Wednesday, December 13, 2023

The Xenomorphs Understand #WEP

Free use image by Wolfgang Eckert on Pixabay

Tagline: Thoughts from an Outsider on Aliens and Acceptance

Critique Guidelines:

Full CONSTRUCTIVE criticism regarding the mechanics of the piece is acceptable. Tearing down the subject matter is not. Further, I don't give a rat's ass if any of you find my use of salty language "low class." I've had a hard life. I quit using both alcohol and drugs 25 years ago and stopped smoking cigarettes in 2006. I'll damn well cuss if I feel like it. If you have a problem with that, don't read the essay. It's simple.

Without further ado-doo, here's the contentious piece in all its glory.

The Xenomorphs Understand

Per the Wikipedia entry on Lovecraftian horror, H. R. Giger's book of paintings, which inspired many of the designs in the film Alien, was named Necronomicon after a fictional book appearing in several of Lovecraft's stories. Dan O'Bannon, the original writer of the Alien screenplay, has also mentioned Lovecraft as a major influence on the film.

It’s no wonder a fourteen-year-old me, who had not long ago started reading Lovecraft’s works, was so taken with Alien. I was already a seasoned horror buff. I’m not being hyperbolic when I say that I started reading Edgar Allan Poe’s works at six years old. I loved reading horror comics under the covers with a flashlight, even though this activity contributed to my fear of venturing down the dark hallway to the bathroom during the night. The giant cockroaches that invaded our poorly-constructed New Mexico home and the whatthefuckery of a massive furnace vent right in the middle of the damn hallway floor making it so you had to scoot along the wall or risk burning your feet on the hot metal grate didn’t help.

I didn’t consciously entertain the idea of the Xenomorphs being misunderstood until decades after my first viewing of Alien. In 2012, I was sick of my life and sick of myself. I was hung up on a guy who was never going to see me as anything but a booty call. I was grieving the loss of my father. I was out of hope, but my son still needed my help, so I had to find something to distract myself from punching my own ticket, which was the action I really wanted to take.

My therapy came in the form of crazy fan fiction crossovers featuring evolved Xenomorphs.

Nobody but me will ever read these stories. When I reread them, it’s obvious how much I needed someone to understand what I was going through and how lost I felt.

The Xenomorphs—my fellow Outsiders—saved me.

Much of my writing centers around the idea of acceptance. I hoped one day I’d find an audience of outsiders like myself who would enjoy my strange worlds. This has never come to pass, which may be no surprise to those on the outside looking in. Normal people don’t get me, and I don’t get them.

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. I’ve tried to convince people that I’m a writer, but at heart, I’m a wannabe musician. Since You did not see fit to bless me with musical talent, I turn my thoughts into stories rather than songs.

Now you know my secret.

I read a lot of biographies and memoirs, partly because I write fiction nearly every day so I want to read something else, and partly because I’m still trying to find people who are like me in some way. I’m currently reading Edward Van Halen: A Definitive Biography by Kevin Dodds.

Eddie Van Halen had something to say about being true to your vision, and I’m going to let him say it uncensored.

“I’d rather fail with my own shit than succeed with someone else’s.”

Jimi Hendrix felt the same way. I try to keep this attitude in mind, but it’s difficult in a world that doesn’t want stories chock-a-block with troubled characters. As John River said,

“In this world, no one can be different or strange or damaged, or they lock you up.”

They also lock you out. It’s hard to make an impact as a writer anyway, and weird fiction is far from a popular niche. I would prefer to spend my time writing Lovecraftian fix-up novels and kooky fan fiction crossovers, which have some pretty dark roots if you bother to look beneath the surface. Most people don’t. However, I can’t generate social currency with these works, so I spend most of my time writing romance both steamy and sweet.

More than once, my stories have been branded technically proficient but lacking emotion. However, when I let myself bleed all over the page, I receive no response. Reading the truth about someone who was the target of bullying and the victim of sexual assault isn’t fun. However, when I write for fun, the result is deemed “too weird.” I try to give the people what they want, but then I die inside.

