From the heart of the GCP Writer’s Group President. 

Written shortly after Friday, April 13th. 

It’s just absolutely crazy to even think about how our brand new writer’s group just finished our first ever performance on Friday. A dream of mine that’s been in the making for years. A dream that I never, ever thought I would ever get to accomplish.

And, I’ll forever be amazed at how [we] have a ‘things happen for a reason’ story behind how our group was formed. I will never stop mentioning it. I don’t really want to think about what would have happened if Patrick didn’t offer that one-act writing class, in return, then we wouldn’t have even been out to eat together discussing what a shame it is that it’s over….which is the very conversation that started the future of our writer’s group. It’s just still so unbelievable.

Looking at my original proposal to the board, I pretty much stuck to it with the exception of a few things because I ended up having to just go with the flow of the group to kind of see where things would be going. That’s why the first show was called “The Experiment” — literally, it was. I had an idea but didn’t know how that idea was actually going to work.

I also had in my mind how each meeting would go and how our first show would go. I will be quite honest, when I had several who said yes they were interested in joining the group from the original class, but didn’t end up joining… I was at a certain level of disappointment. And there were times when there was only up to three of us (due to other obligations, sickness, etc). That was a scary moment for me because I was wondering if I should just let it go if that was the way it was going to be… but then, something magical happened the last few weeks and everyone started showing up or we added members.

Two Sundays before our evening performance, I asked everyone if they could bring their work in so we can time everything as we read through it. When the meeting was over, I was amazed, and proud, because we were actually going to have a full program. I couldn’t believe it. It was really going to happen.

Many weeks ago I started planning party details in my head. I wanted to do a lot… and some of those ideas were so very unnecessary for the first show, so I scaled back… and scaled back my ideas some more… and changed some things, and worked on really knowing what exactly I wanted.. and what I wanted I did do for our night… but everything—and I mean everything—turned out so much better than I could have ever imagined. It was perfect. I couldn’t have asked for anything better for our first show.

SHOWTIME

For weeks, I was ridiculously nervous about the show approaching. I mean, this was the first ever that could make or break the program that I wanted to keep going in our theater. I wanted it to work. That last rehearsal was stressful: we worked on time, I cut some of the original work I was going to do and switched it around, and still had one thousand things left to do. My blood pressure was sky-high.

Since I was still running around until the last minute, I had to get dressed at the theater. That was a first for me, because since I haven’t acted there yet, I didn’t know what it was to have to change into performance clothing… and well, I got a quiet moment to experience that.

Everyone from the group showed up around 6pm and they focused on getting the food and chairs set up. It wasn’t until people started coming in the door early and then two mentions of “WE NEED MORE CHAIRS” — that’s the moment I looked up and realized… we were going to be okay, and I took a deep breath… just knowing… we were really truly about to put on a show… and all of my butterflies went away and the stage was mine when it was mine.

I never got to finish what I was trying to say above, but I think that’s all I really needed to say, anyway. Yesterday (Sunday May 6th) we (GCP Writer’s Group) had our first meeting back after taking 3 weeks off. Some of the original members and attendees were there, and so I asked them what was a success and what we could do better… there wasn’t much to add to ‘better’ other than let’s improve on the lights, have a tech rehearsal or a couple of rehearsals beforehand. And the major success was…. people really did show up and even though this was my first show it didn’t look like it. I am so happy. I still smile then tear up just thinking about it. I still can’t believe it actually happened. A major dream of mine was checked off. Pinch me?

My group is growing and so are my ideas. I have so many ideas that I know I need to keep it toned back until we get stabilized enough that we can do some crazy things. All in due time, though. I am so happy with all of the writers who joined the first semester and I am so happy to have them and newer members joining me for this next semester.

Trial and error will be our teacher…and I am so looking forward to our next masterpiece.

My first Synagogue experience at Temple Sinai in Sarasota.

It is completely normal for me to double, triple, quadruple up on events or plans when I go out of town, especially if I haven’t been out of town for a while. This trip was no different. Since I was going to be in Sarasota for the boat show Friday during the day, I decided I should see what synagogues are down there so I can attend Friday Shabbat. I picked Temple Sinai and I’m 100% certain that I made the right choice for my very first experience.

I have been to every single church service you can imagine… Free Methodist, Baptist, Pilgrim Holiness, Pentecostal, Catholic and who knows what else plus all some holidays spent at the services…. but this was my first time ever stepping foot inside a temple/synagogue. It was breathtaking. Of course, we live in the 21st century where we have millions of photos and videos at the tap of a finger, but absolutely nothing compares to walking inside of one. Being there physically, mentally.

Everyone welcomed me with open arms. I was so happy to be greeted with so much love and kindness, and by SO MANY OF THEM …. at the same time… asking all of the questions! But, it was lovely, and my Friday night was certain made.

The service I attended wasn’t a normal one—the night was basically dedicated to the teachers there at the temple as it was a teacher/staff appreciation. But that’s okay, because it reminded me how much I miss all of my teachers and how much I used to shower them with ‘Happy Teacher Appreciation Day/Week’ emails way back when.

