Lori Minutoli    

Writer, Poet, Artist 

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Back Together Again

Posted on July 9, 2020 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)
After 4 months of being closed due to the Coronavirus impacting the world and strict Covid-19 CDC regulations, Pawtucket Poetry Spoken Here had its first Open Mic last night.  With an 8 guest maximum limit due to 6 feet physical distancing, we had a total of 4 poets in studio wearing masks, using hand sanitizer and speaking into a mic covered with a plastic baggie. It was AMAZING!!! Each poet brought something new and when shared, GOOSEBUMPS, tears, cheers, and finger snaps were all a thunder. Yes- our goosebumps were so loud we had to rub them down.

When it was over at precisely 8pm, we four sat in a circle six feet from each other and gave each other a group air hug. We were still connected as if 4 months hadn't separated us. The bond is a beautiful feeling. Poets loving each other in a time where the world is filled with hate and division.
Thank You to those who braved the risk to share poetry. Please know I followed the CDC health and safety requirements in order to provide the safest environment possible in the studio- from cleaning to screening and sanitizing in between. 

More open mics to come. Follow Pawtucket Poetry on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

People Time

Posted on March 12, 2020 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)




Poetry open mics in my art studio have been in full swing for two months now.  The biggest impact has been the human connections we've made in person.  Each week strangers walk through the door with their poetry and an uncertainty of whether they will share it.  Each night, after they share, we feel a special bond and connect in a way that makes us feel like family, instantly.  

The value of these times spent in each other's company has already surpased my expectations of what I thought the events were for.  I thought we would read poems and go our seperate ways.  I thought people would breeze in and out like the wind.  I thought it would be a mild form of entertainment for me.  I had no idea!!

In two short months my whole world is different.  My circle is different.  My heart is being nourished.  My mind expanded.  My vocabulary enlarged. My arms stretch longer.  I am blessed. 


First Open Mic Night

Posted on January 26, 2020 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (0)
January 23, 2020 


Pawtucket Poetry Spoken Here open mic night was a SUCCESS!!! 

12 people showed up and 10 people went to the microphone to share some form of poetry.  The response was highly favorable and called for a weekly open mic which I immediately scheduled.  We are officially on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram either under my name or Pawtucket Poetry. The Facebook page has the most content including pictures, videos, poems, thoughts, and event listings. Check us out.

More to come - Lori

Poetry Spoken Here

Posted on December 26, 2019 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)


POETRY for 2020, that's the plan. My vision for the new year is to host poetry reading events in my art studio. 

I am in the planning stage right now, buying equipment and chairs, and believe it or not, I even made a Facebook page for this event.  The page is "Poetry Spoken Here" @pawtucketpoetry on Facebook. Trust me, I do not want a Facebook page for personal socializing, but I fully believe in my mission to create a safe space for unheard poets to read their poetry.  That's all I'm aiming for.  In order to create awareness, I made the Facebook page so I could post events when I am ready to host them.

Stay tuned for more exciting news.


2020 Vision

Posted on December 18, 2019 at 5:45 PM Comments comments (0)


These glasses indicate that I do not have 20/20 vision but I do have a vision for the year 2020.  

I am strangely in this preparation mode for something I know not what.  I feel like I've been training all year for it, am mentally and emotionally pumped for it, and spiritually ready to accept whatever it is.  I'm jumping up and down on the sidelines yelling "put me in coach" hoping and trusting that God is the coach.  

I have a lifetime of experiences, years of lessons learned, catalogs of positive testimonies, and plenty of time and willingness to accomplish whatever lies ahead.  I fully believe 2020 is going to be the year things drastically change for me, I just don't know how.  Stay tuned. 

Christmas Spirit - A Miracle

Posted on December 4, 2019 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

 



You can't possibly know the trauma involved in my family's lives over ornaments on a Christmas tree.

Before I was married, 25 years ago, I had a lovely collection of exquisite hand blown glass ornaments that I picked out one by one and a glorious angel with a flowing dress. I hand wrapped each ornament after the season was over and safely tucked them away. Over the 20 years of my marriage more sentimental ornaments were added, you know "family" ornaments. I also had established a collection of snowmen which people often gifted me. The ornaments on our tree represented my entire adult life and meant a lot to me. 


When things turned ugly in my marriage, these ornaments suffered attack. Every angel was destroyed, every Santa too, along with any 5 pointed stars. Thrown in the trash physically mangled. Slowly those precious ornaments were replaced with meaningless dollar store plastic balls until eventually the entire tree meant nothing as it represented the destruction of my family.

