Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Shame Game By: Karen Pilarski

I knew going in there might be met with snarls and growls. She was breathing hard and panting. The vet wanted to take her in back instead of giving her the shots on the cold metal table. That should have been the first red flag.

The last visit my Border Collie named Sundae took her shots like a champ. Sundae was led in the back and already whining.

The metal exam table at the vet.
 My husband and I sad in the exam room making barfing motions at the seaside decor. Knotted nets and sea shells were glued to the wall. "Whoooo lives in a pineapple under the sea." I sang in a mocking manner. In the background loud barking from other dogs could be heard.

The vet came back and said our pup was not happy and trying to bite. I asked about sedation. The vet said she didn't need that just yet. Soon Sundae appeared in a bright orange robe lease.

Her vet looked agitated and was holding Sundae's purple collar and pink lease. "Your dog is freakish about her paws and seems to be very timid and scared." Then the vet proceeded to give us pamphlets on dog training. I mentioned that she needed to have her shots updated so we could take her to training. Hence the eventful vet appointment.

The vet then said she should have been trained and again seems fearful. She insisted we try this for another day. I looked over at my husband with disdain. "Where we just dog shamed?"

Poor Sundae was scrunching up her nose and snapping her teeth. She only managed to get one of her shots and once again narrowly avoided her nails being trimmed.

I was thinking about how people get shamed for almost everything. Why do you think there is an anxious dreading feeling when going to a doctor or fitting room?

The dental visits is what I dislike. I don't mind going and dealing with the dentists. It is some dental hygienists where I go that make the patient feel ashamed.

Dental Hygienist: "Do you floss?"
Me: "Yes I do"
Dental Hygienist: "You need to floss."
Me: "Uh, I said I do floss."
Dental Hygienist: "You are not doing it right."

Then other off hand comments on the condition of the teeth and gums are given. Not only did they violate my mouth, but made me feel badly.

I understand some professions are thankless and there are many people who don't take care of their dogs, children, furniture, health the way they should. Is shaming the answer?

There is talk about body shaming and bullying. It is not just children and teens who receive the brunt of it. Adults are often subjected to ridicule and criticism. 

Give me one adult who hasn't had to hear it from someone about being single, or who they married, how old they were when they had kids. If they had kids. The torment is so continuous that you have wonder "what am I doing right?"

Sundae leaving the vet's office.
I make choices that others with more experience  disagree with. People who zero experience find the gumption to chime in.

I don't like that fragile, walking on  thin cracked egg shells state of mind. Deep down I know there is a feeling of wanting to help. However, maybe some sensitivity and tone change would make all the difference.

Maybe I need to get over myself and just accept people are trying to do their jobs. Perhaps friends and spouses are reacting this way, because that is just how they are in life.

If conditions are that unbearable, then finding new health providers, friends, relationships are in order.

For Sundae that might be necessary. I have a pissy dog with Freddy Krueger nails needing to get her last shot.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Protesting for Children By: Karen Pilarski

I keep thinking of the quote from the movie "Network." Where the anchor says "I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" I guess what it comes down to, is that people just want to be heard. The bad part is the message is often clouded by rash actions and judgments.  

The world certainly is full of fear as of late. For every Ferguson there is a similar scenario unfolding in a different city. Burning buildings, stopping traffic and marches are almost the norm now.
The justice system’s decisions can be hard to comprehend. I remember being perturbed on the acquittal of Casey Anthony who was tried for the murder of her toddler Caylee Anthony.  I felt sorrow at no one being held responsible for the horrific death of an innocent child. 

That is what is at the heart of those marching in the cold of winter while throats become parched from the chants.  

I despise any act of gun violence no matter who pulled the trigger. In my hometown of Milwaukee it is sickening how many lives are lost due to bullets. Children can’t play on a jungle gym and a small girl can’t sit on her grandmother’s lap. 

Granted recent protests involve cases of adult men with various circumstances. What really affected me was the death of Tamir Rice, a twelve year old boy holding a toy gun. He was shot over being a typical twelve year old. Pre-teens are rebellious and want independence.  Show me any kid regardless of race who is obedient all the time. 

