Musician devoted to Justice, Creativity, and Courage

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TuesDayNewsDay Vol.2 Issue 20, December 3

Welcome everyone! I took a Thanksgiving week hiatus from writing and today I’ve returned with some wonderful experiences that had nothing to do with shopping or Black Friday!

Dedication: Mister Rogers, one of my two most-important people (alongside Dr. Maya Angelou), is the subject of my admiration today. All too often we hear statements like, “Kids these days, the don’t know how good they have it.” Or “If you’d only just ____(insert someone else’s desired action here)____, then you’d be better off.” Well, Mister Rogers did not subscribe to those kinds of perspectives. He was an integral part of my childhood. Something I realized today, is whenever someone shows me nurturing and care, I get emotional. I become so emotional sometimes, that I cry – even if it’s only on the inside. When someone shows genuine care and wants nothing from me but my wellbeing, it affects me in ways that are unexplainable. I would like to thank Mister Rogers for inspiring vulnerability in children. When I can remember, I work on it. Vulnerability and trust of others are core tenants to happiness, I do believe. Even though I struggle greatly with both at times, I can think of Mister Rogers’ and do my best.

The new movie about him with Tom Hanks is exceptional. Go see it.

Song: This is Mister Rogers singing “I Like You!”

Dear Humans, The candles on the table are burning down, exposing the light behind the Virgenes de Guadalupe (that’s right, there are two on my table.). It takes time to let the light shine sometimes. Today, the light shone through the trees onto my favorite rock. Around here, Bruce calls it the “magic rock”. It’s lovely to sit on it and read as you listen to the stream bubbling across the rocks. The elm drops her leaves all around so it’s covered in yellow at this time of year. I was inspired to go and sit there today to do my weekly song series video. Here’s the link to that: Tuesday Song Series w/Anita Lorraine!

This week, I am headed back into the studio to re-record the Changin’ Time Blues. The original recording didn’t leave room for a solo and Bruce has such a sweet solo in that song, I didn’t want to leave it out. Also, the other tracks can’t be recorded until that happens.

It’s coming up on the end of the semester with my two “real” jobs with Democracy Matters and teaching at Alamance Community College. It’s been hectic juggling the schedules as I do not have a very clear handle on time and space. The creativity running through me doesn’t understand clocks and deadlines… I am very much looking forward to the several weeks off. I hope to get into the studio more and to finish the recording sessions by mid-January when I go back to teaching and Democracy Matters starts back from Winter break.

Thanksgiving was wonderful. I enjoyed seeing my sister and her family. They came down from Greenville and we all went to eat buffet lunch in Burlington. Maw Maw and Paw Paw prefer to eat out for this holiday. Fine with me. As long as there is cranberry sauce and stuffing, I’m good. Truly, Thanksgiving is a mixed bag for me, along with a bunch of other holidays. The history of this country is steeped in genocide and praise of greedy murderers and thieves… Thanksgiving and its next door neighbor Black Friday are bedfellows for sure. Many families now choose to, however, focus on their gratitude and make the best of an otherwise jaded history. My classes are learning about those jaded histories and I am proud to be teaching them the real histories of this country. We have to start somewhere. …not all is bad though, I have two families I get to enjoy on Thanksgiving and the Alexanders’ house was amazing. Filled to the BRIMM it was. My (spirit adopted) brother Skip, I have mentioned him here before, came from the Alexander family. It’s sacred to me to be welcomed into their house to break bread. I am grateful for them in my life.

After the festivities, while boycotting Black Friday, I take my nieces and nephews out on the town and we play all day until we’re all so tired we could take naps literally anywhere. I love them. The oldest two are 16 and the youngest are 8 and 3. They are the most wonderful kids. They are sweet, giving, fun, smart, and thoughtful. They are all creative and playful. I’m partial of course. 😉 It was a blast getting to spend all day with them. In fact, that whole day and night was spectacular. I didn’t buy one Xmas gift!

Love to all of you; I hope my political drudgery doesn’t bum you out. I am simply not okay with being silent about how I feel and what I think anymore. So! Love on your heads. Be thankful for what you have and know where it all came from. Xoxo


This week in pictures:

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A Letter to tiny Anita

I am making a promise to myself right now.

I will always protect you Anita. I will look out for your best interests and remove you from harmful, hurtful situations. I will never allow anyone to abuse you in any way. I will do my best to recognize quickly if that is happening. I will always validate your feelings. They are legitimate and worthy of consideration, even when everyone else chooses to ignore them or forgets them altogether. I will ask you how you feel and what you think about any given situation, but especially hard situations. I will give you time to consider them and space to come to your conclusions without pressure. I’ll give you all the time you need to pray, journal, and seek answers. When you have found them, I will honor them and be proud of you for the work you’ve done of searching your own soul for your own truth. I will light a candle for your resilience and support you in your decisions and love you unconditionally. I will understand that you are doing your best and that your best will not look the same in all situations.

Lastly, I will remember that it is OK if you change your mind and be open to learning what caused you to do so. You deserve all these things, as does everyone else. However, I will always remember only *I* can provide *YOU* with these things, no one else. I cannot provide for everyone and I am only obligated to you to act in your best interests. Your well-being and safety must come first. I will always believe you, trust. I will always take nurturing care of you.

You deserve love and a safe home to which you can return at any time, I will give that to you. Especially at Christmas, if you need to return home, I will take you home.

I love you,


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TuesDayNewsDay Vol.2 Issue 19, November 19

Dedication: The Preacher Keith who surprised me with a musical instrument today at the coffee shop.  Tears were brought to my eyes when he brought it out.  He said to me, “You will do with this guitar what I cannot and will not. I want you to have it.  I love your music, it is music ministry.”  What a sweet man.  Thanks dude. You rocked my day. Here’s a description of the new little baby, I named her “Preach” – “‘Cordoba Mini R’ features a solid spruce top paired with rosewood back and sides for a deep, full tone.” It sure sounds lovely.  I played a few tunes with it today and learned the Gm chord almost immediately.  I find that all my instruments have a chord they came with.  My Mexican guitar came with A#m7 as her chord.  The Ibanez was E. Straight up E. Image result for cordoba mini r

Song: Precious Memories as sung by the infamous Jim Reeves.  In his memory, this was written, “If I, a lowly singer, dry one tear, or soothe one humble human heart in pain, then my homely verse to God is dear, and not one stanza has been sung in vain.”
Written by Linnea Crowther – I sang this song tonight on Facebook if’n ya wanna hear it.  My Aunt Helen requested that this song be sung at her funeral.  I sang it with tears in my eyes. She was 96 when she passed last year. Hard to believe.

Screen Shot 2019-11-19 at 10.58.48 PMScreen Shot 2019-11-19 at 11.01.54 PM


Dear Humans, Autumn is sharing her bounty with us in color and for me in creativity! The album is coming along nicely. Some of the songs sound so beautiful, way more beautiful than I could have imagined.  There is only one more left for me to record and we’ll be heading into a stairwell for that recording.  Lo-fi effects in the house! I’m scheduling and rehearsing with the accompanying musicians who will soon be making the magic up in the studio.  Drums, bass, mandolin, piano, guitar and maybe a few more surprises.  Those souls who are helping me are doing sacred work for this project.  I can’t wait to share our magic with you! If you’d like to donate to the studio costs, you may do so here for the album fundraiser! Thank you! Every bit counts! (You can also read about how I got here if you’re interested on the GoFundMe page as well.) We have almost reached our goal! Together you’ve helped to raise $4170 out of $5200! #SurrenderingToTheSacred

Tuesdays have been fun each week sharing songs with you all.  I had no idea it would continue after the initial songs on the album were played, but it felt right to continue!

Last week, Crystal Bright and I played at a restaurant in Greensboro called “Lucky 32”.  The crowd was lovely.  Thank you to our dear Family who came in support of our music.  Here is the link to our duo portion of the show (forgive the poor camera skills *shrugs shoulders* What can I say, I do my best…)

Love to everyone, bundle up and don’t just tell your people you love them, SHOW them!



This week in pictures:




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Candlelight on a Friday Night

Everyone’s trying to find themselves these days;

seems like the topic of the decade.

Lovers masked behind the text on a screen,

alcohol masking all emotions to be seen.

Our game of tug-of-war between our projections and our shadows,

we stand, stunned in silent stillness, wondering how deep the wound goes.

We’ve forgotten the non-electric world,

between fingers, between addictions, distractions….the absurd.

I’m always on the verge of falling in love… and a desire to be safely furled.

My fear of intimacy may actually be unknowing – can I learn?

Who can teach me?  How do attraction and true love work?

I sit here by candlelight on a cold and dreamy Friday,

wondering if my body’s wasting away.

All the while, imagine the line outside,

hanging my drying lingerie.