Temple Sinai’s service included a lot of singing… which I absolutely love. I recognized the phrase “Baruch atah, Adonai” that I hear a lot from Central Synagogue’s services when I watch/listen to them online.

It is often scary and awkward to be the only one in a large place that doesn’t know the language that the group is speaking/singing. However, that wasn’t the case for me that night, even though I didn’t know any Hebrew (other than those few recognized words). My feeling was more of a… wow, I can’t wait until I can learn the language so I can join in. “I wonder when and how fast and what I need to do to learn?” That was one of my moments on how I knew I am on the right path. Pure bliss… I tell you. I’m sure it’ll be like when I first had to start reading Latin for choir… that I still know how to read to this day, and I often (silently) thank my choir teacher for making us learn those massive masses. But I digress.

Overall, I can’t express my gratitude enough for them welcoming me in their Temple and making me feel completely at home. Literally. I absolutely love Temple Sinai. I am hoping to make it back at least once a month if not once every two months to attend Friday Shabbat. I mean Sarasota isn’t too far away if you really look at it, and I enjoy the place… so why not??

The Very Beginning of my journey to Judaism.

The Very Beginning

Nearly every single day of my 31 years of being an old soul on this Earth:
I have been searching endlessly for what my heart wants,
where my soul belongs, and what my life’s purpose really is.
Reading and questioning everything. Why this, why that? What if this, what if that?
I’ve created this realm of philosophical thoughts that led me
to wondering why this often ignited flame inside me dies out?

I am in a much different place than where I was born..…
I broke away from those roots at 21 with a different mindset
by walking down the road less traveled, and I never looked back.
Growing older—supposedly wiser—only harmed me in some way.
My soulfulness of my wondering youth and the youngness of my mind
was nearly erased by the every day menial problems.

Last year in December, around Hanukkah, my soul was screaming.
After not being successful to distract myself with anything else,
I walked down to the local Menorah lighting ceremony on the first day.
Something about being there was magical—I saw a flame that didn’t die.
A million of my dreams as a teen have been realized, but why, I ask:
during the most fulfilling moments of living….there’s still something missing?

The night before my aunt died, I told her a secret: I discovered Judaism.
I told her she no longer had to worry about my soul. I finally found where it belongs.
This is my journey, the one that I will wholeheartedly embrace,
the one that I will choose to carefully walk—not run, skip, jump, hop—and practice
often, for this is something that deserves my true attention and patience.
I cannot ever take this moment for granted because I have found my spiritual home.

My aunt, being of a different religion, replied “A good place to start your spiritual
journey is Judaism. Jesus was Jewish so you can’t go wrong starting there.
Follow your heart and look to God. He will answer all of life’s questions.”
That answer provided me with the stamp of approval.
I sent my letter out to the universe, to the world, to God himself
that I was ready to take on this new responsibility of finding out who I am.

I’ve spent so much time being blinded and sidetracked by the clutter in life,
and in turn, I have missed some of the best moments that could have been.
There are years shaved off my life that I can never get back.
Depression swallowed me whole in the darkest days of my life,
and what I would have given at that time to close my eyes and never wake.
But, I had forgotten: both the good and bad in life serve us with life lessons.

Just this week, I cut back on TV shows, and looked to finding synagogue feeds online.
I found one in New York and I instantly fell in love with this Rabbi’s sermon:
“Gam zeh ya’avor. This too shall pass.”
How true it is that with every breath we take and move along the day, the moments shift
from bad to good and good to bad, back and fourth like a pendulum…
always leaving room just enough for an action or a reaction.

Time is sometimes a lie that we rarely take seriously, and living in the moment
just doesn’t exist anymore when people’s hearts aren’t pure from distractions.
We think we have time to say what we need to say, or do what we need to do,
but we don’t… and we’re almost always gone, even if we’re there in present day.
I’ve had many people—and moments—taken from me as I’ve come to love them.
It’s the constant reminder that nothing is ever permanent.
And to trust the thought that everything happens for a reason, no matter what it is.

*

These last few months–My discovery of Judaism and the beautiful Jewish Culture–has lit my life’s candle so full of love and light. It’s such an intense feeling that I’ve never felt or seen before. When a person knows, they know. I know I have a whole lifetime worth of catching up on, but embedded deeply in this soul of mine, I feel like I already know it… that I’ve walked the path before in another lifetime. It brings up a lot of loaded questions, and I’ll still be searching for answers come as they may. I can’t even begin to explain how it has completed the largest missing piece of my life’s puzzle, even in this short period of time, even with as little as I recognize I know, right at this given moment.

Visualize this: it’s like when you read a very good piece of literature and the words start lifting off the page, turn into music, and suddenly, you’re singing a song you felt like you’ve known your entire life….but you don’t know how, because you can’t place ever singing it because it just doesn’t make sense how you would have known it…and then, suddenly, the music turns into the most beautiful piece of artwork that you’ve ever seen–like a sunset–and you’re just so much in awe that you stand there for hours upon hours just staring at it because it takes your breath away. And you just want to grab some glasses, pour a drink or two, and make a toast screaming TO LIFE at the top of your lungs….because you’ve embraced life like you’ve never done before and you truly never, ever, ever want it end. That’s where I am. And, that’s where you’ll find me.

