Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dead: A Bit of Fiction

Today was the first time I really wanted to be dead. Not kill myself, I’m not that brave. And yes, I do think those that kill themselves are brave and not cowardly. Is suicide noble? By no stretch of the word, but brave in its own right. I don’t want to kill myself, I just don’t want to be alive. Right now I wouldn’t care if I got hit by a bus, or contracted some terrible disease that killed me within hours. I just don’t want to be here, in this world, this space where I don’t quite fit. Where I don’t feel wanted. Where I feel invisible. This place where I can’t stand people, but crave the connections I have with them. I want to be near them, but not on a personal level. I just want them surrounding me. Keeping me company with their presence, but not with their words, their quirks, their personalities.

I walked today in a surreal reality. My husband walked with me, telling me about a dream he had. My senses were heightened to everything but his voice. In truth I didn’t care. About his dream or anything he might have been telling me. I threw in a couple mmhmmms, and yeahs, and rights so I appeared to be listening. But I couldn’t. My entire body was in another place. My heart fluttered like a hummingbird’s wings. And my senses. The wind brushed my cheek with its cold, drafty hands. Blew through my hair like an airy comb. My ears acutely aware of dogs barking, phones ringing, neighbors laughing, and cars driving down a distant street. Breathing in the sky, the earth, the water, the heavens, I felt almost weightless, floating just outside actuality, not quite part of it, yet tethered to it in some way.

I keep walking, and as I do, I come back into myself. My senses allay. My heart slows to a dull thud. A beat so mundane and spiritless it reminds you of who you are. What you are. A no one. Just a speck. Nothing that really matters.

And once again, I want to be dead.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Quotes from favorite books

Just thought about this because I had posted a quote from Fahrenheit 451 on my Facebook page.

"We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?"

Here are some other quotes from my favorite books.

"They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions... but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience." ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

"We yearned for the future. How did we learn it, that talent for insatiability?” ~ Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

"'Maybe there is a beast....maybe it's only us.'" ~ William Golding, Lord of the Flies

"What really knocks me out is a book, when you're all done reading it, you wished the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it." ~ JD Salinger, Catcher in the Rye

"My father was very sure about certain matters pertaining to the universe. To him, all good things--trout as well as eternal salvation--come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy. " ~ Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Random things I want.

Since I'm not doing a top four list this week, I thought I would post some random thing that I would like.

I would like a garden without weeds, spiders, and other disgusting bug.

I would like all the computers and computer equipment in my house not being used to magically disappear, so I don't have to dispose of them myself.

I want a walk in closet.

I would like a storage room, shelves lining the walls for all my random crap.

I want to see Rome again.

I want my kids to be done with the monstrosity swing set in the back yard so I can get rid of it.

I want more hours in the day.

The ability to run.

I want to be 15 pounds lighter and have a six pack.

My own beach place.

One of the best agents in the business and a killer publishing contract with the biggest publisher in the world.

The ability to create a brilliant novel without having to edit.

That about sums it up. Maybe.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Off on a Tangent

Sorry but no top four this week. I got lazy yesterday after writing about, say, one line, and gave up.

As many of you know, I've been doing these book reviews lately, especially after becoming a vine reviewer for Amazon.com. I did one last week, and posted the review on Amazon, as well as facebook, and youtube. On my youtube video, I received this comment.

"Gosh, I think this was a great satire on book critics. Not only do I think the book is extremely effective, but I cannot think of a worse critic for this type of youthful material. Allison Burnett may be an "older guy" but he most certainly relates to 17 year-old young women. I just hope all your review have those bizarre angles of your living room and house."

Okay, aside from the idiocy and ridiculosity (my new word) I focused on the "worst critic" comment. What makes someone a good critic for a book. This poster is a 21 year old male. Is he a better critic for this book than me? It's YA, okay, he's got one on my there, but it's also from a female perspective, a blogger to be exact. Hmmmmm...

