Pet Friendly on Bleeding Ink with Feminine Collective

“Pet Friendly” on Bleeding Ink with  Feminine Collective

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Pet Friendly

I am not a patient person and yet, somehow I find the patience, for her.
Maybe it’s because she needs no words to show me what she wants, just a tilt of the head to the left or the right. Her gold and grey swirls of fur glisten when she sees me, a smile lights her face accompanied by the back and forth velocity of her wagging tail. I understand she gets all the colors of me, the sliding scale blacks, blinding whites, kaleidoscope greens, envious purples, indigo blues, muddy yellow, envious green, sherbet pop orange and the griege in between.

Some days I don’t want to make the trek in the heat, the rain, the bitter freeze, walk the same block after block, be pulled and yanked in this direction or that chasing some unfortunate cat across the way. Some days I’d rather not walk at all, too tired of the monotone. I do it anyway, in spite of myself. In sub-freezing temperatures, sweltering unbearable heat, in all climates because she is my responsibility.

I’m grateful I didn’t have kids. I fear I would’ve been an inadequate parent and grave disappointment, too quick to lose my temper, too consumed with worry, too selfish probably.

Truth be told I don’t particularly get most humans, but she does.
They expect too much, disappoint too much, ask too much, or maybe it’s me. Maybe I do. We are the rare breed of misfits and misunderstood.

My girl, my spirit animal loves everyone. She does not discriminate, so I let her stop and say hello. Sometimes, I surprise myself with a smile and hello; the corners of my lips curling upwards like an emoji before I realize it. Sometimes the smile turns upside down when she sees a cat pulling my arm out of the socket. Sometimes I’d like to strangle her, she can be stubborn and doesn’t always listen, come to think of it neither do I.
She knows I’m not always 100 percent, and she couldn’t care less. She loves me anyway. Maybe that’s the beauty of mutual pet-friendly understanding.

If only people were so kind.
When she snuggles in between the crook of my legs for an afternoon nap, and I feel my breathing slow I understand what selfless love means. Her heartbeat calms the storms, the anxiety, and my forever-impatient soul. I’m a better person in that singular moment when she’s sound asleep without a care in the world.

The house is too quiet when she is not around. I missed the pitter-patter of paws the umpteenth days I did not see her. She could not visit. All the days I was committed, locked in a hospital ward with no air. I’d press my forehead to the glass trying to teleport myself the two blocks between her, me and my family. Two impossible tiny blocks from home, and later sixty miles farther away, but it would not matter. No matter how hard I tried, I could not escape the locked windows and doors. Walking out wasn’t an option.
At the least, the night sky still sang for me, and the stars shined brilliant the same for her and I. Lighting the way back to my humans, the ones who love me unconditionally, waiting on the other side of pane. The precious ones, who made sure she was fed, cuddled and loved while I was absent. I drew a map with a sharpie on the window in my room, so I wouldn’t forget my way or lose my mind deep inside the blacks and greys come morning. I wasn’t supposed to; I couldn’t give two shits. Eventually, they took all my pens away, my weapon of choice. Talk about writer’s block and cold, cruel punishment. Someone handed me colored pencils as if I was a five-year-old playing outside on the sidewalk. Give me a break, life is complicated and chaos lives outside the lines in a coloring book.

So what if I’d gone a little insane? I missed her warmth inside the cold, cruel sterile environment. The scratchy sheets inside the empty room where she was not allowed to visit. Too bad, she would’ve brightened everyone’s day. It was not a warm place, dog-friendly or inviting. It was indifferent. Twenty plus days is a really, really long time to miss being outdoors, oxygen, and the daily routine of a quiet life.
The simple task of walking the dog.

I’m home now, passing the grotesque, uninviting, terrifying inhospitable building, pausing short of breath questioning was it real or was it all a bad dream? I steady my footing, let out an amen and a great big “FUCK YOU, fuck the whole lot of you” under my breath while speeding up my gait.

My girl, pet-friendly crooks her neck way back, and her eyes tell me all that I need to know. I am less selfish, less mad, and more me than yesterday.

 

She and I were star stuff symbiotic… Jacqueline Cioffa

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She and I were star stuff symbiotic, dear, precious friends, old lovers who finished each other’s sentences. – Jacqueline Cioffa

“Her salt mine seas pacified the storms dwelling harmonious in one body. We’d spend a decade exploring, feeling the heat of the sun, flinching in the biting winter freeze, experiencing the mesmerizing, transitory alive moments in color and traversing the vast corners of the earth, boldly as one.

We’d chase big dreams, and conquer cracked filled pavements. I was happy. I was almost always happy, and happier than I’d been before. I smiled tears of sadness, and cried tidal pool oceans of joy. I was a beautiful contained palate of emotion, no longer insane, paranoid, turned-out, hallucinating, running, or screaming mad. I was okay. I was fine. I was in love. I was more me with her, than without. I never, ever, ever wanted to say good-bye.

Like a jilted, jealous lover quietly, methodically, slowly over time and all at once, growing spiteful and angry, Lithium began poisoning my exploding cells destroying my insides. Belly swollen, eye sockets burning, jaws clenched, muscles pinched, bones ached, feverish and ill. I was tail spinning, spiraling and insane. Even the holy, pure sacred womanly parts ignited.

The element lithium burns vivid crimson red.

Lithium crimson red flames imploding, screaming and demanding the quickest exit strategy. How could she break my vulnerable, trembling shattered heart, and peace of mind?

Did she grow tired of me, or did I?” – Jacqueline Cioffa

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– #excerpt from   

Lithium, My Toxic Love Affair by Jacqueline Cioffa

Courtesy of Feminine Collective on Bleeding Ink with Jacqueline Cioffa

SUBLIME FRAMEABLE ARTWORK: By the Haiku Queen, Witticisms Master, and pensive, and poignant writer, Ms. Dori Owen aka Diary of an Arizona Girl with Feminine Collective

– @jacquelinecioffa on Instagram

***DISCLAIMER: I AM ABSOLUTELY NOT encouraging ANYONE to go off of their prescribed psychiatric medicine. This is my story, my journey and trust me it was hell. Please remember that while enjoying these creative words.

 

THE VAST LANDSCAPE by Jacqueline Cioffa

Harrison’s back with a new look, nip and tuck, and bonus chapter. She and I have returned to the Cove, where the magic begins.

The Vast Landscape by Jacqueline Cioffa has a new dreamy, beach look, cover design by Yosbe Design Studio complete with revisions, blurbs and bonus chapters.

 

 

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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00021]

The Vast Landscape

by Jacqueline Cioffa

Genre: Literary Fiction

Cover Design by: https://www.facebook.com/yosbedesign

 

BLURB

Bold contemporary fiction, THE VAST LANDSCAPE shares one woman’s journey filled with doubt, mistrust, fame, and self-discovery. Join Harrison on her quest to find inner peace despite the harrowing obstacles placed in her way. Will she succeed in stripping away her complex armor to unmask the flawed, beautiful, and strong iconoclast kept hidden for so long?

Honest to a fault, Jacqueline Cioffa creates a challenging love story sparkling with narrative originality.

PRAISE

“Once I freed it up to be fiction,” she said, “Harrison could go anywhere. I had a larger canvas for her to stomp on.” – Nicki Gorny, Stars Magazine / Post Standard

“I was always impressed by how courageous a writer Jacqueline is. Keep writing your fine prose.” – Mark Blickley, author of The Sacred Misfits (Red Hen Press)

“The magic of Cioffa’s debut novel shines its light on the power of the written word.” – Julie Davidow, American Contemporary Artist, co-author of Miami Contemporary Artists

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EXCERPT

 

Helmets & Hard Hats

 

PRETTY IS PROMPT, bearing wine and a first aid kit.

“How did you know I hate flowers?” Harrison giving her schoolgirl grin. She can’t help it; he makes her giddy. Dr. Pretty makes himself at home, heads to the kitchen.

“Where do you keep the corkscrew? You look nice, Harrison.”

“Middle drawer, there are a few. Um, thanks.” Harrison blushes.

