Thursday, May 2, 2024

Insecure Writers Support Group 1 May 2024


Image by Chen from Pixabay

May 1 question - How do you deal with distractions when you are writing? Do they derail you?

I'll just answer this with brevity in a way that explains everything.

I have ADHD. 

Distraction is my middle name.

However, I can also be hyperfocused. 

So, to sum things up, the answer is yes and no. 

It's the story of my life.

Oh look, a squirrel!

Anyway, sorry I'm late with this. I had a bad reaction to the latest COVID shot, was running a high fever, and was so weak I needed help to put laundry into the machine and to make some Jello for my woozy stomach. 

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Free use image from Open Clipart Vectors

How bad did I feel, you ask?

It was like I went on a week-long bender drinking every bum wine on the shelf.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

A to Z Challenge 2024: Day 26: Zeroing In


Image by hopid permana from Pixabay

This character's name is Zero Two Darling. She's what came up when I did a search for zeroing in on Pixabay. She's a human klaxo sapien hybrid, and you can read more about her here.

We’re zipping to the end of this challenge and also to the end of the month. I need to zero in on not being a slavedriver with myself because it zaps the zest from activities I have a zeal for.

I’m also sticking a fork in the Camp NaNoWriMo challenge for April 2024. There will be another Camp NaNoWriMo in June, and I’ll do that one too because I’m a masochist.

It’s 10:30 and I need to get my Zs.

I hope I sleep better tonight than last night.

It seems sleep and I are seldom on the same page.

~Ornery Owl Has Zpoken~

Image by thank_you from Pixabay

#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter Z

Friday, April 26, 2024

A to Z Challenge 2024: Day 25: Youth


Image by 3005398 from Pixabay

The days of my youth are long behind me, but the things that happened then still affect my life. I suppose this must be true for everybody. While reading William Shatner’s autobiography, I noticed that he and I have something in common: difficulty establishing and maintaining friendships.

Like me, Bill (I think he’d be all right with me calling him Bill) had a difficult childhood, always having to defend himself from bullies. Unlike me, he has been very successful in other areas of his life. He never seems to have slid into self-loathing as I did. Is this the difference?

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Image by Jim Cooper on Pixabay
"You've never done anything to aggravate Captain Kirk have you, Space Jockey?"

Cool and beautiful electronic music from French band AIR.

#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter Y

Thursday, April 25, 2024

A to Z Challenge 2024: Day 24: Xenomorphs Forever


Image by Wolfgang Eckert on Pixabay

I stopped writing in 2007 due to fallout from my disastrous first attempt at becoming a published author. When I started writing again in 2012, I only intended to write Aliens fan fiction for myself because people suck and Xenomorphs are wicked cool.

Fan fiction is real writing. Even the cringeworthy self-insert fics I wrote as a young teenager and would have to kill you if you discovered them.

Writing fan fiction saved my life more than once, no joke.

Much of what I write these days could be classified as Cthulhu Mythos fan fiction.

I’m absolutely okay with that.

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter X

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

A to Z Challenge 2024: Day 23: Weird


Image by Claire Francis from Pixabay
What are you looking at?
Say, do you mind if eye browse your computer?

I’m my own special brand of weird.

Back in school, I wasn’t smart enough to belong with the academic nerd brigade, but I was too nerdy to belong with the self-proclaimed rebels without a cause.

I’ve been trying in vain for decades to find a niche in which to fit, only to learn time and time again that I don’t fit in with any of them.

I’m an acquired taste that most people don’t acquire.

Even when people don’t treat me poorly, I’m aware that they’re just being polite.

I’m a curiosity.

Sometimes studied, often ridiculed.

I don’t belong anywhere.

Tunes for you.

#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter W

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

A to Z Challenge 2024: Day 22: Vanity


Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

I struggle with the belief that artistic pursuits are self-serving vanity. I sometimes find myself thinking I am exaggerating my disabilities to get out of working a “real job.” However, I always struggled with trying to keep myself from having a mental breakdown when I worked a “real job.”

I was never able to work the sorts of hours that my family approved of. I would become severely depressed after a couple weeks working day shifts. I usually opted for jobs with evening and night hours. The types of jobs I worked were always physically demanding, such as health care.

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Image by Alexa from Pixabay
"Doctor, the patients are revolting!"

#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter V

Monday, April 22, 2024

A to Z Challenge 2024: Day 21: Ugly


I’ve been called ugly many more times than I could possibly count. Admissibly, I am far from a paragon of physical beauty. It is likely I could aptly be described as looking like the back end of a bus. However, I feel it is necessary to pose a question. Is someone’s lack of perceived attractiveness an acceptable reason to belittle and ridicule that person, turning them into a scapegoat for your own feelings of inadequacy?

