Announcements, call for submissions, garden of neuro, non-fiction, writing

The Talk – The Walk – Every time you leave home words to live by

The Talk – The Walk – Every time you leave home words to live by

Last night, I watched the first episode of the Emmett Till Documentary for the second time. It’s the true story as told by people who knew this young man. Emmett Till was born in 1941. At this time in 2022 he would be celebrating 81 years of life. Instead, at the young age of 14 her was lynched in what Martin Luther King stated that it “might be considered one of the most brutal and inhuman crimes of the twentieth century.”

This incident resulted in a short-lived life because of prejudice. I believe that if a white child had whistled, it would have been laughed off as cute. In 2022 it would have been plastered all over social media as funny.

Therein lies one of many differences. The very most a white child would have gotten was a reprimand, or a talking to, but never a lynching. Never have his life taken.

So, let’s do that fast forward to today. I was talking with a black mother of two yesterday. One is an adult son and the other is an eleven-year-old daughter. I was telling her about The Talk project we are working on in the Garden of Neuro. She thought it was a great idea and offered more input. She informed me that this is about more than a talk but a whole life, day-by-day, when your child is reminded about how to hold up their character in society. When her children walk out the door, they have rules to live by. The rules that black children follow are not the same rules that white people tell their children. I know. I am a white parent.

The white parent says, look people in the eye to show confidence. The black parent says, be cautious about looking white people in the eye as they may say you are threatening to them.

The white parent says, offer your hand to shake a man’s hand. The black parent says, don’t be the one to offer a handshake, but shake the hand if it is offered.

The white parent says, stop by the store on the way to school and pick up a treat. The black parent says, stop by the store on the way to school, get your treat quickly and take it to the register. And be sure to keep your hands where they can be seen.

Emmett Till went into a store and whistled. It cost him his life. It was not his fault.

Flash forward to Trayvon Martin, who is 2012 lost his life at the age of 17. He was walking down the street, an innocent young man— shot because he was walking while black.

What is the difference between these two young men? One death was 77 years ago and the other was ten years ago. Another has and will continue to happen until things change.

Did you know that Emmett Till had “The Talk” given to him? Yes, he did. His own cousin spoke about it in the documentary. That’s the point. The talk about how to conduct oneself when walking out the door, and add social media indoors today— It is, as my friend stated yesterday, more than a talk, but a life you have to live and breathe each day.

Some may wonder why this white woman wants to hear about a talk that BIPOC have with their family members and friends. Anyone who truly knows me knows that my life has never been about black and white. It has always been about people. It has always been about my study of people and concern that people learn to get along. It is important – and I will speak from my own sociologist experience – that we understand what is going on in others’ lives, so we can be more compassionate, so we can make this a better place to live, so that we can be a part of the warm, love-filled environment that was meant to be. And if I appear to wear rose-colored glasses, so be it. Give me ones with purple frames.

I want to read these stories that I cannot tell. I want to know what people of color are dealing with day by day. I want to be inclusive in this life. And this is why I want to read these stories.

Do you have a story to tell? Please send it to the Call for Submissions for The Talk. This is open to BIPOC and their families and friends who have experienced the talk, the way of life, the rules for living. We want to hear them.

By the way, my friend also said something that I have been saying for a long time. The young people these days are going to change the world, and it will be a better place where we will get along. Let’s start with the talk and let’s be a part of that change.

Click here to go to Garden of Neuro Call for Submissions for The Talk

Announcements, books, poetry, Poets & Events, writing

If These Walls Could Talk

If These Walls Could Talk

If these walls could talk
they’d tell mom’s stories
of her younger years
and the adventures of
family and friends
throughout our lives

They’d tell of wonders
how that first date would go
while sister curled my hair
and put makeup on
my 12 year old face
while I perspired in her dress

They’d offer witness of each brother
who came home on military leave
to celebrate accomplishments
and share family life
and visits to old buddies

They’d tell of phone calls
from far away, from old friends
who never forgot relationships
were more important than things

These walls would tell of tears
laughter, hugs, kisses goodnight
and all the life held in between
these floral papers, these quiet walls
if only, they could talk

Lisa Tomey-Zonneveld (c)

Memories of happy times in our lives are such blessings. I wish there had been a record of all the stories my mother alone would tell. As I am working on recording these, to the best of my memory, tears come and my heart warms. Later in his life, I recorded stories of daddy and his telling of his World War II service. I treasure that tape and the document created.

