For Chapter Seven’s illustrations, I used some of the ideas
of proponents of Pittura Metafisica, such as a dreamlike
juxtaposition of incongruous objects and a disquieting air
of mystery, though I hope my images are more humorous
Please enjoy this week’s video and check out Chapter Seven
of Hullaba Lulu!
My guest blogger this month is Linda Bethea of Nutstrok.
Linda is one of the first bloggers I followed when I started this blog in
2014 and over the years, we have become friends.
Linda’s Mother, who turns 90 today, May 5th, unofficially adopted me in
2015 and became my forever Mom, so in a sense, Linda and I are brother
Tell us about your place of birth and the cultural forces that shaped your childhood.
Being born in rural Northeast Louisiana in 1950 still has a huge influence on me. Being of a large nuclear family opened so many windows on life. With three grandparents, almost twenty aunts and uncles, by birth and marriage, and more than forty first cousins, our holidays and weekends were bedlam. Also, I grew up on a farm where every bit of help was needed, so I learned early to do my part. I learned to deal with all kinds of personalities, human and animal. Farm work did motivate me to get an education. I didn’t want to work that hard the rest of my life. Also, in the fifties, pressure to behave well was a huge force. We got it at home, school, and church. When I got in trouble, the news usually beat me home, even though we didn’t have a phone till 1958. I never did figure out how that worked. Our social life revolved around family, church, and school. It sounds idyllic described that way. We had good times and bad, but the older I get, the more I realize it was a good way to grow.
What event has had the most influence on your life and work?
When I was fourteen, I shot into a flock of blackbirds, just because. One fell to the ground mortally injured. I picked it up and it curled its tiny foot around my finger as the light went out of its eyes. I realized that little bird’s life was as precious as my own. I’ve never forgotten the devastation I felt at the bird’s cruel death at my hands. That changed the way I saw everything.
When did you start your blog and how has it evolved?
My first post was August 26, 2014. I was very nervous, thinking no one could be interested in my tales. Since then, I’ve learned someone is interested in almost anything a writer has to say. Here is a link to my first post.
How did you come up with the name, Nutstrok?
I love writing about family. I celebrate their eccentricities, but never lose touch with the fact that I love them dearly, hence the name, Nuts Are Okay, Nutsrok.
When did you start to write?
I started writing after I retired from thirty years as a registered Nurse. I cherished my stories and looked forward to having time to get them down for my children. Incidentally, I don’t think either of them reads my work. I guess I burned them out on the stories as they were growing up.
What have you learned about publishing since publishing ‘Everything Smells Just like Poke salad’?
I don’t how to answer the question about what I’ve learned since publishing. Writing is a lot more satisfying than promoting.
You published your second book, ‘Just Women Getting By’ in May of 2017, tell us a little about the book.
I was inspired to write Just Women because of the stories I learned and lived. When I was a child, I desperately wanted to be a boy. Girls lived with so restrictions, constantly reminded, “girls don’t do that.” “Don’t play so rough.” “Keep your dress tail down!” It didn’t take a genius to see women stayed home and were drudges while men went off and did interesting things. There were a lot more Betty Crockers than Annie Oakley’s.
Stories of the exploits of brave or evil men were common. Women were more likely to win acclaim for their beauty, not their abilities. Girls could look forward to marrying and having children. Men could do that and whatever else they aimed for. Despite the poor press women received, they were major factors in the success of home and community, rarely noticed, unless they failed. As adult, I was impressed at how much women quietly accomplish and their major contribution, showing strength in impossible situation.
Please share an excerpt from ‘Just Women Getting By’.
The excerpt is from the story “Hard Time Marrying.” Two young people find themselves married in a horrific situation with no way out.
Their union had a bleak start. Shivering miserably on the depot platform in the freezing rain, the woman folded and refolded his tattered letter. Angered, he thought of driving on when he saw her cradling a small child and holding the hand of a grimy toddler, a few tattered bundles at her feet. In her letter, she’d not mentioned the little ones, though with all fairness, the marriage was only one of need on both parts. He hadn’t promised her anything either, so after hesitating, he was mollified by the thought that the little fellows served as proof she wasn’t barren. Hurriedly, married minutes later at the preacher’s house, he apologized for the weather as they shivered the two hours home in his open wagon and was surprised to learn the woman didn’t speak or understand English. Maybe that wasn’t so bad for a man accustomed to his own company.
Burning with fever by the time they got to his homestead, his unknown wife was dead by the next sundown, leaving him with little ones he had no taste for. Barely reaching his knee, they toddled mutely in perpetual soggy diapers, uttering gibberish only they understood. As soon as he could, he buried his quilt-wrapped wife and headed back to dusty Talphus, Texas to rid himself of burden of her orphaned little ones. The church or the town would have to do for them. Loading them in a snug in a bed of hay, wrapped in a ragged quilt, hay heaped over them. he pitied and grieved for them on the long trip back to town, knowing the hard life they faced. Stopping several times to make sure they were warmly covered, he was relieved to find them pink and warm. He hardened his heart against them, knowing only too well the life they faced. He’d never known family, just been passed from hand to hand. He grieved knowing that was their lot, but deception had landed them with him and a lone-farmer could hardly be expected to shoulder the brats of a dead woman he’d never even shared a bed with.
