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!

Where Am I?

Am I okay???

I don’t know. Most of the time, I feel like… no. No, I am not okay at all. Then I review my notes from the last year and come to the pleasant conclusion that I am doing the best I can and accomplishing things on my own time. It really depends. Sometimes I’m doing really well! I’m working from home in my fabulous studio, organizing everything, and staying healthy. Other times… well… I get into a weird space in my head, go on a drinking binge, and word vomit all over Twitter. It is what it is. The fact that I have a stalker screenshotting my every move probably doesn’t help. At least we know he’s always entertained. Never a dull moment in my life, that’s for certain.

Currently very ill with serious stomach pains due to my latest freakout/binge. It’s not great, but it does inspire me to add a habit tracker and food diary to my 2022 Bullet Journal. I’m totally convinced at this point that if I just create the perfect customer planner for the next year, I’ll finally be the Best Version of Me and finally get my life together. I know, it seems pretty unlikely at this point, but at least I’m trying. Keeping a planner and journal this year did help a lot. I’ve just decided to consolidate it all into one convenient notebook that I can reference for everything.

How’s the writing going? Uhh… well… unfortunately I wrote a story about Andrew yesterday. It looks like it’s starting where I left it off before I went to Montana. We all know how that turned out. Then, lots of arguing for a long time. Now, here we are again. I’m not exactly thrilled, but at least it’s something? I guess? I’m so over it, you guys. I’m tired. I want to write actual books. If this guy is gonna keep showing up with his fucking screenshots, he can man up and be a real man, whatever that means. No more stories. I just want to write clickbaity fluff for entertainment so I can make $$$$$ and not live at home with my parents anymore. Priorities. I have them now. They don’t involve men. FDS has taught me well.

How is the quest to write clickbaity fluff going anyway? Umm… idk. About the same as trying to write everything else is going. It’s so frustrating, you guys. All I can say is that I have a very strict rule about my filling my time with other productive activities and writing-related things for inspiration. Lately, I’ve been learning all about taxes and finances and that other boring stuff. Wow, did you even know South Dakota is an expert-level tax haven? You can break all the laws here. Yeah, it’s great. Turns out that 10-year residency card is good for something after all. I’m just kidding. Or am I?

Planning to take some new courses in the new year to help with the copywriting level up game. Pretty excited about that. Keeping up with my Musical Mondays concept, which gives me the time and space to express myself in other ways. I just do it for fun, which takes a lot of the pressure of perfection off. The whole idea is to overcome the need to be perfect, which I struggle with so much when it comes to writing. That’s why I’m not writing anything right now. Every time I sit down to look at the blank page, I just…. ugh. Ugh. I have no idea what I’m doing, lol. Except for the fact that I am an obsessive Planner and therefore have everything I plan to write outlined to the very last detail. For some reason that makes it harder to let the words just flow?

No pressure, of course. I’m not competing with any of these other perfect little Instagram Influencers and their perfectly curated content machines and how the fuck am I supposed to make money on a blog about being a perfect lifestyle goddess when I am a hotass messy mess? Oh my god. It’s way too much for a normal person to even try to live up to, let alone me. I can’t do it. I’m totally freaking out right now. Somebody get me a Personal Branding Coach before I have an anxiety attack and explode.

Note to Self: There is, in fact, a market for people who cannot ever possibly live up to these impossible standards of perfection. They’re called “normal people.” I actually have quite a few of them in my audience. They’ll read anything I have to say and tell all their friends. Shoutout to all ya’all! You’re the GOATs. I love you. You’re the best. I’d be nothing without you. Thanks for not living up to whatever bullshit lie social media says you have to be in order to succeed.

Just wanted to stop by and give you all an update on why I’m not writing on my new blog yet. Please know that I am working on it and my books and doing everything in my power to bring you the Best of BetseyHorton.com. Thank you for checking up on me while sitting at Bloody Mary’s talking shit and passing your phones around the table. I wouldn’t be here without you.

I’m on a Journey

Well. It happened. Just as I predicted. The Twitter stalker escalated into real life. I actually got chased down in a car on Friday afternoon by a person who I never had a problem with, used to consider a “friend,” and wrote about quite well considering everything. Sigh. See what I mean about these small town people faking their values, morals, and so-called integrity? Yeah.

As per usual, I have absolutely no idea what the hell is going on behind my back. I almost never hear anything true about myself from the rumormill. People just make shit up because they’re bored and they want to hurt other people. I have no respect for people who talk about me behind my back. I have no respect for people who gossip and spread malicious lies about me or ANYONE at all. I have no respect for people who dismiss every single thing I have to say about my own life because they think they know me better than I know me. Like, how dare you you assume to understand my perspective? We aren’t even from the same planet, ya’ll. South Dakota and Washington, D.C. could not be more different. We view the world in different ways. We are not on the same page. We are not on the same planet.

The truth is… whatever they have going on over there isn’t about the book anymore. I took all the right actions and did the things I was supposed to do. I stopped publishing the stories, took them offline several times, took them to workshop, got non-biased feedback from strangers who can be objective, re-published a heavily-edited, condensed version that got better feedback, and took it offline again for more edits. I speak highly of the establishment in conversation with others and often refer back to my own set of nostalgic memories. I’m not using real names. I’m not writing “revenge stories.” I’m not even publishing anything in public anymore.

