A Final Rendezvous With Renee

In my Dreams

These days words leave me hollow like a rotting tree stump. It may be dying, but there’s life buzzing in it anyway. Insects and animals colonize within, while the stump slowly decays and becomes one with the earth again.-Heath

I’m hollow. An empty vessel. Spent. And my story has been told. Every single one of my posts have helped bring me peace. I’ve poured my heart into every word I’ve written. Doesn’t matter if the story was real or fiction. I still bled on these pages.

The fictional stories have all had some grain of reality. A real person. A need. A want. A longing and desire. I have never created characters. I’ve created living, breathing people. Maybe someday I’ll tell you the origin of some of them, but probably not.

My journal entries, now those were something weren’t they? They taught me a thing or two about over sharing. Without them, I would have never learned about this gift that I have. It’s a curse too. See, once you begin to write,  it controls you. You immerse yourself in fiction because reality is too much to bear.

Sometimes words came so fast, I couldn’t write or type them fast enough. I was obsessed, to say the least. Photographs and paintings brought forth words and stories. I never realized how much I had to say.

My first fictional piece was called Ascent. About a girl that wanted to die. She didn’t though. Her newly discovered wings saved her as she began to plummet toward the sea. Little did I realize I was the one sprouting those metaphorical wings.

My writer, he pushed me to write for Friday Fictioneers. What began as a lark proved to be a much needed exercise in discipline. My writer fled, but I stuck with FF. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields has been a terrific mentor. I’m honored she worked so hard with me. I adore her for every criticism and kudos. My best flash fiction story was, The Invisible Man. I may submit it to Narrative Magazine. They’ve rejected my work before, but you never know what can happen.

I’ve had five short stories published by EtherBooks. Alan and Melissa from Ghost, and Damon and Rhiannon from Sounds will always be my best creations. The stories are still available for download on your iPhone or Android phone. The app is free, so please download and critique my stories.

‘The Ghost of a Great Love’ 

‘A Night Swim with Marilyn’ 

‘Dawn at Antietam’ 

‘Sounds of Orioles and the Taste of Lemonade’ 

‘On a Hot Summer Night’ 

Sometimes God Sits on a Stoop is a favorite recent post. I saw the face of God that day. I’ll never forget Curt, or his story.

I’ll keep the blog active for awhile, but don’t be surprised if one of these days it’s gone. Like me, she is a force of nature that can’t be contained.

Real life is waiting. I’m going to live it. I suggest you do the same.

Love,

Sparkly Girl

P.S. Don’t hate on me for posting the 1D video. This song is the shit. Even if it’s sung by a British boy band.

P.P.S. How can I forget Rory, my brother in arms? My world will never be the same now that you’re in it. I love you.

Although I am broken, my heart is untamed, still
And I’ll be gone, gone tonight
The fire beneath my feet is burning bright
The way that I’ve been holding on so tight
With nothing in between
The story of my life…
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The Tattoo Artist, Friendship Soup and Conversation

vintage-tattoo-couple“Tattoos made my skin more ‘me.’ -Melissa Maxwell”

Larry Smith, It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure

I spoke to him on Thursday night, after handing him a jar of handcrafted soup. The note attached articulated that I hoped it nourished he and his son’s bodies as well as their souls.

His eyes clouded with tears, and he began to speak to me. To catch me up on his life. The words came out in torrents. I just listened. It usually is so difficult for me to keep my mouth shut. I always want to inject words of advice into conversations with friends. To ease the pain in some way.

He told me of recent happenings. The sadness. The grief. The loss of a good friend to suicide. And coming to the realization that he was a good man. I kept listening. And smiling. I wanted to hold him close to me, but I didn’t think he’d welcome the contact.

For some reason, he went back to the beginning of his life and shared everything. This man that has pierced me with his needle made sure to  pierce my heart too.

We spoke of his art. The drawing, painting, and tattooing. We spoke of writing. He said I was good. I told him he was better. I announced that he was a reincarnation of Jack Kerouac. He chuckled and grinned like a little kid and announced that his grammar was awful. I assured him that a writer is only as good as their editor. He snickered again.