It's been 4 years since I've left the marriage and the house. I did not take any ornaments or snowmen. I started over with an artificial tree and hand picked not-exquisite ornaments 3 years ago. And then last year my son gave me a shoebox of ornaments from a house clean-out job he did. The little ornate ornaments held value to someone years ago and even though they are not mine by choice, they are special to me because of the gift giver. My son knew I didn't take my heirlooms and he thought these delicate ornaments were special enough for me. I love them!

Jesus is working on restoring all things in my life, I see it. Clearly he has given me the Christmas Spirit and it feels wonderful. I have been buying ornaments at various cheap stores to fill in the empty spots with color. This time I don't care that the ornaments are cheap because I have a new love for the entire Christmas experience.

I have been shopping and wrapping gifts and for once it is ALL COMING FROM MY HEART. It's not about how much I spend, who gets what, or if the ribbons are on right. My heart is pure and very excited to CELEBRATE with my children this year. It is the first time having this GENUINE desire for family time in more years than I can remember.

NaNoWriMo

Posted on November 2, 2019 at 10:25 PM Comments comments (0)



National Novel Writing Month is in full swing and I'm participating this year for the first time. I'm writing a memoir- finally going to get the story out that's been locked inside me my whole life. My hope is that in doing this I'll be able to spring forward with a new lease on life, with hope and determination to make beauty bloom from all of the disturbing recollections. 


UPDATE: I FINISHED NANOWRIMO- 50,000 IN 3 WEEKS FOR ME.



Suicide and Heaven

Posted on September 10, 2019 at 11:00 PM Comments comments (0)




Reconstructing my faith has a lot to do with figuring out what I truly believe.

I have always believed that if someone took their life by way of suicide that the Almighty loving God would have understood the depth of their weakness and forgiven them. However everything the church has ever taught me is that those people would not make it into heaven. This is where I take a stand and say I disagree with those people in the church.

I have witnessed depression and have seen firsthand the struggles of people who have no hope but to die. There is so much controversy over sin and forgiveness and in my humble opinion I believe that not one human here on earth can know for a fact who gets into heaven and who does not.


We have to live with our thoughts, carry them around with us daily. If I lost someone to suicide I would need to believe that if that person had been a believer in Jesus Christ then he/she would now be with God for all eternity. There is no way that I could accept in my mind that there is a sin that Jesus' blood would not cover.

There is no way that I would ever want to be the judge of what is and what is not forgiven. God knows the hearts of all of mankind. Let him alone be the judge and you just love your neighbor.

Today I AM

Posted on September 5, 2019 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Today I am victorious, because Jesus. 

Today I have wisdom, because Jesus.

Today I have favor, because Jesus.

Today I am protected, because Jesus.

Today is a gift packed with blessings.

I need only to receive them.

Today I AM

IN JESUS NAME 


August 23, 2019

Posted on September 2, 2019 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

 


It was 50 years in the making and in one day I gave up the fight and gave in to the call of Jesus.

A harsh reality at first, to be alone on a day most celebrate with friends and family. A milestone turned into a millstone and I hit the bottom. It hurt. It was a slap in the face, a punch in the gut, a kick in the pants, humiliating, disappointing and every other form of let-down you can imagine but it was what was my reality.

It was also the day I decided to stop trying on my own to achieve the things I desired.

It was the day I figured out that no matter how good I was, how generous or kind or even how forgiving I was, I could never measure up to the lengths Jesus went to show His love for us. He gave his life for ours, suffered and died for us. No greater love has anyone than he lay down his life for another.

When I realized how pathetic I felt on this particular day, I remembered how loved I am by God and it lifted me. Love lifted me. Thank You Jesus.

 

VEGAN CHILI

Posted on August 13, 2019 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (0)


My daughter figured it out! She successfully influenced me to make changes in my life all the while I was thinking it was my idea. That's mastery if you ask me.

She long ago stopped telling me what I should do and every so often subtly offered me vegan nuggets of wisdom; once she gave me some vegan butter, another time, a substitute for Parmesan cheese, another time a book, and recently some samples of her vegan cooking. Everything she has given me over time, I have adopted into my eating habits. I tried them while still eating whatever I was into at the time and slowly the items replaced what I was used to using.

The book was the most life changing as I have written about already. Today, I went to the grocery store with my son who is also vegan and he mentioned her vegan chili, so it was decided on the spot that's what I would make it too. You see, a few weeks ago she told me about a cookbook, the cookbook with the recipe for this chili with a pumpkin base. So I only had to open my Kindle app and read the recipe at the store.