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on Me. I’ve been taking classes in journalism, marketing, advertising, creative writing, business, art, theatre, dance. All the things. I deleted my Facebook account. I work out and stay hydrated. I journal, meditate, and do yoga. I avoid interacting with toxic townies. I travel to exciting places. I work on building a new career. I work on other projects. I try not to drink but I don’t always win that battle every day. I’m trying, but anyone who struggles with drinking will tell you it doesn’t happen overnight. The point is: I’m working on it. I’m doing my thing. I’m highly aware of how many toxic people exist in my immediate vicinity. I do my best to avoid them.

This doesn’t change my memories, my feelings, my thoughts, my stories, my characters. I heard your screeching, ignorant, petty “feedback,” which absolutely does not follow the rules of Constructive Criticism because it’s basically just “StOp BeInG sO cRaZy!” I’m trying to adjust course on my book. Yeah, I have tons of stories about The Rez, and Pierre and Yankton and Sioux Falls and Sioux City and random little tiny towns in Nebraska that no one has ever heard of. I have stories on stories about Mad Dog. I have stories about shitty bars I worked in. I have stories about characters I met in those same shitty bars. I have all sorts of things up my sleeve!

Does anyone care? No! Let’s all pretend I’m the same person I was four years ago because someone else thinks they know me better than me. They acted like assholes and now they’re mad that I’m writing about them as assholes. Don’t like it? Fine. Write your own book. I’d love to see you match the ten years of work I’ve dedicated to my project. Go ahead. Do it. Write your own version of Bloody Mary’s that’s better than mine. Write about how great you are and how everyone loves you and how your shit doesn’t stink. Use it to talk about how much you hate Betsey Horton. And please, use my real name so I can sue you for defamation of character later. I would love that more than anything.

I don’t know what to say to these people anymore. I am a very obvious person. I put myself right the fuck out there. What you see is what you get. People who know me, know me. They believe me. They support me. As far as I can tell, the people in this town don’t support anyone or anything. They just tear each other down constantly like the bucket of crabs they are. Every time I eavesdrop in a public place around here, there is someone going down a list of people and just ripping them a new one. It’s boring. And then they have the nerve to get upset when that gets reflected back at them by an “outsider” who has a different perspective on the town?

It’s true. I am an outsider. I’m not from a small town, or South Dakota, or even the Midwest. This place might as well be a different planet as far as I’m concerned. I observe it from my perspective. I don’t try to pretend otherwise. I am direct and upfront. I do not need to be fake or pretend to be nice to others so I can use whatever they say against them later. That’s what people around here to. I approach my surroundings with genuine curiosity and interest. I am not welcomed, I am not treated with any kind of decency or respect, and yet I am constantly told by the same people treating me like garbage that they are “So nice and friendly and helpful to strangers and have so many morals and values blah blah blah.” Um, okay, so if that’s really the case, why am I not observing that behavior out in the wild? Why do I only ever see and experience backstabbing?

Anyway, so, yeah. I moved on with my life and they didn’t. It is what it is. I’m still going to write my book because I’ve done actual marketing research on it for class and I know there’s an audience. I don’t care if they’re mad. They can keep behaving the exact same way they are behaving. I have no respect for any of them and I don’t take them seriously. That’s how they treat me, so why would I treat them any better? They don’t deserve it, right? They’re asking for it, right? They’re the ones who are crazy. I’m over here in my own world, doing my work, doing the therapies, trying to get my life in order, and they are… *checks notes* making fake twitter accounts to threaten me, taking screenshots of everything I post, chasing me down in cars, and screaming at me to go kill myself in broad daylight.

Yeah, and you wonder why I write these silly little scripts and stories making fun of you? Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

And in the end, they learned nothing. I Leveled Up and became the successful writer I was always destined to be. Small Town Haters stayed Big Mad. 🙁 🙁 🙁 Sad face.

The End.

I’m Right and All of You are Wrong

Yesterday I was sitting in a local establishment having lunch when suddenly, a wild alumnus appeared. He went to school here in the 90’s and started sharing his memories with those of us who happened to be sitting at the bar. I listened for awhile before I began to engage. I asked him what his favorite memory of his time in town was.

“Hands down… THE CAST OF CHARACTERS!”

“Oh? Really? Would you read a book about your beloved cast of characters and all the crazy stories floating around about the town?”

“Without a doubt!”

So there you have it. Quick! Let me just add that person to my ever-growing list of random people I’ve met downtown who don’t care about stupid, local, made-up drama! How many does that make now? Oh, not much. Just a couple hundred. Maybe a couple thousand. Idk. What do my website stats say? That’s what I go off of because everyone knows social media is for spying and data collection.

During this conversation, I found myself telling him the story of how I came to know this Crazy Cast of Characters. I detailed some of the stories I’d discovered about the town and one character in particular (Mad Dog, obviously). As I was telling this story, I realized once again that yes, I really do have something special here. My list of characters is in the hundreds at this point. I’ve got stories on stories on stories, some of which are mostly true. And then it hit me: I’ve invested almost ten years of my life into collecting these stories. I didn’t have to do this. I could’ve left South Dakota behind forever. But I didn’t. I went out and explored it and got to know it. I put in the time, the work, the effort.

Does anyone even stop to consider for one moment that I am literally the only person in the history of ever to acquire an interview with Mad Dog, a person who is literally famous in South Dakota history? No!!!!! No one thinks about any of this!!! They just want their latest target to beat up on because all they care about is DrAmA.

Did this random person mention Bloody Mary’s? OBVIOUSLY! They always do! Always! They always say it was their favorite bar. They say it was SPECIAL! So here we are again with me correctly identifying the significance of this location after many conversations with many former residents from different decades. Turns out, it’s NOT “just another bar.” The only people saying that are the asshole bartenders and their asshole friends who are being manipulated by the asshole owner into hating me. Why?

Because ?????????????

Why ARE they so pissed off, anyway? No one knows! I confronted him right at the start. I told him I was writing this book. I asked him permission to write about Bloody Mary’s specifically. He said he did not care what I wrote as long as I did not use his real name. Okay, no real names! Got it! Then what happens? He decides to turn around and act like this conversation never happened so he and his shitty little friends can play their absolutely insane mind games with me. All of it was a set-up. They set me up to kick me out. They set me up to get arrested. They set me up to run me out of my apartment. They set me up to write some of those nasty stories and social media posts. They set me up to ruin my reputation. I recorded all of it while it was happening in real time. You can’t gaslight me, motherfuckers! I keep multiple diaries!

I just keep wondering to myself…

Why?

Seriously, why?

I don’t know the answer to that question. I just know that I’m dealing with a bunch of alcoholic narcissists who spend their free time collecting screenshots so they can ruin other people’s lives for fun. Don’t believe me? Haha, well, you should see the screenshots I took a few weeks ago when some random troll came out of the woodwork on Twitter to threaten me. They made a fake account, followed a bunch of big publishing houses, the New York Times, and AWP, and then threatened to start posting unflattering screenshots in order to destroy my career. I actually laughed out loud when I saw this.

Really, bro?

Okay, let me explain something to you: No one cares.

Literally.

No one cares!

You are an anonymous troll account set up for the sole purpose of harassing and intimidating someone into silence. That doesn’t make you look good. In fact, it makes you look like a crazy, unhinged stalker. You’ve already lost, bro. Back off.

Oh, and coming after me about my drinking habits? Wow. That is NONE of your business. At all! That’s between me, myself, and my higher power. You do not get to run commentary on that. In fact, doing so makes you look like an even bigger asshole since I’ve regularly tweeted about my struggles with alcohol and have collected some followers because of that specifically.

What else were they talking about? LOL well they admitted to stalking The Publisher. Seriously! They were trying to say whatever about him that isn’t true because……. jealousy, I guess? They’re mad that someone in a position of power is supporting my writing instead of trying to destroy my career, ruin my reputation, and break me down psychologically into nothing? I don’t know!!!!!!

The whole thing was crazy. I literally looked at the account and said to myself, “Wow, whoever this person is is actually crazy. Some totally anonymous person just admitted to me that they have been recording me without my permission, obsessively stalking my social media looking for anything they can use against me, and following me to another town to watch my interactions with other people with the specific intention of harming me! WOW!!!!! Whereas I’m wandering around SD aimlessly looking for interesting stories and characters to write about while actively advertising myself! Yeah! This is right up there with telling me to go kill myself in broad daylight while walking down the sidewalk! That’s CRAZY!!!! The way these people are acting right now is literally unhinged. Like, I literally live at home with my parents. I don’t even have a life for them to ruin anymore!”

Then I reported them and blocked them, obviously. Now I’ve got screenshots to send to my lawyer too! Along with all of the diaries I’ve been keeping this entire time to prove that I am the subject of undeserved, insane levels of harassment. Good luck with whatever your plan is, guys. I have a pretty strong feeling it hasn’t been thought out beyond “ScReEnShOtS!!!! HeRp DeRp DeRp!!!!!!!!!”

The account is gone now, as it should be. Unfortunately, I have no doubt another will come along in its place, which is really sad. I can’t even take this seriously anymore. I’m out there in the world collecting stories and using various marketing tactics to promote said stories and collect data on my potential audience. I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. Some people may not see what I do as a job, but I do. Writing is my job, my life, my passion, my everything. True, I haven’t gotten paid for it… yet. But I will. I know that. People want to read my books. My audience is out there, ready and waiting for me to climb out of the hole of depression and self-destructive patterns and release the books!

So there you have it, folks. I’m right and all of these assholes are wrong. They’re wrong. They’re so wrong about everything all the time. They’re wrong about my intentions. They’re wrong about my personality. They’re wrong about my life story. They’re wrong about my blog, my books, my stories, everything. They’re just flat-out wrong. Especially when they say really dumb shit like “Your scripts have ToO mUcH dIaLoGuE!” Yeah, bitch. They’re supposed to be all dialogue. That’s literally what a SCRIPT is. Are you really that fucking stupid? Unfortunately, yes. Yes you are. And then you have the audacity to say, “YoU nEvEr LiStEn To AnYoNe!” Yeah, no. I definitely heard you. I just don’t think you’re aware of how fucking stupid you actually sound right now. No one wants to listen to you, especially not me. Now if you’ll please excuse me, I’m going to go chat with real writers, editors, and publishers who actually know what the fuck they’re talking about.

Yet these assholes still have the audacity to come out anonymously online and act entitled to tell my story for me as if they are the real expect because of their carefully-curated collection of ScReEnShOtS. What a bunch of fucking losers. Get a real hobby. Seriously. There is more to life than your stupid small town drama. There is a whole world out there waiting for you! Go explore it and get some perspective! Then maybe you’ll understand what it is I actually do.

