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.

image

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!”
***

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

 

 

 

Advertisements

Friday Friends: Yancy Lael & The Paris Diaries

Happy Friday, Friends!  I have been so fortunate to connect with the writers community: learning so much and making friends. I decided I wanted to give back to the community by hosting Friday Friends. Today I am super excited to bring you the delightful Yancy Lael. 

 

image

1. So, what have you written?
I have 4 books out in the world right now. One is a non-fiction book (Soulful Skincare) about natural skincare that I wrote after I closed the doors to my bath and body business. My customers had been asking me for years to share all my secrets…so I did! I also have a novel, The Poison Box, which was 17+ years in the making. It’s my favorite of everything I’ve written. Those characters have been my friends for most of my life, and they continue to speak to me. (I’m working on two more books about them.) My recent releases are The Paris Diaries and Dear Me.
2. What subjects & causes are near and dear to your heart?
One of my greatest passions is the environment. That’s always been a cause dear to my heart, since I was a little girl. I love nature and feel very strongly about protecting our beautiful land, skies and waterways. I also love helping young people – both little kids and teenagers – and I’ve been working in education for a long time, now, to that end. Another passion is women’s self-esteem/self-worth. I’ve witnessed so many women struggle with low self-esteem and distorted body image, including myself, and I’ve been writing a lot about that since I was a teenager. I’ve been working on lots of projects over the years related to this, and am writing a sequel to Soulful Skincare that really focuses on this issue.

image3. How did you conceive the Paris Diaries? 4. How did you conceive the story Dear Me?
(I have to answer these questions together – you’ll see why. J )
The Paris Diaries and Dear Me were actually never intended for publication. They were both pieces I wrote in my journal back in 2009. I went to Paris – a lifelong dream of mine – in May 2009 with a man who was, at the time, my ex-boyfriend, but best friend. While we were there, the forced intimacy of being in such close quarters made me fall in love with him all over again (I’d never really fallen out of love in the first place) and I was absolutely besotted with both Paris and the ex.
Unfortunately, his commitment-phobia kept thwarting our efforts to reconcile, once we arrived home. At the time, I was madly writing down my memories from the trip so I wouldn’t forget them, all the while struggling with our ill-fated attempts to repair our relationship. My journal pages would skip from the present moment – the arguments we were having, the anger I was feeling – back to the beautiful memories of Paris and how close we had been there, and then back to the present again. There was something about the way I wrote those entries – so raw, and so earnest – that kept me re-reading it over the years, thinking it wasn’t a half-bad story.
In the journal, the Paris entries were followed by a 30-day series of love letters I wrote to myself when my ex and I couldn’t get past his commitment issues. I had been devastated and decided to try to heal my heartache by giving myself the love that I couldn’t get from him.
The funny thing is that the ex and I DID end up together for almost six more years, until he quite suddenly moved out to pursue a relationship with a young woman he had started dating. Soon after he left, my cousin, who had traveled to Paris with us, passed away. The two losses were so staggering to me, I felt compelled to share the story, in particular as a tribute to my beautiful cousin. I decided to make Dear Me a companion booklet, just because it was so deeply connected to the Paris story. I hope it helps others who have gone through a difficult breakup to remember their own beauty and worth.

image
5. What was the most curious thing you discovered in your research?
As I have researched natural beauty, self-esteem, and relationships these past few years (which seem to be themes that come up again and again for me), I think the most curious thing that has come out is how much alike we all are. We share so many insecurities and doubts. I find it so fascinating that we can see so much brilliance and beauty in our sisters, but often fail to see the brilliance and beauty looking back at us in the mirror. I hope, in time, that we all learn to recognize our own light.
6. What music inspires you?
All kinds – I love classical, rock, and any song that’s passionate or maudlin. I have a particular soft spot for Tori Amos and Carly Simon.
7. How many books did you read last year?
I set a goal to read 60 books last year – ten more than I usually read – but I was dealing with a lot of emotional processing after the boyfriend left and my dog passed away, so I only got through about 30. I’m back on track for this year, though! I should be able to get in 50-60 by December.
8. Coffee or Tea?
Tea, 100%. I hate coffee!
9. What are you knitting/ creating right now?
I’m working on a mini poncho, a hat, a sweater, and two blankets. (I’m always working away with yarn!) I’m also working on the sequel to Soulful Skincare, 2 sequels to The Poison Box (I guess it’s going to be a trilogy!), a young adult novel, and a children’s book which might turn into another young adult novel. There’s never a shortage of creation over here, that’s for sure!
10. Do you have any writing rituals?
At this point, I just go with it whenever I can fit it in. I used to get tea, and set up at my desk, and play certain music…but now, I’ll write on scraps of paper on my lunch break, if I have to. Whatever it takes! I’ve lost all sense of ritual, out of necessity. But just the feeling of my fingers tapping on a keyboard is ritual enough for me.