I inquired about Christmas Day. He told me he’d be spending it alone. The nurturer in me wanted to invite him to dinner on the 25th. Wouldn’t that be something, my friend, covered with tats, ears gauged, sitting at the dinner table with my family? But I didn’t ask. I should have.

Our words began to lessen and it was time for me to take my leave. He came around the counter and hugged me tightly to him. I took in his scent, divine and manly. I whispered in his ear, ‘Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.” He smiled boyishly and I departed from his shop.

His smile stayed on my mind while I drove to my little apartment, just 10 minutes away. The fact that he would be alone on Christmas Day did also. When I got home, I extended an invitation for Christmas dinner. His reply was noncommittal but thankful all the same.

He let me into his life on Thursday night, and I didn’t worry about what time it was. Or the other things I had to do, I just listened.

And I learned.

**Writer’s Note:**
This was the Facebook status that I was tagged in after we talked on Thursday evening. I guess my words stayed with the artist. It is quite an honor to be a part of his life. No matter how small that part may be.
I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn’t know who I was – I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I’d never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn’t know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn’t scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost.-jack kerouac — with Renee Heath.

Tunesday-Dear Daily Mail by Amanda “Fucking” Palmer

Amanda Fucking Palmer

I haven’t written a fucking word in over a week. I couldn’t even think of a good song to post for Tunesday. Then what appeared in my email inbox, but a lovely kiss off to the Daily Mail by one of my idols, Amanda Fucking Palmer.

I’ve posted a couple more of more of her videos, because, well, she’s fucking AWESOME!

Warning: Amanda is not for the faint of heart. Think that’s why I like her.

I’m hoping my words come back soon, because I promised a certain redhead that I’d write our story. Wink, wink.

Do It With a Rock Star

In my mind
In a future five years from now
I’m one hundred and twenty pounds
And I never get hung over
Because I will be the picture of discipline
Never minding what state I’m in
And I will be someone I admire
And it’s funny how I imagined
That I would be that person now
But it does not seem to have happened
Maybe I’ve just forgotten how to see
That I am not exactly the person that I thought I’d be

And in my mind
In the faraway here and now
I’ve become in control somehow
And I never lose my wallet
Because I will be the picture of of discipline
Never fucking up anything
And I’ll be a good defensive driver
And it’s funny how I imagined
That I would be that person now
But it does not seem to have happened
Maybe I’ve just forgotten how to see
That I’ll never be the person that I thought I’d be

And in my mind
When I’m old I am beautiful
Planting tulips and vegetables
Which I will mindfully watch over
Not like me now
I’m so busy with everything
That I don’t look at anything
But I’m sure I’ll look when I am older
And it’s funny how I imagined
That I could be that person now
But that’s not what I want
But that’s what I wanted
And I’d be giving up somehow
How strange to see
That I don’t wanna be the person that I want to be

And in my mind
I imagine so many things
Things that aren’t really happening
And when they put me in the ground
I’ll start pounding the lid
Saying I haven’t finished yet
I still have a tattoo to get
That says I’m living in the moment
And it’s funny how I imagined
That I could win this, win this fight
But maybe it isn’t all that funny
That I’ve been fighting all my life
But maybe I have to think it’s funny
If I wanna live before I die
And maybe it’s funniest of all
To think I’ll die before I actually see
That I am exactly the person that I want to be

Fuck yes
I am exactly the person that I want to be

Friday Fictioneers-The Writer, Pen and Paper in Hand

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“The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.” 
Ray BradburyFahrenheit 451

The writer, pen and paper in hand observes his surroundings and creates worlds that others would never see.

To the left, the brown chairs become mahogany settees. The cane design splitting apart after being left in the summer sun far too long.

To the right, three strangers become old mates sharing a pint. They celebrate in the brutal heat. One of them is getting married, to a woman with burgundy hair and eyes the color of emeralds.

