Tuesday, March 31, 2020

April 2020 PAD Chapbook Challenge Countdown Catch-Up: Time

Image by FelixMittermeier from Pixabay

you can't
stop the passage
of time flowing away
rushing into the distant past
heartbreaking memories leak from my eyes
when thoughts of pain become too much
tears form a misty veil
heart of glass breaks
last time


NaPoWriMo 2020 Preview Poem: American Breakdown

Image by moonzigg from Pixabay

America, America, alas
the cracks in your facade are on display
how many dead when all has come to pass
how many dead because of the delay
addressing a disease that came to stay
you told us it would all be over soon
deluded jackass braying at the moon


Image copyright juliahenze @123rf.com
Sly and Snarky

This Rhyme Royale was penned by my snarky political alter-ego Sly Fawkes with love to the village idiot currently occupying the White House--as much love as he deserves, anyway.

The prompt was to write a poem about my favorite birds. The bald eagle is one of my favorite birds. This one looks angry.

Monday, March 30, 2020

IWSG Book Club: Questions for Chill Factor

Disclosure: If readers purchase a copy of the book through the above link, I receive a small commission from Amazon. I really wasn't a fan of this book, and I don't recommend it. I gave it two out of five stars. But you're welcome to check it out if you like.

1. In the opening of Chill Factor, I love the way Sandra Brown begins with setting, weaving in character activity and then details to create this uncertainty when we meet Ben Tierney. He is out in the open air of snowy mountains with a shovel where there are four unmarked graves. Then, as it continues, his thoughts detail the event and mystery of the graves, as he finds his way back to his vehicle. The introduction of the character, setting, and mystery are powerful. It makes you quickly flip the page to find out what happens next.

QUESTION: The first chapter ends in uncertainty. At that point, did you think Ben Tierney was a hero or a killer?

I thought there was a fair likelihood that Ben was a killer (or one of a group of killers) at that point.

2. In the second chapter, Brown is in the female POV and she reveals the thoughts of the ex-husband in such a subtle way through the female's thought summary that you almost feel like you are hearing his thoughts, not hers. It’s so seamless it feels like you are in the room with them.

QUESTION: How do you handle deep point of view between characters?

I don't think I really give it much thought. If it works well, then it's a good technique.

3. A. Which characters did you like the most in Chill Factor? Why?

I liked Scott the best. He seemed like he was trying to do the best he could with a horrible situation.

B. Which characters did you like the least in Chill Factor? Why?

I thought every male character except for Scott was awful. Dutch and Wes were both abusive. Ben was passive-aggressive. William was a nasty little weasel.

4. Throughout Chill Factor, we’re not positive if Ben is a good guy or a bad guy. Have you ever put your readers on this roller coaster ride, tricking them into thinking a good character might be bad, or vice versa? And what techniques did you use?

I've written characters who were somewhat ambiguous. I never start out with any particular technique in mind. My characters are pushy jerks who write themselves.

5. As a fellow asthma sufferer, it was nice to see that as part of the heroine's character development and nicer to see that it didn't stop her from being depicted as strong. Too often asthma and allergy sufferers are portrayed as weak.

QUESTIONS: What other characteristics often make a character seem weak? What other characters have overcome weaknesses to be portrayed as strong?

I really don't feel that Lilly was a strong character. The line about her "not wanting to play the feminist card" made me say "oh boy, here we go" early on in the book. I have asthma, and I found it rather insulting that the author used Lilly's condition as a plot point to make her "need" Ben.

I was not a fan of this one. My review is here.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Come As You Are Party: Hiding in Plain Sight

Image by annca from Pixabay

I go through stretches of time where I tend to be very open about myself because I want to educate people about what it's like to live as someone who is seen as a pariah. By teaching people through my lived experience, I hope to open minds and hearts so that perhaps others won't have to be as lonely, ostracized, broken and broke as I've been.

I don't think it's worked very well. 

Sometimes I say "fuck it" and do it anyway, because maybe my words are what someone else needs to hear.

Sometimes I withdraw.

At this point, I'm withdrawing and restructuring.

I've decided that the Horror Harridans blog is, overall, a really stupid place to share my poetry. I've started publishing my poetry and sometimes submitting it to other places for potential publication. It's possible that readers think my poetry is pretty damn horrible, in which case it belongs on a blog called Horror Harridans. Like Trent Lane, I've been thinking about changing the name of the blog, but I'm not sure what I'd change it to just yet. Maybe just Team Netherworld Creations.

In any case, if you still have a burning desire to read my poetry, it can be found at--get ready for it--my poetry blog, which is currently called Dark Hearts Love Too.

If you appreciate reading the mental health stuff, it can be found at the Crazy Creatives Cheerleading Camp.

If you want to find out what's going on at the Grover Hotel, including cooking tips and products I'm selling and/or recommend, Good Stuff from Grover is where you want to be.

I'm still going to cross-post snippets on the Horror Harridans blog, but if the snippets are all you want, you'll probably prefer the official Naughty Netherworld Press blog.

If book reviews are your thing, head for The Ornery Book Emporium.

For product reviews, affiliate marketing, and things of that nature, head up to Aunt Cie's Attic.

If you want to read about philosophy and such, try One Love.

Maybe you just want animal posts. In that case, you can follow along at either Animal Anarchy or Aww the Animals.

Maybe you just want pleasant pictures with no bitching. In that case, you are looking for Cie's Wonderful World.

Want nothing but shitposts? Then That's So Netherworld is where you need to be!

This is something I wrote back in 2014. 

My writing may seem like so much weird shit to those who happen upon it. It may seem the product of overactive imaginations, oversensitive hearts, people who can’t hack reality but whose sober thought processes conjure up scenarios way weirder than any drug trip.

That may be how my work appears to the casual observer.

My stories are actually saying:

The stuff that’s going on in the world hurts me so damn bad to witness.

I just want to make a world where things are maybe a little crazy, often a whole lot of fun that I'm never able to have in reality, and where everything turns out okay in the end.

If that’s crazy, then I'm proud to be crazy. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Real Cie
(aka Cie Cheesemeister)
aka The Ornery Old Lady
Head Buttmunch in Charge
Team Netherworld

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

A Pot of Poetic Gold

All right, it's nowhere near as good as finding a pot of gold, but from March 17 until March 21, 2020, you can pick up the Ornery Old Lady's first book of poems absolutely free. But don't wait because, on March 22, the price returns to 99 cents.

Enjoy varied verses from melancholy to wacky in this virtual treasure trove of rhyme and free verse. Grab your copy today!

Why would you wait? Getting a good thing free is the second best thing to finding a pot of gold. And if you decide that the Ornery Old Lady's thing really isn't your thing, well, you spent exactly nothing to make that discovery, so you still come out ahead!

Ornery Owl
Free use image from Open Clipart Vectors on Pixabay

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Come as You Are Party: Meet the Critters of the Grover Hotel

There are 3 cats here at the Grover Hotel. Giorgio is the oldest. He is 17. His former human family were jerks who had him declawed and then dropped him at the shelter when they got a new cat and Giorgio behaved like a normal cat and hissed at the newcomer.

Tara is 10 years old. She was born on 9 September 2009. I adopted her and her little half-brother or cousin at the same time. Sadly, he had to be put to sleep due to kidney failure on his 6th birthday, 17 July 2015. 

I've never gotten over losing him and I have a tattoo in his memory on my left shoulder.

Bart is 9 years old. He was adopted after Giorgio's housemate got out of the apartment that my son was living in at the time and we were never able to find her. 

Giorgio was lonely and we had seen Bart at the shelter while looking for Tori. Since Bart and Tara became housemates they have enjoyed playing together. They are evenly matched and love to roughhouse and chase each other.

For those who haven't had the displeasure of virtually meeting me previously, I'm Cie, AKA the Ornery Old Lady. I'm a former home health nurse, and caregiver, now disabled. I live here at the Grover Hotel with my son Michael, who will be 30 in May. 

My son is a creative person who enjoys working with his hands. He does woodcarving, primarily chip carving, which is a relief style. If you have a design in mind, you can email me at chartley65@gmail.com and I'll put you in touch with him.

Ghost Town Grover may seem gruff at first, but he's just protective of the ole Grover Hotel. Don't tell him, but he's just about the un-scariest ghost you'll ever meet.

Cactus Clem is one of a kind. He's a mutant cactus man. He doesn't eat solid food, but he sure does love to drink, and he ain't picky about what he's drinking. Beer, ditch water, lemonade, whiskey, white lightning, more beer, it's all the same to Clem!

Do not challenge Clem to a drinking contest. You will lose. Alcohol doesn't get Clem drunk. He just likes the taste.

I hope you've enjoyed meeting the people and critters that reside here at the Grover Hotel. Feel free to stop by anytime. Our virtual home is open 24-7!

~Cie the Ornery Old Lady~

Ornery Owl
Free use image from Open Clipart Vectors on Pixabay

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Blow Your Stack Saturday: Ditch the Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnosis

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

I honestly think the "borderline personality disorder" diagnosis needs to be eradicated. This iffy diagnosis is mostly applied to women. When I read the theory that "borderline personality disorder" is actually a form of complex PTSD, it hit home with me. "Borderline Personality Disorder" is the latter twentieth-century hysteria. I wrote a piece about a traumatic incident that happened to me when I was fifteen and realized that a lot of the acting out I did in my teens could be traced to this incident. However, a lot of it could also be traced to the bullying I endured through my entire fucking childhood and teen years.

I also propose that the word "bullying" be stricken from the lexicon and replaced with a more accurate term:

I was inspired to write this after reading a post on The Mighty regarding borderline personality disorder.

Free Use Image by Open Clipart Vectors on Pixabay

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Many Temples Senryu

Image by Little MiMi from Pixabay

so many temples
away from the daily stress
enlightenment here?


I don't want to spend too much time rambling on, but I want to give credit where credit is due. This poem was partly inspired by the prompt, of course, but also inspired by a line from the song She's Come Undone by The Guess Who, which pretty much sums up the way I've felt about things for most of my life.

I know that some people get comfort from religion and I'm not saying they can't. However, I never have. Religion never did anything except make me feel worse about how flawed I am. 

Further, people tend to conflate religion and spirituality. A lot of the time, I believe that there is a higher power and that the soul continues following the death of the body. I believe in the possibility of reincarnation. I don't need to believe in any specific deity or dogma to hold the aforementioned beliefs. 

The Norwegian black metal musician Gaahl said that God is not in some building, God is in nature and God is in each of us. I wish we would extend kindness to one another's souls rather than being hateful to one another for our external differences.

Sometimes I reckon I'm just fucked and there is nothing but a life of pain followed by nothing. That possibility just makes me feel worse, so I try not to entertain it for too long.

Too many mountains, and not enough stairs to climb
Too many churches and not enough truth
Too many people and not enough eyes to see
Too many lives to lead and not enough time

 It's too late
She's gone too far
She's lost the sun

She's come undone

Friday, March 6, 2020

Carpe Diem Shikoku Island Pilgrimage: Kanjizai-ji Senryu

I wonder if you
are there, and can you help me
I am too far gone


Kanjizai-Ji is situated in the town called Ainan and is devoted to Yakushi Nyorai or the Buddha of Medicine and Healing. He is still one of the most important Buddhas especially during rituals that are performed at funerals because he is also the Buddha who leads the Buddhists to Nirvana.

Fat Friday: Ageism and Size Prejudice

Image copyright Open Clipart Vectors
Ornery sez:
Say "NO WAY" to ageism and fatphobia!

“You’re not fat! Don’t talk about yourself like that, it makes me uncomfortable.”

My blogger handle is The Ornery Old Lady.

I had a person comment on one of my posts “you’re not old, you’re young at heart!”

I had to laugh because if there is one thing I’ve never been, it’s young at heart. I’ve had kind of a tough go of things.

Two of society’s biggest prejudices, especially when it comes to women, are age and size. I’m middle-aged and fat. And I want to know why my saying that should make anyone uncomfortable.

(Hint–it shouldn’t.)

The Ornery Middle-Aged Lady just doesn’t have the same impact as The Ornery Old Lady, though.

Fat and Ornery

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Insecure Writers' Support Group 4 March 2020

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs in your stories?

My family is extremely dysfunctional. They have ended up in various stories in various situations. I'm not trying to paint them as bad. I'm trying to understand things that happened in my youth through much older eyes.

I'm too tired and my health is too precarious to be angry anymore. Mostly I'm sad for what could have been when I have the energy to feel much of anything.

~Cie the Ornery Old Lady~
(yes, I am)

Heeding Haiku: Senryu for Sadness

never leaving me
I carry you in my heart
sadness, my partner