Thursday, June 30, 2022

And the Truth Will Set You Free Eventually

Let's go
Everybody needs to start their own fire
Everybody needs a riot of their own
Everybody needs to be something that they are not
Everybody needs to go it alone

Because living so free is a tragedy
When you can't be what you wanna be
Living so free is a tragedy
When you can't see what you need to see (OK!)

In all the time spent hanging on to anything
In all the time spent knowing that they're wrong
In all the time wasted, stolen back, innocent
You won't get a second more, so move it along

Living so free is a tragedy
When you can't be what you wanna be
Living so free is a tragedy
When you can't see what you need to see

Living so free is a tragedy
When you can't be what you wanna be
Living so free is a tragedy
When you can't see what you need to see

Wishing and hoping and thinking, it's you
Who's got this all under control
Never a minute has passed you all by
When they haven't invaded your soul

It's not something you can hold
It's not something you own
It's not something you can buy or steal
You've got it when you're alone

Being free is a tragedy
When you don't know yourself
Being free is a tragedy
When you don't who you are

Living so free is a tragedy
When you can't be what you wanna be
Living so free is a tragedy
When you can't see what you need to see

Living so free is a tragedy
When you can't be what you wanna be
Living so free is a tragedy
When you can't see what you need to see

Let's go!
Hey, hey, hey
All right man
This is the story of your life, man

Songwriters: Cummings Michael David, Williams Adam Jeremy, Ost Adrian A, Sjursen Sigve, Tempesta Michael. For non-commercial use only.

A little fun trivia before we get into the heavy stuff. 

Powerman 5000 frontman Spider One is Rob Zombie's younger brother. 

And now, I have a little advice.

The shit you don't deal with now, you will deal with later.

I am now dealing with shit that I suppressed or ignored decades ago.

I never listened to my body.

I never listened to my mind.

I never listened to my heart.

I am now paying the price.

More to come.

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Ornery Owl has her thinking crown on
Free use image from Open Clipart Vectors

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Charity Sunday: The Rosacea Foundation


Since I'm a contrary cuss, I'm gonna scare all y'all fuckers right outta the starting gate. The ugly mug above is mine. I always look like I'm about to cut a bitch in any selfie I take. My attitude when I took this hideous picture was actually neutral. I was thinking something like, "well, fuck, I got my entire massive pumpkin head in the shot and there isn't a booger hanging out of my nose or anything, so it'll do."

When I started getting rashes over my cheeks and nose, my initial thought was "shit, I have lupus on top of all my damn endocrine problems. Figures." However, the labs revealed I don't have lupus.

My PA initially thought I was having an eczema flare-up. In fairness, this was during the height of the pandemic and I was doing telehealth visits, so she wasn't seeing my face up close and in person. Once she saw me in person, she could see right away that I had rosacea rather than eczema.

I have the type 1 presentation of rosacea, which is a persistent centralized rash and flaking skin, although sometimes I have outbreaks of pustules, which are really fun. Unlike teenage acne, there's no popping these suckers, no matter how much one may wish to because they're damn painful. 

Many people think of rosacea as being a mild rash that goes away with the application of a little cream, but sometimes it causes skin thickening and can even affect the eyes. It's a crap disease and I hate it. It makes me feel even more self-conscious than I already do, what with all the people in the world who feel like it's their duty to point out that I don't check the "hottie" boxes. Do these fuckers think I'm incapable of looking in a mirror and seeing that I'm not young, thin, or pretty? Fuck the hell off.

Just in case anyone missed it, I'm also angry. And sweary. 

It would make me super gleeful if someone found a cure for rosacea. I don't expect one in my lifetime because I did something bad in one of my other lifetimes, so I don't get to have nice stuff. But because I'd like it if someone in the future didn't have to put up with this crap, I'm donating a dollar to the National Rosacea Society for every comment I receive on this darling little post.

As for writing, I took part in the competition in May and I wish I hadn't. It only served to remind me that my writing seriously lacks any semblance of commercial appeal, which I really don't give any fucks about most of the time. It's just that it would be nice to have something go my way for once. 

I titled the suite of poems I entered for the poetry side of the competition Secrets of the Soul. I'm thinking about giving these poems away to subscribers of my newsletter in July. 

I guess I'll share a poem now along with a critique I received from a Sixfold participant whom I'll call Davy Wavy.

I call this ornery little gem Opposing Forces.

Opposing Forces


Senior and Junior are the best at spending

Money that they have saved from others

By not paying what they owe

By duping the gullible

By stealing from children’s charities


On New Year's Day, Senior tries to French kiss a woman not his wife

Her grimace shows that she is flustered and disgusted

She stifles a caterwaul and summons a taxi


As the fireworks fill the air with rockets' red glare

Junior, drunk on champagne and sporting an unflattering mustache

Tenaciously tries to please Senior with his latest half-baked idea

Senior ignores his sycophant son

As he trolls the party for a new target for his unwanted affections

Davy had this to say about the poem.

This poem is too preachy and obvious. Instead of stereotypes, why not give your two principal “characters” some human complexity? 

I dunno, Davy. Maybe because the poem was meant to be obvious. Maybe because its characters are cartoonishly awful. Maybe because this is the way I've observed them to act in real life. It isn't on me to grant human complexity to a pair of entitled fuckfaces who conduct themselves without the smallest shred of human decency.

I wonder if Davy would like this cartoonist to give their subject some "human complexity" too.

As for Senior's spawn, I can't help it if they're walking caricatures with all the nuanced humanity of the Walking Dead. 

I suppose I shouldn't be lazy, though. I really could try harder to give them some human complexity.

Oh, fuck it. It's not my job.

I like this image. It looks a little bit something like me and has my attitude too.

Davy's entitled to his opinions on my poetry. I really don't give a fuck. I'm just angry right now.

On the other hand, I thought Brittany's observations:

I don't know if it is a choice to lack punctuation in your work but I think if you could tighten it up and add some punctuation it would actually add more power to your words.

and Melissa's suggestions:

Stolen Flight is a little melodramatic in word choice (e.g. the image of the raven reminds me of Edgar Allan Poe, and the word 'soul' is used more than once). I'd try playing around with different word choices for this poem.

Were useful. I like the Poe-esque quality of the poem in question, but she's right that consulting a thesaurus for an alternative to reusing "soul" would be helpful.

I haven't even been able to make myself look at what people thought of my story entry. Sometimes it's more important to just keep going. I want to hone my craft, but I'm not going to even work on my craft if I'm convinced that everything I write is crap. 

Somewhere there's this thing called "balance." 

I think I'm more likely to be abducted by aliens than to find this elusive "balance" thing.

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

"Klaatu barada nikto, Owl?"

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Madly-in-Verse: Write... Edit... Publish... June 2022 : Please Rea...

Madly-in-Verse: Write... Edit... Publish... June 2022 : Please Rea...: Hello, is it June already?! Wowza, almost half the year disappeared in a puff of smoke!... This month the prompt at Write...Edit...Publish.....

A powerful piece. Sometimes I despair that humans will never learn to tolerate one another's differences.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Denise Covey: #JuneWEP - my #flashfiction, ESCAPE FROM MARIUPOL

Denise Covey: #JuneWEP - my #flashfiction, ESCAPE FROM MARIUPOL: Hi there! Time for the June WEP contest. This prompt Please Read the Letter required no thought from me. I immediately imagined someone esca...

Excellent writing. There are no words I can say to do it justice.

I sometimes despair that I have to live on a disability allotment of $1240 and get most of my provisions from the food bank. There is very little left after the bills are paid. My son often reminds me that even though our situation is difficult, we are in a better position than many people, even in the United States.

(My son is high-functioning autistic and not able to hold a normal job. He isn't on disability because one of us has to be able to amass savings in case of an emergency. I cannot have more than $2000 in savings.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Writing Off the Edge: WEP June 2022: Please Read the Letter

Writing Off the Edge: WEP June 2022: Please Read the Letter: It's already time for another WEP Challenge in our Year of Music. This month's musical inspiration is "Please Read the Letter&q...

I like Ingrid and I like this story.
I always say I'm much better on paper than I am in person. 

Monday, June 20, 2022

Just Jemi: WEP & Schrodinger's Letter

Just Jemi: WEP & Schrodinger's Letter: Like Schrodinger’s cat, the envelope rested on Ty’s kitchen island. Propped against the pepper mill. It had been the first thing he’d spott...