The writer’s bike is black but otherwise nondescript. After removing the lock, he pedals off. Searching for more inspiration, and far greater stories.

100 words/Genre: General Fiction (I think)

Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers. Criticisms and kudos are most welcome. Bring it on my loves, bring it on.

Quoteful Thursday-I’m Constantly Explaining Myself

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I am constantly explaining myself to almost everyone in my life. It’s exhausting. I just want to be loved for who I am, not what you need me to be. I am human, and I am flawed. I am woman, but more than that. I am a writer, lover, whore, mother, saint, sinner, and child. I am love.
–Renee Heath–

Sir Dorian Vega of  The House of Vega, a society and culture page on Facebook took a comment of mine and posted it as a quote. I was incredibly honored that he thought enough of what I had written to do so. It was shared 13 times by people all over the world. That means that maybe, just maybe today someone thousands of miles away from my little corner of the world is sharing the words that I wrote. Maybe, just maybe, they are being read and changing the life of someone that feels the same way I do, sometimes. Maybe, just, maybe.

Love and kisses my friends.

Sparkly Girl

Memories of The Guggenheim

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When I visited the Guggenheim a few years ago, we were told not to photograph the glass ceiling. They said we could buy a postcard in the gift shop. Me being the rebel I am, took the shot anyway. There was some satisfaction in pulling it off without anyone knowing what I was up to. My Adam Boy knew. He was mortified, and  sure I was going to jail. I assured him I wasn’t going to jail if I was caught. I was creating a memory. Of the glass ceiling, rebellion and my son.

After I took the photograph, I ran up the ramps of the museum. I was morbidly obese at the time, so running wasn’t that easy. I kept up though. I commented on sculptures that looked like copper vaginas and how we could’ve skateboarded down the ramps as we perused the ‘art’.

We tried to lunch there, but it was all gourmet. Our kids wanted McD’s. Hell, Kathy and I did. Yummy french fries with lots of salt. We walked blocks for them. Passed homeless people and gobs of construction.

We arrived at the Golden Arches and I swear, I heard the singing of angels as we opened the doors and walked inside. I was covered in the sweet smell of grease from hot fryers. I took in the scent of burgers and I knew I was home. It was like sex. That smell.

The kids and us chaperones ordered our food on the main level and then wandered up the two flights of stairs to nosh. Oh what sweet heaven those salty fries were. The decadent flavor of that 1.00 burger. Mmmmmmm.

Wandering back to the Guggenheim, I wondered, could I ever fit in here? In the city that never sleeps? No. My home is in a small state shaped like a mitten. No matter how much I dream, my heart belongs here. As does my family, friends, and life. I can’t imagine a better state to be from. I just can’t.

Wear Your Heart on Your Skin….

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“wear your heart on your skin in this life”
Sylvia Plath, Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams: Short Stories, Prose, and Diary Excerpts

heartscenteredsharer1

I quite literally took Sylvia’s advice and had Joey Singleton at Ethos Tattoos in Saline, Michigan etch hearts into my skin.

There is an intimacy to tattooing. I let Joey touch me in places that no one but lovers and doctors have ever been. I trust him completely. Our conversations during my appointment range from sarcastic jokes to secrets I wouldn’t share with anyone else. He holds my words in his heart, they travel down his arm into the needle and under my skin. They are trapped there forever. Sometimes I hear them whispering to me in the middle of the night.

The act of tattooing is therapeutic. A gentle buzzing that sets me on edge, but somehow brings peace. I like to see the redness of my raised skin and the stippling of blood. How it runs down my arm. Joey rinses it off and softly wipes it away. His needle bites my skin and more of the design emerges. Its beauty and pain, and I want more of both.

Frequently, I remember what it was like to sit in  Joey’s chair, I hear his voice and feel the adrenaline course through my bloodstream. My skin becomes covered in goosebumps and I wish I could see him one more time. Have him keep tattooing me till I feel normal. Whatever in the hell normal is. I’m done with tattoos for now though. My story continues, but in the written word. For the time being anyway.

