Sunday, November 21, 2021

STORIES OF GRATITUDE: HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

 SHARING MY STORY OF THANKSGIVING 

AND GRATITUDE


THANKSGIVING PICK-UP

Copyright © 2021 by Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte


As little kids, we didn’t think much beyond the pies and cakes at Thanksgiving, only suffering through the turkey and dressing to get to those two delights.  As we grew older, we began see the family togetherness of it all, both good and bad, and came to look forward to it. 

A day that started out as stressful for my mother as she balanced putting a feast together, by our designated 3:00 PM eating time, first for just her growing family and parents who lived nearby and then to sons-in-law, and grandchildren, always ended in her delight.  As the years went by, I held the meal at my home a few times, and my mother was more than happy to just relax and visit, but it was “off” and just not the same.

In different ways, Mom was the center of it all for us, and her presence was what held us all together.  So, it was no great surprise that when she died suddenly in 1981, it all fell apart; we all fell apart.  It was especially wrenching for my father and my youngest sister who was only 13 at the time.

While my father and baby sister remained in the family house for a time, without mom, it was no longer a place for gathering. All that was left was a hollowness that could not include being thankful.  We each began to hold our own Thanksgivings separately, and although we invited my dad, he would not come, preferring instead to eat with friends who had not been a part of our family core.

It was a sad time as we slogged through a few years of motionless grief that would not seem to lift.  And so, it was bit of a miracle that on the day before Thanksgiving, three years after Mom’s death I found a note attached to a paper plate on my porch.  Written by my little sister, the simple and to the point message read:

My Turkey dinners.  

I prefer dark meat please and cooked with a little salt.

Thanks,

Mr. Bize’

And sure enough, at 3:00 PM sharp on Thanksgiving, the doorbell rang, and there was my smiling dad, saying, “Pick up!” as I invited him in to get his dinner.  In the years that followed, I would continue to invite him in, and he would invariably say, “I can’t stay, I have more pickups to do!” and off he would go with his first Thanksgiving dinner on his way to the next. Before the hour was up, he would “pick-up” dinners from all four of his married daughters, and have a moveable feast of turkey and dressing, sweet potato pie, collard greens, Cornish hens, candied yams, sometimes quail and BBQ ribs, and always pineapple-coconut 1 2 3 4 cake, and his Louisiana staple, rice and gravy.

My father had found a way to work through his grief, and to touch base with his children during the holidays in a way that would not propel him backwards. He made it different enough for his broken heart to handle while building a bridge to cross over the sorrow.  It was quite ok that he could not bear to sit at one of our tables; how would he choose and why should he have to? That note and his new “pick-up” tradition let us all know that he was healing, and it gave us permission to do the same.  To let us know that we would have to find our own paths for dealing with the shattering changes we had to face.

My father found a way to modify his holiday tradition so he could go on, and for us, knowing that he wanted to, made us thankful once again.



SEE ME READ THIS STORY OUT LOUD 

ALONG WITH OTHER WONDERFUL HOLIDAY STORY READERS

AT

THE WOMEN'S NATIONAL BOOK ASSOCIATION-SAN FRANCISCO CHAPTER

https://wnba-sfchapter.org/

2021 HOLIDAY STORYTELLING FEST

CO-HOSTED BY KATE FARRELL AND YOURS TRULY

I AM AT 32:25 *

https://www.dropbox.com/s/yw8bmwqzvpof8ul/HolidayStorytelling2021.mp4?dl=0

Sunday, October 24, 2021

NO POETRY NO PEACE AT THE M.I. ON NOVEMBER 8

You all know how much I Iove words and one my favorites is: FREE! Join us on November 8 for "No Poetry No Peace," a free virtual event at the Mechanics Institute Library of San Francisco

( you can join M.I. and /or you can always donate a little somethin' somethin')

Friday, October 22, 2021

HEY, SHE WON!


SAN FRANCISCO WRITERS CONFERENCE (SFWC)

2022 WRITING CONTEST

ADULT FICTION:

Winner: Sheryl Bize-Boutte, The Burden Keeper

The winning story is the first chapter of my novel in progress, titled The Burden Keeper, and will be published with all of the contest winners and finalists in the SFWC Anthology slated for release in November 2021.

STAY TUNED...

Thursday, September 30, 2021

HEY, THIS STUFF IS REALLY HAPPENING!


HEY, THIS STUFF IS REALLY HAPPENING!

 An excerpt from my novel in progress, "The Burden Keeper," has been selected as a finalist in the San Francisco Writer's Conference 2021 writing contest. The excerpt, along with all of the finalist's entries as well as the winners, will be published in the SFWriter's inaugural anthology, slated for publication in November 2021.  


More at: www.sfwriters.org


My short story, "Plateau," has been nominated for "Best of the Net" for 2021 by Synchronized Chaos International Magazine.

Read the story here:

http://synchchaos.com/short-story-from-sheryl-bize-boutte-6/

COMING UP:

OCTOBER 15, 2021: WRITER'S LUNCH-ALL ABOUT BETA READERS

https://www.milibrary.org/events/writers-lunch-all-about-beta-readers-oct-15-2021

NOVEMBER 8, 2021: NO POETRY NO PEACE

https://www.milibrary.org/events/no-poetry-no-peace-reading-and-celebration-human-expression-and-peace-nov-08-2021

Friday, September 24, 2021

NO POETRY NO PEACE SERIES AT THE MECHANICS INSTITUTE NOVEMBER 8, 2021

PLEASE JOIN ME AT THE MECHANICS INSTITUTE LIBRARY OF SAN FRANCISCO

 FOR 

NO POETRY NO PEACE 

AN M. I. L. POETRY SERIES

ON 

NOVEMBER 8, 2021

6:00 PM-7:00 PM

This event is produced in partnership with the San Francisco Writers Conference.

Please register via Eventbrite and the Zoom credentials will be sent to you when you register and a few days prior to the event.

REGISTER HEREhttps://www.milibrary.org/events/no-poetry-no-peace-reading-and-celebration-human-expression-and-peace-nov-08-2021#tickets

Join us and a selection of poets – some local, some far flung - to explore how "poetry provides pathways for creative and cathartic human expression and peace." The No Poetry No Peace series happens twice a year and the title comes from a collection written by Sheryl Bize-Boutte and her daughter Dr. Angela Boutte.


About our poets:

 

Pushcart Prize nominee Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte is an Oakland multidisciplinary writer whose autobiographical and fictional short story collections, along with her lyrical and stunning poetry, artfully succeed in getting across deeper meanings about the politics of race and economics without breaking out of the narrative.  Her writing has been variously described as "rich in vivid imagery," "incredible," and "great contributions to literature." Her first novel, Betrayal on the Bayou, was published in June 2020 and a poetry collection she has written with her daughter Dr. Angela M. Boutte, titled No Poetry No Peace, was published in August 2020.  She is also a popular literary reader, presenter, storyteller, curator, and emcee for local events.


Mahnaz Badihian is an Iranian/American Poet, painter, and translator whose work has been published in several languages worldwide. Her work has appeared in many literary magazines, including Exiled ink!, International Poetry Magazine, and Marin Poetry Center Anthology. Mahnaz runs the Literary magazine MahMag.org to bring the poetry of the world together. She finished the translation of a book called Spaldings Arise (2014) with Jack Hirschman. Her latest poetry collection is Raven Of Isfahan (2019) and she has edited Plague 2020 an anthology of COVID related art and poetry from around the world. Her new collection of poems, Ask The Wind, will be published by Vagabond Press this year. She is a member of the San Francisco RPB (Revolutionary Poet Brigade).


Dr. Angela M. Boutte is a biochemist, neuroscientist, and avid recreational indoor climber who loves the tranquility and peace found in writing the occasional poem.


