Updated Progress Report

Hello, world. It’s me, Betsey Horton, Writer Extraordinaire. I’m writing to you again because my last post was very sad and I wanted to let you know things are getting better in my world. The sun is out, I’m wearing a mini skirt, and I’m enjoying an iced latte from the comfort of my car, which is parked downtown with the trunk door popped open so I can write and steal wifi at the same time.

Why am I doing this? Because the cafe hasn’t set up their tables and there’s nowhere else downtown to sit outside and watch people. So I made my own set up, away from The Bar That Shall Not Be Named so that they cannot harass me over their delusions of grandeur again. Something tells me they will keep doing it anyway. It’s okay. I just call them the Crazy Cult People now.

But really, it’s actually not okay. At all. Anyway, here’s how my life is going, for anyone who cares:


I’m not working on this. I mean, I am, but I’m also just not. I’m not very happy with it right now. It’s supposed to be this inspiring story of overcoming obstacles and succeeding in spite of the bullshit. Unfortunately, it’s not that. Other people will not allow it to be that. I’m still very angry and upset over everything that has happened. I’m trending sober at a 90% rate right now, so I have to spend a lot of time sitting with those feelings. It’s not fun!!! But I’m working through them. Some days are worse than others. Some days I feel like I’ll never climb out of the hole. However, I continue to persevere. I will get my happy ending. I will!


I recently made a life-changing decision and decided to invest in a blogging course advertised to me on Instagram. It was a little bit more money than I would usually spend on a course, but no more than I would pay for a single credit hour at USD. Y’all, it was worth it. I’m not going to talk too much about it yet because I’ve only just completed the first section, BUT I will say that the structure of the course is exactly what I needed to help me take my new blog plan to the next level. My hope is to start out with a travel blog that brings me passive income and eventually grow it into an online magazine. Let’s hope I can make it happen!


I jumped back into my courses after languishing for some time. Right now I’m working on copywriting and UX writing. As stated in the last post, I find social media and digital marketing somewhat frustrating, so I decided to try something else.

I am pleasantly surprised by how much I like UX. I use my iPad for everything so I am constantly evaluating app design without really being conscious of it. UX also has a completely different way of integrating human psychology into writing. Marketing is all about selling people shit, even if it’s a lie. I’ve met a lot of super shady marketing people throughout my digital nomad journey and they kind of put me off it. UX isn’t like that. It’s literally just about creating a design that will make using websites and apps a more pleasant experience.

I’m also attracted to UX for other reasons, such as the availability of remote jobs with benefits, the ability to work from a beach on the island of Zanzibar, and an insanely high salary. It’s insane. Literally insane. Look it up if you don’t believe me. I did and I was like, “Wow, I’m never going to have to worry about paying rent or buying groceries ever again.” I can’t even imagine having that much money. Forget bartending! I’m investing in UX!

Right now I’m taking a UX design fundamentals course. I signed up for a portfolio course to help me put together something to use to apply for jobs. I signed up for a webinar specifically for UX Writing next week. I also joined a bunch of groups on Facebook and reddit. Will I finally be forced to use LinkedIn? Probably. It’s not my favourite platform. I’m not going to lie.

Job Search

Speaking of LinkedIn, ugh. Job hunting. It sucks. It’s fine. Everybody hates it. I am not alone.

For me, I feel like I’m completely starting over. I have a degree, a couple internships, and over a decade of service industry experience. I have this website, which I built myself with the knowledge and experience I’ve gained from the last two decades of my life. Yet it feels like nothing I have to offer is what I actually need to get a job. It’s probably my anxiety talking. Or it could be LinkedIn, which I hate because I just sit there comparing myself to my peers.

I’ve also been taking time to explore different things instead of just jumping right in to something new. I know that what I want more than anything is a remote job. There’s a limited number of jobs that can be done remotely. I’ve had to carefully sort through my options, take courses to learn new skills, and build onto what I have.

Now that I’m at a place where I can look back on the last 14 months of pandemic life and actually measure the work I’ve done, I’m feeling less anxiety. It definitely feels like all I did was watch movies and TV, but in reality I’ve accomplished a lot. Maybe not as much as I was hoping, but I’ve made a complete turnaround as far as my career is concerned. I’m not throwing away all my time and money at the bars anymore. Instead I’m investing it all back in myself and working towards making a real change.


As mentioned in the last post, I hit a low point around March Madness, so I decided to go back to doing virtual events. I attended virtual BroadwayCon, the TCM Classic Film Festival, and New Orleans Jazz Fest. I also went to an IRL Kentucky Derby party, where I bet on the right horse to win third place and won $37.

I submitted a photo of myself dressed as Jenna from the hit Broadway musical “Waitress” to BroadwayCon and won a 2-week free trial membership to a virtual dance studio. I started taking Ballet, Jazz, and Musical Theatre Dance classes. I love it!!!!! I subscribed to their service and now I’m taking 4-5 dance classes a week. They also hold “Sharing Sessions” for us to journal and connect. It’s a really great community. I’m so grateful they reached out.

So, not a job, but something! Networking isn’t bad! Networking isn’t scary! It’s not a bad thing to put yourself out there and meet new people! Not everyone hates you and thinks you suck, Betsey! Some people in this world are actually really fucking cool! It’s okay!


My routine has improved by leaps and bounds since I started taking the dance classes. I already had “Musical Monday” firmly scheduled in my calendar in order to dedicate one full day a week specifically to my love of theatre, dancing, singing, acting, and musicals. Now I take three dance classes on Mondays and watch musicals in between. The jazz classes are on Tuesday and Thursday. I haven’t been great about making Thursdays, but I do have Monday and Tuesday down.

Saturday and Sunday are my “have fun or do nothing” days. Tuesday-Friday is for my blog, courses, and job hunting. I’m trying to force a designated cleaning day into that schedule as well, just because I have a tendency to let my clothes collect in large piles on the floor. It’s a never-ending battle, but I’m working on it.

