Filling up the bottles with emotions.

Today we moved Parfumerie into the Catherine Hickman Theater and after lunch we had fun pouring our mixtures of blue/pink-red/gold into each perfume bottle. Opening up the perfumes that still had something in it from a long time ago… whew, whew, whew. I just kept smelling it and asking the others if they remember that smell. There were a lot of the same scents that reminded me of the perfume I’d find in my grandma’s house either in her room or my mom’s room. But still, ew, how in the world did we ever find those scents to be yummy? 

I don’t know. Beats me. Now I have a headache many hours later from it. I think I’ll just stick with my pumpkin-whatever-the-flavor from Bath&Body Works because that’s the only stuff I can really stand these days.

So……working with perfume reminds me of a poem that I wrote with inspiration from a boat show book that had images of yacht baths and sinks in it. Here goes:

Perfume and Cologne
© Karen Maeby 5/25/14 

A book is laid on the seat of a chair
and a bookcase nearly empty.
White and gold objects
lay above the seat
and a photo frame without a photo.

Women’s perfume and men’s cologne,
smells mixed together.

A bar of soap
sitting there, unopened.
And a rose sits singularly on the white counter.
Sugar just as thick on your lips.
I crave. You know, I tease.

Gold slated walls, a shower
with glass separation and
a flat sprout sink faucet.
Silk lace…
finger tips that burn with passion.

A walkthrough
of a slideshow of lite romantic jazz.

Times up – you take my hand
and the floor becomes soaked.
We grab all of the towels
and make a mess all over the floor.
Now, we enter complication.

In all seriousness though, Parfumerie’s last performance will be super sad for me. It’s my last play for a while so that I can truly focus on BoatShowGirl and get it to the point where it doesn’t need to be babysat, or worked on in the beginning stages like it has been lately as I try to develop my brand. I’ve made some good professional connections and they seem to be leading me on the right path of where I want to go. BUT, I have a lot more work to do to get to where I (think) I want to go. HOPEFULLY, I will announcing a release of my BSG book in the next few months. I’m looking at going to Miami Boat Show because truthfully, I really need to be there, even though I think if I had to choose I’d rather go to Palm Beach in March.

Speaking of writing, I haven’t published anything in such a long time. It’s been something that’s weighing heavily on my mind–which is why one of my main ‘goals’ or ‘desires for every day’ is to ‘BE A WRITER FIRST.’ It’s helping. I probably shouldn’t have, but I went through a lot of my older poetry and deleted half of it. I felt better afterwards. Eventually this year, there will be a book with all of my older unpublished stuff so that I can move on from many years ago. I keep thinking I’ll make up some story or something with the older stuff but all it’s doing is reeking havoc on my present-day thoughts. Just like I could never go back to the moment of my first book ‘Maeby it’s only the beginning’ or ‘In Love With a Sailor / The Captain in Me.’ I want to focus on jazz, not depression poetry or anything else. Just jazz. Soulful stuff. Unique. I want to focus on the today moments mixed with the happier times of my short-term past.

Something I hadn’t thought about doing in a long time is to make out a yearly plan for what I want to do with BSG / new brand ILBS / writing. It came from the inspiration of doing BSG stuff for my new contract / guest blogging work… and it seems to really put the focus on the goals. Not only breakdown of goals, but actually know ahead of time what I need to be doing. All of this is really good. I’m feeling better already. Now, if I can just stick with it.

I had something random to happen at work on Friday. I took a call about a father looking for a boat for his son. The boat type was unrelated to my company’s boat lines, but I helped him anyway. He said he couldn’t find the number online so I found it for him. He responded with sincere gratitude and a promise of a note to me of some sorts. I’m not sure what it was about, but maybe… there is a purpose to this random call? I guess I’ll find out next week. It was strange indeed.

Betty–a family member who I used to visit all the time when I lived in Kentucky–passed away. Feels like I’m always losing someone in one way or another. First Bella the day after Christmas, then her.

Anddddd in times like this, it really hurts feeling like I cannot reach out to the one person I really care about, and share what’s been happening lately. Maybe it’s too soon, maybe not. I don’t know. I just wish things could be different…and maybe it will be in time. I hope. Boy do I hope so. 🙁

Eisenhower is driving me batshit crazy. He keeps trying to make his way up to the tallest point in his aquarium and then he hits the glass and falls back down. So. Many. Times. He’s been the reason for my waking up in the middle of the night because he’s being so loud in the other room. I should really learn from him though, no matter how many times he has fallen, he gets right back up and tries it again. Looks like “giving up” is not in his vocabulary and success is where he wants to be. Could it be that his brain is too big for his tiny little shell? Possibly.

-Until next time, Karen Maeby

Searching for where I belong.

