetry. Beautifully dramatic that brought out the feels.

I will have more to say Saturday and Sunday after I’ve seen more panels, but this whole writers panel thing is cool. I can’t believe I’ve never attended anything like this before. I went and saw Leslea Newman last year while she was at TBE, so that was a little different. I attended a reading for Sue Ellen Cooper (of the Red Hat Society) with Momma at Joseph Beth back home, but I don’t even remember it. I just know I have her book signed and a photo with us. Other than that, I really don’t think I’ve done anything….which is terrible considering once I redo my books and get some new ones done, I’m going to have to go out and do panels or readings or etc…. which is extremely frightening to me at the moment. And how do I say that after all the theatre I’ve done to get me out of the shell I’m in? I have no idea. I need to go back and grab some of that 2018 energy I had where I was practically fearless and felt I could do just about anything…. and I did.

Other Overall Thoughts: for this entire Friday event, I was thinking…. how much I belonged there. To this group. It’s the same feelings I had when I found Judaism and became Jewish. It’s a part of me… my whole life, it’s just taking me this long to come to the realization and admit to it and / or receive it as G-d gives it to me at this given time… for whatever purpose that might be… that as soon as I discovered Judaism, here I am, discovering yet another part of me and life is unraveling at the seams. Everything I had ever thought I’d known or felt I was–I wasn’t–I am finally becoming the authentic me. I feel a lot happier admitting that to myself tonight. Now that I’ve acknowledged it, now I have to continue on that path, and work towards becoming even more me.

Now, please pass me some of that strong lesbian energy, because I need it to fulfill some plans I’m about to do on a crazed whim that may bring my life to a crazy rollercoaster ride. We shall see.

Let me

by Karen Maeby 1/30/20

let me teach you
whats inside my heart
by the kisses i shall lay on your lips
all the way down to your feet
and let me hold you
in an embrace: spiritually, sensually
in a way that only lovers
hold one another when they’re falling
deeply into the starlight wonder
of love, true love that starts from within
let me show you
the ways of everything i am
and everything we were meant to be
let me show you, let me teach you
all of the lessons that you will inhale
and exhale in mystified sighs of exhilaration
that i am an artist
and you, my darling, are the divine palette
from where i shall create
the most magnificent piece of art
a true masterpiece
that shall win and tug at everyone’s hearts
for years to come
you are the song from which i find the words
to write–so often–my inspiration
you are my poetic sonnet
that i keep perfecting day by day
you are my picture worth a thousand words
the photograph
that never leaves my mind
you are my theatrical prose
that i play, every single day. a new character
or trait or way about me
to keep you always interested and on your toes
i kiss your nose
and bring you back to earth
after you’ve gone away for a bit
for reaching the highest dimension
in G-ds physical and spiritual world
leaving you in awe –
i give you a rose on love’s day
every single day, because i don’t ever
want what we have to die or even rest
to become dormant like so much else
in this materialistic world
i will water our love with the tiny barbie pot
that i kept from my grandma’s house
in the appletree days
let me show you every single day
how to count all the ways
that the little things are what matters most
and my love for you
isn’t just appearing as an absent ghost
let’s meet, and let our souls glide together in song
in peace, in harmony, making our bit of the world
just so much more happy
and delightful to take part in

-inspired by gentleman jack + a crazy dream i had about someone i think i don’t know

Under the Apple Tree (poem)

1/28/2020: I’m already getting emails from Jewish places regarding Tu BiShvat, so naturally, thinking about my grandma’s apple tree is on my mind. Here’s a really old post that I imported in my blog and saved for a moment like this….

Originally posted + written 07/03/2012 

Under the Apple Tree ~

I am saddened to hear about Andy Griffith passing away. I loved his show, so much, and it was the only show that my best/ religious grandma would ever tolerate watching when she was alive. Hence, the reason why this kind of triggered my sense to write this poem that’s been trying to bust out of me forever.. I guess it really wasn’t time yet? Maybe I have written it before. I don’t remember. All I know is that I have struggled long enough to write this…But here goes:

Under the Apple Tree – for dVerse Poets –
by Karen Maeby 7/3/12

A special book lies before her.

It’s a story book – opened – directly to the future.

Years from then – and only – she didn’t know.

She leans up against the trunk of her claimed apple tree.
Not one worry about the ants or little critters around her –
she continues to take tiny bites of her apple
until she’s done and she grabs her Barbie dolls and
continues to play. She fixes to swing on the tiny wooden plank
tied with rope in her apple tree.

