Brenda-Lee Ranta resides in Timmins, Ontario, Canada. She shares her journey with her life partner who is a drummer, lyricist and emerging poet. She is the mother of three children, two step-children and three grand-children.
Employed with her local police service, she spends her personal time writing songs with her partner, singing, reading, doing yoga, and meditating; however the main focus in her free time is her writing.
Inspired by the great poets, she credits song writers and lyricists for her love of the fluidity of words. She has been greatly influenced by the raw, honest poetry and lyrics of the late, Leonard Cohen. She states as a matter of fact, that she has had a difficult life, which is a catharsis to her form of expression.
She prefers to be less ambiguous in her writing and more direct, while maintaining a lyrical flow in her verse. She holds strong political views, believing in equanimity for all humankind. These views also find their way into her choice of subject matter when writing. She is very sensitive to the emotions and plight of those around her.
Here are a few excerpts from Brenda-Lee’s latest book A Soul Passenger
Weekends meant the unexpected, or the expected; it was never good anymore. She had learned to live mainly in her bedroom between meals, loads of laundry, the shopping, vacuuming and scrubbing toilets. The children would sit on the end of her bed and chat, until they would hear him climbing the stairs, or rustling in the fridge for something to eat. Mercifully, he slept in the family room most nights.
Having survived another Friday night in her room with her television and books, she prepared for her Saturday routine. She dressed, applied her make-up and made her grocery list. Brandi descended to the family room, asking sweetly if there was anything specific he wanted while she was out. He requested his usual snack foods with a glance, returning to his television. She asked him to move his vehicle because he was parked behind her. For fuck sakes,” he hissed back at her.
She sat at the kitchen table for ten minutes waiting for him to come up the stairs and move his vehicle. She was not to drive his company vehicle, according to him, she was not insured to drive it. With heavy sighs, he loudly blew out of his nostrils, he finally climbed the stairs. She put on her shoes and followed him into the driveway. He backed out too quickly, angrily. She took a deep breath as she backed out of the driveway. While driving to the grocery store, the tears ran down her face. Feeding her family was even an imposition upon him. Being alive was an imposition upon him.
Brandi had learned to drag out a shopping trip, taking her time pushing the cart, price checking things carefully, following her list, crossing things out as her cart filled. When she approached the check out, she felt a tightness in her chest, the awareness that she had to return home; filled her with angst. She drove home ever so slowly, taking the longer route, finally pulling into her driveway. She stared at the picture window for any sight of him. When she saw nobody there, she breathed with relief and begin unloading. He entered the kitchen as she finished putting the groceries away. “That’s not what I asked for, I said ‘Zesty Cheese.” He complained. She looked at him, exasperated. It was exactly what he requested. “Take them back because I’m not eating those things!” She looked at him squarely, “no, you take them back.” Her heart was pounding, but this time, with what was close to hatred. It had come to this. Even went she went out of her way for him, he had found a way to make her feel useless. Closing the cupboard doors, she headed up the stairs, two at a time. She stayed in her room the rest of the day. She decided she wasn’t cooking that night.
Late in the evening, she heard her daughter coming in from a night out. She could hear the closet door open and close when she put her shoes away. By the noises beneath her room, she heard her daughter opening the fridge. There was a sudden thud on the floor followed by the sound of him running up the stairs from the family room. “What the fuck was that – he screamed?” Her daughter, Belinda, replied, “I dropped a bottle of water Dad, geez, relax!” “Watch your fucking mouth little girl” he spat back at her. She could hear her daughter running up the stairs, followed by her bedroom door slamming. He followed her up the stairs, entering her room. “You wanna slam doors at me little girl? Well, do you?” he screamed. “Watch yourself little missy!” With that, he returned to the basement. Brandi’s heart was racing. She crept quietly across to her daughter’s room to ask if she was okay. Belinda looked at her mother and spat out the words, “I hate it here! I fucking hate living here!” Brandi hugged her daughter, then wordlessly returned to her room.
That night, she lay in bed in the dark, wide awake. Her mind was swimming. She tried to focus, tried to think. She longed to get into her car and drive back to the lake; but she knew there was no way she could just leave in the middle of the night. It would set him off yet again. ‘Focus Brandi!’ she told herself. Opening her bedroom window, she looked out at the night sky. She pushed back the screen and lit a cigarette. She didn’t want him to find out she was smoking in the house. A moment of clarity came to her. She felt like a twelve-year-old child, hiding in her room, smoking out of her bedroom window, nervous to get anything in the kitchen or draw attention to herself. She stood at the window a long time, looking upward. “God help me get out of this,” she pleaded to the sky.
Continued in book . . .
A Soul Passenger–Now Available
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