It’s a brand new year, and in order to come to terms with anything, I really need to release this to the universe instead of keeping it inside. Plus, I guess it should be my unspoken resolution (out of five thousand) to be dangerously vulnerable, opening myself up to whatever may come my way, but this time around know and understand what’s going to happen because that’s what always happens to me.

All of my life I’ve pretty much lived like my hermit crab baby–barely opening my shell to anyone–and when I do, they have to be very special with something built out of connection on some soul level and trust. I’ve been hurt by so many circumstances in my life that it’s a struggle to continue to open to anyone, and that is extremely difficult when I am needing to be a profile personality for the work that I want to do (BoatShowGirl) and to go into my first love in the arts/theatre. So every single day is a really big battle for me. 

It was when I was 27 years old that I stopped caring what people thought when I did something, because I always have a purpose or reason. Life is too short to care. I understand enough to know that if someone doesn’t support you as you are or as you change, they’re not really a friend, and you need to cut them out of your life. Just because it doesn’t suit someone else’s life doesn’t mean it won’t suit mine or make mine better. I live how I want to live and that’s that. If I don’t like something, you’ll know, and instantly it’ll be changed. I choose my relationships due to a person’s personality and what we have in common. The more you care about together, the more you share, and the happier the life. Same with friends but on a different level, of course.

Most of the time I truly am busy but when things are overwhelming or I feel like a major depression is coming on, I don’t mean to go into hiding or cut people off, but it’s what I do…unfortunately. I don’t want to be seen as the black sheep that brings everyone down due to negativity. It’s difficult for me to reach out to anyone mostly, because if I do, I’m afraid–like in my past–one won’t have time for me, not really care to hear from me, or the group doesn’t really want to see me outside of wherever I’ve met them. I want to be included, but rejection. I shut down, and I have no issue shutting a chapter and just picking up and moving on…to make my next go around until it happens again, and then, I continue until I feel like I’m getting closer to where I’m supposed to be. It’s just what I’m used to.

I don’t do traditional. I knew at a younger age that I didn’t want that, and I don’t want to do the same thing for the rest of my life or live in the same general area. To be free and open gives the chance to chase a dream or opportunity. I want to live life odd, strange, out of context, and have days like out of RENT that really teaches lessons. I want my experiences to be very unique and my TRUE stories to be unforgettable. I feel like some of my purpose here on Earth is to share my stories with people and make a difference in their life. Be some sort of guidance, a helping hand, or for future generations.

I’m an only child born to older parents. Not only was I alone most of the time, I was raised differently, like it was another era. I’m grateful, but it’s also been extremely difficult fitting in…. I’m an old soul–I know this and I’ve been told multiple times. I get along with much older people. I get along with younger people. I don’t really fit in my age group. Never really have, no offense to anyone my age, I still love you.

It’s difficult being 30 years old, looking like I’m 15, and feeling like I’m 40 or something due to goals and what I really want in life. It ruined something great for me, I wish it turned out differently, and I really don’t know how to handle that right now.

I feel like I’ve walked this Earth many times before. The ballroom gown days where proper English was spoken, classical music/opera were the nightly shows, and letters were sent by the Pony Express. The 1920s where my soul belongs, I found the love of my life and I had to let him go after a dance to jazz at our dinner party, that suddenly went up in the overcast of cigarette smoke and booze. The 1970s where every photo comes out looking like vintage, I play my vinyl records, and dance in my head like I’m a hippie. The era of Pirates where I was one of the only female Pirate on board the beautiful ship…. I died on the Titanic, and my heart/bones can be found with the treasure at the bottom of the Sea.

But yet, I live and breathe in the 21st century and I have none of my past, except for the memories. Or dreams. And present day, where a few years ago, I had a very lively dream that I was in a concentration camp in this lifetime, and my heart/soul pours out to Anne Frank’s ghost because I have had such a mysterious connection with her for as long as I can remember.

This is what I feel, and I haven’t really talked about it to too many people over my years. I hope you know that I am very serious and I’m not living in a dream world. I only wish I could relive some of those eras that my soul has been so that maybe.. just maybe I can find what I’m searching for in my future. But maybe, just maybe… truth be told, if I find my future, I won’t be here any longer. Then, it’s like Catch-22 or something. I just keep barely existing until I am found.

I really do love life no matter how hard it’s been, especially the opportunities I’ve been blessed with because of my talents and my dreams that have come true because I never, ever gave up. I love being an adult, and never ever have I ever wished to be a kid again because it was easy. I don’t like easy. I am challenged when things get hard and difficult, I may shut down and go to sleep, but it’s my puzzle to figure out how to solve until something good happens again.

