Wednesday, May 2, 2018

NEWS - NO INSECURITIES TODAY AND MOMMY KAY IS A WINNER!

Good morning All,


I have EXCELLENT NEWS. My snippet for the ROAD LESS TRAVELED blog hop sponsored by the WEP won FIRST PLACE~

SO, I don't have any insecurities about my writing this month. Instead I will inspire those of us who HAVE BEEN in an incredible writer's slump, like I have over the past two years, THAT one day it DOES PASS!. You just never know what will trigger it. Inspiration can STRIKE at any moment! It has for me...

My new Memoir/WEP is MOMMY KAY- About a very UNFORGETTABLE  woman for  her time or ANY for that matter.

The inspiration for this memoir came about, just in passing. My neighbor at my condo in Orlando has a few pups. Hamlet, my Westie, being the friendly sort, dragged me over to have a visit with her pups. We got to talking and after a few chats, the subject of her mother came up. Well, the rest was history. After hearing about a few of Kay's OUTRAGEOUS romps through life, I mentioned to Kim that I was a writer and would be very interested in writing Kay's memoir. Kim's face glowed. "OMG, my mother had always wanted to write her story," she said breathless. So, a few weeks later we signed a contract and I got straight to work.

THE WEP was having their usual blog hop/contest with their usual fabulous prompts, and the "ROAD LESS TRAVELED" prompt was the perfect one to feature a snippet from Kay's memoir. Kay is the epitome of someone who traveled on the road less traveled!

This snippet was part of the turning point in Kay's life. And now it is my turning point as well. My slump is finally over. I have come back to the joy of writing once more. I never really thought I would be so excited about writing another book, but Kay's love of life and amazing attitude towards it, truly catapulted me into writing again. So for those of you who feel you will never write anything worthwhile again....think of MOMMY KAY! 


I'd like to thank Alex and all the staff at the IWSG! Their website for written, facebook, and twitter pages are a cut above the rest and an AMAZING source for us writers. Please drop by Alex's site to join or for the list of other amazing writers who help to inspire those of us who are insecure about our writing... or if you need to vent out your insecurities or look for guidance.


So here is the winning entry for those who may have missed my WEP post! And have time to read it...
MOMMY KAY... is the story of Kay Hickman, a single 18 year old woman from Queens, NY on her way to class at Hofstra University in October of 1954. She nearly runs down her soon to be Italian American husband. By January of 1955 she marries Nick, a 21 year old air force pilot. Their daughter Kim is born in December of that same year. By the end of 1956, they are divorced.


And now, without further ado....Here's Chapter Three: Titled- Watch Out World...Here She Comes!  Narrated by her daughter Kim. Take it away, Kim..



The average American woman back in 1957 kept a lovely home, cooked a nutritious meal, raised their children, and lived a quiet, simple life in the suburbs: think Donna Reed and June Cleaver. But not my mother. As a newly divorced woman, Kay Hickman Ferrara decided it was time to take the proverbial “bull by the horns” and transform herself. 

“If Lucille Ball can do it, so can I!” Kay always said.

So, she first dyed her light brown hair a stunning shade of Auburn red and added just a hint of golden highlights. Then bought her first padded push up bra,(not that she needed it), and stuffed her considerable boobs and buxom body into her first designer dress, featuring a plunging neckline.

Towering well over six feet tall in heels and “big” lacquered bouffant hair, she entered Macy’s at 34th St. in Herald Square and marched up to the Madame Tovar counter, looking for a job. Madame Tovar, who specialized in creating handmade chignons and hair pieces of every possible hair color, took one look at my mother’s incredible coiffure, and hired her on the spot. The “new” Kay learned fast how to create Madame Tovar’s chignons, but mom’s true talent laid in the application. Within a few weeks, she was the talk of Macy’s. Every customer left looking trendy and Oh so stylish. This new, clean, lacquered style had Kay’s signature written all of over it, and it became the craze of the late 1950’s, years before the fashion industry featured bouffants in the 60’s. 

Mommy Kay, as I called her at that time, was on her way up…

With all the hoopla in the store and the lines of hundreds of admirers, Kay was a shining star at Macy’s. She began traveling across the country with Madame Tovar, demonstrating her creations in Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and even Miami. But Mom loved NYC and wanted to be closer to me. She retuned to Macy’s with a thundering applause from all her coworkers and clientele.

It didn't take long, to catch the eye of a young diamond buyer. Carlton Baumann’s tall, broad shouldered frame and dark Eastern European looks, escorted the new Macy’s star all over town. They were seen everywhere together: at the opera, the symphony, and quiet dinners in charming bistros, dotting along Broadway. He had introduced my mother to a whole new world of culture, something she had never really experienced living in Middle Village, Queens. 

One balmy Saturday night, he whisked her off to the Copa Cabana. After a night of dancing and champagne, they returned to his small apartment in Murray Hill. Madly in love, my sister was conceived that night.

By today’s standards, the news of a child conceived out of wedlock is hardly shocking, but in 1957 it was scandalous. Against his manager’s advice, Carlton, the honorable Jewish man that he was, proposed to Kay.

Carlton borrowed his father’s car, and they drove to Maryland and married, without having to wait the usual three days for their blood tests. Once back in New York, Carlton packed up, moved out of his apartment in Murray Hill, and the three of us relocated to a small house in Boro Park, Brooklyn. Carlton insisted on adopting me. Mom agreed and contacted Nick, my biological father. It didn't take long to convince him to give me up, since he had never paid a cent of child support or had not seen me since the day he was arrested. 

Six months later, the adoption papers had arrived, then Mom gave birth to my sister, Stephanie. Soon after, Madame Tovar demanded her “Star” return to Macy’s, and she did. 