Secretly she’s glad he noticed; spent half the day at a salon. She detests primping. It’s in her contract, makeup and hair must be done in less than two hours, even that’s pure hell. She dyed her roots, waxed the bits and pieces, no landing strip. She hates the LA pre-pub look, disgusting. She’s not a 10-year-old girl for fuck’s sake; a neat triangle. Pale lavender fingers and toes; voila. The poor nail tech didn’t know what to do with her mangled foot. “Don’t worry, keep it out of the water, do the best you can, Chuney.”

Harrison had been coming to the salon for years, since she moved out West. Famous or not famous, those girls gave a great wax and mani-pedi. Rock & Republic black jeans, James Perse tee and La Perla undies. A bit of blush, mascara, gloss, she felt pretty. Sure, he had no fucking clue what she went through to get ready, with a cane no less. She didn’t give a rat’s ass.

“That’s some fancy collection of corkscrews, Miss Harrison,” handing her a glass of wine with a peck on the cheek. He smelled delicious, salt and pepper stubble tickling her cheek. Harrison raised her glass, “Borrow them anytime, on one condition. It’s Harry.”

“Harry it is. Hobble on over to the couch, I need to check your feet.”

“That’s not very appetizing; dinner should be here any minute. Jenny’s on her way with a feast.”

“Precisely. Once I smell food the good Doc. checks out. Foot up,” patting his legs.

Dr. Pretty changes the bandages, cleans the wounds, moves Harry’s feet up, down and every which way.

“No nerve damage, you got lucky, young lady. No more heroics. One week, stiches come out.” He wraps her feet in nanoseconds. Shit, that took her an hour.

“Thanks. Where is that dingbat?”

Dr. Pretty kisses her, slow, soft and wet. He holds her face in his hands, kissing her again on the forehead. “You’re awfully pale, Harrison. Harry. Cat got your tongue?”

“I could be your grandmother.”

Dr. Pretty laughs, the ice is broken.

“My grandmother’s way hotter than you. Don’t worry, we’ll take it slow. You’re the most fascinating woman I’ve ever met. Not the famous part; the girl who blushes and can’t make eye contact. I want to know her. Let’s see, I come from a semi-normal family. They didn’t beat us or chain us in the basement. We ate dinner together every night, spent holidays back East, in Maine. I was born there, left when I was ten. Pretty run of the mill stuff. I like my mom and dad. Dad’s a vet. Mom’s a retired psychologist. I have five sisters, yup, that’s right. I know a thing or two about girls. At least, I thought I did. Until you; everything flew out the window. Went to BU, got my medical degree at UCLA. You know the rest, Cedars Sinai ER, where the crazy celebrities end up.” Dr. Pretty laughs, ruffles her hair. “Fell in love with the climate, hiking, surf and a girl. Girl didn’t stick, California did. Your turn.”

Doorbell rings. Harrison is literally saved by the bell; true confessions have her head spinning. Jenny juggles three bags of food from two different restaurants, sets the bags on the kitchen counter.

“Should I grab plates? Harry?” Harrison looks at the couch, Dr. Pretty sneaks up behind giving her a hug.

“Hi, I’m Zack. We’re good.”

Fuck. ZACK? You could’ve introduced him, dumbass. Too bad you didn’t know his name. Goddamn Jenny, tight-ass 20-year-old pain in her butt. She’s efficient though, got to hand her that. Harry comes off the bitch, rude and arrogant. Gives Jenny their get lost signal.

“Thanks, used my card, right?” Jenny nods. Harrison hands Jenny a fifty, she looks puzzled. “Go on, scoot.”

“Off your feet missy, get in that chair,” Dr. Pretty points. “Don’t think for a minute you’re getting off Scott-free. I expect a bedtime story.” What? What happened to taking things slow, his words not mine. “Knock it off with the shock and awe. People do lots of things in bed, like cuddle, kiss and sleep. I told you slow and steady.”

“Where the hell did you come from besides Maine, Zack?”

There it is, Zack. Not Doc or Pretty or Dr. Pretty, just Zack. Sounds weird yet completely normal at the same time. The food tastes amazing. Zachary. Zack. He sure is Pretty. Zack rolls a summer roll, adds a mint leaf, dips in sauce and feeds it to Harry.

“Sure hope you’re not allergic to peanuts.”

Harrison swats him on the bicep, spitting the summer roll on her plate, grabbing her neck. “Hope there’s an Epi-pen in your bag of tricks.” Laughing uncontrollably, tears stream down her face.

Zack runs to his backpack, rummaging frantically. He heads to the couch and Harry is casually eating the summer roll, roaring.

“I am an actor, ya’ know.”

Dr. Pretty takes her plate, sets it on the table. He bends down picks her up effortlessly, heads towards the bathroom depositing her on a cushy, red velvet bench.

“Wash your face, brush your teeth. PJs and bed for you, missy. Knock when you’re done, no pressure on those feet. I’ll come to collect you.”

Harrison’s nerves are shot, her tummy’s in knots, she does what she’s told. She’s had sex before, millions of times. This feels different, terrifying, exciting, new. She cares, the stakes set high. Teeth brushed, face washed, sexy undies and t-shirt, Harrison sits on the toilet to pee. Great, this could take hours, when all of a sudden a steady stream of yellow flows. Goddamn it. What kind of spell has he cast?

Dr. Pretty grabs the bottle of wine, glasses, matches, and lights some candles in Harrison’s bedroom. Knock. He playfully pretends not to hear. Knock. Knock. He opens the door and grins, leans in to kiss Harrison.

“Aren’t you on-call?”

Pretty shakes his head. “Traded for 3 all-nighters.”

“Should I be flattered, or insulted? Bit presumptuous?”

“Both, I’d say,” taking his shirt off. Jesus H. Christ. He looks just like Jesus H. Christ, twelve-pack, biceps and that face. The stubble, tousled brown hair, the piercing hazel eyes. Harrison is in big trouble. Dirty, scruffy brown boys are her favorite kind of trouble. He places her gently on the bed, tight arms hovering inches above. Pretty lies next to her, scooping her up, unexpectedly kissing her neck. They make out like teen-agers. Harrison usually skips this part, gets down to business. With him she doesn’t mind, he’s so comfortable with himself he puts her at ease.

Dr. Pretty gets up, blows out the candles, removes his boxers and hops into bed. “I sleep commando, babe, you good with that? Wow, blushing again? Remind me to get naked more often. Sweet dreams. Wake me if you need to pee. No hobbling in the dark on my watch.”

Zack wraps his arms around Harrison careful not to touch her foot, caressing her head. She wants to ask why, why her? The killjoy, ever-suspicious voice in her head will not win. Harry closes her eyes, blocking out the noise and drifts.

When she wakes, there’s a wild flower from her garden on his pillow and a sticky note with a heart. She checks her phone. 10:00 a.m. Holy hell? Twelve voice mails, what the crap? It’s him, Dr. Pretty. #1 I had… #2 an amazing… #3 night. #4 You are lovely… #5 when you sleep. #6 Your… #7 guard comes down… #8 thank you…#9 well, you know, off to work… #10 3-day, 24-Hour ER rotation… #11 Better miss me… #12 Stay off that foot. I’ll know.

The ‘Call K’ reminder, the forgotten days-old promise now a black smear illegible on her wrist. Harrison’s stupid, high school grin returns, permanently glued to her face.

 

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AUTHOR BIO

Jacqueline Cioffa was an international model for 17 years and celebrity makeup artist. She is a dog lover, crystal collector and Stone Crab enthusiast. Her work has been featured in the anthology, Brainstorms, and numerous literary magazines. Living with manic depression, Jacqueline is an advocate for mental health awareness. She’s a storyteller, observer, essayist, potty mouth and film lover who’s traveled the world. Her work has been featured in the anthologies Brainstorms, Feminine Collective’s Raw and Unfiltered Vol. 1, and numerous literary magazines.

Jacqueline pens the column, “Bleeding Ink” column with Feminine Collective.

Her poignant, literary fiction debut, The Vast Landscape, gives new meaning to intense, raw and heartfelt.

Fans of the emotional, soul stirring first novel will not be able to put the exciting sequel, Georgia Pine, down.

The essence continues because you do. Harrison leaves the door open a crack. I seize the opportunity to revisit my whole, healthy self a bit longer, live in the mystic beach home I adore, dream eyes open. Hope is our greatest asset. To choose hope against the worst possible odds is the true measure of life.
~ Georgia Pine, by Jacqueline Cioffa

Please find links to the revised edition of The Vast Landscape on Amazon and all of your favorite booksellers soon.

