Friday, April 13, 2018

THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED.... A CHALLENGE, BUT NOT FOR KAY!

Hi, All,

WELCOME to the ROAD LESS TRAVELED Challenge.

I am posting a bit early because I need to GET BACK TO WRITING. LOL

It's been a while since I joined in a WEP challenge. But the timing could not be more PERFECT. I have some NEWS.... I was recently asked to write a most FUN and UNIQUE Memoir. This woman's story is DEFINITELY one of a ROAD LESS TRAVELED!

I have already written SIX Chapters and 10K words. Not bad for only two weeks. Well, today I plan to share a bit of the INCOMPARABLE Kay Hickman Ferrara, etc. etc. etc.... I know you will find her as OUTRAGEOUS as I do. This memoir begins Kay's journey from1955 and ends in 1980. Twenty-five years of jaw dropping events. I hope you all enjoy the TURNING POINT in Kay's life as much as I have had writing it.

But before I introduce you to her, I'd like to thank all the LOVELY people involved in the WEP and the challenges. If you enjoy wonderful writing as much as I do, then you should visit and READ all the great stories from these very talented people...and a HUGE Hug to Denise and Renee, two ladies who are very dear to me. 

MOMMY KAY... is the story of Kay Hickman, a single 18 year old woman from Queens, NY on her way to class at Hofstra University in October of 1954. She nearly runs down her soon to be Italian American husband. By January of 1955 she marries Nick, a 21 year old air force pilot. Their daughter Kim is born in December of that same year. By the end of 1956, they are divorced.


And now, without further ado....Here's Chapter Three: Titled- Watch Out World...Here She Comes!  Narrated by her daughter Kim. Take it away, Kim..



The average American woman back in 1957 kept a lovely home, cooked a nutritious meal, raised their children, and lived a quiet, simple life in the suburbs: think Donna Reed and June Cleaver. But not my mother. As a newly divorced woman, Kay Hickman Ferrara decided it was time to take the proverbial “bull by the horns” and transform herself. 

“If Lucille Ball can do it, so can I!” Kay always said.

So, she first dyed her light brown hair a stunning shade of Auburn red and added just a hint of golden highlights. Then bought her first padded push up bra,(not that she needed it), and stuffed her considerable boobs and buxom body into her first designer dress, featuring a plunging neckline.

Towering well over six feet tall in heels and “big” lacquered bouffant hair, she entered Macy’s at 34th St. in Herald Square and marched up to the Madame Tovar counter, looking for a job. Madame Tovar, who specialized in creating handmade chignons and hair pieces of every possible hair color, took one look at my mother’s incredible coiffure, and hired her on the spot. The “new” Kay learned fast how to create Madame Tovar’s chignons, but mom’s true talent laid in the application. Within a few weeks, she was the talk of Macy’s. Every customer left looking trendy and Oh so stylish. This new, clean, lacquered style had Kay’s signature written all of over it, and it became the craze of the late 1950’s, years before the fashion industry featured bouffants in the 60’s. 

Mommy Kay, as I called her at that time, was on her way up…

With all the hoopla in the store and the lines of hundreds of admirers, Kay was a shining star at Macy’s. She began traveling across the country with Madame Tovar, demonstrating her creations in Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and even Miami. But Mom loved NYC and wanted to be closer to me. She retuned to Macy’s with a thundering applause from all her coworkers and clientele.

It didn't take long, to catch the eye of a young diamond buyer. Carlton Baumann’s tall, broad shouldered frame and dark Eastern European looks, escorted the new Macy’s star all over town. They were seen everywhere together: at the opera, the symphony, and quiet dinners in charming bistros, dotting along Broadway. He had introduced my mother to a whole new world of culture, something she had never really experienced living in Middle Village, Queens. 

One balmy Saturday night, he whisked her off to the Copa Cabana. After a night of dancing and champagne, they returned to his small apartment in Murray Hill. Madly in love, my sister was conceived that night.

By today’s standards, the news of a child conceived out of wedlock is hardly shocking, but in 1957 it was scandalous. Against his manager’s advice, Carlton, the honorable Jewish man that he was, proposed to Kay.

