I Have Not Forgotten How to Fight

I am not looking forward to going back to re-live the late 1960s. I was too young to vote, but old enough to see the televised anguish of anti-war protests and students at Kent State lying dead on the ground. My father was caught in a bottle and brick throwing anti-war protest on the campus of Columbia University. I was a personal witness to race riots in New York City.

I am not looking forward to going back to the 1970s, when The Bronx was burning down and no one did anything because they wanted the Blacks and Puerto Ricans out. I will not use the ugly slur names for I fear they will inspire a rebirth on the lips of those who are too young to recall.

I am not looking forward to arguing with anyone, particularly a Blue Cross/Blue Shield executive, who told a group of nurses starting a campus health clinic that “he” would not “pay for someone’s fling in a back seat.”

I am not looking forward to more watching national parks and national treasures, including the majestic wild animals that inhabit them, decimated, destroyed and driven to extinction by Trump and his “Black Coal Matters” movement.

I am not looking forward to the same anarchy and violence I witnessed when I had the unfortunate experience of being in the same Albuquerque Convention Center at a Donald Trump rally, and being intimidated by his “supporters” strutting about in menacing postures and following me, after I crossed the street to get away from them, believing that I was about to join the protesters who were assembling. There were bottles thrown that night, but rioters have now graduated to bullets shot from guns in the hands of trigger fingers empowered by Trump’s xenophobia, bigotry, misogyny and neo Nazi white supremacy, fueled by the National Rifle Association.

Those are ugly words and ugly accusations but Trump has been our “neighbor” in NYC and he is not a good one. There are “No Trump” zones in Brooklyn, and he better not drive though the South Bronx unless he’s in a bullet proof car. Not that he would scuff the bottoms of his expensive shoes on any of those sidewalks, preferring a more ornate, phallic style of architecture and being more at home as a barker in the carnival-like amusement parks and golf courses that bear his name. I will never consider Trump my president, never trust him, honor him, believe him. I will never respect him.

I am not a fearful person, and I have walked the streets in some of the worst neighborhoods in New York City during the worst times, when there were more abandoned buildings than inhabited ones, and more starving dogs and stray cats than people. But I am terrified right now. And I apologize for rambling. I’m tired, very tired, since I have not slept well for days.

The day after the election, some students from my daughter’s school boarded a NYC bus on the way home. They told a group of African American students from another school that now that Trump was president, they needed to go to the back of the bus. The incident escalated, and the distraught kids contacted their families. These students were stupid enough to do this in uniform and have disgraced the school. I hope they have been arrested for bias intimidation.

I am not looking forward to the first battle I have to wage, which is to go into the principal’s office to find out how the school plans to ensure that this will never happen again, in addition to what my daughter describes as a “two hour lecture over the PA system about respect.” He needs to know that my daughter, who is a naturalized citizen, is terrified that she will be seized and deported by Donald Trump and vigilantes like her fellow classmates who might target her because she was born in Central America.

I am not looking forward to taking care of immigrant children from the Middle East and Central America, who I have been seeing since they arrived, many emaciated, malnourished, fearful victims of violence and abuse, and who are now having panic attacks and PTSD flashbacks.

I would really rather be going about my business, secure in the knowledge that the country is in the hands of a sane, competent President whose only agenda is safeguarding the health, well being and safety of all citizens of the United States, regardless of their political party, gender, sexual orientation, race, or ethnicity. A President who honors treaties with other nations, and sees that the United States lends a hand to those who need it because of war, natural disasters, or terrorism. A President who doesn’t lie, cheat, steal, shake down, and intimidate, rape and assault women, and evade paying taxes on his billions of dollars of income. A President who is intelligent enough to believe the science of climate change is real, and that without decisive action the Earth will not survive the continued onslaught of misuse, abuse, and overuse by greedy nations and corporations who damage, pollute, contaminate and destroy our resources in the name of “jobs” and profits for the 1%.

I am really not looking forward to fighting, and my family has been surprised to hear my 1970s militant tone. They are concerned that I might upset and alienate relatives and friends who voted for Trump and suggested that maybe I should be less “authoritarian.”

Sorry if I offend any “friends” and family members who voted for Trump. You know by now I always speak my mind, and if you don’t like it “unfriend” me, “block” me, and don’t send me any more Christmas cards. I assure you that I will be just as grateful to not have to hear your “whitesplaining” that it’s only about the “welfare cheats,” ” THE ILLEGALS” (your capitals, not mine),”the gays” and your parroting of grammatically incorrect and often unintelligible “Trumpisms.”

Your judgment in trying to force all that crap down my throat is suspect, since you are very aware of my political persuasions. But don’t worry, I won’t betray your trust and tell anyone about the abortions you, your sister, your girlfriend, or your wife had had because it was an agonizing choice you had the right to make, given the complexities of a situation. That’s why you talked to me about it, knowing I would understand and keep it in confidence. But know that your vote for Trump will mean that other men and women (yes, Mr. Blue Cross/Blue Shield whose name I really wish I could remember, it takes two “flingers”) who face that agonizing choice will find it harder or someday maybe impossible to choose and that they may die because of medical complications or a botch job in a back alley. Yeah, I saw a few of those working the gyn unit in the 1970s. I “REALLY” don’t want to go back there.

I have learned from experience that being “well behaved” invites victimization. I don’t go looking for trouble and, being street wise, cross to get out of the way if I sense danger. But I can’t this time. I am going back to the 1970s and 1980s and have not forgotten how to fight.

Join me to volunteer your voice, your time, your expertise, and your support to the resistance. Sign petitions, March, Protest, Retweet, and Share.