Number 1, I have been doing book reviews for two years now. Some of them are excerpts of books, but I try to be thorough and fair.

2) I'm female, I was once a young adult, I'm a blogger, I have teen daughters. I think that gives me some perspective when it comes to books like this, don't you?

3) I LOVE YA lit. I've read loads of books and loved them, Jay Asher, the Twilight Series, Narnia, HP, Elizabeth Scott, etc, etc, etc.

4) I look at all aspects, character (which I hated), storyline (which was intriguing), dialogue (which was inconsistent), writing (which was good). I don't judge on just one or the other, I take the work as a whole.

I did not like the book. Had I been judging it solely on my personal preference, I probably would have given it a much lower rating. BUT, I did keep in mind that this book is not for 40 year old women, it's for YA's. Young adults, and they would like the subject matter about blogging, and sex, and drinking, and drugs. So I gave it higher marks.

And the ending sucked. Period.

So, am I qualified to review this? Should only people in the target audience be reviewing stuff like this? What do you think?

Check out the review if you want http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxCvKZ0Xdx4

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Free For All: What Sex Doesn't Sell

Sex can't sell everything. I've compiled a list of what I think sex doesn't sell.

Tampons or anything else associated with women's feminine products.

Pets. If you tried to sell pets with sex, that would just be, well in a word, ew.

Prune juice. 'Nuf said.

Suppositories. Not sexy. At all.

Toys. That would just be wrong. "Hey Billy, you want to play doctor? I just got this new Check Me Out doctor kit." "Okay Johnny, sounds fun!"

Daycare. Well, single dads might appreciate this. Actually married ones might too. Scratch that.

Medications for anything ranging from bunions to warts, to yeast infections, especially STD's.

Toilet paper. Right place, wrong function.

If you are someone that thinks sex could sell these things, you might want to get a mental health evaluation. Just sayin'.

Thanks for reading
Kisses :*

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The four songs that define the last four decades for me.

# 1 2000's

Sorry, I'm going to be showing my politics here, and I apologize for that, especially if you disagree, but this song just seemed to define the 2000's for me. We're in a recession, a war, the US dollar is taking a serious dive.

I'm wearing a black knit cap, skinny jeans, mini skirts, knee socks, and high tops.

I no longer wear a watch.

My kids are getting taller than me.

I've become a soccer mom.

I watch Survivor, Hell's Kitchen, Heroes, and the Office.

I loved the Batman movies, the Bourne movies, Shaun of the Dead, Sideways, and anything with Christian Bale, Edward Norton, Ewan McGregor, or Tobey McGuire.

I read Dennis Lehane, Dan Brown, Harlan Coben, The Harry Potter series, the Twilight series, and lots of other YA lit.

I began writing again.

I listened to hip-hop, rock, pop, indie, and alternative music. My daughter started liking Green Day when she was about eight. This song for me epitomized the 2000 decade. It's Holiday.

I turned 40 in 2009.

Thanks for reading
Kisses :*



Say, hey!

Hear the sound of the falling rain
Coming down like an Armageddon flame (Hey!)
The shame
The ones who died without a name

Hear the dogs howling out of key
To a hymn called "Faith and Misery" (Hey!)
And bleed, the company lost the war today

I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
On holiday

Hear the drum pounding out of time
Another protester has crossed the line (Hey!)
To find, the money's on the other side

Can I get another Amen? (Amen!)
There's a flag wrapped around a score of men (Hey!)
A gag, a plastic bag on a monument

I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
On holiday

(Say, hey!)


"The representative from California has the floor"

Sieg Heil to the president Gasman
Bombs away is your punishment
Pulverize the Eiffel towers
Who criticize your government
Bang bang goes the broken glass and
Kill all the fags that don't agree
Trials by fire, setting fire
Is not a way that's meant for me
Just cause, just cause, because we're outlaws yeah!

I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives

This is our lives on holiday

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The four songs that define the last four decades for me.

# 2 1990's

I was pretty much just becoming an adult. Coming off some hard times, which if you read my past blogs you know all about. I went through a few styles in that decade as I grew more mature, finished school, got married, had kids.

Mostly I wore jeans and t-shirts, mini skirts and sweaters.

I was watching Twin Peaks, Northern Exposure, and Ally McBeal.

I was still reading Stephen King, throw in Wally Lamb, Margaret Atwood, and Louise Erdrich.

My favorite movies were Pulp Fiction, Fight Club, Shawshank Redemption, Fargo, and Silence of the Lambs.

And Grunge was king, especially if you were from the Pacific Northwest. Ratty jeans, t-shirts, flannel shirts, and birkenstocks were daily attire. Bands like Mudhoney, Mother Love Bone, Alice and Chains, Soundgarden, Nirvana, and Screaming Trees were rocking stages all over Seattle. And of course Pearl Jam, who wrote the song that defined the 90's for me, Alive.


This song is about a boy getting horrific news, then living through horrific events, but still being able to say I'm Alive. This song is important, and I think so many people could relate to the lyrics, and the music, and still can. I know the song meant a lot to me, as did the entire grunge music scene.

In 1999 I was 30 years old.

Thanks for reading
Kisses :*


Son, she said, have I got a little story for you
What you thought was your daddy was nothin' but a...
While you were sittin' home alone at age thirteen
Your real daddy was dyin', sorry you didn't see him, but I'm glad we talked...
Oh I, oh, I'm still alive
Hey, I, I, oh, I'm still alive
Hey I, oh, I'm still alive
Oh, she walks slowly, across a young man's room
She said I'm ready...for you
I can't remember anything to this very day
'Cept the look, the look...
Oh, you know where, now I can't see, I just stare...
I, I'm still alive
Hey I, but, I'm still alive
Hey I, boy, I'm still alive
Hey I, I, I, I'm still alive, yeah
Ooh yeah...yeah yeah yeah...oh...oh...
Is something wrong, she said
Well of course there is
You're still alive, she said
Oh, and do I deserve to be
Is that the question
And if so...if so...who answers...who answers...
I, oh, I'm still alive
Hey I, oh, I'm still alive
Hey I, but, I'm still alive
Yeah I, ooh, I'm still alive
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The four songs that define the last four decades for me.

# 3 the 1980's

This was a little easier than the 70's. Music became a serious part of my life in the 80's especially in high school. I went from long feathered hair, to short with a tail. Traded my t-shirts and jeans in for stretch pants, oversized sweaters, and Raybans.

There were so many styles it made your head spin. I was in a new wave phase.
I shopped at the limited and wore Guess, Esprit, and had about 10 different swatches.

There were preppies with their izods and penny loafers.

Punks with their Mohawks and combat boots.

It was the time of stiff hair, Vans, trenchcoats, and paisley.

I played Rubik's Cube and Trivial Pursuit.

I went dancing.

Things were either awesome or bogus, and sometimes they gagged me with a spoon.

My favorite movies were Ferris Bueller, Pretty in Pink, 16 Candles, and Breakfast Club.

On TV I watched 21 Jump Street, Quantum Leap, and the Greatest American Hero.

I read Hawthorne, Kesey, Bradbury, Lee, and lot of Stephen King.

I listened to the Cure, ABC, Psychedelic Furs, Tears for Fears, The Clash, and the band that brings me back to the song that defined the 80's for me, The Smiths.

The song is How Soon is Now. The 80's is when I became angsty, and when I started wearing black on an almost daily basis. The song reminds me of high school, friends, and all the good times we had.

In 1989 I was 20 years old.


How Soon Is Now

I am the son
And the heir
Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
Of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way ?
I am human and i need to be loved
Just like everybody else does

I am the son
And the heir
Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
Oh, of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way ?
I am human and i need to be loved
Just like everybody else does

Oh ...
Oh ...