I really hope that in 2017 I can really live out that path of where I’m going with my work personality of BoatShowGirl and really show the world my creative side of Karen Maeby. I am one of the most confusing, deep, and complex people on this Earth, and trying to dissect me….well, as you can see, is difficult.

Here’s to 2017.

-Karen Maeby

Where in the world did 2016 go?

I’ll be quite honest, I don’t really remember the first half of 2016 before I got involved in the theatre over the Summer One Acts. It makes me feel like I wasn’t awake! ha! Or maybe cause it didn’t really matter.

Sometime in January or February I was brought on by the guys at World of Boating for my BOAT SHOW GIRL gig. What a fun year that has been being on the show and looking at where I was and where I’m at now.

The first quarter of the year: all I remember is that I was in my tailspin of finishing off one entire year of working 2 jobs (60-80hrs) where I didn’t see or talk to anyone outside of work. That was extremely hard. I didn’t mean to cut people off but I had no choice, so I am so sorry, everyone. I also had no choice of not being able to move forward in my projects, either, which put me back a few decades.

In March ~ we got a new director at my work and he changed everything for the better. It was such a blessing to have him join our team, especially since he took interest in where I was going for life in this industry and he’s still cheering me on. We had a really rough time getting employees in the door, which put a new perspective on what we needed for the industry and that helped me train my thoughts a bit.

When I finally left that second job in April…

I went straight to rehearsals for the Summer One Acts around May and started helping out back stage. After 12 years, it was totally meant to be that I came back at that very moment. I met the most amazing people there, and one amazing individual that means so much to me, and has had the best impact on my life. More than anyone ever has.

I celebrated 2 years at Thunder and they spoiled me rotten. They also spoiled me rotten when I turned 30.

Year 30 turned over a new chapter–being with someone I truly cared about, listening to jazz music, and just being in love with life because I knew I could never go back.

In that time – there were so many things that I did, including going to an acting class (that I eventually want to go back to) and getting into the film society. What a year for spectacular things to get involved with, and those were just two of the things!

Give or take a few months, there was a break between Summer One Acts and Over the River & Through the Woods. It was a smaller play, not much to do, and now I’m working with Parfumerie…. which, unfortunately, will probably be my last production to help with until Summer One Acts (or maybe the production before) because I have some of my own projects to take care of.

There’s this new journal phase thing out right now the bullet journal or something like that. Well, instead of buying one, I made my own and out of 5 ‘main’ goals I wrote ‘BE A WRITER FIRST ABOVE EVERYTHING’ and shortly after that is when I got my first writing gig, then my second…..

I’m ending the year with my brand “BOAT SHOW GIRL” getting two new adventures — one I’m writing on a marine marketing website and I was just recently invited to guest blog+freelance on another. I am ecstatic. I tried saying the other day that ‘man, this stuff is happening too quickly’ and my boss reminded me, ‘no, it’s not, you’ve been working for this for a really long time.” Oops. I kind of forgot.

The ending of this year hasn’t been too great though, it feels like everything is set on the same thing every day and not moving forward. I’m getting burnt out on the things I once loved doing, and I can’t stand that feeling, and it doesn’t end up good in the end. But I’m working on making positive changes.

Eisenhower survived his first year with me and his second year molting. I nearly freaked out when he was molting on me because I couldn’t play with him and I didn’t know if he was alive. I can’t express how I felt when I saw his newly born pink crabby body down in the shell though. My heart exploded with happy, and I wanted to write a book from a crab’s point of view of how nature does its thing and they grow up just like humans… but differently, of course.

I’m cleaning up my apartment once again and getting rid of things that don’t matter any more or old papers. It always helps to do that. I started watercolor painting, oil painting, and drawing once again this year. I haven’t written many poems, but quality over quantity, I say. Financially I’m getting back at it — I’m getting rid of my debt. Sloooooooooowly but surely, and my credit score is finally getting to a point where I’m happy with it again.

And, unfortunately, I end this year with not so happy news and news about my baby mutt sister, Bella, passing away. It’s so odd how 4 years ago a memory popped up on Facebook of her face. Ugh. Sometimes I hate Facebook for that reason, in another way, maybe it was a sign of some sorts. A sign from Bella to me.

This years goals I am hoping to have a few plays ready to submit to Summer One Acts, I am hoping that BOAT SHOW GIRL takes me places that I wouldn’t have ever thought that it would, I hope to join in more boating events, I hope to act (finally!), get to go to a few creative classes, finally get organized (even though I say this every year), volunteer at the Holocaust Museum, write and publish a few books, consider doing some art submissions / poetry readings, take voice lessons, and hopefully–within time–one certain thing works out.

I thank 2016 for giving me the best person I know as well as all of the other experiences that went with it. Here’s to 2017 and hoping all other things will work out.

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(Painting I did on Christmas.)

-Love Always, Maeby

Eisenhower’s politics.

Imagine you are a tiny little crab named Eisenhower that is molting for maybe the second or third time in your small life. Not only do you have to rely on your natural instincts to get you through (“what nature intended on your species to do”), but you have to rely on a human to take care of you since you are a pet (“what your life has become”). You have to put trust in that human to give you food, take care of your aquarium, clean it out, and make sure you are comfortable enough to live. You are one of the most tiniest creatures on the planet, and next to a human finger, it can be a scary sight. You might be incredibly smart, but are very aware, and frightened at the slightest move considering your position on this planet. 

In perspective–we, as humans, are still as tiny as my baby crabby Eisenhower. There’s the entire atmosphere. There’s the planets. There’s the stars in the gigantic night sky. There’s the sun. There’s animals bigger than us. Most of our buildings are bigger than us. Our house is bigger than us. Life is bigger than us. 

But–we get up every day just like nature intended on us doing. We take care of ourselves. We take care of our family, our pets. We go to work, go to activities, live our dreams, go on vacations. Life goes on, and will go on.

Live life like you are the tallest person on this planet. 

Say it out loud: I will live my life like I am the tallest person on this planet. Why? So that I do not feel that sense of fear of what I cannot predict. No one knows what happens next. No one knows anything. You just have to keep on living until you expire when nature intended you to.

If your heart is controlled by fear, it is completely misunderstood and mistaken for something other than love. And love, LOVE is what we all need right now. 

Fear lives in the tabloids, in the media. People lust over fear as much as they love negativity, complaining or gossiping. Please, please, please do not fall into that category. Always, always be aware of the truth. Please educate yourself. Please dig as deep as possible to find the answers. Do not become a part of the herd. Be the leader. Be the wise one. Be smart.

“Only guard yourself and guard your soul carefully, lest you forget the things your eyes saw, and lest these things depart your heart all the days of your life. Andy shall make them known to your children, and to your children’s children.” DEUTERONOMY 4:9 

When I named Eisenhower, I was looking for something distinguished enough, so that he fears nothing despite his size. So that he grows up being strong-willed. So that he has a better life than some of the crabs do. So that he can live, and live without fear. I can attest that his life is really good, and he has zero patience for politics. 

I’m Alice & I just fell down the rabbit hole where there’s nothing but pumpkin spice.

Hello Everyone,

LIFE

It’s been ages since I’ve written and that’s probably what my issue is. If I don’t write my feelings down when I need to, my brain becomes too full and I get to feeling a little crazy. I’ve boxed myself up yet once again — I’m sitting pretty close to falling deep into a depression, it’s such a shame… after a mind-blowing summer of nothing but excitement, new things, love, friends and finding where I belong. There are so many things that contribute to that, mostly when the major staples in my life stay the same for so long, and never change, or I’m disappointed by something that means a whole lot to me. I keep forgetting about that whole ‘expect nothing, no disappointments’ comment that I was once taught.

I am old enough to know that not everything is going to be amazing all the time. I wouldn’t want it to be, but it’s just awful feeling this way….because it’s a whole other level of sad.

Whenever I get like this all of my projects are mentally put on hold. I do the simple things that I don’t have to think about, I don’t write because I don’t want to ruin it with my mood, but sometimes I pick up a brush to paint or do some sort of design. I haven’t put my energy into that…yet. I also pull away from everyone and stay at a distance because I’m often thinking “well, I’m not sure they really want me around” or “am I bothering them? — I probably am, so I’ll just stay away.” Being alone comes naturally since I’m an only child, and for a year and half I did nothing but work two jobs so seeing or speaking to no one for a long time isn’t anything new. I am trying to work on changing this because it’s incredibly crippling and makes everything in my life just that much harder…especially when there’s a thousand things I want to do, accomplish, and need to be social in order to really accomplish them.

A lot also has to do with the weather. Since hurricane Matthew, it’s been kind of crappy and the sun hadn’t shined as much as it should be in this sunshine state! The reason I even live in Florida is because of the sunshine. Anything else reminds me of my seasonal disorder — especially stormy skies when it doesn’t rain that look like snow clouds — that’s the worst. 

By the way, I am safe. It did not hit in my area the west coast of Florida (fingers crossed that another won’t come by any time soon).

RANDOM TIDBITS

It’s my favorite season right now: pumpkin spice. There’s P/S everything everywhere at almost any given time. Last night I had the sweet taste of P/S coffee from WaWa. If I could write a poem about how delicious it was, you would not think it was about coffee. 😉

I love the anticipation of the rest of the year. You see mixtures of Christmas in with the Halloween decorations where, literally, a skeleton is holding a carved turkey in one hand and a wreath in another with a Christmas tree and presents decorated right behind him. I’m already getting yelled at by thousands of people who hear me say “I want to listen to CHRISTMAS MUSIC and put up my tree.” They find a box, try to coax me inside, so that they could duct tape it shut and send me somewhere else. I never can see where they’re sending me though?! 

