Saturday, April 30, 2022

Writing Off the Edge: WEP April 2022: A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall

Writing Off the Edge: WEP April 2022: A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall:   It's already time for another WEP Challenge in our Year of Music. This month's musical inspiration is "A Hard Rain's Gonn...

It's so heartbreaking. When I was delivering food in downtown Denver from 2017 to 2019, I often drove by the Denver Rescue Mission. I would have been homeless myself if not for my son allowing me to move into his townhouse and sleep on the couch. There's no excuse for it in a first-world country. The only thing that keeps people homeless is the greed of those in power. Everyone should have food, shelter, medical care, and utilities, regardless of their ability to pay.

Friday, April 29, 2022

N. R. Williams, Fantasy Author: A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall WEP Bloghop

N. R. Williams, Fantasy Author: A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall WEP Bloghop:   WEP challenge for April, 2022 inspired by Bob Dylan’s, A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall. Write, Edit, Publish is a bloghop started by Denise Covey...

Content warning: This brief, well-written piece addresses sexual assault.

I never reported any of my rapists. I was sure I wouldn't be believed. My own family's attitudes confirmed that. When I told them what happened, they blamed me.

It does take great strength to raise a child conceived during a violent assault. But I do not fault anyone who can't. I don't know if I could.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Estrangement and the Seeds of Feminism


Commander Evdokiya Bershanskaya gives a briefing to her “Witches”. 
(Archives Vlad Monster,

The following is a response to a post by Roland Clarke for the April 2022 WEP Challenge.

A well-written and educational piece. I have relatives in Lithuania, but the truth is, I know almost nothing about them. We wouldn’t know each other. I am estranged from most of my family. Vivid connections like those depicted in this story are a foreign and fascinating concept to me.

The Night Witches are a source of inspiration for a woman who secretly started identifying as a feminist back in 1973 at eight years old. Women can do anything that men can do and it is tiresome that in the twenty-first century we are still seen as decorations and unpaid labor.

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Ornery Owl says "no" to being arm candy or a helpmeet.
She'll tear your arm off and help you meet your maker.
(Free use image from Pixabay)

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

The Warrior Muse: WEP - A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall

The Warrior Muse: WEP - A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall: My WEP entry is below! I have a story in Particular Passages 2, and it is now available for pre-order. There's no theme, just good short...

A nicely written work. I feel we should all do a better job of supporting family members and friends who become pregnant, whether the pregnancy is planned or unplanned. There are few more difficult feelings than being alone with a new child to support.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022


Sally's Scribbles: GLASTONBURY CND FESTIVAL - WEP: WRITE EDIT PUBLISH The music theme continues this month April 2022 giving us  A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall  Bob Dylan  Glastonbury CND Festi...

Good work on this by Sally. My one nuclear disarmament protest involved walking to the now-closed Rocky Flats nuclear power plant outside Boulder, Colorado. The protestors held hands to surround the plant, which also manufactured nuclear weapon triggers. It was very peaceful and I don't think anything harder than cigarettes were smoked. I doubt we accomplished anything but there was no harm. 

I certainly could walk a long way in those days! Now I have trouble walking more than a quarter of a mile without my upright walker because of the problems with my lower back. 

I never went to a festival on par with Glastonbury where I had to camp out or anything. I'm the sort of person for whom "camping" means in a cabin with running water and electricity.

 I did drag my then 13-year-old son with me to a festival in Winter Park in 2003. It was far less fun than I hoped it would be. The bus transporting us from the lodge to the stage area was full of drunk idiots (of course). 

I wasn't doing well either. My well-meaning but ignorant doctor kept trying different antidepressants on me. I learned the hard way that those drugs do absolutely nothing for my depression or anxiety, but they do make me psychotic. I wasn't violent, but it was frightening for my son to see me so off kilter. 

Thankfully, those days are behind me. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Just Jemi: WEP & Brat

Just Jemi: WEP & Brat:   Rain fell and fell and fell. Brat wondered if it had got into her skin and replaced her blood. She hoped it would keep falling. When she’d...