I'm glad the protagonist gets a happy ending to his story. I honestly feel like this when publishing comments, which is why sometimes it takes me a long time to get around to it.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

N. R. Williams, Fantasy Author: WEP Please Read the Letter

N. R. Williams, Fantasy Author: WEP Please Read the Letter:   It’s time for the Write, Edit, Publish June challenge. I must thank Denise Covey for starting this bloghop, and to all the ladies shown be...

Everyone should be lucky enough to have a friend like Holly. I think the narrator's life will be much better without Frank.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Blow Your Stack Saturday Lax Postmortem Procedures: UK and US


I'm in the US. My father wasn't given a proper post-mortem, and it would have cost too much money to insist on one. The cause of death listed on his death certificate was listed as the vague "delirium."

I'm not suggesting that there was any wrongdoing in my father's death. There wasn't. He was given good care in the hospice. His health had been in decline for years, even preceding the major hemorrhagic stroke at 68 that left him handicapped. In retrospect, he had been having TIAs even in his 50s. His vascular system was a mess.

In the years following the big stroke, he had several smaller strokes. He developed vascular dementia and lost the ability to walk. He had been a college professor, but at the end of his life, he sat reading the same page of a catalog repeatedly. He was starting to sundown, and confused scenes on TV with reality. He also developed congestive heart failure, which caused fluid buildup in his trunk and extremities. 

When he died, his lower legs were dark purple and edematous. 

So no, there were no signs of foul play in my father's death, but the cause of death was not "delirium." It was vascular problems and congestive heart failure. We simply would have felt better if there was a more thorough report on the cause.

Friday, June 17, 2022

DEFENDING THE PEN: WEP - Please Read The Letter

DEFENDING THE PEN: WEP - Please Read The Letter: It's that time again. A new prompt for all those who love a challenge. Are you ready to take up the baton? It's simple really, the i...

This poem about unrequited love got this old owl in the feels. Been there done that far too many times.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

FOAD Thursday: Unfuckingbelievable


Image by John Hain from Pixabay

“You won’t live long looking so fat”

Ornery sez: I worked with the elderly for approximately 25 years. Fat people in their 80s and 90s are far from uncommon and are in no worse health than their thinner counterparts, apart from the headache of having to constantly endure fuckwits telling them they need to lose weight so they can live longer.

“Have you heard of something called a diet”

Ornery sez: I most certainly have. I went on plenty of them during the 33 years that I tried to hate myself thin. The starve-relapse-regain cycle is bad for every body. Only about 5 percent of dieters lose weight long-term. Most of us long-term dieters eventually end up unable to lose weight even on extremely low-calorie diets. Google The Biggest Loser Weight Regain and read about starvation syndrome.

“Stop blaming having a baby for being such a cow”

Ornery sez: Stop blaming the victim of your shitty behavior for you being such a fucking cunt. 

“You should be ashamed for raising a child to think being fat is okay”

Ornery sez: You should be ashamed for thinking that your hateful behavior is okay. I suppose I shouldn't make the assumption that you can think. 

“Do yourself a favor and skip eating for about a month”

Ornery sez: Do us all a favor and fuck off into a black hole.

“The world would be better without fat pigs like you”

Ornery sez: The world would definitely be better off without pieces of shit like you. Please find a nice highway where you can play with hand grenades and razor blades. The sooner the better.

“Fat people are so annoying with their self love BS so just stop”

Ornery sez: Twats who go around looking for people to bully are such pieces of crap, so just stop.

These are just a few of the things that some really shitty people think it's okay to say to a young woman who is just trying to encourage others.

If anyone reading this thinks it's okay to say any of these things to somebody just because they don't look like what you think they should look like, forget fucking off into the sea. You need to fuck off into the sun. Not the sunset, mind. The actual surface of the sun, and the sooner the better, because you are a genuinely shitty excuse for a human being. 

Even if you think that all fat people "brought it on themselves" by "being lazy" and "eating too much junk food."

Even if you think that all fat people are "super unhealthy" and "caused all their own health problems."

There is never, and I mean not ever, an excuse for being that shitty. 

Meg, the blogger who received that vitriol, is a very nice young woman. She's the mother of a toddler, and she takes time to encourage others so they might not have to struggle as hard as she has. She is a genuinely good person, unlike those people who have nothing better to do than say hurtful and awful things.

If anyone ever wonders why I'm such a grouchy-ass misanthrope, read those comments again.

The world is filled with shitty assholes like the people who made those comments.

