Friday Friends: C. Streetlights “Tea & Madness”

Happy Friday, Friends!  It is my pleasure to  feature authors and bloggers on Fridays. Today I am delighted to announce that Tea and Madness by C. Streetlights is rereleased!  This gorgeous book really touched my heart.

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Tea & Madness, a memoir written in prose and poetry, is separated into the four seasons inspired by C. Streetlights’ experiences: grieving a lost baby, coping with depression, anger, betrayal, surviving rape, and the accepting that there are some things she cannot forgive. Balanced somehow within this darkness is the wonder in motherhood and empathetic relationships. As her seasons change, she continues trying to find the balance of existing between normalcy and a certain kind of madness.

“Pears” from Tea and Madness
by C. Streetlights

My grandma had already been divorced when she met my grandpa. She was the older woman; eleven years older than him when they were married. He grew a mustache to hide his true age—19-years-old. They settled into a somewhat quiet life in Compton, California. I can appreciate the bravery my grandparents had to have had in order to pursue their love better now that I am an adult than I could as a child. As a child they were just old people. As an adult, I recognize the social dynamics that should have prevented their joy.
By the time I was eight years old it became clear my grandmother had what people called Old Timer’s Disease—Alzheimer’s. And this is how I remember her best; an old tired woman fighting a losing battle against her own mind, not as the vibrant woman I know she must have been.
I had to spend a weekend with my grandparents during a time when Grandma was beginning to deteriorate in her dementia. It was an unmemorable visit except for two things: First, I learned to eat mashed potatoes by melting cheese on it, and second, my grandmother called me a tart after accusing me of stealing her lipstick.
I can laugh about this now.
My grandmother had a vanity table with an oval mirror in her bathroom—very Gibson-girlish. It displayed the cosmetics she no longer wore. I would sometimes run my fingers over their gilded cases and hold up one of her make-up mirrors. Cosmetic cases today are created for disposable or utilitarian purposes rather than display, but my grandmother’s compacts had intricate filigree designs woven around the edges. Lipstick tubes had images of birds or flowers. And what little girl could resist the powder puff?
I came home from school and overheard her being consoled by my grandfather. Curious, I went into their room and bathroom to investigate—neither room had ever been “forbidden” to the grandchildren. I stood there at the bathroom doorway watching the small drama when Grandma turned on me without warning. Her finger in my face, she asked where I put the lipstick, but her eyes weren’t accusatory. Her eyes were afraid. I was confused and told her I didn’t know what she was talking about. My grandfather put his hands on her shoulders and tried to tell her I was her granddaughter. It dawned on me at that moment that my grandma didn’t know who I was, and it broke my heart even though I couldn’t fully comprehend it. All I heard was, “There is no way this tart is my granddaughter. She stole my lipstick!”
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After writing and illustrating her first bestseller in second grade, “The Lovely Unicorn”, C. Streetlights took twenty years to decide if she wanted to continue writing. In the time known as growing up she became a teacher, a wife, and mother. Retired from teaching, C. Streetlights now lives with her family in the mountains along with their dog that eats Kleenex. Her memoir, Tea and Madness won honorable mention for memoir in the Los Angeles Book Fair (2016) and is available for purchase on Amazon.

You can connect with C. Streetlights on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon Author Central, LinkedIn, and Goodreads.
http://www.cstreetlights.com

 

 

 

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Friday Friends: Kelly Wilson & Caskets from Costco

Happy Friday, Friends!  Today I am delighted to feature Kelly Wilson, author of Caskets from Costco.  Kelly is an amazing unique talent: writing with humour even as she writes of trauma and grief. Her ability and commitment to telling it like it is, is inspiring.  Thank you for stopping by today, Kelly!

1. What made you decide to publish?

There was no way for me to process what I had been through than to publish Caskets From Costco, my funny book about grief. I had this visceral sense that it needed to be published, if for no other reason than to hopefully help somebody else going through grief and trauma. Maybe my story could shine a little light in the darkness.
2. How important is writing for your well-being? I write literally every day. I have a small notebook I carry in my purse – I take notes in this as well as on my phone. I’m a comedian, so I’m always writing and refining jokes, which for me just come up in the course of life. My work for money is freelance writing, and I have a blog and am working on one or more writing projects at any given time. When I need to think about something deep or work out something complicated or want to remember something funny, I write it down automatically…partly because my memory leaked out of my uterus with the birth of my two children. I do not know what I would do without writing.

3. What is in store for you in 2016?

My first class of the year is Musical Improv, during which I will learn how to use my comedic improv skills through music and a little bit of choreography. I am working with Stand Up for Mental Health this year to help others write about their experiences through writing and performing jokes. I am also working on my next book, a funny parenting book called, Poop Before You Get on the Boat.

 
4. Who are your favorite funny people?

There are so many funny people worth looking up to right now in pop culture, like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Amy Schumer, Will Ferrell, Stephen Colbert, Louis C.K., and Steve Carell, just to name a few of my favorites. My all-time favorite funny person is Erma Bombeck. A couple of readers compared me to her and I was over-the-moon honored.

 
5. What is one last-minute dinner “recipe” you can share with us?

I’m a terrible cook. Hot dogs all the way.
fam-photo-xmas-resizedKelly Wilson is an author and comedian who entertains and inspires with stories of humor, healing, and hope. She is the author of Live Cheap & Free, Don’t Punch People in the Junk, and Caskets From Costco, along with numerous articles and short stories for children and adults.

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Kelly writes and speaks about finding hope in the process of recovery. Through both stand-up and improv comedy, she brings laughter to audiences of all ages using a wide range of subject matter, including silly songs, parenting stories, and jokes and anecdotes revolving around mental health issues.

Kelly Wilson currently writes for a living and lives with her Magically Delicious husband, junk-punching children, dog, cat, and stereotypical minivan in Portland, Oregon. Read more about her at http://www.wilsonwrites.com.

You can follow Kelly Wilson here:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WilsonWrites
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KW_Writes
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KellyWilsonWrites
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6548683.Kelly_Wilson
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/wilsonwrites/
Amazon Author Page – http://www.amazon.com/Kelly-Wilson/e/B0030ZX24S
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kellywilsonwrites/
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kelly-wilson-i

 

Be be sure to check out her book on Amazon!  I am reading it RIGHT NOW!

Caskets From Costco  http://www.amazon.com/Caskets-Costco-Kelly-Wilson/dp/1513703919/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8