The work I had done is an original. No one will ever have it. Andi Schoenbaum is the artist that graciously shared her work with me. Please check out her website. I’m honored to have her art tattooed on my skin. The print spoke to me in ways you can’t imagine. It’s a part of me now. Forever. Thank you Andi. Thank you too Joey. You both are fabulous artists and individuals. I’m proud to know you both.

As Writers, We Lay Our Hearts Open

Trail of Glitter

Facebook status update: Any day is a good day when you leave your therapist’s office and don’t want to cut yourself.

Yes, that was my status update today. One of them, anyway. I’m a teeny bit of a Facebook Whore. It’s where my words started flowing, so stuff it if you don’t like it.

If you’ve spent any time at all reading my blog, you know that I’m an open book. I lay my heart open quite easily. Without trepidation. It mortifies my mother and other family members. That’s okay though. I say the things that many are thinking. Beware of the fearless woman with a potty mouth.

After I posted, a dear friend and fellow writer sent me a private message. Seems she was concerned about my comment and wanted to check in on me. I assured her that all was well. I’m happy, today. I can’t promise that I will be tomorrow. It’s kind of a crap shoot with me. If you think I like being this moody, I don’t. It’s who I am though.

Back to the correspondence between my friend and me:

Oh honey, it was supposed to be funny. I promise, I’m okay. I have bouts of depression and euphoria. Borderline personality disorder, anxiety and panic disorder, ADHD and a host of other issues. I’m also a sexual abuse survivor.

Today is a good day though. Life is good and there is a smile on my face. I would not trade what I’ve been through, but I don’t wish it on others.

I’m a funny woman, with a dark side. I need incredible amounts of validation too. I couldn’t write well if I didn’t have my darkness. Everyone sees a happy and sunny woman when they look at me. Little do they know there’s so much more to me than what’s on the surface……

Thank you for your message my friend. Thank you for your friendship. I want you to know if you ever need a shoulder to cry on, I’m here for you too.

Always, Renee
The not always sparkly girl

As writers, we lay our hearts open. As our readers, you follow us to some places we wouldn’t even let a lover go. I’ve no idea why, but I think it’s what God wants me to do. Break myself open, and bleed all over the place. I figure somebody has to do it, it might as well be me.

Sparkle on my sweet friends. Sparkle on.

I’m a Bitch, I’m a Lover, I’m a Child…

bitch

I tell Roger Darling, I know when to be a lady. Fortunately, most of the time I’m not.

I hate the world today
You’re so good to me
I know but I can’t change
Tried to tell you
But you look at me like maybe
I’m an angel underneath
Innocent and sweet
Yesterday I cried
You must have been relieved to see
The softer side
I can understand how you’d be so confused
I don’t envy you
I’m a little bit of everything
All rolled into one

Chorus:
I’m a bitch, I’m a lover
I’m a child, I’m a mother
I’m a sinner, I’m a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I’m your hell, I’m your dream
I’m nothing in between
You know you wouldn’t want it any other way

So take me as I am
This may mean
You’ll have to be a stronger man
Rest assured that
When I start to make you nervous
And I’m going to extremes
Tomorrow I will change
And today won’t mean a thing

Chorus:
I’m a bitch, I’m a lover
I’m a child, I’m a mother
I’m a sinner, I’m a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I’m your hell, I’m your dream
I’m nothing in between
You know you wouldn’t want it any other way

Just when you think, you got me figured out
The season’s already changing
I think it’s cool, you do what you do
And don’t try to save me

Chorus:
I’m a bitch, I’m a lover
I’m a child, I’m a mother
I’m a sinner, I’m a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I’m your hell, I’m your dream
I’m nothing in between
You know you wouldn’t want it any other way

I’m a bitch, I’m a tease
I’m a goddess on my knees
When you hurt, when you suffer
I’m your angel undercover
I’ve been numb, I’m revived
Can’t say I’m not alive
You know I wouldn’t want it any other way