Sometimes I'm full of piss and vinegar and am ready to take them all on.

Other times I just feel sad for everyone who has ever been on the receiving end of such ugliness. 

Anyone who promotes the idea that it's acceptable to shame larger people "for their own good" can fuck right off too.

As for people who talk about dieting all the time, you annoy me, but I mostly feel sorry for you because I used to be you. I don't want to waste another minute obsessing over calories or "good" foods and "bad foods." It pisses me off that I have to think about carbs as much as I do. If I didn't have a dead organ floating around in my body, I'd never count a solitary carb, calorie, fat gram, or whatever else again. 

I don't wish ill on those still in the thrall of diet culture, although I admit to wishing that they'd STFU.

As for the bullies, I've changed my mind about the sun. Y'all assholes can fuck off into an active volcano. It won't take as long to get there. Start your journey today.

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

It seems like a good time to share this again.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

WTF Wednesday Video Preview for FOAD Thursday

I look like I'm about to cry in the preview shot of this video. I'm not. I'm my usual snarky, deadpan self. 

My rosacea is flaring up. I will not cover it with makeup. I think it's important to show my face as it is because I think it's necessary to show the faces of those of us who aren't considered "hot." We have something to say and our voices deserve to be heard.

Anyone who thinks a person needs to be conventionally attractive before they are allowed to speak is too shallow for me to waste my time on. I'm afraid their bottomless levels of stupidity might draw brain leeches to me. 

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

"Fuck's sake, I'm surrounded by idiots!"
(Free use image from Pixabay)

"Don't sweat it, Ornery. Do you want me to carve 'em up, stab 'em with my fork, or both?"
(Free use image from Pixabay)

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Blow Your Stack Saturday: Ace Hole


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The following is a response to a post from The World According to Renee.

My inner critic's name is Ace Hole. She has the face of a pre-teen movie mean girl and the mind of a rotting pail of compost. No external detractors can hurt me worse than she can because I can't help believing that every awful thing she says is true.

I'm sick of allowing Ace Hole to fuck up my life. I've been listening to that bitch putting me down for close to 60 years now. I'd say it's well past time for her to shut the hell up.

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Free use image from Open Clipart Vectors

Friday, June 3, 2022

Fat Friday: Meditation, Prayer, and Therapy for Weight Loss plus Other Loads of Tosh


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Once a week, I receive a helpful newsletter from a lovely lady named Isabel Foxen Duke. Isabel is a nutritionist and sociologist who helps women who are trying to break free from the diet mindset, which is a lot of us.

Here is a link to the post she references in her most recent newsletter.

The following is my response.

Hello Isabel,

I am struggling with the "exercise is supposed to make me thin, so why exercise if it's not making me thin?" issue. 

I have endocrine problems and, over the course of some 33 years, dieted myself to the point where my body refuses to lose weight no matter how much I starve it. I am no longer able to work because of disability, so doing the punishing workouts I did when I was younger is no longer an option. 

I used to buy into the idea that I had subconsciously made myself fat so men wouldn't be attracted to me, and I did this in response to sexual trauma. This is the worst idea ever. Whoever came up with it should be ashamed for multiple reasons.

Please know that I do appreciate your letters. They are a great help in my ongoing battle against my abusive life partner, ED. (Eating Disorder.)

Your pal,
Ornery Owl

I'm going to share with you all a little something that I'm pretty ashamed of.

I missed out on a lot of moments with my son when he was little, because when I wasn't working, I was at the gym trying to punish my body into a shape that it wasn't meant to be. If I couldn't get to the gym, I worked out obsessively at home with aerobics tapes and free weights. My marriage to a man I never really loved (my son's dad) was falling apart. I believed that my life would instantly become wonderful if I could just reach a certain number on the scale. Then everything would magically fall into place.

I hated my body, and, perhaps more to the point, I hated myself. 

I really needed help, but I wasn't getting it. Therapists always focused on the wrong thing. They treated me like a silly little girl who would be happy if she could just lose weight. Rather than try to get to the root of the problem, they cheered on my orthorexia and "healthy" eating habits. 

I feel that the best therapists know that a client's real problems are not always the ones they present on the surface. At least some critical elements of my trauma were buried. There was an instance of sexual assault that I never even acknowledged to myself until 40 years after it happened. I can't help but think how much it sucks that the guy who assaulted me certainly went on to assault lots of other girls and women in the space of 40 years. 