There's a club, if you'd like to go
You could meet somebody who really loves you
So you go, and you stand on your own
And you leave on your own
And you go home, and you cry
And you want to die

When you say it's gonna happen "now"
Well, when exactly do you mean ?
See, i've already waited too long
And all my hope is gone

Oh ...
Oh ...

You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way ?
I am human and i need to be loved
Just like everybody else does

Thanks for reading me.

Kisses :*


Monday, August 10, 2009

The four songs that define the last four decades for me.

# 4, the 1970's.

This was a hard decision. It's not just that there are so many songs, but so many different types of music, rock, disco, and the Grease soundtrack. BUT, I think I'm going to have to go with Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81eSIwsLcWg

This was by far, one of the most popular songs of the decade, at least where I come from. This is the song everyone sang, the first song everyone learned to play on the guitar, the slow song everyone danced to. This song epitomized the feel of the 70's, for me at least.

It was the time of muscle shirts and feathered hair, bell bottoms and platform shoes.

We played baseball in the street and hung out at the roller rink.

There were jocks, car guys, metalheads, space cadets, and burn outs.

Levi's were lame. We would only wear Lawman, Sticky Fingers, and San Francisco's.

The family would sit around and watch MASH, Happy Days, and Three's Company.

In the theater I watched Star Wars, Superman, and my favorite movie at the time, Grease.

I crushed on Scott Baio, Matt Dillon, and John Travolta.

I read Where the Red Fern Grows, Where the Sidewalk Ends, and anything written by Judy Blume.

In 1979 I was ten years old.

Thanks for reading.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Top 4 BEST experiences from school: # 1 Graduating from College

This may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but it was for me. It took me three schools, five jobs, one baby, and ten years to complete. Let me give you a run down.

1987 attended University of Portland majoring in communications, with aspirations of being a journalist.

Partied too much, decided I just didn't know what I wanted to do, came home, worked as a Deli clerk in a grocery store.

1988 went to Tacoma Community College for one quarter. Was not dedicated at all, received the worst grade point average I had ever gotten.

1989 went back to the University of Portland, more serious this time, majored in business, wanted to own my own business. Couldn't cut the math. Didn't know what I was thinking.

Timeline is sketchy, I worked in a video store, jewelry store, and govt. office, for the next few years. All at the same time for part of it. No school.

Eventually quit the video store and the jewelry store and went to work full time for the Pierce County Auditors Office.

Went to night school at University of WA-Tacoma, a liberal arts school, taking two classes a quarter which was difficult because I had health and emotional problems at the time.

Married in 1994.

1995 I realized I hated my job. Took a year long leave of absence to finish school.

Got pregnant. Worked in my dad's law office while attending school.

Finally walked down the aisle, eight months pregnant and received my diploma, however, I had three classes to finish up, which I did from home after the baby was born. Never went back to the Auditor's Office.

A rocky road for sure, a degree as one of my boss' called is as useful as tits on a bull, but it's mine. I earned it.

If I could do it all over again, I don't know if I would change anything. Things that happened during that time helped shape who I am today. If I had gone all four years straight I might be in a different place, married to a different man, and had his kids instead of the ones I have. Deep, huh? ;)

So that's it, the top four BEST experiences from school. Tomorrow's a free for all. Catch you on the flip side.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Top four BEST experiences in school: # 2 My American Pie Paper

This was the coolest paper I wrote ever in college. I took the song American Pie, dissected it, analyzed it, and wrote down line by line what I thought it meant.

I got a perfect score from my then history teacher, may he rest in piece. He was not an easy man to please, either.

I'd copy and paste the paper here, but it was years ago, on an old computer. So, I guess I'll just start over.

Crap, just took a break to see if I could find it. I did find a few of my college papers and my first short story I ever wrote, but no America Pie paper, so here it goes, I'm winging it.

A long, long time ago...
I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And, maybe, they'd be happy for a while.

