Some of my favorite old photos…

I have some really neat old photos of my family on my computer and I thought tonight would be a fun night to share them.

65640_601714616508144_860850780_n

(Above) Top left: My mom’s high school graduation.
Top Right: Family camping trip. Left to right: EX aunt Connie, Uncle Brad, Uncle Willie, me crawling on my dad’s head. Below my dad is my cousin Dervon, then my cousin Kalani. The long haired lady is my mom.
Bottom Left: All of us again 😀 I’m assuming my uncle Willie was taking this picture because he wasn’t in it and neither was my aunt Sharon.
Bottom Right: My parents before I came along to shake things up.

931204_601714423174830_1367502349_n(Above) This picture is of my granddad holding my cousin, Kalani.

Dewey Pack

(Above) My paternal great grandfather, Dewey Pack.

16167_945787238767545_5491395970730651917_n

(Above) This is one of my favorite pictures because it looks like my granddad is telling my uncle to “get a haircut and get a real job.” He probably wasn’t actually saying something like that, but…well, ya know what, he could have been! Ha ha.

408593_601714756508130_1498315011_n

Top: The man on the left is my great grandfather. I’m not certain who the other guy is, but I think that’s my great uncle. They’re standing in front of my grandparents’ house as it’s being built.
Bottom: These two photos are of my grandma. On the left, she is about fifteen. On the right, I’m not sure.

420753_601716016508004_349472988_n

These are all relatives, but I’m not certain who they are. My grandma knows. I’m pretty sure the guy with the guitar is my granddad’s brother. The couple on the bottom left, I have no idea. A distant cousin maybe? The two ladies top left, I’m sure these are my cousins.

310886_601714939841445_1890751234_n

My granddad and his brothers goofing off. My granddad is the one on the top of the pole in the bottom photo. Had I been their mother, I would have gotten them all with a switch lol. I’m sure she probably did.

933881_601714249841514_1924921786_n

This one is of my great grandfather, I think….and one of my hairs that was accidentally photocopied.

317338_601715273174745_1996027312_n

The man all the way to the left is my granddad. The other two are his brothers. My popaw was the handsomest one 😀

430447_601714736508132_1797880372_n

Left to right: My mom, my granddad enjoying his roses (he loved his flowers!), me when I was three years old. Bottom: My in-laws and my husband’s brother.

Not All West Virginians

photo

My son during the fall of 2013, sitting on a tree stump. A beautiful West Virginia storm knocked it down from my grandma’s yard.

I live in an unincorporated town called Itmann, West Virginia. Itmann used to be quite the little place, settled on the outskirts of the big (ha!) town of Mullens, crammed between a river and railroad tracks and a whole lot of mountainside. There used to be a school here, from what I’ve been told.  But, now, Itmann is a few hills full of old houses–most of them coal camp houses redesigned over the decades to look like normal houses– and a couple of bears and maybe a few snakes and squirrels here and there. We don’t even have a gas station. But, we do have a post office, so we have that going for us, right?

I’ve lived in Itmann since I got married in 2001. Since then, several houses in Itmann have become empty, void of human life, and are now falling in or will be soon. And that’s not just in my little town, that’s my entire county and most of the surrounding counties, too. Southern West Virginia revolves around the big nasty business of coal and when the coal mines aren’t producing, they lay people off. When mass amounts of men and women are laid off, they either go completely broke here or move elsewhere. It’s a sad fact, but it’s a reality that all families here have to face every single day. But, ya know what? We face it together.

 

I wake up every morning and get my kids ready for school, just like everyone else in the United States. But, instead of a bus pulling to the curb to pick them up, they walk to the bottom of the hill to be picked up. We make this walk with my neighbor and her kids, so after the kids get on the bus, my neighbor and I walk back up the hill together and chat about whatever’s going on, which mostly consists of our kids and what’s on sale in the local stores. We wave and say “hey” to the other neighbors on the hill as we walk because it’s 8 AM and everybody is starting their day, too. We come to my house first and, at the bottom of my driveway, she and I say goodbye for the time being and go our separate ways. I go inside my house and quietly check my email because my husband, who works nights driving a coal truck to fill up the trains my neighbor’s husband conducts, is sleeping.

See what I did there? I just showed you an example of how everything around here revolves around coal–even for those who are not coal miners.

On a typical day, I do laundry, pay bills, watch tv, play with my cats, and call my mother. I write, I cook, and I sometimes grow plants in the dirt outside–and then eat the fruit that comes later. I listen to music–David Bowie right now–and I keep my phone close in case the kids or my husband need me when they’re not home. I’m just like everyone else, I guess, but there are a few things about living in West Virginia the rest of the world seems to always get wrong.

For one thing, not all West Virginians are hooked on prescription pills. Sure, there’s an epidemic, but I’m taking no part in that and I’ll have absolutely nothing to do with those who do. I’ve seen horrifying things happen to people who I love, thanks to the pill problem around here. It kills me to see someone I was once close to throw her (or his) life away over a few pills. Families here are being torn apart by drugs and it’s happening at an alarming rate, but there are a lot of drug free people here, too, so don’t get it twisted, dears.

smartNot all West Virginians are stupid. There are stupid people everywhere. But, there are a lot of really smart people here, too. Sometimes I wonder why everyone thinks people in West Virginia are a bunch of shoeless, uneducated hillbillies, but then I remember that it doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks as long as you’re happy. And, for the most part, I am. The truth is, however, that a lot of college educated people in this state come back home after earning their degrees and end up in the mines because there really isn’t much else here that will pay a living wage. Those who don’t want to work in the mines and aren’t willing to wait for a different kind of position to open up just leave the state. But, just looking around my neighborhood, I can honestly tell you that each one of my neighbors has a good head on their shoulders–and I know this because every family up here has been here for at least thirty years or more. We all know each other quite well. If I ever need help with something, chances are, I need only look up the hill a little ways or down the hill. There are a lot of writers, doctors, lawyers, poets, and excellent teachers in West Virginia. One need only look to find them.

Not all West Virginians are toothless, either. I’m sure some of us are. For example, I wear a partial. It’s not because I’m a hillbilly, either. It’s because I had five pregnancies back to back and, during my fourth pregnancy, I took seven (YES, seven) different pills and supplements just to keep all of my levels where they should have been, but it wasn’t enough to keep my son alive and it wasn’t enough to keep my teeth from leaving me. That particular pregnancy took every bit of the vitamins out of my body to keep my son alive and, in the end, I lost my son and, about a year or so later, a few teeth. However, we have some great dentists here. Most WV residents have beautiful smiles. Even me, with my partial.

ballgame

The only ballgame you’ll ever catch me watching.

Not all West Virginians love football. Some of us, like me, prefer quieter activities, such as writing, reading, and sewing. WVU seems to be the team of choice around here, though I really wouldn’t know because the only thing I get excited about on TV in the fall is Dr. Who’s new series on BBC. I have a lot of friends who love football, though, and that’s okay. They love my football hating, grouchy self anyway.

Not all West Virginians go crazy over pepperoni rolls. I don’t. I can’t eat them. They’re lying little bread rolls! You look at them and think there’s a pizza in there, but when you take a bite, it’s just pepperoni and bread…and mozzarella if you’re really, really lucky. Come on, people. Take me to Lucy Lou’s (pizza)and keep your pepperoni roll lying liar bread things to yourselves.

Not all West Virginians listen to country music. I DETEST country music. A minute ago, I was listening to David Bowie because I love him and his androgynous self. Right now I’m listening to “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” being performed by Prince, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, and some other folks…all together…on one track. It’s totally blowing my mind, I love it that much. Sometimes I listen to Tori Amos. Sometimes I am more in the mood for Rammstein. I even listen to Tool. But, you will never, ever, ever catch me listening to country music unless it’s Johnny Cash. And let’s face it, Johnny Cash was just one of the first punks but sounded so country because he grew up playing it that way (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).