A heartfelt thanks to Rachel Thompson from Bad Redhead Media and Kate O’Connell from BookTour.Tips for their marketing expertise and advice.

Editor: Justin Bogdanovitch

Proofreader / Formatter: Wendy C. Garfinkle

YOSBE DESIGN STUDIO: http://www.yosbedesign.com

YOSBE DESIGN Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yosbedesign

 


AROUND THE WEB

Jackie Cioffa bio

AUTHOR SITE: http://jacquelinecioffa.com

BLEEDING INK with Feminine Collective:  http://femininecollective.com/category/articles/columns/bleeding-ink/

GOOGLE+: https://plus.google.com/115714635145035610121/posts

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/JackieCioffa

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/authorjackiecioffa

LINKED IN: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/jacqueline-cioffa/4b/3/5ba

PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com/choff777/

INSTAGRAM: https://instagram.com/choff777/

GOODREADS:https://www.goodreads.com/…/show/7755032.Jacqueline_Cioffa

TUMBLR: http://greatpaperyouth.tumblr.com

MAKE UP TO MODEL CITI ZEN BEAUTY BLOG: http://modelcitizenmakeup.blogspot.com

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Jacqueline-Cioffa/e/B00H4EZKVE

 

Happy International Women’s Day~ Here’s to strong women and girl power

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Happy International Women’s Day!!!

All day today, across my social platform, I’m going to share and celebrate #girlpower and #women.

Women who inspire me on a daily.

Of course, I can’t share them ALL…but here’s to true beauties living #authentic and #real.

Who inspires you?

 

#HappyInternationalWomensDay

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She believed she could, so she did. – R.S. Grey, Scoring Wilder

 

 

 

Take a Picture, or Not

Take a Picture, or Not

By Jacqueline Cioffa

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This face.

This face has been scrunched and smothered by new new talc scented infant kisses

This face has been covered in mud, dirt, blood, open-wounded, stitched, patched and put back together

This face has been brave, kind and stubborn pout five-year-old defiant

This face has been bullied and attacked by mean girl high school drama and self-important syndrome

This face has been pummeled, scarred and attacked vicious

This face has been glorified, mystified, beautified, and plastered on billboards

This face has worn one million types and varying hues of chalky sultry makeup

This face has known privilege, spoiled riches and possible envy

This face has rested her cheek against a sterile cement floor curled in fetal position lying beside the hospital bed where her father has died

This face has been on the receiving line of sweet, melodic nighttime sexy soft forehead kisses from momentary star-crossed lovers fleeting and delicious

This face has felt rejuvenated immersed in sea salt and sunshine encapsulating and inviting Miami oceans in wintertime

This face has burrowed deep under a pillow dark, terrified, tears and snot escaping all orifices

This face has been bronzed and sunny

Filled with Angel kisses and brown spotted freckles

This face has been the recipient of 450 V currents sent to an exploding brain through wires attached to her scalp, voltage dialed up to maximum

This face has been overly expressive, exuberant, surprised and giggly

This face has been grey, pallid, aged and wrinkled

This face has been acid burned to obliterate Squamous cell carcinoma riddled blotches

This face.

“The camera is a save button for the mind’s eye.” — Rodger Kingston

This face is tired, exhausted, despondent, devoid of Vitamin D and defeated

This face is not the who, how, or where

This face is not the who, how, where, or when

This face is not the who, how, where, when or why parts of me

It’s cellular skin alive, hazel eyes, pointy nose, scarred forehead, potty mouth lips and cheeky cheekbones

This face cannot carry the weight of a life nor mask the beauty

It’s just a face like all others

It’s mine though, this face

Raw and unfiltered

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” Ansel Adams

 

Take a Picture, Or Not 2015 © Jacqueline Cioffa

Originally featured on Paperbacks and Wine

 

 

#Author Diaries – Christy Lynn Abram, author of Little Miss Somebody

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#AUTHOR DIARIES IS PLEASED TO WELCOME CHRISTY LYNN ABRAM, GRAVITY IMPRINT AUTHOR OF Little Miss Somebody.

