Pt 34-A: My Mama Esther LeBaron Spencer, The Mexico LeBarons, and Hearing Voices

Pt 34: My Mama Esther LeBaron Spencer, The Mexico LeBarons, and Hearing Voices

The young and the old of my dear Grandpa Dayer LeBaron



“There is only one way to bring a child up
in the way he should go
and that is to travel that way yourself.”
Abraham Lincoln



IF it’s true Grandpa Dayer’s grandfather B.F. Johnson held a special priesthood he called “the mantle” or “Scepter of Power,” then there were delusions of grandeur, schizophrenia, and personality disorders in my great-great-grandfather, himself. But I understand that Benjamin F. Johnson’s immediate family say they never heard B.F.J. claim he held ANY such special priesthood power!

Grandpa Dayer LeBaron is said to have claimed his grandfather Benjamin F. Johnson passed on to him a special priesthood blessing and power” called “The Mantle” “that the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith passed on to him, B.F.J., before he died.

That’s another story for another time. If you’re interested in the lore, read Mother’s/Aunt Charlotte’s/ Uncle Verlan’s revisionist histories titled “The LeBaron Story,” and “Maud’s Story.”  These two manuscripts preach a 1980’s whitewashed, enhanced, and rewritten version of the Mexico-LeBaron claims—a tale that has morphed way beyond the early Church of the Firstborn/CFB story I first heard in 1957—the year I was baptized into my uncle Joel LeBaron’s “Church.” I was eleven years old.

The point I’m getting at in this blog is BOTH Grandpa AND Grandma LeBaron had immediate relatives with personality disorders and mental illness (See previous blog, Pt 33, updated since it was published on February 22, 2019).

Says Historian Kris Wray: Benjamin F. Johnson had two brothers – Joel and Seth – whom he said in his “My Life’s Review” experienced “mania” and were “weakened in mind” at one time or another, though he stated they had “sound” minds later. If there was genetic disposition of some form of mental illness in the LeBaron and Johnson lines, which at the point of Dayer had been merged together, Dayer’s dad marrying his Johnson cousin may have magnified it. 

Add to this that BOTH my maternal grandparents heard voices, from time to time, that were “as plain as day,” to quote Grandma. And my maternal grandfather A.D. was said to be a crack pot: He led an extreme, unreasonable, unstable life due to the visions he had and the voices in his head that spoke to him, among other things.

But Grandfather Dayer ALSO showed SOME signs of borderline autistic-personality-disorder. For instance:

1- Things had to be just SO for him. He didn’t deal well with change.

https://www.additudemag.com/autism-spectrum-disorder-in-adults/

2- He “lacked tact” in dealing with people; i.e., He exhibited low empathy: Couldn’t relate well to how others felt.

3- He was hardheaded—would not compromise nor budge, when it came to his “principles,” and what was “true and right” … no matter the outcome or consequences of his sticking to what he believed was “the truth”! He Was definitely a “Fundi”!

4- He couldn’t tolerate change in beliefs and concepts: e.g, “God and the truth were the same yesterday, today, and forever!” There were no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it! Would this explain why he became a Morman fundamentalist/Fundi: He couldn’t deal with revisionist Mormonism, no matter the reasons for the doctrinal changes?

5- When he was convinced of a certain thing to do or accomplish, he worked harder at it than anybody else around. Could concentrate for long hours at a time, till the job was completed to the best of his ability—a perfectionist. Mother said he/ her father A.D. worked harder than anybody she knew!

His maladies caused him, his wives, and his children to lead an outcast, rather nomadic, Gypsy-like life due to the schizophrenic voices he heard and dreams he had telling him to first do this — then that; then something different altogether. He had a dream, for example, that he was to raise his family in Old Mexico, come hell or high water! So he did!

And no sooner would he have picked up, lock, stock, and barrel, to move to a new homestead, but what the voices might tell him he had to move and set up a new homestead somewhere else! Just one example of how his mental instability affected him and his family. I don’t know if Grandpa Dayer ever came to see how irrational, unstabilizing, and crazy-making all this was! Grandma Maud had to follow his/her husband’s lead because she believed he held the priesthood. In Mormon fundamentalism the man ruled the roost.

Grandpa A.D. LeBaron apparently raised most of his children to believe he had received a special “scepter of power” from his grandfather Benjamin F. Johnson — a mantle wherein he was set apart to do a special work to put the house of God back in order so as to prepare the world for Christ’s second coming.* [My sister who works as a nurse in a mental institution says she hears this kind of stuff daily from her patients!]

This mantle/priesthood power somehow became confused with his raising his sons to believe (so the story goes) that before he died, he would pass on to one of themwhoever showed himself most righteous—this sceptor of power—a power only given to that one mighty and strong the Prophet Joseph Smith said would come in the last days to prepare the Saints for the second coming of Christ.

As to how Mother says my grandfather says [She-says-He-says] he acquired this special “Sceptor of Power,” she told me: When my Pa was fast asleep one night, suddenly he was awakened. There was a bright light in the room. Then Papa said he felt a grip on his shoulder, looked up, and saw his dead grandfather Benjamin F. Johnson standing there surrounded in glory. (Continued in the next blog.)

*[NOTE: Mormon fundamentalists believed the LDS Mormon church had lost the keys to the kingdom and gotten out of order when it signed the Manifesto of 1890, thus doing away with polygamy, “God’s highest and most venerable law.”]

**For further understanding of this topic, check out articles online such as: Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Adults/ASD Symptoms: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjKwNfv1t3gAhWStZ4KHVBvBWYQFjAAegQIChAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.additudemag.com%2Fautism-spectrum-disorder-in-adults%2F&usg=AOvVaw0tKWaAHVoNpAf1KDdbHIV6

(Continued March 15, 2019, “Pt 34-B: My Mama Esther LeBaron Spencer and Hearing Voices”)

Pt 33: My Mama Esther LeBaron Spencer and Family Incest


My maternal great-grandparents Lucinda Mariah Emmerson and William Wesley McDonald

“The heart of the mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.”
Honore De Balzac
P

Incest on my maternal grandfather Alma Dayer LeBaron’s side definitely contributed to the mental illness prevalent in most of my maternal grandparents’ ten children who lived to adulthood!

Grandfather Alma Dayer LeBaron, Sr.’s parents were first cousins: His grandfather Benjamin Franklin Johnson’s seventh wife’s daughter Sarah Jane Johnson married her paternal Aunt Esther Melita Johnson’s son Benjamin Franklin LeBaron—Benjamin Franklin Johnson’s nephew. Incest plain and simple!

The dilemma — and the reason incest is illegal: When close relatives marry, they compound bad/ recessive genes in their family tree. Says historian Kris Wray: Benjamin F. Johnson had two brothers — Joel and Seth — whom he said in his “My Life’s Review” experienced “mania” and were “weakened in mind” at one time or another, though he stated they had “sound” minds later.

In other words, there WAS genetic disposition for mental illness in the LeBaron AND Johnson lines (NOT just in my grandmother Maud McDonald’s line). Dayer’s dad marrying his Johnson first-cousin magnified it. 

Mania is a facet of type I bipolar disorder in which the mood state is abnormally heightened and accompanied by hyperactivity and a reduced need for sleep.