I have family members in law enforcement. I understand training and protocols.  None of those explanations make a loss of life any easier to deal with.  Even I find myself asking why a person had to be shot and why weren’t they stunned with a Taser? 

While I don’t condone violent protesting, I can put myself in the shoes of others. If something happened to a family member or friend I would be devastated. I wonder why more people don’t organize peaceful protests over light sentencing of sex offenders and drunk drivers.  

There is not much I can say to lessen the anger of others.  I’m not convinced a guilty verdict would bring closure. It is evident something needs to change. 

What we do now is up to us individually, as a community and a nation. Either we can come together and unite against all violence or we can just continue this cycle of blame, anger and destruction.
I want all children to enjoy their cities without fearing bullets spraying in the distance. 

Kids need to be kept safe from sex offenders, drunk drivers and people high on power with a weapon in hand. Badge or no badge, our children deserve better than this. They at times, deserve better than us.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Depression in Poetry

Daunting shadows press their bodies against the wall
In this mind the shadows take up space and time
Memories linger and spirits fall
In this room what was once before binds
Dimly lit windows decorates the dark house
Like changing moods that have sunk through time
Washed my hands of the sticky situation, quiet as a mouse
Time is all but mine

The air stale and musty fills the aura of my heart
Gasping for brand new feelings that have not yet formed
In this room the shadows dance and laugh at the one who fell apart
The damage is done the heart has grown deformed
Furniture traps my body in place
There is no room for love to be replaced
Wasted energy like static
Clings to my soul, deadly and tragic

I know deep down it is time
To let those bad feelings die
Let love like flowers bloom
But not while I wait desperate in this room.  In This Room- Karen Pilarski

By: Karen Pilarski

Warm, yellow particles
Whipping in air
Swirling through brown hair
Slaps my face like reality
Stings my eyes
Rubbed them red
But the sand like my bad decision remained instead
It blows around
In the middle of its current
I dance
Ocean like conscious cuts in
Water and sand coincide
I linger for a moment
Then drop off under the sun rise
Wind whirling and whistling
Where do I stand?
When the sandstorm subsides?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Punching Bag By: Karen Pilarski

I am my own punching bag. Anxiety, pity, regret, frustration sticks and clumps over time. Each time I throw a punch to push the bag of emotions away from my face. My fragile state is no match when the bag comes flying back toward me, knocking me down in the process.

A downfall on my part is that I am a sensitive soul. There is no hardness in my movements or in my spirit. However, I am overly hard on myself. By all means, there is not 100% perfection in my accomplishments.

There are only penitent feelings when I let someone down or make a mistake. Stewing and boiling over with embarrassment is nothing new. I can swallow the constructive criticism and when an error is brought to attention. I dislike feelings of being viewed as incompetent, unintelligent or unreliable. Those are my crosses to bear, my self inflicted words haunting me.

For a time, I attempted to keep it at bay by producing weak sucker punches. I still managed to get smacked while throwing my fists, bare knuckled with no boxing gloves for protection.

Often anger is often internalized but not today. My patience and understanding of everyone's stress and predicaments wore thin like beat up leather.

Today it was a perfect storm of anxiety, pity, regret and frustration. Combined with a week of rejection, dejection and objections from others and myself. The fallout was mortifying and loud like a crack of thunder piercing the dark lit skies.

It wasn't my intention to cause a rumble or downpour trouble to an already escalating moment. The worn leather bag felt too many marks from clenched fists. It tore open and once suspended in air now slumped to the ground. The splintered material now spilled and revealed for all to witness.

It is evident there is a lack of satisfaction from within. Growing tiresome of the constant rejections and career setbacks. Unsettled on the homestead and confused by its unsteady and shaky foundation.

The only outlet is writing to help break apart the confusion. Even that is used against me sometimes. Everyone needs a scapegoat, for awhile I was fine being the one to sacrifice myself as the punching bag. That hasn't led me to where I need to be. I need to hang up the red gloves and just deal with life as it comes. I need to abandon the punching bag and walk on.

U2 "Walk On."