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Christy Lynn Abram is an Author, poet and Wholistic Muse. Through her books, workshops and insightful articles, Christy inspires others to find peace after trauma. Look for Little Miss Somebody’s release with Gravity Imprint in the spring. Read more about her eclectic and enlightening  journey of self- discovery at: www.christylynnabram.com

What is your book’s genre/category? Fiction/Coming of Age

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Please describe what the story/book is about. Little Miss Somebody is the story of one girl’s journey to escape her abusive mother and find the love she desperately needs.

NOW FOR THE JUICY, FUN PART ~ DISCOVERING MORE ABOUT WHAT MAKES YOU, THE AUTHOR TICK.

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Please pick 15 random questions from Proust’s Questionnaire and answer.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Perfect happiness is peace to me. Being still; free from worry, anger and disappointment. Just being.

What is your greatest fear? My greatest fear is I will have regrets. It’s scary to think I will be old one day. I want to make sure I do all the things my heart longs for.

What is your current state of mind? Movement. I am always thinking of new ways to be innovative and free.

On what occasion do you lie? I don’t lie often, but usually when I feel I’ve done something really wrong or someone is mad at me. It’s habit. But, I have to tell the truth my conscious eats at me.

What do you most dislike about your appearance? My weight. I’ve let stress and anxiety get the best of me. I’m working on changing my habits now.

What is the quality you most like in a man? Strength and loyalty. I like to feel safe. Like he can take care of me. That’s why I’m with my husband.

When and where were you happiest? I am the happiest now.

Which talent would you most like to have? Creativity. I love to create and design. I’m an interior designer also.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Speaking my truth. It unlocked a lot of my inner turmoil. I am so grateful that I stepped out on faith.

Where would you most like to live? In Europe.

Which historical figure do you most identify with? Buddha. I love his peacefulness.

How would you like to die? As an old woman surrounded by love and lightworkers.

What motivated you to write the book and what have you learned about yourself from the process?

My past. I wanted to tell my story to support and inspire other trauma survivors. I’ve learned that I matter, and to be proud of courage and tenacity.


Thank you Christy for living in the light, sharing your Wholistic  experience and knowledge with others and being true to you in spite of the trauma and life challenges endured.

Wishing you continued success with your writing pursuits and truth seeking. I look forward to the anticipated Gravity Imprint release of Little Miss Somebody.


Website: http://christylynnabram.com

You can follow Christy around the web

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorchristylynnabram

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wholisticmuse

Google + : https://plus.google.com/+ChristyAbramL/posts


ABOUT JACQUELINE CIOFFA

Jackie Cioffa bio

Jacqueline Cioffa was an international model, celebrity make up artist, world traveler and storyteller. Living with manic depression, she is an advocate for mental health awareness, and author of the poignant literary fiction debut, The Vast Landscape and sequel Georgia Pine.

“The essence continues because you do. Harrison leaves the door open a crack. I seize the opportunity to revisit my whole, healthy self a bit longer, live in the mystic beach home I adore, dream eyes open. Hope is our greatest asset. To choose hope against the worst possible odds is the true measure of life.” ~ Georgia Pine by Jacqueline Cioffa

Look for her new column, “Bleeding Ink” with Feminine Collective.

The Infamous Proust Questionnaire

In the 1880s, long before he claimed his status as one of the greatest authors of all time, teenage Marcel Proust (July 10, 1871–November 18, 1922) filled out an English-language questionnaire given to him by his friend Antoinette, the daughter of France’s then-president, as part of her “confession album” — a Victorian version of today’s popular personality tests, designed to reveal the answerer’s tastes, aspirations, and sensibility in a series of simple questions. Proust’s original manuscript, titled “by Marcel Proust himself,” wasn’t discovered until 1924, two years after his death. Decades later, the French television host Bernard Pivot, whose work inspired James Lipton’s Inside the Actor’s Studio, saw in the questionnaire an excellent lubricant for his interviews and began administering it to his guests in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1993, Vanity Fair resurrected the tradition and started publishing various public figures’ answers to the Proust Questionnaire on the last page of each issue.