I’m so tired of this shit, you guys. So tired. I just want it to stop. I’m sorry you don’t like me. I’m sorry you’ve taken in upon yourselves to try to ruin my life. I’m sorry you live in a world where the highlight of your week is destroying another person’s life with ScReEnShOtS. I feel sorry for you. I really do. I hope against all hope that someday you grow the fuck up and stop acting like you are in high school. I doubt it will happen, but I just want you to know that I’m sending you good vibes. Mostly because I want your money when the books come out. But also because you’re sad and lame and stupid and like, wow. Just wow. You seriously need to find a hobby other than gossiping and spreading rumors. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel about the world once you turn all that energy back on yourself and use it to Level Up.

So this is a fun breakthrough to have! I credit this to the Reiki I had done last week. I’ve been trying to break through this block for over a year. I couldn’t get to it because I was hurting so much from all of the psychological terrorism these people have been using against me for the last few years. It hurts to put myself out there in the world and get attacked repeatedly for it. No, I can’t JuSt GeT oVeR iT. I fell in love with this town, the characters, and the stories. What happened at Bloody Mary’s broke my heart. It did. No one gets to tell me that I’m not allowed to feel that way. No one gets to decide they didn’t hurt me to avoid accountability for their actions. I feel what I fucking feel and I had to go through a lot of healing and therapy to get to the point I’m at right now. You don’t get to say that didn’t happen, Anonymous Twitter Troll. You don’t get to to tell my story for me. I tell my story for me. So back the fuck off!

I just want to write this book. That’s all I want. I just want to whip it into shape and get it into its final form. I want it out in the world making money. I earned it. I deserve it. I went through literal hell to write it. I put in the time, the effort, the work. This is my life and none of these people get to ruin it with their petty bullshit.

I’m over it. I’m right and all of them are wrong. That’s it. That’s The End.

Now go take a bunch of ScReEnShOtS of this post and shove them up your ass.

Self-Care Sunday

Sunday morning. Finally writing again. Writing? What is that? My job? Ugh. Yeah.

Lately I’ve been caught up with other things. Mainly reorganizing my studio to give myself a more productive work space. It took some time, but I finally got there. You know, except for the giant pile of laundry on the floor, but it wouldn’t be my room if that wasn’t a prominent feature, right? The important part is that I have my desks all organized and my writing stuff ready to go. I’ve got brochures pinned to my cork board, maps on my wall, a white board calendar, and all of my binders, notebooks, and supplies organized. I’ve even got a snack drawer. Yes, I am ready to be a professional Writer Extraordinaire. No one can stop me now! Mwa hahahaha!

The other major feature of my new studio design is the yoga/dance space! Right now, it’s literally just an extra door I put over the carpet. It’s laminated wood so I can dance on it or lay my yoga mat out. The only problem is that it’s actually hollow. I need to find a more permanent solution. The portable dance floors online are expensive though, so… motivation to work harder, I guess. In the meantime, I started a 30-day yoga challenge for flexibility and started doing dance classes on YouTube. Just having the space right there makes it so much easier for me. I find it to be such an ordeal to get to the gym on time, find a space, settle in, get the vibe, etc. Plus I hate seeing people I know in town right now because it gives me major anxiety. Now I can just skip all that shit, put on the space heater, change into yoga pants, and do a 30-minute routine whenever I feel like it. Zero stress. Just good vibes.

Right now, it’s all about mindset for me. Having my own space in order again makes me feel better. Yes, it’s still at home, which sucks, but at least it’s my space and it’s not in total chaos anymore. My head feels clearer. I can actually look at the business plan I made and chip away at it. It’s going slowly. It’s taking forever. Some days I get caught in the negative feedback loop playing in my head and it makes it so hard to write. I couldn’t understand why until someone recently put a voice to how I was feeling instead of gaslighting me, calling me crazy, and telling me to go kill myself like people around here usually do. She said, “It must have really hurt you to put yourself out there like that and share such personal things only to be attacked and degraded in return.” Actually, yes, it does hurt. It hurts a lot. I am not a weak person for admitting that I am not an invincible stone goddess who never feels emotions and doesn’t let words hurt me. Some days it hurts so much that I don’t even bother trying to numb it down because I already know it’s not going to work. It hurts so much that I can’t even write a 500-word SEO-driven blog post about beauty product recommendations. That has nothing to do with my personal life at all. It’s a completely neutral topic. It’s easy. So, so, so easy. And yet… I crash and break down whenever I look at a blank page because I’m in so much pain all the time.

Am I doing therapy to help me work through this shit? You’re goddamn right I am. I need it after dealing with that crazy cult full of assholes. But still. It takes time. And that sucks. The good news is, I’ve stopped drinking over it. Mostly because my 33-year-old body finally said, “Look, I can’t do this anymore. I literally can’t. Literally. So just light up a joint, take a bubble bath, and meditate. Stop poisoning me and start taking care of me!” Okay, got it. Now that’s what I do. It’s working out great!

So great, in fact, that when I did go out for the SDSU game, I actually had FUN instead of sitting alone feeling sad. I ended up running into a bunch of other alumni from when I was at school and we had a blast playing Bar Golf. There was no drama, no gossip, no backstabbing, no bad vibes at all. Just a bunch of 30-something alumni reminiscing about the good old days at Uni and wondering where life is taking us next. It was a fantastic afternoon. I was actually able to look at Verm objectively and say, “You know what? I did have some great times here and I’m always going to have those memories. I’m always going to remember all my crazy nights downtown and I’m always going to have a fondness for Bloody Mary’s in particular. No one is ever going to take that away from me, no matter how low they stoop.”

And then I wrote a story about turning all those dickbags at Bloody Mary’s into a variety of barnyard animals, just because I was so inspired by the defeat of SDSU. You can read it in the book when I publish it, whenever that is. Idk I’m on like the 21st draft so WHO KNOWS! In the meantime, I just avoid any and all interaction with any of those people. Literally everything they’ve been screaming at me the last few years is listed out and explained in all of the books I’m reading for therapy. Classics such as:

  • “No one cares!”
  • “No one likes you!”
  • “I never said that!”
  • “I never did that!”
  • “What blog? I don’t know anything about a blog.” (usually said after being confronted to their face about something they said about my blog)
  • “You NEVER listen to anyone!”
  • “You make everything about you.”
  • “I don’t read your blog!” (usually said after the person has read every single post and thrown a tantrum)
  • “You’re just doing it for attention!”
  • Blah blah blah
  • Etc etc etc.

Yeah, all of that is what narcissistic abusers say to their victims in order to gaslight them. The other crazy behaviors they’re exhibiting are also listed out, such as gaslighting, victim-blaming, invalidating all of my experiences/feelings, gossiping behind my back, spreading malicious rumors, openly mocking my mental health, using sexist slurs to describe me, the constant screaming meltdowns, refusing to take any responsibility for their words/actions, refusing to apologize, stonewalling, and all other attempts to isolate me from the community. Yeah, all of that stuff is considered bright red glaring flags that I’m dealing with a narcissistic abuser. In other words, I’m not the “crazy” one. In fact, men just call anything and everything women do “crazy.” That word actually has no meaning whatsoever! That’s why I NeVeR LiStEn to these jerks or take them seriously. They’re just petty misogynist bullies and I have absolutely zero respect for any of them.

I’ve started feeding myself this mental script daily so it stops hurting me. Just send that energy right back to them. All of this is a reflection of them, not of me. I’m not a bad person. I started this blog to stand up for myself against people like this. I’m still standing up for myself five years later. I’m not going to crumple because some asshole with untreated mental illness is screaming at me to go kill myself in the middle of the street in broad daylight. That’s insane. Who does that? I’m not doing that! That’s fucking psycho. The person who did that is a psycho. They hang out with a bunch of other psychos just like them. That is 100% a reflection of who they are on the inside and it is UGLY.

So yeah, definitely keeping a strong distance from that crazy townie shit. The more I think back on things, the more I realize that the source of all the drama in my life since moving here has been townies hovering around university students. If Verm was the cave in Harry Potter, the students would be Harry & Dumbledore and the townies would be the zombie things trying to lure them into the water and drag them down into the depths, never to return. So now I’ve recognized that pattern and have resolved to just avoid the townies altogether.

I’m too old for this shit now. I graduated high school in 2007. I’ve lived through a pandemic. I don’t care anymore. I want to travel and see the world. I want to be a great writer. I have dreams and goals and an epic bucket list to complete while I still have my freedom as a woman. I can’t be stuck in the mud anymore.

Like I said before, it’s all about the mindset. I am very busy and important. It’s the end of the semester. I have a massive To Do list I need to focus on:

  • 4 online courses that I’m SO close to finishing but have been dragging on
  • 2 books to finish, edit, and publish.
  • Starting new blog
  • A million residency/conference/school/job applications to fill out
  • Build my freelance portfolio/business
  • Manage finances responsibly

You know, real professional things that real writers do. Not worrying about whatever some drunk loser said about me this week. Just working on getting things done on top of eating healthy, working out, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep at night. My priority right now is me. That’s okay. It’s not narcissistic or selfish to take care of my own needs. It’s called self-care and it’s essential for people like me who struggle with things like depression, anxiety, and PTSD. It doesn’t make me weak. It doesn’t make me “crazy,” whatever that word even means at this point. It means I value myself and want to take care of myself instead of poisoning my mind and body with a steady diet of alcohol and emotional abuse.

My sincerest hope is that anyone out there who is reading this and struggling with the same issues feels inspired to take back control of their life. I hope my difficult journey shows you that it’s not the end of the world and you can bounce back from traumatic life experiences. I hope someday I can create something better than this blog that does a much job of inspiring others. I hope one person in this absolutely insane clown world we are living in reads this and decides not to give up on life because of it. If I can accomplish that, my life will have been meaningful.

On that note, I’m off to write something that isn’t this. This blog sucks, I know. Please be patient with me. I’ve been through SO MUCH, you guys. I haven’t had a break in traumatic events in at least a decade and a half. I’m taking some time to heal from everything so I can be the best version of me and share my writing gift with the world. I have so much to offer, so much to give, so much to do. This time on Earth seems so limited, especially now that it seems like we won’t even have a world in ten years time. I want to make the most of it. So, like I said, please bear with me as I learn to make peace with myself. Thank you again for being my audience and making me feel like my stories matter. You are the reason I’m still here and I will always be grateful to you for that.

Be well. <3

The Revival

Here I am again, back in Verm. You all know how thrilled I am about that fact. Couldn’t be happier to be surrounded by all these ridiculous people, lol. It’s okay. It doesn’t seem to matter so much anymore. Who are they again? Where the hell are we? Does this place even really exist? I just saw a campaign online to unite the Dakotas as one and give Washington, D.C. statehood. Even East Coasters don’t see South Dakota as a legitimate state. Why the fuck does it matter what any of this small town trash thinks?

Mental Scripts Matter. This is now what goes through my head every time I walk through downtown. Much better than hating myself because a bunch of nobodies are mad that I speak my mind without fear, stand up for myself, and don’t take shit from other people. Oh, and I dress better than all of them combined. So. There is that. I don’t actually have to put up with disrespect from strangers on the street of LiStEn to anyone who just wants to be negative and tear me down. I am free just to be me. And I’m okay with that. At the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.

Just spent another week on the East Coast thanks to my train pass. I was originally going to use it to go down South, but that didn’t work out because of Covid. Instead I used the first half of my pass (10 segments/30 days) to visit family in Cleveland and go to D.C. I used the second half to go to New York City, visit my older sister, and spend an extra night in DC. After 3 weeks on the road, I can honestly saying I am feeling 1000% better than I was in all the months prior to this trip. I like being home, around my family, walking around the city, eating delicious food, shopping, and interacting with people who actually know how to behave in public. Much better than last year, when I was trapped in a house for months on end and wandered a sad, empty, apocalyptic world when I did leave. 2020/21 sucked. 0/10, would not live through another pandemic again. As if I have any control over that at all, lol.

What did I do in NYC? Well, I went to see Moulin Rouge! The Musical, which is based on my favourite movie of all time. it was Spectacular Spectacular! Amazing. Loved it. I will write about it on my new blog, which I am definitely trying to work on, lol. But yes, exactly the sort of inspiration I was looking for after two years of this miserable pandemic bs. I am so grateful I had the experience to see it. It was just… Spectacular, Spectacular!

I spent a lot of time just wandering around watching people. I do that a lot when I’m in cities. I miss diversity. I miss seeing different people every single day. New looks, new outfits, new vibes, new neighborhoods, new parties, new events, new activities, new, new, always new. I hate being stuck in a small town in the middle of nowhere, where I have to see the same stupid people every day. They never change, they never get better, and they never get over whatever dumb bullshit from ten years ago. They just get progressively nastier as time goes on. It’s… really sad and depressing, to be honest with you. After I finally escape from here, I never want to live in another small town in the middle of nowhere ever again. City life is the life for me.

I collected a lot of stories too, which was good. I didn’t get as much writing done as I’d hoped, but that’s fine. The important thing is that I am feeling happy, refreshed, revived, and finally alive again. As I said in my last post, I hope I can carry this energy through so I can finish my books, start my new blog, and work towards having a steady income again. I want to be productive and happy. I want to work. I want to live my life. I am ready to step out of the haze of my pre-pandemic life and become the person I’m meant to be.

Now, if only I could stop staring at a blank page.

It’s cool. I won’t be too hard on myself. I just spent 3 weeks traveling by train. I’m happy but exhausted. It’s not the end of the world if I go home and take a nap or watch a movie after I finish this blog post. I have laundry to do, a desk to organize, and a bathroom to clean. I also have some sleep to catch up on. If there’s one thing I’ve learned during the pandemic, it’s that mental health breaks and physical rest are important. It’s okay to take time for me before I go back out into the world.

Nothing else to say for right now. I’m feeling kind of… well… tired, lol. Obviously. Off to go do something else now. Probably eat snacks and watch TV, or sleep. I know, I’m actually really boring IRL. I am nowhere near as exciting as the locals make me out to be with their imaginary delusions of grandeur. Lol, Bloody Mary’s. What a joke. Ha ha ha ha ha. These people are real. Hahahahaha. I can’t even, you guys. Oh well. At least it makes a good story! And at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters to me.

❤️ Home Sweet Home ❤️

Currently sitting at a café in Washington, D.C. I’ve been away from Verm for two weeks now. It’s been magical, ya’ll. Believe me when I say I really needed a break from that town and all of the ridiculous people it. Nothing brings me back to life like a much-needed trip to the city. It’s like waking up from a nightmare.

This trip was very good for me. I made peace with quite a few things going on in my life. I reconciled some issues from the past in regards to my hometown. I had a deeply spiritual experience in a graveyard. I saw old friends and family members. I spent way too much money on shopping sprees and delivery/takeout. I did a photoshoot. I wandered around the city aimlessly, searching for answers about my life.

Most importantly, I met two writers who are Making It! One is a freelancer with a successful business and the other is a train conductor who self-published a book and sells copies of it out of his suitcase to random passengers on the train. Meeting these two writers and conversing with them inspired me to write again for the first time in many moons.

So what did I do? I picked up some legal, fancy designer weed, ordered a $22 custom salad and bottle of rosé for delivery, took a CBD bath, put on my favourite local hip hop radio station, and sat down with my notebook.

There, in that tiny, historic hotel room smack dab in the middle of downtown DC, I had my second enlightening spiritual experience of the trip. For the first time in two years, everything was clear to me again. My post-Paris writer’s block finally drifted away and I was left with nothing but the words on the page.

I finally saw my two books/short story collections clearly. I saw my memoir clearly. I saw my blog and scripts clearly. I saw my goals, my dreams, my projects, my path, my life so, so, so clearly. No one was there to question me, or gaslight me, or insult me, or scream at me, or berate me. No one was there to tear me down. It was just me and the page, alone at last, and nobody was there to stand in my way.

I can only hope this inspiration stays with me and carries me through the next few months. I know what I have to do now. I’m not going to let anyone stand in my way. Especially not those ridiculous people in that ridiculous town. Who are they, anyway? No one knows. No one cares.

Do you know what people in DC say when I tell them I’ve been living in South Dakota? They say, “Is that a real place? Do people actually live there? Why do we even have two Dakotas in the first place?”

No, it’s not a real place. I made it all up in my head just for the sake of writing a story. It’s all just an elaborate nightmare I had while I speaks lying in a coma in the hospital. It doesn’t matter what those people say, or do, or think. They’re not real. They’re just another story.

Therefore, it doesn’t matter what they say. We all know they’re going to buy the book anyway. I don’t need their approval or validation. They don’t know anything about the world and the world doesn’t know anything about them. Therefore, who cares? I’ll write whatever the hell I want and I don’t care what anyone has to say about it anymore.

So here I am, leaving my hometown once again. This time it’s different. This time I know… I will always be able to come back here and find my home again. No matter where I travel to or how far I roam, I can always come back home. No, it’s not the same as it used to be, but it’s still here. It lives inside of me. Home is the memory that lives in my heart. Whenever I’m lost, I know I’ll find myself here.

*sniffles and wipes tears away* Sorry, I got a little emotional there. I just love DC so much, you guys. There’s no place like Home! ❤️

Now what?

Well, I’m all out of money now so I gotta go back to work. I have something lined up when I get back, so hopefully it will go through. It’s not ideal, but it’s money, so I just have to suck it up and hope that another unhinged psychopath doesn’t interfere. I mean, it’s South Dakota, so my expectations at this point are pretty low, but I still try to hope for the best.

I have 5 trips left on my train pass that I have to use before Oct 10th. That may or may not happen. I might just hop the train and circle around so I can write. If not, I definitely feel like I got my money’s worth, so it’s okay if I can’t do another round. There will be other trips to take in the future.

As far as the writing goes, I really hope I can get it done. I am currently laser-focused on the two projects I took to Paris: Bloody Mary’s and Travel Tales. I had a very clear vision of how I want both to look in their final forms. Yes, there will be tons of new material in both that hasn’t appeared on my blog. What doesn’t make it into the travel book will be going on the new travel blog. See what I did there? Neat!

Yes, people will still be mad about Bloody Mary’s, but… It’s just like, whatever, you guys. They need to just shut up and get over it already. Move on. I told them five years ago I was writing this book. I’m sorry they’re still mad, but who cares? They haven’t really tried to fix things and all they ever do is rag on me behind my back, so… they don’t really get to complain anymore that I didn’t represent them well. I’ll represent them exactly as they are: a bunch of dicks and assholes. They made their choice. Hopefully it will teach them a lesson about treating people better in the future. If not, who cares? No one even knows South Dakota exists, lol.

I’m only making it into a book because people still get on here and read the stories every week. I should be making money off this shit, especially since they’ve put me through so much. I worked hard, I earned it, I deserve it. I’m not sorry about their widdle feefees anymore.

Thinking about going back to the strange little town. Ugh. It’s definitely not my favourite place on earth. I’m not excited about it. I’m not looking forward to it. I hate everything about living out there and a week back at home in DC reminded me of all the reasons why.

However, this time is different. This time I’m motivated. Motivated to finish the books, motivated to work, motivated to save money and get the hell out of dodge as fast as possible. I can’t do it anymore, you guys. I’m over it. I hate living in the middle of nowhere. I HATE it! I’m a city girl at my core. I do not belong in a country world. It’s time to get the hell out of there forever.

Time to go now. Wish me luck on keeping my inspiration and motivation going. I need it! Covid lockdowns and the post-workshop block had me spiritually dead for the last two years. I need this clarity, ya’ll. I need it!

Au revoir!

It Is What It Is

Here I am again.

Currently sitting in a coffee shop with my “Professional Writing” notebook sitting in front of me. I’ve put a lot of work into it in the last year. It contains notes from the classes I’ve taken, workshops & conferences I’ve attended, and several versions of my business plan. It feels pretty good to look at it. It’s so easy to feel like I accomplished nothing during Covid, but it turns out that’s not true at all. I’m on my way to living up to the name “Writer Extraordinaire.” And you know what? I have to say… there’s nothing quite like the validation from myself of knowing that it’s happening because of me. I did the work. I put in the time. I ignored everything the haters said and did, I stood up for myself, and I will be rewarded with a fabulous career because of it. Feels good!

Are the haters still hating? Of course they are. Someone actually told me to kill myself last week. I just walked by and all of a sudden he was screaming at me to go kill myself. Downtown. In the middle of the sidewalk. In broad daylight. Like, what a freak, amiright, you guys? Who does that? Seriously? Are you some drugged-out transient on the streets of LA? What is even going on here right now?

Yeah, so I’m still putting up with winners like that, in addition to the gossipmongers who are currently trying to make me look bad by talking about something that happened last year. Like I didn’t spend 4 months on the East Coast, take trips to NYC/Boston/Providence/DC/St. Louis/Kansas City and collect stories from the pandemic. Like I haven’t dedicated all of my time and energy to online classes, virtual events, workshops, conferences, and lest we forget the 4 months I spent dancing and mastering the art of walking into an audition like I own the room. Like I haven’t been editing my book, searching for new inspiration, and setting up a new website. Like I haven’t spent every waking minute studying digital marketing even though I hate social media just so I can get a remote job. Like I haven’t been planning trips around Africa, or researching spiritual retreats at yoga ashrams, or thinking about joining the Peace Corps, or keeping up with both my French and Spanish in my free time just in case.

