A haven for creative people living with mental illness. This is the place where you can tell it like it is, not yet another place where you have to pretend to be someone you've been told you should be.
Thursday, December 22, 2022
Blog of Author J Lenni Dorner: Dec #WEP #WEPFF ANTiation
Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Writing Off the Edge: WEP December 2022
Tuesday, December 20, 2022
Sally's Scribbles: THE FIRST TIME I SAW YOUR FACE - WEP DEC 2022
Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Insecure Writers Support Group 7 December 2022
It's holiday time! Are the holidays a time to catch up or fall behind on writer goals?
Neither. The holidays are business as usual for me. I run a 365-day-per-year writing operation. Falling behind really bothers me so I would never do it deliberately.
I don’t have young kids—don’t have much in the way of family at all, really. I do have family, but I’m estranged from most of them. My son and I will do a day trip to see my mother, who lives about 125 miles from us, before Christmas. My brother lives in Arizona and my mother, son, and I live in Colorado. I’ll send my brother a holiday message. Maybe I’ll make some cookies to send him this year.
Sometimes it’s kind of sad not having friends I can communicate with, but the truth is, I’m not that good at being a friend. I’ve got a lot of trust issues and they tend to ooze their way in and ruin things. I’m a lone wolf with very few connections.
Happy holidays if you celebrate them. If not, have a good day not celebrating.
~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~
Monday, November 14, 2022
Open Book Blog Hop: Negative Feedback
Friday, November 11, 2022
Friday Book Blog Hop: Makeup to Breakup: My Life In and Out of Kiss
I will earn a small commission from Amazon for every book purchased through the above link.
LEGENDARY founding KISS drummer Peter “Catman” Criss has lived an incredible life in music, from the streets of Brooklyn to the social clubs of New York City to the ultimate heights of rock ’n’ roll success and excess.
KISS formed in 1973 and broke new ground with their elaborate makeup, live theatrics, and powerful sound. The band emerged as one of the most iconic hard rock acts in music history. Peter Criss, the Catman, was the heartbeat of the group. From an elevated perch on his pyrotechnic drum riser, he had a unique vantage point on the greatest rock show of all time, with the KISS Army looking back at him night after night.
Peter Criscuola had come a long way from the homemade drum set he pounded on nonstop as a kid growing up in Brooklyn in the fifties. He endured lean years, street violence, and the rollercoaster music scene of the sixties, but he always knew he’d make it. Makeup to Breakup is Peter Criss’s eye-opening journey from the pledge to his ma that he’d one day play Madison Square Garden to doing just that. He conquered the rock world—composing and singing his band’s all-time biggest hit, “Beth” (1976)—but he also faced the perils of stardom and his own mortality, including drug abuse, treatment in 1982, near-suicides, two broken marriages, and a hard-won battle with breast cancer.
Criss opens up with a level of honesty and emotion previously unseen in any musician’s memoir. Makeup to Breakup is the definitive and heartfelt account of one of rock’s most iconic figures, and the importance of faith and family. Rock ’n’ roll has been chronicled many times, but never quite like this.
Ornery Owl's Mini Review
Rating: Five out of five stars
The book is easy to read and, oddly enough, Peter is a very down-to-earth guy. It was interesting reading about his time with Kiss, but what I really enjoyed was learning about him as a person. I'm not a fast reader, but I tore through this book in three days.
The First Line/Book Beginnings
Have you ever tasted the barrel of a .357 Magnum that’s halfway down your throat?
Friday, November 4, 2022
Fat Friday Review: Sweatin' to the Oldies
Wednesday, November 2, 2022
Insecure Writers Support Group 2 November 2022
If you know me, you know that this post stands a good chance of containing heavy profanity and snark. Guess what--it does!
If you aren't an official or unofficial member of the Profanity and Snark Appreciation Society, you are welcome to give this post a miss.
November 2 question - November is National Novel Writing Month. Have you ever participated? If not, why not?
So, what's going on in the picture at the top of the post?
Well, the pathetic mortal is me, and the big demanding jerk is the Spirit of NaNoWriMo. Or, as I call it, NaNoHellMo. And our conversation is going a little bit something like this.
"You there, Pathetic Human Scribe!" rumbles the voice of the Spirit of NaNoWriMo. "Write me a complete novel in thirty days, or else!"
"Hold up right there, Buttface!" I retort boldly. "You know every time I've tried to write a novel in 30 days it's sucked so much ass that I can't bear to go back and edit it. Well, I refuse to waste my time writing anything suck-ass again, and nothing you can say will make me change my mind."
"So the great C.L. Hart/Lil DeVille/Ornery Owl is actually a pathetic coward," sneers the Spirit of NaNoWriMo. "I knew it all along. Brawk! Brawk! Brawwwwwk!"
"Enough of the chicken dance!" I protest. "My belly ain't yella! I accept your challenge. Now, remind me, how many words do you want in this novel?"
"The requisite number of words is 50,000 and you can't just type 50,000 random words or cut and paste 50,000 words that someone else wrote."
"Perish the thought. So, 50,000 original words. Well, I'll be working with the November PAD (Poem a Day) prompts from Writer's Digest. I'm going to be working on a novelette or novella to submit to Dragon Soul Press. And I'm going to be writing in my crappy journal most days. By the end of the month, I'll have a document with 50,000 original words and some of it will be publishable. Challenge accepted!"
"Wait a minute! That's not how it works!"
"It is when you're a NaNoWriMo Rebel. Which I have been for the past three years, or I would have stopped taking part altogether. Checkmate, Sonofabitch! Now, I'm off to eat some leftover Halloween candy."
Did you know that there are multiple iterations of NaNoWriMo? There's NaNoHellMo in November and two Camp NaNoWriMos: one in April and one in July.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I greatly prefer Camp NaNoWriMo to regular NaNoWriMo because it's more flexible, but since I've discovered being a NaNoWriMo Rebel, NaNoWriMo is no longer NaNoHellNo.
~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~
Tuesday, November 1, 2022
25 Years After
Image by Marc Pascual from Pixabay
It’s time to get revenge on the fucker who assaulted me in the wee hours of November 1st 1997.
By making November 1st a day to enjoy!
You didn’t manage to destroy me, you entitled bastard. I’m still alive. I may be broken. I’m not “more beautiful for having been broken,” whatever the fuck that means. I doubt there is a single person in this world who would find me beautiful. I’m old, I’m fat, and I have a face like the back end of a bus. I have a myriad of health problems. But I’m still here, and I plan to keep kicking until I can get what I call a win. You may have fucked me up mentally for years but I win anyway.
Ornery Owl has fucking spoken.
Image by Jim Cooper from Pixabay
Armored on the outside, me
The owl's my spirit flying free
Friday, October 28, 2022
Fat Friday Book Blog Hop: The Body Hoax
The body is broken, both how we feel in it and how we feel about it. We have allowed our bodies to become the business of others. We’ve assigned it a value, a comment, an opinion. Our thoughts about it hooked, twisted and bought. To fix 'The Glitch', we need to find the road back to our self. What if, body diversity is the human condition? There is no “what if”. It is. We are all made differently, like any species we were never meant to all be the same. We’ve created a planet where we’re growing dissatisfied people (by the million) because we’ve been forced to reject the notion of natural diversity. Forced to reject ourselves. The Body Hoax is one mother’s journey to change the world and her (not even spectacular) failure. But she learnt a lot… and she changed. Which she now wonders was maybe the point…
The First Line/Book Beginnings
Our great, great, great, great grandchildren:
‘Did you know, in the Bronze Age, they believed the world was flat?’
‘Just crazy! And in the Commercial Age, they believed that everyone could have a small, firm body!’
Saturday, October 22, 2022
Writing Off the Edge: WEP October 2022 Challenge: Thriller
Friday, October 21, 2022
Just Jemi: Hey, Thrillers!
Thursday, October 20, 2022
Denise Covey: #WEP OCTOBER 2022 CHALLENGE - MICHAEL JACKSON'S "T...
Wednesday, October 19, 2022
WEP Challenge October 2022: Thriller
Our subject needs no introduction!
Okay, she kind of does.
I’m Cara H, the Cheesy One, The Cheesemeister. I’m Cie, pronounced C. My real name is pronounced Care-ah, as in I care or pretend I do. Anyway, it ain’t Car-ah. The Car-ah is something you drive-ah. If I were a Car-ah, I’d kill you if you tried to drive-ah me.
I write dystopian and Lovecraftian fantasy and science fiction under the pen name C. L. Hart. That’s my first two initials and the first syllable of my last name. I picked it because my literary heroes H. P. Lovecraft, P. G. Wodehouse, and J. K. Rowling asked me to join their prestigious Secret Society of Authors Using Two Initials and a Surname.
If there really were such a society, I would join. We would sit around drinking tea and telling stories.
I also go by Owl. Ornery Owl, that is. Ornery Owl is the persona who pens my poetry and helps me dredge up repressed memories. I am Ornery Owl and I have something to say, come what may. You can listen, or you can ignore me. Whatever.
I was born on February 15, 1965, during a raging blizzard. It was a portent of a turbulent life to come.
I wish people would have listened when the head nurse spoke up and said leave this one alone. People have always made it their business to get up in my business, even though they didn’t care a hill of beans for me. It’s the rare person who gives a damn. The rest are either nosy or evil.
I grew up dancing with the likes of The Beatles, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, and The Rolling Stones. Later, I danced in the dark with Bruce Springsteen. When The Kinks said “Come Dancing,” you know I did.
“Do you love me now that I can dance?” I asked my schoolmates.
“You can’t dance. You’re ugly and weird. Nobody likes you,” my classmates said, and my inner critic confirmed it.
My inner critic’s name is Ayce Hole. I named her after an awful diet candy infused with lidocaine. It was supposed to numb your stomach so you wouldn’t feel hungry. I wanted to look like the After pictures in the Ayce ads, so I ate the candy.
When I looked in the mirror after noshing on a couple of mouth-numbing caramels, I hoped to see a gorgeous swimsuit model looking back at me. Instead, I saw an unhappy, bulimic teenager with numb gums, and because the candy had no nutritional value, I was hungry. Like most miracle cures, Ayce was a scam. Quelle surprise!
I was seventeen years old and a senior in high school when Michael Jackson’s album Thriller was released. I dug the Werewolf story set to music. I wanted to create exciting entertainment like Michael. I was an ugly duckling with a voice like a pissed-off swan, but I hoped that the Powers that Be would take pity on me and alter my less than comely appearance and far from crowd-pleasing musical abilities. Barring that, I hoped they would put me on the path to becoming a comedic actress. Character performers don’t have to be drop-dead gorgeous.
What I craved even more than talent, however, was adulation and excitement. I not only needed to be told I was good enough, I needed it reaffirmed constantly. I needed to hear that I was amazing! Beautiful (in an unconventional way)! Talented! Wonderful! Of course, because I don’t really believe a word of it, I needed it repeated again! Again! And again!
I wanted to be the thriller, and I wanted to get my thrills. I was always on the hunt for the next party. I needed one drink to pull me out of my shell, another to lower my inhibitions, and however many came after that to help me forget how much I hated my life and myself. I couldn’t stand for things to be still. I always felt like I was buzzing inside. Being high or drunk helped reduce the imbalance between the way things were and the way I felt they should be. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my behavior was a cry for help.
It literally took more than five decades for me to finally understand what was going on in my head. I had many erroneous labels slapped on me over the years. My favorite of these has to be “hysterical neurotic.” I’ll never forget the clown of a shrink who bestowed that sassy little number on me. I’m proud of the way sixteen-year-old me gave him what for. He was a damn Freudian misogynist who didn’t deserve the respect he demanded. I saw right through him.
My second favorite label is “borderline personality disorder.” Borderline personality disorder is the modern hysterical neurotic. This label is overwhelmingly applied to women and girls. The manifestations of “borderline personality disorder” don’t come out of nowhere. Every single person this label is applied to has complex PTSD. Every “borderline personality” has been traumatized, often sexually.
I was also misdiagnosed as having both type 2 bipolar disorder and OCD. When I was unable to afford Lithium, I expected to have “bipolar” episodes. I never did. With a little research, I discovered that I actually have ADHD and complex PTSD. People with ADHD can manifest obsessive behaviors and negative feedback loops that mimic certain aspects of OCD. However, the approach to short-circuiting such behaviors is different with ADHD than with OCD.
Suddenly the reasons for my thrill-seeking made sense.
Sometimes I feel like I’ve been cheated because I could have started making progress a lot sooner if I’d known what was really going on sooner. However, as the curmudgeonly Dr. House observed, you don’t get what you deserve; you get what you get. No amount of complaining will allow me to go back and make my discovery sooner, so I’ll just have to take it from here.
One day at a time.
~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~
Saturday, October 15, 2022
Blow Your Stack Saturday: How to Encourage (and Discourage) Exercise
This post contains affiliate links. I will earn a small commission from Amazon for any product purchased through these links.
Heyyyy, ya wanna make sure people don't stick with their workout? Just make your exercise routines all about weight loss and having an arbitrarily "perfect" physique! Bingo-bango-bongo, those less-than-perfect types will drop away like flies, leaving you surrounded by only the kinds of hunks and hotties that a superior specimen like you deserves to be in the company of.
What, me, sarcastic? Surely not! This will totally happen and you completely deserve it! Being a body-shaming concern troll in no way means you should crawl back under your bridge.
All right, I'm setting the Sarcasm Shaker aside now before I risk seasoning this post with too much of a bad thing. Anyway...
As Jennette McCurdy observed in her autobiography, I'm Glad My Mom Died:
People seem to assign thin with “good,” heavy with “bad,” and too thin also with “bad.” There’s such a small window of “good.”
Nobody deserves to be shamed into hating their body. I just did part of Jeanette DePatie’s Everybody Can Exercise video.
The participants in the video are real people of all sizes, not leotard-clad Stepford wives. I was only able to get through 15 minutes this time, but now that I’ve found something that I can tell myself to do at least 15 minutes of, and I’m not having to come up with the routines, I think I may be able to keep up with it. My endurance sucks, but I’m hoping to rebuild it.
Body shaming leads people to give up on exercising. I may not be a genius, but that seems pretty damn counter-intuitive to me. As Ragen Chastain of Dances With Fat (https://danceswithfat.wordpress.com) says, you are the boss of your own underpants. Therefore, if you wish to make weight loss the focus of your workout, you may do that. However, there are several reasons why I don’t recommend that approach. More importantly, you don’t have the right to tell anyone else that weight loss needs to be their focus for anything.
These are my realistic goals.
I have asthma and back problems and I’m almost 60 years old. I’ll never be able to run a marathon.
Did I mention that I hate running?
I like swimming. Unfortunately, there is no place to swim in this town. The nearest swimming pool or rec center is going to be a good 60 miles away.
I like walking, but I hate it when I go out in public and the public be there to attagirl me and treat me like I’m mentally deficient because I have physical problems. I don't want to be anyone's inspiration porn.
I also hate it when I encounter unleashed dogs because fuckers in this town think everyone should love their snarling mutt.
All that being said, I think videos like Jeanette’s are routines I can stick to.
I can do at least 15 minutes a day.
It doesn’t feel like a chore.
The routine is led by a compassionate, encouraging person.
One need not be in perfect shape to participate.
There is no fat shaming or thin praising.
It would make me feel proud of myself if I were to exercise regularly again. Hopefully, it will increase my stamina, flexibility, and strength. Perhaps it may even help lower my blood sugar.
What will exercising not do?
It will not make me a better person than people who don’t exercise.
A commitment to physical activity is not a measure of personal worth. I wish people would stop treating it like it was.
~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
Insecure Writers Support Group 5 October 2022
October 5 question - What do you consider the best characteristics of your favorite genre?
Oddly enough, the weird Lovecraftian fantasy I write as C.L. Hart and the naughty and bawdy erotica I write as Lil DeVille have a common trait that I appreciate.
I don't have to adhere to conventional rules. My characters can be oddballs. They don't even have to be human. They can originate beyond the stars. They can be vampires or werewolves or anything else I can imagine.
In some ways, the main difference between a C.L. Hart story and a Lil DeVille story is the heat level. There are a lot more platonic connections in the C.L. Hart universe. Let's just say that nobody reads a Lil DeVille story for the platonic connections.
I enjoy reading political thrillers and regency romance, but I would suck at writing them. I need to be able to transcend the bonds of reality and probably of good taste to express myself.
Tuesday, October 4, 2022
Stories From A Starry Sky: Weekend Writing Warriors: Snow Angel
Wednesday, September 7, 2022
Insecure Writers Support Group 7 September 2022
September 7 question - What genre would be the worst one for you to tackle and why?
There are a few genres that I guarantee I would cock up like a champ.
Oh, you wanna know which ones and why?
If I were Bob Seger, I'd tell you to blame it on midnight. But since I'm the hot mess that runs this joint, I'll tell you to blame it on my ADHD. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I probably stepped into the time slip while doing the time warp. I do that a lot. So...yeah. Where was I?
Oh yes, what genres should I avoid writing for the good of humanity?
I should never write regency romance.
While I enjoy reading historical fiction, including historical romance, if I tried to write such stories they would come out looking like I followed a "how to write romance" book to the letter. In other words, they would be formulaic, trope-laden, and probably pretty stilted. They wouldn't be good.
While I'm capable of hyperfocusing on a subject (the ADHD paradox), I have a tendency to run off on side paths rather than sticking to the main trail. I would very much enjoy reading and watching films about the Napoleonic era. You could even test me on what I've read or watched and I'd do okay. I'd retain a bunch of trivia bits to throw at people because that is what I do. But if you think I could mold those trivia bits into a cohesive story, you'd be wrong.
Similarly, I'm better off reading political thrillers than writing them.
For some strange reason, I can write sweet romance or I can write erotica. However, I don't have much luck writing romance in between those heat levels.
I do well writing fantasy and speculative fiction. If you're looking for hard sci-fi, I'm not your gal. Once again, I like reading it but I can't write it. I prefer genres where I can let my imagination go to town and not have to adhere to a bunch of rules. You know, the kinds of stories where I can say...
Sunday, September 4, 2022
Stories From A Starry Sky: Weekend Writing Warriors: Across the Night Sky 32
Monday, August 29, 2022
Monday Night Movie: The Virgin Suicides
The following is a copy of my review on Amazon for this movie with a few additional statements added.
I will receive a small commission from Amazon for any purchases made through the buy link.
This post contains discussions of suicide.
As someone who attempted suicide in my teens, I watched this movie with interest. I was raised Catholic like the female protagonists and became rebellious as a teenager. In fairness to my parents, they were not as ridiculously strict as the parents in this film, but we had a lot of arguments.
My heart broke for Lux, the character played by Kristin Dunst. The boy she trusted abandoned her. He was hell-bent on seducing her, and then when he got what he wanted he dumped her. The same thing happened to me and it was the straw that broke the camel's back as far as pushing me to attempt suicide.
I really hated Trip for his behavior. When you have sex with someone and then your attitude is "after that it was weird and I didn't care how she got home," you don't have the right to say you loved that person again, ever. You don't treat people you love like that, period.
Lux was in a vulnerable state. She had been drinking before she and Trip had sex, and then she fell asleep. He left her lying out on the football field alone. Anyone who treats another human being like that is trash. This character really made me angry.
After Trip dumped Lux, she began behaving in a hypersexual fashion, seducing as many willing guys as possible and having sex with them on the roof of the family's house. The film's narrator and his friends watch these liaisons through a telescope, making moronic comments.
What people don't understand is that girls who behave in a hypersexual fashion are reacting to trauma of some kind. Rather than showing compassion, these girls are called unkind names and exploited by men and boys willing to take advantage of them. The other boys were not as awful as Trip but still behaved deplorably acting like the Lisbon girls were prizes to be won rather than troubled human beings who needed a friend.
Girls and women are not objects to be ogled, prizes to be won, pets to be kept, or mysteries to be solved. We are human beings. The film does a decent job of expressing the sometimes extremely painful frustration of being a teenage girl. This is a commendable goal as teenage girls are the demographic whose troubles are least likely to be taken seriously.
~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~