I always saw A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall as a metaphor for the Vietnam war and a scathing critique of the leaders who allowed it to continue. Having been born in 1965, I grew up in the shadow of both the Vietnam war and the Cold War. It colored both the way I write and the way I have experienced life.

The story describes the experience of abuse victims very well. People who have experienced abuse as children often remark that they thought every household was like that and they are surprised when they visit a household without the abusive dynamic.

I wasn't physically abused but there was a lot of yelling in my house when I was growing up. My parents were always yelling at each other. I think outsiders seeing their dynamic would have wondered why they weren't divorced. For them it was status quo. I always found it stressful. I had to learn as an adult not to be so volatile. It drives people away.

Friday, April 1, 2022

Fat Friday: Finding Balance


Balance is one of those things that I struggle with. I tend to have an all-or-nothing approach to pretty much, well, everything. It is deeply ingrained for me to criticize myself harshly regarding my imbalanced nature. I need to stop and remind myself that I am just now learning certain things that I should have learned a long time ago.

I am going to discuss physical exercise, which is a bone of contention for many of us because we have been scolded for not working out well enough, hard enough, long enough, or for not having achieved significant weight loss through exercise. While you are welcome to share your own experiences, I will not tolerate pro-weight loss commentary or body shaming. 

It is fine to mention that your parents, gym coach, personal trainer, or such body-shamed you and this led to an obsession with weight. It is not okay to say "yes, but if you just adhere to the Nuts and Bolts Lemonade Cleanse Cabbage Soup Diet while working out for six hours a day, you too could lose your unsightly fat!" Fuck right off with that shit. Also, saying things like, "well, it's fine as long as you're not THAT fat. If you weigh X pounds, that's okay. But if you weigh more than X pounds, that's unhealthy, teh obeeeeesiteee, blah blah blah," yeah yeah yeah, heard it all before. Fuck off with that shit too.

All the above shit does is sabotage any desire to exercise or engage in eating a nutritious, balanced diet. When I say "diet," I don't mean dieting for weight loss, I simply mean the food one eats. There is only one diet that I endorse, and that's the Fuck It Diet. I'll put a link at the end of the post.

I'm actually fairly careful with my diet because I'm diabetic. I'm not able to be as careful as I'd like to be because most of my food comes from the food bank. I would prefer to eat more vegetables, but I'm working with what I have. I am not better than someone who isn't in a place where they're able to eat a balanced diet or someone who is struggling with an eating disorder. I am not a lesser person than someone who can eat a perfectly satiating plant-based diet. I'd probably have to hire a chef to make that happen, and if I'm having to get my food from the food bank, hiring a chef isn't high on my list of things to do right now.

I have difficulty coming to grips with exercise. It isn't that I don't like to exercise, but I'm no longer able to do many of the things that I used to do. I also have that shitty voice in my head that tells me if I'm not able to run like a racehorse for miles while interspersing jumping jacks and other high-octane maneuvers and then lifting weights for an hour, well, what the fuck am I even doing? 

This kind of all-or-nothing thinking is toxic and leads people to stop exercising.

Diet culture fucking sucks. One of my missions in this life is to keep pointing that out until people finally start getting it. 

Eating "too much junk food" does NOT cause a person to develop diabetes. Being "too fat" does not cause a person to develop diabetes. The only thing that causes diabetes is having a genetic vulnerability to diabetes. It is likely that I would have developed diabetes eventually even if I ate the perfect diet and was the so-called "perfect" weight for my height. The rest of my endocrine system is a trash fire, so it was coming. However, I might have been able to stave it off for a few more years if I hadn't been in a constant state of food insecurity, because of poverty and self-inflicted food shortage, aka dieting. 

Dieting changes a person's body but not in the ways that the multi-billion dollar diet industry tells us. It fucks our metabolism. Eventually, the chronic dieter can no longer lose weight even when they adhere to an extremely restrictive plan.

