I have many reasons for writing, but the most compelling were my experiences as a kid. I was an unpopular child, nerdy, not cool by my peers’ standards. I was often picked on and pushed around. I retreated into a world of fiction books where I could be the heroine, be honored and be beloved. Between those pages, I was brave and beautiful.
Valentine’s Day. 1982. I was ten years old and had my first boyfriend. What does it mean to have a boyfriend at ten? It means all sorts of fantastic things like having someone to walk to school with in the morning and playing tag and picking blackberries from a tree near your apartment and bike rides and sharing snow cones.
In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day of that year, my boyfriend, the great love that he was to me, bought me presents each morning before we walked to school. One day it was a Pee Che folder and the next morning it was Hello Kitty erasers. A day later it was a bag filled with little Mexican candies that we ate on the walk back home from school that afternoon. And on the day before Cupid would make his arrival in our little National City apartment complex, it was a pink bracelet with a charm on it that looked like a deer.
I woke up this morning and thought about my mom. I wondered how she would feel about my staying in New York after all of these years and I wondered how she would feel about A going away to college because for so much of my childhood, my mom wanted me to stay home and go to a local college so that I could be close to her.
And I wondered what she would think of my love life and friendships over the past few years since she died.
This year will mark the ninth anniversary of my mom’s death and I still think about her more than I admit to anyone, including myself. I put on her old records on Sunday mornings as I work on projects around the house. And I have a playlist that she would have readily approved of that I use when I go out for a run.
Do you know why we have dreams? I do. Dreams give us a reason to keep moving forward in life. They give us hope. They inspire us to believe that we can achieve anything, if only we put in enough effort.
And that’s just the beginning.
Dreams can take a young girl and move her to travel around the world. Dreams can teach us to read. They can teach us to write. They can teach us to fly.
Why am I writing all of this stuff about dreams? Easy. Just over a year ago I opened a magazine on the Volup2 website and said to my writing partner: I want to work with Velvet D’Amour. I didn’t even know what that meant, only that I had to make it happen.
And now…for the cover:
I can not thank Pamela Sinclair of ItGirlDesigns enough for her amazing ability to take a few sentences and turn them into a work of art. She was so wonderful to work with that I have started to believe it was simply destiny stepping in to help me find her. I went through a tremendous amount of RFPs and on the very last day, when I had decided that there would be no book because I couldn’t find an artist who could understood what I was trying to accomplish, along came Pamela. Destiny. Whatever the reason, I love this woman’s work so please, go check her out!
And other dramatic ways to say that, without a doubt, I am not who I was four years ago, but I still love that girl dearly.
I started writing my old blog in 2006. Way back then I had no idea that as a writer, one could write about anything and everything. I thought that you had to choose one thing and then you never wrote about anything else. Little did I know that I was not only wrong, but I was also about to find that words would change my life.
A year into blogging and I felt like I had, for the first time in my life, found a way to express myself that made sense. I’d always loved to read and had spent many nights writing throughout high school and college, but after I became a mom my writing time went to the bottom of my list of things I had time to do. But that first full year of writing on my old blogging site changed the way I looked at myself and others. In 2008 my life changed again. I fell in love with “The One” and I fought with myself over being happy. It was a daily struggle, but one I would never go back and change. There is magic to happiness and a lot of that magic is in timing.
When you’re a barely-there Catholic.
Yes, that’s a secret I don’t keep too well. I am, by baptism at four weeks, a Roman Catholic. I have gone to Catholic school, been married in a Catholic church, sent my daughter to a Catholic school and been a part of all of the rites required to grow a young ‘Bride of Christ” as I have called her at least once.
Yet I rarely think of myself as a Catholic, or at least not a good one.
If you can think of a reason to consider someone ‘lapsed’ then I have not only committed that act, but probably forgot I did it and repeated my mistake more than once. For years I tried to explain that one of my struggles with the Catholic Church is that I am pro-choice and there never seems to be a place for me. I also have a lot of friends who are: Single parents, divorced, backsliders and not-so-straight. How can I, with all of that going on, pretend to be a part of a religion that refuses to acknowledge so much – and so many – of the people and things I love?
ONE IN THREE WOMEN ON THE PLANET WILL BE RAPED OR BEATEN IN HER LIFETIME.*
ONE BILLION WOMEN VIOLATED IS AN ATROCITY
ONE BILLION WOMEN DANCING IS A REVOLUTION
On V-Day’s 15th Anniversary, 14 February 2013, we are inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating women and men across every country. V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers, our solidarity across borders.
What does ONE BILLION look like? On 14 February 2013, it will look like a REVOLUTION.