Finally, finally! After years of writing and editing, Book 2 in the “C’mon Funk Series” released today! The following is an excerpt from the Acknowledgements:
WTF is with this pandemic?!
I began writing “C’mon Funk Move Your Ass” in 2006 on a ship called The Queen Mary II, and I wrote the last line at 6:24 p.m. on June 24, 2016, in Long Beach, New York. The manuscript weighed in at a whopping 1,102 pages.
I expected to publish it in the spring of 2020. I’m late getting it out the door because, for me, the pandemic began in 2016 with the unexpected passing of my beautiful sister Jane. That’s when my world came crashing down.
Next went my brother Robert, also unexpectedly, in 2018.
In August 2019, Funk’s magazine supposedly closed its doors, and he was unemployed for the first time in his life. To manage, he went into business for himself. For the first time. Ever. At sixty-nine years old. Without an entrepreneurial bone in his body.
Later that year, my mother died. Then the Covid-19 pandemic came, in early 2020. I picked myself up from each of those blows, until the Big Blow that came during the summer of 2020. I’ve been trying to lift my wobbling-ass up ever since.
Luckily, I’ve learned something in my sixty-four years on Earth: from out of the most horrible things, beautiful things arise.
When the Big Blow came, a few handfuls of people unexpectedly stepped up to help. I have an idealistic view of family, and they not only met that ideal, but they also made it impossible for me to keep to the notion that I am alone. If they hadn’t circled the wagons, I don’t know how I would have found my ground. May they never have need of the favor returned.
There are many in this category to thank.
First and foremost is Dennis Ryan, who has been my friend since I was twelve years old. When I was drowning, he reminded me of who I am. “Oh no, you don’t. You’re not going to second-guess yourself.” Just typing his name chokes me up with love and gratitude. He is as good a brother as any.
Donna Gorman. “Gloria, you’re crazy, but you’re not that kind of crazy.” Only a girl who I’ve known since I was five could say something like that and need say no more. My sister, forever.
Philipp Aichhorn, my exchange student from Austria. Pipo’s concept of family is so closely aligned to mine that I don’t know how he didn’t come from my womb. His love and humor have been among my greatest joys. He is a good son.
Elvira Stalteri Noufal. I owe her so much. She put me back in the game of life, helping me believe I was more youthful and beautiful than I felt. A daughter of immigrant Italians, her perspective, humor, and knowing saved me on many occasions. I have no idea why she isn’t my daughter.
Doug Brooks embodies the term family doctor, treating the mind, body, spirit, and emotion with competence, compassion, and love. He remains the only orthodox physician I trust.
My spiritual coming out began with Toby Evans in 1994. She’s been friend, sister, and guide ever since. We are waaay out there. I hope everyone catches up to us soon.
Shelley Stelmach. If not for Shells, I’d be leading a greatly diminished life, and what a horror that would be. I have no adequate words to thank her for helping me become the woman I am today. That she found humor in my ungraceful journey has been a saving grace.
Sabin Bailey. Just saying her name brings a smile to my face. During my walk through the fire, each time I thought I’d turn to ashes or feared that I wasn’t making progress getting a toehold back, there Sabin would be. Her love propelled me forward, and her words made sense of the inexplicable. “What happened shredded you, and you’re trying to figure out how to put yourself back together.” When I expressed my guilt over our lopsided relationship, she replied, “I’m attending a funeral with you. This is how it works.” I can’t imagine not having her in my life.
Ian Koviak is more than just the cover artist for my books. A man who “gets it” is a rarity. “I would gladly sit in prison so they could not benefit from a single penny from me. That is some low ass shit.” Ian has my heart.
Sue Norris. My college roommate. She knows me. The incredulous look on her face to my personality-in-action makes me laugh, and laughter is the thing I love most in the world.
Doug Mitchell. A man I’ve never met, yet without him I don’t know how I would’ve unraveled from a fetal position. “Why isn’t anyone white-knuckling this for you?” The question, exactly. More, he is the only Italian male who has ever treated me as an equal. I owe him an expensive plane.
Angela Blueskies. I never heard of lineage healing before 2018, but once I did, I knew I had to do it. Angela helped me elevate my lines and kept me from thinking I was completely full of it when relaying the images that came from our work together. More, she responded as a sister would to the Big Blow— and thank God for that.
My Italian ancestors. Great Ancestor, Lenora, Paulo, Serena, Belladonna. I can’t believe I’m letting you out of the bag! Thank you for answering my call. For healing our lines. For keeping your promise to help me on the plane. For letting me know the healing is trickling down to this time. I don’t know how I survived without being consciously aware of you.
Grandma Fucci. What was that crazy little dance? No matter. You made me laugh when I thought I’d die of heartbreak. Thank you for coming in so strong that I was able to see you. For birthing my mother. But honestly, what a handful she was!
Hawaii. Thank you for the womb tug. For the beauty and awe. The meaning of “Aina.” For Pele. The ancestors who revealed themselves to me on this last trip. For letting me be on your island. For the deep healing you’ve brought me on each visit. You have my aloha forever, even if I don’t fully understand the term.
I didn’t have the first clue how to go about healing, and without a doubt, Candida DeLuise set me on the path. Feeling my sister’s hands on my back is a wonder I’ll never forget. And then, there’s Pompei.
Reiko Mizutani is one of the few people I follow. She continues to teach me how to climb the wellness path. Long ago, she expanded my viewpoint of loyalty. “Gladia. They gave you life. Be grateful. Give, and don’t expect anything back.” Her words kept me from feeling like a chump, and now that my parents are gone, I have not a shred of regret for what I did or didn’t do. That’s a nice place to be. Reiko is family.
The Grateful Dead. I was only fourteen years old when I saw my first show at Watkins Glen. I still cannot believe my mother let me go! Their music delights me, and in dark moments, it helps advance my soul. Thank you for keeping yourselves healthy, for still walking the Earth.
Tina Sprinkle. Teense witnessed with love and compassion the tears that I rarely shed. I often wonder what lifetimes we’ve have had together, but I’m pretty sure one involved a machete.
Maria Charres. To borrow an expression, thank you for listening to my heart. You have mine.
Rosa Rodriguez. Thank you for being a loving friend.
Here’s to all of you reading this post for being with me on this ride! For all your encouragement with my writing. I am deeply appreciative, and I hope I can at times bring a smile to your face, when you most need a smile.
The Photo: Funk waiting to disembark from the Queen Mary II.
To purchase Book 2 at the discounted price: