Stuck in a “Shining Closet”

From The Last Bordello: In Madam Fannie’s voice, she and her “girls,”and Meta – who was misled to the bordello – must wait out a storm in the crawl space under the stairs.


I shifted my knees, trying to get comfortable. “Girls, if this is the worst that’s ever happened to you, I’d say you’ve lived a fine and easy life.” I knew better, of course.

“Etta’s leaving is much worse,” Sadie said, her hands shaking.

“Horsefeathers.” Lillie tucked her head between her knees and mumbled, “Worse is saying good-bye to your betrothed.”

“Carver will be back,” Sadie retorted. “Etta won’t.”

True. I couldn’t see Etta returning, which made it worse for Sadie. She and Etta had been as close as silk on a corncob.

I made note to speak privately to Sadie and the others. Under no circumstances were any of my fallen angels allowed to mention the names of the Wild Bunch or Etta’s connection with the gang.

Meta had Faded into the wall, her owl stare flickering in the lantern’s light. No doubt, she didn’t expect to spend her first night in San Antonio stuck in a bordello’s crawl space.


Can I serve my server an arrest warrant?

ERG! Woke up this morning to discover my server wasn’t delivering emails. That meant not being able to accurately keep up with my fellow bloggers. 😦

It seems to be working now, so tomorrow, I have three main items on my agenda list.

  1. Go through a gazillion emails and respond to the tried and true bloggers.
  2. Hit some pads in  various combinations including the One, Two, Three! (jab, cross, hook)

Me at Gleason’s gym in Brooklyn several years ago.

3. Do a little Santa work.

Hope to catch up with y’all (you, you guys, you all) tomorrow!



The booming business of hate

Great post about choosing love over hate, acceptance over racism.

Ends and Beginnings

“The timing is not good. We are black. We are Muslim. We are Somali. We are all the negative stigmas.” – Omar Hassan, speaking in reference to the country’s increasingly intensified anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim fears

I believe, with all my heart, that the vast majority of Americans are not hateful, racist, bigots. I do honestly believe this. But we have a problem, a problem compounded by the election of a man who had the support of the KKK and other hate groups that dot our landscape. His election gave these group a voice, a voice that was once faint but one that always bubbled under the surface. That voice is no longer faint. It is loud and becoming louder and I am afraid.

“Racism is taught in our society, it is not automatic. It is learned behavior toward persons with dissimilar physical characteristics.” –  Alex Haley

We like to think that we…

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Like a Rodeo Bull

From The Last Bordello (1901). Madam Fannie Porter talks to Reba, her best friend and co-worker.



Miss Reba (as I picture her)

Reba’s voice brought me out of my doldrums.

She stood just inside the kitchen, her hip holding open the screen door. “Freshness growing from the ground up. Picked and served like He made possible.”

“You woke up from your nap.”

“Thought I died of a soft underbelly?”

“You? Hell, you might be eleven years older than me, but you’ve got more vim and Vigor than a rodeo bull. Just as stubborn, too.”

“Speakin’ a that. Tell ’em, Fannie. You don’t wants to beat a path around that ponderin’ bush. They needs to know.”

I followed her motion to come back inside. “You’re right, Rebie. We’ll tell them when they come down to eat.”

“We tells ’em? Ain’t no we about it. No, ma’am. That jawin’ session be yours.”

This time, it wouldn’t be a regular house meeting that consisted of reminders about chores that needed doing, client appointments, and Reba’s nagging them to douche and keep their pee-shes clean. This powwow would be different.






We will not go back!

This blog post is dedicated to strong women and the men who love us.

In history, although suppressed by politics, there have always been strong women.  In the 1800’s women couldn’t fathom the idea of breaking, or even reaching a glass ceiling. I know. We’re closer today, but…


Seventy years after the American Revolution, a different kind of tea party took place. A woman named Elizabeth Cady Stanton was one of the invitees. Here, at this tea in 1848, Ms. Stanton spilled out her discontent on the status of women in America.


They planned a convention. 

Stanton’s “Declaration of Sentiments” is drafted.

  • Married women were legally dead in the eyes of the law
  • Women were not allowed to vote
  • Women had to submit to laws when they had no voice in their formation
  • Married women had no property rights
  • Husbands had legal power over and responsibility for their wives to the extent that they could imprison or beat them with impunity (see entire list in this full article)

Let’s not forget. African American women had it much worse.

(Today, we have fast-forward buttons- FF>. But in this case, I’ll use FFS> as in fast forward slow. It took us a LONG time to get where we are!)

FFS>  to 1920. Seventy-two years later, we get the right to vote.

FFS> to 1936, a Supreme Court decision declassified birth control information as obscene.

FFS> The Women’s Rights Movement began in the 1960’s

FFS> In 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment, which had languished in Congress for almost fifty years, was finally passed.

It’s almost 2017. We have accomplished much but why have we fast-forwarded so slow? 

This is what  I do know. In this new political climate, WE WILL NOT REWIND AND GO BACKWARDS.






My only worry …

Last night, we celebrated a late Thanksgiving with our kids and grandkids. The house was perfectly chaotic and I loved every moment.

Today, I sit back and relax (well, and blog). At this moment, my only worry is wondering if the fresh-pressed beet juice is staining my Invisalign’s! 

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Happy Sunday, everyone!

Entering the Insane Asylum

The Pungent smell of an insane asylum.


From The Last Bordello (voice of Sadie):

My limbs shook. My knees buckled. The men in white held fast to my elbows and pulled me toward a thick wooden door. When opened, the fragrant air vanished and was replaced with the malodorous smells of urine, vomit, rubbing alcohol, and something else I couldn’t quite place.

I saw only a few women, one being dragged in another direction. “Not surgery, not surgery!” the woman wailed.

The driver unlocked another door and pushed me into a small room that contained a stained mattress on the floor and a bucket for excrement. He told me to sleep well. I heard him laughing down the hall long after they had locked the door.

I thought it was a cruel joke, that my mother had followed behind and would now take me home with an “I told you so.” Before the tears had a chance to come, someone unlocked the door again.

Raw Journal Kernels – 6

Random journal entry? Yes, except for the top right corner that came from a dream. I was about to step into the water of the  National Mall in D.C. to follow others.


I looked down at the water contemplating stepping in, when two Marines, one on each side, escorted me through the water. As I got to the “end,” I realized who was at the front, the person I had been following. Rosa parks turned to us, threw her arms up and said, “Point your breasts up to the heavens and dance!”


Loved this dream!