Bottom line: I made the chili and it is amazing!!!

As I was unpacking my groceries in preparation to make the chili, I automatically cut some vegetable tortilla into triangles and baked them- spritzed with lemon and salt (just like she taught me maybe a week ago.) I snacked on my baked chips and salsa while I cut up vegetables, strained beans, and scooped out pureed pumpkin. It was then, in that moment, that I realized how effective she was at influencing me to change my life.

I love that I make my own tortilla chips now. I love that I made a vegan banana bread type thing for breakfast. I love that I am reading and sharing vegan books. I love that my kitchen is full of organic plant based foods. I love that I use a cutting board every day and have stacks of dishes in constant rotation through the dishwasher.

Thank you Alison and Alex and Brandon for influencing me to be the person I am today. I am so happy to share this journey with you.


Still Raw (painful reality)

Posted on August 12, 2019 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)




I thought I was getting better, healing and moving on, until I came face to face with family from the past.  Yes, imagine I said it that way, as if family could be cordoned off to a place in time. Over flowing with deeply sad emotions, I made it home from seeing them and almost couldn't breathe.  People just don't know how much a strong woman holds inside.  I couldn't hold back the tears while talking to them but I was trying to.

My ex-husband's family was my adopted family for 20+ years.  They were everything I ever wanted in life- a big, loving, connected family.  However, when I got divorced, I divorced the family as well.  I do realize this was  a self-inflicted form of punishment but it was a choice I made for deeply personal reasons of which I am not going to talk about right now.  Maybe the healing takes time.  Maybe I will have to test the waters inch by inch instead of diving right back in.  I don't know but today I became very aware of how raw things still are for me.  I appreciate their warm, tender compassion - I felt it.  But I am not interested in doing that again.  Nope.  I would rather stay in the safety of my little world  and send out these notes to the big world via writing.

I honestly believe there is a bigger story happening, one that I just can't see, a new book being written perhaps, or maybe just new chapters.

Book Business Cards

Posted on August 2, 2019 at 7:40 PM Comments comments (0)




That's it- no phone number, no address, no email. I feel safe handing this card out to people to gain exposure to my books. If you're reading this- THANK YOU! If you're reading any of my books, please feel free to comment anywhere on this page. I would love to hear your thoughts.


Nature's Studio

Posted on August 2, 2019 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (0)



I have an art studio in my home where I paint. Last week, however, I took my paints to the beach and made art in Nature's studio. It was thoroughly satisfying to sit on the beach with a watercolor palette and design bookmarks for my newly published books. I painted 30 of them! To see video of these click the link to my Instagram.

Courage Slapped Fear in the Face

Posted on August 2, 2019 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)


I went to the beach with a friend who I haven't seen a while. Thankfully the distance between us held no weight to the bond between us and it was as if no time had come between us. We instantly had a great time, like old times. Whew!

 Then, while on the beach, I turned my head to face a different direction and noticed an old friend I hadn't seen in a few years. Remember how I wrote earlier about leaving the community, well, that meant friends too. This friend was sitting about 20 feet away from me and I became nervous.

"Do I say hello?" I asked the girl I was with.

 "Of course" she replied.

 "Oh but I don't think I can. I just abandoned everyone years ago."

The struggle in my mind was real. The old friend walked past me to go for a walk. While she was gone, I sat up, gathered my thoughts and my courage and decided I would say hello when she came back.

I did and...

Well, OF COURSE everything worked out wonderfully. She and her husband were happy to see me and there was no reason to have feared the meeting. I think I hugged her five times and her husband three times.

It was really refreshing to realize fear had no position in my life though I was allowing it.

Yesterday's adventure turned into a huge lesson for me, one I'm glad I had the courage to face.


Deconstructing Faith

Posted on August 2, 2019 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (0)




I woke up one morning and Googled "deconstructing faith." I had heard it on Instagram but wasn't exactly sure what it involved. At the same time I was curious about this, I had also read about Joshua Harris, author of "Why I Kissed Dating Goodbye", leaving his wife, his church, and his Christian faith. I didn't realize these two subjects were directly connected.

What I learned is that when someone has deep spiritual beliefs and then suffers a trauma, they tend to deconstruct their faith in order to reconstruct it to fit their post-trauma life. THIS MAKES SENSE TO ME!