I'm rather certain that the trauma caused by being the victim of sexual assault brings about hormonal changes such as an excess release of cortisol. Cortisol encourages weight gain and causes difficulty in losing weight. Victims of sexual assault may develop eating disorders. The key is to treat the psychological trauma caused by the sexual assault because doing so will help the victim be more comfortable in their own skin, not in order to encourage weight loss because fat is the worst thing a person can be, for fuck's sake.

I'm sick of fighting this stupidity. 

Don't treat people like shit based on their size.

Or for any other reason either.

Fucking hell.

~Ornery Owl is Mad as Hell~

Free use image from Pixabay

Hangry Wyrm says:
"Forget about it, Ornery. Let's eat!"
Fierce use image from Pixabay

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Insecure Writers Support Group 1 June 2022


Image by Wolfgang Eckert from Pixabay

June 1 question - When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is and what do you think could help you find your groove and start?

My answer will not be very helpful, I'm afraid. Writing is simply part of my routine. Nearly 365 days a year, I get up and I do it. My motivation is not the same as a normal person's. 

First, I have an addictive personality. I have never been in rehab for substance addiction, nor have I needed to, because I don't become addicted to substances. I become addicted to patterns of behavior. What I'm getting around to here is writing is an addiction that replaces another addiction. It's like what Alice Cooper once said about his "addiction" to golf replacing his addiction to alcohol.

I have many self-destructive behaviors that writing replaces. While I've never been addicted to any substance, in the past I was an expert at self-medicating. At this point, I'm too much of a control freak to enjoy feeling out of control. Writing is something that I feel compelled to do. I have ever since I was six years old, no fooling. That blasted Edgar Allan Poe awakened a demon in me.

I started reading Poe when I was six years old. I knew how to read by the time I was four. I had an aptitude for it and a father who thought he could make me into some sort of child prodigy. He tried to teach me Latin and German as well as English, but by the time I was a teenager, I pushed back against the additional languages and forgot most of what I'd learned.

I'm not relating this story to brag about how smart I am. Far from it. I've made far and away enough stupid mistakes to refute any big ideas about my spectacular intelligence. My father had a saying. If you're so smart, why aren't you rich? My bank account reveals me to be a complete fuckhead. I live on the pittance that SSD gives me and it doesn't go very far. 

I can write, but I can't make people like what I write. I'm crap at self-promotion. 

I'm not smart. I'm self-destructive. 

Writing counteracts my self-destructive tendencies. It's something that I have to do. Nothing else works for me the way writing does.

Writing is also my lynchpin activity that helps counteract the undocked and adrift feeling that, for me, is part and parcel of ADHD. If I don't write, I don't do well with anything else, including tasks such as cooking. If I were only cooking for myself, I'd eat nothing but frozen dinners or sandwiches because I really don't give a shit about myself. I cook for my son. That my cooking is reasonably edible means I'll eat what I cook. I wouldn't be able to make myself cook if my consciousness were floating around untethered. FACT!

Writing gives me something to cultivate and take care of. Even though I'm a loner by nature, I don't do well living alone. I don't like myself enough to take care of myself. I know that many of you will think this is "pathetic," but my characters become my friends.

The thing that sabotages my writing most is the realization that people just don't like me. I'm socially awkward. I have a tendency to stick my foot in my mouth. I can't make myself pretend the world is a shiny, happy place. When I see injustice, I speak out. While I try to be polite and avoid saying mean-spirited things under the guise of "honesty," I won't indulge in odious concepts even if they are en vogue. For instance, many writers seem to think it's just fine and dandy to use larger people as scapegoats and punching bags. I won't stand for that shit. As a reviewer, I will knock off at least one star and sometimes more from a book that engages in size stereotyping. 

On one hand, I don't mind being the unpopular old bitch who demands that people check their prejudices. Hell, I don't really mind being alone most of the time. I'm a lone wolf by nature. I'm difficult to get to know. I don't need a lot of outside contacts, but sometimes not having any friends hurts. 

Anyway, in a roundabout fashion, my answer to this month's question is I start or work on projects because I have to. It's a compulsion. It's an addiction. It's my compass. It's what I've got. It is what it is, and I'm going to keep doing it even though I'm sure most people would prefer I didn't. I'm an asshole like that.

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Free use image from Open Clipart Vectors