LOVE

We’ve arrived at an event, and I step a few steps to the side because I know what’s coming next. Everyone is just so excited to see him so they huddle around trying to hug him or greet him with a handshake. The first few times I had seen this I watched from the back of the room–when that door opened and he walked in, the Seas of People would follow.  Amazing. That’s the only word it is. 

If only I could be one tenth as amazing as he is, I’d be something. He’s taught me more in the last few months than I’ve gained in a really long time. I’m trying to be a better person. I’m trying to keep to his words: if you’re going to do something, do it well the first time. Every day it is important to finish a task that’s needing to be done. Every day needs tea at night. Dishes that you use that day need to be cleaned. And he’s given me a gift of jazz that goes deeper than the music. 

It’s such a relief that I know I don’t have to worry about anything with this beautiful soul. I admire him to the moon and back. There’s just so much to say, and it’s still been such a short period of time.   

EVENTS

Some time in September, I helped with auditions at the Backdoor Theatre. That play will be produced in November.

We went to see B’s band play at my newest favorite place to go (Hideaway Cafe) and that was amazing!

We attended the film society meeting where they switched over to a new name — a new beginning — and it was amazing that my first meeting was that. It was a sign of a start of me getting involved in that too.

A few weekends back we were invited to be extras in a movie (something from the film society). I am now on IMDB. Small steps!

Our big boat show was back in September and it went really well. I reported “live” on Saturday to the World of Boating radio show.

IBEX was Tuesday last week and for me, for BoatShowGirl, it went pretty well. I’m thinking that this is my brand new start… just need to make a plan. Can’t do anything without one.

We had the Backdoor Theatre’s open house on Friday — which was always so great to be back and visiting with everyone. It’s like a family reunion.

Yesterday we went to see J star in The Red Velvet Cake Wars and it was good seeing her again too!

I feel like this isn’t everything but it’s something! 

Oh. My hair is red again (faded past 3 weeks, but red). Yes, believe it or not, this is an event.

PROJECTS

A while ago, I finished two plays but I’m “working on ideas” for a few more. I need to have at least two excellent ones to submit to Gulfport because it would be such an honor to see one of my plays produced on stage, especially a year after getting back into it after 12 years absence. Wish me luck for that!

I redid my entire living room so now I have working space again to be able to work off my computers and write. I’m trying to prepare for the yard sale that’s coming up in Gulfport in November.

BoatShowGirl – after a much needed break, and talking to some important folks at IBEX, I think I may know which route to go with this and hopefully it will get me somewhere.

I’m debating whether or not to do NaNoWriMo next month considering I already have little time as it is…The need to write 50,000 words would make me stop everything basically to be able to do it! (The only NaNo novel I finished in 2010 still sits on the computer untouched. And it’s a 3 part series I have no interest in working on at the moment.) 

I’m working slOoOOoooOooowly on some of my new books that I want to finish and publish sooner rather than later. I haven’t really had the chance to sit down and concentrate but I am working on several of them.

Before I stopped taking photos the last year or so, I was a photo hoarder. I think I have over 20,000 photos and I have gone through so many lately I’m sure I’ve deleted 5,000 or more. It’s exhausting and takes a looooong time!

Well, I know for a fact that’s not everything but I need to wrap it up eventually! Until next time….

Love Always,
Karen Maeby

Things I should have said.

I’m no stranger to death, I think that’s why my life’s calm is right there in the middle of being at the ocean and hanging out in the graveyard amongst all the spirits. It kind of gets lonely and becomes an “emotional distraught” world when you’re a growing kid/teen and you lose all of the family ma/pa-triarchs at that age. You’re too young to remember, but old enough to recognize that there’s a large empty space in your life. 

This is coming from this week’s visit back to Kentucky where we went to our farm yesterday. My Great Aunt Ada was the keeper of the home, and she just recently passed away in April. This is the first time I have been back to the farm since she passed away.

I walked into the main living room where everyone usually sits and talks and I saw her in the chair where I last said goodbye that previous November. I sat across her in this proper chair working on cutting out one of her chandeliers (that I took a photo of several years ago) for my “illusions” book cover. (I have a feeling it was because of her spirit that it turned out exactly how I imagined it in my head.) 

The bottom line of this whole entry: I’m having a really hard time dealing with her death. For months, I had been meaning to let her read a poem that I wrote about the solitude of being at her place. For many months, I was wanting to write to her and tell her how much she means to me and what spending time at her house meant (deeper than just a place to go, it brought the words out in me and made me a deeper writer than I’ve ever imagined).