Is having a plain face and a body perceived as being either too fat or too thin, too short or too tall reason for disdain?

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Image by Prawny from Pixabay
Don't like how we look?
Feel free to look somewhere else!

#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter U

Saturday, April 20, 2024

A to Z Challenge 2024: Day 20: Tricky


Image by Pexels from Pixabay

When I was younger and believed God/the Universe/whatever was on my side despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary, I reckoned I would one day magically turn into a confident and clever person with an impressive and unexpected solution for any problem. There would be aces up my sleeves along with my arms! I could pull a rabbit out of my hat at the drop of the hat! I would be some sort of female amalgamation of Gambit and MacGyver!

That was the fantasy.

The reality is I’m a bumbling numpty with a cool tattoo on my left calf.

Image copyright Cara Hartley/Ornery Owl

The photo is mine. I can't fathom why anyone else would want to use it, however I will allow it with proper attribution for neutral or positive purposes such as a tattoo appreciation or a Motörhead fan post. If you want to use it for immature and stupid reasons such as sniveling about how horrible it is for women to have tattoos or making shitty remarks about the weird indentations in my chonky leg, you can go fuck yourself. 

As for those people who enjoy feeling smug and superior about their tattoo-free state, isn't it nice that we live in a society where you can choose not to have tattoos while those who want them can have them? I have seven tattoos. They all have personal meaning for me. I hope someday I can afford to get a few more. 

Here's some tricky tunes.

If I had to pick a favorite Motörhead song, it would be Orgasmatron. The blunt philosophical takedown of religion, politics, and war delivered by a raspy-voiced, no-bullshit working class champion over a hard-driving melody and precise backbeat is at once brazen and transcendent. 

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Image created by me using Pixlr

#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter T

Friday, April 19, 2024

A to Z Challenge 2024: Day 19: Salmon


Like a salmon, I’m always swimming upstream and bears are always trying to eat me. Sometimes anglers try to catch me too, but as soon as they get a load of how beat up and decrepit I am, they throw me back. They know I would taste terrible. Bears don’t give a damn. They aren’t known for their sophisticated palates.

According to this post, I may be more salmony than I realized when I decided to make this self-deprecating joke.,solace%20by%20sharing%20their%20distress%20with%20salmon%20individuals.

Deep thinker, highly emotional, like holistic approaches. Sounds like me!

Perhaps I also smell like a lox bagel.

~Sexy Salmon Has Spoken~

There's more of salmon than of sexy about me to be sure.

#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter S

Thursday, April 18, 2024

A to Z Challenge 2024: Day 18: Really Unreal


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

This image is really on point for the post I just created on my poetry blog where I discuss a Haibun I wrote about wanting to be someone else.

I wrapped up a meeting with a couple other members of the First Coast Romance Writers group a little over an hour ago, and I feel emotionally dysregulated. It wasn’t anything they did, it was that same feeling of realizing that I’m just so completely different from most people. I always feel like I’m having to try to pass for normal when I’m quite simply not. It’s exhausting and discouraging.  

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Image by G.C. from Pixabay
Alone in a crowd.

#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter R

This music comes from the Bay of Drowned Wishes scenario in the Destiny 2 game, which is very appropriate given the subject matter. 

A to Z Challenge 2024: Day 17: Quite Quick and Quirky


Image by Alana Jordan from Pixabay
Quick and Quirky

Quickly create a quirky drabble with plentiful quantities of items starting with q.

Sometimes focusing on creating quite a quantity quickly ends up making me go off the rails.

My tendency is to shame myself when I can’t tow--er--toe the line.

I honestly haven’t quite recovered from last year’s NaNoWriMo.

I started out quite strong, but by the end, I just wanted to quit.

I’ve been struggling with my writing this year.

I’ve been trying to bring back the joy of creation rather than relegating myself to being a quickly typing monkey hoping something will quell my anxiety.

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Image by Amy Art-Dreams from Pixabay

#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter Q

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

A to Z Challenge 2024: Day 16: Power and Pickling


Image by Boyan Chen from Pixabay

We are experiencing high winds, and the power went out at around six in the morning. It was down for about an hour and a half. I perceived this as being the perfect time to pickle some beef for jerky.

Actually, I’m marinating the beef, but perfect time to pickle was too perfect an alliteration to pass up.

Oh phooey.

