How does an often-referred-to as gentle retired high school English/Reading teacher and Grandma of 9 (that would be me) write and perform a Bitchin’ Rap Song about Menopause (that would be something, huh)?
Well, motivation sometimes comes in unusual ways, and while my Bitchin’ Rap Song dream comes from a throw-down by a group of 1st period high school students from back in 2003… it’s author Karen S. Exkorn and her new book Fifty Two Shades of Blue-ish that may very well push me over the Bitchin’ Bridge to actually do this thing.
Let me begin at the beginning. 2003 was my last year of my teaching career, and I just happened to have the most unrelenting, unwilling, yet completely funny and awesome 15 students ever assembled for 1st period Reading. These 15 high school juniors came to class each morning with a plethora of reasons to hate reading, hate literature, and, in particular, hate poetry. Even when they individually liked something, they collectively hated it. Gang up on Mrs. Couto. Oh, yeah.
My mantra was consistent, though. I didn’t budge. It was simple: If you can read, you can do anything. One day, during one of my calm and gentle mantras amid poetry protests, one student challenged me with, “Oh, yeah? You can read, but I bet you can’t write a rap song.”
I thought about it for a second as the young man continued, “You gotta live rap. Readin’ and poetry and poems ain’t livin’ rap. What you done to live rap?”
My mind was swimming with my life; everything that got me to that one spot in that one moment on that one morning… and it’s humorously hormonal that my mind kept stopping at MENOPAUSE. Yup. I was in it. In that one spot, in that one moment, on that one morning.
As I glistened with the slalom of sweat pouring from my brow, the young man went on. And on. And on… reciting rap lines, citing historical facts about rap, throwing down the rap gauntlet, if you will. The other 14 students were all up with their street credibility, too, nuttin no go so wit me.
I was sweetly and sweatly enthralled with their passion, and I told them so. I told them that I could lyrically represent, make a beat to – someone like me. (No, I didn’t mention that little menopause thing. That woulda been totally oughta da cut and wildly inappropriate.)
I told them that, of course, I could write a rap song. I would research rap (‘cuz I could read, yo) and bust out with my rap song.
All 15 of them nearly fell to the floor with laughter.
The spokesman stopped laughing long enough to say, “Now that would be one bitchin’ rap song!”
Back to the present. I retired almost 9 years ago. I’ve researched rap. I have notebooks full of notes. I’ve come to appreciate the art and the genre of rap. I’ve begun rhymin’ and writin’ my Bitchin’ Rap Song about, of course, menopause, but I haven’t finished it.
This is where Karen S. Exkorn comes in…
When Karen set out to write an erotic humor novel, she had just turned 52 and felt she had finally reached a stage in her life where it was time to do all things she was afraid or embarrassed to share in public. A woman of many shades, Exkorn now keeps a list of things outside her comfort zone that she wants to try NOW (which she NEVER refers to as a “bucket list” because it generally has pending “before I die” implications!). Recent “check-offs” from her list include “Meet Beyonce”, “Flashing a truck driver” and “Go on a date with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.” The author calls upon all women to grab a pen, channel their inner princesses and start making their own lists, too. Karen’s new book, “Fifty Two Shades of Blue-ish“, is a laugh-out-loud parody of that other “Shades Of” book.
SO… thanks to those kids in 1st period Reading back in 2003 and Karen S. Exkorn, I’m gonna grab my pen, channel my inner 60-year old hipstah bi-otch and finish my Bitchin’ Rap Song about menopause. And perform it, too. Hells, hot flashes and dayum, girl… I may even post it to YouTube!
ABOUT THE BOOK:
This post was sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer’s Network (http://www.rolemommy.com/).