Carlton borrowed his father’s car, and they drove to Maryland and married, without having to wait the usual three days for their blood tests. Once back in New York, Carlton packed up, moved out of his apartment in Murray Hill, and the three of us relocated to a small house in Boro Park, Brooklyn. Carlton insisted on adopting me. Mom agreed and contacted Nick, my biological father. It didn't take long to convince him to give me up, since he had never paid a cent of child support or had not seen me since the day he was arrested. 

Six months later, the adoption papers had arrived, then Mom gave birth to my sister, Stephanie. Soon after, Madame Tovar demanded her “Star” return to Macy’s, and she did. 

My baby sister and I were looked after by our sweet Jewish neighbor, Mrs. Silverman, and by my fourth birthday, I had learned how to answer the Jewish prayers of the Shabbos. My new Dad was not happy about this; he had no intention of raising us Jewish. He felt we should be raised Protestant, like our mother. Thankfully Mrs. Silverman understood and still agreed to take care of us.

At Macy's, Madame Tovar's sales had gone up, up, up, skyrocketing through the roof, and setting all kinds of store sales records. The demand for her chignons and hair pieces were hotter than ever. All of this due to Mom's incredible talent with a rat comb and endless cans of Lacquer hair spray. Then, at the peak of her career, Madame Tovar was slapped with a huge lawsuit by a rival wig company. Since my mother wasn’t licensed to do hair by the state of NY, she was no longer allowed to demonstrate her fabulous hair styles. It was a sad situation for sure, but at least the atmosphere and the hundreds of Macy's customers, would breathe a bit easier now.

The following day, Madame Tovar approached Kay with the distressing news of her dismissal. “…but since you are my top girl, I will be more than happy to pay for you to attend beauty school, and then you can return back here to Macy's where you are so loved and admired."

Kay thought a moment. “I think it’s time for me to move on…but thank you all the same.” 


Madame Tovar’s jaw dropped, as she watched her shining “Star” pick up her Louis Vuitton bag, turn on her sparkling aqua colored high heel, and click her way down the marble aisle, never to grace Macy's or Madame Tovar’s counter again.


Well... What do you think of the NEW KAY? Fun, right?!

I hope you all enjoyed this little teaser. As you can see, Kay was definitely NOT your typical 1950's girl. Only Twenty years old and already has two marriages and two kids from different fathers. What would her Mayflower ancestors think of this... their ashes most certainly be turning in their graves. LOL.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a WONDERFUL weekend Everyone!




Wednesday, April 4, 2018

SPRING HAS SPRUNG! INSPIRATION HAS STRUCK!

Hi, All


Hope everyone is well! Spring has always been one of my favorite times of year...maybe because I was born in the Spring. It is a time for rebirth....clear away all you Winter blues and let the warm sunshine and balmy breezes sweep away all the cobwebs and anxieties in your mind.

As many of you know I have had been less than inspired for the past few years, not writing a single new thing and barely keeping up  with blogging. It has been a very stressful time emotionally and physically. But I have never given up. I knew it would pass and it finally seems like it has!

But before I get into my exciting news, I would just like to THANK Alex and ALL the wonderful writers who are involved with this AMAZING GROUP... find them HERE...YOU know WHO YOU ARE... IF  it's been a while since you popped around the blogosphere do so now. There are wonderful authors with insights and support during our many crisis through our writing journey. I for one, have been mine for longer than I care to admit. Now almost ten years! I can't believe how quickly the time has flown by. I started writing my first novel back in the Spring of 2008... It took me over a year to find this wonderful community and I have never regretted it for ONE SECOND...

Inspiration come in many forms. It could be our friends, family, our surroundings, a wonderful vacation, or just a walk around town. Spending the winter at my condo in Orlando, Florida was going to be my escape. Instead, the community here has been mismanaged and basically the complex has taken a nose dive. After much stress, screaming, letter writing, and determination, things are moving back in the right direction. But during this time I had the pleasure of getting to know one of my neighbors, who just happens to be on the board for our condo complex. One day she was telling me about her childhood and the OUTRAGEOUS woman who had raised her. Her mother died a few years ago and sadly they were estranged during her passing. A hard nosed and very dominating woman, she fell ill and left Orlando to return to NY where she had lived most of her life.