TuesDayNewsDay Vol.2 Issue 18, November 5

Dedication: Today’s issue is dedicated to Maggie! She’s my bff and source of unending immoral laughter! She loves animals and growing things, people… not so much.  She has a healthy addiction to overalls and she loves cold weather like I do.   She’s introverted and would rather stay home in most circumstances.  She loves making lists and learning.  She makes bangin’ pintos and cornbread.  She loves to can and put up food for the Winter.  We agree and disagree on much and still get along because we respect each other.  She has the best smile I’ve ever seen, there’s always food in her fridge and coffee within arms length.  ♥

Image may contain: 1 person, textImage may contain: 1 person, smiling, hat and closeup

Song: Canned Goods by Greg Brown – this song reminds me of Maggie and Rebecca Boogz.  My besties are all about the canning.   ♥♥♥  Canned Goods video

“Let the wild Winter wind bellow and blow… I’m as warm as a July to-may-to! Taste a little of the Summer.. gradma put it all in jars…

When I go to see my grandma
I gain a lot of weight
With her dear hands
she gives me plate after plate.
She cans the pickles, sweet & dill
She cans the songs of the whippoorwill
And the morning dew
and the evening moon ‘N’
I really got to go see her pretty soon
‘Cause these canned goods
I buy at the store
Ain’t got the summer
in them anymore.
You bet, grandma,
as sure as you’re born
I’ll take some more potatoes
and a thunderstorm. ”

Here’s the link to this weeks Facebook song series: Tuesday Song Series Video!

Dear Humans: Last week, I had the pleasure of singing with the Spektacles at 2nd Wind in Carrboro for Halloween! I dressed up as Columbia; we were all characters from one of my faves, Rocky Horror Picture Show. My hair was crazy Manic Panic red. Took me an hour to clean my bathroom after I washed it out.

I went to the Frida and Diego exhibit with Robert (my badass friend and drummer) over the weekend – it was a surprise! That was awesome. It was also Dia de los Muertos and the museum had altars (ofrendas) all over the place in addition to the exhibits themselves. Later on that night, my neighbors had their first inaugural fire pit party; I LOVED the SMORES!

This week is booming with business! Crystal Bright and I have a show a week from today in Greensboro at the Lucky 32 restaurant. I’m looking forward to that. Tomorrow night, I’m cooking dinner at my dear friend Martha’s house for her houseguest from Chile, Nino, who’s presenting his thesis at UNC! Thursday I’m speaking on a panel at Guilford College with two professors. We are hosted by Democracy Matters, College Republicans and the College Democratic Socialists on the topic of the 2020 election and the problem of big money in politics. Big action week!

Right now, I’m stoked about reading Joni Mitchell’s new book, Morning Glory on the Vine and getting back into painting after a long hiatus. The last two weeks have been very creative and inspiring with poetry and drawing, song-writing and painting. I even meditated once last week!

Our Shake Sugaree Jonathan Byrd residency Kraken community lost a dear friend this past week, James Richardson. I didn’t know him personally, but there are many who are mourning the loss of his soul. He was a jolly one, I remember that. Big, beautiful smile. I send out my condolences to his family and friends. Jonathan Byrd wrote a beautiful poem for him, this is the link: The Byrd Word – today’s blog from Jonathan Byrd

Bless all your souls, I love you.

This week in photographs:


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Waxing Moon

Smile I see in the sky

I mirror back

every single time.


Never have I looked up and frowned

or wished they’d take that incessant light down.


The stars dance all around,

thousands of miles

I sing along inside as they whisper by

each with their own unique styles.


As the darkened treetops block my view

little windows branches make, so I can see You.


I was born when the Moon was growing

and now she tells me about who I am

when she is dark or even when she’s showing.


Her pregnancy of light

this waxing Moon

a reflection of many promises

of birthing, of blooms.



waxing crescent moon

Photo credit: (I was born on a waxing gibbous moon. Here’s a link to a photo of an art piece I did about the Half-Moon, waxing gibbous: )

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TuesDayNewsDay Vol.2 Issue 17, October 30 Caution: Trigger Warning, references to sexual violence

TuesDayNewsDay Vol.2 Issue 17, October 30th – CAUTION: Trigger Warning – this newsletter contains triggering sexual violence references. Please take care.

Dedication: Today’s issue is dedicated to my therapist Karen. Today, while going through what came up in therapy, I realized I would drive to the place, where in October of 1990, I was first molested. I was seven years old. I decided I would drive there, sit on the ground and take a photo. I would also take something of the earth to work with this healing. As the idea came to me, a light bulb exploded in my head. Karen said, “Anita, don’t take your wounded little girl there without your whole adult self holding her, seeing her, and telling her that you are there for her no matter what. You are her nurturing parent now, hold her in your arms.”

I pulled my car into the driveway for the first time ever on my way home from therapy, realizing I have never driven into that driveway before in my life.

