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Category: Storytime & Blog

Coffee with a Cop in Salem, Oregon

Koin6News Screenshot
Image courtesy of KOIN6

Salem, “Shalom.” It’s humbling news stories like these which prove that we are truly working towards creating “a city at peace with God.” (This introvert had *zero* intention of being in the spotlight! But if it helps further the shared vision of a better community, then the surprise embarrassment was absolutely worth it.)

Honestly, though, to organize events like these, it takes more than just one person. Thank you to Luke and Daniel and the entire village staff at Broadway Coffeehouse/Salem Alliance Church for opening your doors to this last-minute event, and for keeping those doors open year-round to welcome all who enter with genuine warmth and hospitality. Special thanks to my gracious conversation partner, Officer Cheyne Galusha, and to all the officers and staff at the Salem Police Department, especially Superwoman Angie, who have worked so hard to make these get-togethers happen on a regular basis.

I know I speak for others in our community when I say that we are all so grateful for your constant, selfless service and protection to ALL the people who live, work, and play in Salem. Thank you for reading and responding so passionately to the only tweet I’ve sent all year. 😉 You’ve all made a beautiful thing happen, here; let’s keep the conversation going. ‪#‎SalemOR #‎CoffeeWithACop‬ ‪#‎BroadwayCoffeehouse‬ ‪#‎RhetoricalRedhead‬‪#‎SalemPoliceDepartment‬ ‪#‎KOIN6‬

Forty Days Later…

IMG_20160327_132817Forty days without social media. I’m back, but I’ve changed significantly and I’m in love with my newfound perspective. Without the distractions of social media, I was able to focus on my business and watch it grow exponentially in just 40 days…which seems so counter-cultural.

I had many people express their shock and concern that I was dropping my social media presence not only for personal use, but my business side as well. “Won’t that hurt your business?” and “That’s impossible to do as a business owner…” were two frequent claims people told me. But I’m thrilled to say it is possible…and that it didn’t hurt my business one iota. Rather, it did quite the opposite. It freed up more time for me to say YES to clients, work with clients, meet with potential collaborations, say YES to cool projects, take more time for my own personal growth, and rediscover that my priorities were all wrong prior to my fast. I spent more time with loved ones, and forged new friendships. It opened doors that would have otherwise remained closed due to my lack of being “present” in my own life.

I accomplished so much by saying YES to saying NO. Enough is enough, and while social media is often a double-edged sword for business owners, that “necessary evil,” I have re-entered the sphere to find that Rhetorical Redhead has missed nothing. Absolutely nothing. All the important people and events and discussions occurred over phone or email, and all the best things happened because of them. I feel liberated, encouraged, motivated, unstoppable. “When God is for us, nothing can be against us.” And God is always for us. YES.

Lenten Hiatus

UPDATE:

Lent = no social media. (Because Jesus earned my undivided attention long before the internet ever did.)
Lent2016 
I know I’m two days late, technically, but I know this decision has come at the perfect time. I am still reachable via email and phone (click my “Contact” tab to reach me). #PopUpPoetry locations and updates will be posted via the hubs to my website (RhetoricalRedhead.com) and to my Facebook Page (“Rhetorical Redhead”) for those looking to find me for Valentine’s Day weekend (3 gigs are happening, ahh!), and for all other poetry/writing/editing needs. See you on the other side. <3

Finally Freelance (a belated post)

An apology…and a brief explanation…

Saturday Market, green dressThank you to every single one of you kind souls who continue to visit this little website of mine. I’m sorry. I confess I have neglected it this spring and summer, and I would hate to see myself do the same for the coming fall and winter.

To bring you up to speed, Pop Up Poetry (#PopUpPoetry & #RhetoricalRedhead on other social media platforms) has grown and expanded and taken off in such leaps and bounds which I never dreamed of experiencing in the first year after launching this endeavor. This summer has been a complete blur with gigs and activities and networking and meetings and events and festivals and markets and side jobs and late nights and early mornings and everything in-between. To say the least, the hubs and I are quite ready for a break…for things to slow down a titch. (Oh yeah…and there was that random trip to the ER this summer which threw the proverbial wrench into all the works. Read at your own risk.)

Coria Estates typer

I admit I wasn’t ready for the onslaught of ‘busyness’…perhaps I didn’t think I was good enough to gain any traction in the first few months. (Like any writer, we all have this weird thing with self-esteem and self-worth issues. Fears and self-destructive thinking. We aren’t a depressed lot, but we sure know how to back ourselves into a corner of “well by golly, there’s no way little ol’ ME could do that!”…yes, we are very good at that.) And so I learned my lesson to never doubt my abilities and that the simple act of believing in myself can go a very, very long way.

Before you know it, I’m busking the streets, handing out poems to the locals and passerby, getting involved in the community, collaborating with other creatives and businesses, and even landing a writing gig with our local, independently run newspaper. I handle the arts & entertainment, and food & drink portion of things, as well as manage the events calendar (as if I wasn’t busy enough??). Apparently I like to see how far my limits stretch, because to top it all off, I’m delving into the research stage of an historical fiction novel which has been on my mind for some time. I finally feel like I’m finally “doing it.” I’m doin’ the freelance thing! Look, Ma! No hands!

Allied Video SAF 2015Of course, there’s plenty more going on, but honestly who cares at this point–I’ve already bored you with the mundane details of my insane summer. It’s okay, I stop listening to myself, too, sometimes. That being said, I wanted to let you all know I am alive and well and kicking and screaming and loving it all. It’s been absolutely bonkers, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’ve met some wonderful people, and have had some remarkable experiences. Now that things are calming down (and I’ve learned to say “no” when I can’t take on any more), I’m really itching to get back into writing on my blog/website. I wish to continue with short narratives, some Pop Up Poetry stories, reviews of local establishments and activities, and even include some of the articles I write for the local paper (if I deem them interesting enough).

Again, thank you, and bless you for your patience and grace while I figure out how to do whatever it is I am doing. 🙂

Warmest regards,
Jessica

 

(Just a handful of photos below from my summer adventures. More to come.)

PUP at Baker Wedding

Collage TEDxSalem

PUP setup TEDxSalem

PUP at Deepwood

PUP at Archive

The Rogue Ovary Chronicles: A Tale of Two Cysts

Note: This blog post includes a lot of biological/sexual/medical descriptions that may be considered graphic for some readers…this is a post about my lady-anatomy, after all. I do not spare any details; read with caution if you’re prone to discomfort when reading such content.

Monday, August 3rd, 2015 – 8:30 pm

Irony has a funny way of jumping in to my life to yell, “Surprise!” while my pants are still down.

Steve and I just had a lovely round of marital relations and were looking forward to a nice relaxing evening, probably involving a movie and going to bed early. (Don’t squirm–intercourse is kind of a thing that happens in marriage, people. And I include this snippet because it single-handedly initiated the following story.)

I stood upright to go to the bathroom and was greeted by severe cramping in my lower abdomen. Curious, as I have never, ever experienced cramping before (lucky me, I know…sympathies to my not-so-lucky fellow females out there). True, I was due to start my cycle any day now, but this was something quite different than the usual pangs of discomfort.

Cramping was soon accompanied by extreme bloating in my upper abdomen, and the pain only continued to increase as an hour passed by. I lay in bed with a heat pad on my stomach in hopes the cramping would pass. But I found myself sitting on the throne of my misery, cramping at a full roar with my abdomen refusing any form of calm as nausea and fatigue and light-headedness took over.

I couldn’t even call out to Steve, barely getting out, “Babe…something’s wrong…”

He called an advice nurse through our insurance company, who asked me a laundry list of questions and concluded with, “You need to be seen at the ER. Immediately.”

Great.

Steve was a superhero—dashing around the house to pack a small bag of necessities for the hospital as I attempted to confidently leave the bathroom behind without concern of needing it again soon.

This was bad. Let me be clear—I have a high pain tolerance. Like, stupidly high. I know when my body is just dealing with something minor, which is most of the time. But this was unlike anything I’d ever felt, and everything in my body and brain screamed wrong wrong wrong. The pain was so bad I seriously considered telling Steve to drive me to Salem Hospital (which is a desperate move…everyone knows how bad the local hospital is when it comes to ER care…or any care for that matter). The proximity was that tempting. Steve reasoned me out of my insanity, though, reminding me that I would be seen and likely diagnosed at Silverton Hospital in the same amount of time it would take Salem Hospital to simply call me into triage.

Good point. To Silverton…

Hacking (Up a Lung)

HDay 8 – “H” as in Hacking (Up a Lung)

Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? But illness happens to all of us. (Writers aren’t invincible, contrary to popular belief.) The daily grind of poetic progress comes to a daily grinding halt. Be it due to the seasonal cold going around, or the full-blown flu, or food poisoning (I certainly hope not), we can’t be healthy 100% of the time. And when that happens, well…let’s just say it can really be a damper on your creativity, causing some unnecessary frustration.

As I write this, I’m perched atop a bar stool in a local coffeeshop. It’s a sunny spring day and the afternoon couldn’t be more promising. But my head is foggy from days of being suffocated by mucous, my extremities are exhausted from fatigue, I keep sneezing every three minutes, I’m mouth-breathing, my eyes are watering constantly…to any bystander I must look like I’m having a really bad day. But really, I’m just sick. And this is the first day I’ve been well enough to venture out of my house in the last week and attempt some writing. (Apologies if this blog post amounts to nothing but random yammering in the end. I’m unpredictable today! Weee! And this only proves that illness muffs up your writing routine, and you just gotta roll with the punches sometimes. — That was my wonky and weak thesis statement, professor, if you’re reading this…)

The Greats of Poetry

GDay 7 – “G” as in “the Greats of Poetry”

Today’s post is a tribute to the Greats of Poetry. I’d like to take a moment to thank the brilliant men and women who came before us, paving the rough road so that we can have an easier go at it…learning from their failures and successes…studying and understanding the whys as to what made them so “great” in the first place…before attempting to carve our own path of originality on the road less traveled in hopes to create something worthy of standing stacked amongst their vertical names in bookstores for generations to come.

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