Jessica Star Rockers http://jessicastarrockers.com I grew up in the farmlands of Illinois and through my education and travels eventually made my way to the Pacific Northwest island I now call home. I have an MFA in Creative Nonfiction and Literary Editing & Design. After graduation I worked as an editor for several lit magazines including Willow Springs, Crab Creek Review and the strange fruit. For a while I taught college writing classes. My publishing credits include r.k.v.ry, NO, Melusine, 27 rue de flueres, Feminist Review, and Emerald City, among others. In 2006 I released an album called Beloved On Earth, and toured for a year playing my folks songs to anyone who would listen. (A handful of people even bought the album!) These days I write about faith and addiction and help lead worship at Cedars UU church. Sometimes they even let me preach. My essay “Jesus Loves Me,” is forthcoming in the anthology Potty Stories & other Bathroom Mishaps coming out in 2015 from Monkey Star Press.
Jennifer Kakutani http://mermaidcity.blogspot.
Sarafina Bianco graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in secondary education, English. An avid reader and learner, Fina took her passion for words into a classroom until she found herself in a nightmarish, abusive relationship that ultimately ended in her losing her job, car and house before she freed herself from him. She started her blog to help heal the hurt caused by a monster she once loved, and the rest is history.You can find her words at http://sarafinabianco.com, until September 8th, when her first book The House on Sunset will be released. She has left the classroom for good, in hopes she can be an advocate for women, men and children who are still living inside the nightmare of domestic abuse. She currently lives with her husband and three dogs in St. Louis, Missouri.
I’ve been gone so long from this space, and I apologize. I’ve missed you! I’ve missed being here sharing scenes from my crazy life. There are a few reasons I haven’t been here in a month. The first is that I’ve been in a deep funk. A dark place. I’ve spent most of my energy getting myself out of bed by noon and getting on with the business of daily life with 3 kids at home for the summer. Fear not, the fog is lifting and I’m feeling like my old self again.
I’ve also been writing for our local magazine. My deadline looms, therefore I haven’t had the time or energy to write anything in this space. I begin teaching social media marketing classes in the fall and have been preparing for those. One set is for writers and the other is for everyone. I get nervous and insecure about these things so a lot of my energy has been spent worrying about these workshops. I know, I’m a neurotic nutcase. It’s ok. That’s how I operate. I know I’ll rock the workshops, but in the meantime I freak out.
And you guys!!! My 10 minute play has been in rehearsals that I have been fortunate enough to have been invited to attend! (Not all directors will do that). I’m so excited for this play!
Lastly, my photog and my web designer are working to make this a brand new site! I’m so excited for that to happen! But I’m over the current site and don’t want to hang out here. Very immature of me, I realize.
I promise to be back here regularly again very soon. In the meantime here is a lovely photo of me (smoke + mirrors, I do not look like this in real life) the extremely talented Lisa S. Dunham of LSD Photography took of me. Wait until you see the others!! They’ll be on the new site. Stay tuned.
You guys! Dig if you will this picture: I innocently walk out of my room into the living room this morning and it’s a fucking pig sty. Ice cream wrappers all over the floor, an empty box of drumsticks (ice cream), an errant strawberry under the couch, blankets and pillows everywhere and sleeping children. In the kitchen I find more of the same plus melted chocolate ice cream all over my counter top. I go into the bathroom and there on the floor are clothes and crackers. Did I mention the toilet hadn’t been flushed? Pigs, I tell you! PIGS! Animals. Drunken wild boar with no manners. Assholes. My kids.
I fly into a rage that sends each of them scattering – of course not to help me pick up, just to get the fuck away from the crazy woman on a rampage. I somehow get the youngest two out of the house and to their day camps. I spend the next two hours cleaning up their messes, muttering to myself and wishing I could just get drunk but I can’t because I have to pick the little shits up from camp.
Cut to this afternoon where I’m doing laundry, the kids have helped me pick up and I’m trying to go through their crap they brought home from school. The doorbell rings. A nice guy man is standing at my door with a beautiful bouquet of spring flowers with little airline bottles of vodka coming out of it!!!! Topped with a fucking butterfly! PEOPLE it’s like a gift sent straight from heaven. It was sent from an angel on earth, my sweet friend, Christina.
How freaking thoughtful and awesome is that?! Just when I was about to kill them all and myself too. (kidding, but you feel me)
When I was in my 20’s what I desired most was to be someone’s wife and mother. It was the 1990’s and my 1950’s yearning wasn’t very fashionable. Young women were forging their careers in finance, marketing, and a myriad of other professions. While I went to school full-time at night and worked full-time during the day as a secretary I harbored this secret wish of becoming a housewife. Completely unglamorous and completely lacking the need for any sort of brainpower. Therefore, I had to pretend to have aspirations beyond housewife and mother.
In order to keep up the ruse of wanting to have a career I decided to get my law degree. Sure I had an interest in the law. My father was an attorney as were many, many, many of my friends (there will never be a shortage on lawyers in our country). I am a bleeding heart liberal who truly loves the law and is passionate about equality, justice and the Bill of Rights. But come on, I was never going to be William Kunstler or Alan Dershowitz. I’m a Gen Xer and lived up to that slacker reputation my generation had in our twenties. I didn’t have a strong work ethic.
In my late 20′s and early 30′s I finally graduated from college (it only took ten years), got married and earned my law degree. In those years at law school I decided I actually did want to practice law. So what if I wouldn’t be the greatest civil rights attorney of my time – I could still help people. Also, it would be nice to pay off the student loans I (Big Daddy) was facing.
I studied for and failed the bar exam twice. I took the bar review course offered at my school and another big name review course I paid through the nose for. I hired a tutor. I failed. Twice. I was in the middle of studying for my 3rd attempt when my mother suddenly passed away.
My mother and I were very close; her death was hard on me. My husband and I moved in with my father the day she had her stroke. My father had Parkinson’s and needed caretaking. It fell to us because we didn’t have kids and we could get out of our lease.
I went ahead and took the bar exam again. I don’t think I studied after my mom died, but I might have given it a half-hearted attempt. I was hoping all the studying I did for the last two exams would somehow get me over that finish line. I was wrong.
Two years went by and I had a baby. I decided I was going to go balls out and study for this fucking bar exam one more goddamned time and I was going to pass this time. I failed. Again.
Truth was I finally had my dream: a happy marriage with a wonderful guy, a beautiful, healthy baby girl and another baby on the way. Fuck the law, I’m a stay-at-home-mom, motherfuckers and I love it! I don’t need anything else.
Or so I thought.
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