This spot, which I have to drive by every time I go to my grandparents’ house, is also a block from where my mother still lives with the pedophile step-father just across the railroad tracks. When I say this healing is a daily, a moment to moment process, I mean it. Literally facing those places every day has wrecked havoc on my insides – but I am resilient and strong, vulnerable and honest with myself. The place is a vacant lot in a trailer park on Pomeroy Street in Graham, where my home used to sit. Now it’s an empty, dirty space with an overgrown concrete platform over which there was a carport. Under that porch, I remember having to take all of our stuffed animals outside to be thrown away because there was such a terrible flea infestation. I remember sneaking up late at night after everyone was asleep, turning on the television to watch Alfred Hitchcock and the Twilight Zone, my face about an inch from the screen, ever wary of any sounds coming from my mother’s end of the trailer lest I get caught.

Vividly, I remember the game we were playing that night in October. My baby sister, a developmentally disabled boy named Jason, and his sister Tasha and I were playing charades. Jason and Tasha were the teenage children of my mother’s red-headed boyfriend. We played in teams and it was decided we would go into the closet to decide what animal or character we would pretend to be. I was seven years old, my sister was 2. I was on Jason’s team. Jason was sixteen. (Typing this I can feel my heart racing and the old familiar anxiety aching in my chest and shoulders, my left eye and cheek twitching.). When we went into that closet and Jason molested me, I was too afraid to move, too afraid to scream, too afraid to fight, too afraid to do anything at all except to freeze. So, I froze. I could feel his icy cold, trembling hands on me. To this day I can still feel the darkness of that closet, the walls closing in around me. When we came out of that closet, I was sick. I don’t remember anything else. I don’t remember the game, nothing. I remember after they left that night, I told my mother what happened. She said to me, “Honey, if it happens again, let me know.”

Those words etched endless caves into the crevices of my heart. Those words are the haunting. Those words represent the moment I knew I was on my own. With no one else to turn to, my grandparents were gone to Disneyland at the time, I was completely alone. I prayed and prayed and heard nothing. Those words mark the day when I, as a seven year old, realized that god didn’t exist and that I wasn’t worth saving. Those words created children’s tears. They cannot be undone, and of course, it happened again.

Despite those memories buried deep in endless caves and my mother within shouting distance, I went. It was my nurturing, accepting, loving, and whole adult self who sat on that ground. I felt the cold, wet grass and soil underneath me. I looked at the trailers to the right and left of me. My phone was propped on the very metal bracket that once held that trailer to the ground. I snapped a shot of me sitting on that sacred ground. It took less than a minute. Leaving, I searched for a four-leaf clover in the tiny patch of yard, but found none. Instead, now a big green black walnut from that place is with me. I plan to do some ritual with that walnut. It tried to escape twice from me before walking up my back-porch steps in Saxapahaw. Something inside told me not to bring it inside my house, so I left it on the back patio table. It is not clear what kind of ritual will come about, but it is sure to be a powerful one of releasing the physical ghosts of that moment. It will be one of forgiving my mother for not knowing or realizing what she was doing. It will be a process of exorcising the grief and trauma which has been sitting in my bones and blood, blooming into the person you see today. Today is all I have.

Quote: Choice is all we get, change is all that’s real.

Song: Silence is the song today folks, listen to your heart beat. – my Tuesday video song series is available here: TuesDay Song Series Video on Facebook

Dear Humans,

Today’s post wasn’t meant to be this way. The events of today were not planned, but have made a mark. The words of my song, Darlene, record this event in a lyrical, symbolic sort of way. Being an artist is a privilege because it lets us put words and visions to feelings and thoughts. We are able to somehow transform our feelings into a universal language others can share. Today with Karen, I admitted to trying to let go of my fears: people won’t like my arts and I’m not good enough to walk in the footsteps of my idols. Slowly and purposefully, she said, “Let’s transform that. You are working on your language, so let’s start here.” So after thinking, my mouth said, “I am letting go of my concern for people not liking my art or me as a person.” I do not need validation of others to justify my existence. This self-work is Sacred. I feed on it; it makes me feel more and more alive and free every day to uncover and unleash the demons. Turns out, they aren’t demons at all. They are one scared, frozen little girl, stepping into who she is destined to be, not solely a victim of her circumstance. I looked Karen in the eyes today and spoke my gratitude for her being here with me this last year and a half of journeying, visioning and healing. It was the first time I’d ever asked to hold hands with anyone. With our feet on the floor, we grounded, I closed my eyes and saw little Anita sitting on my right knee. There Karen prepared me to go sit on that patch of grass, which someday, I will drive by without flinching. I will drive by proud to have been seated there.

Love, ALM