By contrast, hypomania (often described as “mania-light”) is a type II bipolar disorder which neither has the range nor severity of symptoms that classic mania has. (https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjKv53WyubgAhUUs54KHXqaBBkQFjACegQIBxAL&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.verywellmind.com%2Fsymptoms-of-mania-380311&usg=AOvVaw1rN1sW2GH8_ntXBJYx8aKY)

In my quest to further understand what might have caused the unusual amount of mental illness in my Mexico-LeBaron family, years ago I was told the following by my sister Judith Spencer: “Mental illness ran in the bloodlines of BOTH our Grandma Maud’s parents William Wesley McDonald and Lucinda Mariah Emmerson.

“People TOLD our grandmother’s parents, William Wesley McDonald and Lucinda Mariah Emerson, ‘DO NOT marry!! There’s ‘bad blood’ in your families!’In other words,” she said, “There was mental illness in both their family trees! For them to marry could only compound the problem. They married anyway.” * Love and libido won out!

It is now known Schizophrenia is heritable — AND SKIPS a generation to show up in the SECOND generation of children born into bloodlines where at least one of the parents has the schizophrenia/ manic-depressive/ bipolar gene.

As it turns out, in the Mexico-LeBarons’ case schizophrenia/ bipolar disease/ personality disorders not only ran in BOTH our Grandmother Maud’s parents’ family trees, but ALSO in Grandfather Dayer’s family tree. That would more than double the schizophrenic /bipolar genetics and heritability.

I do not personally know about any mental disorders that ran in my great-grandmother Lucinda Mariah Emmerson’s family line. Only that, though schizophrenia is found in all nationalities and races, Sweden and Ireland rate the highest for this disorder. Norway follows close behind. (The Scots Irish? When history’s followed back far enough, they are Irish.) 

In past decades, schizophrenia was often called “Manic Depression.” Today it is usually referred to as Bipolar Disease. “McDonald” is an Irish/ Scots Irish surname. “Emmerson” is a Swedish surname. I mention this as only one piece of the puzzle contributing to mental challenges in my beloved Mexico-LeBaron family line.

Though my grandmother Maud’s parents Wesley McDonald and Lucinda Mariah Emerson had mental illness running in their family trees (as many family trees do, I might add), out of Grandma Maud’s own immediate family of originnone of her siblings suffered notable mental illness—as far as I know. And none of Wesley and Mariah McDonald’s children exhibited any of the mental illness that existed in their father Wesley McDonald’s later years.

Grandma Maud told me about a number of occasions in her life when she’d heard a voice speak to her “plain as day.” This and other such things may have been mild signs of Schizophrenia in Gramma Maud. But I read in a book on Schizophrenia that eating green potatoes, among other things, could affect a temporary Schizophrenic disorder in at least some people. So you never know.

Case in point, however: The mental-illness gene my great-grandfather William Wesley McDonald carried DID skip a generation! That is, it didn’t show up, as far as I know, in the siblings of my grandmother Maud McDonald’s family of origin. BUT it showed up BIG-TIME in the next generation — Grandpa Dayer and Grandma Maud LeBarons’ children. Most, if not all of their living children had mental problems to one degree or another.

For example, every one of Grandpa and Grandma LeBaron’s seven living sons claimed to be, at one time or another and to one degree or another, “The one mighty and strong”/OM&S.** Some of this may have been brought on by upbringing, desires for power and profit, and other such, rather than by defective genes.

But it’s also likely they heard voices, and had revelations, dreams, and inspiration that told them they were “the one mighty and strong prophet” spoken of in Mormon Scriptures.

Grandpa and Grandma LeBaron’s creative and talented daughter Lucinda spent most of her life in a mental institution — as did their brilliant oldest son Ben. And their disturbed son Ervil went clear over the cliff—“was the spittin’ image,” said Grandmamma Maud, of her own father William Wesley McDonald who began to hear voices, get revelations, etc., in his latter years!***

Their gifted and beautiful daughter Esther (my mother) lived in a mild dream world along with other personality disorders. Example: from time to time she/ Mama had manic-depressive episodes/ bipolar symptoms — including a few “nervous breakdowns.” And she had a narcissistic personality disorder, including delusions of grandeur. Paranoia also visited Mama as well as pathological lying; i.e., she believed her own lies.

Nevertheless, many people loved, respected, and befriended my mother throughout her life. In other words, Mother’s mental issues didn’t get in the way of her relationships with most people—though they got in my way!

As a young woman, Mother once told people she was a Hollywood starlet and a Concert Pianist. In actuality, my grandma Maud saw to it her daughter Esther/my mother got piano lessons and the time to practice enough to memorize a number of beautiful Piano Concertos.

But that did not make her a Concert Pianist; i.e., she never held the prestigious position of accompanyig Philharmonic Orchestra’s as their Concert Pianst! Instead, she quit college early on to become the plural wife of an old man, baring him fourteen kids along with six miscarriages within the space of 21 years; i.e., She was a stay-at-home mom.

Mother also told people she and all her kids and husband had their “callings and elections made sure.” (That is to say, HER kids were ALL going to heaven. No question about it!!)

She told people she “knew” HER husband and HER kids were going to “the highest degree of glory” “because they, like her, were so pure and saintly — so holy they were incapable of experiencing even “evil emotions such as envy or jealousy”! (That made them perfectly cut out to live polygamy, right? However, in her 21 years of marriage, Mom was too jealous to share Pop with even ONE other concurrent wife!)

Nevertheless, I don’t believe anybody in the cult ever noticed the inconsistentcies in what she preached and what she practiced. She said her Patriarchal Blessing “said so” and they believed her. This was mostly wishful thinking, exaggeration, and delusions of grandeur. Up until I escaped the LeBaron sect she belonged to, she also told people I/moi was her most perfect and holy child!

It helped cause Ma a nervous breakdown, therefore, when at age 21 I FLED the religion she raised me in — the religion she was SO sure was the ONLY true religion — the one you HAD to believe in to go to the highest degree of glory!

Needless to say, after I fled Mother’s religion/cult, she condemned me to hell, saying I wasn’t as spiritual as she and the rest of her kids were. (She somehow always took it upon herself to be my judge! … I thought that was God’s job!)

Now, back to the subject of mental illness in the Mexico-LeBarons’ immediate family: What further caused the Mexico-LeBaron children’s mental disorders is: There was not ONLY mental illness and personality disorders in BOTH my maternal grandparent’s family trees, but BOTH Grandmother Maud AND Grandfather Dayer, THEMSELVES, talked, not infrequently, about having unusually vivid dreams, revelations, and “hearing voices” — voices that spoke to them and gave them guidance. In other words, this meant double the schizophrenic characteristics in just the Mexico-LeBaron children’s parents, alone!

I know some people are gifted with a high level of intuition, extra-sensory perception/ ESP, and so forth. The gift of inspiration/ “a still, small voice,” etc., runs in creative families like the Mexico-LeBarons. And Poets are said to be prophets. Furthermore, schizophrenia runs high in creative families. Still, Grandfather Dayer’s extra-sensory perceptions went beyond that of healthy and normal.

To sum it all up, my maternal grandparents carried outward signs of mental-illness; e.g., voices talking to them, on TOP of their inner genetic markers for mental disorders. This tally sheet quadrupled chances that at least some of their Mexico-LeBaron children would inherit mental problems—especially given there were other stressors and traumas in their life that helped kick in the recessive genes for mental illness.