It’s not that I think the romance stories I write are bad. I like my comparatively well-behaved literary children. However, it saddens me when I neglect my melancholy, misunderstood, alienated brood with their tragically poetic souls in favor of promoting the more acceptable lot.

Weird fiction has saved me many times.

That’s why I’ll always love my New Weird Tales even though nobody else gets either me or them. 

The Xenomorphs understand.


789 words

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Image by Jim Cooper from Pixabay
"Thanks for being my pal, Space Jockey."

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Insecure Writers Support Group 6 December 2023


Image by mcmurryjulie from Pixabay

December 6 question: Book reviews are for the readers. When you leave a book reviews do you review for the Reader or the Author? Is it about what you liked and enjoyed about your reading experience, or do you critique the author?

I'm not sure I understand the question correctly, but I'll take a crack at it.

When I review the book, I'm reviewing the story, including what I liked and/or disliked about it. I probably know little to nothing about the author, so it really isn't my place to critique them as a person. 

Sadly, my experiences with Online Book Club burned me out on doing book reviews and I rarely have time, anyway. I'm almost always amenable to doing promotional posts. You can learn more about that at the following link if it sounds like something you'd be interested in.

Here's a link to a four-star audiobook review I wrote in October. I cite several reasons for enjoying the story and explain my reason for giving it four rather than five stars.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Insecure Writers Support Group November 2023: NaNo or NoNo?


November 1 question: November is National Novel Writing Month. Have you ever participated? If not, why not?

I believe the first year I participated was 2008. I almost stopped doing it because, not too fine a point on it, every novel I attempted to write during this time was BAD! Bad as in whatever was in the Death Star trash compactor would, comparatively, be treasure beyond measure. Bad as in a gold-painted bit of horse manure would, comparatively, be a priceless artifact. Let's face it, those early efforts sucked, and no amount of editing would make them readable.

I was ready to stop doing NaNoWriMo, having dubbed it NaNoHellMo. I still call it that, but it's a bit of affectionate ribbing rather than outright loathing. You see, I discovered the joy of being a NaNo Rebel. 

I created the banner with a free-use image from Unsplash and design software from Pixlr. Pixlr has an interface similar to Photoshop but it's much more user-friendly. 

I'm sure most of you know what a NaNoWriMo Rebel is, but for those who don't, you can read about it here.

There's a lot of wanking about whether Rebels or Traditionals are better, to which I say, do what works for you. I really couldn't give a flying toss.

For this year's Rebellion, I will be working on two short novellas and filling in the rest of my hideous, sanity-destroying word count document with poetry and any other thoughts my bleary brain may toss out. It might be wise to complete my submissions for The Fear Doctor, next year's drabble anthology from Dragon Soul Press so I won't be having to write drabbles while trying to get next year's Passionate Ink project wrangled into submission.

Heh! See what I did there? 

Passionate Ink is an online special interest 501(c)(6) non-profit organization for erotic fiction authors. Like Lil DeVille, who puts the Naughty in Naughty Netherworld Press and often writes about submission--the fun kind.

Join me. You know you want to. But if you aren't convinced, you can check out this year's drabble anthology, The Damned. It contains five pieces written by C. L. Hart (the Netherworld side of Naughty Netherworld Press) plus chilling tidbits from other authors.

Get it here!

That's all for this time. I got kicked off the roster because I completely forgot about doing the monthly IWSG post while trying to write a story that would fit into the forthcoming winter anthology from First Coast Romance Writers. It only took me three tries to get it right. Sheesh.

You can pre-order the anthology for just $3.99. Proceeds benefit First Coast Romance Writers, an independent non-profit organization helping writers hone their craft and expand their knowledge of the publishing industry.

That's about all the damage I can do this time. If you're NaNoing, good luck! If you aren't NaNoing, good luck to you as well.

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Free use image from Open Clipart Vectors

I designed this banner using Pixlr. 
You're welcome to use it if you like it.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

The Star Child and the Phantom of the Opera #WEP



Critique Preferences:
Whatever. Just don't be a dick.

The Other remains reviled.

The Essay:

Over the course of more than a century, many actors have played Erik, the title character of Gaston Leroux's 1910 Gothic mystery/romance The Phantom of the Opera. Born with a disfigured face, Erik was abandoned by his father and his mother expressed overt disgust at his deformity. He wears a mask to hide his face.

A feeling of being an outsider may not be necessary for an actor to portray Erik authentically, but it can certainly help. Lon Chaney, the first actor to interpret Erik on film, was the son of deaf parents. He learned sign language at a young age. Chaney exhibited a self-reliant and perfectionist attitude, which sometimes strained his relationships.

Chaney drew from sympathy for The Other to lend authenticity to his portrayals of deformed or monstrous characters. As he wrote in a 1925 article for Movie magazine:

"I wanted to remind people that the lowest types of humanity may have within them the capacity for supreme self-sacrifice. The dwarfed, misshapen beggar of the streets may have the noblest ideals. Most of my roles since The Hunchback, such as The Phantom of the Opera, He Who Gets Slapped, The Unholy Three, etc., have carried the theme of self-sacrifice or renunciation. These are the stories which I wish to do."

Ray Bradbury once said of Chaney, "He was someone who acted out our psyches. He somehow got into the shadows inside our bodies; he was able to nail down some of our secret fears and put them on-screen. The history of Lon Chaney is the history of unrequited loves. He brings that part of you out into the open, because you fear that you are not loved, you fear that you never will be loved, you fear there is some part of you that's grotesque, that the world will turn away from."

Unlike Erik, Lon Chaney was a triumphant figure whose abilities as an actor and makeup artist are still lauded more than eighty years after his passing.

Nearly seventy-five years after Lon Chaney brought the Phantom of the Opera to life, a man better known as a musician than a thespian brought a powerful authenticity to the role, drawing inspiration from his own experiences. The name Paul Stanley has become synonymous with the Star Child character he created for his band, Kiss. Star Child allowed Paul a way to become someone besides Stanley Bert Eisen, a deeply wounded and angry young man who looked normal on the surface but saw himself as distorted and possibly unlovable.

Until I read Paul’s autobiography, I had no idea how sensitive and thoughtful he is. I knew he had been born with microtia, a condition affecting both the appearance and function of the ear. Paul’s right ear was deformed, lacking an ear canal and eardrum. His peers targeted him for ridicule, calling him Stanley the One-Eared Monster. Between holding his own against bullies and dealing with a volatile home environment, Paul became a defensive personality always ready for a fight.

Although Paul’s parents never expressed any strong revulsion regarding his disability, they weren’t particularly supportive either. Paul describes the house he grew up in as filled with constant tension and frequent arguments. His older sister had serious mental health challenges and at times acted out violently. His parents weren’t affectionate with each other or their children. Paul believes his thirst for acceptance led him to develop addictive sexual behaviors.

Unlike the tragic and ultimately doomed Erik, Paul Stanley is a triumphant figure. He found success at a young age despite his insecurities. He managed to avoid succumbing to substance addiction in an industry that offers constant temptation. He has a healthy relationship with his children. He has been been happily married to his second wife, Erin, since 2005. He credits mental health counseling with helping him work through his anger, self-doubt, and tendency to overextend himself to the point where he starts having panic attacks.

Since Gaston Leroux wrote The Phantom of the Opera, attitudes toward those who do not conform to exacting standards of beauty have not significantly changed. People still place a greater emphasis on a person's external appearance than on their character. While technological advancements have been impressive in recent decades, ridiculing those who fail to meet rigid ideals of attractiveness remains not only acceptable but encouraged. We need to do better, starting now.

730 words


Blake, Michael F. A Thousand Faces: Lon Chaney's Unique Artistry in Motion Pictures. Vestal, New York: Vestal Press, 1997. ISBN 978-1-8795-1121-7.

Stanley, Paul (2014). Face the Music: A Life Exposed. HarperCollins. p. 13. ISBN 9780062114068.

Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of the Opera is in the public domain. Free digital copies of the story are available here.

Free use image from Open Clipart Vectors

Ornery Owl Sez:
You know how some people like to abbreviate the names of their favorite movies or TV programs? Like GOT for Game of Thrones or SNG for Star Trek: The Next Generation? You don't want to abbreviate Phantom Of the Opera. Trust me on this.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Ugly Fat Old Failure Intro


Image created by the author with free-use elements from Pixabay plus text art and enhancements from Pixlr. Base images by Dina Dee and John Hain from Pixabay. The woman depicted is an AI creation, not an actual person.

The reasons for the war I am about to wage date back decades, even centuries in some cases. I was not around in this form centuries ago, but I may have been there in a different one. However, this book is not about reincarnation. I will strive to remain on topic. Having ADHD means going off on unrelated tangents is a far from slim possibility.

I am a woman. A large woman. A woman who has been on the planet for close to six decades. A woman whom no-one would ever mistake for cute, hot, pretty, sexy, or any other such thing that all women are supposed to be in order to be judged momentarily worthy of attitudes other than outright disdain. This explains the presence of the unflattering adjective Ugly in the title. Personally, I feel both Old and Fat are neutral descriptors, but all too many people use these words as insults.

As for the descriptor Failure, my reason for choosing that word stems from an article I read several years ago. Sadly, I don’t remember the name of the person who wrote the article. I believe she was a doctor attending a conference. When she expressed the opinion that shaming larger patients did nothing to improve their well-being and, in fact, prompted them to avoid seeking medical care, many of her fellow physicians laughed at her. One even commented something along the lines of “do you think coddling these losers will do anything to improve their failed lives?”

This is exactly the way many doctors feel about their larger patients. It is an attitude encouraged by medical schools. I somehow survived nursing school without offing myself or anyone else. Fatphobic attitudes are prevalent AND encouraged in nursing schools. They were also prevalent in the hospitals where I did my clinicals. In fairness, the staff at one of these hospitals treated a very large woman suffering from depression severe enough that she had become nonverbal and unable to care for herself with great kindness, never shaming her for her size or for not responding. It is one of the few times I have seen a fat patient treated with real compassion.

Fatphobic attitudes were not encouraged in the EMS program I attended. We were trained that our goal was to help patients get the care they need, not to scold or belittle them. Even if they were chronic substance abusers (known in the business as Frequent Fliers.) Even if they were extremely heavy. Even if they lived in squalid surroundings. The reasoning for this (sensible) rule was a practical one. Shaming patients does not encourage them to get the care they need. We are there to help them get care.

Here are your three options for reading the rest of the chapter:

Purchase the PDF for 100 LBC (approximately $1) on Odysee. This is the preferred option for anyone who would like to support my work but doesn't want to commit to a monthly subscription.

Subscribe to the $5 tier (Sneak Peeks) on Ream. This gives you early access to chapters from all my independent works plus Lil DeVille's naughty one-off stories if that's your sort of thing.

Subscribe to the official Naughty Netherworld Press Substack. There are only two options with this one, free and $5 per month. The Substack subscription gives you pretty much the same thing as the Sneak Peeks tier on Ream. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Fudge #WEP


If you're hell-bent on using this picture of a pan of fudge, go right ahead.

Critique guidelines:
Major points only. Given the subject matter, I can foresee this becoming a real shit show otherwise.

August 1

I made fudge. If you need a fast chocolate fix, this is the quickest ever.

1 bag of semisweet chocolate chips

1 can of sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Pour the sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips into a bowl and nuke them for one minute. Add the vanilla and stir until smooth. Pour into a parchment-lined 8x8 or 9x9 pan. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Eat.

This recipe is the epitome of me in the kitchen. I don’t do anything that involves a lot of prep work.

I am once again recovering from severe emotional dysregulation.

I feel hopeless. Even my writing is like horrible homework.

