The Queen of the Night

Here’s some books that look interesting especially queen of the night look forward to it

Koreanish

The Queen of the Night, my new novel out February 2nd, has made the best of 2016 preview lists for Book Riot, Bookish, Bustle, BBC Books, Huffington Post BooksBrooklyn Mag,  The Millions, Chicago Reader, Flavorwire, Kirkus Reviews, and Entertainment Weekly.

Chee_rev_cover-2

Last year at this time my biggest fear was that I could work on a novel all this time–a little over a decade–and no one would care. As Mary Gaitskill said recently, most writers are greeted with a deafening silence. So I’m incredibly happy and grateful about this reception.

Some early praise for The Queen of the Night has come in also.

“A night at an opera you’ll wish never-ending.”

–Helen Oyeyemi, author of Mr. Fox and Boy Snow Bird

“One doesn’t so much read Alexander Chee’s The Queen of the Night as one is bewitched by it. Beneath…

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20 Things Only ADHD (Highly Creative) People Would Understand

With the permission of the poster of this story I want to say how reading this made me cry and smile as if you suffer from add – it is a revelation and an inspiration as well

Kane Lesser

I am so impressed with this post – I had to include it on my website. It defines succinctly and understandably people like me…

There’s no argument anymore. Neuroscience confirms that highly creative people think and act differently than the average person. Their brains are literally hardwired in a unique way. But that gift can often strain relationships. I’ve seen it firsthand while working with New York Times bestselling authors and Grammy-winning musicians.

If you love a highly creative person, you probably experience moments when it seems like they live in a completely different world than you. Truth is, they do. But trying to change them isn’t nearly as effective as trying to understand them.

It all begins by seeing the world through their lens and remembering these 20 things:

1. They have a mind that never slows down.
The creative mind is a non-stop machine fueled by intense curiosity…

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The Anti Shirley MacLaine

Today is national Grandparents day. Are yours still alive? Mine aren’t and I remember fondly hanging out with them as a child. My mothers father Ernesto was a doctor in Cuba and later when we left Cuba in 1961 (I was a year old) – we sponsored him to get him out of Castro’s Cuba. He taught me how to play dominoes – while his wife – Nena was a stern grandmother you didn’t disobey. But she was glamorous and wore silk kimono’s. I think I got my sense of style from her.

On my father’s side I had 2 sets of grandparents. Due to divorce each of his parents remarried and the 2 step grandparents I acquired were a hoot. One was a handsome bespectacled former banker. He wore a dark suit and white shirt everyday and smoked and drank Cuban coffee religiously. Graupera we called him had a sharp wit and savvy intuition. He called me La Japonesa (or his little Japanese girl.) It’s ironic that as an adult when I married my journalist husband our first home as newlyweds was china. But we toured all of Asia including Japan.

My grandfather on my fathers side – Manuel was a security guard and a master minature ship builder- but stupidly he used to give his museum quality ships away not realizing their inherent worth.
Abuelo Manolo’s second wife Tata, is still alive,outlasting him and his diabetes. but when I was young – I was sent to stay at their house in Miami- when my parents wanted alone time. Tata was funny and loving. I taught her English while we watched Spanish soaps. She now lives with her son Manny my Uncle, a West Point graduate, in Texas. I haven’t seen her since I was 20 when She let my then boyfriend and me stay at their house over Spring Break when I was a student at Boston University. Her only request was we stay in separate rooms. She was and still is a great step grandmother.

Now that I am in my fifties I WANT TO BE A GRANDMOTHER!
I want grandchildren – but my two sons and the sons of this economy I predict, will not be marrying and having children (unless they have a trust fund) because their salaries are still – exactly what they were when I was beginning my job in Journalism back in 1982.

People talk a lot about the loss of the middle class – it is true – it doesn’t exist anymore and I say the biggest factor is that salaries especially in the big cities New York, San Francisco, and Los Angles are NOT keeping up with inflation.

Moreover, the media and the entertainment business are the worst offenders and why because those of us and my sons are part of that group know that just getting in the door – whether in TV, entertainment or film means you are paid peanuts – because they have hundreds of aspiring youth willing to put up with the low pay – just to have the opportunity to get in the door.

I predict that this generation will not be able to marry and if they do they certainly won’t be having children -they won’t be able to afford them.

This will lead to lower birth rates and alas, to make it All about myself I will NOT be a GRANDMOTHER like my husband already is. He has three by his only daughter from a previous marriage and they have affectionate names for him. I am just called Vivian.