A young life is sitting under the apple tree,
swinging-
thinking-

small town
same scents
each and every summer

makes a difference as she’s small.
A small town seemed so big

until she’s grown
and the memories fade
to be nothing more than written on paper.
It’s such a rush to take notes
on the dreams she has to fulfill those memories –
trying to make it last. Trying to share her story.

Years later:

Her fill of the tree is over:
even if she didn’t want it to be – but there’s
so many cores in the ground from so many picked apples.

She’s so close to the Heavens and so close to God.

Lying under the apple tree one last time
in the dirt and muck, nothing but a piece of clothing
coming between her and the ground. She feels closer to them –
the ones that are gone. The ones who are buried there.

The ones she never knew – but the ones she’s much closer to.
She holds the hand of those that died.
She holds the hand of every single one of the ones that have died. 
It’s a special gift that only she has and very few has heard.
– something she can mention but no one will understand
and they will call her crazy.

“They’re cutting down my apple tree?” Was the last thing she said,
in a questionable manner.

She’s trying her best to put her story together
and it’s so very hard to do. Feelings from every where.
But as every good thing – it must come to an end.
But she keeps holding on, as at one point,
the alive must meet the dead.. in the center… and settle in.

National Holocaust Remembrance Day, new Anne Frank exhibit, Art Shabbat

What I wrote back in 2017 (along with a poem) couldn’t have been said any better today, so I am reposting it, because it is still 100% true.

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN Jan 28, 2017 

THIS DAY. Holocaust Remembrance Day….. A very, very, very important day that we must remember. ALWAYS. EVERY SINGLE DAY. WE MUST REMEMBER THIS PART OF HISTORY EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES.  

When I was growing up learning about the Holocaust was a part of history class but I believe I found and read Anne Frank on my own (I know I did a book report at one time on her diary). My mom had a copy, then I asked for my own copy for Christmas.

Unbeknownst to my soul I have always had the deepest connection with Jewish people, the Holocaust, and a feeling for what happened. I have always had an interest in learning more and wanting to help out in some way–to spread the word–to make sure this would never happen again. HOW was the question, how in the world could someone do something so fucking horrible like this? I always wondered. Why. Hate? Why? Just why?! The feelings and emotions I have had as I think about this are still as strong as when I learned about them.

I’ve watched Anne Frank (the movie) thousands of times, and each time, I still cry so hard. I’ve read her diary so many times. I even wrote a book called “Dear Anne Frank” about when I went to DC and wrote to her my experiences, especially what I was feeling when I was at the Holocaust Museum when someone was disrespecting the person who was speaking. I still remember wanting to turn around and smack them and tell them they should listen because it’s really important.

The more someone tries to deny something like this, the more apt it is to happen. The more someone tries to forget this happened, the more it can happen. This is how history is repeated. This is WHY it is sooooooo important to get the word out. To share. To stop what should be stopped before it can happen again. Whether it’s today, tomorrow or one hundred years from now. The signs of hate and bigotry and separation needs to stop! REGARDLESS of what you believe in—-those things are so wrong for a trying-to-be-functioning society. That’s WHY we have the issues we do because people like that STILL exist!

I saw something posted online various places in reference to if her family and her could’ve gotten out and survived…..You think about these things. This had to of happened, her diary left behind, to possibly teach everyone in the future? The people who left anything behind. Then you think, what kind of a difference could they have made if they were alive now? It angers me that there were millions of people’s lives destroyed because of something like this. 

I can’t say it enough—-we must remember what happened, and teach those younger than us, so that something like this shall never happen again. TODAY, THIS WEEK, THIS MONTH, THIS YEAR… we must EDUCATE ourselves on how to surf through those hiding their true soul. We must NEVER lose our identity, we must FIGHT for what is right and for our SOULS. We MUST LEARN to think on our own and be able to sniff out when this will happen again… and we must STOP IT this time!!!!

There is an older based-on-a-true-story movie called Freedom Writers that really spoke to me on many levels. If you’ve never seen it–basically a brand new teacher goes to an “at risk” school that is having so many racial issues. She tries really hard to teach them, all the while they are so used to being disruptive, not learning, drugs, drive-by’s and other things like that from their community. She decides to teach them about the Holocaust, and gives them journals to write their own issues. She helps them change their lives, and teaches them in the meantime to change what they can change to be better. A lot of her students were the first in their families to graduate.

THAT is why I say…

EVERYONE HAS A STORY.  
EVERYONE 
HAS 

STORY 

Get out there and share! SHARE what your heart and soul is telling you! This is the future, this is the only way, the only way people are going to be helped and will learn about anything that is important is by true life stories. Everyone has a story, and 2017 is the time to share it.  

Souls Enlightenment

© Karen Maeby 1.27.17

Our souls sought survival yesterday,
as we’re caught in the middle of learning
the life lessons our ages bring to us
when passed down from generation to generation.

We must learn about our past–
to meet, greet and shake hands with history.
Tell history, share OUR history:
to make sure we don’t live the history, again.

My soul becomes unraveled and my heart
nearly stops—with every siren I hear.
Every moment, are we getting closer and closer
to having our names and our personalities erased
to be replaced with numbers that’ll never define us?

Only guard yourself and guard your soul carefully, lest you forget the things your eyes saw, and lest these things depart your heart all the days of your life, and you shall make them known to your children, and to your children’s children. – This is a quote–that I’ll never forget–from a postcard I got at the Holocaust Museum in DC.

Afterthoughts 1/27/2020: this day is even more important considering it’s my first Remembrance Day after converting last year. My feelings towards everything I wrote above are even more felt to this very day, and my love for Jewish life and my Jewish journey is even stronger…including my desire for LOVE to rule the world.

Light a candle for one of the Holocaust victims…. illuminatethepast.org

I feel it’s appropriate to add these three events together….

This past Friday – also another one year anniversary – I attended TBE’s Art Shabbat at the Poetry Bar. Last year I remember falling in love with the place and a different way of connecting Shabbat / prayer with art and the meaning of. Once again, it was amazing.

This time the theme was “blue” – we each got blue stones, had our chance to share “blue” poetry on their wall, and connection of blue in prayer.

“Some say blue expresses the interior of our soul.” – a comment on the page we got.

I haven’t fully sat down to write my thoughts on that night just yet, but I’m sure there’s going to be some poetry to come out of it.

I love Shabbat, and I love every chance for a unique vision to connect Jewish world with anything else that is relatable to the soul for a wonderful prayer session.

SATURDAY EVENING I attended the opening reception at the Holocaust Museum of Anne Frank’s Let Me Be Myself. It was my first time attending something like that, but I did it for my girl, Anne Frank, and because of the message. The exhibit takes you through the timeline from when she went into hiding all the way until everything was over. There was a model of the house / annex, as well as her diary. At the end of the exhibit were posters talking about who you are and what you are made of…. basically, ‘being yourself’ hence the title of her exhibit. It’s going to be at our museum for a while, so make sure you stop by to see it.

Speaking of… I know that a lot of you know my connection and feelings towards this Jewish life, especially since I converted and everything…but I don’t know if you know that I felt as if I were one of the souls killed in the Holocaust and I found myself back on Earth as gentile just to discover my Jewish soul at the time that I did. There are some things I can’t seem to explain. Feelings. Thoughts. Dates. Anne Frank’s family went into hiding on my parents anniversary date (month/day), her last diary entry was on my birthday (month/day) and I converted on her 90th birthday last year. There’s just way too much–coincidence–if you will. Even though I know that’s the wrong word because “there are no coincidences but destiny” … Call me crazy, and I know some of you will, but these are my very own thoughts from the soul on the matter.

My next studies on my own is about the Holocaust for the next couple of months so that I can find information for my stories, as well as learn. One of the books I’m struggling to get through (it is a small book) is “Memories of Anne Frank” as told by Anne’s friend Hannah. There are so many comments in there that take my breath away from how she found out to her own experiences, and I’m just struggling to get through it. I am also reading “Abandoned” by Stan Telchin – it’s a challenge-to-myself book because it’s about sort of opposite than what I believe, but I need something to challenge my thoughts. I have a number of other Holocaust books to read, but I need to get through “Memories” first.

Anyway, that’s where my Jewish journey is at right now. I’ve missed attending Jewish events, and now that theatre is at a rest for me, I can get back to it for a while. I made a promise to G-d that I would be studying and trying to become an honorable Jewish person and live up to my Jewish people and that’s what I am trying to do. Day by day.

Until next time – much love.