Bio

THE WRITER:

I have always been a passionate writer, mostly of fiction but not completely.  I wrote my first novel at the age of 4.  My parents still have it – in all it’s misspelled glory.  In the early 90’s I had a couple of romance shorts published in magazines.  I began writing editorials for news papers and fanzines during college.  I’ve always dreamed of being a well known, published writer but that hasn’t happened for me – yet!

When I discovered blogging it was a whole new world for me and I fell in love, not for narcissistic reasons but simply because I love to write! What I consider my biggest achievements in blogging are making people laugh, making people think, and (closest to my heart) discussing music.  Most people know music is probably the only thing I’m more passionate about than writing! When I want to make people think, I write about things that I feel are important.  I share my opinions, but I’m always open to an intellectual debate on these topics and while it is hard to change my opinion it isn’t impossible! When I’m fishing for a laugh, I usually write about my life experiences and poke fun at myself.  I’ve got a plethora of quirky tales from the comedy of errors that is my life and I enjoy sharing them and giving everyone a chuckle.

I don’t write fiction here as much as I would like because there doesn’t seem to be an audience for it and I’m still seeking that audience should anyone be able to point me in that direction I would sincerely appreciate it.  When I write about music, I’m usually trying to give the reader a full scope on the musician(s) I’m blogging about and hope to enlighten at least one reader.  This isn’t the only way I write or the only things I write, but this is the majority of it and should explain why I blog.

I laugh when I recall, long before the days of the world wide web, I used to scribe everything in pen & ink in dozens of notebooks.  How primitive, right?In school, I would pass the notebooks around among friends and the fan base grew and included space for them to write comments. Does this mean I invented blogging?

THE HISTORY:

I grew up in a small town on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  My family has lived here for several generations and both sides of my family are rooted in Italy.  I am very proud of my Italian heritage! Of course, with Italian heritage comes a strong Catholic upbringing.  These days I choose to simply be a Christian, though some parts of that Italian Catholic life will never escape me.  I have studied religion for quite a few years, and while I do not have all the answers I can say that my faith is both well rounded and well founded.  Many people need something tangible to affirm their faith, but mine is based on experience.  To count my blessings would require a novel in it’s own.  But, of all my blessings, my family is at the top of the list and without the life I’ve shared with them I would not be the person I am today.  My parents are older than most people my age have, which made for a strict household that I tried to rebel against, but as an adult I look back on those rules with gratitude.  I look at my generation as the last generation with that youthful innocence that no longer exists today, and some of my generation had already began to steer away from that morality but because of my parents I was able to hold on to that. I think, in that innocence I was enabled to foster my vivid imagination.  We didn’t have the things that other children did, but not because we couldn’t as much as because it was not welcomed in our home.  My entertainment was being creative in an environment which welcomed creativity far more than sitting in front of a television.

We lived in a musical household and in those times, music was more prominent than television.  My mother would play records every day, mostly from the 50’s era and my father played several musical instruments.  My two older sisters were also big fans of music, the eldest liked the underground sound of the 60’s and 70’s while the middle sister preferred R&B and disco.  So, music was thrown at me in every direction and has been a huge part of my life for as long as I remember.  I was very young when I found my own taste, which was impressive.  It was 1978, and I was barely 6 years old when I discovered Van Halen.  This was the birth of who I am pretty much today.  I fell in love with the heavy and intricate guitar playing of Eddie Van Halen and the charismatic vocals of David Lee Roth.  I was forever changed from that moment on and vividly recall saving my allowance, which was loose change given to me by my grandfather daily, until I was able to afford to purchase Van Halen’s debut record.  It was a year after it’s release and by then, their second release was on the shelves.  Boy was that a situation! But in the end, it worked out and my parents were kind enough to buy me the other album.  From this experience, I learned the importance of saving money and buying the things I want for myself and that I wanted to be a rock star!

It was much later in life when I finally picked up a guitar and learned how to play.  I was steadily focused on collecting and enjoying music prior to asking myself why on Earth I wasn’t playing music!?! Actually, I was inspired to play guitar by a broken heart.  The guy who did it was long forgotten, but the gift he gave me sans being a jerk was playing guitar! After the hard realization that I wasn’t the only woman in his life, I spent an evening downing whiskey and contemplating life while sitting on the floor listening to Aerosmith.  As I glanced around the room, the music spoke to me and my 5 gallon jug of change caught my eye.  I told myself, if there was enough money in that jug to buy a guitar that was going to be my next plan of action.  There was enough change in that jug to buy a guitar and a small amp, and hence the second major musical purchase in my life bought with loose change!