11. Do you have a theme song?
If I had to choose, I’d say Libby, by Carly Simon. I’m not even sure what that song is about, so that’s probably silly to say (I read it was about her friend, but that didn’t really enlighten me as to its ultimate meaning), but there’s something about it… The piano is so beautiful (I play a little and it’s my favorite instrument – there’s nothing like piano music). My mother almost named me Liberty, so I feel a connection to the name, as well as all the mention of Paris (I even mentioned the song in The Paris Diaries), and there’s something about the emotion of it that I connect to: longing, passion, triumph, sadness…all of it all lumped together. That’s me.

12. What is one thing you would tell your younger self?
You are worth so much more than you ever dreamed. Stop settling for crumbs and hold out for what you really want. You deserve it and you can have it.
13. Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?
I really wasn’t sure what to say here, until I saw that this was number 13 – a number that’s very important to me. In The Paris Diaries, I talk about an intense experience I had with the number 13 at the Place de la Concorde. It was a number that started appearing to me when I began my relationship with the ex. But after he left, I still encountered it again and again. To this day, I’m trying to uncover the clues that connect me to this number. Those are the kinds of everyday magic that thrill me and make me remember that life is constantly offering us a strange fairy tale.

I have never been to Paris, but I just know that reading Yancy’s book will take me there. Who’s with me? 

 

 

Friday Friends: Kris Oster

Holà, Amigos!  I am delighted to feature a very special Friday Friend today- the beautiful intuitive Kris Oster.  I found Kris when she offered an online course, and I found her to be truly inspired and inspiring. Thank you, Kris, for visiting with us today!
1. Can you tell us about your very interesting degree?
I studied at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, CA … they house the Marija Gimbutas and Joseph Campbell archives to begin with.

I was there from 2002-2010 where I rec’d my MA and Ph.D in Mythological Studies with an Emphasis in Depth Psychology.

All of my work now, which is mainly focused on helping entrepreneurs discover and live their soul’s purpose on Earth, came out of those 8 years.

2. Do you have a theme song?
Shining Star by Earth, Wind and Fire is a favorite…oh so many songs!!!

3. How do you balance your work and family life?
Well, I don’t really have a balance. There is a lot of juggling and sometimes my daughter needs me so much more than my biz does! Of course she wins out every time.

I do my best to honor my own needs for silence so I can channel the work that needs to come through me, since that is how most of my material comes through.

I don’t take clients on Mondays, as this is the Moon’s day and best used for tapping into my intuition and downloading all the great stuff.

I also stopped teaching classes on Saturday mornings this year and that has helped me feel more relaxed and energized too. Instead I take a 2 hour hula class in beautiful Alice Keck Park and get more of my dance on! So. much. better.

4. What is your favorite indulgence?
Dance and any raw chocolate dessert.

5. What is one food that you just cannot eat?
Pate, liver. Ick. No can do!

6. What would you tell your younger self if you could?
To come out of the shadows and step into the light. You are SAFE.

7. What are you working on right now?
I’m writing two books this year that began to speak to me last year. One is sacred erotic fiction based on The Little Mermaid. The other is a non-fiction book entitled, Eros Unbound: Bringing Soul Back into the Boardroom and the Bedroom.

I’m developing a deck of oracle cards specifically to help pioneering entrepreneurs + corporateers brand with imagination and intuition at the helm. I’ve got an awesome partner to help me with the design … details will roll out in a few months. I hope with all of my heart that we can complete the project this year and have them ready for beta in 2017!

8. Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?
I have a wonderful 150+ page ebook and content/branding course that I give away for FREE on my website called, The Goddess Guide to Business Bliss: A Digital Sanctuary For Entrepreneurs By Kris Oster And Over 20 Contributors, such as Danielle LaPorte, Alexandra Franzen and Lisa Beck.

I would love for all entrepreneurs to get their hands on this amazing resource. It will help you with all aspects of your business, without the overwhelm.

Visit this page for all of the details:
http://www.mythicrhythm.com/get-goddess-guide-business-bliss/

image

Kris Oster loves defying convention and is satisfied to be anything but ‘normal.’

She was a rock star marketing director and lead website developer for some pretty big names, including Citrix Online, E! Entertainment Television, Disney, ABC,
Paramount Pictures. She even made her employer $1 million with a single e-newsletter once.

But, like you, she heard the siren’s call and decided to pursue a life of satisfaction, doing what she loves.

In her business and on her blog Kris inspires entrepreneurs who are determined to find more meaning intheir business. Through coaching and consultations with
heart-centered business owners, she helps them to uncover their own uniqueness and reveal their personal mythology.

When Kris isn’t working, you can find her basking along the Santa Barbara, CA coastline, playing her congas, going on dates with her sexy husband, playing in the surf
with her 7-year old girl, or talking to Mer-Angels. Yup, literally.

Kris is the author of Return to Enchantment: Your Guide to Creating a Magical Livelihood, which reached the top 10 on Amazon in the Women’s Small Business category!