I did find a new quiet place to work on my courses since the cafe hasn’t been working for me. I was hoping to enjoy the outdoor seating once it opened up, but it’s not here yet. That’s why I’m just chillin’ in my car, stealing the wifi, living my life. I just wanted to sit outside, you guys.

Mental Health

Okay! Last section! I have to finish this really quickly since there’s a storm rolling in. Figures. I finally get to wear a short skirt and it starts raining. Sucks. I need to move somewhere with better weather. I’ve come to understand that the weather has a much bigger effect on my mental health than I previously realized. Thank god for Vitamin D gummies.

I said I was going to get obsessed with eating healthy and exercising. This has been going well. It’s not my first time around this rodeo! Obviously the dance classes came at the perfect time. Eating wise, I haven’t given up meat but I’ve been slowly weaning off my take-out habit and eating salads every day. I need to incorporate more fruit, but I find changing one’s diet tends to be a process that goes better if you focus on slowly eliminating bad things and adding in good things. I try to take that as it comes.

I haven’t resumed yoga yet because I haven’t found a class online that I like. I’m working on that. I would like to include a 10-20 minute session in my morning routine. I’m just not there yet.

I meditate sometimes, but the last few times I’ve gone into my “special room,” Andrew has been there trying to talk to me. He also comes out whenever I try to write. It’s VERY ANNOYING. I don’t know how to get rid of him. I would say that is the second worst situation I’m dealing with mental health-wise, after talking myself down from jumping into the sweet release of death, of course.

Okay, the storm is here now. I need to go. Thanks for supporting me on my journey to become a healthier person and a better writer. I appreciate it more than you know! Have a good one!

Not Another Progress Report

Hello, world. Betsey Horton here. Sorry for leaving you on read. I’m still here, somehow, even though I totally got wasted and tried to pull a Tiger Woods the other night. BTW, am I the only one who thinks this car wreck has “suicide attempt” written all over it, or am I just projecting my own sadness onto a celebrity? Hard to say. Especially when I’m currently in the middle of my “Elle Woods quitting her prestigious internship, dropping out of Harvard Law School, and packing up to go back home to dat Beverly Hills Barbie life” moment in the movie of my life. It’s like I’ve done all this work on my self-improvement journey and yet I’m still failing so hard at life. Yeah, dark night of the soul moment for sure.

Anyway, here’s how life has progressed since my last update (approximately one whole millennium ago):


As I mentioned in my last entry, I was gearing up to pitch my novel about Verm to an agent for the first time. I was very nervous, so I was completely avoiding any thoughts about it altogether. I did the responsible thing and attended a pre-pitch session at the Desert Nights, Rising Stars conference in order to properly prepare. Once I understood the expectations, I decided to be slightly more realistic about the meeting. My manuscript is very much incomplete. I decided to treat it like practice and then all of my anxiety went away.

The meeting went as well as it could have. I did that thing where I freaked out and held back too much. The agent liked my overall concept, but essentially told me I was guilty of over-summarizing instead of being specific. Fair and also true. What did I learn? Go straight for the jugular. Mad Dog, crazy bar owners, shady underground gambling rings, the works! Suck ’em straight down into the Verm Hole! Also, her agency does not work with my proposed genre, so she gave me a list of agencies that do and wished me luck. I would consider it a “soft” rejection because the future potential is definitely there.

After the meeting, I decided to step away from my manuscript for awhile. I need more perspective. There’s a lot of things that have happened in the last year and a half that I haven’t really properly processed. Mostly because I don’t understand why the people I’m dealing with are so ridiculous, unreasonable, and honestly, just straight-up insane. Ultimately, it all means something in the end. Besides, I am the hero of the book. I’m supposed to overcome whatever adversity presents itself to me. Since that adversity is appearing in the form of misogynists and their loyal army of cool girls, I guess I have permission to just laugh it off and focus on other things. Lol at small towns in the middle of nowhere. What am I going to do, change them? HA HA HA HA HA! That’s a good one. Oh, I crack myself up sometimes.


Listen, I know what I’ve told you about what I’m planning, but I’m not writing shit. At all. Nothing. It sucks. I know. Especially when I have the most amazing new blog neatly planned out in a notebook! It’s so amazing. It’s so cool. Unfortunately, I am totally not cool. I spend all my time being sad instead of just writing. It’s totally lame.

I also haven’t been able to come up with a new name. I need an actual name for my entire brand/concept/plan. I need it for the url, social media accounts, email, affiliate marketing, ads, everything. Yet I have no name. Content plan? Check! No problem there! A name? Impossible. Thus, I am delayed from making any actual progress until I can come up with one. Sad.


I signed up for a lot of these, so I’m just taking my time to work my way through them. I spend a lot of time studying other blogs, business, influencer marketing, and social media strategy. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about digital marketing in general the last year. Hopefully this leads to a job.

It’s hard to say since social media companies just change everything up on a whim because they don’t care that people are using their services to run businesses. It’s actually really frustrating. I was trying to learn Pinterest marketing yesterday and the damn site just wouldn’t cooperate. It’s like they decided to take everything useful and functional away from their platform and turn it into a useless lump. I know I’m not alone in this struggle because I joined a bunch of social media marketing groups on Facebook.

Overall, I just have to say I’m having a really good experience with Udemy. Yes, it’s cheap online classes, but it’s not like I need a *degree* to do digital marketing. I just need to learn how social media works beyond just shitposting and arguing with trolls. I think Udemy is perfect for people who want to boost their practical skill sets without going back to school and taking on a fuckton of debt. No need for elitism here, folks. I’ll go get my Masters when the time is right. For now, it’s a fuckton of super practical $12 coding, marketing, and writing classes that supposedly will help me get a job.

Job Search

It is a universally agreed-upon fact that job hunting sucks. I know it, you know it, everybody knows it. I’ve joined job hunting groups where people with STEM degrees are talking about not finding anything after sending out 200 applications. It’s scary.

I’m not really sure what to say about this other than that it sucks. It’s draining, demoralizing, and frustrating. The pandemic is making it worse. I used to torture myself with anxiety over it, but since I joined these groups, I’ve just let it go. Yup, it sucks for everyone out there. Sometimes all you can do is turn off the computer and watch Netflix for the rest of the day. Sometimes you spend lots of time applying for jobs and you never hear back from anyone except for the occasional rejection. It happens to literally everyone.

I tried to start a restaurant gig last week and failed. Of course. I tried everything I could think of to motivate myself and hype myself up to get the cash, but I knew it was over when I saw that greasy, disgusting, dirty bar. I can’t do it anymore. I especially couldn’t do it after almost a year of not doing it. Seriously, no more. I’m just torturing myself at this point. It’s a waste of time and energy. I just want to focus on getting a remote job with benefits. Yes, I’ll be broke in the meantime, but I’ll also be a lot saner than I would be if I was waiting tables.


February and March were really busy for me. I went to lots of online events and conferences. I attended the Paris International Film Festival, the Official(TM) virtual Mardi Gras party in New Orleans, the ASU Piper Center for Creative Writing’s Desert Nights Rising Stars Writers Conference, AWP (one of the largest national writing conferences in the US), a Gatsby-themed virtual murder mystery party, a virtual film industry panel for women, and, of course, March Madness, baby!

I admit that I was doing well until March Madness. Why? Because that’s when the drinking reared its ugly head up again. I usually don’t drink home at alone because that’s just sad. I like to go out and drink at bars, especially during basketball season. This is pretty much always a mistake. I get way too drunk, end up feeling really sad, and then think about death a lot. So, maybe just stick with the virtual events instead of going to the bars for any reason whatsoever.

Unfortunately, the common theme throughout all of these events has been the insane amounts of social anxiety. I don’t know how to get over this. I have skipped every single virtual meet-and-greet event and in-person party I’ve been invited to in the last two months. I am terrified of dealing with other people. I blame all of the shitty, toxic, fake “friends” I’ve entertained throughout life for getting me to this point. I’m legitimately afraid of interacting with other people after what they did to me at Bloody Mary’s.

This is really fucking dumb because I literally went to two WRITING conferences full of WRITERS. I went to a panel with a happy hour for FILMMAKERS. I was hanging out with artists, writers, filmmakers, actors, directors, editors, etc, aka the kind of people I WANT to be around because I have things in common with them. Instead it’s like… “No, scary, bad, run away because everyone will just think you’re annoying and hate you.”

No idea how to get over this at all. Zoom doesn’t help at all. Zoom anxiety is real AF. I hate being on that tiny little screen. It makes me way too self-conscious to watch myself try to interact with other people. I know I cannot possibly be alone in this, but ugh. Wow. It really fucking sucks.


My routine has changed recently. I’ve been staying at home more and going to the cafe less. I haven’t been productive at the cafe at all. I’m also not productive at home. I’m not really that productive at all. I’m mostly just reading and watching a lot of movies/tv, as I have done for the entirety of the pandemic. Some weeks I’m totally on, getting shit done, cruising through my courses, outlining ideas, hacking away at my business plan, looking for jobs, and submitting resumes. Other weeks I’m still in my pajamas at 3pm and watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians for the 80 millionth time. Welcome to the pandemic lifestyles of the perpetually broke and small town famous.

Mental Health

Not so good. Not so healthy. So many ups and downs. Mostly downs. I’ve had a few major downs in the last few months. Struggling a lot right now. Its hard. I feel so alone sometimes. I feel like nothing will ever change in my life. I just feel sad and empty all the time, no matter what I do.

My current attempts to counteract said depression include going vegetarian, drinking more water, buying new activewear, signing up for a Zumba class, and purchasing some Vitamin D supplements.

You know what would probably fix the problem? NOT DRINKING! DUH! So, yeah, still gotta work on that. At least I refuse to work in a bar anymore, so that is progress. Now that basketball season is over, I have no real reason to go downtown to fraternize with people who hate me. You know what happens when I do that? I get really sad. That’s not okay! That’s why I need to cut it out of my life altogether. The drinking, that is. The basketball isn’t going anywhere.

Therefore, I shall go on a fitness kick instead. I will get really into my home dance cardio classes, walks with the dogs, and outdoor yoga/meditation sessions. Spring at last, spring at last.

I know you’re asking yourselves why I don’t go to therapy, right? Well, the truth is that I have already been through extensive amounts of therapy in my life. In my case, it has 100% caused more harm than good. The medications fuck with my brain, no one will work with me to actually make a real therapy plan with an end goal in mind, and the diagnoses are constantly changing into everything aside from anxiety, which is what I actually struggle with the most. Seriously, one Xanax prescription and it would be all over for me. So simple, right?

Wrong! That’s not what Big Phama and Big Psychiatry want! They want to hook you on drugs and self-pity so you’ll keep pouring money into the system forever. Meanwhile, they’re out drinking top shelf booze and eating expensive caviar on the yachts they bought with the kickback money from shelling out poisonous prescription cocktails to children. I’m not here for it. I’m way more into trying alternative therapies. I’ve tried so many, I could write an entire book about it. I should get off my ass and actually do that. I have it all planned out. But nothing. Yay!


So, there you have it, all. That’s my life. Look at me, trying to get her shit together so she will no longer be a glorified mess with amazing taste in shoes. It’s hard. I feel like throwing in the towel most of the time. I want to give up. Luckily for me, many people have reached out to me on social media with positive, encouraging messages. I’ve taken screenshots of all of them. I read through them now when I’m sad and want to give up. It is so important to remember that not everyone is a negative, energy-sucking douchebag. I do have friends and family who love me, want to see me happy, and hope for me to succeed.

So hopefully all of this will work out, even if it seems like nothing is working for me ever. Maybe I’ll update in another millennium, maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll just be sad forever. Stay tuned to find out!