Thank you Linda, and a Happy 90th Birthday to my Forever Mom, Kathleen.
Your gift to me still warms my heart.
Dissociative amnesia. The main symptom is memory loss that’s more severe than normal forgetfulness and that can’t be explained by a medical condition. You can’t recall information about yourself or events and people in your life, especially from a traumatic time. Dissociative amnesia can be specific to events in a certain time, such as intense combat, or more rarely, can involve complete loss of memory about yourself. It may sometimes involve travel or confused wandering away from your life (dissociative fugue). An episode of amnesia usually occurs suddenly and may last minutes, hours, or rarely, months or years.
Dissociative identity disorder. Formerly known as multiple personality disorder, this disorder is characterized by “switching” to alternate identities. You may feel the presence of two or more people talking or living inside your head, and you may feel as though you’re possessed by other identities. Each identity may have a unique name, personal history and characteristics, including obvious differences in voice, gender, mannerisms and even such physical qualities as the need for eyeglasses. There also are differences in how familiar each identity is with the others. People with dissociative identity disorder typically also have dissociative amnesia and often have dissociative fugue.
Depersonalization-derealization disorder. This involves an ongoing or episodic sense of detachment or being outside yourself — observing your actions, feelings, thoughts and self from a distance as though watching a movie (depersonalization). Other people and things around you may feel detached and foggy or dreamlike, time may be slowed down or sped up, and the world may seem unreal (derealization). You may experience depersonalization, derealization or both. Symptoms, which can be profoundly distressing, may last only a few moments or come and go over many years
Dissociative Identity Disorder is the other two disorders plus alternate identities with memories of their own.
“Each identity may have a unique name, personal history, and characteristics, including obvious differences in voice, gender, mannerisms, and even such physical qualities as the need for eyeglasses. There also are differences in how familiar each identity is with the others.”
The flow of consciousness across time is necessary to create an experience of the present, (“now”) in the context of a subjective past and anticipated future. Accordingly, under normal circumstances, time is experienced as continuously moving forward. However, traumatized individuals often relive their traumatic memories through flashbacks and lack the ability to live in the “now,” reflecting a key dissociative process associated with trauma-related altered states of consciousness. Such reliving events are in contrast to intrusive memory recall most frequently associated with reminder distress and not involving an altered state of consciousness or a dissociative process but rather represent a state of normal waking consciousness Eur J Psychotraumatol. 2015
Normal memory is “Back when I was 16,” as opposed to ‘I am 16.”
“Episodic memory differs from other kinds of memory in that its operations require a self. It is the self that engages in the mental activity that is referred to as mental time travel: there can be no travel without a traveler …” Eur J Psychotraumatol. 2015
I don’t remember things, I relive them.
“…while remembering an event, mental time travel is “partial” in that the present self voluntarily directs attention to the past self, thus maintaining awareness of the present self in the present time. In this case, the “I” is proposed to exist in the present self, which outweighs the representation of the past self in past time. In contrast, during a reliving experience, mental time travel occurs “fully,” generally not by choice, and is usually triggered by internal and/or external stimuli that bear some resemblance to a past self-state. In this case, the “I” is thought to inhabit the past self, which is thought to outweigh the presence of the present self, thus lacking a mental time traveler and the ability to voluntarily position oneself in the past or in the future.” Eur J Psychotraumatol. 2015
His goal was to get away from her and his first strategy was to force a psychiatrist to commit him.
He decided that he would use the systems lies about “queers” to his advantage.
But he wasn’t prepared for how the ‘system’ treated ‘queers’ in
“One day I found a book called, “By Reason of Insanity.
It was all about this guy who goes crazy and kills his wife.
He is sent to the loony bin so he can go sane and stand trial for murder.
Most of the book was about the people he meets in the hospital.
Some of the people scream and see things that ain’t there.
But the hospital also had food and schools.
I thought hell, check it out!
I got Grandma to convince Momma to take me to see a shrink.
I said I had a “Three Faces of Eve” thing goin’ on, an at that time, I thought I was telling a lie.
Grandma called Momma right away an Momma jumped.
The psychiatrist Momma took me to was scrawny.
He looked like Mr. Spock from “Star Trek”: “Is there anything you’d like to tell me about yourself, bobby.”
“Yeh–I think I’m queer.”
“Why do you think that?”
“Well–” I looked up at him and blushed, “I think about boys when I-you know.”
And that got me sent up.
The shrink told Momma that I needed to go to the state hospital for “observation.”
I got all excited since that seemed almost as good as going to New York.
The hospital had a place for kids.