Friday, October 3, 2014

Nevada, Never Ending. By: Karen Pilarski

It has been years since I took a vacation. Through earning reward points our airfare was paid for. We decided on Vegas since we have been there before.

My mood was sulky before the trip. I hated to leave our dog Sundae for a week and had writing projects to complete. My husband hurt himself a few months ago. There was a monorail and a tram that could give us some walking relief during the week.

He injured his foot while riding on a golf cart at work. For weeks I had to play nurse, not naughty nurse mind you. I had to cook all our meals, clean, take care of the dog and help him bathe. I was thrilled when his doctor says his foot was improving.

At the airport he demanded a wheelchair. An attendant had to wheel him around. I had to deal with our baggage while he was loving the star treatment. Needless to say I was seething when he wanted the gate person to help him onto the aircraft.  

We rented a wheelchair at the Flamingo Hotel in Vegas. I pushed him up and down the crowded streets. I was crabby and tired. I also pulled a muscle so I was very close to pushing him off the wheelchair for my own sanity. My arms were tender from all the pushing and pulling. He began to get blisters on his hands from spinning the wheels to move. 

He insisted on using a scooter which was more expensive. It did save our arms some trauma. It pissed me off seeing him bang into walls and almost knocked over pedestrians. I walked behind him because I felt embarrassed. All we needed was a fanny pack and visor to match the blue haired grannies scooting by. My feet blistered and sore were aching to catch a cab. 

The desert weather was certainly humid in comparison to Milwaukee. The second day we decided to go to the pool for much needed R&R. I knew I was being a bitch. Here I was in Vegas, drinking a frozen alcoholic treat. 90’s music from my middle school hay days blared. Fair skin was burning under the western sun. 20 something pool goers living it up with drunk dance moves and lean bodies. It must be freeing to not have to answer to anyone. Women bared legs and other body parts as if it was nothing. I cover up. Even in my 20’s, I was too modest to reveal skin. Perhaps that was a reason for my icky mood. The scooter made me feel old.

My skin was slick with sweat and I was itching to dangle my feet in the cold water. He felt it was too difficult to hop over to the pool without the scooter.

It is amazing how booze is a youth enhancing potion disguised in a fruit concoction. During the pool party, we witnessed a wrinkly lady pushing 60 flashing men young enough to be her grandsons. Merrily she danced as security escorted her off the premises. Her mortified husband walked behind her, head hung low.

We got our hands on some free show tickets. That evening we went to see a Vegas insult comic named Vinnie. There wasn’t much of a routine. Vinnie ripped through the audience zoning in on imperfections and stereotypes. 

Then when the front row began to get tiresome, his eyes wondered over to the side where we sat. Shit. “So man, how did you hurt yourself?” My husband laughed and said “I hurt myself at work.” The comic asked what he did for a living. He said law enforcement. Vinnie thought he was a cop and so rambled off jokes about injuring himself as a criminal gave chase.
The rest of the week we walked up and down the strip. Well I walked. I worked a bit on writing freelance work. I’m sure that didn’t make my husband happy but hey, the scooter didn’t make my day either.

The last night he agreed to go to a female impersonation show with me. It was really good! There was an older man with his wife and her 80 year old mom. “You know, this is the first time I have been to Vegas with two women” he said with a cocky tone. We rolled our eyes and sighed at having to share a table with this guy. 

The man pestered the waitress to bring him a bucket of beer but to add tons of ice. There was Mr. Wannabe Hip desperately attempting to look cool in front of the little old lady kicking back a virgin Shirley Temple. Then he did something that made us laugh. He fist bumped the 80 year old. She looked confused, she was not the only one.

There were funny and poignant performances such as Whitney Houston, Joan Rivers, Celion Dion and Cher. Liza Minnelli’s “New York, New York” was my favorite. Then the female impersonator did “Wind Beneath my Wings” as Bette Midler. My husband took one look at me and reached for my hand. It hit me. He knows my soul. He gets my emotional response to songs and award show montages. He loves and accepts my sappiness and edgy personality.

The last day in Vegas we spent some time playing the slots. I looked at him as we burned our last buck of the gambling budget. “We aren’t lucky” then he looked at me and whispered “Sure we are, we have each other.”

At the airport we waited for the plane to take us back to normalcy. Out there waited our dog, our comfortable bed and our life together. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Threads By: Karen Pilarski

In middle school I took a home economics class. The classroom was 1950's style for a late 80's course. A kitchenette with lime green tiles on the wall and frilly aprons. The teacher had to be a hundred years old. The sewing class was worst. It was near impossible to thread a needle to make the cheesy wall hanging.

Every time I grabbed a string of thread it slipped through my fingers. Using scissors, I would cut off the end of the tread. I even wet the ends to help keep the string straight.

I poked my sensitive thumb several times with the needle. Evidence of my ineptness was shown with a slight drip of blood running down my hand. I ripped out threads after each mistake. By the end of the semester I didn't have a well done wall hanging, I had a ripped apart piece of fabric with patches on it.

My girlfriend *Yvonne made me think of thread today. She was discussing a dating disaster that she narrowly averted. What I admire most about my friend is that she can read people easily. It is also an ability she doesn't get enough credit for.

A man she was seeing at first seemed flawless. Attractive, smart, athletic and hard working. He made a few sexist comments and she ended the relationship. Although I didn't know the whole story right off the bat.

I thought maybe she was over reacting. However when she filled me in, it was apparent the guy was a d-bag. She hit the nail on the head. Bang!

She was able to do something many women take years to do. She trusted her gut and heart and discovered what was this man's true agenda.

She was able to rip through the threads of lies and cover ups to find the ugly.

I kept the concept of thread in my mind throughout the day. Relationships (romantic, platonic, professional) are similar to thread, very fragile. Thread brings together soft material in a strategic way. The unity it once produced can be ripped to shreds in a matter of seconds.

Strange how thread can work for and against people.

I give people the benefit of the doubt. I strive to be supportive, protective and loyal. Often the red flags are there but I fail to acknowledge them. I have heard ignorance is bliss, it isn't. Not when you know you are being duped.

Besides domestic duties, I loathe lying and making excuses for poor behavior. A person acts like a bitch or an asshole and supporters quickly jump to the defense. Yet, to keep the relationship pieced together, it is patched over with excuses. "He/she is stressed out" or "He/she is going through a hard time." In one way or another, we all have shit going on.

What makes their frustrations more important than ours? Why is their struggles put above our own? I'm guilty of it myself. When I am fond of someone I will not let someone smear their reputation. Only when the true ugliness shows, I realize how wrong I was to stand in front of the firing squad. I wonder why I was willing to hang on by a thread to salvage the relationship.

I realize everyone has Yvonne's gift of seeing a person's true self. The decision has to be made if we are willing to put up promise of alterations or give up threading that needle once and for all.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Sundae By: Karen Pilarski

I have never been an animal lover. Cats weird me out and dogs sniff and urinate everywhere. My husband and I discussed how it would be nice to have a dog. My stepdaughter and I had our hearts set on a cat. However, my husband had other plans.

Sundae, our puppy.
The past two weeks we have been looking at the local humane society website. We even took a few trips there. We couldn't find the right dog for us. My husband's ex mother-in-law had a good friend who owned a local licensed pet store. On a whim last Sunday, we decided to go.

My stepdaughter loved the puppies. The store keeper showed us some puppies and put a border collie in a pen. She was eight weeks and clever. White snowy fur with splotches of black on her mane. She was able to climb out of the pen.

She wasn't yapping like the other dogs. She was quiet, focused and cunning. My husband fell in love right away.

Since it was Sunday and her fur reminded me of the sweet ice cream treat, I christened her "Sundae."

We decided to get her. She was content sitting on my stepdaughter's lap in the car. She kept jumping up in her arms in Petco. Sundae hardly barked or whimpered.

Sundae adored the pink stingray squeak toy I picked out for her.  I call it her 'baby.' She loves playing keep away with me.

She is sweet and rolls on her back for her brown spotted belly to be rubbed.

She has been like having a new baby. My husband and I worry about what she is doing and making sure she is eating, going to the bathroom and feeling happy. Sundae has had me outside for hours playing with her after work.

I'm not a patient person. It is a huge downfall I own. Put me with a sassy and hyper puppy and my patience is tested. She is like a toddler. Full of curiosity about her new world and eager to take in all the scents, noises and sensations. Her delicate soft paws feeling the matted down grass and hard sidewalk for the first time.

I love this pup but she is still a baby. She has occasional accidents in the house and in the van. She chews and jumps on furniture. 

Sundae does some goofy things. She has managed to figure out how to escape through the small gap between the fences. She drags her dish around almost like someone banging a tin can on a jail cell.

When tuckered out in her kennel, she lets out a tiny snore. I'm so happy I'm not the only gal in the house who is sawing wood during a deep slumber.

My husband and I seem to focus our conversations around Sundae. It takes me back to when I first became a stepmother. He used to call me and ask how the kids were behaving. Suddenly I'm overcome with wishing the kids were small again. Sundae is our 'baby.'

Boy she can be strange. She eats ants and on occasion her own fecal matter. Sundae has a Napoleon complex. She is a gruff and tough for a pipsqueak.  She has a soft growl when approaching big dogs around the neighborhood. I laugh as she lets out a faint  barking sound,"Arrrf,"

I say she is a writer's goldmine because she does the funniest things. I joke she should have been called Marley from "Marley and Me."

So we have made it out alive after a week. I can't wait to blog more about our new found addition to the family.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Too Late To Apologize By: Karen Pilarski

Has your throat ever throbbed from the scorching words said? The mere glance at the person turns the stomach. The single last tear drips down the flushed cheek.

 Using salty language, you swear never to speak to the other person ever again.

There are many times when anger tightens within puffed out chests, That is when thorny things are said. More often than not we don't really mean those words.

The heat of the moment soon calms and both parties apologize. Someone is the bigger person eventually.

However, there are people who continue to hurt and create havoc.

My mother has been in and out of my life since my parents divorced. She left my father for another man. Don't feel too sorry for dear old pop. He was emotionally abusive and neglectful. Mom found a man who was worse than my dad. The man was both physically and emotionally abusive.

At the time I was a senior in high school and had several younger siblings. The youngest was my five year old sister *Holly. Our mother wanted the younger ones to be put in foster homes. My dad couldn't take care of them.

Since Holly was a baby, I took care of her. I made sure she was fed and bathed. I even brought her to my cheerleading practices. The thought of losing her was unbearable. I knew how Milwaukee foster care system worked. It didn't work.

I spent 18 years with all these siblings and didn't want us to be split up.

My older sister *Leah and I ended up taking care of the younger ones. I put college on hold and lost a few relationships over it.

Eventually I decided to go to college.

 My oldest sister has serious mental issues. Knowing Holly was under her care was difficult.

*Holly and my stepdaughter Mia on her back.
What hurt so much was Leah used Holly as a pawn. She refused to let anyone see her. She stole from me, she betrayed another sister. Never once did our mother or father attempt to intervene.

As the younger ones grew up the older siblings took turns caring for them.

Eventually my twin brother took custody of Holly until she was an adult.

My twin was getting married and because my mom wasn't the first to know, she refused to go. She never really got to know any of her grandchildren.

Mom has drifted in and out of all our lives. Her boyfriend always alienates her from everyone and stirs the pot. Without warning she falls off the face of the earth for awhile. My dad's mental and physical health has declined in the years that have passed.

She managed to be in my life when I got married. That was around the time my beloved aunt passed away. When my aunt died, she suddenly wanted her children around. She wanted to be a grandma.

It didn't last long.

When my mom is present in my world, I feel happy. She has maternal guidance and support to give. Many of my other siblings can't bypass all the hurt and drama that comes with her. They keep a safe distance.

Over this past Mother's Day weekend I couldn't make it to dinner with her and my younger sister. I tried calling her but she didn't respond.

For a whole month.

She called the other day when I was out and about. Something seemed odd. She didn't apologize for not calling me back. She asked if I heard anything new. I told her I had to go.

Yesterday I found out she had been trying to reach my other siblings. The 'wanting her children around' feeling had come back. She felt she was getting older and wanted to have a good relationship with all her kids before she died.

 Only they wanted no part of it.

 I feel that way about Leah. She is so toxic and disastrous. I just can't deal with her and her jealous and petty ways anymore. I dealt with it enough growing up and my early adulthood.

It is funny how the ones who want to make amends say "Life is too short." Yes it is. Perhaps that is why the wounded hearts want to go away and heal.

Life is too short to deal with the inconsistency and traumatic episodes.   

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Silly Putty By: Karen Pilarski

My mind has been in the clouds lately. All these thoughts, aspirations and wants changing at the speed of a kid's attention span.

I think about the ramifications and swayed by others. I'm like putty in their hands.

At a somber moment I had a flashback of silly putty. You know, the cheap toy moms everywhere used to buy a wailing kid in the supermarket.

Silly putty is similar to the crazy ideas I toss out in the ether. They are as limitless as a child's imagination as they play around with the pink tinted concoction.

In my heart I'm a writer. Ideas often bounce off of a fragmented thought and mold into something completely different.

Silly putty can stretch out in strings and bounce like a ball. However, if a sharp impact occurs it breaks. That is how fragile a writer's observations are.

That is how fragile we are at times. 

Immature ideas are trite and outlandish yet not as permanent like hardened clay.

I wonder if I'm just frustrated over my career or relationships in my life. I want to run around the globe writing about travels. My feet want to feel sore and blistered from the travel, my shoes want to be worn out.

Have you ever become lost in thought about taking a job out of state? Daydreamed about a hot kiss with someone? Yearned for the days when life was carefree?

It would be tragic to indulge. Too many hurt feelings, loss of reputation and stability. As humans we are paranoid and think risk, RISK, RISK.

Perhaps we need to learn a new word. Chance. CHANCE, CHANCE.

I question if the fear of the unknown keeps us from what we want?  The odd thing is putty stains if caked on clothes.

 Trust me, I have washed putty on jeans. It just sticks. Could that be what happens to happiness if we don't follow it? The concept diminishes but fragments appear imprinted on our  denim souls forever.

For some reason, I've been partial to Playdough. There are so many products out there to distort and manipulate it. It is bright and comes in different colors. Playdough molds easier and has a good texture to it.

I love flashy and transforming ideas. With all the bells and whistles it seems more appealing to cave to those type of wants.

Either way when we don't do what we want, our heart's desires dry out and become brittle. The slightest criticism spoken and all is shattered. 

Often my skin is flushed or pale, However, malleable is not a word to describe me. I am not putty in someone's hands.

I am not silly.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Together We Can Bring on The Change By: Karen Pilarski

The devastating events in Isla Vista, CA has left people reeling with horror. Unfortunately this type of mental illness is prevalent in these tragic times.

With each breaking news story, are we becoming desensitized to violence?

I studied news writing in college. I understand the 'if it bleeds, it leads' mentality. The mass shooting are plastered all over the cable news and more attention is often given to the murderer than his/her victims.

I know people want answers, we need a resolution. The focus on the killer may help give a picture into his/her psyche.

Without warning, finger pointing and blaming begins and anger boils over. Are guns to blame or is it society's reactions to mental illnesses?

Every shooting has unique circumstances.

In my hometown of Milwaukee, Sierra Guyton was shot last week while playing on a playground. She was caught in the cross fire during a fight. She is ten years old. She is now brain dead and is clinging to life.

There was no mental illness. Only stupidity and carelessness of everything around the people who shot her.

In Isla Vista, a 22 year old named Elliott Rodgers, who was mentally disturbed created and unveiled his attack with knives and bullets. Before the attack there was YouTube videos that contained insane rants. He blamed everyone for his problems and failures.

The people on the streets had no ill will, they like Guyton were living their lives. In an instant lives changed and lives ended.

Each time blood is shed, we weep and exclaim "This has to stop!" Yet, no one knows how to make the madness and senseless actions diminish.

There are people calling for the right to carry or a ban on guns. Protests about better mental health screenings and treatment. 