She then gave me some insight about her siblings and how her mother had been laid to rest with basically no funeral and buried in a pine box with neither my friend (Kim) nor any of Kay's hundreds of friends in attendance. Kay died, and a mere few hours later was buried in her familie's plot. Sadly,Kay, the mother, had made her son, executor of his will. Needless to say, he absconded with everything and Kim- never had closure.

Then it happened, Kim just let it ALL out. I listened to countless stories about her mother's antics with fronting and selling stolen merchandise in the 50's, 60's, and 70's, her acquaintances and friendships with many well know people of the day, and about her four husbands, ranging from the first, Kim's father an Italian catholic, to a Jewish diamond merchant, then a Puerto Rican man, eight years her junior, then finally a Muslim Egyptian man, also her junior by several years. During most of her marriages between the wheelings and dealings, she opened up her own beauty Salon in Middle Village Queens in NY, where she was born and raised.

Kay also had a love affair with the arts and frequented Harlem to hear Count Bassey as well as many blues clubs where she fell in love with the voice of Carmen Mcrae. After countless visits to hear her sing, the manager of the club introduced Kay to Carmen and they were friends instantly.

One of the most amazing things I found out about Kay is that she was INCREDIBLY liberal in her life and at her salon. Many of her client's were African American. Raised in the 40's as a white Anglo Protestant in QUEENS, NY...this was unheard of. Most people then had very similar views to the famed Archie Bunker of All in the family. On a final note, Kay's grandfather actually thought ALL in the Family was a documentary! I gasped when I heard this news.

Anyway, I am sure you all see where I am going with this. Two weeks ago, Kim and I signed a contract for me to write Kay's memoir. Kay had always wanted to write about her incredible life, and now her story will be written! This is Kim's legacy. Kay would so want this. Both Kim and I know this.

I have already written the first FOUR chapters and I am so excited to continue on.... Kay will become as Famous as our beloved Auntie Mame, who was fictitious. Kay is the real deal! I cannot begin to tell you how honored and happy I am to write her story. She was an AMAZING woman for her time and to have roots from the Mayflower, Kay was definitely not anything like the typical 1950's woman.

Sorry about the LONG post, but I just could not help sharing this with all of you! I will keep you all posted. I hope to have the rough finished by the beginning of May. I am writing 6-8 hours a day... something I have not done in YEARS!

Hugs to you ALL.... HAVE a WONDERFUL DAY and HAPPY SPRING!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

WRITER"S BLOCK?...READ THE CLASSICS.....

Hi, All,

Welcome to another segment of the IWSG! Another month has whizzed by and so many things arise with the coming of Spring. Many in the north are still cold, but I did see spurts of warm weather! So, Spring is certainly on it's way. Spending time here in Florida, certainly does exude spring! Flowers and trees are in bloom and so is the high pollen count. ACHUU! Bless me. LOL. 

As most of you know, I haven't written much in a very long time, BUT I have been reading feverishly. And just let me say, if you have any kind of writer's block, READING DOES HELP! I have read several of the classics, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Tale of Two Cities, and even three of my favorites from Harry Potter. Let me just say, these authors know how to WRITE.... OF course the 19th cent. writers spend many a PAGE on description and although lovely in prose, it does weigh the story down a bit. BUT, also remember, back then there was no TV, no COMPUTERS, no STEREOS, and NO CARS... so what else did they have to do, but submerge themselves into that gorgeous prose. We as writers of the 21st century do have much to learn from them... Description, when used correctly, does pivot the reader into the author's world. WE just have to be careful we don't INFO dump.... weaving the description into dialogue and action makes for a wonderful read!

I have throughly enjoyed my reading time these past few months and I am currently reading another classic.... The Canterbury Tales.... Talk about description.... then add rhyme... it's an EXHAUSTING read, but once your get the timing the stories do pop off the page. We just have to be very patient and determined to carry on. However it is a slow read, but luckily a reader can stop after each tale and revisit again at another time and not have to worry about missing something. Each tale is a story within itself.