I have my abusive life partner ED (Eating Disorder) under wraps most of the time, so we're not going to discuss him right now. Instead, I'm going to concentrate on discussing my struggles with exercise. 

In the early 90s following a difficult pregnancy and emergency c-section, while at the same time having severe food poisoning (campylobacter,) my body was torn up, and I was physically weak. I was ashamed of the way I looked and ashamed that I couldn't even push the pedals on the exercise bike hard enough to keep the display screen on. I enrolled at 24 Hour Fitness. 

Instead of suggesting that I concentrate on rebuilding my strength and endurance and advising me not to worry about the number on the scale, the focus was all on getting me back to my pre-pregnancy body. 

Stepping back in time for a moment, when I was taken to the OR to undergo an emergency c-section, the technician or nurse comforted me with the knowledge that I would be able to wear a bikini again because I would receive a horizontal incision. Even as obsessed with my appearance as I was at 25, I found this ludicrous. I couldn't have given a fuck less about being able to wear a bikini again. My child and I were going to die if he wasn't born, stat. 

Even in that horrible moment, the sexist attitudes that make prioritizing the idea of being able to wear a fucking bikini again during an obstetric emergency even a remote possibility enraged me. Above all else, women are to be pleasing to the male gaze. Is any woman who doesn't measure up to the Photoshopped and pornified standards of men's magazines even a woman?

Forward to today. I am struggling with the extremist attitudes that have been ingrained in my brain regarding exercise. Once I am finally able to make myself do a little workout, it's so psychologically taxing that I avoid it until I can psych or shame myself into doing it again. 

I know that it is important for people with ADHD to develop a schedule, so I "should" just schedule a certain time of day when I work out, right? Why not right after I get up and take my meds?

Not so fast, Sunshine. It's not quite that easy. I can't eat for a minimum of a half-hour after taking my thyroid medicine. 

Well, couldn't I just work out on an empty stomach?

Not if I don't want to risk tanking my blood sugar. I don't enjoy having to re-regulate things when my blood sugar is too high or in the toilet. The last time my blood sugar crashed I literally thought that I was on my way out and I was too drained to give a fuck. I forced myself to eat the world's most uninspiring sandwich and a packet of Bel-Vita breakfast biscuits and I didn't even inject any insulin. When I got home, I measured my blood sugar, and it was only 134. That's how depleted I'd been. So no, exercising on an empty stomach isn't an option.

Well, why not exercise right after breakfast?

Because I need to let the food digest a bit. Have you ever exercised right after a meal? Blergh. 

Okay, well, wait an hour and then exercise.

This is a good idea. The problem is, I'm usually into a project by then and don't want to lose my hot streak. Plus, I'm fighting the voice in my head that tells me if I can't be EXTREME, then what is even the sense?

I have to start low and slow. I have to give myself permission to realize that even five minutes is a triumph. Yes, I used to spend five hours a day at the gym on days that I didn't have to work. I'm not exaggerating. That's called orthorexia, and it isn't a good thing. I missed chunks of my son's early childhood because of it, and people still considered me "too fat." 

Body dysmorphia and all-or-nothing attitudes are something that I will have to combat for the rest of my life. I have mostly accepted the reality that I will always be heavy unless I become terminally ill the way my great-grandmother did. Since I still have plenty of damage to do, I'd prefer that not happen anytime soon, so the size-shamers can just kiss my fat ass. There's work to be done. 

Spirit of the Universe, please help me keep fighting my negative programming and society's hateful attitudes towards larger people. Please help me remember that my worth is not tied to a number on a scale and that good health, while desirable, is not a measure of personal value. Please help me to encourage those who may be fighting a similar battle. Amen.

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

The only diet books you will ever need.

The Fuck It Diet

Health At Every Size

Free Use Image from Open Clipart Vectors
Fat and Ornery

Free Use Image from Pixabay
Hangry says "fuck dieting."

The Icky, Sticky, Nit-Picky Legalese If You Please (Or Don't Please)

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