I just remembered that I forgot to buy both pickling spices and cucumbers to make actual pickles.

Pickled beef really is a thing. As are pickled eggs. I’ve never eaten either one.

My fingers smell like liquid smoke right now.

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Image by Erik Karits from Pixabay

Ornery Owl is generating...

Get ready for it...


I'll show myself out. But first, here's some music for you to enjoy on a blustery spring morning—or a calm spring morning—or in the winter, summer, or fall—whenever and whatever.

#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter P

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

A to Z Challenge 2024: Day 15: Obsession

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

When I was misdiagnosed as having type 2 bipolar disorder, I was also diagnosed as having obsessive-compulsive disorder. I do have obsessive features to my personality, but I think these stem from ADHD and anxiety.

I count things, but this is a mechanism to break myself out of indecision rather than feeling like something bad is going to happen if I don’t do it. I have a system so I don’t become indecisive about what number I’m going to use. For instance, this year my number is 18, which can be further condensed down to 9. I arrived at this number by adding up this year’s digits.


Therefore, if I have multiple items to choose from, I’ll select either the ninth or the eighteenth one.

I might also choose to select the fourth item (April is the fourth month) or the 14th item because today is the fourteenth day of the month. Since it’s one PM, I could also just select the first item.

Again, I do this to short-circuit my sometimes crippling indecisiveness, yet another glitch born from anxiety. I don’t think I have OCD.  

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

"Honestly, Galadriel, I don't think you're going to have much luck reading any of these books. They're floating in the water, there are trees growing out of them, and there's a small, angry guy with a sword on the bottom one."

#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter O

Monday, April 15, 2024

A to Z Challenge 2024: Day 14: Neurotic Neverland


Image by Angelo Giordano from Pixabay

Let’s get this out of the way first.

I believe Michael Jackson was innocent of the crimes he was accused of.

I have no desire to engage in arguments on this subject.

That being said, I will proceed with what I want to discuss in this post.

When I was in my late teens, you couldn’t turn on the radio without hearing Michael Jackson. He was really taking off as a solo performer. Although I enjoyed his catchy tunes, I also envied his popularity and his seemingly effortless confidence. He had an incredible star power that a fuckup like me could never hope to possess.

Years later, when I learned about the anguish Michael hid from the public, I found myself empathizing with him.

Neverland Ranch, in all its over-the-top ostentatiousness and Jackson’s befriending of boys, was his way of trying to give himself the childhood he never had.

Down inside, the superstar I envied was an anxious mess tortured by his own feelings of inadequacy.

Michael Jackson was a lot like me after all.

#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter N

Saturday, April 13, 2024

A to Z Challenge 2024: Day 13: Meal Planning


Image by Dorothe from Pixabay

I often see meal planning viewed as a miserable task that women rather than men are saddled with, and I suppose that’s true. I’ve been divorced since 1994, and I didn’t do any meal planning in those days. We mostly ate frozen dinners or takeout. We only lived about a mile from the nearest grocery store and there were multiple casual and fast-food restaurants close at hand.

These days, I find meal planning helps me stay organized. I live way out in the sticks and work from home, so I can’t just pop into the grocery store or order takeout.

Admissibly, if it weren’t for my son and I sharing a home, I wouldn’t bother. I’d just eat sandwiches and frozen dinners or not bother to eat. I don’t do well living alone.

I am that rare woman who enjoys and even covets meal planning, and it certainly isn’t because I’m some sort of trad wife. I’m not any kind of wife. I’m an unapologetic feminist who pushes back against sex stereotypes and prescriptive gender roles. Meal planning helps my chaotic brain stay on target with organizing my day. Also, I’ve found I like cooking, so long as there isn’t too much prep work involved.

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Ornery Owl
Free use image from Open Clipart Vectors
"Just like Julia Child, I enjoy cooking with wine. Sometimes the wine even makes it into whatever I'm cooking."

Bitty Bunny
Free use image from Open Clipart Vectors
"I've got a carrot you can use in your next concoction. I taste-tested it for you."

Hangry Wyrm
Free use image from Clker Free Vector Images
"Hey, Ornery, maybe you could cook the carrot in the wine."

Cactus Clem
Free use image from Open Clipart Vectors
"I know your homemade mozzarella experiment ended up more like ricotta, Ornery, but I hope you make it again. Drinkin' all the runoff whey made me feel like a new cactus man!"

Ghost Town Grover
Free use image from Clker Free Vector Images
"I ain't sure how much you can take Clem's assessment of yer cuisine as a compliment, Ornery. He drinks runoff ditch water too."

#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter M