FATTENING THE CURVES or DEAR YOU WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED



Dear (I’ll not give you power by speaking your name),

My life is in ruins and you are to blame.

You’re the excuse I give for not accomplishing my goals, 

the reason my book bombed before it soared. 

And it’s because of you, I’m so freakin’ bored.

You’re the reason for my miscarriages, 

my financial collapse, my failed marriages, 

You’re the reason I’ve fattened my curves,

the reason I’m drinking more to calm my nerves. 

You’re the reason my children don’t come visiting. 

The reason (except for my husband) I’m all alone sitting 

on the couch, quarantined, and it’s all your fuckin’ faults.

Filled with alibis and justification,

I want to blame you, but it would be false 

to give you credit or qualification.

For if I were to blame you – you whose name I’ll not chime — 

I’d have to thank you for the goodness in this isolation,

For this new perspective and source of inspiration, 

this time to write a new and better novel to withstand time. 

I’d have to thank you for absolving me of my sins of omission.

Thank you for giving myself the permission

not to work out, not to obsess about losing weight 

(In the end, does it matter if I’m size 12 or size 8?). 

I’d have to thank you for letting me skip a shower.

I want to thank you, but I won’t give you the power.

I’d have to thank you for letting me keep the skunk 

striping my scalp or for letting me get drunk 

on Cakebread Chardonnay on wine box Monday.

I’d have to thank you for no Botox one day

to drown the 11’s sprouting up between my brow 

and the deep crevices shooting out across my bow. 

I’d have to thank you for the liberty to wear 

comfy sweat pants, t-shirts, no underwear,

Freedom to go braless, shoeless — less healthy,

more comfort food, more carbs, more sugar. 

I’d have to thank you for keeping my children at bay. 

They’re not visiting – love’s social distancing —

for a “senior,” more vulnerable to an unnecessary foray. 

And I’d have to thank you for emerging 

now when I’ve finally found someone

with whom I want to be isolating

today and forever, it’s you I want to blame. 

I want to thank you, but I’ll not give you anymore sway

by speaking your name. 

                        Photo by Odysseas Chloridis

 

INFUSION CONFUSION or CANCER IN THE TIME OF COVID

The doctor has called to give us a choice. What? Death by cancer or death by COVID 19?

Wonder-ing

Cover us. We’re going in! I’ve got your six, Honey. But I’ll have to take cover in the car.

We’re going into do battle today — up against another beast. We’ll strap on our weapons and don our masks and gloves and head on over to UCLA Medical Center.

Damn! We were half way through the treatments — today one treatment closer to the finish line and now this – World War III. 

Oncology isn’t E.R., but still they say sneezing can shoot like bullets up to 27 feet, droplets suspend like paratroopers up to 10 minutes. I don’t want my husband to risk being exposed. 

I think about those in retirement or nearing it; those Veterans of war who’ve already served and fought other battles.  Is this their reward?

I think about those who’ve worked so hard, scrimped and saved. Will they get to check things off their bucket list? 

I suppose this is why we’re to live everyday like it’s our last. Get our houses in order, make our amends, and tell our loved ones we love them. Pop a bottle of Champagne just because.

Drive to the hospital with the top down, but wear a mask and gloves!

RIVER HOUSE BOOKS

My alarm just went off to remind me of my book signing for Curse of the Ninth scheduled this afternoon at RIVER HOUSE BOOKS from 2-4 p.m.

Alas, the event has been postponed until a time when we can meet again! I can’t wait to sign those books!

I just want to give a shout out and thank River House Books for being so kind and gracious.

Take care and virtual hugs

GRANDMA GOT NAILED BY THE EASTER BUNNY

*Photo by James P. Blair
In response to 45s hopes for Easter and 
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s (Texas) call for 
seniors to sacrifice themselves in order 
to save the American Economy
 
Grandpa and I have eight grandchildren 
whom we simply adore
and so in exchange for keeping America strong,
we are willing to sacrifice for the children.
Therefore, on Holy Thursday after washing little feet, 
wiping runny noses and changing poopy diapers,
We will proceed to pick up our cross,
carry it up the hill,
like Jack and Jill, 
to be nailed to the cross.
 
We love our grandchildren so much,
On Good Friday, we will release our spirits. 
Forgive them Father for they know not what they’re doing.
And on the third day, Easter Sunday, 
We will rise like the stock market
So that the children can go to church
And brunch and binge and imbibe mimosas 
before the giant Easter egg roll on the front lawn.
And on Monday, the economy will surge 
and America will keep on going.

And finally, you may wash your hands of this
and please don't cry for our 
deaths will not be in vain.
This, after all, is 
the cure for the coronavirus.

                                   

I ‘LL NOT WASH MY HANDS OF THIS

This Coronavirus. First of all, it is a thing and I must do my part to help curb it. Events, travel, regular life activities have been cancelled.  And this comes on the heels of my book launch for Curse of the Ninth! I don’t want to whine as I’m not the only one on this sinking vessel, but damn this is my story and right now it sucks! And it all makes me wonder if the universe is trying to tell me to abandon the writing ship.

It is reminiscent of my first book experience with Isabela’s Island published in 2004. Back before then, I’d first queried another book,The Apple That Fell From Grace.It seemed like it was taking forever to find an agent (after a couple of weeks), so when a small publisher from Wisconsin was excited about my submission, I signed with them. While my editor/publisher Elizabeth worked on my book, I started and finished Isabela’s Island. She loved it and pushed to get that one published first. Wow this writing stuff is pretty easy! Elizabeth and I became fast friends, discussing book signing tours (I believe she even mentioned Oprah) and how we would take a train and work our way across the country signing my book after my September, 2003 launching. 

During our conversations back and forth, Elizabeth had talked about her back problems and how she was going in for a minor procedure on a Friday. Sunday, I called and her husband picked up the phone in one ring. “Hi Bob. May I speak to Elizabeth?” “Elizabeth is dead,” he said. I sucked in a breath as he added, “You know how she loved her baths?” What? “She was soaking in the tub. I should have checked on her sooner, but when I did she had slipped under the water.”

I became unmoored. My mind was reeling. What might have gone wrong during such a simple procedure? What was she doing in the tub so soon after surgery? Why did Bob sound so cavalier? Perhaps he was in shock. Honestly, I never trusted the guy (fellow authors also suspected some sort of foul play, but we’re also writers with vivid imaginations). Perhaps, there were clues in the books she’d written about an abusive naval officer husband. But what about my book? “Needless to say,” Bob added. “The company will close down. Your book will not get published.” 

Of course I cried and mourned my publisher, and just because my book got sucked down the drain, I wouldn’t allow myself to cry. For cry-sake, Elizabeth had just died. But I wasn’t ready to give up on my book and because it was already so close to launch time, very quickly I landed another publisher (albeit another vanity press). 

So now my book Curse of the Ninth.  This time I’d do it right. First of all, it would take years of research in libraries and archives, both here and in Iowa. I’d earn my Writers’ Certificate in Fiction from UCLA. I’d workshop, pay for and go to conferences. I’d network, meet agents (buy them drinks), write, rewrite, revise, query hundreds of agents, swallow hundreds of rejections (“Not for us. Don’t give up.”), seclude from and lose family and friends (husbands), quit my good paying job and become a ghostwriter. I’d hold my head up just above the water. I’d keep going! 

Three years after the completion of Curse of the Ninth, I find a publisher. Eighteen months of revisions and edits and I get a polished gem of a book. So then it launches, and I get to work setting up book events across the country, including the L.A. Times Book Festival, Barnes & Noble, and small bookstores from Mandeville to Carmel-By-The-Sea. And I’m anxious anyway because public speaking is not my thing. But then this Coronavirus is a thing – a cursed thing!

So what will I do now? I’ll not wash my hands of this – oh wait, back up. I will wash my hands and isolate for now. And then I’ll grab another life ring and keep paddling to shore. 

(Credit for hand washing photo .)

Sports Fans: What To Do During Coronavirus? – Be Safe, Stay Home Read a Book

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is postponed as is the Tuscon Festival of Books. And yet, here in Arizona last night it was “Play ball!” as usual.

The Diamondbacks played against the KC Royals (4-4). According to ArizonaSports.com, D-backs relief pitcher Andrew Chafin was dismissive Monday of fears about coronavirus and said he was not hesitant to sign autographs or shake hands. “I ain’t worried about it. I aint afraid of no ghosts (sarcastic emphasis added). I’ll go in and wash my hands afterwards,” he said. “We had a meeting the other day and they were saying something about how there’s been — I don’t know if I got this right — but like 18,000 deaths because of the flu, and we’re worried about 30 [in the U.S.] from the coronavirus. It’s the same thing, basically. I think the media overplayed it a little bit.”

Fears over the global spread of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, have prompted major professional sports leagues in North America to close locker rooms and clubhouses to the media.

Here’s something. Please don’t take me out to a ball game! How about everyone just stay home and read my book Curse of the Ninth. Wash your hands first!

PRESS RELEASE: “CURSE OF THE NINTH” BOOK TOUR

                            

“Curse of the Ninth” Author Ruthie Marlenée Announces Book Tour

Los Angeles, CA – March 6, 2020 – Author Ruthie Marlenée released her book “Curse of the Ninth” on Feb. 4, 2020 and announced today that she would be accompanying the release with a book tour. Her tour will begin on March 29 in Carmel-by-the-Sea and she will visit five additional cities including Phoenix, AZ, Glendale, CA, Los Angeles, Sylmar and Santa Barbara. She invites you to come and say hello!

See Marlenée’s full list of tour dates below.

  • 3/29 | 2-4 p.m. | River House Books | Carmel-by-the-Sea
  • 4/5   | 1-3 p.m.  | Barnes & Noble, Phoenix Metro
  • 4/11 | 2-4 p.m. | Barnes & Noble | Glendale Galleria
  • 4/18  | 2-4 p.m. |Festival of Books | USC Campus, L.A.
  • 4/24 | 7-9 p.m. |Tia Chucha Centro Cultural | Sylmar
  • 5/2 | 3-4 p.m. | Tecolote Book Store | Santa Barbara
  • TBA | 7:30 p.m. | Silver Park Arts Literary Lounge | L.A.

Los Angeles Blue Book

Who remembers this little Los Angeles Blue Book and who can say their name is listed in this Society Register of Southern California? There was a time when I was important — the proof is in the pages. I was only three years old, but hey, I got my 1/15 inches of fame!

So what does the little Los Angeles Blue Book and Curse of the Ninth have in common. First of all, certain characters (myself included) are listed in both. Secondly, both are available on Amazon. One’s $45.00 and/or out of stock, the other Curse of the Ninth is available now wherever books are sold at a fraction of that price.

Libraries are Sacred Temples

I just about make the sign of the cross as I cross the threshold into the Glendale Central Library to visit my book, “The Curse of the Ninth.” It’s Sunday and I feel like I’ve come back to church as I wander the aisles.

And then I get the chills as I stand in the sacred inner sanctum, the history room, where secrets and clues are kept, and where much of my research was done. My baby is home now — in the church for books, the library.