*This concludes my comments. Thank you for visiting my blog!
Your feedback would be most beneficial.
Now, till next time, be of good cheer; Spring is almost here! ~ Stephany

(Continued March 3, 2019, “Pt 34-A: My Mama Esther LeBaron Spencer and Mental Illness.”)

*My sister Judith Spencer’s oldest daughter was schizophrenic/ bipolar. Because of this, Judy did much research, trying to understand the disease, how it came about, and how to deal with it. I don’t recall, now, the relatives she spoke with on my grandma Maud’s and grandpa Dayer’s family sides. But the information I related above was told to her by them.


** See The LeBaron Story, andMaud’s Story,” on Amazon.com and Kindle. Though these books were written to preach “The Church of the First Born” doctrine, they are all we have of the Mexico-LeBaron Family’s published history — about our only source, though highly biased.

*** See “Cult Insanity” and Shattered Dreams by Irene Spencer

Pt 32: My Mama Esther LeBaron Spencer, The Mexico-LeBarons, and Mental Illness

Pt 32: My Mama Esther LeBaron Spencer, the Mexico-LeBarons, and Mental Illness


three-pictures-of-ervil


“The conscience of children is formed
by the influences that surrounded them;
their notions of good and evil are the result of
the moral atmosphere they breathe.”

Jean Paul Richter



We left off last week with this assertion: People should take responsibility for their actions; not project blame onto the devil nor others for what happens to them and their children.

As we saw in the previous blogs, Grandfather Dayer and Grandmother Maud’s life and child-rearing included plenty of things that could cause mental breakdowns — though they tended to put most of the blame on the persecution and ostracism their kids suffered growing up in the Mormon colonies in Mexico. No question, that took its toll!

But Grandma told us her son Ervil was the “spittin’ image” of her own father: “Even looks exactly like ‘im!” she efused. [*1] But she only divulged this long-held secret after her son Ervil began showing severe psychotic breaks — as in intent to murder his brother Joel, et Al. 

In an afterthought, Grandma Maud added, disconcertingly, “Despite his bein’ highly gifted in art, music, teaching, and other areas, Pa broke in his older years — same as his grandson Ervil.

“But before he became mentally ill, my handsome father taught Art and Music in High School, often delivered sermons in church. And  was a much sought-after Singer, as well as a teacher of church doctrinal classes.

“Him and my ma regularly sang duets in church and elsewhere. Both had perfect pitch … could sight-sing sheet music, so they could do fine when they had no instrumental backup or a pitchpipe. They really knew their Music Theory, too. Music was very important in my home as we grew up.”

Unfortunately, that’s pretty much all Grandma would tell about her father. In fact, as I pointed out, she never, ever let anybody know about her father going off the deep end until she saw her son Ervil, “had the spirit of murder,” as she referred to it in her letters to Ervil. [*1]

Makes me wonder what else my Grandmother Maud never told us about her family of origin. What else was she hiding? For example, why would she marry my Grandfather Dayer when he was an outcast (though she says when she married him she didn’t know he was an outcast).

In the same breath, she claimed her “McDonalds of Arizona” family “were highly respected and well to do—owned a real estate office.” I only know (from personal experience) Grandma, though I love her, was a “storyteller.” [*2]

But I understand her brother Max McDonald (who was a pal of Pres. Spencer W. Kimball in his young years—they played and performed music together, among other things) was a Real Estate broker and owned his own Real Estate office.

Because being “crazy” carried such stigma and shame back in Grandmother’s day, as noted earlier, she only let us know about her own father’s mental breakdown when it became absolutely necessary to do everything in her power to get her dear son Ervil to see the error of his ways … in hopes he would not end up a “Cain.”

In the next blog, I will continue with this mental-illness thread, tying it in with incest in my Mexico-LeBaron family: Grandpa Dayer’s father Benjamin Franklin LeBaron married his first cousin Sarah Jane Johnson—daughter of his/ Benjamin Franklin LeBaron’s maternal uncle Benjamin F. Johnson’s seventh wife).[*1]  

(Continued February 22, 2019: “Pt 33: My Mama Esther LeBaron Spencer and Family incest”)


*1– See: “The LeBaron Story,” Pages 201 through 210. Also see: “Maud’s Story.” Both books are/ were available on Amazon.com and/or Kindle. Though these books were written mostly to preach The Church of the First Born dogma, they’re all we have of the Mexico-LeBaron family’s published history.

NOTE: For those questioning what I quoted Grandma saying, please check out the following Facebook statement (used without my niece Vicky LeBaron’s permission, as of yet, because I trust she won’t mind): 

2-7-2019: “I heard my grandmother — G.Grandma Maud’s, daughter Esther LeBaron Spencer — say on multiple occasions almost exactly what Steph Spencer is saying. 
I also heard one of G.G. Maud’s daughter-in-laws say the same type of comments about what Maud had told her about Ervil, in various conversations over the years:

“Basically, that mental illness ran in the McDonald family. And that she had been concerned about Ervil because of her father’s mental health struggles, and the fact that Ervil reminded her of her father more than any of her other sons. [She said] ‘He was handsome like her father.’ Or ‘He had a charismatic personality and a way with words.’ If I’m not mistaken her father was rather tall, too [like her son Ervil].

I don’t particularly think uncle Ervil looked like great-great-grandfather Wesley, either, but she may have recognized mannerisms and perhaps his walk or the way he talked etc. as being like her father. Often, I think the way my children act reminds me more of their grandparents and great grandparents, than the way they look. 
And I definitely feel like several of my children are very much like their grandparents and others don’t seem to see it.”

*2– See Cult Insanity” by Irene Spencer

Pt 31-D: My Mama Esther LeBaron Spencer, The- Mexico-LeBarons, and Mental Illness


My Songmaker CD Blurb



~Picking up where we left off on “Pt 31-C: My Mama Esther LeBaron Spencer, The- Mexico-LeBarons, and Mental Illness”:


X–  Another factor leading to mental problems in the Dayer and Maud LeBaron family is: They held much in because they were supposed to be perfect Mormon Saints and keep a smile on their face at all times, so to speak. Perfectionists, they couldn’t admit to imperfections nor weaknesses. but sadly, they expected TOO much of themselves—impossible things no one could live up to.

 Y–  There was incest involved, too. How much? Don’t know. Only know there are skeletons in their closets. First cousins married each other, for example — even having been told that would compound the mental illness that ran in both sides of their families! (Is the adidge “All’s fair in love and war” really true? I only know Cupid’s/ Libido’s bow shoots a strong arrow!)

 Z– Last, though not least — and a biggie: The Mexico-LeBarons were CREATIVES. If you study the genealogy of poets, artists, musicians, inventors, writers, spiritual leaders, and so on, you will find mental illness is a common thread running in many of these creatives’ families. The following are some of the many books I found in the Public Library covering this topic:

Read more

~ My Music Performance on Songmakers CD: “Tune Town”

Me With Guitar -3
Stephany Spencer-LeBaron, age 38

 


Me with Dee, songmakers
Songmakers Left to Right: Dee Gregory, Suzy Hall, Stephany Spencer, and Lillian 

 


My Songmaker CD Blurb -3
My Blurb for my cut on Songmakers 2004 CD: “Tune Town”  

 


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:

Songmakers | Songmakers


~ Review of Gabriella Owens’ “BBQ Pizza: A Flaming Expose of Macho Cooking”

 [ BBQ Pizza: A Flaming Expose on Macho Cooking
Owens, Gabriella ( Author ) ] { Paperback } 2013
Paperback

On Review: Gabriella Owens’ Book, BBQ Pizza: A Flaming Expose’ of Macho Cooking

Dear Readers:

I couldn’t believe a cookbook could keep me so engrossed I couldn’t put it down! Because I hate to cook! But by the time I finished reading, loving, and laughing my way through “BBQ Pizza: A Flaming Expose on Macho Cooking” — a book full of humor, impressive information, pizza recipes galore, and more — Gabriella Owens had made a believer out of me! I was seriously considering becoming a “barbecued-pizza specialist” and party host myself.