Fortunately, rejection wasn’t a stranger to me.  That broken heart was just another stepping stone that I look back on, and there were already many to look back on before that one.  If anyone had some rough teen years, it was definitely me.  Due to some health issues I had in my youth, I was an extremely late bloomer.  Puberty didn’t arrive in my life until after high school.  This made for some unbearable high school years, as I was incredibly under developed among my peers which made me a target for a lot of bullying and teasing.  Boys weren’t in the picture much for me back then, so I was no stranger to rejection.  But, the reason I say that I was fortunate in this is because, when I grew from an ugly duckling into a swan I had already grown into my own person and wasn’t tainted by the spoils of popularity in my youth.  I think the big pay off with this life comes as an adult because I’m a better person today knowing that everything I’ve got I earned.  Nothing was handed to me because no one was vying for my attention.  I appreciate things more than someone who doesn’t know what it’s like to not have these things.  My life built me to be fiercely independent and also unique.  My rebellion against that teen angst was being unique.  I had my own style in clothes and life and learned early on that finding humor in all situations was a creative way to deal.  It was all of this that molded me into the person I am today, and I would trade none of this to have been a prom queen.  

The friends I’ve made over the years are life long.  I’m severely loyal and adoring of all of my friends and would even consider them an extension of my family.  Being an individual, I’ve always had a knack of choosing people who are individuals to surround myself with.  These are the real people and the ones I consider the salt of the Earth.  I am blessed with having the best friends anyone could ask for.

THE LIFE:

After fumbling through college, assuming the education will help me reach my dreams of being a professional writer, I have been working in finance in the building industry for the majority of my adult life.  I’ve always loved the building industry.  I have a bit of a fascination with lumber, and how it begins with wood planks and becomes a home. I’ve got mad secretarial skills.  Combine the passion and the skill and I’m pretty much destined to be somewhere in this industry handing the papers.  When the economy and job market took a nose dive, the building industry seemed to struggle more than any other.  After years of building my name with a Fortune 500 Company, I found myself jobless.  Struggling to find employment in this deserted job market, I finally took back to an old profession-bartending.  This career paid my way through college, and I hadn’t been behind a bar in quite a few years when I found myself doing it again.  But, yet again this was another blessing in disguise.  In the two years I tended bar, I rebuilt a social life that I had lost previously somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico.  Not only was it good for me socially and emotionally, it was also a place where many lessons in life were learned.  And today, now that I’m back at the desk – this time in the concrete industry, I am comfortable once again but I sometimes miss being behind the bar.  And it almost seems that things have come full circle for me in some ways, and now I’m in the business of the foundation rather than the lumber.  But, after all, you can’t build a home without a foundation.

I lost a lot in the Gulf of Mexico by way of the Nation’s largest natural disaster to date, Hurricane Katrina.  It wasn’t about the loss of belongings, as much as the loss of memories.  Katrina was over 90 miles in diameter, and completely devastated up to 8 miles inland in my home town, while still doing major damage throughout both the entire states of Louisiana and Mississippi! Many places I loved througout the history of my life in this sleepy town had been swept away into the gulf.  The damage was so immeasurable, it is taking the area years to recover.  This caused two things to happen here; an influx of strangers and the exit of many long time residents and friends.  Leaving those of us here, to rebuild our lives in a struggling environment.  But, at the same time, it brought the gift of humanity… something I had previously lost faith in.  The outpouring of kindness from across the nation and from our Canadian and European neighbors was astounding.  People from all over came to lend a helping hand.  The fact that in many ways I was able to lend a helping hand was astounding for me! It felt so good in such a bad time to be surrounded by genuine kindness.  It seemed to bring out the best in everyone.  Today, we see the determination in everyone.  This town may have lost the battle, but with perseverance it is not going to lose the war.  A beautiful town, with sand beaches kissing the edge of the gulf and a mecca for artistry and history is what we have … much was lost, but the heart of this town will never stop beating.  You may never know how strong you really are until you are confronted with a situation that brings it out in you.  I believe Hurricane Katrina brought out the best in me.

