Here we are at The Fancy Place, attempting to write. Just a couple of days away from fully moving into the new apartment. You know, the one with the fabulous balcony that I fully plan on using every day of my life for the foreseeable future. Hopefully it will inspire me to write again. Hopefully.
Currently going through all my manuscripts that have been collecting dust for a number of months now. Andrew has been blocking me for so long that I’m backed up. I have 3-4 books on the line that were due years ago. Alas. I think he is afraid of what I’m going to say about him if he lets me write again. I mean, I’m not really sure what else there is to say at this point (other than the fact that he’s obviously a psychotic control freak). I think I’ve said it all. It just sounds like a broken record at this point.
Either way, it doesn’t matter. People are still coming to my website and reading Bloody Mary’s every week. Regardless of whatever nasty shit those idiots say about me, people are STILL reading my book SIX YEARS after I published it online. Why? Because I market it very aggressively. I mention it in literally every conversation I have. I tell every random stranger I meet on the road that I’m a writer who wrote a book about a dive bar in a small town in the middle of nowhere. I give them my card with my website and a little autograph. I get clicks. I get reads. I get return visitors checking in for more. I have all the Google Analytics stats to prove it. I’m not hurting for readership. I’m just not making any money off it it. Yet. But I will on the next book, and probably the one after that too. I have a whole business plan, you see.
Therefore, I win. That’s it. It’s over. I won. I did what I set out to do, which was become a famous writer. And now I am, albeit locally in a very small town in the middle of nowhere. It’s fine. Mischief managed. I won. The End.
If only it was so simple. Well, it’s not. NOW the character is asking for another novel about himself. I have no idea why. The first one is such a mess that I should throw it into the fire and forget about it forever. I don’t even have an idea for anything. He just says he wants one. *shrug* Well, he’s just gonna have to wait because I literally have 3 books in line ahead of him, so… not happening anytime soon.
I decided to resolve the issue by dancing on my balcony to New Orleans brass band radio on Mardi Gras. Why? Just to show him that I don’t need to write a novel about a man to be happy. I guess I got the point across to my imaginary friend, because he’s kinda backed off since then. It’s giving, “Okay so you don’t want to write about me? That’s fine. Show me what you got.” Great, thanks a lot, I’ve only been waiting for this moment for three fucking years. Wait, has it been three years since the Paris Writing Workshop? It feels more like ten. Fuck the pandemic.
Anyway, yeah, so that’s how that’s all going. Does it sound like a nightmare? Because having this guy as my Muse definitely feels like a nightmare that I’ve been trying to wake up from for years now. I had no idea what I was signing up for, truly. Do I have any regrets? Not really, no. It is what it is. At least it’s something. And as we all know, something is better than nothing, especially when you live in the middle of bumfuck nowhere. Just think, I could be living in New York City, struggling to survive, writing the exact same book everyone else is writing about struggling to survive in New York City. Snooze. Boring. We want weirdos in a small town bar making drama for funsies. Much more interesting to me, a person who grew up in Washington, D.C. where everything is very serious and political all the time.
Currently looking to my Gen-Z co-workers for inspiration. Mostly because they’re my target audience for my travel blog, sorta kinda. My travel blog, Paris in South Dakota, is actually outlined as a business plan with a description of my target audience in mind. Said audience was theoretical for the entire pandemic for obvious reasons. Now I’m out and about in the world again, meeting young people with a strong travel bug who have big dreams but no idea how to execute them. That’s where I come in. I had the same problem when I was their age. Now, here I am, ten years later, old and wise and ready to impart my knowledge of travel upon the youth.
I know what you’re thinking: “How can a blog compete with The TikTok?” I don’t know, but according to these kids, it definitely can. They don’t actually want 5 second videos, apparently. They want something they can engage with in a meaningful way. Or so they say. Idk, to be honest, these kids are all kinda weird these days. They don’t really do well with human interaction in general. They’re mostly glued to their phones. Guess I’ll just make sure my new website is mobile friendly.
That was the biggest factor in the success of Bloody Mary’s. No, really. The number one piece of feedback I got from people was that they loved how mobile friendly my site was because they liked to read it on their phones in bed/on the train/when bored/out loud to all their friends at the bar/wherever. See? And here people tell me I “never listen.” Oh, I’m listening. I just don’t “listen” to thinly-veiled personal attacks disguised as “constructive criticism” coming from people I literally never asked for advice and never would ask for advice. You know, like randoms from Bloody Mary’s, especially people I literally wrote stories making fun of. See how that works? Exactly. Makes perfect sense to me. But what do I know? I only learned how to sort out useful criticism from total bullcrap when I was at the Paris Writing Workshop, AWP, the Desert Nights Rising Stars Writers Conference, and the various other writing classes I took over the course of the pandemic. It’s called being a Professional. Look it up.
Beyond that… I’m handling my current life situation as well as I possibly can. Everyone keeps complimenting me on how “strong” I am. Yeah, well, it was either drink myself into a ditch or not be homeless. Guess what I chose? That’s right! I chose the fabulous fucking balcony that I’ve already made a Pinterest board for. So effing excited. You know what Bloody Mary’s doesn’t have? That’s right! A balcony! HA HA HA HA! *ba dum tss* If you don’t get it, you don’t get it.
So obviously me being “strong” means I’m secretly spending a lot of time being sad. For example, I spent most of this morning crying my eyes out over moving. No more Manor Horton. It’s a weird feeling. Like, I’m so done with that haunted house, but it’s also the end of a whole era of my life. I get to start my third life now. It’s crazy. It’s a terrible feeling, tbh. On the one hand, I’m super excited for the possibilities of the future. On the other hand, I’m leaving a significant piece of my past behind. It’s really hard.
I’m very emotional right now. I literally had to sit down with my store manager and go through a full coaching session on how to keep my mental health in check at work. Luckily for me, I work for a company that doesn’t just throw you to the wolves as soon as you show any emotion besides happiness, unlike literally everywhere else I’ve ever worked. They made sure I knew that my company provides all sorts of resources for mental health and encouraged me to communicate my feelings if I’m having a bad day and can’t come to work. Like, it’s totally fine if I have to take a mental health day. It’s wild. I’ve never been treated with this much compassion and understanding in any job I’ve ever had. I’ve certainly never been treated that way by the majority of people I’ve met here in SD. Then again, my SM is not from SD, or the Midwest in general, and therefore doesn’t understand their whole crazy, fake, two-faced backstabbing culture. Does anyone who comes from The Outside? Let me know in the comments.
I couldn’t help but have a laugh to myself after my coaching session. I was like, “Wow. We just sat down for an hour and worked through a major issue without any drama whatsoever. Amazing. Who knew this was even possible?” Then I thought of all the times in my South Dakota life where SO MANY PROBLEMS could have been avoided by having one conversation like this. Bloody Mary’s was the first to come to mind, obviously, but there were so many others as well. It just made me wonder what it is about small town Midwestern culture that encourages drama, backstabbing, shittalking, gaslighting, and generally stirring up as much bullshit as possible instead of just… resolving issues diplomatically with a single conversation. So bizarre.
The whole situation definitely gave me much stronger ground to stand on in my ongoing disagreement with the real Bloody Mary’s. Like, I’m actually out here trying to communicate my point of view and reasoning, and all these people do in response is cause even more drama. Why? Just why? There’s no need for it. I just don’t get it. I probably never will. Oh well. It’s obviously a THEM problem, not a ME problem. Therefore, I will continue to openly mock them every chance I get. I see no problem with this considering that’s exactly what they do to me when I’m out in public.
No, really, I actually went to a Town Event a few weeks ago and they were just all over me like the flying monkeys they are. It was actually ridiculous. Like, I’m literally sitting here in the corner minding my own business, not bothering anyone, yet you still feel the need to approach me and lecture me about… whatever. Getting to know the town, or something? Uhh… I’ve lived here for 13 years. I know the town. You’ve shown me who you are and I believe you. I don’t need to give you another chance to stab me in the back. The first time was pretty effective. I got the message. You can’t be trusted with anything because all you’ll do is spin it into some crazy soap opera that’s only actually happening in your head. Then you’ll go around talking about it to everyone except for me, the person you actually have the problem with. Then you will expect me to magically read your mind and somehow know these conversations took place and somehow come to the conclusion that I am aware of your feelings that you never actually shared with ME. Then there will be even more drama and blah blah blah, blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.
Yeah, I’m over it. I think it’s honestly so childish. Grow up and take a class in Emotional Intelligence, Conflict Resolution, and Interpersonal Communication like I did during the pandemic. It’s very, very, VERY clear to me that ya’ll desperately need it.
Anyway, so that’s why I don’t write silly stories about stupid small town people anymore. SOME people obviously can’t take a joke. Sure, it’s all fun and games for you to sit there and trash me and speculate about my mental health and laugh and laugh and laugh it all up, but the second it gets turned around on you, you sit there and cry like the little fucking babies you are. Again, it’s ridiculous. I’m not taking it seriously anymore. You’re acting like a literal goddamn child. Again, I implore you to just… Grow the fuck up already.
Well, my iPad is about to die so I’m going to go. Stay tuned for more exciting non-townie content… coming soon to BetseyHorton.com…