It is a battle ground out in our world today. One minute people in a crowded movie theater are watching a movie or kids learning in school. The next minute bullets spray in the air.

My heart is heavy thinking of those who died and the ones struggling to live.

In my creative writing class we discussed Mariah Carey's songs. We analyzed "There's Got To Be A Way." 

"There's got to be a way
To connect this world today
Come together to relieve the pain
There's got to be a way
To unite this human race
And together we'll bring on a change."
Her strong words still have an effect on me in my 30's. Separately we are all spinning our wheels and not accomplishing our shared goal. Together, united we can make the change we seek.

Violence sometimes can't be prevented just as car crashes happen unexpectedly. In the meantime, hold your children close and thank the heavens above for each day with them.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Story Of Your Life By: Karen Pilarski

Barbara Walters (picture from
There is something calming about reading the rich history of a life lived. I'm always curious as to where a person is coming from. Memoirs and biographies are the mind map of the subject.

The intricate experiences of childhood and life's ups and downs spilling onto pages of a book.
The reader is a mere observer of a bumpy story told.

Oprah and Barbara Walters are amazing interviewers and journalists who I admire.

Both women inspire and ask hard hitting questions to get at the core of a person's soul.

As a writer I find solace in learning about how others have lifted themselves up.

Life can get bubble gum sticky. Without forethought or caution, the heel of the worn down shoe get stuck in the pink goo. It stretches into thin glue like stings. Yet, it still remains on the shoe.

The beauty of memoirs I find, is that the gum doesn't need to be removed either. The journey of accomplishment despite the dirtied spot of gum is what uplifts me.

I also love titles of books and figuring out why people called their books that. I'm sure many people try to make a connection to what they are known for or a play on words with their names.

Blogging for me is a way of scribing my history. I love reading fellow writer's take on this crazy world.

I wonder if I wrote my own memoir what I would title it.

What would you name the story of your life?

A fellow blogger/writer and friend Rochelle Dukes Fritsch has a blog called "The Late Arrival." I adore the title and her poignant and thought provoking pieces. She is a fellow Milwaukee writer and a wonderful person.

I would totally borrow her title for my memoir.  At the very least a similar theme.

 I was born premature yet I've been late to do just about everything. I was developmental delayed due to being a premie. I was four pounds when my mom gave birth to me. I didn't walk or talk right away, I was a late bloomer.

Then I look at other aspects. I didn't go to college right away. I didn't marry till I was 29 years old. I'm sure I was have a biological child when I hit 50. That is a post for another time. 

Here is a list of my favorite memoirs I have read. My list is in no special order.

1. Audition (2008), Barbara Walters- She is iconic and a legend in journalism. Her book conveys the struggle many women deal with. How to make it in a man's world.

2. Bossy Pants (2011) Tina Fey-Fey is bad ass. She provides a history of a lady with big dreams who made them a reality. My favorite chapter was peeing in jars with boys. There is no big controversies or feuds she unleashes. I have read this a million times. Funny and a road map for us creative types who aspire for more.

3. Peter Jennings: A Reporter's Life (2008)- A seasoned journalist that has covered and reported on the world's biggest stories. Sadly, he passed away from cancer. This is a fitting tribute to his life and career and family told by family and friends.

4. Stories I Only Tell My Friends (2011) Rob Lowe- This is a smart and well written description of growing up in the Midwest. Lowe recounts his raise to stardom and the ups and downs that come with it. Although it is interesting to hear him regale the reader with tales of celebrities, I enjoyed his family stories the most. There is a realness in his tone that I found captivating. He discussed his rough relationship with his father and mother.

5. I Shouldn't Be Telling You This (2012) Kate White- Former editor in chief of Cosmopolitan writes advice to help women to become successful. She discusses how each experience in her career was a learning process. Although a great book for writers and editors, a terrific resource for any working woman.

I'm currently reading Billy Crystal's Still Fool Em' and Where are My Keys (2013). If you have suggestions for a terrific memoirs/biographical story please comment below.

I'm always on the look out for new books and blogs to read. What are your favorites readers?