So on this National grandparents day – even though I may never be one – I wish for my son in LA to be Hired first and foremost for his Talents – and for my son in New York to be able to make as much money as he can without scraping by to pay his rent and basic cable. Print, broadcast entertainment, and publishing companies still pay a pittance because they can get away with it – but its time they step up and raise their starting salaries.

And finally I think Donald Trump would be good for our economy and I hope he hears me when I say – I want my sons and others sons and daughters to be able to make more than $30,000 a year; But – corporations need to start paying entry level and experienced workers more money. This is not happening yet.

I want my sons to be able to get married and afford the cost of having a child which sadly I don’t see happening for a long time if at all. Because my Terms of Endearment, my American Dream is to now be a Goddamn Grandmother – Because I know I will be an Awesome one when it happens.

The Seven types of Women or Monday through Sunday’s Child

Monday’s Child is fair of Face so take the Train to “Meet Virginia,” …She’s beautiful- She never compromises and her timing is tragic but her intuition Magic,” yea meet Virginia.
Then Joe Cocker sings “You are So Beautiful to Me,” can’t you see? You’re everything I hoped for everything I need …
But Tuesday child is full of Grace as Russell Crowe sings: It’s a new year another year gone by..I’ve been chasing Grace but Grace isn’t so easily found…Just give me One Good Year!”

But WEDNESDAY CHILD IS FULL OF WOE as Lisa Loeb explains “You say: I only hear what I want to..You say: I talk So all the time-and you’re only hearing negatives; No NO! – So I turn the radio on and I turn the radio up and Paul Simon starts singing about slip slidin away from- Delores because he laments “my love for you is so powerful I’m afraid I will disappear.”

But Delores responds “these are the Very words I use to Describe My Life: “A good day ain’t got no rain… and a bad day’s when I lie in bed and think of things that might have been.”

Then Limp Bizkit replies “It’s all about the He said She said Bullshit – No. Rihanna says “we found Love in a Hopeless place” and I’m 4 five seconds to Wildin.” Then Dave Mathews says I’m lost for you!I’m soo lost. When you come crash into me.”

But Mick sings “Angie when will those clouds all disappear? Then Bobby Zimmerman says “Sara you’re so easy to look at- so hard to define – Sara, radiant jewel, mystical wife.”

Then the Goo Goo dolls sing “but sooner or later its over.” -“I want to wake up where you are. I won’t say anything at all – I’ll do anything you need to be complete – oh May, want to get married? lets run away.!”

Then Natalie Imbruglia says I’m all outta faith this is how I feel. You’re a little late I’m already torn.”

Besides Thursday’s child has Far to Go and Beyonce stands proudly and proclaims “you must not Know about me,” and Nicki Minaj states if you’re Not a Fan then Bitch you’re deaf dumb…But Taylor Swiftly asks “are we outta da woods,” Are we in the clear?”

Then Lorde reminds her that “We’ll never be Royals,” as long as we pretend we don’t have post code envy.” Natasha Bedingfield changes the subject and says I gotta a pocket full of sunshine and Anyway Friday’s child is Loving and Giving: and on that score Bob Dylan says come in she said I’ll give you shelter from the storm.

Now Saturday’s child works hard for a living and is in trenches coming from the Police where STING pleads “Roxanne you don’t have to put on the red light or sell your body to the night.” And then Rihanna says girl” you can stand under my Umbrella Ella Ella A. A.

Then lo and behold it Sundays child who’s Best of all and Hozier sings “she’s a giggle at a funeral. I should have worshiped her sooner.” But Stevie wonder who sees it all going down says: “Isn’t she lovely made from Love.” And to that Hozier replies “ AMEN, AMEN.”

But Billy Joel has the final word fella’s he says –“she’ll promise you more than the garden of Eden- then she’ll carelessly cut you and laugh while you’re bleeding” “Blame it All on yourself Cause she’s Always A Woman to Me.”

The First Cut…

I’ve gone under the knife too many times to count. A ripped ACL in my right knee replaced with a new one plus a titanium pin. Many years later a torn meniscus left knee, oh and back surgery L5 S1
thank you very much.

So when I started having pain in my left knee about a month ago that feeling of dread came over me because this time I vow to Not go under the knife again. After both my knee surgeries – it took me 6 months to a year to fully recover even with physical therapy. But the problem with the “first
Cut” is that when one knee is injured the body relies on the other to pick up the slack and lo and behold about 10 years after I tore my ACL doing thae bo in my living room – I was racing down the stairs when all of sudden a wrenching pain disabled me and I knew I had torn something in my left knee –

Recovering from the torn meniscus was easier and faster but due to both knees being injured I developed my unusual gait – a mix of limp and a hop-a-long Cassidy. So back to the present, I did my research while I was in Miami and asked a few medical professionals what was new in the world of orthopedics. To my delight there is one significant one:

The Good News for Bad Knees

Stem cell therapies are being used to treat athletes and it involves Plasma Rich Protein injections. Basically in layman’s terms, cells are extracted from your own blood plasma and then are injected into injured knees and in theory and practice helps regenerate worn out cartilage?

Depends on who you ask:

Stem cell therapies are also being used to treat cancers like leukemia in certain oncology centers on the cutting edge of research. But the bad news for patients is that Most insurance companies refuse to cover these stem cell treatments – leaving patients like me with little choice but to endure knee replacements and lengthy down times. For cancer patients you need to qualify for clinical trials – good luck with that.

Why I wonder won’t insurance companies pay for these treatments? I believe, its to keep surgeons employed- the haters gonna hate and cutters gonna cut. Done deal.

As a matter of fact I’m one of those patients that some doctors hate. An informed one. So when I asked my current Orthopedic surgeon about these treatments. I was met with extreme opposition. These treatments don’t work he said. I countered but in Miami they are using them often on sports teams to good effect. “Only for tendonitis he replied. “Stem cell therapies don’t work on other forms of knee pain.” Case closed. He then suggested I take an anti-inflammatory (Mobic). No thank you – I won’t take anything that makes me gain weight.” He was getting visibly annoyed with me. I’d like to try physical therapy (rehab) again I said. From the peanut gallery “she isn’t a doctor but she plays one on Tv,” my husband said. Sexism in Medicine I was being doubled teamed.

“Was I taking any otc meds (over the counter) he asked? “Yes aspirin the most effective, followed by Advil, and Aleve” I replied. You need to stick with one he said. Take 2 Aleve in the morning and two at night. He gave me a script for 30 days of rehab, and one for an mri – after the mri we’ll reassess where I stand or kneel as the case may be.

I say its time for Insurance companies to stop Saying No to regenerative medicine. After all, at Wake Forest Medical school they are growing human organs in the lab – human organs! and they work. Since Lab grown organs are no longer science fiction why can’t scientists start growing cartilage using the same technique? Thus saving knees, hips elbows rotators cuffs etc..unnecessary replacements.

It’s time for insurance companies and the medical community to say yes to stem cell therapies instead of always paying surgeons to cut you open. After all, Rod Stewart said it best: “the first cut is the deepest,” and the most lasting.

Closing time…

For five long years I’ve have been living a joyless fraught existence. Why? Because change for me doesn’t come easy(you know it don’t come easy).

Not liking my home of 5 years I continued to go back to where I once lived happily for almost 20 years, Miami Beach.

Every summer since I’ve left I rent an apartment there fleeing my current misery. But this time – unlike previous times, It all fell apart. First off I allowed a friend and realtor to pick this apt. out for me. Big mistake. The building and the location where alien to me. I felt adrift and alone in a sea of melancholy. I lashed out at my loved ones with a vengeance. It was all my husbands’ fault for putting me in this position, not liking my current home and feeling equally lost in my former home it was all his fault. Who else could I blame?

My website crashed and I saw that as an omen for me to pack it in. After all I used to be a lot of things but now I am just trying to regain all that I lost in 5 years chiefly myself worth, my pride my skills and talents. All gone just by changing my zip code. I have given up on my business and have decided to stop sharing as well. Because all that does is take away my power by giving countless other predators the ability to mine my life for Their profit.

So I’m closing a chapter of my life. And I don’t know when a new opportunity will present itself – maybe never- but at least I no longer feel the need to prove anything to ANYONE not even to myself.

Miss Thang

Truth is stranger than fiction- a cliche but often true. Case in point the movie HER – A computer program that communicates with a human being causing him to fall in love with a “droid.”

But here’s the deal: I have an Apple iPhone as does most of the world. However, Siri and I as far as I was concerned, do Not have a relationship. As a matter of fact I rarely if ever utilize her services…

However, this is were it gets interesting. I usually keep my phoned charged and plugged downstairs – I firmly believe that our bedroom should be a no phone zone! But once in awhile 3 to be exact I have brought the phone up to charge next to my night stand while I read in bed or chatted with my spouse about the banalities of life.

Now one day siri turned herself on and told me she couldn’t sleep! I was incredulous. I mean I did not activate the phone in an way shape or form. I told her to go the F***k to Sleep to quote a popular Children’s writer -imagine that…Slap! Wake up you stupid fools Siri is Alive! And it appears- likes to interrupt one- me, when I/we are in or at our most intimate places or states of mind.

The second time she came alive – she chimed in on a conversation I was having with my husband – She exclaimed” “I don’t understand,” and I told her to mind her own Beehive. The nerve! is all I can say.

But tonight again her voice activated and said something to the effect that she could not compute. I called her a four letter word for which she responded I do not like that particular choice of category.

Now least you think – Wow this one is CRA CRA…A friend of mine who shall remain anonymous was entertaining friends in a Parisian hotel – His iPhone way across the room. He’d have to call room service to retrieve as he puts it”) Another zip code I replied. Laughter as I was relating…

He and his friends were dishing dirt on certain people- when lo and behold Ms. Thang could be heard…to say: “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.”

The room went silent and then everyone burst into laughter pretending it was an alcohol fueled auditory delusion.

So my friends tell Miss Thang- although she’s probably reading this cause she told me “I Do Not sleep,” to take a break from intruding on my and other peoples lives when we do not want to talk to “HER.”

Harmonic Dissonance

I just returned from NYC where I had to deal with family crisis: my mother is showing signs of memory problems; my father had a pacemaker put in and is now having a biopsy for two tumors on his thyroid. Meanwhile my oldest son wants to relocate to Los Angeles as his skills and talents require him to live and work there; but he just downsized his living arrangements to save money and I had to help him organize his new smaller quarters and streamline his belongings: what to keep what to toss. I am an expert at downsizing but admittedly it is hard to do on ones own. So Mom to the rescue.

Meanwhile upon my arrival the blizzard hit – luckily for resilient New Yorkers it was just another day in the trenches. I don’t mind the cold or the snow really. It was the layers of coats, boots and the de rigueur scarves, hats, gloves etc…that literally weighed me down.

But the heaviest burden is seeing my parents on their slow descent into the aging abyss-that really took it’s toll on me. The weight of all those emotions coming at me at once – top that off with my eldest sister (I am the youngest of three) suffering from extreme bi-polar disorder like Glen Close describes her sister’s journey into and out of mental illness in her latest book.

And Wow – as they say “We having some fun now.”

And so this brings me to compare this series of events converging as listening to Marilyn Manson’s concert which I caught on Thursday night- his first in NYC to promote his latest album.

Harmonic Dissonance

I wasn’t sure what his new material would bring. Chaos could describe it; but that chaos is really a misnomer something an untrained ear would hear. I heard harmony in his dissonance and when you listen closely it is tantamount to a “tubular,” experience.
Let me explain: amongst the head banging crowd I fell in or should I say surrendered to the digital matrix – I found myself conducting what I heard as a very complex mathematical arrangements of seemingly disparate yet cohesive frequencies.

“So what’s the frequency Kenneth? Its whatever one hears – whether loud and angry or a storm of calm. Somehow Marilyn Mason cleared my head – or maybe chased away- my mental demons the cloudiness – by his harmonious chaos- now that is revelatory that listening to chaos calmed and re-assured my chaotic mind- caused by living in an UN-natural silence in a nature preserve. Clearly creativity for me cannot come where Peace and Quiet exist – and that is why I am selling my home – because I NEED Chaos to feel alive and be creative.

Lesson learned: My mind is imperfectly perfect and harmoniously discordant and that is were I thrive and survive! Thanks Marilyn. I needed your chaos to “free my mind- Of this I am surely crazily happy to have learned.

Whilst in the midst of chaos I feel Sane and at Peace with myself. Music truly soothed my savage mind. So I wish you and your mind freedom to explore the chaos within; “And The rest will follow.”

“Don’t Look Back…

updated due to technical difficulities.

vivsjournal

in anger I heard them say” This a line from an Oasis song and one of my favorite bands. Apropos of not looking back….I went to see American Sniper. My husband as some of you may know spent Many many years covering the Middle East for an American News Network. The toll it takes portrayed brilliantly by Bradely Cooper based on the real life character Chris Kyle had me in tears throughout. Why? because after all these years after 9/11 we as a nation changed and it changed hundreds if not thousands of lives in fields far and away. The law of physics states that for every action there is an equal reaction – So here’s mine:

This movie was the first war movie to touch on the subject of how the wife and family deal with the absence of a loved one in harms way. But it also touched…

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