I guess the moral of this blog post is that you can’t judge a person by where they live. I hate it when people do that. Not just to West Virginians, but people from anywhere. It’s ridiculous. And, now that I’ve gotten this off my chest, I’m going to go watch some Dr. Who play ball while I help my son with his homework.

Don’t Call Me Baby

GET “DON’T CALL ME ‘BABY'” FREE ON KINDLE

AUGUST 17, 18, 19 ONLY!

DON’T CALL ME BABY

NEW ADULT EROTIC ROMANCE AT ITS FINEST!

Buy Link

Don’t Call Me Baby – Amazon Kindle

Don’t Call Me Baby – Amazon UK

baby_night_owl_cover

Don’t Call Me Baby

It’s 1983 in Maryland and Catherine Stone is sex on wheels. She plays the field the way men have done for aeons. Not content to strive for her MRS. degree like so many young women her age, she seduces men of all stripes.

When she tries multiple partners and bondage for the first time as a submissive, she believes she’s found the sexual bliss she is looking for – and with a man who not only introduces her to the fineries in life, but also cares about her like no man ever has before.

DON’T CALL ME ‘BABY’ is a fast-paced, quick-witted, and sexy novel about a young woman exploring her sexuality and the cultural morĂ©s she collides with on a daily basis. Does she meet her match in this new man who introduces her to sexual ecstasy she has never before experienced?

night_owl_top_pick_badge

 

 

 

 

NIGHT OWL TOP PICK!

Review by Hitherandthee

Don’t Call Me Baby is a fast paced, very adventurous romantic novel that will take readers on a roller coaster ride of scorching romantic fun. The main character, Catherine, is a woman after my own heart. She is young and fiercely independent, and beyond gorgeous. She is not wealthy, but she wants to live the good life and is not afraid to go get it. She is also very sexually liberated, and in the 1980’s this was sometimes a good thing, and sometimes a not so good thing. The story is so blisteringly hot and steamy; it’s difficult to put down. It took me back to a better time, and a time I enjoyed much more. It is a novel I truly enjoyed reading, and will definitely be reading time and time again. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s also not to be missed.

So many men, so little time. Catherine has a long list of men that she sees on a regular basis, and at the top of the list (for the moment, anyway) is Brian. He’s one of her professors at Quincy, and a married man, but that’s never been a problem. But he’s so demanding! So maybe some time apart will be just the trick. A summer theater camp at another local college for local teens should make him realize that Catherine is not his possession, right? That is, until she gets to the camp and meets the other counselors. Ryan is gorgeous, and the rest? Well, what’s a girl on her own to do? Why, enjoy as many as she can! In the meantime, Catherine will come to grips with her mind and her heart, and will figure out what she really wants in life.

elizabeth_black_photo

About the Author

Elizabeth Black writes erotica, erotic romance, speculative fiction, fantasy, dark fiction and horror. She also enjoys writing retellings of classic fairy tales. Born and bred in Baltimore, she grew up under the influence of Edgar Allan Poe. Her erotic fiction has been published by Xcite Books (U. K.), House Of Erotica (U. K.), Cleis Press, Circlet Press, Ravenous Romance, Scarlet Magazine (U. K.), Naughty Nights Press, and other publishers. Her dark fiction and horror has appeared in Kizuna: Fiction For Japan, Stupefying Stories, Zippered Flesh 2: More Tales Of Body Enhancements Gone Bad, Midnight Movie Creature Feature 2, Teeming Terrors, Voluted Tales, and Mirages: Tales From Authors Of The Macabre (edited by Trent Zelazny).

An accomplished essayist, she was the sex columnist for the pop culture e-zine nuts4chic (U. K.) until it folded in 2008. Her articles about sex, erotica, and relationships have appeared in Good Vibrations Magazine, Alternet, CarnalNation, the Ms. Magazine Blog, Sexis Magazine, On The Issues, Sexy Mama Magazine, and Circlet blog. She also writes sex toys reviews for several sex toys companies. She has appeared as a speaker at numerous conventions including Balticon, Arisia, NoVaCon, SheVaCon, JohnCon, and two Worldcons.

Excerpt

Catherine awakened to feel Duncan putting a blindfold over her face. Frightened, she

jerked and raised her hands to her face to remove it.

“Calm down, gorgeous. It’s only me. Let’s play a game before we get up for the day.”

“What do you have in mind besides making me blind?”

As he brushed kisses against her back and shoulders she relaxed face down on the bed.

“That’s better, sleepyhead. How about a morning fuck?”

“I’d love to but you better use lots of lube. I’m sore as hell.”

“Instead of straight fucking, how about a little backdoor play?” His finger drew circles down her spine, across her buttocks, and slid to her anus.

“Mmmmm
 I’m game. I’m a backdoor virgin so be easy on me.”

“I’ll make it exciting for you. And look what I found in your suitcase. Oh, I’m sorry you can’t see. I blindfolded you. Well, give me your hand and I’ll let you guess.”

He took her hand and fastened something tight around her wrist, then hooked it to the bed. When she realized what it was her heart lurched in excitement.

“You found my handcuffs! Oh, yes, restrain me. Take me as your slave.” She wanted to give her entire will over to Duncan, as she had never done before for any man. When Duncan restrained her other wrist to the bed, leaving her arms spread and immobile, the thrill of what they were about to do overcame her, leaving her shivering with anticipation.

“You will be my submissive pet, my dear. And now, here’s a little gift I bought you last night while you were in the bedroom with Sam.”

A silicone ball moved its way between her teeth and a leather strap fastened behind her head. So he’s gagged me! Gagged and restrained! This is new and exciting. Duncan is my dream come true. I finally met a man who brings out my kink and isn’t put off by my fucking around. Accustomed to being in charge and taking the lead, letting go of her aggressiveness felt incredibly freeing. In charge, Duncan took over her morning and she wanted to do whatever he wanted. She also knew he would take good care of her and give her the excitement she waited for.

“We need a safe word but obviously you can’t speak, so if you want to stop for any reason, make five loud grunts. Sound good?”

She nodded and gave Duncan five loud and staccato grunts that would act as their safe word.

“That’s perfect. I won’t do anything you don’t want me to do. Now, you relax and let me take care of you.”

When she felt his hand take hold of her ankle, she gasped with a heady mixture of nervousness and sexual arousal. His palm rubbed up her calf, eliciting shivers from her warm skin. Then he took her foot in his hand, pulled her leg taut, and fastened a cuff around her ankle, restraining her to the bed. With only one leg free, she enjoyed the feeling of immobilization, wanting Duncan to take over her sexual pleasure. When he cuffed her other foot to the bed, she lay face down, blind and mute, trapped and pinned for his pleasure, never before having been in such a subservient position—and she liked it! She knew she welcomed any of Duncan’s advances, no matter how adventurous he chose to be with her.

The delicate scent of pink lotus reached her nose mere seconds before the warmed oil dribbled on the back of her legs. Duncan’s big, meaty hands rubbed the oil into her skin and then he pressed his fingers into her pressure points on her calves and just above her Achilles tendons. His thumbs found her arches and pressed hard and deep, sending jolts of pleasure up her legs to slam into her groin and ass. She wanted to feel his hands all over her body but he took his time with her, not rushing their pleasure. His slow pace turned her on. In Duncan’s home, she could relax and lose herself in their sex play. As Duncan worked her awakening muscles, she realized she rushed her fucking far too often, mostly in response to the fear of not being caught by wives, cops, or college administrators. To be taken by a man at his slow, attentive speed felt much more arousing than the fevered groping she was used to.

His hands rubbed the sleep from her thighs, awakening a sexual urge from her that needed release. She craved the touch of his fingers against her pussy, rubbing against her erect clit, or better yet, inserting one or two at a time in her anus. She dug her knees into the mattress, raising her bum slightly in the air. Duncan responded by massaging her ass cheeks so hard that he pushed her body into the bed, making Catherine grunt with exhilaration. She giggled when warm oil dribbled on her ass to run down her crack, and she wiggled her hips as the oil tickled her skin. Duncan’s strong hands massaged the oil into her ass cheeks, his fingers approaching her anus but not directly touching it. Stop teasing me! I want to feel your fingers inside me. I want to feel your hard cock ramming in and out of me!

