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Sandra, you seem to put a lot of your personal life out there for all the world to see. You publish under your real name, write about life, love, fears, kids and just about everything else in your world. Doesn’t it bother you that people have so much access to what might be better kept private?
Anonymous

True, not quite, yes, and no … reasons follow:

1. Because I don’t trust writers who refuse to put their name to their work, it’s long felt important that people know who I am. By not disguising my identity, I accept accountability, and given that so much of my work over the years has swirled around controversial, contentious issues that could have impact on lives, stepping up and stating clearly who I am and where I’m coming from has been important.

2. Contrary to some perceptions, I don’t actually write about everything in my life. There are huge swathes of living that don’t come under the pen because a) it’s not interesting, b) there’s nothing of value to share with readers, c) it’s not my story to tell, d) I’m saving it for a book, or e) I don’t bloody want to.

3. I find life as an open book rewarding, personally and financially. I’m a writer; opening books is what writing is about.

4. Writing about pain is cathartic. It’s neither fun, nor easy, but not only does it feel right at the time I’m spewing, I reap rewards of validation and compassion that would be hard to come by were I to sit on my story and stew.

5. I’m a cockeyed optimist when it comes to honesty. I actually feel that the more truth there is in the world, the more chance there is for improvement. Like putting a brick in the toilet, recycling or driving an energy-efficient car, writing the truth feels like doing my bit.

6. I live on an island in the middle of nowhere. It’s not like every wacko in Waco can pop by for a stalking.

7. I live on an island in the middle of nowhere. It’s not like I can cultivate a local contingent of hundreds of brilliant conversationalists to keep me sharp and interested.

8. People who come into my world understand that parts of my life end up in print. If I were a painter, I’d paint it; as a poet I poem it. Art comes from life. Send me something profound and I’ll quote you. Impress me and I’ll publicize you. Love me and I’ll celebrate you. Hurt me and I’ll whine about you. If that wraps my accountability around others who would rather not have life repeat on them, well, they knew that on the way in the door.

Nuff said …

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“Two years on a tightrope”

Tensile strength’s a wondrous thing
when strung ‘tween heav’n and hell
and balancing upon a string
has often served me well

I’ve found a step in some directions
moves me toward a goal
(though a predilection for erections
leaves me less than whole … )

Scampering back a step or two
toward heaven? or toward hell?
and I’m remembering what I knew …
All lessons learned too well.

On one end, there’s my future
the other holds my past
but either end can injure
and both could be my last

I’ve walked the rope almost two years
between his needs and mine
broken promises and tears
unraveling the twine

Possible? It never was,
with this I learned to cope,
withstanding lies and all because
our world was hung on hope

The tensile strength is ebbing
the tightrope’s come undone
it’s loosed the complex webbing
keeping he and me as one

It’s snapped, that rope, and left me
hanging inches from the earth
My safety net has saved me;
still in tact and know my worth

There’ll someday be another
with the strands all forged anew
Yes, there will be other lovers
and, yes, someone will be true

“Faded Blues”

The color has all drained away
no blues, no blacks, no shades of red
The world is now a dreary gray
because I have to heed my head

The music’s gone, I’ve lost the tune
There’ll be no dancing neath the moon
And why? Because the colors lie …
they hide the truth behind their dye …
because the music, by and by,
would leave me dancing all alone
and for such times I would atone.

I’ll find some color somewhere, true,
some music once again will flow
and when it does I’ll say I knew …
back at a time the world was gold
and full of so much wondrous stuff …
a magic man who was my world
loved me, but just not quite enough.

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As you see by the choice I made way back in the age when blogging meant knowing your HTML and I put Paradise Preoccupied up, I’m a fan of WordPress. Not only is it a stable blogging platform with cool themes that is simple to use and easy to navigate, it also provides stats that give a blogger some valuable info. Not only can I see how many people are reading, which posts attract, where people are coming from, what links they chose to follow, but a whole lot more.

One section of information is a day-to-day listing of search engine parameters … those words or phrases one types in when looking for something specific on the Net; interesting stuff, but I am often appalled by what leads to my writing.