Today, I’m still the same person I’ve always been … a comedian with dreams of being a known author and at least half as good at playing guitar as Eddie Van Halen.  A little bit punk rock, a little bit rock and roll is who I remain.  I’m far from perfect, as I’ve been feeding the same bad habits for over 20 years now … smoking and drinking a gallon of Coca-cola daily.  I’m not a big drinker, but when I drink I do it big! I burn most things I attempt to cook.  I have enough clothing to only have to do laundry every 6 weeks, and I do it that way. The inside of my car looks like a garbage can.  I talk baby talk to my dogs, and have full conversations with them.  I am a ridiculously light sleeper and I hate mornings.  I pinch pennies even when I don’t need to.  I have the worst memory in the universe. I don’t have a husband or children because I’m too independent.   And some would say I’m a bit bossy, but I refuse to believe it! Oh, and I stay up all hours of the night writing when I should be sleeping … just as I am right now.

Suz Rocks
April 2, 2010

18 responses

5 04 2010
Me! (Cathy)

I’m so happy to see that you’ve explored into a new area to blog! I hope this will be very successful for you as you are a very talented writer. I still have one of your manuscripts from high school.. one day you’ll get it back!!! Actually, the more I think about it, I just might hang on to it. That way if you become famous, I can sell it on ebay and make tons of $$!! :o)

ps- I love that group picture of us… you loved your paisley shirts!

Cathy

6 04 2010
suzrocks

Hey! I’m glad you’re over here. I put that pic up because I think it represents life long friendships and true friendships. We were a hell-of-a-team back then, weren’t we? I was hoping you’d see that pic! Isn’t it great? You keep telling me about this script you have. It was a gift to you, my friend, and I don’t want it back (unless you want to get rid of it, of course) but I definitely do want to read over it. I have NOTHING left of my old writings since Katrina and I’d like to look back on my style and so fourth to see how much I’ve changed, if any…lol. Thanks for checking out my new site. I really like it here. We need to get together soon… we have plans to make before the 20 year gig… you are my date, and I hope Travis is ok with that!

5 04 2010
Howie Janapol

Dear Suz, I am so glad that I read this. I am following you on WordPress. I come from a musical family I play three instruments. My mother was a cellist, My uncle was a concert violinist, I have a large family in Louisville Kentucky and they are almost all concert musicians. I started with the violin at the age of 4 and then I began going with a friend to watch her piano lessons. I would then come home and do what she was learning. At the age of 12 I got my first guitar and I have been playing ever since. I have music around me at all time. I don’t really care what genre. I wrote a blog called Music is my life.
I always smile when I read your blogs. It is hard not to smile when I see your big smile. I am involved in a project on myspace called INBEATSONGS and I will tell you about it tomorrow. I can say that our goal is to like the world by getting new singers, musicians, and composers from all over the world and put at least one of their tracks in our finished web space. We will also add an autobiography or if needed a biography to the the site and eventually in our book. I will get you a URL so you can look at it. We do have rock, classical, native american, folk, and music from everywhere. We are still in the process of trying to put it together. In the end we think that if we can connect people from all over the world through their music they will learn that we are all much alike. So give me till tomorrow and I will get you all the info.

I started writing the blogs about 8 months ago and I found that I loved it. I don’t care if anyone reads them what I have learned is that writing is like an itch and the more I scratch the more I itch. This is coming for someone that had many english teachers and professors tell me that writing was not for me. They were right. I don’t know what has happened but it is like my guitars. I can’t stop and I don’t want to.

So thank you for sharing this with us. I have been collecting records for almost 60 years. I have been through 78’s, 45’s, 33’s, tape, and finally CD’s, I am now rearranging my Itunes and I don’t think that will ever end.
So good to know you even better. Have a good evening. I will send you more info tomorrow.

Peace, howie

6 04 2010
suzrocks

What a fun response, Howie! Well, I’m certainly not talented enough to be a part of your musicans circle… I have a deep love for music, but the art of playing is more of a forced effort for me. I mean, I enjoy it… but I really don’t have a knack for it I’m afraid. I can play a lot of tunes, but to write one or seriously work with a band is not in the cards for me. Singing, however, is something I can do with a band 🙂 I enjoy that lots! I had a ridiculously large music collection that I spend my whole life building, literally from that first Van Halen album forward, but unfortunately Hurricane Katrina stole the majority of it from me. I was only able to salvage my CD’s. I lost countless vinyl and cassettes. 😦 Oh well… I am rebuilding as we speak. Well, certainly keep me posted on your project and I’ll give mucho support and do whatever I can! XOXO

24 04 2010
Suzie

I’m so glad I found this. Its great that you have a place to write. You do have some awesome stories. I like your bio. It brought back some great memories of better days & I am totally loving the group picture. 🙂
Suzanne

