BLOG: Now What?

What happened after last week’s little dramafest?

Oh, pretty much the usual for me. I woke up the next morning, got my ass out of bed super early for sunrise yoga, practiced French/Spanish/Portuguese on Duolingo, did the Wordle, walked my dogs, fed the cats, cleaned my room, did my laundry, worked on some classes, planned for the next two certification courses I want, and generally went on with my life.

It’s been like this for about a week now. Why? Because every time these people try to fuck with me, I drag their drama icon into the corner of my desktop and drop it in the trash where it belongs. Zero fucks given. Downtown is full of trash. It’s always been full of trash. That’s not my problem. Other people’s ignorant behavior is literally not my fucking problem and I’m not going to let it interfere with my life anymore. I guess we all have to grow up sometime. Someone should tell that to all the old men who gossip worse than 7th graders at lunchtime.

Yeah, so, definitely noticed a significant uptick in reads on my blog, as per usual. That’s what always happens. Always. These people love to rant about Betsey Horton, but they are out here driving up my website traffic because they secretly love this shit and can’t get enough. It is what it is. It doesn’t bother me because… duh! Traffic is traffic! Who gives a fuck what people are saying about me behind my back? All that matters is dat sweet, sweet Analytics data. Thank you again for your readership. Please see my Privacy Policy and Legal pages if you have any concerns about how your data is used. I can’t speak for Google or WordPress, but I can definitely confirm that I use the data I collect on my website to inflate my ego because I struggle with low self-esteem. Beyond that? I honestly don’t have any use for it. Again, thank you for your readership. It’s been a solid learning experience for me.

How’s the writing going? It’s not, but the classes are solid. I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve spent the entire pandemic studying multiple modes of writing, digital marketing (and marketing in general), coding, design, finance, business, psychology, language, people skills, all that jazz that I need to both level up my career game and get this new blog going. The thing I’m particularly enjoying at the moment is learning all the background stuff. I’ve met so many writers who can’t or won’t do their own marketing or build a website or self-promote (and it’s 100% okay if if you don’t want to do any of that stuff because it’s definitely not for everyone), but for me, I’ve realized it’s extremely important to me to be in control of everything. I want to do the website, the marketing, the self-publishing, all the stuff. I want to learn all the front-end developer shizz so I can finally take full control over my websites. I want to become a marketing genius so I can run my social media like a well-oiled machine and never have to worry about tweeting something stupid while drunk ever again. For me, learning this stuff has been fun. Sometimes it’s a slog, but generally it’s fun. I can see the difference between 2019 and now. I definitely have a much more significant understanding of just about everything now. I’m not just a writer anymore! Now I’m The Boss!

As for the writer’s block… well… ugh. I can tell you that I have planned all the posts. There is no more planning I could possibly do for this blog. The plan is complete. Now all it needs is to be executed. Alas! If only it was that easy! I’m obviously still stuck in this void, whatever it is, so it’s not happening, but I can see the progress every day. Plus, one could argue that marketing, coding, and finances are just as important as writing, if not more! Education and skills = empowerment. Hell yes.

Well, I would write more, but I only have 12% battery power left, it’s 4:15am, and I have to awake in two hours, sooooo…. That’s All, Folks!

Stay tuned for Paris in South Dakota, coming soon to an interweb near you. Get ready to read all about my secret travel life that no one around here realized I’ve been living this entire time because they were all too caught up in their little bar dramas. Mwa hahahaha!

As Puck from Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream says, “Lord, what fools these mortals be!”

Indeed, Puck. Indeed.

BLOG: Everything is Effed Up

How am I today?

Well, let’s see.

I feel…

Tired. Angry. Sad. Frustrated. Disappointed. Also completely disillusioned with the reality of the world I live in. I’m really tired of men getting to do whatever they fuck they want and having meltdowns when they get called out. I’m tired of stupid, ignorant, misogynists who defend these assholes. It’s like… I go out all the time and talk to people. I’ve traveled solo all over the US and twice abroad. I lived in a foreign country short-term. I know what people are like. I know what men are like. Most of them I’m indifferent to. Most of the time, they don’t bother me. But when someone does, you’re gonna know about it because I believe in protecting other women from predators. Radical idea, I know! Oh but I can’t say that because all men are just innocent little victims of these lying sluts who are just making it up for attention. Yeah, whatever. Take that trash attitude back to the last century where it belongs.

I’m sick of living in a place where people openly disrespect me because I wrote a book and started a blog like that’s bad because smart people doing smart, creative things are bad. Everyone here is a two-faced, lying backstabber. They’re always there with their knives, ready, waiting, pouncing on the first opportunity they have to to be nasty to someone. It’s exhausting. It’s like some of these people never aged past thirteen. It’s not normal. It’s not right. In fact, I just think it’s really sad. I cannot personally imagine living my entire life in a teeny tiny little box where I judge everyone who isn’t exactly like me, but I also have an unusually high amount of empathy because I’ve been bullied by snakes like this my entire life. I don’t have the luxury of treating every single new person I meet like an outsider who must be ostracized.

Is South Dakota The Worst Place in the World? It might be. I haven’t traveled abroad as extensively as I hope to someday, but yeah, I’m pretty sure this place is at the top of the list of Biggest Shitholes in the World. Yeah, so they’ve got great sunsets. So what? What else is there? Because let me tell you something: these people are not it. They are so weird and scared of anything new or different. I literally cannot put myself in their shoes to try to understand it. I don’t want to. I can’t imagine living my life like that. It must be such a small, sad little world to live in. Definitely not for me. Show me a person who doesn’t fit this generalization and I will show you a unicorn. All the people who see the world as the bigger place full of excitement that it is get their asses out and leave. Why? Because they grew up in that environment and they know that close-minded attitude is trash.

I feel like I’m out of touch with myself and my creativity. I feel like I’m toiling away for nothing. I feel like I have so many passions, talents, and abilities that are all going to waste. I feel like I have so much to contribute and no where to go with it. I am literally blocked from doing anything around here because I might get my notebook out and write about it. Oh no, anything but that! Anything but a writer writing her stories! She might tell the truth about what corrupt, ignorant garbage we are and change all the names. So scary! Boo hoo, wah wah wah. Whine whine whine.

All they ever do is bitch my blog about like they aren’t all collecting screenshots and starting drama and constantly tearing people down behind their backs for fun. It’s disgusting. Listen, if you don’t want people writing about what immature assholes you are, then don’t act like that. Duh! It’s all on you, fam. It all comes back to you. Stop blaming me for writing down what I observe in my immediate environment and get your own house in order.

What I’m doing is not crazy. It’s not unusual. It’s not even that weird! So many famous writers whose books you didn’t read in school wrote stuff based on the town they live in. Maybe if you actually went to the library and read books, you would know that. But you don’t, so I have to put up with your ignorant, misogynist, absolutely insane theories about my life. I’m literally putting my thoughts out there in real time for you to read. I am not hiding anything. I don’t have to. I’m doing exactly what I was taught to do while getting my Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature. Yet you’re still sitting here acting like it’s the most insane thing you’ve ever seen in your life. Why?

Don’t like it? Don’t fucking read it. I don’t give a fuck. These stories are obviously not for you. Meanwhile, other people, you know, those outsiders who you hate so much, they love it. Why? Because they agree with me. They see my side of the story. They understand what it feels like to deal with the Fake Nice Mask and the constant backbiting and the entire insane idea that if you’re not one of them then you don’t belong here. I have that validation backing me. I’m not ashamed of anything I wrote and I’m not sorry for it either. I’ve done nothing but tell my truth.

The whole situation has gotten so out of hand. It’s actually crazy to me. Like, you literally don’t get to wake up one day and decide that you get to tell my story for me. You don’t get to spread these disgusting lies and get away with it. I hold the power. I hold the pen. I will tell my story myself and I’ll do it better than you ever can. Don’t like it? Write your own book. Use my real name so I can actually sue you for slander. Again, I don’t give a fuck.

I feel like… I’m so over it. I’m ready to get out of here and start living a real life around real people. I want to make real friends. I want to join a real community. I want to date real guys and go to really nice restaurants with French wine and unforgettable crab dips. I want to have a real job and a real apartment and a real life. Whatever this sick imitation of a life I’m trying to live is just not doing it for me anymore. There was a time when I genuinely loved living downtown, going out to the bars, meeting all these randos with fascinating stories. Truly, I loved that time in my life. I loved my apartment and my Muse and the fact that I wrote a story every single day. Now it’s over, that time is passed, and every time I go back to the town, it feels like my crops have all rotted on the vine. I’m ready to move on.

I feel stuck in a cycle I don’t know how to change. I feel like I don’t have the support network around me that I need to make it out. I feel like everybody in the world is just against me all the time, no matter what I do. I cannot even trust my own family anymore. It’s just a constant stream of negativity pouring out from everyone around me all the time and nothing I say or do can make it stop. Nothing. I’m literally doing the whole crunchy granola lifestyle thing and it’s still not good enough. Nothing is good enough. Nothing will ever change. It is the most exhausting feeling in the world. Turns out no amount of sunrise yoga can fix other people’s bullshit. Huh. Interesting. Who knew I had absolutely zero control over that?

I feel trapped. I feel like I’m slowly suffocating. I feel like I can’t get out. I feel like I can’t make anything in my life change no matter what I do. I feel like I am actually slowly beginning to actually go insane because I crave connection with others so badly and there is none of it around me. There is nothing here for me. Nothing at all. These people are all the same. The days and nights all run together. Time passes and nothing changes. Everything just keeps getting worse and worse. Nothing can stop it. It’s out of my control.

I feel like I don’t know what my place in the world is anymore. I don’t know if I ever knew. It seems like I’ve been drifting for so long, taking turns down long winding roads, looking for the answers, going back and forth across the country, and nothing ever comes of it. I don’t have anywhere to go. I don’t have anyone to see. I don’t live a life that has any meaning. It’s like staring down the void constantly asking, “Why am I here?” and the universe refuses to respond. It all seems so meaningless to me now. Still I remain distant and adrift.

Where to go from here? I don’t know. All I know is that the world around me is going to shit and so is everyone and everything in it. So amazing. So blessed. So grateful. So happy to be here, you guys. Just kidding. I have to go stare down the dark, empty, cold nothingness of the black hole I’ve been sucked into.

The End

A Whole Lotta Nothing To Say

I can’t believe I watched Obi-Wan Kenobi FOUR times in one day this weekend and I’m still sitting here staring at a blank page like… derp.

You’d think after 20 years of waiting for my fanfiction to come to life onscreen, I would have more to say than just, “It was great! 20/10, will watch again and again and again. It was everything I hoped for and more. I knew Ewan McGregor would never let me down!”

But no. Nope. Nothing. Nada. Zero.

Sigh.

I need a new Muse. I’m seriously short on inspiration right now. I always write best when I have a Muse to inspire me. Unfortunately for me, I have absolutely garbage taste in men, so my Muses pretty much always disappoint me in the end. Their stories always start out strong, but they fall flat soon after and never really end up going anywhere. Such a waste of time. Isn’t there a man out there who can keep it up for the long haul? I’m drying up over here.

The Town No Longer Inspires. The Town is an ongoing nightmare I want to wake up from. I use that as motivation to keep up with my classwork and stick to my healthy lifestyle habits. Lately I’ve been doing so well. My summer is full of sunrise yoga, casual chats, checked off boxes, finished classes, and virtual events.

I’ve been working really hard on overcoming my so-called “Networking Anxiety.” Twitter helps a lot, believe it or not. There’s lots of writers out there taking their time to help others and build up their confidence. There’s nowhere near as much negativity and tearing others down as there is on say, Facebook, or in a bar in this town IRL. It’s a nice little escape for me at the end of the day.

Life is still pretty boring. I spend most of my time working on classes, watching TV/movies, practicing my languages, and hanging out at home. I’ve been out here and there, but… ugh. I’m pretty much over it, ya’ll. I’ve seen it all, I’ve heard it all, I’ve done it all, and I got the t-shirt. I’m completely tuned out to everything that’s going on.

I don’t try to make friends with people around here anymore (learned that lesson the hard way!). I don’t try to get involved with anything going on in the community. I treat everyone I come across as if they’re immediately going to start talking shit about me as soon as I walk away because that’s literally what they all do. I don’t care who is fucking who or who is fighting now or what the drama of the day is today. It’s a small town in the middle of nowhere. Talking shit and starting drama is what they do best. No one can blame me for no longer wanting to be involved. I’m very much enjoying my peace.

I had my fill about a month ago when Mad Dog had to go to the hospital and I had to deal with the Owner of a certain bar I have written extensively about acting like the giant, overgrown manbaby he is. It was… actually quite shocking and ridiculous. Like, this is how you behave when someone you claim to care about is having serious health problems? Grow up. You don’t have to have a screaming meltdown and throw a temper tantrum every time someone says or does something you don’t like. You don’t have to twist everything into a soap opera or spread rumors to cause excitement. You can communicate like an actual, real adult. Maybe if you did that, I might actually listen to you.

The whole thing made me realize this whole Bloody Mary’s drama was never about me. This is just how he behaves… with everyone. Whatever exciting thing happens nearby gets co-opted into the latest episode of his soap opera. There’s no room for clear communication, resolving misunderstandings, or settling conflict. It always has to be the most dramatic thing to ever happen in the history of ever so he can throw his public tantrum and feel like a man. It’s so obvious to me now in hindsight. I feel like a fool for allowing myself to get sucked into it. Never again.

God, I can’t believe I wasted so much time on that character. I clearly didn’t see it before. Now I can’t unsee any of it. He straight-up gives me The Ick. It’s like… damn, his wife must feel like she has three kids. If that’s how he is with regular people every day, he must be a nightmare at home. Yikes!

The only good thing that came out of that was me finally separating out Andrew from Sam. As best I can, anyway. It doesn’t matter anymore. He’s on the Island of Lost Guys to stay forever. I don’t care anymore. His influence as a Muse was always highly questionable. Frankly, I’m just over it. I need someone who is going to take this job seriously.

So that was a thing that happened in my world. Honestly, it’s just about the only thing that’s happened recently. I’m sort of… fine with that. The whole experience reminded me how much I hate dealing with stupid, useless drama. I like not having anything exciting going on. It’s nice to be boring and watch a lot of TV. It’s just… you know… I wish something was going on to inspire me. It turns out working hard for what you want in life and delaying gratification so you can plan for the long term is BORING AF! Who knew? But hey, it’ll be worth it when the Euro drops below the Dollar next year and I’m finally living my best life abroad.

Ahhh… nothing like pumping out a bunch of garbage when sitting down to write for the first time in months. I suppose it’s better than what I’ve been doing, which is staring at a blank page for way too long. I guess I just have to keep working through all my anxiety shit and wait for the new stuff to come out. It’s all there inside me. It’s just not ready yet. When will it be ready? I don’t know. Today is obviously not the day. My sincerest apologies to all of my haters and fans.

Anything else to say today?

Nope.

Nothing.

Nada.

Goodbye.

The Job Hunt Black Hole Spiral of Death

Yesterday sucked.

There’s no other way to put it. It just straight-up fucking sucked.

What happened? It’s hard to explain. Basically I have a lot of very negative emotional hang-ups around jobs in the service industry because of my many years of bad experiences. This is the reason why I decided to quit forever when the pandemic started and find a remote job. There was only one problem — I needed to learn a brand new set of skills in order to acquire said remote job. That’s fine. I’ve been doing that and feeling good about the general direction I’m going in most of the time.

Unfortunately, there is a leftover aspect that I am not really addressing. It’s the long-term unemployment, dependency on untrustworthy family members, and feeling like the entire world is falling apart around me that’s been getting to me. I don’t want to live at home with my parents. I don’t want to be dependent on people I can’t trust to look out for my emotional wellbeing. I don’t even want to live in South Dakota. Unfortunately, I am stuck in this situation because it was either move in back home or live in a tent camp in the middle of Washington, D.C. Guess which option offers hot showers, fresh coffee daily, and all the turkey sandwiches in the world? That’s right! Home Sweet Home!

It is what it is.

During this time, I’ve made several attempts to find a part-job to get some money coming in. Unfortunately, this is not working out for me. Why? Because I have *INSANE* levels of negative emotions attached to these jobs leftover from over a decade working in the service industry. It’s especially bad when it comes to bartending jobs, which makes sense considering the fact that I went through a phase where my entire life revolved around bars and bar culture. I’m not proud of it. It’s not my finest moment. I fully blame Ernest Hemingway’s Aspirational Lifestyle. That’s why I’m starting my OWN Writer’s Lifestyle blog that does not glamorize alcoholism, drug addiction, and mental illness the way history *always* does when it comes to writers and artists.

So yeah, the part-time job thing. Kind of hilarious to watch, right? I sit here watching webinar after webinar on “How To Get A Job” specifically to avoid the “Job Hunting Black Hole Spiral” and still freak out over LinkedIn. Then I try to go back to my old life that I KNOW I HATE BECAUSE IT MADE ME SO UNHAPPY and end up in an even worse spiral. It’s so stupid. I will send out apps thinking “See? I’m not lazy! I WANT to work! I like financial independence! It makes me feel empowered! Look, I just filled out five applications at the mall and set up three interviews! I am NOT lazy! See, Kim? I’m getting off my fucking ass and getting to WORK!” Then I go over all the reasons why this job is totally going to work out this time and why I’m a great candidate and why I chose to apply at this company because my talents are a natural fit. I research the company, plan my answers to specific questions that might come up, and then…. BOOM!

It starts getting closer and closer to interview time and all of sudden, the demons from the past come up. Specifically, the demon known as Bloody Mary’s Bar. Then another demon I call The Titanic, which definitely has it’s name for a REASON. Then the utter nightmare of a demon ex-boss from The Chinese Restaurant. Then the demons from “Fedoras R Us,” which I have not discussed here but definitely make me imagine that entire place in flames every time I think about it. I think about the bitch from “New York, New York” who was a nightmare start to finish. I think about the resort in Montana. I remember all the times I was sexually harassed and assaulted by drunk managers at the end of the night. I remember the times I worked my ass off just to have my tips stolen from me. I remember having my rent and bill payments at the whim of some psycho who just decided to fire me on a whim because they were having a bad day. I remember the asshole customers who left me NOTHING when I needed it the most. I remember constantly feeling shitty, defeated, beaten down, and exhausted. I remember destroying my body and my mind for the meager scraps that the next billing cycle ate up anyway. I remember sitting at the bar alone after yet another shitty, exhausting day, pounding double bourbon gingers, wondering if my life was ever going to change.

Just… so much. There’s so much. It’s loaded AF. I can’t even.

When I sit here and write it all out, it makes perfect sense why I would react to the idea of working at another bar/restaurant with a terrifying, uncontrollable, extra extreme anxiety spiral that can’t be stopped. It was a terrible experience. I can’t do it anymore. I know there are other places that are different with better people who care. But for me… I can’t see it anymore. I am frozen in terror at the thought.

All of this, plus the fact that I lived above bars, socialized exclusively at bars, drank constantly, messed up my life and reputation, dealt with more abusive drunks than I can count. It’s…. yeah. It’s a lot! It’s a big problem in my life. CLEARLY the OBVIOUS solution is to STOP FILLING OUT THESE APPLICATIONS, re-do my resume, get Linked the fuck In, hashtag network, hashtag it’s all about who you know, hashtag mindset challenge, hashtag positive attitude, hashtag end the crazy uncontrollable anxiety death spiral.

Clearly! So obvious! It’s so obvious! It’s so obvious it’s easy!

Ugh. Idk why I’m stuck.

What am I going to do about it? Well, first I’m going to delete my profile on the job hunting site I have used to acquire all of my service industry jobs. I only use it for those because my research has shown me that most remote job ads on this site are fake and it’s better to use services exclusively geared towards remote jobs. Therefore, deleting this app is the first step I can take to stop the spiral. No more service industry jobs. None. We are done. Remote only. Healthcare. Benefits. A livable salary. A boss that doesn’t give a fuck if I decide to work from Rio for six months to practice my Portuguese. The works! Dare I even call it… The New American Dream???

And in the end, she realized LinkedIn is not that scary after all. That’s my takeaway from all of this. A small victory, but a victory nonetheless. I’ll take it.

Needless to say, I’ve spent today going over all of my notes from the pandemic. Everything I’ve collected for Paris in South Dakota, all of my travel diaries, all of my plots/plans/prompts, all of my notes from the 500 virtual conferences, webinars, and courses I’ve taken, all of my new material that has NOTHING TO DO WITH BARS AT ALL! And how did I feel when I looked it over? I feel good. I feel happy. I feel confident. I feel like I have something to offer the world. I feel like my life is NOT a waste and that I do have something valuable to contribute. I feel like I escaped, like I’m not trapped in the bar or in SD or at home or anywhere else. I feel free. I feel like I’m heading in the right direction, even if I can’t do the oh-so-seemingly simple task of part-time bartending on the weekends.

It doesn’t say anything about my work ethic. It doesn’t say anything about my personality. It doesn’t say anything about me except for the fact that I recognize #BarLyfe is toxic and I don’t want to live that lifestyle anymore. I’m finally putting a stop to it. I’m finally saying no. I’m finally walking away and choosing life, choosing me, choosing my dream of someday becoming The Writer Extraordinaire.

Post-AWP Vibes

Went to virtual AWP last weekend. Decided to give myself a break and just enjoy the ride. No promoting, no marketing, no networking, no nothing. Just sitting there and listening. I know, I know. Me listening? What? Haha, well, contrary to popular belief, I do listen to people. Those people are usually pretty interesting. If you think I’m not listening to you, there must be a reason. Maybe the problem is… you.

Anyway, onto to the interesting people. Yes. So much room for diverse stories in the world these days. Fabulous. I found myself both inspired and enlightened by the things I heard. Took some valuable notes on craft and saved more of those panels to check out later. I listened to readings from writers of every single obscure background you could imagine. I heard discussions on mental health, disability, and trauma. I attended every panel I could on Native & Indigenous works.

So much to say, no way to say it. I cannot possibly express everything I heard in words. All I can say is… I’m not alone. I belong here in this world. My stories will find a home someday. We all have a place.

Great. Now I’m crying in public. So embarrassing for my life and my soul. Whatever. I suffer for my art. It is what it is.

Long story short, I walked away feeling inspired and renewed. I really was genuinely surprised by how many other writers were working in similar ways in similar genres. I felt my process was completely validated. I realized that everyone around me who gets down on me all the time basically just sucks. As stated at the beginning, I don’t have to listen to everyone. I don’t want to.

It was a good time. I’m glad I took the pressure off myself to participate and, like, be, you know, BETSEY HORTON. Ugh. What a weight to carry. It doesn’t even feel like my name anymore. It’s bigger than me. It’s beyond my control. It doesn’t really feel like me. I feel more like the new character I created while at AWP, which is a white lab rat who escaped from a Big Pharma testing lab and now runs around free in the countryside. Yep. That’s me. No name. Just a serial number and a lot of scars from cruel and unusual medical treatment.

I was pleasantly surprised when it came out. I wasn’t expecting it all, but there I was, sitting at the basketball games later, wasted AF, sitting on the patio at Cleo’s checking my brackets, and BAM! There it was! The white lab rat. Next thing you know, I’m crying in public again. Luckily, no one ever goes out there so no one really saw. Or maybe they did. Who knows at this point anymore?

I let the rat run around for a couple of days before asked it what it wanted to do. It says it wants to learn Portuguese. Why? Just because it can. It wants to distract itself from its tragic past by exploring another world. So I switched the language course on Duolingo to Portuguese, started a Brazilian film and TV binge, and started reading Wikipedia articles about Portuguese history. Why not, right? Wtf else am I going to do with all of my free time? Why NOT learn a new language? It’s not like it’s hard. I already took both French and Spanish. Portuguese is essentially smooth sailing from there.

So that’s been my week so far. Now I’m sitting here. Did some website updates. Just letting the creative juices marinate. I call it my personal gumbo pot. I’ve collected a lot of interesting ingredients from my travels, courses, media consumption, language learning, and academic pursuits. I’ve got them all cooking together in the pot. I’m just waiting for that key ingredient to bring it all together. I feel like Portuguese may be o cheve (the key).

Speaking of courses, I took some time to sit down and go over everything I’ve been doing for the last two years. Amazing what you can find on the internet these days. My binder of business notes is bigger than some of my semester notes from college. It’s like I did an actual program without doing an actual program. Anyway, it’s useful. I don’t regret any of the money I spent to gain this information. Everything I’ve invested in so far education-wise has been 100% worth it. And what do I call this particular gumbo pot? Paris in South Dakota, of course. You just have to let those giant crab legs marinate a bit longer.

What else? Oh yes, the front page updates. God dammit. I tried to look at Bloody Mary’s again and I’m just so sick of it. I don’t even want to look at it anymore. I hate it. It’s like watching the season’s harvest rot on the vine. Ugh.

It’s clear I just need a very long break from South Dakota before I can even broach the topic again. I just can’t even with it anymore. I have just taken a full step back and removed myself from it altogether. I’m not keeping track of gossip. I don’t care who is who or what they’re doing. I’m not interested in what’s going on. I’m just sitting here having my Bloody Mary and spicy chicken sandwich with a side of curly fries, watching Attorney General Deerslayer get away with murder live on television while the Governor does whatever she does. Something, something racism. Something, something marijuana. Something, something whatever. Blah blah blah.

It’s just like… wow. I’ve got nothing to say at this point. Nothing. It is what it is. I’m not really sure I want to get involved with it. It’s… yeah. Just gonna take that residency card and GTFO. Come back to check my mail box every once in awhile. Disappear to a remote island somewhere off the coast of East Africa, where I will finally find the inspiration to write again. You know the drill.

Any other updates? Not really. Just here to say that de-centering men from my life was the best decision I’ve ever made for myself. Thank you, FDS & FLUS. You saved my life. I am grateful for the presence of these ruthless women in my life every single day. Thank you for helping me Level Up!

That’s all I’ve got for now. Tchau!

Leveling Up!

Lovely Sunday afternoon. Treated myself to a picnic in the park in order to get the hell away from basically everyone and everything. Love to enjoy the silence instead of constantly dealing with whatever drama this town serves up next.

I spend most of my time at home now so I can avoid it. It’s honestly so weird to go out for a coffee and run into all these people who are giving me dirty looks, muttering weird shit under their breath, or just pointing at me and laughing loudly like they’re in middle school. It’s like… I literally have no idea what you’re projecting onto me this time, but I don’t really care anymore. It’s a small town in the middle of nowhere. That’s just how they are. I literally leave to go travel for months at a time on a semi-regular basis and there’s always some new rumor about me when I get back. Yawn. It’s all gotten so stale for me. I just want to come home to a place that feels like home.

Speaking of haters, I haven’t heard from the Fake Twitter Account Screenshot Troll again. I wonder how that whole plan of theirs to ruin my life is going? No idea. Haven’t really noticed a change, tbh. I guess those screenshots of me drunk tweeting aren’t worth as much as they thought. Turns out I can tell my own story a lot better than they can. Huh. Who knew?

I can’t imagine being that person, or any of these people. I don’t understand where they’re getting their delusions from. My Instagram will literally tell you what I’ve been up to for the last several years. I drove through the Southwest on an epic solo road trip. I took a Hip Hop Hood History tour in Los Angeles. I went to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. I went to a few Broadway shows in New York City. I joined protests in Washington, DC. I went to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. I went to a writing workshop in Paris. I went ghost hunting in the Black Hills. I visited over 30 Indian Reservations. I saved my car from a bunch of scummy methheads in Montana. I drove that same car across the country several times. And that’s only the start!

Yep, that’s right. I did all of that, built two websites, taught myself marketing, went on a variety of crazy local adventures with Mad Dog, and wrote several crappy first drafts. And you were… what’s that again? You were sitting in a dive bar in the middle of nowhere talking shit, taking screenshots, and trying to paint someone you barely know as a threat to society. Sucks to be you, honestly. Can’t imagine being such a pathetic loser. Good luck in life, really. I mean that sincerely. You’re obviously going to need it.

Otherwise, I’ve been keeping fairly busy. My sister’s idea that I start a bullet journal was absolute genius. It’s keeping me on track in terms of diet, exercise, curbing excessive alcohol consumption, building a solid daily routine, and focusing on my various online classes. I’ve invested a significant amount of my time into my online communities in search of fresh connections. I’m still struggling with social anxiety as a result of all of the literal insanity I’ve been surrounded by, so I’m still having trouble with things like engagement, timely responses, turning the camera/mic on in Zoom, and participating in discussions in a meaningful way.

It’s pretty unfortunate, but I’ve definitely allowed the negative feedback from everyone to dull my shine. I’m just so tired of being hated for everything I say and do all the time. I’m over-policing myself as a result. Yet somehow, I’m still always “too much,” whatever that even means. It doesn’t matter. I have to figure it out either way. What else am I supposed to do? Just give up on becoming a functional human adult? Yeah, I already went down that path and it turns out it’s a dead end. I’m just going to have to find my confidence again… somehow.

The good news is… I recently started writing again. Le gasp! I tricked myself into doing it by keeping a side doc open for Andrew and scheduling a specific block of time every week into my schedule. It’s only once a week to keep the pressure off because my writer’s block has been so terrible. People make jokes about me being the town punching bag, but that actually deeply affected my mental health. So yeah, it makes sense that my avatar is stuck in Bloody Mary’s and Andrew is still blocking the way. That’s where I left off when I stopped writing so it’s only natural I would pick back up there again. It’s not what I was hoping for, but I decided it was better to stop fighting it. It is what it is. It’s just part of the process.

After about a month of scheduling this time for my writing, I started producing some results. They haven’t been the best results, but they are results and any results are better than no results. Unfortunately, it started with Andrew and Bloody Mary’s, but again, I had to. Nothing else is coming out of me until I resolve that story. I’m not writing it for you or for anyone else. I’m doing it for me because it’s what I need to do.

The thing about Andrew that people really don’t understand is that his character already existed before that real person got involved. They were never intended to be the same character. I was going to write the story about the writer creating a boyfriend who comes to life no matter what. That was an idea I had a long time ago. It was going to be written regardless of this person. He just so happened to be the only good-looking guy standing in the room at the time. If it wasn’t him, it would’ve been some other guy with lots of money and a pretty face. I’ve made peace with that fact. That’s all that matters to me. I can’t make other people understand. I can only write what I need to be writing.

So, I wrote a couple stories about Andrew. I only published the one, which I have to set to private because it looks insane out of context. That’s only because it is insane. This whole situation is insane. I still have no idea what the heck really happened. When I go back and read my diaries from the time, all I see is gaslighting and a garden variety of abusive behavior from a bunch of drunks at a local dive bar. It definitely looks a lot different in the daylight. It’s just another crazy thing that happened in my ridiculous life. Okay. Got it.

It didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere until yesterday. I was experimenting with Voice Memos at the suggestion of several people and had a breakthrough on Bloody Mary’s. How do I explain this without giving too much away? Hmm. Essentially, I decided I hated the previous stories because of all the nonfiction elements. By that I mean, these people have done nothing but treat me like trash from Day 1, so I legitimately hate most of them at this point. I don’t want to write some cheesy story about moving to a small town in the middle of nowhere from the big city only to discover the charming, close-knit bonds of the community and fall in love with the lonely hot townie guy who owns a historic inn and always wears especially soft flannel shirts. That’s a Lifetime Christmas movie, not my real life! That has never happened for me here and I’ve finally accepted that it never will.

In fact, it rarely happens to anyone here…

Why?

Because this town is legitimately weird! It definitely gives off more science-fiction/mystery/horror vibes. So my latest outline is centered more around the vortex vibes and incorporates more of the town as opposed to just one bar. It incorporates most of the fictional elements of the original stories (ie: time travel, shapeshifters, an alien invasion, Belize, Ancient Rome, etc). The character list has obviously grown into an entire town thanks to all of my adventures the last few years. I have a lot more material to work with and choose from. I think I finally found the right structure for it and obviously the setting and characters are all good to go.

Now my only problem is… there is no plot! I have to make one up entirely from scratch that isn’t based on reality at all. I’m actually really excited about this discovery. This means I get to have fun writing again! It’s been so long since I’ve enjoyed writing. For awhile there, this subject matter was making me pretty miserable. In the end, it turns out the decade plus of suffering I’ve endured in South Dakota was worth it after all!

Thank. God.

That was yesterday. Here I am today, writing on my blog again to update ya’ll on my progress and let you know I’m getting better. I did have another breakthrough earlier this week with my other blog project. I know a lot of people are eagerly awaiting that. I’m using this course I’m taking to help me but I got stalled on the Pinterest Marketing section for a few months. Why? Because Pinterest is actually a search engine and making pins is a COMPLETELY different and significantly more time-consuming process than just hitting “share” to Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. So I got caught up on that for awhile, but I jumped that hurdle last week and now I’m back on track again.

I can honestly say I feel more empowered now that I understand how to use social media as a marketing tool. Before, social media had all the power over me. Now I understand it. I know how the algorithms work and how to play them for my own gain. Now I am the one with the power over social media. But you know, not really because they’re still taking and selling all of my data without permission and tracking my every move. It is what it is.

What have I learned from this blogging course? That making a “real blog” is much different than what I’ve been doing, which is basically just venting and hitting post without thinking about the consequences. There’s about 10x more work involved. I have to actually be intentional and serious about it, just like everything else in my life. That is something I’m not used to. I’ve been in a “just get it all out” phase. Now it’s time to whip all this raw creative material into shape using all the tools I’ve learned from my courses, workshops, conferences, webinars, and interactions with other writers.

It’s… a lot, actually, lol. Don’t be jealous of “influencers,” you guys. The big ones aren’t doing all of this by themselves. They have a team of people working for them. Remember that the next time you get stuck in an Instagram FOMO spiral.

Hoping things will start moving along here faster now that I’ve jumped all these hurdles. I can promise you these projects are coming, but I can’t promise you a timeline. I’m sorry. I want to. I wish I could give that you, but I can’t. Right now, I wake up every day, follow my routine as much as I can, and try to see how much I can get done. In addition to my first world white girl problems, the world is crumbling around us. That affects things like my mental health and career trajectory. It’s okay. It’s happening to a lot of people right now. Most people, I would say.

On that note, I will close out this entry by asking you to send Hope to the people of Ukraine in whatever manner your feel comfortable with, be it spirituality, religion, atheism, maybe possible but not sure, witchcraft, science, Flying Spaghetti Monster, aliens, The Force, none of the above, or whatever. Let’s send Hope to everyone in the world. I hope that during my lifetime, we can find a way to bring about significant, positive change to stop pointless wars, save the environment, and live together peacefully at last.

Thank you and Goodnight. <3