But I figured the least I could do, after reading her exceptional expose –even learning what pizza peels are for– was to stop three pizzas short of a pizza peel to write this sizzling review.

Gifted Author Gabriella is not only an expert on gourmet barbecue pizza parties, fine wines, wineries, and more, but a comedian — and the President of the California Writer’s Club, San Fernando Valley Branch.

Her creative pizzas put the California Pizza House to shame! But they might be interested in some of her “fabulicious-Pizzalicious” dishes and recipes.

While reading “BBQ Pizza,” I was kept so thoroughly entertained– laughing so hard all the way–I learned how to appreciate and appraise wines, put together perfect pizza parties, and much more — all with no pain!

I told Gabriella: “You’re a standup comedian in a “sitdown” position ‘neath a toadstool lampshade waiting to be discovered! So “standup” and deliver! I’ll turn the lights on any time.”

Meanwhile, everyone should at least discover her hidden talent for writing comedy by reading her book and watching her comedic YouTube movie “BBQ Pizza: Macho Cook to the Rescue—With His Pastrami Pizza Recipe!”

If you’re a standup comedian or would like to be, there are some great lines in this creative author’s book that could keep your audience in uproarious laughter indefinitely.

 Hey guys, buy BBQ Pizza: A Flaming Exposé
Of Macho Cooking
or put it on your reading list today.
You won’t be sorry:
You’ll have a fabulucious day!

By Stephany Spencer

 

 

~ Pt 19-B: Esther LeBaron Spencer, Me, and More Perils of Polygamy

 

My Memoir, Part 19-B: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer —
 And More Perils of Polygamy

three-pictures-of-ervil
The middle picture is how I remember my Uncle Ervil M. LeBaron in the 1960s

 

“A wise leader inspires and motivates,
rather than intimidating and manipulating.”
Henry Ford


Getting back to my life being hijacked in the name of plural marriage: As I mentioned in my last blog, Mother’s brother, Ervil M. LeBaron, was in on the manipulation of my love-life too. (What’s new?! Whose life was he not in on? But of course, I didn’t know this, back then.)

As it turns out, Ervil LeBaron had time for everyone’s family but his own. This cunning Con was too busy using and abusing others — all the new converts and you name it — under the highfalutin pretense of being “The Second Grand Head” of God’s church on earth.

His maneuvering and manipulating others to his own advantage was only outdone by his coercion and priestcraft when it came to pulling the wool over the eyes of the “lambs” and fleecing the newbie true-believing “Church of the Firstborn” sheep.

My Uncle “Evil Ervil” was truly something else — and in his heyday and depth of glory with all those trusting true-believing followers and converts suddenly now at his deceptive fingertips once his and his brother’s (self-proclaimed Prophet Joel LeBaron) new “Church” began to take off in the late 1950s.

Well, as it turns out, while my uncle was horrendously manipulating my life on one level, unbeknownst to me (as I said in the previous blog), my parents (another set of controllers found wanting in the area of integrity) were secretly snooping into my personal belongings, betraying my trust in them as they managed to find each new place I hid my diary. By regularly reading my journal entries, they too were able to control and manipulate my life and happiness!

Reading my diaries behind my back must’ve been the entertainment of the day for my parents in their collusion to eavesdrop, by way of my diaries, on what I believed were my private thoughts!

But I can’t even imagine their “entertainment” when they found that Ervil, Mumma’s younger brother, had, behind my parents’ back, secretly bartered me off in marriage (in the name of God, revelation, and building up “His” kingdom) to Homer Babbitt, Mum’s girlhood friend — in exchange for land!!

In my Journal entry of July 15, 1962, I wrote that Ervil had told me not to tell my parents about my upcoming marriage to Homer — “So the devil can’t interfere with God’s plans,” said he. I also wrote that I was not at all attracted to Homer Babbitt– and that when we kissed to cement our engagement to marry, it felt icky.

Homer’s kiss wasn’t much more than a peck on the lips … thank God. And That was my first kiss ever, too! (Oh dear, and Heaven help us!) Also my first date ever — though hardly a kiss and hardly a date. But no matter how Homer had kissed me, I would’ve gotten no pleasure whatsoever out of it because I had no feelings for him whatsoever.

I don’t recall doing anything else with this extremely shy, middle-aged stranger. Only recall that, to cement our coerced marriage vows, Uncle Ervil arranged for the rendezvous wherein Homer Babbitt and I secretly convened in his black Buick he’d skillfully hidden behind a secluded clump of mesquite bushes toward the outskirts of the small LeBaron scrabble colony. Situated in the Chihuahuan desert, in 1962 the cult was amply surrounded by cacti, mesquite, and other desert vegetation suitable for hiding in!

(Continued September 15, 2017: “My Memoir: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer — And More Perils of Polygamy — Part 19-C”)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~ My Review of the California Writers Club Anniversary Anthology, “Cascade of Pearls”

 

Product Details
California Writers Club Anniversary Anthology


writing-man-with-pen-etc

  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 

pearl in oyster

 2016 marked the 30th anniversary —
The Pearl Anniversary of the California Writers Club,
San Fernando Valley Branch.
For thirty years, this club has been our oyster ranch,

 And we members pearls growing within her dance.
Polishing and developing daily our word-writing romance,
Some works now fairly sparkle and glimmer,

Like well-crafted word pearls enhanced till they glitter,
Reflecting our club’s lively oyster-shell shimmer.
So thanks, California Writers Club —
Thanks for letting us join your Oyster-Ranch “dinner.”

Stephany Spencer 2016



I’m so excited to tell you my California Writers Club, San Fernando Valley Branch, has produced another Anthology, this one in honor of our club’s 30th anniversary. 

 The following quote, taken from the Anthology’s Introductory pages, sizes up our Anniversary Anthology well:

“This collection is a testimony to the power of words, and to those gifted writers who have run them together like strands of precious pearls. Essay, poem, short story — each one sings out and captures our imagination … and our heart.” Victoria Zackheim (Author, Anthologist, Playwright, Educator)

“Through this anthology of short stories, imaginings, and poems,” says CWC Editor, Rita Keeley Brown, “our current members share their adventure of writing.” 

A quote from Truman Capote, taken from the back cover of the  anthology, aptly sums it up: “What I am [we are] trying to achieve is a voice sitting by the fireplace telling you a story on a winter’s evening.”

I’m so proud to say, I, myself, got my act together, followed my poem’s advice, “Dare to fail, or fail to dare do well,” and submitted three poems for this Anniversary Anthology.

When you buy our work of wonders, you’ll see these entries, as well as many more pieces written and submitted by our club’s gifted and creative writers.

Below is the cover of our Anniversary Anthology, “Cascade of Pearls,”  sold on Amazon.com.