24 04 2010
suzrocks

Hey!!! Yeah, I just mess around with some stories of old and try to make them fun for people to read. I love that picture. It reminds me of those times. I think I’m going to put together a quirky book at some point stringing all my stories together. You would, of course, play a big role. I saw your oldest girl the other day. Wow, time flies. She’s a knock out though. We really need to get together. Class reunion is coming up and I’ve been dreading it… lol. Wish you would’ve been in my class. Oh, I quit smoking this week too… and I’m hating it! LOL Give me a call sometime, I still have the same number for the last 10 years or so…lol

8 06 2010
Steve Bonniol

Here is a cool site where you can blog your fiction. there are nice people there who will stroke your writers ego. They are also affiliated with a magazine that will print your stuff.

http://minds-eye.ning.com/main/authorization/signIn

8 06 2010
suzrocks

Thank you, Steve. Do I know you?

9 04 2011
Renee Davies

I came across your blog quite by accident. There’s another suzrocks at http://suzrocks.com/blog/. I enjoyed reading your bio. I can relate to the authoritative and yet, good upbringing you mention. There’s something to be said for parents drawing boundaries for their kids. Maybe that’s what Charlie Sheen missed.

11 04 2011
suzrocks

Hello, thanks & welcome 🙂 I have been “suzrocks” since 1995 via aol, but over time have learned there are a few of us out there. I hope you stick around to read some of my other stuff. I haven’t been posting much lately I’m afraid, so a lot of it is out of date but I prefer my older blogs they’re humorous true stories. And as for Charlie Sheen, without a doubt he missed a good childhood. The life of celebrity children always seems to be tormented. So sad to have so much money and waste it rather than enhance the childhood, but I imagine it’s hard to achieve in the public eye.

17 09 2013
justine hamilton

Really loved reading this. It’s rare I scroll down to the very bottom of what everybody writes but all the sections were so readable! And it’s always sooo great to meet people either in real life or cyber, who love music as much as I do and know how much it changed them from an early age. BTW you have a very similar outlook to me too – the teenage rebellion, the rock chick aesthetic, the fierce independence, the individuality that far outweighs popular trend etc. But the birth of who I am today started with a British electronic pop artist in ’79. I had to endure classical piano lessons from age six but when I was 9 my whole world opened up. At the dinner table, watching a renowned Australian national music show, I saw this expressionless, really pale looking guy singing in a day-glo pyramid. I couldn’t eat because all I could do was stare. The song was ‘Cars’ sung by the sylph-like Gary Numan. For me the grind was playing dreary piano chords and arpeggios then seeing this guy and hearing the haunting trippy melodies and harmonies he created from a keyboard, I was stunned, agog. He resembled some weird alien type wearing an orange spacesuit with thick black kohl eyeliner and looked like he was on the run from humans while playing elongated keyboards that merged into one another. I couldn’t have scripted a better life changing moment at 9 years old. This one video changed my entire life and in that moment lead me onto the path of music mesmerism whether rock, electronica, goth or post-punk. I think it also mapped out a life of anti-establishmentarianism for me in the end!

12 03 2015
suzrocks

Justine, Please forgive my late reply. I have not been able to log into this accoutn until today!!! I enjoyed your very much reading your comment. You and I are kindred spirits. I’m going to view your blog now! Thank you so much for commenting.

13 03 2015
justine hamilton

Heyyy, you actually got back to me last year after I left a message on your DLR piece in 2013 which I loved. But I never got back to you … so we’re even! And yes … it’s always so quaint to meet a kindred spirit. Stay in touch, love from sunny Sydney

5 06 2015
suzrocks

\m/

17 02 2016
justine hamilton

Hey, you don’t happen to live in LA do you?? First time I’m travelling to the US ever in March for 2 weeks and don’t know a soul there! J

25 02 2016
suzrocks

Yes I do live in LA – please find me on Facebook as Süz Mönti and communicate there as I have issues with this account. I look forward to hearing from you 🙂

25 04 2015
Frankie Manno

I like you was raised in a Italian home, first generation and like you I was blown away the second I heard Van Halen 1 back in 78…at the time I was 11 yrs old and it was a cold winter Canadian day!!
My cousins wouldnt leave the album at my house so I had enuff money saved up from my paper route to go to the local department store and buy that album…..
Let’s just say that I never looked back
Was lucky enough to see the original band 13 x….thanx cugini
love your blogs!!
Ciao ciao

5 06 2015
suzrocks

Thank you Frankie. I should visit this page more often!

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