As I was working on Caring for Souls, what helped me is to look at old photographs of growing up. This has brought up so many memories that I am continuing to work in this process for another book.

Sometimes, we end up being the one who has been involved with caring for others or having others care for us. Mom did not care for having to be cared for, but it happened just the same. It was the love that was shared between and outside the walls that built these kind of relationships.

Are you caring for someone now? Please share in the comments. I want to hear about it, if you are comfortable.

May all your walls be covered with memories via photos, art, and more.



Announcements, art, call for submissions, Personal Essay, poetry, writing

Dear Heart – Call for Submissions

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Years ago, before computers, we wrote letters. My mother’s letters were like little novellas. They sometimes were several pages long. She wrote her family members and friends and they loved to get her “books.” How I wish I had saved my letters from mom. As a witness to her letter writing, I would watch as her pen moved passionately across the pages, sometimes witnessing her eyes well up. Letters were her release. They were her way of expressing herself in ways she could not voice. Sometimes she would write letters to people out of anger and then tear them up. To my knowledge, she never sent one of those angry letters. It could have been politicians, relatives, and those are the ones I knew about. She would express her heart’s desire, open up her soul, and pour out her thoughts.

As a letter writer, I did not have the beautiful penmanship of my mother, but I learned that the pen was my power. I also wrote letters and tore them up. I even wrote one about the need for a doctor in our little town and it was published in the newspaper. I wrote letters to family, friends, old friends found from a long time lost, family who I wanted to see but knew my letters would reach them long before I ever would.

Now, I am a writer and a poet. I write as if my words are letters to the world, at times. Other times, I write to express my desires of the heart. And other times I write to write.

I firmly believe that when we do express our desires within our heart that this has a way of stirring up thoughts and even action plans to make things happen. Sometimes those things that happen are acceptances of things that can’t be changed, but sometimes they are steps to taking up the courage to make something happen in our lives.

What is the desire in your heart? This is my challenge to you. I would like to read about the desires in your heart in the “Dear Heart” anthology of letters, poetry, art, photography, and whatever ways helps you express your passion.

There’s a caveat to this. These are all to be sent to me via good old fashioned snail mail. I will sort through these and select which submissions to publish.

Please drop me an email to prolificpulse@gmail.com for the specific call for submissions.

Photo by Olya Kobruseva on Pexels.com
Announcements, call for submissions

The Talk – Not the TV Show – the Real Talk About Living Cautiously

I was reading this article on NPR It’s about the talk that black mothers have with their sons. It came to me while I was working on an announcement – or a fresh announcement about The Talk – which is the name for the anthology of poetry and essays by mothers of color & possibly fathers, too.

As a white woman, I have had talks with my now adult child, but nothing compared to what people of color have to have, MUST have with their children. None of us wants to have our children’s names or adult children’s names associated with a hashtag. What do you think the chances are for this to happen with a person of color vs a white person?

Even with The Talk, there’s still a chance that something could happen, but we are not, as parents, going to let our children into society without caution. The Talk and many other measures has to happen.

What is the talk as a white parent? What is the talk as a parent of color? Just think about that and let it sit for a few moments.

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

This picture depicts the happiness I want to see for people of color. And I want to hear about The Talk that is had. It keeps those of us who don’t have this experience, mindful. And it keeps us heart-full. How I wish that in this world, we did not have the adversity, the hatred, the assumptions… And I don’t want to hear about how that’s just the way it is. That is not good enough, nor acceptable to me and I hope it is not acceptable to others, but I know. I don’t have blinders on, but I also don’t have dark skin which causes people to scowl, distrust, look the other way, accuse me, to make my name a hashtag.

Are you a person of color? Would you feel comfortable sharing the talk you have had to have with your children? There’s a Call for Submissions for your story, your essays, your poetry… Would you consider sharing Your Talk with others?

Here is the link if your answer is “yes” or if you want more information:

The Talk Call for Submissions.