~ Karen Maeby 2.21.18

Thanksgiving Edition: A small update, list of thanks, a short story, and more talk about my future. 

Hi Family/Friends, 

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ve been hiding out as you can tell. It was the first weekend I’ve had off since August, so I basically did nothing…but fall deeply in love with PBS once again, listen to podcasts (I’m such a junkie), and slept a lot.

Friday I closed a chapter in my life: I am no longer working my second job where I have to go all the way up to Ulmerton. (Thank Goodness.) After our boat show this weekend, I will be working full time in the boating industry again, and I’ll be about 10 minutes away from the rest of my world with a flexible schedule. Before I left that job though, the boss said, “Do what you love.” So it was a great goodbye and that door is closed forever….

I am super duper thankful for…. (not in any order) 

– all of my friends / family

– my new friends / family this year

– my family at gulfport community players

– reuniting with my favorite person

– a chance at being stage manager

– patrick’s writing class

– the moment that all of us theatre people do lunch/dinner every single time we get together for some event

– attending the star awards / being nominated

– all opportunities basically

– being coached for bsg

– my world of boating family who i haven’t talked to in ages

– just this week: reuniting with the pirate captain friend from years ago

– just this week: reuniting with another pirate friend from years ago

– eisenhower

– my theatre couch

– the moments that i can actually remember

– good books & bookstore 321

– pbs / npr

– podcasts

– all the shows i’ve been able to attend by audience or help with

– my love for all things

– jimmy buffett’s music

– all music. all theatre. my ability to write. all arts. everything.

– etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

Story Time — DREAMS 

I’m going to tell you guys a secret. It’s a deep, dark secret that maybe hardly anyone knows about… when I was in middle school I was such a weird kid. My favorite music was classical—mostly Mozart—and I loved opera. When I got home from school, my radio went straight on NPR and I listened non stop. My weekends were scheduled to listen to: Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, Prairie Home Companion, World Cafe, Car Talk and so on.

When I finally got a TV (whenever that was), I fell deeply for PBS. I watched all Great Performances, and anything else that was related to music and theatre. I used to religiously watch award shows like mad, and—when I thought I was going to be a music director at one point—I came up with a list of songs my choir would do and entrances/exits.etc.

(Now, remember all throughout my entire life I was also a bookworm and I constantly wrote.) 

This weekend I started watching PBS once again after a huge break, and I fell back in love with it again. I first watched In The Heights: Chasing Broadway Dreams. It’s basically a documentary that follows from when it was born to some of the practicing to the performance. It’s magic. I watched this full musical a while ago and it’s genius. I must say, it’s one of the first ones in present day since RENT that I really “got” and felt connected with. But to be a part of something like that—dreams coming true—absolutely wonderful and breathtaking just to watch/hear. To see the writer’s face when they were getting ready to perform… that… that is just something worth watching.

It’s just the feeling I get any time I am helping with a play. We work hard for the few weeks/months and then it’s show time. Cue the butterflies, the endless nights, the final day, the cast party and the goodbyes… all until the next show where you get to do it all over again just with a different script, different people, etc.  I told my former-former boss that’s how I want to live my life: work on a project for a while then it’s over, take a tiny break, and do the same with the next one…

I also found Noel Coward’s Present Laughter to be freaking genius. Everything that Patrick taught us in his writing class… it was in this play. No wasted dialogue. Characters are well developed, with a sense of purpose, and they made a difference each time they entered the room. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that I really want to live in the set design too. Watching this really helped me understand even more than I did before.

I’ve also caught up on some (not all) of the film shorts, some of the music documentaries, and I found another program “Black Folk Don’t…” It is such a wonderful show on black culture and everyone should be required to watch it. It’ll open your eyes to what you don’t know.

All of this watching and listening to podcasts that follow these shows or even short radio shows has me thinking about something. One of these days, I’m going to have to make a decision, and it’s going to be which path do I take from here? It’s a difficult one.

I find myself willing to admit (at this point) that I know deep down in my heart that I really belong to the arts world. I’m going to be that late bloomer (wrong word?)… the one that actually does this in the second half of her life, which is basically right now, I just need to do a little bit more towards this dream if I’m going to make it.

One day… I will be doing all the things — like maybe writing a play that could be produced on Broadway, being a big part of some show that could be at the Lincoln Stage, writing lyrics that could be performed by someone at Carnegie Hall, working with PBS/NPR on stories, finally write/finish The Office 2.0 & it being a big hit, or even attend jazz fest because I’ve actually had enough guts to do something with my love for it. Or even—more importantly—that dream of what I write in general gives people hope to never, ever forget their dreams and to always set large goals and hit them. That’s what I want. 

Eventually, I will be there. I’m working on it now. One… by one…

Before 2016, I had been so disconnected from my dream’s path but I believe it was meant for me to get that experience, to fully understand that I am on the wrong one, and make that decision on how to start earning money where I belong. Joining the Gulfport Community Players in 2016 was the first step towards crossing off one of my dreams…. do you want to know how many more followed after that? A lot, and almost all of them. All because I joined my theatre group did my dreams start coming true. Totally meant to be. I mean, life didn’t really exist beforehand… other than experience, don’t get me wrong…

I am seriously due for writing new dreams because that’s what’s wrong with me right now. I’m out of goals, and big picture dreams. While that’s a huge and wonderful accomplishment of checking a lot of them off, having my world so cloudy because I’m not focusing on what’s important, hasn’t been great for me….

Writing with purpose is the first goal, and everything else will follow. I know deep within my soul that my future is in the arts industry (writing, film, theatre, music, etc.etc.etc.) it’s just a matter of time when I will switch over, and what my journey will be when it happens.

– Karen Maeby 

Mind Probe Hypnosis [book review + thoughts] 

I started reading Mind Probe Hypnosis shortly after I bought it from the 321 Books in Tyrone Mall which was back in October and just now had the chance to finish it. Marvelous book, and really made me dig deep into my thoughts. I suddenly became philosophical again… something I haven’t tapped into for a while.

It was very well written with experience, scientific evidence and several parts where she writes out the conversations she has with these people who are troubled. I scribbled down some notes and thoughts and I’ll share those with you.

INCIDENTS 

This woman that was being hypnotized had many, many issues of pain to work through. These issues ended up being from the past lives to now where karma continued in a vicious circle and the same things just kept happening. Her mom became her daughter, father became her soul, a boy she liked ended up being her husband’s soul and an evil person that she was a slave to in a previous life ended up being her brother in her real life. She had four lives.

Woman has a constant headache, and didn’t know why. She went under hypnosis, and found out in her past life she was a male who was killed by a torture rack. The athlete who killed her as a male reminded her of her husband. Every time she was around her husband, she’d have that headache.

sharp object phobia — death by falling on a pitchfork

phobia of spiders — killed by one in former life

Girl’s mom and sister had babies at the same time. One died (mom’s baby) then she entered that baby’s body of the sisters.

Studies suggest that death was far more to look forward to than being born.

Male – froze when weather dipped below 70 degrees. Found out that in his past lives his life ended each time by freezing to death.

Female – couldn’t be around cats (allergic) – she got clawed very badly by cats in one life then in another she watched herself be eaten by a tiger.

There was a study that was done to someone who had never been sick in his life. Several of his friends and family started saying “you look sick, are you feeling well, etc.” to that person then he ended up getting really sick and going to the hospital. Once they stopped, he got better.

Reincarnation has to exist – unusual child prodigy’s (where do their talents come from) and the carrying over of skills. Plus, the recognition of others souls.

Go back to the origin of the problem—past lives to now.

Woman recognized someone in present day — she was both attracted to and repelled by this guy. She was married, however, he was very dependent on her and immature. The man deserted her, then she deserted her child (but that was not by choice). Man deserted her was the guy she was attracted/repelled by in present day and her husband represented her child she abandoned.

MY THOUGHTS 

Is hypnosis just another form of psychology? It is—after all—another instance of discussion with a therapist of some sorts—and without pills.

What if there are empty souls walking along the streets, and they can choose to go to someone who is freshly dead, become that person and die when they no longer want to fulfill roles of that one empty soul?

It makes me wonder if our past lives are reincarnated with souls that we’ve built karma with over time….until we finally break that pattern, then the souls go somewhere else.

The souls we’ve entangled ourselves with in present day has to be because of karma of our past lives. Do we love the same souls? Or because of which way our lives go….. good/bad do we get to be blessed to embrace those souls over and over again.

Why do our souls meet? For every purpose there is a reason.

There’s a reason for why someone leaves, and then comes back.

There’s a reason someone walks in their life and stays, or completely goes away.

There’s a reason we are where we are in life – at every given moment of every given day.

Then, there’s the strong connection—but what reasons with that?

What if all we needed to be is hypnotized to find out what our fears are and to get over them? To search deep within ourselves to find out what we were in a past life, and go from there to grow.

It’s a scary thought when you think that if someone was killed their soul is up walking around, or they might even come back as a murderer or be absolutely terrified of or knowing it was going to happen over and over and over again.

For every one born, another one dies. Souls are super exchanged.

Soul mates. Twin Flames. All of that exists…. just not enough people believe in it for it to happen.

What if hypnosis wasn’t even real, but whatever a person gets out of it is good enough to lose their fear or trouble that they had? I say that’s a winner.

And lastly, where do old souls—like me—come from?

-Karen Maeby

Letting Go of Phantom Tollbooth 

PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH

It’s really hard to believe that this past weekend was the end of Phantom Tollbooth, our first JRs production at the Back Door Theater (Gulfport Community Players).

After working backstage for several main stage shows {SOA’16, OTR, PAR, MODI, SOA’17), and really stepping up at Summer One Acts ’17 when J was gone, I was asked to be the stage manager of PTB. After some thought (and realization that I couldn’t work main stage because of my work schedule), I said yes to the JRs program, and I am really glad I did.

Since I had never heard of PTB before, I read through the script twice. Watched several versions on YouTube and then finally watched the movie. Sorry, but after seeing live performances, I could barely make it through the movie. I think I turned it off after 10 minutes.

In the time of this show, I had one absence due to the Tampa boat show and I felt like I missed a years worth of work. I got to put my creative (and scared) hand to work for designing some of the letters on the posters. I used what knowledge I had been given by J, and also learned a whole new set of things that I will use in future kid productions. I also watched in awe about how much some people can give and do for one show.

The biggest thing I learned was that the kids and adult shows are completely different. You never really know what’s going to happen with the kids… I’ve learned that the key to anything is practicing beginning to ending a few times… but given our situation (hurricane, timing for rehearsals during other uses, etc.) we really lost time to practice. So that was out of our hands, but I thought that Saturday’s show was amazing. At the very end Ms Director turned around to me and said, “Are you crying? That’s my job!” Oh yeah, I definitely was.

Anyone remember how emotional I was during the Summer One Acts of 2016? My first show ever with GCP after a 12 year absence of theatre? I think I knew at that point I had become involved in something so special that I would do anything and everything to continue. That’s how it felt at the end of Phantom. An ending to a beautiful and successful beginning.

Many of you know I’m not really a kid person, just because I’m not around them much, but these kids were awesome and they didn’t bother me at all. I really loved working with all of them, and getting to know some of the parents too. I don’t think I’ll ever forget this group, and I really hope I can work with all of them in the future… bright things are ahead for each and every one of them. I know that for sure.

PS: I am eventually going to write a play about the magic pencil. That thing was wicked cool.

PSS: WORDS WILL ALWAYS BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN NUMBERS. (Except for number 3, 7, and 13…. now you know where I stand. Ha!) 

LETTING GO 

It was really weird working a show that was coinciding with main stage, but I did get to watch it, luckily. Like I wrote on my Facebook page, I loved it. I loved it times a million zillion. The message was beautiful, and I knew that I was meant to be there at that very day just for the last song’s message. I loved the music and the lyrics and just everything about this original musical. I really do want the soundtrack. Oh and must mention one more time that B’s outfits were amazing. The whole thing was just beautiful. I really hope Letting Go makes it big.

Other things while I am here 

Holy cow it’s been busy.

  • I never reported on how awesome the writing class was from a while ago, but it was awesome.…. and I have another finished play, plus some exciting news when I can share.
  • Helped with Breaking the Code auditions. That was very fun, as always!
  • I was given a couch from the theatre (I practically asked the universe for this last year during Parfumerie when I fell in love with the set and wanted to take it home. Finally, it was my turn.) This couch is like magic… it’s the center of the room’s attention now. I’ve moved my entire place around just to suit it. It completes the place.
  • Finally went to a film society meeting after about 3-5 months.
  • I am leaving my 2nd job to become full time at the marine company at the end of this month.
  • My brand BoatShowGirl has been hit/miss the last few months… I’ve had some opportunities to pop up but haven’t had a chance to get to them yet. That’ll change soon.
  • I haven’t had the chance to work on my Pirate Gypsy Soul brand but look for it the next few months. There are several things I want to do—including finding my way of Wicca/etc, meditation, universe/dream boards, and studying/practicing/learning to be more of a clairvoyant psychic. I have jewelry projects that go along with this as well.
  • I’m also doing some serious gravitating towards becoming more 1920s gypsy pirate woman… wanting to dress like, the taste, the music, and just wanting to give up everything except that. It’s going to take a while, but there’s something magical about magick.
  • We’re gearing up for Peter Pan to start the first of December!
  • The St Pete Boat Show is also happening that same weekend. I’ll be there as BSG.
  • I’m sure there’s more, but I cannot think of them right now.

I hope all of you are doing good, and hopefully it won’t be months before I write again!

Love Always, 
Karen Maeby 

Surfing in a Hurricane

Howdy All ~ 

Oy vey. Right when things are finally getting back to what we Floridians can call normal, there’s been another announcement that Hurricane Maria is brewing in the ocean and it looks like her forces are going to be sending her right down Irma’s path. You’re kidding, right? This is a joke, right? #thisistoomuch #waytoomuch Cuz, that’s kinda what it felt like when I saw that.

The Weds-Fri before the 9/10 into 9/11 hurricane was absolutely insane. 8 or more hours of listening to hurricane talk at work, then following the Spaghetti Models website and watching how it can go three million trillion different ways…but yet, it was COMING STRAIGHT AT FLORIDA ON THE EAST COAST…then NOOOO WAIT…the WEST COAST…back to the east coast?! Nope, back to the west coast… MANDATORY EVACUATIONS ON THE WEST COAST, WHEN IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE HEADING TO THE EAST COAST. East Coast is doing nothing to prepare, but yet… IRMAGERD….Moving more NW more north, more west, now heading STRAIGHT FOR TAMPA AND OMG WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE BECAUSE IT’S A CAT 5, ETC.

Wow. It was stressful, and now, I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally hate spaghetti.

By Friday, there weren’t many open gas stations and the ones that had anything left was forty cars deep on each open pump. People were going insane–lots of screaming, impatience, and basic nastiness. There was NOTHING left in grocery stores (like cans or water) and most all places were sold out of plywood or anything you normally need to fix stuff in a hurricane.

By Saturday, I was just freaking out so bad that I truly thought this was the end for me. That’s why I said the goodbye that I did on Facebook. Saturday I spent all day packing up my entire apartment–like covering all electronics, getting stuff off the floor, making sure I had enough water in the fridge and freezer and etc.

My neighbor and I ended up going somewhere else in St Pete to stay during the hurricane. Because this thing had been drug out for so long–and when the electric went out–it was basically a waiting game. I kept looking at my phone and seeing that we were in the circle of it all but heard and saw nothing. I got sick of waiting and, as terrible as this is, I fell asleep through the brute of the storm. Oops. So I can’t exactly explain being awake and explaining what I heard… because I was so tired, I heard nothing.

But the stress was enough to kill a person. I was stressed about losing my car that I’m still paying for, I was stressed about losing the house and stuff that I’ve worked so hard to keep, I was stressed about Eisenhower reacting in this storm, I was stressed about losing work and not being able to make money to survive and what to do if something did happen. The headaches and extreme body pain that I got out of this was bad too.

After all is said and done, the power at the place where we stayed went out but we went home to our duplex house and nothing but tree limbs and stuff on her side was out of place. Luckily, it was untouched. We had power. We were thankful. I had NO SERVICE on my phone at all for a week, so every evening I’d walk down to the Gulfport waters and catch up for a few hours before going back dark when I got home. That was kind of inconvenient. But, nothing was touched, we had electric and water… So thankful.

The worst part of all of this was how crazy some people went, how some went out in the hurricane and was killed for being stupid, the way some reacted right before the hurricane, and the people who left their animals tied to trees while fleeing themselves.

The BEST part of all of this… was the chicken burritos (down in Key West someone wrapped up all the roosters/chickens in newspaper and took them away from KW so they’d be saved), the “cone of uncertainty” and “God flipping a fidget spinner” meme, and the single file flamingos from Busch Gardens.

But that’s not all of the best…. my beloved adult hometown of Gulfport had spirit. As soon as this was over, some of the places were open and people were gathered laughing and having a good time. Many people pitched in to help one another. Florida as a whole should be kissing the ground that we’re mostly 95% lucky that (almost all of us) quickly got everything back up and running. The town of Gulfport and Florida was amazingly quick and humble about handling the situation that was given to us (minus South Fl and Key West which will take some time)…and surprisingly, I haven’t seen any insane reactions lately, but I bet they’re heading back to town. Ha! FLORIDA STRONG AND GULFPORT STRONG. Fo’Sho!

Needless to say, I really hope Maria surprises us and goes back out in the ocean. I do not think I am ready for another one nor ready for any kind of rain. Or storm.

I know some of you are probably wondering why I stayed in FL when people were leaving town? This is my home. I want to be here to help if need be and I want to be around my family of friends who (for the most part) didn’t leave. Plus, there’s always that feeling of… if something like a window is broken, will my stuff be stolen? Sorry, I’d like to stay close to my place and make sure it’s okay.

I appreciate everyone who contacted me throughout this whole thing and was worried and asking what I was planning on doing. Thank you SOOOOO much! You guys, it means a lot. 

For those inquiring about Eisenhower: The day of the hurricane, he was acting so funny. Like, trying to climb up to the top of his carrying case. I was hoping to calm him down by picking him up and he pinched me so hard (for maybe a minute) and pinched a hole right through my finger. It. Hurt. Yes, it drew some tears. I kept him close for a few days, and last night (the 16th) when I was holding him, I could feel him go limp. He went into another molt, I confirmed that earlier, and I am praying to the universe that he turns out okay in time. He is moving around and was munching on his old skin… sooooo… that is good news.

In other news, as of Friday (I think?) Eisenhower has a new brother, a Betta fish. His name is Lord Augustus Wolfgang Fishypants. He’s a cute red fish, and he’s already reacting / communicating with me.

I think most of you know already…. I’ve been appointed as the stage manager of the kids show on Saturday and I’m taking Patrick’s writing class on Sunday plus I will soon be doing boat shows on the weekends and then working 2 jobs during the week. I am still staying absent from Facebook (if you message me, I won’t get it), I don’t really have time for much other than posting to Instagram. Please know I’m not ignoring you if I don’t answer. Emails are hit or miss, considering half of it is buried right now from not cleaning it out.

There’s going to be a ridiculous amount of things going on in my life the next 60-90+ days so the BEST bet from now on is to just text or call me at 919-900-0052, ESPECIALLY if you need an answer right away or it’s really important. Leave a message if you call and I don’t answer, or just text away. I have unlimited so it doesn’t matter how long or short the message. 

Love you guys, 
Karen Maeby, Eisenhower & Augustus 

Amazon Kindle Books by Karen Maeby

I have just released my newest book FASHION POETRY in honor of Project Runway coming back to our TVs! Get it FOR FREE along with the following books…. (This promo will run Friday through Tuesday next week. Amazon Kindle Direct is still free through.) 

DEAR ANNE FRANK | Dear Anne Frank is a narrative-based short story set up in a “dear diary” format. It was written in reference to a weekend trip to Washington, DC that the author took in 2010. What is shared is an unique mixture of thoughts ranging from personal feelings in relation to Anne Frank’s spirit, details about the trip to DC, updates since that trip, a poem and more!

MAEBY IT’S ONLY THE BEGINNING | Karen Maeby becomes vulnerable as she pours her soul into her poetry in ‘Maeby, it’s only the beginning.’ She invites you to join her as she tells her story, even though—like many—she’s been hurt before. Her poetry draws emotions from every angle and touches on many subjects such as: soulfulness, general: life, among the living, heartbrokenness, some narrative / non fiction, the ocean, goodbyes, truth, dreams, and so many others.

THE CAPTAIN IN ME SCRAPBOOK | This book is free because it needs to be updated, but it gives you a taste of In Love with a Sailor as well as The Captain in Me. 

This is the scrapbook / preview-teaser for The Captain in Me, of which, also will include my previous book In Love With a Sailor.

The Captain in Me takes your soul for a walk down a long pier on the beach where the only guide is the sunset right before your eyes. It’s the moment where you wake to see that you are no longer dreaming and you are given the chance to take charge. The only existence for the moment would be you and the words to describe how you are feeling when you realize that you can change anything around that you want.

Or, at least that’s how I would describe it. This poetry collection is composed of a mixture of a few sugar coated fiction and 99% non-fiction pieces plus several narrative-based essays. The poetry is a mix of romance with the life of the Sea, locations, characters, deep philosophies and eras of life, and lots of nautical references. My inspiration was the events that occurred while living day to day.

CAPTAINS & SAILORS THE POETRY BOOK | Priced at $2.99, you can get 200 poems!!! It’s free for Kindle Unlimited readers. 

Captains & Sailors: The Poetry Collection is a work of art that touches on every subject you can imagine! Each poem has a flair of narrative based truth to it, and Maeby brings it to life by sharing her dream of a very determined love, the characters in her life, an endless love for jazz music and all things vintage, life’s philosophies, Pirate adventures, life on the Sea and so much more.

So if you are in need of an escape from the wintry wind that the snow storm has brought, this is the book for you. Kick back your feet and imagine yourself sitting on the warm beach—with a drink in your hand—as you are watching the sunset. Use the words in this book as your map to escape your current world and step into viewing the life of a very soulful Pirate named Maeby. This is her “message in a bottle” to the entire world of which she wrote something for everyone.

 

Another trip around the sun at 31.

Aloha everyone! 

It’s another personal year for me as I turn from 30 to 31. Wow, what a year my 30th was… I am pretty sure that I experienced every thing one could experience in a year and then some. I have to thank Facebook a little bit for sharing with me my memories because I know I can’t remember them all on my own.

Last year–turning 30 in 2016–was spent amazingly and it was one of the most epic days, I just wish certain circumstances had turned out different. There was jazz night at the Hideaway Cafe, and a rather large party for Eisenhower and I at work. My actual birthday, our AC went out at work and it was 100 degrees in there… and that was the first time I was taking clothes off as opposed to wearing 15 shirts and 3 jackets. “My first hot flash now that I’m getting old,” they joked.

The year before that – my 29th (2015) – since I could get in for free because I worked at John’s Pass, I went to the alligator place there and held a baby alligator. I also kissed it. On. The. Lips. There are pictures somewhere on Facebook as the proof. This is the same year I adopted Eisenhower, BUT I had to take a couple of days to think about it. Did I want to bring a wee little creature in my life? I’m so very glad I did. He was meant to be in my life for sure.

I kind of blank out before that… but I know there had been a trip to Florida for my birthday week maybe in 2010 or so (which was amazing because we spent time with some amazing people while here having amazing experiences) and then some more time spent in John’s Pass either 2011 or 2012 (I really love that place). Oh and another year not sure which (2013? 2014?) was spent with Blanche and her BFF eating somewhere.

This year… 2017… a celebration started at my favorite day Christmas in July (25th) with G and I. We went down to Sarasota to a cook out with some friends. I remembered Joe Anthony like I always do. I told G the story about him, how he passed away and the story of my connection with that.

On my actual birthday a good group of us from the theatre plus a few others came together to eat at Neptune’s and it suddenly felt like we were back at the theatre taking a break in between shows! Ha! This was yet another epic birthday for sure. THANK YOU ALL FOR CELEBRATING WITH ME! 

So, I was late to my own party – I was stopped by some people sitting outside at the restaurant next door because they wanted to know all about Eisenhower. They said that sort of thing is why they love Gulfport so much! A GP police officer was eating in there and so he wished me a happy birthday, as well as I found out one of the cooks/waiters there was a birthday twin! They sang happy birthday to me followed by a piece of cheesecake. E and I blew out the candle. Also, we didn’t get any pictures except for what G took of E and then E & I.

Give or take a few more days and Eisenhower has been with me for 2 years. I cannot believe it. I was so scared that he wouldn’t even last a week or two with me, that’s why I was so hesitant, I didn’t want adopt a hermit crab only for something to happen to it instantly. My way of raising him is a little different than what hermit crab enthusiasts have going for their crabs (and, believe it or not, I’ve had those people grumble at me for certain things). As you all know, he does not stay home all the time – he’s seen 3 plays now, attended 3 different work places with me several times, goes on short rides, has been out to John’s Pass multiple times, and sometimes visits downtown GP. One of these days, E will have his own legacy. Everyone will know us as Maeby the Pirate and her crabby son Eisenhower. Only one could hope…

It was seriously one good birthday to spend it with friends who seem as close as family. I am 100% sure that E really enjoyed visiting with everyone too. Thank you all so much – again – and can’t wait to do this again next year! 

Always, 
Karen Maeby 

Summer One Acts 2017

[ note: part two will come after the show is actually over] 

Aloha Everyone! 

It just doesn’t seem real that we’re nearly two weeks away from the ending of my favorite show of our theatrical calendar. I’m trying my best to not dry heave some heavy tears that I’m sure will fall the last weekend, just like last year, but this year…. is a little different.

Today was that normal Saturday of hell week where the backstage people meet at the Backdoor to put all of the stuff on the truck and take it over to the Catherine Hickman. Walking in the green room–it just felt so big for a moment–and walking out on stage… here we go again..the heart – pitter patter pitter patter and a moment of happiness calming my soul. After not having worked two shows (which was about 2-3 months maybe), it felt great to be back, and I had my usual strong sense of ‘I really do belong here.’

Another amazing feeling was also to be able to quickly put things where they needed to go, do what needed to be done, and be done…until tomorrow’s tech day where I’m sure half of the things will change. Last year I was just too new to know any of this stuff. (PLUS! It helped me to pretty much say let’s get everything packed after Wednesday’s performance, pushed near the door, and ready for Saturday instead of putting it off for another day!)  

I don’t think I actually mentioned this at all on my blog, but back in May–during the auditions–it was my one year anniversary with the Gulfport Players. [By the way, I still think there needs to be a party. Can we make that happen? haha cast party…and yes, I do make a big deal of anniversaries for things I am extremely passionate & care about. So there.] 

It doesn’t feel like a year at all but what an incredible one it has been starting with SOA’16 then hopping into Over the River, Parfumerie, Modigliani, then taking a break for two plays and now we’re at SOA’17. Each one of those plays have had some significance to me, and I’ve written about all of them on my blog.

At SOA’17 auditions: I knew almost everyone walking in the door, and it felt super comfortable to work the front desk after getting experience from a few  other plays. (That’s one of my favorite jobs there. Auditions are literally a way of life…. it’s a large family reunion that’s for sure.) 

At SOA’17 house rehearsals: I remembered props from previous years, so I was able to suggest those, or find them to use. I knew where a lot of things were to go and get it ahead of time. I also created a no-nonsense plan on how to keep tabs of everything in each show, and it deemed successful.

I have learned so much throughout the year by working the shows and working around who I have, and that’s just the technical part. Not to mention, some of the personal things I said last year as we were setting stuff back up on stage–I made those changes in my life, and I’m working on even more.

Last year I worked SOA’16 with only weeks away from my 30th birthday. It was such an I’m-working-the-show-as-29-years-old-but-almost-30th amazing 30th year for me: I met my favorite person and allllllllllllllllllllll of my favorite people (not people, MY THEATRE FAMILY) of which I love very, very, very, very, very much! I’ve drawn so much inspiration from all of this and all of you (in poetry, writing or art), learning what I did with the shows, and just every experience in between. The cast parties, meeting outside of the theatre, hanging out together sometimes – all of that – just fabulous! I’ll never forget!

Did I mention SOA’16 was my first year back after being out of the theatre world for 12 years?

Yeah.

That’s why it was so special. That’s why I was so emotional by the end, because–even though there were goals throughout the first half of my 29 years and down–nothing has ever compared to what happened after I joined GP.

Once I crossed ‘join theatre once again’ off my goals/dreams list, I went on and marked up to 100 more off my list in this 30th year! That’s the fastest I’ve ever hit goals and that many! We’re even talking about crossing some stuff off my high school dreams list that were still open, too! It was my returning to theatre that helped me advance my life to try to take control and make it exactly what I want it to be no matter what. I knew I belonged, it just took me 12 years (and that exact perfect timing) to make it all happen. Goals are so much easier to obtain, I’m no longer shy about getting what I want and putting myself out there to try all the new things. There are words and then there are no words… that’s exactly how I feel…and I’m not often speechless.

I want to shout out to everyone I have met because of the players. YOU GUYS are some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met and I cannot wait until we work more shows together. I’m so grateful that I came to the Gulfport Players “ONE YEAR AGO” and started helping out. I have never met such an incredible group of people who claim each other as home, and I mean that in a way that never will you ever find a group like this one. I am thankful. 

PS – I’ve been taking walks every night that we’re not at rehearsal late or that I’m not doing anything. This photo I took one evening of the sunset just gleaming over the Catherine Hickman. I nearly screamed out, “It’s like the world knows we’re going to be there next week.”

next week’s secret 7.1.17

the “atmosphere, world, sky” knows a secret
and Mother Earth said that it was okay to tell me…
i was in the middle of the road–

and the music stopped in my headphones,
that’s when i heard a whisper
‘look over here child’ and i did

” we’re going to be here next week!! ”
i smile, as i took a picture,
and continued walking down the street

i think we’ve been blessed,
nothing is as holy as having a sunset
light your place on fire with ten thousand colors

magic was dropped off somewhere inside,
get ready for that ride
our show will be creating stars at night

Love Always, Karen Maeby