Author: Becky Fine-Firesheets

Writer / Musician / Radical Educator

It’s Salon Day! See ya at Freddy’s in BK at 7pm!

Live painting, bands, photography, words, plus FREE COOKIES!

Celebrating Brooklyn Transcore and sharing ways in which we can all support the local trans community. 
Click here for actions with Brooklyn Transcore

Let’s nourish each other! See ya at 7 at Freddy’s Bar & Backroom (627 5th Ave, Brooklyn).

When: December 2, 2022 at 7pm

Where: Freddy’s Bar & Backroom (627 5th Ave, Brooklyn)

What: Live music and painting, photography, free cookies. No cover, tips for performers encouraged.

MusicSunshine Nights | The BPRS | Daisy | Rob Bryn of The Wild Yaks | Ellina Graypel & Her Eastern Boys

Photos & Words: Julie Rae Powers

Visual Art: Rob Bryn | Sequoah

Spinnin’ Into the Weekend

I love The Wild Yaks so much that I made a video of me spinning my flag to their song “Vanish.”

Lead singer/guitarist Rob Bryn will be performing solo at my salon on 12/2 at Freddy’s Bar. Their full band is also performing next week on Tuesday, 11/22, at Union Pool. I’ll be at both shows. See you there?

Upcoming Salon Alert! – Fri, 12/2/22, 7pm @ Freddy’s Bar

I’m hosting a salon for the first time in four years! There will be live music and painting, photography, free cookies, plus we’ll be celebrating Brooklyn Transcore and raising awareness for trans rights, all at Freddy’s Bar & Backroom in Brooklyn. SEE YOU THERE!

Support Trans Rights: Click here for actions with Brooklyn Transcore

When: December 2, 2022 at 7pm

Where: Freddy’s Bar & Backroom (627 5th Ave, Brooklyn)

What: Live music and painting, photography, free cookies. No cover, tips for performers encouraged.

Why: In these dystopian days, creative collaborations are more important than ever. Come to our salon to listen, dance, talk, get inspired, eat cookies, and celebrate Brooklyn Transcore. Let’s nourish each other.

MusicSunshine Nights | The BPRS | Daisy | Rob Bryn of The Wild Yaks | Ellina Graypel & Her Eastern Boys

Photos & Words: Julie Rae Powers

Visual Art: Rob BrynSequoah

Honorable Mention in ILS Fiction Contest!

I’m thrilled to share the good news that my short story, “The Lola Channel,” won an honorable mention in the International Literary Seminar (ILS)-Fiction Contest Fellowship, with a tuition discount to their residency in Kenya this December as the prize. Very exciting!

However, after going back and forth for an entire week (and pulling lots of tarot cards for guidance), I’ve decided not to attend. It’s still out of my price range even with the discount, but more so, my beloved dog Basil is terminally ill, and I want to be here with him for his final months after so many years (15!) together.

I’ve also been moving into more of a homebody vibe these days, and while the idea of a writing residency in Kenya got me all amped up, I felt an internal friction when I envisioned getting on a plane, staying in a room, meeting new people. Winter is coming and I love the idea of nesting at home with my creatures and our art. I want to finish a draft of my memoir. I want to record two new songs I’ve been working on. I want to meditate and rest and take care of this body I’ve so often neglected in favor of going out on adventures. Dave and I also dream of opening our own art house one day down here in Brooklyn by the Sea and have been engaging in exciting conversations about art as community nourishment. I’m realizing that right now, I’d rather put my time and energy into my home and my neighborhood than into traveling.

Does this mean I’ve lost my adventurous side, that I no longer have a traveler’s spirit? Of course not! There will be future opportunities. It just means now isn’t the time for me to go.

Still, I wanted to be extra sure before emailing the organizers my declination, and so I returned to my tarot deck last night. The Queen of Pentacles greeted me. Do you know what she represents? Caring, nurturing, homebody.

I am on the right path for me at the moment. It has taken a long time to be able to even hear my instinct, much less trust it. I’m grateful to be in tune with myself now.

And I’m also grateful for this win! Declining the fellowship doesn’t mean I’m not celebrating. Cheers to me, and cheers to all my writer siblings out there!

Being Me Fully (Happy Pride!)

For the longest time, I thought that because I married a man and had babies, I couldn’t be bi/pansexual.


When I first met my husband-to-be as a wee 22 year old, I hadn’t yet claimed queerness as a part of my identity. I’d been on dates with other women and had engaged in plenty of fantasies involving women, men, and enbies, but it took decades to work through the shame United Baptism had left inside of me surrounding my sexual identity and expression. Once I let go of that shame and accepted my sexual desires, I still felt like an imposter. How could I be queer if I hadn’t had sex with a woman? How could I truly be pan if I’d married a man?

Turns out I was repressed, oppressed, disconnected from myself, and completely confused about what queer even means.