Professional Progress Report

Just stopping by to update anyone who cares about my progress in becoming a professional writer/digital nomad. Someday I will be financially and location independent. For now, I remain trapped in a small town in the middle of nowhere. Alas.


Several weeks have passed since I started working on my novel again. Things have progressed well. I’ve been reading through my website archives and pulling out what I need for my narrative. It’s so much easier with the new outline I made. The new outline is allowing me to mercilessly cut out all of the extra crap that has accumulated over time. Killing my darlings has never been so easy.

It’s trucking along well. I’ve been trying to do a little bit every day. Reading my blog from the beginning can be a challenge for me sometimes. It makes me very emotional given everything that has happened since I started. I constantly find myself frustrated by the fact that I established several things up-front (ig: I’m a writer, I’m writing a memoir about my life, I struggle with depression/anxiety, I have a bad history with relationships, and I’m trying to work through my issues), yet so many people refuse to acknowledge any of this. I’m tired of intentionally being misunderstood.

It’s also clear from the early blogs what those people from Bloody Mary’s were trying to do to me. There were clearly coordinated efforts to gaslight me, bait me into reacting, and instigate arguments. It’s really pathetic and sad. It’s also glaring obvious what a sociopath the owner really is.

Ah yes, this character. This character I never planned to write, who snuck up on me out of nowhere, took over the narrative, and used everything I wrote against me. What a snake. It’s depressing to read knowing there is now an unpublishable manuscript dedicated entirely to this character and his sexy ways. It’s crazy. I still can’t believe it. So that’s something I constantly have to deal with. Fun!

The good news is, most of the stuff I wrote about him won’t be making it into the final version. The stuff that does remain doesn’t paint a very nice picture of him, mostly because he is not a very nice person. It is what it is.

I’m super nervous to meet with the agent next week, so I signed up for a pitching workshop at the conference to guide me through the most important ten minutes of my life. No pressure or anything, lol. But seriously, I can’t even think about it or I will totally fucking freak out. I don’t have Xanax to help me with panic attacks, so I’m just avoiding thoughts about it altogether.

Overall, I’m very confident in the current version. I believe in the character arc. I really think the flow of the plot makes sense now and that this character’s journey is relatable to people (mainly women) who struggle with mental health and bad relationships. I’m glad I took time away from it. It really allowed me to see the forest from the trees. Thanks again for everything, Paris Writing Workshop. I never would have made it this far without you!


As I’ve stated before, I am currently in the process of transforming my blog into a profitable business venture. It’s hard. It’s take a long time. I overthink everything and constantly compare myself to the other bloggers and influencers I’ve been studying. I’ve learned to turn the jealousy into motivation, but it can still be a struggle. The grand vision doesn’t line up with the day-to-day yet.

I’ve been developing content plans, which is good, but I’m still falling short on my posting goals. A lot of it has to do with anxiety and general feelings of worthlessness. It’s pretty common in this world to compare yourself to the false perfection promised by Instagram. I am no different. I fall victim to it every day, especially because I go out of my way to study other blogs and websites.

One thing I remind myself is that I’m just not there… yet. I will be someday, but not yet. It doesn’t happen overnight. A solid, high-quality blog takes time to build. These bloggers didn’t do it overnight either. A lot of them struggled for years and constantly moved in and out of their parents’ houses. It’s part of the journey. I can’t fault myself for generally being on the right track.

Courses & Job Hunting

I’m finally starting to make significant headway on this. There’s a lot to learn. I’m transitioning from gig-hopping in the service industry to full-time digital nomad. There’s a lot to learn in terms of practical skills. I’m exploring a lot of different options, such as digital marketing, copywriting, UX writing, and web development. I want to cover all my bases so I have more options.

I’ve worked may way through quite a few of the courses now. I’m developing more of coherent plan as I go along. I look at remote job boards every day to get some idea of what they’re looking for. My anxiety is still preventing me from actually applying, so I’m focusing all my energy on my courses for now. I think once I round out my skillset and build a solid portfolio, I will feel more confident in myself. As they say on FDS, develop the confidence of a mediocre white man.

I was seriously considering signing up for a TEFL certification course, but it’s financially out-of-reach for me at the moment. It’s always something I can do later on when I’m in a stronger financial position. It’s just not in the cards right now. That’s why I decided to focus my energy on the skills I’m learning from Udemy for $12 a course. The projected salaries for these jobs are also much higher, which is better for my champagne lifestyle.

Networking & Social Life

This is going poorly, as per usual. I tried to put myself out there with the Paris International Film Festival and managed to fall spectacularly on my face. My anxiety is high and my confidence is low. However, it’s not really about me at the end of the day. We are here to watch movies and celebrate up-and-coming filmmakers. In life, you don’t always get to walk the red carpet. Sometimes you’re just in the audience, and that’s okay too. I’m just happy to be here supporting other creatives.

I’m still lurking more than commenting in all of the Facebook groups and reddit subs I’ve joined. Every once in awhile, I pose a question. I always get good, helpful responses, whether it’s about job hunting, traveling, digital nomad life, mental health issues, or “leveling up.” Joining online communities is helping me ease back into a social life, which has been really hard for me to do.

I’ve taken a couple communications courses to help me with this ongoing issue. I’m also seeking out CBT workbooks to aid me in my quest to develop meaningful relationships with other people. I’ve never been the most popular person. After everything that happened with Bloody Mary’s, my trust in most people is gone. I’m struggling to learn how to embrace relationships instead of fear them. The pandemic doesn’t help. Neither does the crap that happened with my cousin. Alas, I remain hopeful that someday this will change for the better and I can finally host the fantastic dinner party of my dreams.


I’m back in a pretty solid routine. I wake up every day at 8am, come to the cafe, write for a few hours, and then spend the afternoon doing whatever I want. I’ve figured out a nice, comfortable way to work from home. I have a little lap desk I use in bed while wearing sweatpants. Yes, I know, I should set up my home office again and I won’t feel so scatterbrained. I’m not there yet. Besides, it’s the middle of the SD winter. It’s dark and cold and my bed is so soft and warm. I don’t want to leave it.