Here’s hoping you enjoy it as much as I who am presently snuggled up by the fireplace in the process of reading and reaping the rewards of time well spent within its pages.  ~ Stephany Spencer

 



Product Details

Cascade of Pearls

May 15, 2017

by San Fernando Valley, California Writers Club

Paperback

Get it by Tomorrow, Aug 3
FREE Shipping on eligible orders
More Buying Choices

$14.95(12 used & new offers)



Here are two samples of work composed by Nance Crawford, one of the amazing authors and poets in our California writers club. Enjoy!




 

~ Memoir Poem: A Letter to My Art Teacher — and Some 6th-8th Grade Artwork

“Civilization is social order
Supporting cultural creativity.”
Will Durant



*The picture below elicited the following poem:

“A Lyrical-Letter to My Art Teacher.”


my-art-xmas

NOTE: I always got an “A” on my art work. But was worried I would end up with a “B” on the picture you see above 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 expected it to be that way.
The smudges and the creases you see
Were made ’cause 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’cause the idea was that way;
I think it’s the image of a Christmas Day.
I know, myself, the airplane is queer;
To leave it out would ruin the design so dear.

Of course, if you don’t give me an “A,
“It means you didn’t see it that way.
But I spent a very long time on it.
For hours it seems I did sit,
Trying to make my X-Mas 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
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 a good student
Every day;
Your pictures are great
And well worth an ‘A’.”  
Mr. Webb
(That made my day!)

NOTE: 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.

my-art-poem-to-art-teacher
my-art-girl-in-sweater
my-art-girl-model
my-art-blonde
my-art-airplane-1
my-art-moonlight
my-art-stormy-weather
my-art-cave
my-art-my-clothes
my-art-comic-strip
my-art-bull
my-art-bookcase-1
my-art-boy-fails
my-art-fish
my-art-snowman
my-art-squiglies
my-art-witch
my-art-pilgrim-indian
my-art-child
scan
my-art-jackolantern

~ My Notes, Quotes, Jokes, Pokes, ‘n’ Anecdotes


Bimbo Weeps:

 I’m sittin’ alone in the moonlight,
At the Heartbreak Hotel Café,
Abandoned by women and men;
And here’s all I have to say,
“I’ll never eat garlic nor onions again —
Not till my dying day —
NOT if it drives possible friendships away,
Miraculously keeping romance at bay!”

By Stephany Spencer

****************************************






man-in-bed-with-three-women

Bimbo Notes:

One’s a plenty, two’s a crowd,
Three on the sidewalk is not allowed.”
Anonymous
(But have you ever noticed in “Big Love” they might
Be doing it behind your back — or closed doors?
Step on a crack and try to keep track!)
Stephany Spencer





*************************************************
Bimbo Speaketh

Please, God, don’t let me be a fruitcake this Christmas;
I don’t want to be eaten by one either!
Stephany Spencer

*************************************************




dog-on-computer

Online Dating

When it comes to online dating,
If  you’re lookin’ for a mating,
The odds are good
That the goods are odd;
So “wrots of wruck” with your mate-baiting!
I won’t be holding my bag waiting.
Stephany Spencer

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 Longing for a Soulmate No More

I used to long for a Soulmate,
But I don’t long anymore,
‘Cause I damn well know in my core
Who’d get stuck picking up after him …
Plus a whole lot more!

For that same reason,
In my “Golden-Sage” season,

I no longer dream of Mr. Wright
Nor a shining-armored knight;
I’ve learned they’re all fairytales –
No one’s coming to save me;
For sure, no horny, hairy males!
And Stupid-Cupid least of all:
Cupid’s but Libido and Nature
Having a ball.

At long last, I’ve come to see

My soulmate’s the other half of me;
And it’s well that this should be.
So I’ll leave my fate to God,
And what will be, we’ll see!

Stephany Spencer

 

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Me, Myself, and I

Sittin’ alone in the moonlight,
I heard a lonesome cry;
It must have come from within;
There was only me, myself, and I!

Then I chanced to ask it,”Why? Why?!”
Spoke the voice in soft reply:
“’Because, wherefore, and therefore; That’s why!”
So I gathered myself up with a sigh,
To face the great by-and-by and cry,

Because, in reality, there could only be
Lonely me, myself, and I.
By Stephany Spencer
(Written at age 14)              

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Bimbo Speaks:
“Love may be blind,
but jealousy and envy sport
wide-angled telescopic vision
with binocular hindsight!”
Stephany Spencer



lady-with-the-hat

“Complacency breeds poor insight,
While envy sports telescopic sight!”
Stephany Spencer




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cartoon-dancer

Says Bimbo:
Who cares if four-inch heels
Give you bunions,
Backaches, ‘n’ achin’ feet?

What’s important is yer legs
Look long ‘n’ sleek,
And yer ankles slim ‘n’ petite!
Stephany Spencer

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cas-in-black-hat

 Bimbo Says: 

“There’s a vast amount of undeveloped territory
just below my fancy hat ‘n’ hairdo —
 right betwixt me ears two!”
Stephany Spencer

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mouse-minnnie

The Bimbo Class

My claim-to-fame is shoppin’,
‘Cause most parts of me
Are perfect ‘n’ hoppin’;

So if it’s all the same to you,
I’ll keep right on a-boppin’
In my fancy hat ’n’ updo–

Let the intellectuals study it,
If they want to —

And the undeveloped matter
Under it too!

But in “Alice, Through the Lookin’ Glass,
It didn’t matter where
The Mad Hatter had ‘er — nor ‘er class;
An’ it doesn’t matter a hair
To the hare, either, what I do
So don’t be a “hare-up-my-ass”!
(Well, did you expect better
Of the Bimbo class?!)
Stephany Spencer








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gray-hair

A Bimbo-Breakthrough:
Old age ain’t for sissies …
And neither is bein’ a woman!
 Stephany Spencer 

Bio Ballad of a Cult Survivor: My Bio in Verse, for Better or Worse

 

dad-ma-9-kids-1
My family in 1956 — I’m in middle row, 2nd From left


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!

         

Some of My Pieces Published 2007–2008 in the California Writers Club “The Scribe”

 

                                                                                  writing-man-with-pen-etc

* NOTE: I have taken some of my pieces that were published in the California Writers Club’s newsletter, when I was their Program Chair, and put them on this page, sans the full newsletter they were published in.

Sadly, when I copied and pasted my pieces to this page, the photos, color, etc., did not copy and paste here. Therefore the publications mostly look very drab. What a difference images and color make!


California Writers Club – SFVServing the writers of Greater Los Angeles”

THE SCRIBE

established since 1983 –

Vol. XXI, No. 4 http://www.calwriterssfv.com December 2007

 

Local Agent Lands Writers on Oprahoprah-with-a-book

By Stephany Spencer

Look out December! Our guest presenter will be literary agent, Sharlene Martin, of “Considerate literary management for the 21st Century.”

The importance of a pre-query game plan will be stressed, as will an outline of the essential elements of effective queries that will generate positive responses.

This event is bound to be barrels of fun, while still offering sound advice. You’ll walk out equipped to generate query letters that truly invite interest. And you’ll find that the sense of knowing how to do it is a sure confidence-booster for the “pitch fest” to follow this session.

Since founding Martin Literary Management in 2003, Sharlene has mounted spectacular successes for her clients, including over 60 non-fiction sales to such major publishers as Crown, Penguin, Putnam, Rodale, St. Martin’s, McGraw Hill, Ballantine, Harper Collins, – and many boutique and independent publishers. She’s boosted clients in Readers Digest, People Mag and the London Times.