I want to do the writing part of writing and leave the promotion part to someone who knows what the hell they are doing. I am not a social butterfly. I am more of a social pill bug. If I see someone coming, I curl myself up into a ball and hope they won’t notice me. Unfortunately, at my size, it’s hard for them to miss me.

Social pill bugs tend not to be treated well, even at the doctor’s office. Dr. Deborah Serani, a psychologist who lives with clinical depression, writes about this phenomenon in her excellent Psychology Today article.

This vitally important takeaway from the article sizes up (Heh! See what I did there?) the attitude that heavy people and patients with mental illness just “aren’t trying hard enough.”

In 1948, The World Health Organization defined health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. Regrettably, it didn't take into account chronic illness or disease and the layered challenges individuals face with such conditions. While the definition of health has changed over the years, most professionals - and the general public - believe health is a state of well-being that a person "earns" or "maintains." This social construct goes like this:
If you eat well, you will be well.
If you exercise, you will be fit.
If you don't have good mental health, you just aren't trying hard enough.
And that those who can't, won't or don't achieve well-being are just weak, lazy - or worse - need to be shamed to get it done.

Shaming doesn’t work, but even doctors, who are supposed to be so much smartier than the rest of us, don’t understand this. If shaming worked there would be no addicts of any kind. There would be no fat people, and nobody would have mental health problems. Everyone would eat the exact right amount of the exact optimal kind of food at every meal. Nobody would drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes or weed, snort cocaine, inject heroin, or become addicted to pills. Everyone would be content to do the jobs assigned to them by those in power.

I recommend re-reading Brave New World. Or reading it for the first time if you haven’t read it yet.

As for me, if hating myself thin never worked during the thirty-three years I tried to do just that, it sure as fuck ain’t gonna work now. The doctor should have berated my thyroid, which killed itself and thrust me onto the path to largeness when I was just thirteen years old. She should have berated my ovaries, which developed PCOS once I was old enough to menstruate. She should have berated my pancreas, which waited until I was 49 years old, but then joined my thyroid in death.

If anything, this woman of medicine who is so much smartier than me should have berated me for becoming bulimic at twelve and starting down a path of lifelong food insecurity, both self-imposed (dieting) and involuntary (not having the money to buy adequate supplies of food while social services tells me I make too much money to qualify for assistance.) Better yet, rather than berating an old broad coming to you because she has a fucking sleep disorder and the sleep specialist said she should, why not berate a society that allows food insecurity and pushes people to hate their bodies?


This doctor, by the way?

A pulmonologist.

I was there to find out if something was awry with my lungs, not to have bad drugs with serious side effects suggested to me on the slim chance (see what I did there?) they might turn me into the svelte, slinky vixen that every woman is supposed to be.

I am not unaware of my size nor of the theoretical correlation between my size and conditions. However, I’m working on making peace with my body and food because dieting and eating disorders (among other factors) have caused me serious trauma. Even if I remain at my current size (given my history, this is the most likely outcome) my overall health will still improve if I am receiving appropriate care for my underlying conditions.

I guess everyone would have been happier if I’d lived fast, died young, and left a good-looking corpse.

Fuck all of them.

I look out of my shell and realize I’ve failed at my goal of opening people’s eyes to the way bias against troubled people or those who don’t conform to a certain rigid standard of beauty and acceptability hurts the world.

I am aware that I’m ugly.

Those who puff up their egos by shaming those who don’t conform to their standards don’t realize they are ugly too.

I had a couple pieces of the fudge. I think I prefer cookie bars.

Not that it’s anyone’s business, but I don’t eat dessert after every meal or even every day.

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Image by HK Mennist from Pixabay

It should go without saying, but I know it doesn't. Comments such as "but it's unhealthy to be fat," "but if you just eat less and exercise more," and "but if you just tried the sawdust and metal shavings diet" are not welcome.

As for the first comment, I'm not going to waste time debating with you. Go read this book. 

As for the second comment, I am excellent at starving myself. It is my first reaction to being size shamed, along with suicide ideation. I can't engage in orthorexia the way I used to because of my back problems. Go read the aforementioned book.

As for the third comment:

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Another Book Beginning: Don't Write a Novella In 24 Hours


The following is an excerpt from another of my nonfiction WIPs. This one is called Don't Write a Novella In 24 Hours. 

  1. Introduction

First of all, it is necessary for me to state that I’m not trying to start a war with Andrew Mayne, the author of How to Write a Novella in 24 Hours. In fact, I recommend reading his book. It contains lots of useful advice in a small package. I particularly appreciated the building your author empire and book cover sections. However, I found attempting to do what the title suggests soul-crushing.

I bought the book back in April while attempting to complete multiple creative projects. I am generally capable of creating the first draft of a 20,000-word story in ten days.

Let me introduce my writing personas. Lil DeVille is my pen name for erotica and C. L. Hart is my pen name for pretty much everything else. My poetry persona is Ornery Owl, but I publish the works under my real name. I write on mental health and recovery topics as Cara H in keeping with the ideals of recovery programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

When writing works such as this one, I am not Cara Hartley, Aspiring Poet and Hack Writer. I’m just Cara H, a fatally flawed fuckup who would love to change the world but doesn’t know what to do. I’m no better or worse than anyone else.

Truthfully, I don’t have problems with thinking I’m superior to others. Believing I’m inferior comes naturally. Toning down the acid-tongued diatribe of my inner critic, whom I call Ayce Hole, is an uphill battle. Ayce Hole is pretty much every mean girl from every teen movie combined with every abusive headmistress. She’s flat-out awful. She and Rick Springfield’s inner critic, Mr. Darkness, would probably get on like a house on fire. They both want to watch the world burn.

If you’d like to read Rick’s autobiography, you can find it here.

I never would have guessed Rick Springfield was a kindred spirit. He seemed like someone who had it all. He’s good-looking and talented. However, looks and talent can’t heal deep emotional wounds.

Back to the April breakdown that inspired me to write this book.

I was working on a story called The Quest for Captain Sammy’s Treasure under the C. L. Hart pen name for potential inclusion in the Pirate Gold anthology from Dragon Soul Press. I’m happy to report that the story was accepted. You can follow this link to grab your copy of the anthology.

I was also doing a poem a day for potential inclusion in the Soul Ink anthology from Dragon Soul Press. I’m pleased to report that all 25 of the poems I submitted were accepted. You can purchase Soul Ink through the following link. I’m a poet, and I know it!

There are three options available to read the rest of the chapter.

Purchase the PDF for 100 LBC (approximately $1) on Odysee. This is the preferred option for anyone who would like to support my work but doesn't want to commit to a monthly subscription.

Subscribe to the $5 tier (Sneak Peeks) on Ream. This gives you early access to chapters from all my independent works plus Lil DeVille's naughty one-off stories if that's your sort of thing.

Subscribe to the official Naughty Netherworld Press Substack. There are only two options with this one, free and $5 per month. The Substack subscription gives you pretty much the same thing as the Sneak Peeks tier on Ream. 

When I want to hear radio done right, I head for Last Scout Radio on Odysee. It's like old-school FM radio before it went to crap. 

Stick it to YouTube and subscribe to Odysee. It's free and you can find all sorts of cool and unique stuff. You can even create your own channel or channels and potentially make a coin or two. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Insecure Writers Support Group 2 August 2023


August 2 question: Have you ever written something that afterwards you felt conflicted about? If so, did you let it stay how it was, take it out, or rewrite it?

The answer is I once wrote an entire book that I regretted. I've detailed this experience previously for the IWSG. Why not check out that post here?

That experience almost made me stop writing. Unfortunately for the world, I'm either too stupid or too legit to quit.

More recently, I had stories published in two different anthologies. I don't regret either of them.  Check them out below if you're so inclined.

Anthology Genre: 

Erotica, Steamy Romance

(various sub-genres)

Heat level:

Five Flames


Publication date ‏ : ‎ August 1, 2023

Buy Link:

$4.99 ebook

Book Blurb

Celebrate summer with this steamy collection of short stories, perfect for a beach read!