Attend Town Halls: The Town Hall Project

#Resist #ResistTrump #ImpeachTrump #NOPE

A New Webpage for Non Fiction and Professional Posts

 

While my first love is writing fiction, I got my start in academic nonfiction and have a large portfolio of creative nonfiction titles as well as excerpts from my two memoirs, Someday I’m Going to Write a Book: Diary of an Urban Missionary and Karma, Kickbacks and Kids. There is quite a bit of overlap, since most of my stories have their roots in real life experiences. But I’ve decided to create an offshoot of my fiction website to feature blog posts that also bridge the gap–as well as a sampling of my creative nonfiction and academic and research articles that might be of interest.

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You can also check out the archives of my Blogger (includes My African Journey) and LJ blogs (featuring my other travelogues, New York Stories, and some of my op ed), my dedicated Twitter feed Petite Meets Street (@petitemeetstreet), and my non fiction and professional Facebook pages.

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I blog regularly for the Fifty Authors in Fifty States blog series as well as for the Soulmate Authors’ blog.

 

 

Maturing Your Darlings

I’m deep into final edits on Storm Watch.  schooner

Yes! The third book in the Unfinished Business series is scheduled for release on June 28. Right in time for beach season and my annual Novel Fun in the Summer Sun Tour.

Slaps cheeks. Now, back to the reality of being a writer. I believe that maturing as a writer made the completion of this series more difficult rather than easier, even though I know the world very well. And the characters are like family. In some cases, they are my family as the entire series is dedicated to the memory of my father, who died on June 18, 2011. Again, I digress, which gets back to those darlings again. The ones that commandeer you when writing and take you off on a tangent when the writer becomes the character instead of letting the character be herself.

I’m piggybacking onto…

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It’s Hard to Say Goodbye: To My Characters

schoonersailsI typed ‘The End’ on Storm Watch: Book Three in the Unfinished Business series a week ago. The gift of a late winter snowstorm, and an unexpected day off, allowed me to finish the final edits. Multiple challenges made this the hardest book of my writing career to complete. I didn’t have the melancholy many writers describe when they have to pull themselves out of the story–and their characters’ lives, even when it’s a happily ever after. Until I did the formatting, uploaded the manuscript, and sent it off to my editor.

I now have this big void in my head: no more flashes of inspiration on how to perfect a scene. No insights on how the friends that my characters have become over the last ten years react to the challenges they’re facing. No more anxiety about finishing the story-and what is likely to be the last book in…

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A Letter to My Teenage Daughters

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February 8, 2017

My dear girls,

img_1629 January 21, 2017, Women’s March, Lexington, Kentucky. I’m so proud these two young women are my daughters.

Last night in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Senator Elizabeth Warren to stop speaking as she was reading a letter written by Coretta Scott King. The letter, written in 1986, denounced Jeff Sessions, the senator currently nominated to be the Attorney General of the United States, as unfit for a federal judgeship. When Warren didn’t stop speaking, McConnell pulled a move called “extraordinary” by the New York Times: he evoked a little-known rule to silence her. He said:

“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Shut up and sit down. How many times have I heard that in my life? Unfortunately, more times than I can count.

In my anger and frustration, I spent a good amount of time this morning…

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Villains, Heros and Heroines

In 2005, the cold reality of violent domestic abuse portrayed in a film propelled me into writing fiction. Since then, I figured out that every villain has a wound and showing that wound incites some level of sympathy or, at least, understanding.  No one illustrates this better than Phillip Roth, whose characters are despicable but I still can’t put his books down (if I can summon the courage to pick them up). I’ve been making my way through Philippa Gregory’s historical novels about the the Kings and Queens of England and their courts. Her treatment of Katherine of Aragon, in particular, paints a very complex portrait of a villainess who, despite her devout religious beliefs, descended into a personal hell and brought as many along with her as she could.

Two of my urban fantasy short stories feature villains as protagonists, and they were very difficult to write. I make my…

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Spotlight/Interview: Carole Ann Moleti

I’m honored to be able to help the Order of the Eastern Star with their charity event at Barnes and Noble, Bayshore. If you would like to place an online order use event code 12048500 at BN.com/bookfairs from 12/7-12/2016.

the Romantic Fanatic

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Carole Ann Moleti will be at:

Barnes & Noble

Gardiner Manor Mall

842 Sunruse Highway

Bay Shore, NY 11706

Wednesday, December 7th (7pm – 8pm)

Interview:

What genre do you write?

I write fiction in the romance, paranormal and urban fantasy genres but have been known to dabble in horror, contemporary fiction and women’s fiction. I also write non-fiction, memoir, personal essays and op-ed that focuses on politics and women’s issues.

Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and do you read the same genre as you write?

I’ve been an avid reader all my life. As a kid, my favorite thing to do was to pick six books (the maximum) out of the library, take them home, read, return, repeat. My grandmother gave me all her old romances, I loved science fiction and fantasy (Lord of the Rings Trilogy-yeah) and anything about horses. Then I got my…

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To Nano or Not to Nano?

I only have one more day to decide whether or not to participate in National Novel Writing Month this year. I don’t write well to prompts and generally make good progress on my own. Plus, I write in so many different genres and forms I’m not always ready to dig deep into a novel.

Last year was an exception. I wanted to finish Storm Watch,  the third book in the Unfinished Business series, by summer 2016. I had three chapters written, I knew where I was going with the story, and the second book was about to be released. I was tied into the characters and the story. All of my marketing was focused on this series. I committed to write 50,000 words and made my goal. But I was wrecked. My marketing in advance of the holiday season was impaired.

While having a deadline helped me in that case…

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