 

 

 

THE BOOK: RAW & UNFILTERED Vol 1 by Feminine Collective

To find like-minded women, (and men) who encourage, support and uplift by sharing the most difficult conversations with no judgement or shame is a rarity and a gift. Writing my column “Bleeding Ink” with Feminine Collective, and being applauded for telling my deepest, dark and not always pretty truths has been an honor and privilege. 

Feminine Collective, and founders, Julie Anderson and Marla Carlton are making magic and changing the literary landscape with real, raw and brave humanistic essays and poems. – Jacqueline Cioffa

“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.” ― Rebecca West, Young Rebecca: Writings, 1911-1917

I am thrilled to announce: RAW & UNFILTERED Vol 1: Selected Essays and Poems on Relationships with Self and Others.

Raw and Unfiltered

 


 

For Immediate Release

December 15, 2015

Los Angeles, CA – December 15, 2015: In their first bold venture into publishing, the masthead of Feminine Collective has pulled together an edgy, raw collection of essays and poems by women (and a few men) in Feminine Collective: RAW & UNFILTERED Vol 1: Selected Essays and Poems on Relationships with Self and Others. These unfiltered essays from the best of FeminineCollective.com are touchpoints on popular culture, and span topics from self-awareness to bold revelations, from stories of empowerment to witty perspectives on working life and culture today.

RAW & UNFILTERED Vol 1 is the passion project of Feminine Collective founders, international supermodel Julie Anderson, and art director Marla J. Carlton, as a celebration of women’s achievements. The collection gives readers intimate insight into the brilliant minds of top emerging writers.

Agapi Stassinopoulos, author of Unbinding the Heart, said, “In the pages of this book you will hear your deeper voice and touch the raw places of yourself where angels fear to tread and as you read them watch out because you might you just might become fearless and unbound.”

Actor and musician John Stamos said this about Feminine Collective, “When I need to tap into my feminine side, I run to FeminineCollective.com and now this book. It’s really smart.”

This astonishing book is divided into four sections, each highlighting both masculine and feminine perspectives that give us a glimpse into the often insane world of others. A collection of 44 writers in 376 pages—some published for the first time—converge to paint a portrait of the journey of the female mind in a dazzling spectrum that is an unrivaled compendium on raw, unfiltered voices including a poem by street artist Jules Muck. Famous for her green goddesses, as well as her green version of Gloria Steinem, Muck’s work has been featured in numerous exhibitions including the Bronx Museum of Art and can be seen on the book’s cover.

The foreword by Rachel Hunter, supermodel, actor and creator of DocuSeries Tour of Beauty describes Feminine Collective’s book as an experience “Where men and women can glimpse into the world of others … understanding the vulnerable, exquisite, powerful place of being a woman.”

Released December 11, 2015, Feminine Collective: RAW & Unfiltered: Vol 1 is available to purchase on Amazon.com. For the launch of this book, Feminine Collective has partnered with Women’s Center of LA. Now through March 31, 2016, Feminine Collective will donate 50% of the net proceeds from the book sales to Women’s Center of Los Angeles (WCLA). WCLA is a community of dedicated women with the shared goal of guiding, educating and supporting women and girls to attain the knowledge, confidence and courage for a life of personal success. On January 28, 2016, Feminine Collective will host a book launch party and fundraiser for WCLA in Los Angeles, open to the press.

About Feminine Collective

Feminine Collective is a platform devoted to raw, unfiltered stories and poems of emerging writers. They focus on nonfiction stories of interpersonal relationships, published four to six times per week, including essays, poems, and short fiction. While they avoid breaking news, they have been known to publish opinion pieces on current events. The provocative voices on Feminine Collective are unlike any found in mainstream media today—storytellers who openly share raw accounts of abuse, emotional and mental health issues, parenting, love, and self-image that empower, elevate, enlighten, and entertain. Each writer expresses a vulnerability yet unseen that impacts the lives of Feminine Collective’s rapidly growing readership. Feminine Collective was launched in January 2014 by creator Julie Anderson and co-founder Marla J. Carlton. Julie Anderson has enjoyed a two-decade long career as a supermodel—where she has been the face of influential luxury brands and cover girl on international editions of Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar. Marla J. Carlton, a former international model, founded the award-winning Los Angeles based design firm, Specto Design in 2002, where she works as an art director and writer.

About Feminine Collective Foundation
Feminine Collective formed Feminine Collective Foundation in December 2015 with the sole mission to raise money to donate to charities that are dedicated to helping women and children in need, including victims of domestic violence, child abuse, drug abuse, rape, human trafficking, at-risk teens and women who suffer from mental health issues.

Humanity ~ Jacqueline Cioffa

 

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Humanity By Jacqueline Cioffa

We are a sick society.

Before you hurl stones, rocks and bullets at my beliefs, or me please don’t.

I never asked to be put in a 2 x 2 narrow minded, cement block box filled with blame and shame, yet here I am. One of the crazies. On the outside I appear pretty, well mannered, kind and a little bit eccentric. The three-pound brain matter floating inside my skull and faulty DNA tells me otherwise. The darkness and the violent genetic history, the ever-present reminder the cracks and fissures could explode. The grandfather who threw boiling water at his wife ending up in Willard, a violent act, the relative who committed murder and suicide, a violent act, the gorgeous, brilliant cousin who I adored’s death by suicide, another violent act.

Do I blame them, absolutely not. Do I understand the out of your mind depths of a psychotic break, yes. I have been out of mind, spinning out of control, consumed by the crazy. Who’s to say the phone I hurled at my mother in a moment of paranoia, fear and rage could not have been a loaded gun. I cannot honestly say with one hundred percent certainty that I would not pull the trigger. In that one instant I am not a thinking, rational human being with a healthy brain. I can’t in good conscience be responsible for brain matters I do not understand, that Science does not understand and when crazy is shrugged off as the inconvenience.

All people have a propensity towards violence, throw in Mental Illness and it’s a recipe for disaster. Now, do not misinterpret or misconstrue what I am saying. There are millions of upstanding citizens living with mental illness and thriving with not one hint of violence in their beings. Me, I am blessed with an army of support, a goddamn brigade of humans who circle around me, creating a bubble of protection when I am unwell. Which, in truth is every single day. I am broken, cracked and seriously fragmented. What I am not is delusional, in denial or unaware.

I do not blame myself. I will not blame myself. I will blame the mental illness that has wreaked havoc on my life, and the ones I love dearly.
You see, I would kill for them. And, that scares the hell out of me. I have written the blame and shame game in I AM ADAM LANZA, I have shared the ugliest, darkest, scariest pieces of my insanity in SEVEN SHADES OF SICK.

Who is to blame for the massacres, the sick individuals who walk into a school or movie theatre with mass arsenals readily available?

I blame every single one of you. And myself. I blame the lackadaisical therapists who missed something, the arrogant pyschiatrists who check the clock unwilling to study, delve deeper, question everything they know about mental illness throw it out the window and start fresh. I blame the media whores who shove the pictures of dead children and gruesome images of grieving parents without following up. I blame the fractured, broken mental health system where prisons have become modern mental institutions. I blame the government, politics, the NRA, greed, power, and money-grubbing mongrels for shoving the news down our throats with no concrete answers. I blame the parent who buys their child a laptop, or a Smartphone because they’re too busy to go outside and throw a ball around, to communicate and ask simply, how was your day?

I blame anyone and everyone who is in denial about the violent, sick, twisted world we live in.

I blame Social Media for creating an easily, accessible outlet glorifying the senseless massacres. I don’t blame the lonely, isolated, unwell human beings with no support system. They are very real, and they exist in our world. They are humans desperately trying to fit in. Their sick, twisted minds don’t need the apathy of a deluded society.
I blame anyone and everyone who thinks their child would or could never commit such a heinous act. Guess what, I am somebody’s child.

And I’m telling you not to look the other way. Violent acts happen every single day.
I do not need or want a gun in my home.
Who do I blame the most?

I blame humanity.

 

“MINDTRIP CROSSFIRE HUMANITY EDITION: MENTAL ILLNESS, MASSACRES & MISINFORMATION”
Originally published in THE LITHIUM CHRONICLES courtesy of Nicole Lyons

Look for The Vast Landscape and Georgia Pine on the GRAVITY Imprint of Booktrope Publishing