I joined Songmakers organization in 1987. Music has always been an important part of my life. A multi-instrumentalist, the following link is a fun recording of the cut I made in 2004 accompanied by Vic Brandriff and Steve Durfee on a Songmakers’ CD: “Tune Town:”
To learn more about the wonderful Songmakers organization, its history, and venues, click on the following link:
“Civilization is social order supporting cultural creativity.” Will Durant
*The following picture elicited the poem “A Letter to My Art Teacher.”
This is a poem I wrote to Mr. Webb, my Hurricane Jr. High eighth-grade Art teacher (because he said he was going to lower the grade on our Christmas-scene assignment if he saw erasures!)
I always got an “A” on my art work. But was very worried I would end up with a “B” on the picture you see below because I had to erase a number of times in an effort to correct the airplane wings. I didn’t succeed, as you can see! But the strong emotion involved in the whole project elicited the following poem: “A Letter to My Art Teacher:
Dear Mr. Webb:
If you’ll take mercy on my age, You’ll excuse the mistakes on this page; But look at it and like it not, The blood in my veins will be running hot!
I thought and I drew to get an “A,” And I expected it to be that way. The smudges and the creases that you see Were made because I didn’t want a “B.”
Don’t see the badness; the goodness instead. I drew it all with a pencil lead. The idea didn’t come from brain, But I drew it’s all just the same.
Isn’t it wonderful? I think it is. The dolly was made for sister Liz; The drum was made in honor of Ted — He does so admire purple and red.
The rest was made because the idea was that way; I think it’s the very image of a Christmas Day. I know, myself, the airplane is queer, But to leave it out would ruin the design so dear.
Of course, if you don’t give me an “A,” It only means you didn’t see it that way. But I spent a very long time on it. For hours it seems that I did sit, Trying to make the whole scene perfect.
If you knew how hard it was to do, You’d take mercy on my age — My inexperience too; You’d think of it my way, And in your grade book You’d mark another “A.”
Note: It seems my lyrical letter worked: Mr. Webb gave me an “A.”
Then wrote a little poem of his own to say:
“You’ve been an outstanding student every day; Your pictures are good and well worth an ‘A’.” Mr. Webb (That made my day!)
(The following is the original poem, written on the back of the above picture. Following this handwritten lyrical letter are some of the pictures I did in art classes, from ages twelve through fourteen.)
Bio Ballad of a Cult Survivor: My Bio in Verse, for Better or Worse (by Stephany Spencer)
1-I was born some time ago, way out in the sticks,
In a Mormon cult in Mexico, in nineteen forty-six;
By the time I was eleven, we were a family of twelve;
For everything I ever got, I had to dig and delve. Refrain: Dig and delve? Yes, dig and delve. For everything I ever got, I had to dig and delve.
2-We lived among the hicks; created toys out of sticks,
But we thought we were the best — God’s chosen people!
This was the only life I knew, all the while I grew;
To pass God’s tests is what we were here to do.
Chorus Oh, a hick! Yes, a dad-gummed polygamist hick,
Born into a cult, “Plyg!” was the ultimate insult;
But how was I to know someday I would grow
And leave it all behind, that stoic life of woe? Refrain: Life of woe? Oh, misery and woe –
So I left it all behind, a better world to know
3-A masochistic life of hell we all did sow —
It was the only world I’d ever know,
Till one day I did find these people were all blind —
And sniffing after some false prophet’s behind!
5-So I escaped this fanatic cult — left it all behind;
Into the world I went, a whole new life to find;
I settled in LA, and found a better way;
And now I am a Graduate of UCLA.
6–When I fled the polygamist cult, wasn’t sure what to expect; Times were hard and the wages were too low.
But I kept on keeping on, though progress was slow;
‘Twas better than I got in Old Mexico.
7-Now here I am today, living in a whole new way
From the backward one I started out with; I’m grateful for each day, and the good ole USA,
“You’ve come a long way, Babe,” I tell myself each day. TAG: I am a cult survivor, you sure could say — And a thriver in every way!
Hi! I am Stephany Spencer, Poet, Lyricist, Memoirist, and Musician — a professional Jackalin–of-many-trades. And a retired teacher on her endless summer. Welcome to my own little corner of the world-wide-web!
As we speak, my fledgling Website continues to grow as I continue to develop the skills of a Webmaster, Blogger, and Photoblogger. It’s work so fun, I doubt it will ever be done!
For I do love the creative process — The “one-on-one.” I’m thrilled to share it with you here on my very own little online block of the globe:
My valuable virtual acre of Internet realestate!
I’m looking forward to connecting with you. Till then, feel free to click around and scroll down on this blog site, and also on my Menu Bar, to become acquainted with my Website. It was lovely chatting with you. If you are a follower of my blogs, that’s even lovelier!
Till next time, then, be well and cheers! Your Host, Stephany Spencer
PS: Please note:
Ever a Creative, the world is my oyster
and I a pearl forming within her.
Life is my canvas on which I purposely
paint and spin with gusto,
All the while it takes me along to
new dimensions — then hopefully on
to her “pearly” gates and within!
I have learned: “If you rest, you rust” —
You either live or die. Bob Dylan so aptly reminds us
of this in his lyric line
borrowed from the late great
singer-songwriter, Woodie Guthrie: “If you aren’t busy livin’, you’re busy dyin’.”
And So here’s to life! I’m tryin,’ yes, I am — And though I ain’t thru cryin’, “L’ Chaim,” and cheers, ~Stephany Spencer
PS:On another note,
I am the proud progeny of
a long list of writers and poets: I’ve inherited a bit of their giftedness
for writing verse, for better or worse. This is my double-edged sword:
A gift and a curse.
But Life goes on, comes and is gone … “Sail On,” says my California Writers Club emblem. Now if you look closely, you may see me sailing on, “Writing” “write” now on a song! So “write on”!
“Dwell in possibilities,”
said Emily Dickinson. These possibilities are all that
keep me from falling off
As I get along! Stephany Spencer
Ode to The California Writers Club
The California Writers Club is our oyster, And we writers the pearls being polished within her. Stephany Spencer 2016
2016 marked the 30th anniversary of CWC-SFV, Wherein the California Writers Club has been our oyster, And we members pearls growing within her; Daily being polished till we sparkle and shimmer With illustrious word pearls that glimmer ‘n’ glitter
“Write on” to vocabulary perfection. Stephany Spencer 2016
Advice for Creatives:
Dare to fail or fail to dare! That is, take it on a dare: Dare to fail to do well.
For you must first dare to fail, Or you’ll never discover
If you can do anything well! Stephany Spencer
Advice for Creatives:
To do well, first dare to fail —
or fail to dare do anything well!
Buoyed when Pressfield encouraged creative works,
My own creativity now no longer shirks;
I’ve ceased hiding my light beneath lampshades;
Because today I dare call spades, spades;
I’m beginning to finally face my muse
And my own creative juices use.
‘Tis said one must “paint badly” to paint well;
Or dare to “write badly” to tell a tale;
Where our creative works will lead,
If we but follow our beckoning heed,
We never can know nor can we tell;
All we can do is dare to fail,
In order to find out if we can do well.
In other words, we must start somewhere
Our powers of creativity to share and wield — “Resist resistance,” stresses Steven Pressfield,
In his inspired work, “The War of Art;” If we don’t dare fail, we’ll never start, Never write the book of our heart;
Never let genius do its part.
So dare to break through the blocks:
Whenever your amazing muse knocks,
Win your inner creative battles
By daring to fail to ever do well;
The final outcome time only can tell.
But it’s worth the effort to give your gifts,
For you discover and fulfill yourself as well,
When you create art and tell your tale. Stephany Spencer 2016
1- “Point Blank:” The point at which all thought leaves the frontal lobe
and one comes face to face with writer’s block.
(Author unknown — Dan Pointer?)
2- “Point Blank:” The point at which one’s pen comes face to face with
an empty frontal lobe shot through by the bullet of writers’ block.
Most creatives who’ve achieved monumental fame First had to master their dynamic domain. Stephany Spencer
A song is nothing but a poem set to music. Stephany Spencer
~ I was sixty before my dormant creativity Picked itself up from the doormat Where it pretty much played a passive act … For forty years, to be exact.
