Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Calling All Volunteers: Food 2 Families: Food Bank of WNY

Calling all Volunteers - it's time for Food 2 Families!

We're gearing up for Tops' Food 2 Families food drive on Friday, Dec. 6th, 2013, and looking for energetic and engaging folks to help us out! 

Families, churches, schools, scout troops, businesses...everyone is welcome!

Food 2 Families is an annual event sponsored by Tops Friendly Markets in different locations throughout Western New York. We need volunteers to help us accept donations from the community and thank them on behalf of those we serve.

We are in need of people to help out at the following Tops locations and times:

  • 2101 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14207: 7am-11am, 11am-3pm, 3pm-6pm 
  • 4777 Transit Road, Depew , NY: 4pm-7pm 
  • 6150 South Park Blvd., Hamburg, NY 14075: 3pm-6pm   
  • 5827 S Transit Road, Lockport, NY 14094: 3pm-6pm  
  • 7200 Niagara Falls Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14304: 11am-3pm, 3pm-6pm, and 6pm-9pm  

Please email cpotempa@foodbankwny.org or phone (716) 935-6712, Christina Potempa, our Volunteer & Special Events Coordinator to volunteer for shift (or two!)

Spots will fill up soon, so please reply as soon as possible.

This is a great chance to join our Food Bank of WNY volunteer team and support over 96,000 individuals in need we serve every month in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties. 

We thank you for considering our request to help and hope you'll join us at Food 2 Families this December.

Jameson Stalanthas Yu
Marketing Coordinator
Food Bank of Western New York

The Greater Western New York Paranormal Society at Cazenovia Library

I adore experiencing everything in life, and Sunday night was the coolest and strangest experience I ever had. 
I were invited to a paranormal investigation with the Greater WNY Paranormal Society in support of Cazenovia Community Resource Center, the only independent library in Buffalo, one I wholeheartedly support and have been attending since childhood. 
The library and surrounding areas have repeated and unexplained instances along with Buffum Street/Red Jackets burial ground nearby. 
This is the team at work on another location: 

Stay tuned for more from myself and Greater Western New York Paranormal Society, extremely interesting when science meets spirituality. 
Be on the lookout for their next episode, highlighting what we all found and check out both pages that are linked above.
*The Greater Western New York Paranormal Society is a non profit organization that is dedicated to finding scientific evidence of what is currently unexplained phenomenon. They believe that what is referred to as "Paranormal or Supernatural" things will someday be explained through the natural laws of science.
FB Page
Behind the Shadows 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How Can I Not Love You?

                                                                © Susan Marie  

How can I not love you


birds trilling in Spring
after the last snowfall

just like rain as it falls
quenching the deep thirst of this Earth

like the soil
rich and deep
with stories of our forefathers
and signals of smoke
rising from campfires
lost in the velvet night 
like souls rebirthing


How can I not love you
like I love myself
as I love the sun
as she shines her knowing eye
and the moon
as she keeps watch over our tired souls

How can one despise such beautiful sights
and states of simply

For to not love you
is to not love myself
and to despise the sun and moon
the dirt and Earth
the canyons and mountains
rivers and valley

and the very edge
of a solitary blade of grass
as I watch it waltz
beneath a most pristine Autumnal sky

How can I not love you



© Susan Marie

For My Hermana del Alma, Te Amo, Paz.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

From Pakistan to Peru to the USA: An Audio Showcase


In May of 2013, Erica Eichelkraut Zilbauer, owner of Main Studios in Buffalo, New York, asked me if I wished to hold Creative Writing Workshops at her studio. 

I have never taught any workshops, hold no degree in writing or education, yet I agreed, hoping there were a way I were able to bring something different to the workshops instead of the typical courses that really do not teach you about what being a writer is like, let alone the creative process as a whole. Most classes based upon writing focus on literary giants throughout history and works of immense international praise, leaving out the various styles of writing, as well as the diverse ways one creates in their everyday lives. 

Immediately, I started contacting organizations and writers and artists in my city for their experience and assistance and what occurred as a result blew me away.

Starting with the support of Poets & Writers.org, Just Buffalo Literary Center, Delizon Publishers, Think Twice Radio, Publish America, and Big Marker, six different entities provided continuous free books, magazines, web space, and audio production. 

Locally, people began donating supplies, and most importantly, their own experience as writers and educators. The literary community of Western New York is immense and supportive, yet the response I received was something I did not expect.

Through the organizations and people, I were able to provide not only a forum for creativity, but full print journals, personal books, memoirs, supplies, print magazines, and quarterly publications and hand them to the attendees once a month. It felt great to be able to give to those who took the time to be interested in even one workshop.

The ideas overflowed as to what I wished to present that will be interesting, fun and useful to share for all people and ages. I put together a quick syllabus based upon my writing experience and what I have learned through the guidance of those who helped me through the years. It was extremely difficult to bring the most essential information to people in only three workshops, spaced out monthly, so I focused on what is most important in my everyday life as a writer.

Three words: To simply create.

Every workshop was an open forum for discussion, there were no rules, everyone had a chance to voice what they learned, accomplished, and to share their work and experience. My only hope was that I were able to guide correctly without being boring. My greatest hope for an end result was that people created something, anything, that they were happy with and to record their work as a publishing credit for spoken word.

As I began promotion for the workshops, nationally and globally, people were interested and wished they were able to attend. From that point, I made the workshops virtual. This way anyone in the entire world can attend and be a part of creating something they can be proud of. Once again, the response received from holding a virtual classroom was astonishing. 

From New York to Peru to Pakistan to Tunisia, people were interested. Before I knew it, these little workshops were turning into much more than creative writing lessons.

Instead of having people sit for hours watching video, I audio recorded the workshops, took photos, and created an online virtual network that includes over 70 free books, audio from each workshop, photos, and the same information used in Buffalo. As a radio producer, audio is easier to download, stream, and listen to when ever one had the time. I asked the virtual attendees if that was okay and it was and off we went on a journey where all involved taught me so much more about writing.

Each workshop, I invited a guest speaker, everyone of them different. Jim Petretta spoke about storytelling, Kenneth Feltges about poetry and education, and Janna Willoughby-Lohr about speaking your work and finding that creative place inside. Every week I received emails from people telling me how they had never written before until now, have never spoken their work, never recorded their voice, and how they had a piece published. People were actually enjoying the workshops and feeling good about what they were doing!

Although this began with Erica and myself, what ensued is due to the people who created and gave to the workshops. Through their continuous emails, support, suggestions, in class insights and online correspondence, I became enlightened and understood that these workshops never belonged to me. We created them together and in turn, created pieces of work that I am proud to display to the world.

To those who attended, to those who have written, to those who have recorded their work and to those who have donated their time, guidance and assistance, it is due to all of you that I am able to sit here and know in my heart that there is indeed so much beauty in our world.

To everyone reading, please, create . . .

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Words Are Nothing More

words are nothing more
than the sky
thunderous crystalline bolts
of pure esoteric passion
from the deepest crevices
that hide beneath my ribcage
as it expands
gently, rising
with each breath,

as my lips, purse
just so
perfect, like dreams
like pictures in magazines,
like art

like the sun and moon
how they love,
and the wind and rain
how they cry,
like the oceans and lakes
the rivers and seas,
as they quiver and quake
on the very edge
of a vortex of unbridled passion


like no nuclear fission ever fragmented
like no storm that has ever touched upon Earth
like no angels that have ever been heard singing songs of choir

like nothing
any human
has ever

except for the the rain
as it falls
ever so gently upon the roof
when unable to sleep

and like words
that are nothing more
than the sky


© Susan Marie