Mental Health

I’m fighting back against the depression and anxiety pretty hard. It’s ruined my life for so many years now. I’m tired of it. I want to be a different person now. A better person. It’s a lot of hard work. Being in this town really doesn’t help. It seems to drag me back down to where I was before in spite of my best efforts.

I’ve had a couple of minor episodes since I got back. The last few days have been particularly hard. That’s why I’m writing this progress report. I feel like I’m about to jump off a cliff, so I need to spell out everything I’m working on to remind myself that it’s a process and I’m just not there yet. Don’t give up now, Betsey! You’re almost there!

I will get there someday. I’m just not there yet. It’s a process. It takes time. It’s okay. I don’t have to justify it to anyone else. All I can do is live my truth.

Manicures in the Time of Covid-19

One of my most-missed pre-pandemic rituals is that of the manicure. Like any woman, I enjoy getting a full set with glitter nail polish and a cute little design. However, the pandemic has closed nail salons all across the nation. Times are tough for beauty queens and those who provide essential services for them.

Here are some tips for maintaining a good manicure in these difficult times:

Do Your Own

If you have normal length nails, learning how to do your own manicure can be therapeutic. The patience it takes to do the design embellishment? It can be a calming distraction for those who fidget or bite their nails. It takes extra effort to main a long natural manicure.


The main benefit to the stick-on is that is a quick, simple fix for those who may bite their nails out of nervousness. These nails are widely available at local drug stores in many different colors and designs. They provide decent results for 1-2 weeks. The only downside is that the under-nail gets grimy. Otherwise, length is short and good for typing.


After a few months of stick-ons, it’s worth it to upgrade to the kind of artificial nail that requires adhesive glue. These produce better results but still pop off from time to time. The main upside is that these brands come with fancier designs, longer, different shapes, multiple accents, and bright colors.

The main difficulty is that the extra handwashing required by coronavirus restrictions causes the nails to come off faster. The reason for this is that the oils in the soap interact with adhesive and wears it away.

If you absolutely must, dip out to the salon for a full set. But beware of scam artists! Many businesses are suffering due to Covid, so many have resorted to inflating prices to make up for the loss. Make sure you are clear about the price up-front. Otherwise you may get an unpleasant surprise.

Hopefully we can all get back to our normal beauty routines soon. Until then, enjoy these alternatives.

3 Face Masks to Help You Survive the Stress of 2020

Let’s face it: 2020 was no one’s year. Very few things seemed within our control. In tense moments when the future seemed so uncertain for so many, I did what any woman would do to regain control of her life: I went to Walmart and bought a bunch of face masks to experiment with and blog about.

Here are the results of my experiment:

Soo’ae Cactus Soothing Gel Mask

This mask is perfect after a stressful day. The soothing aloe gel cools down that red face and refreshed one’s face after crying. It is the perfect anti-anxiety mask for someone who needs a 20-minute break from the world.

Soo-ae Red Wine Anti-Aging Hologram Mask

In the spirit of preserving my youth, I found the perfect mask to make me feel like the last year never happened. I used this mask on my birthday. The rejuvenating treatment made me feel young again. It worked! I felt bright, vibrant, and youthful the next morning. I am ready to take on a new year.

Dead Sea Mud Mask

I bought this clay mask to use as a weekly treatment. I usually do it on Sunday nights. The clay cools off your face and then dries out. It keeps my pores clear, keeps my face bright and shiny, and lifts out extra dirt and oil buildup. Afterwards, I apply a moisturizing treatment.

2020 is tough for everyone. It doesn’t have to take away your skincare routine too. Be in control of your life: experiment with new beauty products in quarantine today!

5 Things People Say & Do When You Write About Your Mental Health

Writing about mental health struggles isn’t easy. If you’re doing it for any kind of audience, be prepared for an onslaught of criticism. While 1 in 4 Americans suffer from some form of mental illness, it remains largely misunderstood by the general populace. Reactions are rarely positive, and while you may receive the occasional message from someone praising you for your bravery and thanking you for inspiring them to deal with theirs, the overall reaction is pretty unpleasant.

Here are some examples of the kinds of things people say and do when you write about your struggles with your mental health:

1. Downplay your feelings.
Most people can’t deal with their emotions in a healthy way. Instead, they find other outlets for them. When people see someone actively and openly fighting their mental illness, it makes them uncomfortable. They don’t want to admit that there might be something wrong with them too. That’s why they will make every effort under the sun to downplay your feelings. Why can’t you just get over it already? Something bad happened to them once and they got over it! You know, by bottling it up deep inside and drowning it in alcohol. That’s the healthy solution! Therapy is for weak people who make excuses for themselves. This brings me to…

2. Say that you’re just being lazy, imagining it, and/or making excuses not to work.
As previously stated, mental illness is vastly misunderstood. Most people just don’t take the time to sit down and read the DSM. They aren’t interested in learning how brain chemistry works and how it contributes to difficulties functioning. It’s much easier for the average person to lump people into categories, such as “lazy,” “delusional,” and “liars.” Again, this is most likely because they are struggling with something deep down and don’t want anybody to know about it. It’s much easier to put on a “strong” front than actually deal with your issues.

3. Accuse you of lying and/or making things up for attention.
If you’re writing about the emotional fallout you suffered from assault, rape, bullying, and other forms of abuse, people will bend over backwards to defend your abuser. They will come up with any and every reason to call you a liar. After all, what kind of attention is better than everyone you know turning against you because that guy you thought was so nice decided to get wasted one night and force you into doing degrading sexual acts in your own bed?

Did you have to go to court to get a restraining order against a guy who threw you into a wall? You’re obviously just making that up too! Don’t even waste your time showing them the physical evidence. These people don’t care. They are uncomfortable with the fact that they personally know someone who committed an assault. They would rather see the accuser burn at the stake. Why is this? I don’t know. The short answer is that most people are just plain assholes.

4. Retaliate against you.
If you’re writing about your abuser, get ready for the flying monkeys to come after you in response. The worst thing you can do to a narcissist and/or abuser is call them out publicly. They cannot stand being told they are anything but perfect. Should someone point out that they are, in fact, a jerk who hurts other people for fun, they WILL retaliate against you. They will destroy your reputation, turn your friends and family members against you, jeopardize your employment, and even run you out of your home.

Sure, it’s scary now, but all they’re really doing is proving you right. You may feel the need to apologize in order to mend things, but it’s already too late. Abusers get off on abusing people. They want to see you hurt. They will do anything and everything in their power to manipulate those around them into hurting you. There’s nothing you can do. It’s just how they roll.

Your only option is to escape and cut them out of your life forever. It may seem difficult at first, especially if said abuser is a family member hellbent on isolating you from your blood, but it really is the best option in the end. Don’t worry, eventually the people around you will see how unhinged they really are. If not, hey! At least you finally got away!

5. Call you crazy and/or toxic.
This one is a classic. Mental illness comes in many forms. It can range from mood disorders such as depression to full-blown, degenerative diseases like schizophrenia. The spectrum is incredibly wide and diverse. Unfortunately, people who don’t understand mental illness also don’t understand this spectrum. It’s much easier to lump everyone into the “crazy” category. This is so things are simpler to process. Why take the time to listen to someone who is struggling when you can just slap a label on them and move on? Exactly.

Struggling with mental health issues is hard. Don’t make it harder by wasting your time worrying about what other people think. Abusers are going to abuse, people are going to use labels, and haters are going to run their mouths. Don’t take it personally. It has nothing to do with you. You are the one who is brave for standing up for yourself and fighting back against your illness. Your journey is an inspiration to others who struggle just like you. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll inspire the people who hurt you to face their own issues too.

10 Reasons Male Strippers Are Better Than A Boyfriend

After years of failed attempts at online dating and way too many unhealthy relationships with terrible, narcissistic men, I made a decision to give up dating for good. Men just weren’t contributing anything positive to my life. In fact, most of them were either abusing me or just straight-up wasting my time. It just wasn’t worth it to me anymore to seek out companionship.

Luckily, right at that moment, something better came along: male strippers. The popularity of the Magic Mike film series suddenly made male strippers visible to me in ways they had never been before. Suddenly, it seemed like they were everywhere in our culture! A troupe of them was even invited to perform in the small town in the middle of nowhere where I was living.

The venue was small enough for me to attract the attention of the troupe. I sat at a VIP table right by the stage entrance, won the stage game I entered, and was rewarded at the end of the evening with an invitation to dinner with the guys. There I was able to interview them about their experiences and lives as “male entertainers.” The conversations were very enlightening. I learned so much that night.

Ever since, I’ve become a loyal and faithful ally of male entertainers everywhere. In fact, I actually prefer them to regular men on dating websites.

Here are 10 reasons why:

  1. They’re fun!
    If there’s one thing male entertainers know how to do, it’s have a good time. You know who doesn’t know how to have a good time? Guys who hang out in basements playing video games. BORING! So boring. Male entertainers bring the party. You’re guaranteed to get your money’s worth when you buy that VIP ticket.
  2. They will treat you right.
    Yes they will. Unlike weird, gross, pornsick men, male entertainers are here to please you. They’re not going to use you for sex and throw you away like you’re nothing. They’re not going to try to bite, slap, choke, or spit on you without your consent. They’re going to take you into their arms, look into your eyes, and make you feel special. Just the way you deserve.
  3. They’re ridiculously good-looking.
    Wow, so good-looking. They work out. They’ve got great arms, great abs, great legs, great butts, great everything. And you get to enjoy it all while watching them dance around in a thong.
  4. They’ve got serious dance moves.
    Dancing is a great way to express yourself, work through negative emotions, and get in shape. Male entertainers know that. And not only can they dance, they can also do some serious acrobatic tricks. Who wants to watch a hot guy do three back flips in a row just because he can? I do.
  5. They wear a lot of hats (literally).
    Don’t you ever get bored seeing the same guy over and over again? I know I do. I appreciate a guy who knows how to change it up. What am I the mood for tonight? A sexy cop? A firefighter? Indiana Jones? The possibilities are endless. Truly.
  6. They work hard for their money… and they make a lot of it!
    Dating broke guys is boring. All they do is complain about taking you out to dinner. Male entertainers don’t do that because they have cash to burn. So much cash. Cash they are going to use to treat a lady right. A dinner out? That’s nothing! No complaints here.
  7. You can pay them to come and go as you please.
    In my experience, having a boyfriend around all the time can be a drag. They’re always complaining about something. What is it going to be today? How is he going to blame me for his problems? How is he going to pick me apart and break me down so I feel like crap? Male entertainers don’t do that stuff. They come and go as I please. I see them when I want and the rest of the time, they leave me the hell alone. It’s great!
  8. They’re the nicest gentlemen you’ll ever meet.
    To be fair, it is their job to be your fantasy. Still, I found this particular troupe to be quite amiable at our post-show dinner party. They were polite, gracious, and held their own during conversation. It was by far the best dinner party I’ve ever attended.
  9. They know how to express their feelings.
    What do male entertainers do on all those long bus rides between shows? Talk about their feelings, of course. You may not know this, but male entertainers face a lot of harassment and abuse. Instead of getting angry and blaming women for all of their problems, they talk it out among each other. What do most boyfriends do? Use you as a free therapist so they don’t actually have to confront any of their issues and therefore change.
  10. They travel a lot.
    Travel is good for the soul. The more you travel, the more your world opens up. Some of these guys have traveled the world. Some all over the continental US. Either way, they’re always on the road. They’re getting out there, meeting new people, and making new friends. What’s your boyfriend doing? That’s right. He’s sitting on his ass playing video games and throwing the controller across the room when he loses. Lame.