I am feeling lighter about the drudgery that life often brings us. A small weight has lifted and I am starting to feel more like myself and hope to be writing very, very soon. I actually did jot down a few ideas for new works.... EEK.... kind of scary, but it honesty believe it's time.

Once again I'd like to thank Alex and the other co-hosts this month~ It's always nice to vent our frustrations and to share insights and advice with our fellow writers... Try and pop over to Alex's blog for the latest and to visit other authors in the IWSG!

Always remember to pick up a CLASSIC when you find life is stressful and the blank page is staring at you....

Have a WONDEFUL day everyone and thanks so much for visiting! Always happy to see you here!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

FEBRUARY .... INSECURITIES ARE A PART OF LIFE...HOW WE DEAL WITH THEM IS ANOTHE MATTER!

Hi All,



So sorry for posting so late, but I just remembered! I missed last month because of the holidays and coming back to Florida to deal with a whole other DRAMA...

But first, I'd like to apologize for being so scarce these past few months. I have been keeping an eye out here and there, but with moving, construction of a new kitchen, and the holidays, the days/months have flown by. I even missed the IWSG Twitter pitch, which I still can't believe I forgot!

Thank you, Alex for always being there for the community and CONGRATS on another year as the top 100 sites for writers....YAY! AND for those who are not familiar with this group.... PLEASE drop by and visit Alex and his site to sign up!

Even though I haven't felt like much of a writer, my heart is still with all of you and the community. I have been doing a LOT of reading, hoping that will help with me to write again. I've read a few of my favorite CLASSICS.... BRONTE'S, WUTHERING HEIGHTS and DICKEN'S, A TALE OF TWO CITIES.... Talk about anxiety and hardships! WE don't know how lucky we are to have what we have! I'm currently reading a Harry Potter novel, ORDER OF THE PHOENIX... It's one I haven't read in AGES and although it is full of so much "DRAMA," there are so many comical elements to it. I also attended the CELEBRATION OF HP at UNIVERSAL a few weekends ago and it was AMAZING how many people are "Potterheads" from ALL age groups. I even saw people in their 70's wearing Hogwarts' robes.... Goes to show you how books can really affect people's lives! SO KEEP WRITING!!!!!

In my title, I touched on how SO MANY insecurities are apart of our lives and through these, our writing is effected. I am living proof of that. LIFE can be such a drainer for our creativity. SO many people and circumstances pulling at us. I am shocked and saddened because these circumstances sucked the desire and will for me to write.... ALTHOUGH... As I was walking my pup the other morning the sky was such a beautiful shade of periwinkle blue and the gibbous moon carved such a lovely shape, I was inspired to write a few opening lines to perhaps a potential story... Maybe, just maybe, the fog is lifting for me.... time will tell.

SO we, who are in major slumps, NEED to keep our eyes and hearts open for inspiration. It comes in all forms from a lovely sky, a child's laugh, or the bloom of spring's first flowers....

Working through life's anxieties is NOT EASY, but keeping an open heart is the key. Always remember that my lovely friends.... 

Sending you tidings of hope and love to you all!!!!!

Thanks again to Alex and the co-hosts for this month.... Don't be TOO SHOCKED if you see me dropping by to say hi! It's about time for me to come out of my self imposed hibernation.....


Have a WONDERFUL Day~~~~










Wednesday, December 6, 2017

END OF YEAR.... NO NEW WIPS, BUT HOPEFUL FOR 2018

Hi, All!

First I would like to thank all of you for your well wishes about my recovery. After almost four months of crippling arthritis in my shoulders, arms, and hands, I finally was diagnosed with the correct FORM...

Many of you know that I have gout and have suffered with it for decades. I ASSUMED my new affliction was yet another bout with this horrific disease. But this time, GOUT wasn't the culprit. I contracted an arthritis that usually hits much older people. It's called Polymalgia Rheumatica. It hits in the shoulders and hips. Ugh. Now I am on a light steroid. I can TYPE AGAIN. I can move again, and I can SLEEP again. Granted being on steroids is never good. So I am hopeful I will not be on them for more than a few months. I'll certainly keep you all posted.

This past month all kinds of insecurities have run ramped through my mind. Since my affliction and living in a construction site for over two months with all the problems with contractors, building regulations, and expense, I have had little time to be insecure about my lack of writing. But now the things are calming down, I am missing blogging, missing my connection with all of my extended family, and MISSING WRITING... So, even though I have had a year of all sorts of life's DRAMA, I can begin to focus on writing again. I should be finished with the remodel within a few weeks. YES... by CHRISTMAS... hopefully. I won't enjoy it until my return in the Spring because I need to go back to Florida to heal. Warm weather will help my arthritis and I'll be able to slowly get back into shape.

I hope to be visiting your blogs and immersing myself back into the blogging and writing world. Thanks to Alex and all of you being there for me for SEVEN years now. This community will always have a special place in my heart.

Please drop by Alex's site to read the IWSG posts or even join in with words of encouragement or if you need to vent out your insecurities.....

BIG HUGS TO YOU ALL!!!!!


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

INSECURITIES COME IN MORE THAN ONE PACKAGE...

Hi, Everyone!

Sorry for the late post, but time seems to be slipping away so quickly...and the fact that Nov. 1 is the first Wednesday of the month make this IWSG post so much earlier than usual.

I hope you are all doing well... I've missed the community terribly, but like has hit me with another bout of arthritis in my shoulders and wrists which makes typing and computer work painful.

I haven't had an attack this bad in almost a decade. I thought it was gone forever, but like so many other illnesses that go into remission, they can, and often do come back to plague us... just like bad reviews. LOL... We must grind out teeth and live through the waves of pain.

Good luck to those who have submitted to the IWSG Anthology. I had SOOOOO hoped to submit. I had the perfect story that I had started a few years ago, but I couldn't revisit it at this time. Too many of life's obstacles keep getting in my way. Some day, I hope.

On the positive side, my new place is moving along. The kitchen install started today very late, so it will hopefully be completed on Friday. Then the counter tops next week. SO by next weekend I just may be able to have a functional and GORGEOUS kitchen. I'll post pics soon. This is one of my prettiest kitchen designs. I finally found the right space for me! It only took about three years, lol. Thank you all for supporting me emotionally through my insane journey. The journey to find a place to call home! Once I settle and feel truly comfortable, I just may finally write a story worthy of publishing....Time will tell.

Thank you, Alex, for keeping us all going and for you support and friendship. It is greatly appreciated!

Please visit the other posts by our wonderful members at Alex's site. You just may feel better...

Hugs to you all!!!!!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

NO TIME TO BE INSECURE ABOUT WRITING....

HI All,

Well another month has sailed by. We are in OCTOBER...can you believe it!

Thanks for all the warm wishes during my kidney stone attack. Thankfully that has been resolved, but once again I have been inflicted with crippling arthritis, this time in the shoulders. What a living nightmare. But we must persevere and not let it get to us.

This past month has been one crazy ride. First, I closed on my new condo... YAY... I even managed to have the new flooring and carpets installed and tore out the kitchen in record time_under two weeks. But I couldn't finish the painting because of my arthritis and I have to wait a month for my new kitchen. Moving was a HORROR, but thankfully I lived through it. Now the fun begins, digging myself out of all the boxes piled high all over the place!

So with health issues, moving, etc. I haven't had time to think about writing. After the excitement of the PITCH, sadly nothing materialized, BUT, I was still thrilled to be chosen and apparently I still have my work cut of for me before publication. As we ALL KNOW, each of us has a different journey. Once I settle I will back into writing...

Please visit the other IWSG members. We all have so much to share and learn... 

Thanks Alex...as always, you are a guiding light for us all. If you are not yet a member, visit Alex's blog to sign up!

Also, thanks to all the co-hosts for this month, too! 

I hope everyone is HEALTHY and enjoying the new season....