The poem I wrote about her place ended up in Gulfport’s first collaboration book for those who wanted to be the first GP Poet Laureate. Not more than a few hours later of the same day I found out about her death at work, I got an email from the guy who was chosen for the poet laureate and that poem was his favorite. Coincidental? 

I don’t think I ever told her how much I appreciated her and the moments spent at her beautiful house, I might have when I was younger, but I should have said it every time… My family says she knew, but it’s not the same validation as to hearing a response or a reaction. Since I lost all of my grandparents and other older members of my family, she was the one I grew up the most knowing. But yet, I now feel that didn’t really know her, and I wish I knew more. I always thought of Ada as like the fairy god mother who would live longer than the rest of us. But alas.

“There’s a truth to the sadness
 in the air I breathe today, when I found out the news.” 

Other than my parents, the rest of my family on that side has no idea how much I love her property and would do anything to save it if it were ever any talk of it not being ours any more. It’s something I have to write, instead of talking about, because with [this whole thing] being still fresh on my mind and upsetting, I can’t say anything without being in the moment of a pile of emotion.

When we were talking yesterday, it sounded like they bought the property in 1977. That year is my favorite year for many reasons. I think it’s a sign. I would like to believe it was a sign. 

Something within me told me to walk upstairs to Aunt Ada’s room. I’m so glad I did because I found something so amazing when I was looking around…….

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When I saw those, my soul smiled. I have a feeling that we both have a liking for 1920-ish ballroom dancing sort of proper things, and now, I wish I had talked to her about it. But then again, I wonder if I was just supposed to find those to interpret on my own for illusions, right where it’d fit in. 

Her house is a story that still needs to be written by me and maybe, just maybe, if I write it–it’ll come true. My favorite place in her house is the proper living room to the left of the front door and my favorite bedroom is the one directly above it upstairs. If you’ve known me a while, you’ve heard me speak of this place being historical (the Ben Johnson house). There’s so much history, there’s so much spirit, there’s so much everything tied into this one place in the middle of no where. I imagine tea parties, people dressed in ballroom gowns dancing into the night, bed and breakfast sort of thing, a place for weddings, a place where author’s getaway and write amazing stories, a retreat for drama, jazz playing from a record player, families gathered around the proper room listening to one of the first radios when their favorite show would come on. Even a few scenes from A Christmas Story would do. I would call it the Ben Johnson Henderson Playhouse, and it would serve so many purposes, even if it was just a home to our family. 

Yesterday was apparently National Book Day in the world, so it’s only appropriate to announce that I got a chance to take some of Aunt Ada’s books home with me. She has great taste! 🙂

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I really do miss her so much and I hope she really knew how much I loved her… 

The Solitude, The Place That Began It All

I hold in my heart, this place.
This place of which I casually dreamt, as I wrote and walked
among all of the trees
and many, many rooms of this house.

Poetry came so easily in the silence of being at this place.
Writing stories there was just as easy.

As I grew up coming up to this historical home,
My vintage Pirate Soul erupted in great divine!

I walked down the pathway to this great plantation house
a many a time.

I sometimes closed my eyes
to imagine all of the furniture swept away to the side to support
the many people in ballroom gowns during the day
and bedclothes’ parties at night.

I imagined everyone writing with feather pens.
I imagined people writing—penmanship,
something that is greatly lost between the keyboards today….

I imagined people on both porches talking about
whatever people talked about back then.

I imagined a place without a television
and people would carry on great casual conversations
without technology.

I imagined something that I will never get to experience,
but I bet for those who did…
it was great. For the time that it was.

When I later left the state of my birth and youth,
this will be the only place that I will miss…
for eternity.

– © Karen Maeby 

This is what 30 looks like to a woman named Karen Maeby.

I close my eyes to picture my life before two and a half months ago and it’s really difficult. I just remember everything turning to darkness–the color was fading like old photographs–and it felt as if I were preparing to walk into a large ditch, hoping it would be a sink hole, and I’d fall into the Bermuda Triangle for all eternity…… 

Then I became involved with the Gulfport Community Players and life has not been the same. Joining theatre was one of my last realistic dreams before I turned 30. It is like it’s opened a door to my heart and my creativity—a part that was nonexistent, a part that was hidden, a part that was so buried like deep treasure in the bottom of the ocean, and a part that had walls boarded up on every inch.

And….just like that all of the walls have come down and the chains to the anchor holding me down has been broken and there’s color and inspiration exploding everywhere. I let it down without hesitation or fear. For the first time in my life, fear is not in my vocabulary. I’m not even paying attention to the what ifs or the would-have-been anxiety feelings. It’s all gone. Poof. (Points to smoke in the air.) And, I know it’s all for the better and I know life will never, ever be the same again… and I am seriously okay with that.