These first few lines refer to the 50's and how rock and roll moved the youth of that decade and inspired them to become musicians.

But February made me shiver
With every paper I'd deliver.
Bad news on the doorstep;
I couldn't take one more step.

The plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper, three of the most beloved rock musicians of the 50's.

I can't remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride,
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died.

So bye-bye, Miss American Pie.
Drove my Chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
And them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
Singin', "this'll be the day that I die.
"this'll be the day that I die."

This marks the end of American standards at the time. Baseball, apple pie, and Chevrolet were ideals that were vanishing.

Did you write the book of love,
And do you have faith in God above,
If the Bible tells you so?

This pertains to the ideals of the 50's. People seemed more naive back then. They believed what they were told, for example, that communism was a huge threat to democracy. They ignored the problems at hand such as gender, classism, and racism. They believed life was ideal, that there was enough wealth and jobs to go around.

Do you believe in rock 'n roll,
Can music save your mortal soul,
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?

Well, I know that you're in love with him
`cause I saw you dancin' in the gym.
You both kicked off your shoes.
Man, I dig those rhythm and blues.I was a lonely teenage broncin' buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck,
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died.

The lines above mark the transition from the love songs of the 50's to the rock and roll of the 60's. Rock and roll became the new God of the youth, a deity for them to follow. They were dancing fast and apart, rather than slow and close as in the 50's. A new dance, new music, a new era. If you were not willing to change, you were left behind.

I started singin',
"bye-bye, Miss American Pie."
Drove my Chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
And singin', "this'll be the day that I die.
"this'll be the day that I die."

Now for ten years we've been on our own

McLean is stating that the sixties generation did not go along to get along. They asserted themselves through the women's movement, the sexual revolution, and civil rights.

And moss grows fat on a rollin' stone,

The above line alludes to the drowning death of Rolling Stone Brian Jones.

But that's not how it used to be.
When the jester sang for the king and queen,
In a coat he borrowed from James Dean
And a voice that came from you and me,

In the lines above, I believe Bob Dylan to be the Jester. On his first trip to England, he played in a place called the King and Queen Pub. It was said that he was obsessed with rock and roll and James Dean, which was apparent in the way he dressed. His songs combined poetic detail and social activism.

Oh, and while the king was looking down,
The jester stole his thorny crown.

This refers to Bob Dylan replacing Elvis Presley as the voice of the new generation and the leader of the youth.

The courtroom was adjourned;
No verdict was returned.

Representative of the Warren Report after the JFK assassination. It was highly criticized for being inaccurate because of conflicting accounts of the shooting.

And while Lennon read a book of Marx,
The quartet practiced in the park,
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died.

These lines are about John Lennon becoming politically active and the Beatles (the quartet). The dirges being sung are for JFK, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr, all killed during the 60's.

We were singing,
"bye-bye, Miss American Pie."
Drove my Chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
And singin', "this'll be the day that I die.
"this'll be the day that I die."

Helter skelter in a summer swelter.

A reference to the Manson family killings.

The birds flew off with a fallout shelter,
Eight miles high and falling fast.

This line represents the emergence of The Byrds, and their song Eight Miles High.

It landed foul on the grass.
The players tried for a forward pass,

The shift from the cold war to Vietnam.

With the jester on the sidelines in a cast.

This line refers to Bob Dylan's motorcycle accident.

Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
While the sergeants played a marching tune.
We all got up to dance,
Oh, but we never got the chance!
`cause the players tried to take the field;
The marching band refused to yield.
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?

Half time was the summer of love in 1967. The Beatles release Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band that year. Everyone wanted to find peace and love, but could not because of the impending gloom of the Vietnam War. The players are the North Vietnamese, the marching band, the United States army. This line refers to the Tet Offensive. The item revealed was the Pentagon Papers.

