Saturday, October 12, 2019

PRIDE Parade March with GAFSJ Scheduled for Tomorrow!

My daughter & her friend marching w/ ACLU at PRIDE 2018
I love that Atlanta, Georgia's, PRIDE parade aligns with National Coming Out Day! When I march, I embrace my queerness in all aspects of life and celebrate the greater act of being authentic and living with truth, whatever this reveals itself to be. As a new board member of AMP Rome, I'm connecting with the Georgia Alliance for Social Justice in this year's Pride parade. However, I'm honored to be connected to many groups who will be showing up and shining bright!


Tuesday, October 8, 2019

SOVEREIGN Reaches $2K Milestone!



Slowly, I'm moving toward reaching my $9K crowdfunding goal for Sovereign--a full length collection of Recovery Poems. In addition to helping me finance publication, funds raised through the campaign also cover the additional expenses I've acquired while treating and recovering from invasive ductal carcinoma, diagnosed in the wake of my divorce.

People who donate at least $20 USD receive a signed copy of Sovereign and an invitation to a fun launch party! Meanwhile, for every $1K earned, I post a video of myself reading a poem from the forthcoming collection.

I composed my $2K poem over the weekend while contemplating masks and my high school reunion. Please take some time to listen and then contribute as you're able. I now accept contributions via GoFundMe (https://www.gofundme.com/f/SOVEREIGN-Recovery-Poems), PayPal (https://www.paypal.com/paypalme2/creativekellilynn) and Venmo (https://venmo.com/Kelli-Karanovich). Thank you all for your support!

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Introducing AMP Rome

This August my friend Jessie Reed called together a round table of sorts. She and many of the attendees had just orchestrated a local vigil to acknowledge and mourn the lives lost within immigrant detention centers at the United States' Southern Border. Within our Georgia town, this sparked controversy. However, the event proceeded peacefully under the protection of local law enforcement officials. That has been the trend for many years now--beginning first with the counter protest of a pre-Charlottesville white nationalist rally and encompassing a variety of vigils, marches, drives and creative expressions of and for our community during times of transition--both simple as the changing seasons and complex as the border crisis.

The purpose of the round table was to bring unity and organization to the group behind these events. In the past, members of the group had functioned using the name Turn Your Back on Hate, as well as the name PERC (Peacefully Engaging the Rome Community). There had been groundwork done toward opening a physical center but challenges finding an investor whose vision merged organically with the group's. There had also been the issue of the group understanding its own mission--as most of its actions had manifested rapidly in response to a shared feeling rather than been planned to serve a distinct purpose.

By September, the round table has evolved into an official Board of Directors, to which I've been appointed Secretary, and the group has been officially named AMP. We are co-hosting Rome, Georgia's, Winter Wonderland Festival this November, and I invite anyone with ties to Northwest Georgia to get involved. Our website is here: https://www.amprome.org.

Monday, September 2, 2019

SOVEREIGN Reaches First $1K Milestone

Last week my body scan came back showing cancer in some lymph nodes near my surgery site. Meanwhile, all my other organ systems and bones are clear! I have agreed to receive 6-8 weeks of external radiation therapy to address my affected lymph nodes.The toll of radiation (and the commute which comes with it) also means that I won't have the energy to do much more than write, so I'm deeply appreciative of the contributions I've received to my crowdfunding campaign for SOVEREIGN--the collection of recovery poems which is helping to fund my personal recovery from cancer.

Two days prior to my son's 9th birthday, SOVEREIGN earned its first one thousand dollars, and I released the embedded video of me reading "When I Dreamed of My Soul as an Owl." For every one thousand dollars the campaign earns, I will release a video of me reading another new poem. Meanwhile, all contributors to the campaign will receive a PDF download of the complete collection, and all contributors of $20 USD or more will receive a signed paperback copy of SOVEREIGN plus an invitation to the release party. Please CLICK HERE for more details about the campaign. Contributions are welcome via either GoFundMe's platform or my PayPal account. The link to contribute directly to my PayPal is paypal.me/creativekellilynn



Thursday, August 1, 2019

On Being BAMF & The Magic of Soul Fire

Camping at Soul Fire, soaked from the rain
  during an intense solo hike through the forest
 the night I found Hound Dog Hill
Two weeks post-op from a partial mastectomy, I took to the woods of North Carolina. It was a pre-meditated aspect of my recovery. It was also an act I'd been longing to take since first encountering Sera Beak's writing over a decade before--back when we each contributed to cancer goddess Kris Carr's wellness site.

From those early days, Sera went on to become a celebrated author of increasingly controversial (as well as increasingly soulful) reflections on what it means to equally embrace both one's divinity and humanity. I went on to navigate the cloudy waters of parenting special needs children, managing the boundaries of my unconventional marriage and running a business in a field completely outside my existing wheelhouse. Eventually, a combination of physical and psychological trauma I'd been carrying, and compounding, for years manifested as grade 3 ductal carcinoma.

I re-connected with Kris Carr's opus Crazy Sexy Cancer because it had practical implications.

Then, I went to meet Sera because it was time.

View from the top of Hound Dog Hill
I felt that Sera and I shared an understanding and appreciation for the depth of what it means to be human. Meeting her at Soul Fire confirmed that we are far from alone in this. Rather, we were in the company of 20 + beautiful women, aged from 20 to well above 50, who share our dedication to soul-embodied living, and their presence assured me that our numbers beyond the confines of Soul Fire are strong. Individually and together, we are all actively engaged in the work of shifting paradigms, breaking barriers and setting boundaries through which we can heal ourselves and, perhaps, the wider world.

Having specific expectations can interfere with practices rooted in an individual's spontaneity. As a result, speaking in too much detail about Soul Fire is a touch forbidden. However, I can say that it provides a safe space for connecting more deeply with self, with sisterhood and with the natural world. It also introduces rituals, guided meditations and creative expressions as sacred doorways for connecting with Soul.

This forest path was a standing reminder
that the way out is through.
One of my favorite exercises involved me moving to Angelo Badalamenti's dark instrumental marvel
Dance of the Dream Man, composed for the cult TV classic Twin Peaks. While doing this, I wore a tank top bearing the letters B A M F--pronounced "BAM EFF."

One Soul Fire sister--herself clad that day in the trappings of a dominatrix, holding a paddle adorned with the word Love--knew exactly what BAMF meant. Another remembered hearing it used by a comedian. Many others were confused.

I first heard BAMF from a friend who explained that it means BadAss MotherFucker (when used as a noun) and BadAss MotherFucking Awesome when used as an adjective. He thought I was a BAMF bitch, and I totally agreed. I liked the term so much that I even incorporated it with the name of my imprint BAMF Books and my Etsy shop BAMF Boutique.

While that term may offend some, I personally think it's something to aspire to. I also think that all the women of Soul Fire are BAMFs. That is because, for me, being BAMF means claiming one's power and living from Soul--which, in turn, means knowing how to tap immediately into one's own truth and then voice it (or consciously hold it) without fear or shame.

Storytelling, through various different mediums, is my primary way of embodying my soul. I even developed my pen name, Kelli Lynn Grey, during this year's Soul Fire retreat. It is also no coincidence that most of my stories center on aspects of my personal healing journey--particularly as it relates to depression, co-dependency, cancer and my relationship with toxic systems intrinsic to modern life in the industrialized western world, as well as unique to rural life in north Georgia, USA.

I welcome you to explore my stories via this blog and its sidebar, where links will take you to my ongoing projects, past projects and clips.

I also invite you to step into Soul Fire with Sera if you feel called. Her red hot site is here.