He teased her anus, approaching and driving Catherine into a frenzy of arousal only to pull back and massage her ass cheeks. She gripped the headboard rungs with her hands, wishing she could grip his cock and shove it deep inside. As she arched her back, hinting for him to enter her, he rubbed the entire length of his hand along her crack, pressing over her anus but not entering her. The stimulation drove her mad, made her blood rush through her body to flow into a hot pool around her pussy and ass. When she thought she couldn’t take any more of his incessant teasing, he slid one slick finger into her waiting opening.

She rocked back and forth against that finger, feeling it go completely inside her. Then, she felt a second finger join the first. Her heart thumped hard in her chest, taking her breath away she felt so aroused. Her pussy throbbed with pleasure, wanting to be filled and plugged as well. As Duncan stretched her anus, she rocked in time with his movements, enjoying the sensations that grew from deep inside her. So focused was she on her own arousal that she barely heard the sound of the condom wrapper tearing. When Duncan pulled his fingers from her she felt the cavernous opening and knew it needed to be filled.

When Duncan slid his cock inside her he stopped at the end of his head, helping her to adjust to his girth. She held her breath, bracing herself to take in his entire length, when he slid in another inch. She moaned in ecstasy, putting all her weight on her knees so he could take her up the ass the way she wanted to be taken. He slowly moved out of her and then slowly slid back in, an inch deeper. And then another inch, making her see the blood rushing behind her eyelids. She arched her back in response to the enormous, full feeling he gave her, yet he was not finished. The humming was so faint she barely heard it but when she felt the device on her clit—he homed right in on her most sensitive spot without needing a map to find it—her body shook with pleasure. Lifting her ass to invite him fully in, he pulled out slightly and then slid completely inside, filling her to the brim and properly plugging her. Immobilized and trussed for his pleasure, she relished her submissive pose and the hot fucking he gave her.

Fuck me hard, slam into my ass! If only she could speak! But the ball gag made her position all the sexier. She motioned with her ass, lifting it up as high as she could to signal to him that she wanted him to bang her good and hard. He pushed himself as deep inside her as he could get as he rubbed the vibrator against her pussy lips and clit. She gripped the restraints with both fists as she rocked back and forth to take the movements of his cock as he thrust in and out of her. No longer an anal virgin, she relished the feel of his massive cock inside her, making her feel aroused as never before. He slammed into her, faster and faster, and with a grunt came hard inside her. Without warning he ramped up the power of the sex toy’s vibrations. She stiffened her body until it nearly lifted off the bed and with a loud cry, came hard against his cock and the vibrator that rasped against her swollen clit.

After wave after wave of intense orgasm, she collapsed on the bed, too tired to move. He blew butterfly kisses on her shoulders and back as he released her from her restraints. Her heart slowed from a frenetic gallop to a slow crawl as she languished in her afterglow. Freed from the cuffs, she removed the blindfold and ball gag. Spent, she curled into a ball on her side and cupped her pussy with her hands.

Duncan crawled into the bed beside her and wrapped his arms around her. “I take it you enjoyed your anal deflowering?”

“Mmmmmm
”

“So you’d like to do that again sometime soon?”

“Mmmmm!”

“You are truly incredible. A free spirit. I like that. I’m glad I found you at the resort.”

“Same here. Only one problem.”

“What’s that?”

“I don’t think I’ll be able to walk for at least a day. I’m sore inside and out.”

“You got quite a workout. I know exactly the thing to recharge you. How about a traditional English breakfast, a shower, and then we head to your party?”

“That sounds wonderful and I’m famished.”

“You rest here while I make breakfast for us. It’s only eight. We have plenty of time to get ready for the party.”

Welcome to high school, Rhiannon Mills style.

sick sad worldMy kids have gone back to school already. Their first day was Thursday, August 13th. Yeah, it was a wee bit early, but that’s off topic. Tonight, I was reminded of my own high school days. I’m thrilled to death they’re over and done with, but I’m notorious for my trips down memory lane.

This particular trip is being brought to you by my overwhelming sense of nostalgia and my absolute hate of high school and middle school bullies. Yeah, I had to deal with bullies sometimes, too. I think most of us nerdy writer types have a few bully stories. We’re weird. And we were born weird. Most of us have come to terms with that and we’re all okay now.

But, not toooooo (yes those extra o’s are necessary) okay. Otherwise we’d never sell any books.

First, let me tell you a little bit about the high school I went to. It was SMALL. Super duper tiny. There weren’t a lot of students at all, but all of the other kids I went to high school with spoke of how big it was when we first started. This is because the beginning of my 9th grade year was also the very first year the school opened. It was built to consolidate a few high schools into one. But, I’d already gone to a middle school elsewhere that was about three times the size of that high school, so for me, it was tiny and that meant one thing.

There was nowhere to hide. I was alone.

This was the pair I wore most often, though I had red ones, too. And other ones...I had a lot of shoes. Five pairs were Docs.

This was the pair I wore most often, though I had red ones, too. And other ones…I had a lot of shoes. Five pairs were Docs.

I had friends, though. As a matter of fact, I made friends quite easily with a group of girls I’m (mostly) still in contact with. We’ve all changed over the years, but I’m so glad I have them in my life still. They were  a small group, but they accepted my weirdness. There I was in my Doc Martens, band shirts, and larger than life thick eyeliner, and the rest of the girls were wearing sweaters and jeans and dressing to impress. I wore jeans and sweaters and nice little girl things, too, just not every single freaking day. I dressed to impress nobody. I liked what I liked and didn’t try to hide it. I think some of them actually did try to hide it because every once in a while I’d get a compliment from someone I didn’t know about how they liked my killer eyeshadow or how they wished their parents would allow them to wear black fingernail polish.

And, there was this one time… A very sweet young girl in my class came up to me one day and smiled. She was one of the more popular girls, so I had no idea what she wanted with me (I was always skeptical of people). But, instead of being mean or teasing, she was pleasant. She asked me about an assignment we had while she’d been sick and then, as she turned to walk away, she stopped and said, “Ya know, you’re kinda like a living, breathing Daria. Daria is awesome, ya know. You look and act just like her!”

From that point on, that young woman was okay in my book and we talked often in classes we had together. And, both of us were damn smart, so we had a lot of smarty pants nerdy things to talk about sometimes. Ya know, books and homework and stuff. She passed away just a few months after graduation and every time I see a picture of her or hear her mentioned on Facebook from another classmate, I remember her kindness because not all of the other kids were always nice to me, the freakazoid fatty in the big boots.

I think I was probably called every single name in the book when I was in high school. Everything. And, because of my insane love for bands nobody in my high school liked  (or would openly admit to listening to), I was branded a Satanist on more than one occasion. Do you people have any idea how that can affect a kid? It was pretty terrible. If I actually HAD been a Satanist, it probably wouldn’t have bothered me so much. But, I wasn’t. I also wasn’t a witch thankyouverymuch. If I’d been a witch, I promise I would have turned several boob grabbing boys into toads.

But, I wasn’t just a kid in a Marilyn Manson tee shirt. I was smart, too. It was confusing to some people, though (my mother, mostly lol) because I made straight A’s in most classes, but was failing in math and wound up taking Applied Geometry just to pass. For those who don’t know, “applied” in Wyoming county is the same as remedial in other places. So, I guess that meant my brain was one sided. I’m okay with that. Artsy types like myself can probably relate. It was crazy difficult for me to explain to friends that I couldn’t help them with math, but I could explain any piece of Shakespeare to them in three seconds without even thinking about it. I could diagram sentences with the best of them, but I couldn’t figure out what X was equal to. I’m sure my teachers wanted to strangle me.

I'm the one in the Manson shirt. Bet you didn't see that one coming! *coughs*

I’m the one in the Manson shirt. Bet you didn’t see that one coming! *coughs*

I liked a lot of things other kids didn’t like. I was not particularly rebellious, though I had my moments. I liked bands nobody else liked and I liked to read books. Big books. I read “A Game Of Thrones” by George RR Martin in 9th or 10th grade. I read Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” when I was thirteen and was totally unimpressed by it. I thought they were idiots. I also thought Romeo was sort of pervy. I was also the only one of my friends who even knew who Dr. Who was. But, I liked to kick back with my friends more than anything else. We did a lot of cool things together that I’d absolutely strangle my children for if they did the same things. Like jumping off train tracks into a rocky creek. Like throwing quarters at the sign dancer at Little Caesars. Like smoking behind the bus and hiding the cigarette between my boobs when I knew I was about to be caught (I didn’t that time, FYI, but I got burnt pretty darn bad). Like taking off on fourwheelers with boys and wrecking and ending up with a million stitches in my head and leg. I still have the scars from that one.

I wrote a lot in high school, too. I kept notebooks and notebooks full of short stories and the beginnings of novels that I’d never finish. I wrote every thought that popped into my silly little head. I kept journals and I sketched a lot, too. I wrote my own magazine (and if anyone has an old copy, hit me up because I’d love to see my old work lol). Most of my stories, though, were written because I was afraid of something. I was afraid of monsters. I was afraid of vampires and demons. I was afraid of my own shadow sometimes. Whatever it was I was afraid of at the time was the hero of my next story because the best way to overcome a fear, at least in my teenaged mind, was to discredit it. I still do this. Have you ever read a little novella called “The Demon King” by Rhiannon Mills? Hey, I wrote that.

I always thought I’d be a big shot author one day. I thought I’d take on the world. I thought I’d be the next big thing and live in some loft in New York somewhere and I’d be writing novels and selling them faster than you could say Stephen King. I didn’t quite understand how it all worked back then. I thought I knew, but I had no idea. I had big plans. Very, very big plans. I was going to write. The people would make movies out of my books. And I’d be a recluse, too, because being a recluse sounded fantastic to me (it still does). I wanted to write the books that Tim Burton would turn into creepy, weird movies for creepy, weird kids like me. Honestly, that would still be awesome…

daria_star

Yeah. This Daria was going places…

I am a writer today. I’m an awesome author. I write the awesomeness. I pull the darkness out of my head and spew it forth onto the page. I am a knight in shining sweatpants and write whatever creeps into my big head. And sometimes, when I think back to the bullies of high school hell’s past, I smile because maybe they knew something about me that even I, myself, couldn’t have seen back then. Maybe they saw that I was different, that I was weird, and that I stood out. I didn’t see it that way much. I wanted to fit in, to be like everyone else, but I wasn’t about to pretend to like things I didn’t like to do it.

So, thanks, asshats. I’m a reclusive independent author now. The minute my kids are out the door for school every day, I’m writing another chapter of epic science fiction/fantasy/horror proportions. I work with coffee stains on my shirt and a furball black cat in my lap. I don’t make a lot of money doing it, but people pay me to hear what I think. I take the darkest periods of my life and bleed them onto a blank page for other people to read and judge me by. I’ve learned to let go of my fears by typing them out into a blank document. I don’t live in a loft in New York, but I have a hovel in Itmann, West Virginia where I wake up to a tiny army of minions of darkness (my four awesome children) and am greeted by my two black cats, Salem and Scrappy, and my pitty mix, Thor, every single time I come in the front door. I’m not into name dropping (har har har), but I have friends and acquaintances who have written books that are now films (and you’ve probably watched at least one of those). Some of the same writers I grew up reading are now names in my email contact list. Not George RR Martin, though. My books aren’t bestsellers and have never made it to the New York Times, but I don’t care. I’m pretty pleased with my life. And I owe all of my successes to the bullies.

Had you not all called me a fatty satanist witch, I might have wound up sitting behind a stuffy desk all day, working 9-5 for The Man, and miserable every minute of it. Instead, I’m happy and dropping cookie crumbs on my keyboard. Cookies, coffee, and great books are bliss, bitches.

Yeah. What she said.

Yeah. What she said.