There you have it, ladies. Ten reasons to trade in your lameass boyfriend for male entertainers. Take my advice or leave it. I don’t really care. I’ll be out there living my life to the fullest.

10 Things You Need to Be A Successful Writer

As a small town famous writer with over 20 years of experience not getting paid for her work, published, or produced, I know all about what it takes to keep your dream of becoming a real writer alive in a cold, cruel, indifferent world. Here are the Top Ten things you absolutely NEED in order to sustain yourself in the face of improbability.

  1. A Room of Your Own
    Don’t take it from me, take it from Virginia Woolf. If you want to be productive, you need a room of your own. Ideally, this means a studio and/or 1-bedroom apartment so you can do whatever you want whenever you want. Of course, living with roommates or family can be more practical for a variety of reasons. Just make sure you carve out a space that is YOURS and YOURS alone where you can listen to music, talk to yourself, converse with your characters, dance around, or do whatever else it is you need to do in order to achieve maximum productivity.
  2. A Viable Business Plan
    The #1 reason most freelancers fail is because they don’t have a plan. They just go into it with this vague idea of what freelancing means. This is a mistake. You need to think of it as a Business. Would you start a business without a viable plan for profit? No. Treat freelancing the same way. Take the time to make a plan. Take courses if need be. Seek out other freelancers and learn from them. Treat yourself like a small business owner because that is exactly what you are.
  3. A Diversified Skillset
    Writing alone isn’t going to make you money. Trust me, I would know. As of today, I have made exactly $0 from writing. It’s a good idea to have other skills that you can monetize so you aren’t relying on writing alone. I sustain myself in other ways. These ways are not glamorous. Mostly, they involve mixing drinks and waiting tables. This was a great back-up plan until Covid. Well, not really. I don’t really do well working for other people. I could not keep a job for the life of me, but I was also living in South Dakota and people there are… well… different. That’s why I’m starting my own online business now! I’m taking the numerous skills I’ve learned and developed over the last two decades and turning them into something profitable! At least, we hope…
  4. Lots of Ideas
    Don’t get hung up on one idea. Let’s say you’re really dedicated to one manuscript. Finally, after years of struggle, that book gets published or that movie gets made. Now what? Do you have another idea to develop, or are you just going to become yet another One Hit Wonder? The more you write, the more likely you are to develop a real, sustainable, long-term career. You have to keep writing, no matter what. That’s the real secret ingredient to success. Or so I hear. You’re looking at a Work-in-Progress here, people. I’m not trying to pretend I’m something I’m not in order to profit from your naivety.
  5. A Good Attitude
    This part is very important! Put down the “I can’t” excuses and start telling yourself you can! You can do this. You are a writer. Be confident in that fact! If you want to be a writer, tell everyone you are a writer. Don’t wait around for other people to give you that validation. Fake it until you make it, like I’m doing right now with this blog. Most important of all, you need to have a thick skin. There are going to be so many people who are going to doubt you, tear you down, rip you apart, and tell you that no, you can’t do this. You will endure failure. You will face rejection. You will get bad reviews. You will get banned from your favourite bar. But you can’t let any of that stop you. Start developing a sense of humor now and it will be your best weapon when it feels like the world is against you. Your success will be found in your resiliency.
  6. A Sense of Dignity
    Let me explain what dignity means, says the person who was arrested for setting up a chair to write in outside of her favourite bar after getting kicked out and refusing to “just let it go.” Dignity means knowing your value. That means getting paid for your services. It means not taking assignments “for experience” after a certain point in time. It means walking away from unhealthy situations. It means not staying in bad relationships. It also means ghostwriting is a scam and if you really valued yourself, you wouldn’t let someone else take credit for your work and reap the profits from it. Just saying.
  7. Orderly Finances
    If you’re planning to quit that job you hate, tell your Boss to get bent, and live your dream of becoming a traveling writer, make sure you have your financial house in order first. Pay off any significant debt you may have so it doesn’t hover you when you can’t afford groceries because you spent the last of your money on booze. Maintain a solid credit score. Seek out benefactors and/or patrons, aka family members who are willing to give you cash so you can eat. Make long-term investments. And most importantly, figure out how your taxes work BEFORE you become an “independent contractor.” Pro Tip: Maintain residency in a state with no income tax, like South Dakota. Sure, it’s a third world shithole with a crazy two-bit dictator of governor who is totally and completely out-of-touch with reality, but at least I have Muh Freedoms.
  8. Professional Support
    There are three very important people you need in your career as a professional writer. The first is a great agent. You will never get anywhere in any industry without an agent. It is what it is. Keep querying until you find one. Eventually that day will come.

    The second is your lawyer. Yes, you need one. The first reason is because you should never, ever, EVER sign any kind of contract without consulting a legal mind first. Do not trust anyone who asks you to sign something without a lawyer present. Furthermore, do not trust anyone who threatens to rescind an offer if you don’t immediately sign the contract without reviewing it. Contracts should always be negotiated to protect your own long-term self-interest.

    The second reason you need a lawyer is because you might potentially piss people off with your writing. Should you offend the fragile ego of a raging narcissist, he will send his flying monkeys after you in the hopes of destroying your career, your life, and your sanity. A lawyer will protect you from this person’s attempts at sabotage. A lawyer is also great to have around should you deal with a client who tries to screw you over. You have rights as a small business owner. Know them. If you can’t be bothered, keep someone on retainer who will know them for you. Your career will thank you later.

    The last person you need is an accountant. If you’re shitty with money, numbers, and finances, it’s worth it to keep someone around who you can trust to take care of it for you. They may find things you never thought of, like clever tax write-offs or investments with long-term potential. They will also help you translate the utter gibberish that is the US tax code.
  9. A Stone-Cold SOLID Self-Care System
    Writers are not well-known for their exceptional mental health. In fact, we’re quite famous for the opposite. How many of your favourites have had epic breakdowns and interesting suicide attempts? If you’re going to be a writer, there WILL be days when you seriously contemplate sticking your head in an oven or stuffing your pockets full of rocks and wandering out into the sea. You have to be prepared for this. Develop the self-care routine that is right for YOU. Do whatever it takes to fight for your sanity. This business is not easy. Creativity is both a blessing and a curse. Figure out your counter-curse.
  10. No Fear!
    Don’t be afraid of failure or rejection. It is inevitable, like death is inevitable. Learn to face your fears and carry on without them holding you back. The world has always been a hard place for writers, artists, and creatives of all types. You are no exception to this rule. Hashtag, Live Fearlessly. Yes, even if that means letting the spider in the corner of the room stay. Spiders are good spirit guides for writers, but we’ll talk about that later.

There you have it, friends! It’s not so hard after all. Just work hard, stay positive, and never forget your dreams. Someday they’ll all finally come true.

How To Cure Your Hangover with the Perfect Homemade Bloody Mary

Hungover again? I understand. Being a writer is hard. Sometimes the only way we can really cope with our ridiculous existence is by pounding multiple double bourbon gingers back-to-back at the mediocre bar we only go to because our favourite bar kicked us out. Sure, it feels good to obliterate your brain cells in the moment, but the next morning we always regret it. Especially when we have a deadline to meet.

I’m not here to judge your lifestyle or lecture you about AA. You do you. Writers and Alcohol go together like peanut butter and jelly. That’s just a fact. It has been this way for all of history and will continue to be so forever. It is what it is. That’s why I’m here to share my secret for concocting the perfect Bloody Mary to cure all of your ills.

Before we begin, one must understand the secret to making the perfect Bloody Mary is by mixing it to your exact specifications. You can add as much or as little of whatever you want in order to make it custom to your needs. All you really need to know is the basics and go from there.

First, you’ll need vodka. Obviously. Sure, you can do a non-alcoholic version, but for the sake of curing a hangover, a little bit of alcohol goes a long way. Now, don’t load it up. You don’t want to end up on a bender; you just want something to take the edge off. A shot and a half will do. I personally prefer to use Absolut for my Bloody Mary’s, but you can go for the cheap stuff if you really want to.

Second, you’re going to need some mix. In my ten years of bartending, I learned that a lot of people have very strong opinions about what mix is best. I tend to be scientific and try them all just because I can. For the sake of this article (and potential future business deals), I’ll recommend Zing Zang.

Third, you’ll need the spices:

  • Black pepper
  • Celery salt
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • A1 steak sauce
  • Hot sauce

As I’ve spent time in New Orleans, I have a strong opinions about hot sauce. Tabasco is not going to do the trick here. You need Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wing sauce. This is going to give your Bloody Mary all the BANG it needs to bring you out of your coma and meet your deadline. If that’s too much flavor for you, I suggest The Original Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce as a second option.

As far as my preference goes, I prefer to only use a dash or two of Worcestershire. I usually go for 3-4 dashes of A1 and load it up with the hot sauce. What would my official measurement of hot sauce be? Approximately a fuckton. I personally never use horseradish, but some people love it. It’s your custom blend. Use whatever you feel like.

Now, add your salt and pepper, maybe a little spritz lemon/lime juice, and whatever else you feel tastes good (such as pickle or olive juice) and shake that sucker up!

Last but not least, you’ll need your garnishes. This is the fun part. A garnish could be anything. Here’s a short list:

  • Celery
  • Olives (preferably blue cheese-stuffed)
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Pepperoncini peppers
  • Cheese cubes
  • Shredded cheese
  • Blue cheese chunks
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Pickles
  • Pearl Onions
  • Mini deli meat slices
  • Bacon
  • Shrimp

There are other options, of course. The secret to garnishing is scavenging your refrigerator for unexpected items that might add an extra twist. I’ve used all of these items (except the bacon, as I don’t eat pork), as well as various types of vegetables. This is where you should know that there is a very fine line between a Bloody Mary and soup. Know where that line is and never cross it. The incident with the frozen cauliflower immediately comes to mind.

Et voila! There you have it! The perfect cure for all of your hangover ills! Don’t forget to serve yourself a couple glasses of water on the side. You have a deadline to meet, friend. Now get out there and write!

How to Be A Writer Extraordinaire


Purchase domain name and set up blog. Write whatever comes to mind. Write creative nonfiction stories/scripts about real people who have hurt you, using fake names of course. Update website daily. Share content across your personal social media accounts. Leverage the ridiculously untrue rumors you’ve heard about yourself into publicity. Now, anyone who uses your name is advertising your work. Write your website URL all over the bathroom walls and sidewalk with chalk. Hand out homemade business cards advertising your site to everyone you meet. Get into an ongoing, public argument with the owner of your favourite local dive bar, who just so happens to be your secret Muse. Don’t be fooled by the mask. He is 100% in on it. He’s shady AF.


Piss everyone off. Everyone. They may hate you, but they definitely KNOW who you are. Everyone knows who you are. In fact, now you can’t go out in public without being recognized. Everyone is talking about you, and not in a nice way. Even people you’ve never met are talking about you. Bitch, you’re small town famous! #Progress


Realize you’ve gained fame, but not fortune. Now you’re broke, stuck in a small town in the middle of nowhere, AND everyone hates you. Drink bourbon to cope. Lots of bourbon. Put James Bond to shame with the amount of bourbon you’re consuming in a single night. Throw some drugs and bad decisions in there while you’re at it, just for funsies.


Go to the Paris Writing Workshop so you can get your shit together. It takes awhile to sink in, but eventually you figure out wtf you need to do to fix your shit, make money, and become the professional writer you were always destined to be. Finally find the courage to flee the small town in the middle of nowhere to come back East and start over.



I think I’m doing pretty well, you guys! Time to take the next step! Stay tuned for the exciting revival of the BetseyHorton.com blog! Coming Soon to an Interweb near you…