It was a tall red brick building with locks on every door.
When Momma an’ me got there, Momma suddenly got very polite, and she gave me permission to smoke.
When the doctor came to meet us, she acted all scared, like she was talking to Grandma.
“Ya’all treat my baby good!” she cried.
Then she called me darling, and left.
This hospital was nothing like the one in my book.
It was all shiny inside and Muzac played all day long through little loudspeakers in the ceiling.
Everyone looked numb.
I made friends with this other queer who was a year older than me.
He was a rich kid who went on and on about how he hoped the doctors could turn him straight.
Here I was, fifteen and already out.
I thought this kid was crazy and said so!
“Listen!” I said, “That ain’t never gonna happen. So get over it!”
Well he hauled off and slapped me!
Then he got so upset about slapping me he started to cry.
A nurse came over to give him some pills.
She gave me an evil look.
Like I had picked up that boy’s hand and slapped myself!
I thought she’d like me better if she had to give me some pills, so I asked for some.
“Why do you think you need medication, Bobby?”
“I think I’m seein’ people that ain’t really there.”
“Be sure you tell that to your doctor.”
“Tell me a little something about your childhood.” the doctor said.
“Well it ain’t over yet!” I said.
“True enough.” he smiled. “Why do you think you’re here?”
“I guess ’cause I’m queer.” I answered. “Howcum you ain’t got no people screamin’ around here?”
He smiled again. “Do you feel like screaming?”
That shrink really thought I was crazy.
Now I knew I wasn’t, but I reminded myself that for these folks, queer was the same thing.
When Momma came to visit she always put on the good behavior that she wore for Grandma.
I said, “Momma! These people gonna do some kinda shock treatment on me!”
“They’ll do what they can to make you better.” she said. “I hope you’re smokin’ like I said you could.”
I was in deep water for screwing that rich kid.
A month passed.
“Whut if yew had relations with a man an’ caught the clap in yore mouth?” The social worker asked me one day, like I already had it.
“You can get that from eatin’ pussy!” I said, “Why don’t you people calm down an’ let me go home?”
That rich kid told me all about the therapy the doctors was doing on him.
“First, they strap you inna chair with your weenie hanging out. Then they put glue on it and stick wires to it. Then they show you pictures of hot dudes an’ shock the piss outta you if you so much as sigh!”
Now, Momma had to understand how bad that was!
“Lissen up!” I said at her next visit. “These shrinks is gonna “lectrocute me!”
“They say they only use a lil’ “lectricity, darlin’.”
“And how would you like it if every time you sat onna barstool some one zapped you off?”
Momma got that dark look she always got when she wanted to hit me.
“Have a little respect for your Momma!” She said in a tight but polite tone of voice.
“Do you want Bobby to be a hama-sect-ual?” The shrink asked Momma at the treatment meeting.
“He was always a tad girlish, but I have always maintained that it is important for men to be men.
“Let em fry my dick off, ” I said, “see what kind of man I’ll be then!”
“The shrink ignored me.
“I think that Bobby can be cured. These deviant behaviors are not set until adulthood.”
“But I don’t wanna get cured!” I said. “I ain’t got nothin’ to cure!
I glared at Momma.
She sat there like the best little girl in the world.
Then I knew what I had to do.
“Momma! You let this fool shock me an’ I’ll call Grandma and tell her all about you. Every. Thing.”
She looked down and twisted her wedding ring.
Then she looked up at the doctor with such wide, innocent looking brown eyes:
“I do want what’s best for Bobby. But it’s such a big decision! I think I should consult with his Father first.”
It should be no big surprise that empaths attract energy sucking vampires and narcissists, who are often associated as energy sucking vampires as well. Empaths absorb the emotions of others, are sensitive to other’s energies, and often are like human lie detectors. As an empath myself, I often refer to myself as a ‘soul reader’.
A soul reader is a highly intuned empath who has the uncanny ability to read between the lines when people speak – or don’t speak. We can see the invisible mask. we can hear the words that are unspoken, we know what goodness or mal-intentions are held secretly when we hear their words and the words omitted.
Empaths often attract people with problems because of their sympathetic natures, but are also an open target for energy vampires and narcissists because of their open vulnerability to receive energies – good and bad. Empaths often hide their…
Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays. Today’s episode of Hullaba Lulu brings us to Chapter 8 of the series. Rob Goldstein is back with more gorgeous images and videos (Click herefor the entire collection of videos.)
A glimpse into my writing process
Even though this is a diesel-punk fantasy, I try to add some real world tidbits for you. Lulu seems to like to dance. Early on she did a bit of the Camel Walk. This time she’s doing an American dance which was born in Harlem, New York City in 1928 — the Lindy Hop.
This chapter has a bonus fourth thing. I really try to stay true to the three things as they are sent. “Pittura Metafisica” was supposed to be one of the Chapter 7 things (last week), not “Bubblegum.” However, the scene I imagined for that artsy term…