Examples of her success in the industry are her client’s book, “You’ll Never Nanny in This Town Again.” It hit the New York and LA Times Best Seller lists in 2006 and was recently optioned to E!- Entertainment for development as a sitcom. And Brad Cohen’s book, “Front of the Class,” is now in development with Hallmark for a television movie.

In the past year alone, her clients have made appearances on The Today Show, Oprah, The View, Good Morning America, Martha Stewart, The Apprentice, 20/20, Discovery Channel, Inside Edition, Donny Deutsch and Fox News.

So come touch base and break bread with the Agent who might be your lucky star. And let’s all look forward to this December. □□

She will share secrets for big-time connections that could make you a star. And she really knows; one of her clients was a guest on Oprah.

Says Martin, “Crazy Queries” is sure to be the best advice you’ll ever get on what NOT to do with your writing career.” Get ready to laugh while you learn from first-hand accounts of misguided queries.

You’re guaranteed to chuckle at queries that make truth stranger than fiction. Says Martin, “Some will seem as if the writer can’t possibly be serious, and some will make you wince to think any poor soul ever thought their letter would get them an agent.”

 

 

““““““““““““““““““““““`

* * * * * * *

FAST FORWARD

By: Stephany Spencer

Coming In January…

Anthony Flacco: True Crime and Crime Fiction…

“True crime” is all about getting the story rights; choices of action and character are secondary. Crime fiction is all about getting the story right; choices of genre and style are secondary.”

Anthony, an award-winning author, orator, and actor, with a screenwriting background, frequently gives seminars on crime writing. He is a featured speaker on writing for writers’ conferences and clubs. Look for an interactive seminar, answering many commonly asked questions such as:

1- How does one handle legal matters and agreements with the person one is writing about?
2-  Do you always need to cut in the person you are writing about?
3-  Just what is a sellable idea?
4-  How do we find common ground in the True Crime/Non-Fiction market?

 


COMING IN FEBRUARY...

Kitty Dill: Award-winning Journalism Editor

This will be an exciting interactive seminar wherein Kitty will not only answer your questions about writing Press Releases, getting your pieces on “The Hub,” or in the Ventura County Star newspaper but will also expound on what to do when “60 Minutes” shows up at your door.

These upcoming seminars are sure hits, with something for everyone — so come enjoy, and help make our afternoon a real hit, yourself, by your own presence there.
Ciao till next time!

 

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California Writers Club – SFVServing the writers of Greater Los Angeles

THE SCRIBE

– established since 1983 –

Vol. XXII, No. 1 http://www.calwriterssfv.com January 2008

Who’ll be the Next Star on Oprah? By: Stephany Spencer

Happy New Year to our valued members and guests of the Greater Los Angeles California Writers Club!

We’re starting out with a great program this January 12th featuring the inimitable husband and wife dynamic duo, literary agents, Ashley and Carolyn Grayson.

Dr. Scott Sonders and I have reviewed the web pages of their literary agency and we are impressed and excited with what we see: Ashley and Carolyn Grayson represent literary and commercial fiction and some non-fiction for adults: including business, self- help, scientific, pop culture, true crime, and mind/body/spirit.

They also represent fiction for younger readers. Clients on their fiction list include Isaac Adamson, John Barnes, Andrew Fox, Barb and J.C. Hendee, Bruce Coville, J.B. Cheaney, David Lubar, and Christopher Pike.

The Grayson’s are both members of the Association of Authors’ Representation. Ashley is also a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. And Carolyn is a member of Romance Writers of America.

Since our membership especially appreciates an interactive production that informs and entertains, we know you won’t want to miss the January 12th presentation.

So with that said, let me end my “piece” with this extended “peace” to everyone:

Happy New Year, CWC!

Two-thousand-eight is here,
We’re another year older;
Our membership has grown;
Our writers are bolder.

As we enter this new year,
Let’s make a resolution
To attend our meetings
And be “The Solution.”

And let us spread good cheer
By welcoming each member;
‘Cause, when it’s all said ’n’ done,
That’s what we’ll remember.

Well, happy new year, everyone!

(poem by Stephany Spencer  2008)

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                                                                  Board Members

Scott A. Sonders, President         George Hirai, interim VP1   Debra Zednik, Secretary James Ganatta, Treasurer

Advisory Board:

Venita Louise, Membership Chair,    Stephany Spencer, Programs Chair,
Richard Deets, Critique Groups          Larry Fazio, Events Manager

Mike Austin, Development Chair Olivia Mohler, Hospitality Chair Patty Foltz, Webmaster
Farah Khalid, Videographer

Team Members:

Scott Sonders, State Rep2
Lenora Smalley, SFV Spokesperson     Bruce Zacuto, Sergeant-at-Arms
Leila Morris, Editorial    Megan Masten, Outreach     Elizabeth Jaimes, Hospitality

1 also: Editor of the Scribe
2 also: VP of the CWC-Central Board

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FAST FORWARD, by Stephany Spencer

Coming in February – Kitty Dill:
Award Winning Journalism Editor…
This will be an exciting & interactive seminar. Kitty gives the inside view about writing and submitting Press Releases and getting those releases into newspapers. She ought to know, she’s an editor for the Ventura County Star and their internet “Hub.” Kitty will also titillate on what to do when “60 Minutes” shows up at your door.

Coming in March – Linda O. Johnston: Attorney and Romance Writer…
A practicing attorney armed with a double barrel shotgun, a B.A. in Journalism and a Doctorate in Law! The amazing “Linda O!” juggles her busy schedule to write in the afternoons and teach in the evenings. We’ve long awaited the info she’ll share on the legalese involved in writing. BONUS: bring your questions about writing PR, mystery and romance.

 

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By: Stephany Spencer                                       March  2008

March 8th will spring into action on the green, while we greet you with a “top o’ the morning,” as gifted attorney, teacher, and writer, Linda O. Johnston, will testify to the legalese of writing… the Do’s and Don’ts that could make or break your writing career.

Linda now lives overlooking Lake Hollywood – the perfect place to turn anything into a Romance, Suspense or Mystery novella. Meanwhile, her two dogs protect her from any real danger – while her Muse has her way with her. And that generally happens every afternoon when she escapes the realities of the true crime at her law office and indulges her fantasies in such endeavors as her latest Kendra Ballantyne,”Pet-Sitter” that recently sold to Silhouette Nocturne.

This amazing “Linda O!” has the writers’ enviable double-barrel shotgun: a B.A. in journalism and a JD degree from Duquesne.

Her writing career began by running a small newspaper. Then she worked in advertising and Public Relations and later moved into her Law Practice. As if that were not enough, The multi-talented Linda also has avocations in writing, speaking, and teaching.

A member of the Mystery Writers of America (Sisters in Crime) and Romance Writers of America, we are pleased to have Linda O. Johnston regale us with her Leprechaun magic and lucky charms. I plan to bring my bag and capture some of it, myself, to take home. It sure beats a trip to Ireland to try to acquire some! ◊◊

 

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~ My Original Quotes, Notes, ‘n’ Anecdotes on Writing ‘n’ Creativity

me-waitress-1
Stephany Spencer, age 20, taken off guard

Hi! I am Stephany Spencer, Poet, Lyricist, Memoirist, and Musician — a professional Jackalinof-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 real estate! 

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





writing-man-with-pen-etc

  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 

pearl in oyster

 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 




floral-background-vintage

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






       dog-on-computer

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.