( Stephany Spencer)
~ I was sixty before my dormant creativity Picked herself up from the doormat, Dusted herself off and began to shine — After having lain there for forty years Collecting the dust and cobwebs of time. Hallelujah!!NowI no longer need
an X-Ray Machine my muse to find! ( Stephany Spencer)
~ My creativity lay hibernating thirty years In the dusty cobwebs of time, Before it picked itself up and came back out Into the light of day to shine; Now I no longer need a flashlight
my amusing muse to find! ( Stephany Spencer)
~ “Think in terms of possibilities.”
This quote I wrote — I wrote this quote:
Yesterday’s sorrow is the humor of tomorrow; In other words: Today’s sorrow is grist For the humor mills of tomorrow.
Please Note: I wrote each quote; Though the concept has been around a long time, ‘Twas moi who put it to rhythm and rhyme. (Stephany Spencer)
Innovation The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones. ~ J M Keynes
I’m a poet and I know it, But my feet don’t show it: They’re not “Longfellow’s;” They’re “short fellows“! (Stephany Spencer)
To dare present your creative works
to the world
And see your artistic creations unfurled, You must start by daring: Daring to fail
And daring to do well,
Or fail to dare do anything well;
Daring to fail is part of daring to do well.
Buoyed whenAuthor StevenPressfield
Encouraged creative works,
My creativity now no longer shirks;
I’ve ceased hiding my light beneath lampshades;
Today I daringly call spades, spades —
I’m beginning to finally face my muse,
And my creative juices use.
We must “paint badly” to paint well,
And dare to “write badly” to tell our tale;
Where our creative works then lead,
Should we follow the muse’s heed,
Artistic natures never can tell;
We can only face our fears and dare to fail,
In order to discover if we can ever do well.
But if creativity we are to wield
We must “Resist Resistance,”
Stresses Steven Pressfield
In his work, “The War of Art.” That is, Creatives must somewhere start In order to their creative gifts impart.
If they don’t dare fail, they’ll never start … Never survive the writers-block dart …
Never write the book of their heart;
Never do their creative part.
So dare to break through artists’ blocks
Whenever your amazing muse knocks.
To win your inner creative battles,
You must do it on a dare: Dare to fail …
Or you’ll never find if you can ever do well.
Daring creates an artistic outpour;
Time only can tell what’s next at your door;
But it’s worth the effort to face “Resistance”
And give your gifts, despite its insistence,
Because you discover and fulfill yourself,
And countless others as well,
When you create your art
And tell your tale!
Hello and welcome to my Photoblog site — My own little corner of the World-Wide-Web!
My name is Stephany Spencer/AKA Beulah Spencer LeBaron de Tucker.
My goal is to share personal stories, essays, prose, poetry, artwork, and other creative works and opinion, in hopes you will not only give me your feedback but may also gain insight, inspiration, and enlightenment to help you in your journey through life. If you are creative and curious, then this blog is for you.
I have been posting blogs at least once per week for going on fourteen months, as of July 29, 2017. But starting August 4, 2017, I will be posting blogs sporadically, so as to devote more time to writing my books.
And I don’t intend for this to be a monolog but a dialog. I want you to give me your feedback in the “Comments” section. I will read every comment and respond as I’m able.
*If you want me to address, please leave a comment below. I am looking forward to connecting with you.
7/2016 Hi! I’m Stephany Spencer/AKA Beulah Spencer-LeBaron de Tucker.
Welcome to my own little corner of the World-Wide Web — My “Virtual” piece of valuable Internet Real Estate!Yes, I being “Creative Aboard,” say welcome aboard! And please feel free to click around and see what’s useful to you. How may I help you?
I am a Creative: Author, Artist, Poet, Performer, Lyricist, Singer-songwriter, Musician, Speaker — Just a professional Jackalynn-of-many-trades — And a retired teacher on her endless summer.
At the moment, I’m excited about this recent launch of my first Website/Photoblog site! My URL is: https://StephanySpencer.com. It serves as my Scrapbook, Blog site, and a connection to you and the rest of the world. My email address is StephSpencer10@gmail.com, should you wish to contact me.
Over time I’ll be sharing with you a variety of topics and poetry, but mostly my miserable Memoirs (I love alliteration!), along with some happy and redemptive stories of how I escaped a dangerous, fanatic, Mormon fundamentalist foot-washing cult I was born and raised in and lived to write about; i.e., to tell why and how I made it out of there and up to here.
I’ll also be sharing with you poetry and songs I’ve written, as well as videos of my performances, artwork, and more. I’m looking forward to your input, honesty, and ideas. I promise I’ll read all your comments, and will respond as time allows. For I mean for each blog to be a dialog, not a monolog.
Through my Website, I’ll test the waters and heed your input. It will be of import for if and when I decide to finish writing my shoot-from-the-hip Memoirs: the surreal saga of how I survived stunting child abuse as a White slave while growing up poor and deprived.
Seven years of my life (the years between 1960 and 1967) were spent in my Uncle Joel and Ervil LeBaron’s secluded, backward, extremist Mormon Fundamentalist cult, headquartered in Colonia LeBaron, Chihuahua, Mexico.
I escaped this self-righteous and controlling cult in 1967, at the age of twenty-one, with only my three-year-old daughter, one suitcase, and $5.00 to our name — plus an 8th Grade Diploma received in 1960, after only around six years of rather poor public education, mostly from Utah’s small-town 1950s schools.
Part of that education took place in infamous Short Creek, Utah’s one-room schoolhouse that housed grades one through five under the tutelage of brave Mrs. Verda Lartzen.
The rest is “her-story” or “my-story” — But with much credit going to our good ole USA’s government, people, and God — though at the time, I no longer believed in God — my understanding of God.
Now I see “God“(meaning anything that is “Good”) has been with me all along. Though the going has been far from easy, I see the tracks where God carried me when I could no longer make it on my own! The help showed up in ominous ways, such that I cannot question that a Higher Power exists — a Loving Energy overlooking my life.
So, to be sure, all glory goes to God/Goodness that I’ve made it through so well, these many years, since escaping the devastation and setbacks of my cult upbringing.
Within five months of escaping the LeBaron cult at age twenty-one, for example, I miraculously started college — though all I had was about six years of public education, an eighth-grade diploma, and had not been inside a classroom for about eight years … And was limping along on culture shock and post-traumatic stress syndrome, besides.
However, College was a dream come true! Thanks to California’s Junior Colleges (mostly funded by taxpayers’ dollars back then), Scholarships, Work-study, Grants and Loans — and the Welfare system, — I was able to take the GED test, then start studying at East Los Angeles College, in California.
Amazing too is, though I had been out of school since age fourteen, barely had six years of public education, and only an eighth-grade Jr. High School diploma, I was on the “Dean’s List” for top grades by my second semester!
I, sadly, had not had the chance for an education in High School’s 9th, 10th, 11th, nor 12th Grades, yet within two years, I earned an Associate of Arts degree in Music, then graduated from UCLA in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. And attained a Teacher’s Credential and Post-graduate work from California State University, Northridge, in 1976, specializing in Liberal Arts and Bilingual Ed.
Presently I am a member of the California Writers Club (https://cwc-sfv.org) where I was Programs Chair and also helped with Hospitality. (*See the above CWC Website for some of my pieces published over the years in “The Valley Scribe,“newsletter of the California Writers Club.)
Ever a Creative, the world is my oyster and I a pearl forming within her. Life is my canvas on which I purposely paint with gusto, all the while it takes me along to new destinations and dimensions — and hopefully, right on through to the “pearly” gates!
I have learned: “If you rest, you rust;” You either live or you die. Bob Dylan so aptly reminds us of this in his lyrical line borrowed from the late great singer-songwriter, Woodie Guthrie: “If you aren’t busy livin’,
You’re busy dyin’.”
So here’s to life! I’m tryin,’ yes, I am. Though I ain’t thru cryin’, “L’ Chaim,” and cheers!
(by Stephany Spencer-LeBaron)