We started singing,
"bye-bye, Miss American Pie."
Drove my Chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
And singin', "this'll be the day that I die.
"this'll be the day that I die."

Oh, and there we were all in one place,


A generation lost in space

Apollo 11 moon landing.

With no time left to start again.
So come on: jack be nimble, jack be quick!
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
Cause fire is the devil's only friend.

Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage.
No angel born in hell
Could break that Satan's spell.
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite,
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died

The above sections refer to the concert held by the Rolling Stones at Altamont Speedway, in which they hired the Hell's Angels to do security. They ended up killing an eighteen year old man that night, by stabbing and beating him. This allegedly happened during the song Sympathy for the Devil.

He was singing,
"bye-bye, Miss American Pie."
Drove my Chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
And singin', "this'll be the day that I die.
"this'll be the day that I die."

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news,
But she just smiled and turned away.
I went down to the sacred store
Where I'd heard the music years before,
But the man there said the music wouldn't play.

The girl is Janis Joplin. The fact that she has no happy news is a prelude to her upcoming death the next year, 1970. She is bringing the 60's to a close. Also, the music won't play anymore because a new era is beginning. Disco is ready to emerge.

And in the streets: the children screamed,
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed.

The above are symbols of a reawakening.

But not a word was spoken;
The church bells all were broken.

The end of a chaotic decade of demonstrations, riots, and protests was coming to a close.

And the three men I admire most:
The father, son, and the holy ghost,
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died.

And we're back to the beginning with the deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper.

And they were singing,
"bye-bye, Miss American Pie."
Drove my Chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
And them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
Singin', "this'll be the day that I die.
"this'll be the day that I die."

They were singing,
"bye-bye, Miss American Pie."
Drove my Chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
Singin', "this'll be the day that I die."

So, that was my paper. I actually found the original, so I didn't really have to wing it like I said. The instructor wanted to use it in a class the next semester, Culture Shock: The 60's and 70's. I don't know if he ever did.

Thanks for reading.

Kisses :*


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Top 4 BEST experiences from school: # 3 Li'l Abner

Yes, it's a weird title. I'm referring to the musical I was in my senior year of high school. This is important because A) I'm a shy person by nature and to try out for the musical was a big step for me. and 2) It made me feel like a rock star. Which is a good thing for a young girl with low self esteem.

Plus it was fun. The rehearsals, hanging out with the cast after. One of my favorite teachers, Mr. Wilkinson, was the director. If anyone is even remotely interested in drama in high school, I would urge them to at least try. It's a great experience. Even if you are only playing wife # 3. ;)

Short and sweet, I know.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Top four BEST experiences in school: # 4 English Classes

Since I did the worst last week, I decided to do the best this week. This was a hard decision. But I decided to start with my favorite subject, English.

I'm lumping things together, mostly I am talking about two teachers I adored in high school. Mr. Anstet, and Mr. Wilkinson.

Mr. Anstet was my favorite teacher by far. Funny, witty, crazy. I remember he would toss erasers at you from across the room if you weren't paying attention, or were talking too much. I remember running after and grabbing an eraser he had just hurled at me, and hitting him back. It was hilarious. He also would bring nerf guns, disc guns, anything he could shoot at us. He also introduced me to some great literature, JD Salinger, Ken Kesey, William Golding, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, just to name a few.
Now Mr. Wilkinson was also a cool teacher. He was the creative writing teacher. I wrote my first short story in his class, and had this great feeling of accomplishment. It was in his class that I began writing poetry, and songs as well. I loved taking my emotions and putting them down on paper. I owe a lot to Mr. Wilkinson.

I had English classes in college I also loved, women's lit, african american lit, poetry, nature writing. John Muir, Norman MacClean, Robinson Jeffers, Mary Shelley, Arthur Miller, Toni Morrison, Langston Hughes, Louise Erdrich, Margaret Atwood. I could go on and on. I loved it all, writing and literature giving me a high no drug could replicate.

My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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