(Stephany Spencer)





 

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






writing-pad-and-desk

~  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)






spiderweb-in-blue

~  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!! Now I no longer need
an X-Ray Machine my muse to find!

( Stephany Spencer)





nice-spiderweb


~  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)






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“Think in terms of possibilities.”
(Emily Dickinson)






 

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)




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Innovation
The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas

as in escaping from old ones.
~ J M Keynes

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



 feet-and-sandals

“Long Fellows”

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)


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My Poem: “The Sands of My Hourglass”

   hourglass-with-sand-and-watch

The sands of time are running
Through my hourglass,
Telling me I don’t have much time –
Taking away my time as sure
As any hands on a clock;
And I can’t get the speed to stop;
Neither my heart that goes
Pitter-pat like raindrops
On the window pane of my life;
And like the pain in my soul
That’s running down my cheeks
Like teardrops on a window glass —
Or the glasses I look out from.

And I wonder what is wrong
And why my time
Won’t stop running away with me
And from me —
Hard as I try to catch up with it —
Get with it — not behind it.
It’s synonymous with
Life’s impermanence,
Which I also want to stop
But cannot control
Any more than the sands running
Through the hourglass
Of my life … or my door-stop.

~ My Song: “A New Day’s Dawning”

blazing-night-view

 A New Day’s Dawning:
By Stephany Spencer  

1- I feel bad, I feel blue,
Sad because this day is through;
Still so much left to do;
But in the morning I’ll start anew.
For God gives, and God takes;
Every day is a gift God makes.
Soon my life will be through,
But Blues, be off with you!
(Chorus)

2-  Same ole story, same ole song:
Can’t believe this day is gone!
But a new day’s coming along,
Beginning at the break of dawn,
   Bringing with it a brand-new song:
We’re all right where we belong;
By doing right, we can’t go wrong,
So blues get along! Begone!

Chorus:
“Every day’s a blessing, every day’s a song;
Grateful for each golden dawn.
Though this day will soon move on,
When one day closes, another comes along.
When one day closes, a new day comes along.

   

My Poem: Tony Robbin Tips: “Emote the Emotion”

girl-in-flowers
“Emote the Emotion”

Emote the emotion,
Over-and-over, 
You want to feel,
Says Tony Robbins,

“Modern Guru Pill.”


You can change your “emotion,” 
By changing your “motion.”
You’re at the wheel.


In other words:
Change physiology,
Change unwanted emotions —
It’s a done deal!

 Stand tall and proud
When you’re afraid,
Whistle a tune that’ll aid;

Turn your frown upside down

When you’re feeling sad —
To soon be feeling glad.

Change your thoughts,
Change your mood;
Sit erect: You’ll feel good.

Good things in

Equals good things out
Of your magic “computer” spout —


Now that’s my “Tips from Anthony.”
Care to have a “shrink”
With me?

My Poem: “Pushy Prez”

    birds-on-plaques

Pushy Prez

I’m repelled by his trying to screw me onto the Volunteers Board

Through arm twisting and emotional blackmail.

It’s a wonder my arm is still in its socket anymore,

And I in control of my own destiny and free will.

Badgering me will get you nothing but backpedaling from me —

That is, pedaling backwards away from you as fast as can be!

4-2010/ 9-2016

~ My Website in Metamorphosis

My Website in Metamorphosis


blue-butterfly

  Hi: It’s now October 17, 2018. Since I started this blog June 27, 2016, my Website  continues to metamorph … to change and develop as I experiment with what speaks to you and me.

 I’ve decided to concentrate on writing my Memoir rather than spend time editing and typing my handwritten poetry, prose, quotes, and anecdotes. This project must continue to be put off. There’s simply too little time for me, a “Jackalynn-of-many-trades.”

I’d love to do everything all at once: Edit and type my collection of handwritten poems at the same time I’m writing a book, blogging, and all else. But keeping up a Website and blogs takes time. It’s something one builds gradually. The same goes for getting my poems and my books out.

Though Rome wasn’t built in a day, a part of me wants to build my Website and blogs that way — or at least by the end of this month! Websites can be a static thing — Set them up, leave them be, depending on what you use your site for. But blog sites are a different species, an ongoing process. It all entails a huge learning curve.

So bear with me as I continue to turn that bend and to curb the time spent writing blogs and publishing songs and poetry so as to concentrate on getting my Memoir written and published. Hope to see you at the end of the “curve” … or bend!

Ciao and cheers!
Your host Stephany

                          @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

My Poem: “Advice for Creatives”

DARE

floral-background-vintage

 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 when Author Steven Pressfield
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!

By Stephany Spencer, C 2016

~ My Essay-Poem: “John Cage and Composing”


The avant-garde composer John Cage said,” The material of music is sound and silence. Integrating these is composing.”

Could we say the material of poetry is also sound and silence — or syllables and silence? And integrating these is composing –– albeit poetry?

 We could, as well, compose music and poems that go together … compose songs, that is: Songs are but poems/ lyrics set to music.

Now I digress into a poem, 
And confess it may be set to music!
Blame it on my muse:

It’s a pretty broad spectrum to contemplate upon.
After I’ve contemplated more, I’ll enlarge upon it —
Perhaps by way of a musical composition long —
Or even a song … or sonnet!

Now, diverging a bit from my theme,
I’m aware of what some “poetry authorities” mean
and say about poetry with rhythm and rhyme.
Enter to my rescue poet Lord Byron
Who said ( paraphrasing I am):

Some people prefer poetry without rhythm or rhyme,
But as for me, all the time,
Give me poetry with rhythm and rhyme.”

Amen to that, I say!

Now, till another time,
Have a nice day,
And enjoy this rhyme …
Or have it your way.
Any old way is okay
With me!

But I’ll rhyme on a dime,
Or sing for a dime and tea —
Any old time is best for me!
 I promise you’ll get your $.10 worth …
I’ll throw along with it some music and mirth!

Now, how’s that for an ad-libbed verse … or line?
Well, we’ll be picking up here again next time!    :)~

 Stephany Spencer, 9/13/2016

*NOTE: The above piece “John Cage and Composing” inspired my niece Vicky Rogers LeBaron to compose the following beautiful poem:

In Adulation of Song

How can a song trifle with my emotions so?
It tosses my tears on the beaches below.
Then my resurrected heart soars 
Far above the craggy shores.
As it reaches the crest of the waves,
Suddenly it breaches,
And I’m thrust into the depths of another emotion, 
On the rolling waves of the sound in motion! 

What a rush to feel the melodious sound
As it vibrates through me to my soles on the ground!
A cacophonic pleasure with each passing measure.
And I realize:
I have found the treasures that abound
In the waves of sound.

In an instant I’m moved to a place I’ve not been,
But is somehow familiar and comes from within.
How does it transport me fro and to?
 Do I hear with my ears or the thoughts that ensue?

The vibration surrounds me 
And fills me clear through! 
Is this a primal instinct or a thing I’ve learned new—
To be still and listen? Really listen. 
To ride the sound waves, to soar on it’s breeze
Takes almost no effort,
It’s done with such ease.

So, oblivious of anything I could lose or retain,
The melodious refrain is controlling my brain,
And all other thoughts disappear.
Momentarily there is nothing to fear.
So I let myself fall.