My baby sister and I were looked after by our sweet Jewish neighbor, Mrs. Silverman, and by my fourth birthday, I had learned how to answer the Jewish prayers of the Shabbos. My new Dad was not happy about this; he had no intention of raising us Jewish. He felt we should be raised Protestant, like our mother. Thankfully Mrs. Silverman understood and still agreed to take care of us.

At Macy's, Madame Tovar's sales had gone up, up, up, skyrocketing through the roof, and setting all kinds of store sales records. The demand for her chignons and hair pieces were hotter than ever. All of this due to Mom's incredible talent with a rat comb and endless cans of Lacquer hair spray. Then, at the peak of her career, Madame Tovar was slapped with a huge lawsuit by a rival wig company. Since my mother wasn’t licensed to do hair by the state of NY, she was no longer allowed to demonstrate her fabulous hair styles. It was a sad situation for sure, but at least the atmosphere and the hundreds of Macy's customers, would breathe a bit easier now.

The following day, Madame Tovar approached Kay with the distressing news of her dismissal. “…but since you are my top girl, I will be more than happy to pay for you to attend beauty school, and then you can return back here to Macy's where you are so loved and admired."

Kay thought a moment. “I think it’s time for me to move on…but thank you all the same.” 


Madame Tovar’s jaw dropped, as she watched her shining “Star” pick up her Louis Vuitton bag, turn on her sparkling aqua colored high heel, and click her way down the marble aisle, never to grace Macy's or Madame Tovar’s counter again.

I hope you all enjoyed it!  

THANKS for Stopping by and have a WONDERFUL DAY!

50 comments:

  1. That's awesome it won first place - and kicked you out of your slump! Now you know you were meant to write the whole story.

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    1. I totally knew I was the right person the moment I heard where MK was from.... My dad was born and raised in Queens, and I still have tons of cousins there. So I know this type of personality very well.

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  2. OMGosh! I'm so proud of you. This is awesome. The piece is fabulous. Congratulations on winning and for sticking it out! I know how hard this came be. Sending you major congratulatory cheers!

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    1. Thanks Sheri!!!!! I am really happy about it.

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  3. Congrats on your WEP first place win! WEP is a great blog hop to get the juices flowing and receive amazing support for a piece.

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  4. Michael, that's wonderful! Bless your little Hamlet.

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    1. Thanks L. Diane! Yes, he is quite the character and a very social boy!

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  6. Congrats! That's awesome. I hope you continue to enjoy this project and that it comes together with ease.

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    1. I hope so to, Crystal.... It is fun, but a lot of work. I have to do a lot of research for backgrounds etc. Kim is awesome, but she was so young at the time, the details are fuzzy, but she remembers the stories and that is the most import thing.

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  7. Congrats on your win. Way to go. This was an awesome story.

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  8. Congrats on the WEP win, Michael!

    (I left a comment on the previous posts but they were swallowed...probably in your spam folder...)

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    1. Thanks Michelle! I did find them! Something is weird, I got about three comments that came to my email, but don't show up in the comments at my post.

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  9. Hi Michael, congratulations on your snippet winning the first prize. This is an awesome story. Loved it.

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  10. Congrats on winning! Sometimes we just need that little bit of encouragement to get out of a writing slump.

    Ronel visiting on Insecure Writer's Support Group day: Autumn Decisions

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  11. Congrats on winning! And those furry friends of ours are great for bringing people together, aren't they? What a fantastic opportunity.

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  12. Oh my gosh, Michael - congrats! Kay's story is off to a GREAT start.

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  13. Congratulations on the win! I appreciate an uplifting post! Good luck with your memoirs.

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  14. Great that you won Michael. Glad you are out of your "slump". No time to read just now, but I will return.

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    1. Thanks Jo.... No worries, it's same one you read on my previous post, but more polished now.

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  15. Congrats on winning first place. And glad that you are so inspired to write.

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  16. Hi Michael. Your entry shone this prompt. I'm glad all the planets aligned for you!

    Denise x

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  17. Congratulations!!!! I'm so proud! You are inspiring me to get back at it.

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    1. PATTY!!!!! OMG... so good to see you here! Thanks! I has been ages and I really do hope you get back to your writing!

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  18. I'm thrilled that you wrote for the WEP and double thrilled that it won! So well deserved. Wishing all the best with the rest of Kay's story! Can't wait to read more!

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    1. Thanks Renee! You'll be getting the full soon. I hope. It's taking a bit longer than I had expected, but that is how writing is.... It's done, when it's done!

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  19. Congrats on the win at WEP Michael. Well deserved. Glad to see you so excited about writing again :)

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  20. Yay you!!! Love when living life creates opportunities! :)

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  21. How wonderful for you to use your skills to chronicle a real person's life. Go you!!

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  22. Good for her. And the best is that it's a true story and you have done it such incredible justice. Glad you're writing again. Congratulations.

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  23. A HUGE congrats, Michael!! That's so wonderful and well deserved!

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  24. I love that it was a turning point for both of you! Awesome! Such an inspirational story. :) Congrats!
    ~Jess

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  25. So happy for you, Michael! Congratulations on the WEP win—totally deserved. I remember reading the snippet when you first posted it; it's so, so good. You're right, those writing slumps do pass :)

    Thanks so much for the enthusiasm and good energy you shared over at Michelle's IWSG post for my bit on nonfiction—I was thrilled to see you there!
    Guilie @ Life In Dogs

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  26. Congratulations on your win-very well deserved. I really enjoyed the excerpt. And it's so great you've rediscovered your love of writing.

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  27. Congratulations, Michael! I'm sure you are in great spirits. :)

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  28. Oh wow, congratulations!

    And I'm dying to know what Kay did next!

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