Finally there is a word for what I've been going though. You see, I have already written about leaving the church, community, etc. after my divorce. I was deeply hurt and mad at God but I never walked away from Jesus. I just couldn't talk to him... for a few years.

Recently, I reconnected with God and have been able to start rebuilding my faith-position. I'm not there yet, but I know I still believe Jesus is God and I still believe the bible is true. However, I still have a problem with "the church" as I knew it. So, for now, I am in this transitional phase of my faith journey.

 Unlike Joshua Harris, I have not left Christianity, I just don't want to talk about it to people- but I'll blog about it here-yeah I see it.

It Works!

Posted on August 2, 2019 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (0)




I have lost 45 pounds so far in 4 months and it has been easy! Yes, I said easy because I am eating such a diverse selection of food, creatively prepared and deliciously pleasing to the taste buds.

Three months of keto-style and now a month of vegan style eating. I think more than the ideas of what I'm eating, the thoughts of why I'm eating what I eat is what makes a difference on the difficulty level. I have been doing these not-diet-diets as a self-challenge.

The first one was to see if I could go without tortilla chips and also to see if I could even handle eating meat, cheese, etc. I thought I was going to have a devastating physical reaction to eating heavy foods but amazingly I didn't. I lost weight quickly and continuously, eating bacon, cream cheese, meat, olives, salads, and cheddar cheese, along with other foods. It was fun and effective. It worked! 35 pounds of fat fell off me to my surprise.

Then I challenged myself to give up meat and dairy for oats and fruit. It has been wonderful eating fresh fruits again and grains. I've lost an additional 10 pounds in July. I am going to keep challenging myself along the way, refining the food choices in order to get a variety of vitamins and nutrients into my body and in order not to create any lazy habits. Once some more weight comes off, I am confident that I will then challenge myself in the area of exercise. I

 have no doubt that I have changed my lifestyle not just tried a couple of diets. It's the mindset that makes you win. I don't feel like I've given up anything. I feel like I'm taking back my life for the first time in my life.


How Do You Have Time?

Posted on July 22, 2019 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (0)




Today I was asked how I have time to write. I wasn't quick enough to say "do you watch TV? Read? Go on Facebook? How do you have time for that? The fact is, we make time for the things we want to do. Last week I got out of work at 6pm and was heading to the beach by 6:30pm, eating dinner with someone by 7:30pm on the beach. I did it because I wanted to. Over the last four years I have had plenty of time to write poetry. I don't have a television, I don't go on Facebook, I don't live with anyone either. I have minimal responsibilities so I have lots of time outside of work to do the things I want to. Sometimes I paint, sometimes I sew things, cook, clean, write, garden, etc. For two weeks before I published my latest book I spent all of my free time typing the poems. Now I have some marketing ideas I'm working on along with some other painting projects and maybe even a new endeavor. My mind is bursting with ideas of ways to spend my days off and time after work. I have found a good balance of work and fun. I hope you find that balance as well.

To the Beach!

Posted on July 17, 2019 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)




Chasing the setting sun over the ocean is my favorite adventure. It doesn't matter what season, nor the weather, I can be found on the sandy shores facing the horizon. Here in Rhode Island the coast is lined with beaches. You can be on one East-facing beach in the morning to catch the sunrise and cross the street to another beach facing the West to catch the sunset all in one day. Scarborough to Galilee is where I go for this adventure. 

Real Food

Posted on July 17, 2019 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)

 




I don't know why it took so long for me to arrive at this point in life where I am finally eating real food, but I'm glad I made it. Don't worry, I haven't been eating plastic all these years, but to be honest, one never knows anymore. I'm loving eating a whole food- plant based diet.

Before this, I was enjoying a meat and cheese type diet with vegetables (something like Keto.) And before that I was eating corn chips-every day along with chocolate, soda, and anything I wanted to eat.

The change was brought on by my children. They live a vegan lifestyle and have been influencing me for years. Only after I read the book "How Not To Die" by Dr. Michael Greggor did I make the switch to a plant based diet though. And it feels so RIGHT! Not only do the real foods taste good, they look good in my cupboards and fridge. I even started storing dry goods in recycled jars.

I love it. Does this mean I too am vegan? I'd prefer not to be labeled just in case I absolutely cannot resist something non-vegan in the future. Here is something that I'd like to shout about though- I've lost 42lbs in 3 1/2 months! 35 lbs on the keto-type diet in 3 months and 7lbs so far in 2 weeks vegan. Cheers to real food!!

 


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