I’m lost in the swells of vibrato, staccato, legato …
They beckon me to immerse myself
In this sea and see.
The chorus extolls, then a lonely bell tolls
And soon rapture ensues!
My heart strings play along
In adulation of song.

Completely irreverent of my desires,
Whether the sounds of nature
Or the singing of choirs,
I’m carried away on the wings of the song,
Irresistible and enthralling, my heart lauds.
Shall I try and resist as my soul persists
To insist that I bury my heart and mind
In pealing waves of the oceans I find?
Nay, I say.

As I rise to the top of the waves,
The song fades.
I catch my breath as the ocean calms;
Nothing but stillness fills the air.
I am there,
Immersed in peace and serenity,
Feeling like an eternity of bliss
Is echoing in my mind.
And the song in my heart echoes,
“Until next time.”

The oceans of sound in motion
Were written in the measures of creation;
These songs are for our elation.
We must learn to listen.
I surrender my devotion
With my heart’s emotions,
And I will ride the waves of song.
Will you come along?

By Vicky Rogers LeBaron
9-24-2018

My Poem: “Comical Comedians Madigan and Gaffigan”

madigan                              jim-gaffigan

 What a brilliant comedian is Jim Gaffigan!
He makes me laugh, then laugh again.
His moniker is “Mr. Universe,”
And he’s earned this name.
For most standup comedians’ work
Is loaded with filth, smut, and worse —
To make up for ad-libbing that’s lame,
They employee obscenities and curse.
But Gaffigan’s humor is satire clean —
At least any of it that I’ve seen.
If only there were more so funny
Without being dirty and mean.

Another comic like Gaffigan,
Is hilarious Kathleen Madigan.
She, too, makes me laugh ‘n’ laugh again.
Both have lines filled with humor and wit,
Sans obscenities and words like *#%!

   (By Stephany Spencer  2013)

My Front-yard Water-Smart Project

img_6284-1my-yard-3-9-2016

This is a part of my front yard, taken around two years ago. I removed the lawn and planted California friendly, drought resistant Gazania and other water-Smart plants.

Then I used red Canyon rock and other such to further create landscape design and color — plus a matching mulch for around the plants.

By now the Gazania is blooming so beautifully.

Have you ever done landscape design? And do you love beautiful landscape? That’s the artist in you.

 

 

~ Experimenting with Theme:

             My emurging self

       “My Emerging Self”

Hi and welcome! This is my first theme and header that really spoke to me when I started my fledgling Website and Photoblogging June 27, 2016.

I borrowed it from niece Dana Jordan’s Facebook picture for lack of time, in the beginning, to find my own idea and Header. Tried it out for size, posting it on my Photoblog Website Home page to see how it looked and worked.

I’ve since found my own theme, one more suitable for my Photoblogging. But I’m keeping the above image on my Website for Auld Lang Syne — and because I love the design — the beautiful painting and the theme, “My Emerging Self.”

~ My Introductory Blog

My Introductory Blog

 

IMG_3642

Beulah Stephany Spencer-LeBaron, 2016, age 70

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.

~ My First Blog

My First Blog

with-sunglasses
Beulah Stephany Spencer-LeBaron, 2015, age 69

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.)

I was a member of Champagne Toastmasters (https://ChampagneToastmasters.com). And am a longtime member of Songmakers, Inc. (https://Songmakers.org).

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)

~ My Song “Painted Spring:” A Take-off from the Spanish Traditional Song “De Colores”

A Lesson Too Late In The Learning:  Write It or Regret It

cropped-peacocks.jpg

Recently at the California Writers Club, a fellow poet and guest speaker, Deborah Edler Brown, advised:

“At the moment of inspiration, record it. Don’t wait! For it’s like babies lost you can never retrieve if you don’t record your inspiration when it comes.”

If only I had realized that wisdom twenty years ago while I was teaching bilingual education. For then I so wished I had an English translation of the well-known Spanish children’s folk song, De Colores. But I did not have time to work out one.

It’s not easy to keep a song lyrical and with rhyme when translating it from one language to another — especially if you want to keep the same music and rhythm.

However, one morning I awoke and there before me, like a dream, was a beautiful English translation of this song! Not appreciating enough the gift of inspiration I had just received, I continued to do pressing chores for a few hours.

By the time I sat down to record the lyrics, to my dismay around one-third of these inspired words had disappeared from my memory forever.

Being a poet, I was able to work out fill-in words and lines to replace those lost. But they are not as gratifying nor satisfying as the full version I had been inspired with, then inadvertently lost.

Nonetheless, the translation I do have is better than any other English translation of this song I have since found online or on YouTube.

I will present the 16th-century Spanish traditional song first, followed by my inspired English translation:

11116395355_b1149a1f49_k-jpgflower-rainbow

De Colores

1- De Colores, de colores se visten

Los campos en la primavera;

De colores, de colores son los pajaritos

Que vienen de afuera;

De colores, de colores es el arco iris

Que vemos lucir:

Refrain:

Y por eso los grandes amores

De muchos colores

Me gustan a mi.  (Repeat)

2- Canta el gallo, canta el gallo con

El quiri-quiri-quiri-quiri-quiri,

La gallina, la gallina con el

Cara-cara-cara-cara-cara!

Los polluelos, los polluelos con

El pio-pio-pio-pio-pi!


rainbow

* Painted spring

(My inspired version of “De Colores”)                

1- In the springtime in the valleys

The countryside glistens with pallets of color;

In the springtime in the meadows

The birds fill the air with their beautiful color;

In the springtime comes the arch of the rainbow

And spreads its grand hues from afar!

Chorus:

And this is the reason I love the spring season:

There’s splendorous color to see —

Yes, this is the reason this beautiful season

Brings such joy and pleasure to me!

2- In the barnyard in the morning

The red rooster crows,“How do you do?”

In the hen coop in the daytime

The white hens announce every egg that is new;

In the garden in the sunshine the yellow chicks

Scratch through the flowers and dew.

(back to chorus)


  • Thanks to my creative cousin Jessica LeBaron for coming up with a perfect title for my song! 🙂
  • * NOTE: Music to “De Colores,” and my take-off from it, can be found under “De Colores” on YouTube.)

Welcome to My Photoblog Site!

Welcome to My Photoblog Site!

 

with-sunglasses
Beulah Stephany Spencer-LeBaron, 2015, age 69

 

Hi! I am Stephany Spencer, poet, lyricist, memoirist– a professional Jackalyn-of-many-trades. Welcome to my own little corner of the world-wide-web! 

As we speak, my Website I started June of 2016 continues to grow and develop along with my continuing to develop the skills of being a Webmaster and first-time blogger/Photoblogger.

It’s work so fun, I doubt I’ll ever be done! I do love the creative process — the “one-on-one.” And am thrilled to share it with you on my little part of the globe — My little piece of the planet’s valuable virtual Internet real estate! 

 My goal is to blog on enlightening and entertaining “shoot-from-the-hip” insights, essays, personal stories, and creative works — especially my poetry and memoirs. If I may serve my visitors, otherwise, please advise!

Should you be a Creative and curious person, then this blog is for you. I plan to post my blogs sporadically, now, to give me more time to get my book/ Memoir written.

As for my blogging, 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 time allows. If you have a topic you want me to address, please leave a comment below.

I’m looking forward to connecting with you. Till then, feel free to click around and scroll down 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, cheers, and have a happy life!

Your Host,
Stephany Spencer

Think in terms of possibilities.
(Emily Dickinson)