What the hell have these people been doing? I’ll tell you what they’ve been doing: They’ve been sitting at Bloody Mary’s, talking shit about everyone they know because they are totally miserable with their sad, little pathetic lives. Here’s my question for them: when was the last time you even left South Dakota? Was it years ago? What did you do? Go to Las Vegas? Wow, you’re so worldly and cultured! You’re really in a strong position to look down on other people and judge them for being different! No wonder you’re still hung up on shit that happened 5 years ago. It’s the most exciting thing you’ve ever been a part of! Now YOU, yes YOU, YOU are not ready to let it go just quite yet. You love the drama. You can’t get enough. You want more and more, and you don’t care who you hurt to get it. And just think, for all the lies and negativity you spread, you are still nothing. You’re still some nobody from some tiny little podunk town in the middle of fucking nowhere and you know it. Tearing me down can’t change who you are on the inside. You will never be on my level and that’s what makes you so mad.

So anyway, like I was saying, fuck the haters with No Vaseline. Seriously. No one cares about your bullshit anymore. Take the free advertising for what it is and get the hell over it!

No one knows why they’re mad. Really, I don’t. But I’m also extremely focused on myself and my level up journey at this point in my life. I’m not going to be a doormat or a people-pleaser anymore. I’m not going to “listen” to people who are screaming at me about what a terrible person I am while they are dressed like literal slobs. I can’t. I’m very busy and important. I don’t want to hear it anymore. I’m turning up the radio, putting Ice Cube on blast, and tuning you the fuck out while I learn how to do my makeup so it brings out the intensity of my eyes. Why? Just because I can. I do it for me because it makes me feel good to leave the house looking like I just walked off the Parisian runway. Maybe if you treated yourself the same way, you wouldn’t need to hurt other people to make yourself feel better.

Hey, yeah, so I actually do feel a lot better after putting this out into the world. I’m just so tired. I’ve spent my entire life being bullied because I’m different. It comes from all sorts of different people, including my family members. I’m so over it! I just want to be me! I don’t want to be screamed at anymore because I’m taking ballet as an adult or walking around a small town in a dress and high heels. Yeah, I’m loud and I’m obnoxious and I’m opinionated and I don’t give a fuck what you think about it. I’m all that, and a kind person… until you piss me off, of course. But hey, that doesn’t really matter so much, does it?

So yeah, after a lifetime of putting up with this, I’m not taking it anymore. I’m standing up and saying, this is me. This is who I am. I like myself and I’m not going to change. If you don’t like it, go fuck yourself with no Vaseline. I don’t want to hear it anymore.

I feel good saying all of this. I do. And you know what else I’m getting out of not giving a fuck? I actually wrote a story last night! A real one! Well, sort of. It was definitely about Andrew, but it’s fine. He asked me to write him a story about him pretending to be a Compliance Officer. It was funny and sweet and cute and very, very sexy. I liked it. I couldn’t help myself. Writing it felt like being on heroin, or at least what I imagine heroin feels like because I’ve definitely never touched that shit in my life. Maybe not heroin. Heroin kinda gives me “Under the Bridge” vibes. Maybe more like… ecstasy or something fun like that. Anyway, I don’t do drugs so I can’t make quality metaphors relating my process to drugs. Let’s just say it was like being on drugs and assume you understand what that means.

The point is… it felt good. Really good. Soooo good. And here is my real question: if it’s so wrong to write about him, then WHY does actually writing about him feel so good? Yep, I gotcha there! Can’t argue with that one! And it doesn’t matter anyway. Andrew has made it very clear that he wants to be my Muse and he’s here to stay. So, I might as well write sexy, cute, fun, romantic, fluffy stories about him, right? Maybe use that inspiration to get that romance novel/screenplay I have outlined written? Maybe even write an entire series of romance novels and make fat stacks of ca$$$h monayyyyy?! Yeah, that’s what I thought. It is what it is. I’m not sorry about it and I don’t have to be.

I really like the story I wrote last night. I don’t feel the need to publish it on here. That will just make them blow up even further and I don’t really need that right now. As you can see from the previous paragraphs, I’m working really hard to get my shit together. I don’t need anyone interfering with that. Therefore, I will keep him to myself… for now. Until it’s ready for the world to see. They just don’t understand our relationship. They don’t understand what it means for an artist to have a Muse. I can’t explain it. It is what it is. If you don’t get it, you don’t get it. I don’t have to limit my creative expression because they can’t understand. So when the time is right and the romance novel is written, edited, re-written, re-edited, re-re-written, re-re-edited, re-re-re-written, re-re-re-edited, et cetera x10, then I will show it to the world. But for now… I shall keep my secret sexy snake safe here with me. <3

Wowza, I feel so much better now that I’ve written several things in the last 48 hours. I’ve been bad and writing on Twitter again, which is my absolute WORST habit. I know it. But it’s something. A little bit of something after a long time of nothing is a lot. It really is something. 🙂 So yeah, I’ll take the story about the “Compliance Officer.” Just for fun. Just a little bit of fluff after a year and a half of apocalyptic hellscape. Maybe a little bit of fluff is exactly what everyone needs.

Well, I guess that’s all I have to say for now. I feel so much better about life now. I really do. Everything is going to be okay!