The past two years have been transformative for me. My sister began her journey with transitioning, inspiring me to more fully embrace my own queer side. I also realized that I don’t need to sleep with anyone to prove my sexuality. And Covidlife made me realize how so very wrong America is in basically every way possible, especially as it relates to sexual identity and gender roles. A white supremacist, heteronormative, capitalist, imperialist, war-mongering, oligarch-worshipping patriarchy? Yeah, not surprised it sucks.

Instead of forcing myself to fit into one of our society’s checkboxes, I’m ready to step outside of the whole thing and live another way, focused on honesty, creativity, collaboration, collective healing, and love – for myself, for you, for all creatures, for the entire planet.

Guess what? It feels awesome to finally accept and explore my full self and to restructure my days around the philosophies I believe in, rather than the ones I was raised in and still felt chained to as an adult.

What’s also awesome is how incredibly supportive my husband has been throughout this journey. Not just supportive, but totally on board. I’m so grateful to have such a co-collaborator/conspirator in life (I think in a few past lives, too). Together, we are raising and homeschooling two kids, creating and maintaining a beautiful home, making loud rock-n-roll music, engaging in local activism. Now we get to explore my queerness together, too? I’m swooning.

Sending big love and good-sex vibes out to everyone. Happy pride, y’all!! 🌈

New Music Video “Anthem for the Millenials” Out Now!

I made a music video! It’s for my duo’s rock song “Anthem for the Millenials” about how capitalist America is failing artists, from our EP called One Day.

I’m so excited to share my first foray into video editing with y’all! Check it out below, and learn more about The Brooklyn Players Reading Society here.

Connect with us!

YouTube: The Brooklyn Players Reading Society
BandcampThe BPRS
Facebook@TheBPRS
Instagram: @TheBPRS
Website: thebprs.com

Is real life just a fiction?

One day when I was angry over the constraints of American society, I created a 20-something, closeted bi girl named Jessie. Her story took place in a yoga studio where she was trying to discover why her artistic inspiration had vanished. Without thinking twice, I threw in my favorite meditation.

The idea of this meditation is to envision yourself lying in a beautiful forest beside a river, surrounded by fallen leaves. As a thought enters your mind, you picture yourself picking up a leaf and dropping it into the flowing water. It drifts onward and away, just like the thought drifts in and out of your mind. But Jessie is a ruminator, and also resistant to change, so her version went like this:​​ 

“She envisions herself lying in the woods by a creek, the warm sun beating down on her skin. Breathe in, hold, release.  For every thought that enters her mind she picks up a leaf from the ground, feels its crinkly, dry edges on her fingertips, and drops it into the water.  Then the leaf plasters itself against a rock, splayed out so she can see every word of the thought shining in the sun.”

Whenever I tried this meditation again, leaf thoughts started splaying out for me, too, and I could no longer let them flow onward. My favorite meditation was ruined. I told myself that day: be more careful about turning real life into fiction. 

As I was drafting my first novel, a futuristic dystopian story about a young musician connecting with her radical side, I found myself analyzing the reverse of this. Just ask any sci-fi writer: fiction can become real as quickly as reality can become fictional. 3D printers. Tablets. The metaverse. All of this was thought up in fiction well before it existed in real life. If you can dream it, you can make it.

I began to wonder what the difference between fiction and reality truly is. Isn’t society itself just one big Paracosm, an incredibly detailed, imaginary world, that we’ve all agreed to believe in? 

I find this thought to be full of hope. The next time I sit down to meditate, I try the river in the woods again. The leaf thoughts drop into the water, flow toward a rock, and, for the first time in years, keep going, the river carrying them away toward a future built on dreams.

Studio Magic: North Star Steady

 

North Star Steady” is a love song I wrote for Dave during a bout of insomnia, purposefully set to a minimalist keyboard line so that I could focus more on the vocals. Dave’s drum line was rockin’, and I liked that there was breathing room in the song. It worked live. In fact, it was one of my favorites to perform.

But when Dave, engineer Salmak Khaledi, and I were listening to the recording of it in the studio, the song felt incomplete. We ate pizza and drank coffee and listened to it again and again, commenting on how it could use this or that but not landing on anything quite right. Then suddenly, Salmak leapt up, ran over to the Moog, and, within minutes, was playing a killer groove that had all of us dancing. We recorded it then and there. 

The “magic of the studio” is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot, but it’s SO TRUE. Salmak breathed new life into our songs, not just through his bass line but through all of his production choices and mixing edits. It was a real honor to record this album with him and to share it with all y’all.

Now it’s time to get back to it. We’re super excited to work on some new tunes and get those out to you later this year. Be sure to follow The Brooklyn Players Reading Society on all the socials to stay up to date!

Website: thebprs.com
BandcampThe BPRS
Facebook@TheBPRS
Instagram: @thebprs
YouTube: The Brooklyn Players Reading Society