I have been celebrating 30 before I turned 30 almost every single day the last two weeks.

– Our last weekend of performances was quite an event in itself– the cast party one night, getting together for late night dinners and the epic last day where I couldn’t hold my tears in. After all was said and done, there began my 24/7 creativity spiel (that has yet to end, thankfully, and hopefully won’t!) and everything else that followed.

– Thanks to a certain gentleman–that must be made out of nothing but pure magic–I have been able to enjoy myself and my life more than I ever have before. I had my introduction to The Hideaway Cafe where it was blues night followed by a great conversation in the moonlight by the water and boats, where my heart stands still and makes me calm. Then folk music the next time out where it felt as if I were a character in a movie being sung to by the karma Gods of the universe. There’s been weekends of where my house is finally getting clean and I finally have stuff up on my wall. I found a magical picture and it brings so much joy to wake up to that and its companion on my wall — because it is nothing but pure classic romance and just one photo can say so many things. Even though there’s a toldjaso lesson in this… it sure feels good this way. There was a night of returning to my favorite spot at John’s Pass and listening to my favorite guys play all of–what I would call–my favorite songs. There’s been some other nights of late night phone calls, texts, messages of any kind and lots of talking about a deep passion of mine — writing. Not to mention, taking to and regaining my appreciation of the funny moments of every day life…. something I had longed to do once again but have failed due to, well, life. As well as the true understanding of when time stands still, or fades away but to the future.

– Friday Birthday Celebration: My wonderful work family grilled steaks, picked up Carrabba’s side dishes and a chocolate cake for me to celebrate early last Friday during lunch. They joked around and teased me more than ever. One of them even said “What is this?! Another celebration for you? Didn’t you just have one???” Which later came around to my actual birthday where it was almost 90 degrees in my side of the office. Instead of putting on clothes like I normally do because it’s so cold, they were making fun of me because I was taking them off. A comment was made, “WOW. It’s so weird seeing you with just a t-shirt on.” Mmhm. Hot flashes at 30 caused nothing but teasing from there.

– I spent Christmas in July (24th&25th) blasting Christmas music and honoring a great friend, Joe Anthony, who passed away two years ago that weekend.

My “actual” 30th birthday celebration was abso-freaking-epic. There’s no other word. Although, I wish that more people had come, but I understand there’s 3000 events always going on at one time and you can’t attend them all. It was jazz night at The Hideaway Cafe. (If you’ve never been, it’s this magical little intimate place that already looks like it’s a sophisticated jazz club.) The jazz was running through my blood, my veins, my heart; and I so got lost in the music…especially after the bottom of my 2nd beer.

I can’t remember the last time where I was with a group celebrating my birthday. During intermission, they put candles on my cake, everyone sang to me, the band played the intro to one of my most favorite songs ever and people were still wishing me Happy Birthday as they were leaving. I really enjoyed having my company there with me too. (THANK YOU FOR COMING!) It was like my own Immersion Therapy– just without the clown! 

After these wonderful and amazing and I-just-can’t-get-enough-of-these days, I am really looking forward to being 30 and taking it by storm. Even-numbered birthdays are a superstition to me, because they’ve never been good, but you know what I’ve learned? The past is the past and it’s no reason to continue that to be unhappy in the future. (Whew, I bet you thought I was going to start singing that Frozen song, aye?) Life is pretty wonderful right about now!

AT 30 YEARS OLD (in no particular order)….

I have officially accomplished any reasonable goal or dream I had as a kid/teenager, which is pretty incredible when I look back at my list and see several checked off.

I am at my dream company in the industry that chose me. My co-workers are freaking amazing and my job is doing a multitude of things, so it keeps me happy.

I am on a radio show called World of Boating and I love the guys as much as the ones at work. They support my BoatShowGirl brand and habits. Always nice to have supporters!

I’ve made it as far as to working a boat show with my company, as well as being recognized as media for BSG by Show Management at the bigger international shows.

I’m a published author, although not in true print, just a few ebooks on Amazon (that will be later redone this year).

I have helped build a company, close one down, worked several positions across the board, owned my own business, and used almost all of my favorite hobbies/talents in jobs (graphic design, photography, writing, blogging, social media, etc).

I returned to theatre after 12 years and it was the best thing, ever, in this world.

I live in Florida, one of the warmest and best places with some of the best people and things to do. I am so very, very lucky.

It’s almost been a year since having adopted Eisenhower, my beautiful hermit crab. I am so lucky to have chosen him because his personality matches what you would expect to be mine. He’s also quite Piratey.

I’ve met an amazing person of whom my soul recognizes.

