Orenda Ayashe

Exploring Life Through
Award-Winning Art * Writing * Travel * Service * Spirit  

Street Life

              From chapter 1  of seven- Burglars

   I was trapped in a red clothing-donation bin near the corner of Church Avenue in Brooklyn on the night before Easter. Great! I’m only sixteen years old and now I’m gonna spend the rest of my life in a BOX!  I imagined myself as a fat old woman being fed dinner through the slot. Nineteen year-old Domino was outside, also getting frustrated with the situation.“This was a DUMB idea.” I yelled.  

             From chapter 3 of seven- Washington

   Wednesday morning we packed into the car and drove north along the Oregon-Washington coast. I couldn't fathom the endless unpopulated coastline and infinite multiplication of pine trees which spread out everywhere, although there were some bald patches. Grandma explained the clear-cutting. I disliked the absent foliage. They marred the hillsides. Yet didn't I also use the wood that made the paper that I drew and wrote on? An artist's dilemma crawled under my scalp for a while. Was drawing a tree on paper the same as tattooing a child's face on his ancestor's decaying bone?     Our destination in northwestern Washington was just as beautiful as the other locales we'd traveled to. LaPush was a

semi-secluded crescent shaped beach.

Beat the Street
Sharon Redd (Grand 12-Inches Cd 3)


  Straight from the author's journals, 1980s New York City is the setting for Climbing Through Windows. This provocative urban memoir examines coming of age, independence, betrayal, forgiveness and courage. Resentful of an overbearing home life in Inwood Manhattan, fifteen year-old smart yet wayward Tracy runs to Brooklyn with Domino. They climb through a busted street-level window in a back alley to a cellar where they survive, but increasingly dangerous episodes lead Tracy back home. 

   After meeting Johnny in Central Park, Tracy recklessly drifts between home, friends' bedrooms, homeless shelters and seedy hotels. She struggles through graduating high school, losing a string of jobs and unplanned pregnancy.

   Eventually dumping the hot-headed Johnny, Tracy returns to Inwood where she meets the romantic Torres and his crew. But the parties begin to sour when Tracy's family moves out of state, leaving her with the apartment and more freedom than ever. Torres' friends reveal a dark side as they climb through Tracy's windows, burglarize her childhood home and even threaten her life.

   Climbing Through Windows presents a daring, head-spinning and occasionally humorous romp through the eyes of a young female street soldier in a vast gritty city. The book's soundtrack includes music from days Tracy will always remember and a memoir you'll never forget.

                   From chapter 2 of seven- Domino

“You’se come to the Square alot? I ain’t seen you’se here before.” Domino spoke like a TV commercial salesman. To emphasize his words, he’d use his tip-toes to slightly lunge toward his audience while his arms swung outward from his body. You’d think he was reciting Shakespeare. Mom frowned slightly while putting silent radar on his Tough-Guy act. 

                      From chapter 4 of seven- Johnny

   Jana's shoes clicked as she walked me down a long hall with several doors on either side. It reminded me of a hospital ward. In some of the open doors I saw young mothers tending to their toddlers and one very pregnant girl lying quietly on her bed, apparently in some kind of pain. The hall lead to an open hexagon-shaped room. A dozen young girls of varying ages, races, shapes and sizes were all in there chatting, watching Falcon Crest on a large TV and trying to sleep on beige carpeting. On a wall to the right was a row of olive green lockers. Jana showed me where mine was while I felt the eyes of strangers on my back. Nice to be the new kid ain't it. My stomach screamed with hunger and nervousness. Jana handed me a fresh sleeping bag and pillow.