Those who spend some time here on PP know that I’m far from prudish … shit, I swear like a fuckin’ sailor and blather on about unsavories when the mood strikes … but I don’t see myself catering to pervs. Perhaps, however, I’m floating down the river Denial.

People do find the blog by inputting my name, Paradise Preoccupied, adoption-related topics and fam affiliation, but what is more than odd is how often poorly spelled pleas for porn are Googled, and why the heck they send people my way?

Here are some examples of what pops up:

• girls pulling girls underwear out
• plastic boobs fail
• aside panties
• big panties
• plastic panties
• pedophile in paradise
• titty tether
• incest capital of britain
• tribe woman tits
• looking women in japan in panties
• long schlong
• titties on your face

I mean really! Who are these people?

It’s easy enough to suss out how my blog comes up in a search of some of these … my post on pulling on the big girl panties was provocatively titled, I know, and Panties Aside just aggravated the issue … but I’m at a loss to understand why some variation of “tits pointing up” appears almost daily — twice last Sunday.

Less salacious searches puzzle, too. How many people actually spend time looking for “the meaning of Scrabble”? (They’re sure to be disappointed with my answer.) And I apparently touched a nerve when titling a blog “Bill Mahre is hot, is he not?” since “Bill Mahre is hot” are words googled at least twice a week, as if a lot of folks are looking for confirmation of this irrefutable fact.

I get flack from some quarters for writing as often as I do on personal matters, but I swear on my iPad I have never claimed my tits point up.

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This post would be more correctly titled “Why I’m not Writing for Myself”, since I am writing loads, but for others.

Social media management is one fragment of my fragmented life these days, so I’m facebooking and Tweeting and such anonymously for others, and find I don’t at all mind the mindlessness of pretending to be someone else who has something to gain from glib verbosity. In fact, I rather enjoy plucking words from air that I’m not wed to … that’s the words, not the air, since breathing still commands my days and nights.

For those who haven’t sussed out the diff between my English and Ernesto’s, I patrol his pages and respond to all varieties of the sycophantic and moony-eyed, as well as the truly-impressed-by-genius, who post.

(sycophante, or via Latin from Greek sukophantēs ‘informer,’ from sukon ‘fig’ + phainein ‘to show’ ; the association with informing against the illegal exportation of figs from ancient Athens (recorded by Plutarch) is not substantiated.)

I do likewise … but sans the figs and the emotional attachment … with other sites, to some advantage to all.

I should also be turning my attention to the fiction that stews and brews and begs fruition, but life gets in the way these days. The Spicemans nag daily. and notes, thoughts and more drift constantly upward, only to be squashed under drifts of real life.

So …

Could I be writing about law suits and the feckless ex and real estate sales and dog-chewed bumpers and my dealings with Cleo (Queen of Denial) and the bazillion ways I can’t process Jaren, and my mother’s decent, and the Kon Tiki of fam issues, and being stuck on a rock and needing a break?

Mon pa think so, mon ker.

I hold hope that some Vesuvius erupts … although this week that would have to be an Eyjafjallajokull … forcing a disgorging of petrified prose newly molten, steaming and demanding flow, but it ain’t happening today.

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Valentine’s verse …

Today is the day we all think of hearts
But, in actuality, there’s more focus on parts
a bit further south
(though, also the mouth)
where love is a’throbbin’
inviting a bobbin’
… like for apples, she teases
as she knows how this pleases …
Since biology tells that all parts are linked up
it makes some good sense to attempt to think up
south and down north
and, for what it’s worth,
all is driven by pumpin’
from that heart that’s a’thumpin’
So here’s wishing to all
a good Valentine’s humpin’ …

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Sometimes this stuff just pops out …

There was a brief time
when I was a whore
Which was all the more better
than being a bore

I have, in my dotage,
developed approaches
that have the advantage of
seeming reproachless

A serial monogomist
(no longer have to keep a list)
I’m able now to concentrate
upon whom I consummate

(which is not the same thing
as eating him up
but can be just as filling
as any good sup)