All proceeds will go to ProLiteracy to benefit adult literacy all over the world. Visit their website at

Book: Pirate Gold

Story: The Quest for Captain Sammy's Treasure

ASIN: B0C47Y85Y3

Publication Date: July 31, 2023

Genre (for the story): Action and Adventure, Paranormal Fantasy, Lovecraftian

Buy Link:

Price: $4.99 ebook

Book Blurb:

Treasure is within reach.

Nineteen original tales of swashbuckling glory are at your fingertips in this anthology. From pirates lured into traps, treasure hunting gone wrong, and epic battles on the open sea. From vengeful ghosts to gruesome mutinies. Living on the edge comes with high costs.

Featuring stories by Paulene Turner, James Romag, Maeve A. Baird, Matthew Fryer, Isa Ottoni, Bianca Breen, Charles Kyffhausen, Allison Tebo, Douglas Allen Gohl, Edgar Mahaffey, Jennifer Strassel, Stephen A. Roddewig, Robert Allen Lupton, K. Anders, Barend Nieuwstraten III, Melody Bowles, and C.L. Hart.

I am detecting a deficiency of 1970s German prog rock in your life. Allow me to remedy that tragic situation.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Introducing the Introduction to my Latest Memoir Attempt


I'm making another attempt at writing a memoir, and this time I have a strategy to help me stay on target. Read the sample from the intro to learn more!

This may be THE book I need to write. I am a storyteller by both trade and by nature. Most of the stories I’ve had published (also most of the stories I haven’t had published) are of the fictional variety. The old saying “the truth is stranger than fiction” is no lie. My life has been exceedingly strange and often brutal. Many times the pain already cutting to the core of my soul was made all the sharper by a phenomenon called limerence.

How sharper than a serpent’s tooth...

Psychologist Dorothy Tennov coined the term limerence in her 1979 book, Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love. The phenomenon is discussed extensively by Anna Runkle, AKA The Crappy Childhood Fairy, on her YouTube channel.

The rest of the intro is available on my subscriber platforms. You have a choice of:

Odysee for 100 LBC (approximately $1).

Ream for $5 per month.

Substack for $5 per month.

Ream and Substack both give you access to any other material I publish on either platform. Substack is a blog and Ream offers ebooks. The Odysee post would be a one-off purchase. This is a better choice for someone who doesn't want to commit to a subscription but would like to offer a little monetary support.

"Yeah, but Ornery, who wants to read a depressing book about your depressing life?"

Fair enough. Feast your eyes on these fine options instead!

Lil DeVille's five-flame scorcher, The Liberation of Mac MacCarrick, is just one of the spicy stories in the Hot and Sticky anthology, to be released on August 1st. Pick up your copy here:

Proceeds benefit ProLiteracy.

It may be hot in the Jungle of Kled, but the characters in C. L. Hart's Lovecraftian fantasy adventure, The Quest for Captain Sammy's Treasure, aren't getting up to anything amorous. They just want to grab the treasure and get out of there as quick as possible, but a hideous colossus stands in their way. Find out what Sammy and his friends do, and check out the other swashbuckling tales in Pirate Gold too.

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Free use image from Pixabay

"I saw you hiding that Hot and Sticky anthology in your spell book, Harry."
"I'm a year older than your son, Ornery*. I can read smut books if I want to. Just don't tell Dumbledore, or he'll steal it."

*My son is 33.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Insecure Writers Support Group 5 July 2023


Image by Anja from Pixabay

July 5 question - 99% of my story ideas come from dreams. Where do yours predominantly come from?

Doubts. Fears. Movies. Songs. Stories. Television programs (The Twilight Zone was a big inspiration for me.) Trauma. Nightmares.

I wrote a poem about this very subject, which was published in an anthology called Soul Ink on June 23 of this year. You can read it here if you're so inclined.

Here's a humdinger of a dream that I had last night. Being lost and needing to get somewhere is one of my recurring dreams. Also, I was highly anxious about a dental appointment to replace a filling that had come loose. I got through it, but when I say nervous, I don't mean a little jittery. I mean Defcon 5-level threat of a panic attack. I took a 5 MG Valium tablet before the appointment. It did nothing more than slightly reduce my blood pressure. 

For those of you who are sensitive about salty language, you might want to give this part of the post a miss. There is also a brief discussion of third-degree sexual assault without any graphic descriptions.

I dreamed I was lost and trying to find my car so I could take it to the mechanic. For reasons unknown, I had parked it and then wandered to a woman’s office. She may have been a lawyer, but I’m not entirely sure. A cop came in behind me.

As I was walking down the steps, a group of children hurried over and started playing on them. The steps were old, and the concrete had gone cattywampus. I said “Excuse me” as I made my way past. There was a little dark-haired girl watching me disdainfully, and I suspected she might say something rude. I wasn’t disappointed.

“Why do you have to be obese?” she demanded.

“Oh shut up, you stupid child,” I shot back, far more aggravated at having to deal with her snotty attitude and the precarious trip down the crumbling stairs than ashamed of my body. My reaction is actually a breakthrough, but I was too anxious and irritated to appreciate it.

I was having a hell of a time finding my car. A heavyset Latino fellow, probably in his late 20s or early to mid-thirties offered to help, but he ended up perving on me, putting his arms around me and grinding his groin against my backside. I told him I didn’t need his help and ordered him away from me. He called me a bitch and left.

I was going to say I didn’t know anyone who fits this description, but then I realized I did. When I was working at the local McChoke and Puke at 16 years old, there was an assistant manager who liked to make time with the high school girls. I gave him a ride home one night, and he proceeded to grope me. This was doubly creepy as he was dating one of my friends.

In the dream I thought to myself, this must be what it felt like to have dementia. I was lost and couldn’t remember the streets I’d been down. (Hell, in real life I get lost in parking lots if I don’t manage to park close to the store!) I needed to get to my car if I was going to get it to the mechanic before the shop closed.

I woke up feeling a nervous wreck.

I have been having a lot of repressed memories break through this month. On the upside, if I remember it I can deal with it. On the downside, this is shit I really didn’t want to remember.

Repressed memories are like the Whizzo Quality Assortment. You never know what kind of nasty surprise you're going to get next.

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Image by Ulrich B. from Pixabay

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Insecure Writers Support Group 7 June 2023


Image by kabe32 from Pixabay

June 7 question - If you ever did stop writing, what would you replace it with?

Death, probably.

I have bad news for everyone who wishes I’d stop inflicting my thoughts on the world.

I likely will never stop writing unless I’m dead. And, as the late, great Lemmy Kilmister said about music, we’ll have to see what happens after that. “That” being death of course.

Me, showing some skin. Or, more accurately, ink. This is my actual calf with the tattoo I got to honor Lemmy. Schmexy, no?

I’ve been writing stories since I was five years old. Almost fifty-five years beyond that, I’m still writing. As long as I’m alive and physically able to do so, I will probably always get my literary groove on in some capacity. Whether that writing takes the form of dystopian doom diaries, eye-popping erotica, lurid Lovecraftian fantasy, madcap microfiction, maudlin memoirs, pissed-off poetry, or some sanity-scarring combination of all the above, I’ll be doing the dirty deed till the day I pass away.

By dirty deed, I mean writing, of course. Get your mind out of the gutter!

My writing is done dirt cheap, by the way. In fact, you can always grab my e-books free on Amazon.

Why not pop on over to the official Naughty Netherworld Press website to check out some samples?

Don’t say I never gave you nothin’!

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Image by Victoria_Regen from Pixabay

Ya won't be able to get rid of me that easily! Even when my physical body is chilling in an urn, future generations can invoke my spirit by reading my words.

Maybe they can even sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee with me.

You want a great soundtrack playing while drinking your coffee and reading my stories. I've gotcha covered there too!

Alternatively, cueing up some Motörhead is always an Ornery Owl approved choice.