I have everything I’ve ever wanted and I am everything I’ve ever wanted to be at this new ripe age of 30. After going through what I’ve been through the past couple of years, it is amazing to be able to say that.

There’s so much I’m thankful for–including friends, family, my parents, the little gifts in life, offbeat humor, moments, life experiences (both bad and good)–because it’s my own journey {following my own dream’s path} that’s made me the way I am and I am just really thankful. I can’t say it enough!!

Words are coming back to me. I’m relaxed. I’m happy. I’m thankful. And, thankful for EVERYTHING and EVERYONE in my incredible life. I feel like 30 is a new, different chapter, one that will be better than the rest and a closure on the first 29 years of my life. I feel like I’m right where I am supposed to be. Everything that I had ever been worried about is gone. You know how relieved I feel? When one worries so much and it breaks you? But being picked back up again… it’s amazing, and I feel like this is totally a #winning moment.

I’ve had so much inspiration over the past couple of weeks that my brain is literally exploding with color. I’m having a hard time keeping things straight! I’m writing poetry like a photograph, a novel like poetry, and a play like a novel. Working on 4 play scripts, 7-10 of my own projects (poetry mostly) and trying to push my ‘ooooh I want to do thissssss’ back until I get done with the other projects. 

Turning 30 was absolutely epic, and I still have 2 more weeks left to celebrate… and possibly for the rest of my life. There’s no way I’d ever want to turn back now. 

~Karen Maeby

Christmas in July has become a time to remember.

After being such a bah-humbug at Christmas last year, I am seriously doing some hard-core making up for it through this Christmas in July season. Watching some Christmas movies, listening to Christmas music, and having special “little moments” in life that could relate to that moment when you open up your stockings and find something really special and you talk about it forever because that smile on your face stays on, well, forever. 

I was introduced to Christmas in July during my houseboat days where my parents and I would stay on our friend’s houseboat on Lake Cumberland. I remember Santa on a jetski, the midnight parties, the boat parades, decoration contests, the Christmas music and just everything so special about that time. Who knew years later I’d be in Florida where (real) Christmas is just like that. And, it took eons for the rest of the world to catch up to the celebration in July. 

Anyway, not only do I full out celebrate today (July 25th), it is also a “marker” of one week before my birthday (August 1st). But none of this is why I’m writing. It’s been two years since I’ve lost a really important person that was in my industry. Today I celebrate Joe Anthony.

I still remember having a horrible feeling through my body on July 24th, 2014. My heart was hurting and I was on the edge of tears. Nothing happened in my life that would cause that, but yet, I was walking down Beach Blvd and Shore Blvd in Gulfport writing a poem on my phone:

They say lightning never strikes twice
but that’s awful nice…
When you’re standing on the bridge
and see lightning through the sunset.
That makes your heart bleed color
when it’s black and white
Days of old and days when I was told

Lightning never strikes twice
but that’s awful nice —

When my heart gets torn in two.

After I wrote that, I left for home and just went to sleep. The next morning the first phone call I answered was from one of our vendors “Land & Sea”. It went something like this:

“Hi, I was calling to let you know about the replacement for Joe Anthony.” (L&S)

“Replacement? What do you mean… replacement???” (Me)

“I’m so sorry to tell you this but Joe passed away yesterday.”

My heart sank so badly; I burst into tears and couldn’t stop. It was a really emotional day, especially since having felt that sadness around the same time that he passed away.

I met Joe through the previous company I was working in the marine industry. He supported my work, and carried around the book that had my front/back cover design on it–showing it to everyone. I was very appreciative of that, because it gave me hope that I was doing something right.

After taking a summer or so off of the industry, I was ecstatic to get a job at Thunder and it was an added bonus that I’d get to see my favorite rep again. Everyone knew he was one of my favorite people, and since they knew it, one of the parts guys let me call him one day. That was the last time I talked to him before his death in July. I never saw him again after the previous job.

I went to his funeral with my previous boss. Hundreds of people showed up. It was so emotional—you knew he was loved, and by many, but there were so many things they talked about him that I didn’t even know. There’s so many things I still wish to share with him, I know he’d be proud, and cheering me on. Maybe I could even get his blessing one day for my future work as BoatShowGirl. A little trickle of Heaven dust will do. If only.

This is what the final poem came out to look like after I added some appropriate last lines:

They say lightning never strikes twice
but that’s awful nice…
When you’re standing on the bridge
and see lightning through the sunset.  

Born a clean slate of black and white
with personality bleeding of color.
One foot on Land and one in the Sea,
that’s where my heart will be. 

Days of old and days when I was told
lightning never strikes twice
but that’s awful nice —
When my heart gets torn in two.  

© 2014 Karen Maeby