I detest being single,
like being attached,
but have the slight issue
of finding that match

who can keep me smiling
high water or hell come
and knows all the ways of
making me well cum

So, yes, I’ve slowed way down
put the brakes on for sure
but still linger fondly
on those days as a whore

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Nothing to say …

It appears I’m not ready to start blogging about life and death and politics, but in cleaning my office I did find a poem, apropos absolutely nada, that I wrote some time ago …

So offering a bit of blather after all this time:


Suzi Got Her Uzi

She rode bareback
cross the plains, she did
Brown braids
cracking, snapping
a cat-o-2-tails

Straight-backed, perfect
toes up, heels down

And she could sing
she could sing
Strong and loud
canyon wall echos
weak reflections of
the voice
the voice

Put on a show, she could
all the fanfare
with costumes and changes
Handstands on broad backs
The world moves while
the horse stands still

She rode bareback
cross the plains, she did
Hits the bull’s eye
at fifty paces and 20 MPH
She hit it once
one thousand times
one thousand times

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Censorship has always been fractious and very often random, with one person’s yikes being another’s yipee.

Any look at lists of banned books will provoke a prolonged head scratch in thinking people … like the 1931 ban of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” for its “…portrayal of anthropomorphized animals acting on the same level as humans”, that has to prompt questions on just what sort of drugs were popular in China at the time.

Lest anyone think that the world of wars over words has grown brighter lately, this recent offering about the American Library Association’s list for this year’s “Banned Book Week” might spell out that this is not the case.

Have folks not learned that wagging the naughty finger at art has the same effect on the market that a toreador’s cute butt in tight pants has on a bull? Or as Sherman Alexi, author of the oft-challenged “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” put it:

… the amazing thing is these banners never understand they are turning this book into a sacred treasure. We don’t write to try and be banned, but it is widely known in the [young adult] world, we love this shit.

You’ll excuse me, then, for the trill of thrill I sensed yesterday when a facebook friend and PP reader informed me that my post on pret a porte condoms in India got me banned in China.

Yep. Apparently the mention of the word “penis” … or maybe it was “schlong”, or possibly “survey” — who knows? … set up a chain reaction that caused clicking on a link to my blog to be a practice in finger futility.

How cool is THAT?

Here’s the ALA’s Top Ten most frequently challenged books of 2008:

1. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Reasons: anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group

2. His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, violence

3. TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R series by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

4. Scary Stories series by Alvin Schwartz
Reasons: occult/satanism, religious viewpoint, violence

5. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
Reasons: occult/satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, violence

6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited to age group

7. Gossip Girl series by Cecily von Ziegesar
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

8. Uncle Bobby’s Wedding by Sarah S. Brannen
Reasons: homosexuality, unsuited to age group

9. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

10. Flashcards of My Life by Charise Mericle Harper
Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

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Please click here to fill out a few little boxes that may lead me out of some of my cluelessness …

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I did some bloggy housecleaning last night and accidentally deleted this post.
Forgive the rerun, but I like it and want to keep it up.

The moon is still a very long way from setting into the Indian Ocean, and so bright that it has dimmed my stars. The Big Dipper … upside-down on this side of the Equator, which is why here it is called the Plow … has lost its usual impact on the night sky, but is hanging before me, indicating, as always, North.

North … roots, history, family, Ernesto. I long for North, and sometimes the pull of that Pole is strong.

It’s the Southern Sky that covers me now, and has for thirteen years. I’ve grown to know it, and on mornings like this during the pause between darkness and dawn, I love it more than I ever recall loving a sky before.

Loving it, I worship.

Straight from my bed perched on the edge of sky, I rise, and naked I stretch out on my balcony and moonbathe. Even this grand and bright, this huge moon’s light brings no heat, unlike the golden sun that waits just over the island to brown my skin with its rays, but it pours through air that is amniotic … warm, wet, all-enfolding … and brushes my body with silver.

I would like to close my eyes and shine, but don’t want to miss a minute of the beauty before me, this gift of light, so I stare in wonder and search the moon’s well-known face that stares back at me and smiles.

Luna.

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