Author of three poetry collections, Joan Gelfand’s reviews, stories, essays and poetry have appeared in national and international literary journals and magazines. The recipient of twenty writing awards including the Effie Lee Morris Prize for Poetry and the Cervena Barva Prize for Short Fiction, Joan taught for California Poets in the Schools and currently for The Writing Salon.  Joan’s poem, “The Ferlinghetti School of Poetics” was made into a short film that showed in 20 international film festivals. Joan’s debut novel, Extreme was named New Fiction Finalist in the 2020 International Book Awards.


John Rowe has been active in the Bay Area poetry community for 25 years, especially with the Bay Area Poets Coalition, a non-profit, volunteer-run organization. He currently hosts a monthly open poetry reading on Zoom for BAPC. His poems have appeared in numerous small press journals and anthologies, and he has authored several poetry chapbooks including Beyond Perspective (Finishing Line Press). His poems reflect an array of styles and themes, and he has an affinity for writing short-form poems such as 5-line tanka.


Michael Warr is a 2021 San Francisco Artist Grant and 2020 Berkeley Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. His books include Of Poetry & Protest: From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin (W.W. Norton), The Armageddon of Funk and We Are All The Black Boy.  Recognition for his writing and literary activity includes the San Francisco Library Laureate, Creative Work Fund award for his multimedia project Tracing Poetic Memory, PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature, Black Caucus of the American Library Association Award, Gwendolyn Brooks Significant Illinois Poets Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. For more see https://michaelwarr-creativework.tumblr.com/


Maw Shein Win’s poetry chapbooks are Ruins of a glittering palace (SPA/Commonwealth Projects) and Score and Bone (Nomadic Press). Invisible Gifts: Poems was published by Manic D Press in 2018. Win is the first poet laureate of El Cerrito, California (2016 - 2018). Her full-length poetry collection Storage Unit for the Spirit House (Omnidawn) was longlisted for the PEN America Open Book Award, nominated for a Northern California Book Award for Poetry, and longlisted for the California Independent Booksellers Alliance’s Golden Poppy Award for Poetry for 2021. 

More here:

https://www.milibrary.org/events/no-poetry-no-peace-reading-and-celebration-human-expression-and-peace-nov-08-2021


REGISTER HERE: https://www.milibrary.org/events/no-poetry-no-peace-reading-and-celebration-human-expression-and-peace-nov-08-2021#tickets

Questions?

Taryn Edwards - 415-393-0103


Tuesday, August 24, 2021

LAINEY CAMERON PODCAST SEPTEMBER 3-5

 I WILL BE CHATTING WITH AWARD WINNING AUTHOR LAINEY CAMERON 

ABOUT MY NOVEL 

BETRAYAL ON THE BAYOU

ON HER PODCAST

THE BEST OF WOMEN'S FICTION

SEPTEMBER 3-5  2021

https://www.bestofwomensfiction.com/

HERE IS AN EXCERPT FROM LAINEY'S 5-STAR REVIEW OF BETRAYAL ON THE BAYOU FROM AMAZON AND GOODREADS:

"Set in a race-divided community and full of murder and mayhem, the true spirit of this novel is in how it builds an entire fictional universe set on the Louisiana Bayou.

With the immersive spirit of a fairytale, that universe pulls you in. A tale of women trying to do their best in a time that offered fewer choices and was significantly worse for women of color or mixed race. But this is not a novel drenched in pity; the female characters have agency, and self-awareness, and are well-written and credible."

JOIN US ON THE PODCAST TO HEAR MORE ABOUT THE BOOK, WRITING AND FORMULATING FICTION

AIRING SEPTEMBER 3-5

https://www.bestofwomensfiction.com/

get your copy here:

https://www.amazon.com/Betrayal-Bayou-Sheryl-J-Bize-Boutte/dp/B089M615NT/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=