Check out my high school absurdical, Kor’Thank: Barbarian Valley Girl! (Yes, I know “absurdical” is a made up word)

Idiot demon-jocks, tons of profanity, copious psychedelics, and an airborne kiss at 300 mph, hanging from the back of a mushroom-shaped mecha! All this and more in my comedy/horror/sci-fi absurdical, Kor’Thank: Barbarian Valley Girl!

Check it out here: Kor’Thank: Barbarian Valley Girl

Get The Unbound Realm here:  The Unbound Realm, Volume 1   Get Kor’Thank here:  Kor’Thank:  Barbarian Valley Girl.  Get Echo Vol. 1 on Kindle here:  Vol. 1 on Kindle.  Vol. 2 on Kindle here:  Vol.2 on Kindle  Vol. 3 on Kindle here:  Vol. 3 on Kindle  Vol.4 on Kindle here:  Vol. 4 on Kindle  Echo Omnibus here:  Echo Omnibus  Echo Vol. 1 & 2 Combined Edition here:  Combined Edition  Musings, Volume 1 is available here:  Musings, Volume 1  Here’s the miscellaneous gear that I use to try and become an uber-human:  Optimization!  🙂 🙂 😀

Hold on!  I just got approved to be an Amazon affiliate!  If you’re going to buy ANY product from Amazon, and you’d like to support my efforts for absolutely free, then simply click on one of the Echo links I’ve provided—they’ll send you to Echo’s Amazon page—and THEN buy whatever product you wish.  Amazon gives me a small referral fee each time this happens!  In this manner you can support my books, musings, podcast, zany ads, or my adventures along the noble path known as The Way of The Man Child WITHOUT spending any more money than you were already going to!  Should you do this, I vow to send you a silent blessing, causing your genitals to adopt the optimum size, shape, smell, and death-ray attachment of choice that paralyzes your enemies with fear and envy!  Entire worlds will bow before your nether parts!  😲💪 😜  #Kindle  #KindleUnlimited

57 thoughts on “Check out my high school absurdical, Kor’Thank: Barbarian Valley Girl! (Yes, I know “absurdical” is a made up word)

  1. 😂 I make up words sometimes (usually accidentally because I’m speaking and thinking so fast two words collide in my brain and come out a jumbled mess), but absurdical is awesome… who knows, maybe it will catch on… That is how things eventually end up in the dictionary 😂

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  2. 🤣As a 45 year old woman whose daughter thinks just perhaps she might have been old enough to own a pet dinosaur, and who likes reading “old -timey” things on occasion, I am not so bothered by the word “farce”🤣 In fact, it’s a word I use from time to time…. Near ancient relic that I am 🤣

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      • That, my dude, was a teensy, weensy, nearly miniscule drip of sarcastic levity clinging to my previous comment, not any actual concern about my age. I like the words I like, others can like the words they like…I just happen to like a lot of “old-timey” words😈🤣 AARP is already starting to send me stuff 🙄, so I recognize that in the eyes of plenty I’m just a few hops through seemingly short years away from being able to use that senior discount…and I don’t really care past my ability to be there for my family in all the ways they need before I go.

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      • Whoa! Never thought AARP was that aggressive! 🤣 Bout to start popping up on their mailing lists myself in the next few years…I also like old-timey words—I wish someone would call me a trollop, LOL! I like old-timey detective speak as well, but I doubt I could call a lady doll unless I was dating her.

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      • And, in a slightly more serious response to your comment about your clients being their prime (though I couldn’t help a bit of teething because I have used the word farce in a comment recently on this blog, I am a bit of a stinker that way): the truth is our society has a serious double standard when it comes to who is considered as being in their prime and at what age. Men are generally still considered to be in their prime at my age, women are definitely not, and we’ll just leave it at that. And, let’s just say I’m not a fan of that disparity, and I certainly plan on raising both metaphorical middle fingers to that until they put my body in the ground or cremate me… I haven’t decided which one I want yet.

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      • That was a bit of teasing, not teething. Phone mic… I have a therapist showing up here any minute now and I didn’t proofread well and I saw it when it posted

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      • I’m going to do something incredibly identified and put in writing the mildly indelicate snort/snicker that came out when I saw your trollop comment 😂😂😂😂 I am happy to oblige, you man trollop you, however I also must lamentively point out that that word is defined as pertaining to the sexual promiscuity of a woman. That is another one of history’s more destructive double standards. A man can have sex with whomever he wants and discard his tissues like I’m throwing out Kleenex during allergy season, and he’s just sewing his wild oats (to use an even more old-timey expression) or whatever, and society just kind of shrugs and winks at that. But a woman who has frequent sexual partners, oh she’s a whore… Or at least has been considered such through much of history, and even you could find plenty of people now that feel that way. So, I rather like the idea of being able to apply those terms equally to both genders 🤣

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      • That was undignified, not identified. More phone mic and lack of proofreading 😳 it’s one of my cardinal sins when I’m in a rush and running behind…

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      • And that would be throwing out partners like I throw out tissues. More proofreading, I’m trying to drink my breakfast smoothie, and have a conversation with my daughter while I answer this…yeah. multitasking, it’s a dangerous thing sometimes 😅

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      • One more quick thing, sorry to comment bomb… I started getting stuff from AARP a few years ago 😱😱😱 yeah, they’re that aggressive! Either that or they could see all of the gray hairs via satellite that I was getting from “interacting” with DDD about covering benefits and services for our son that they were supposed to be covering and I was assumed to be a good decade older than I actually am…🤔 I didn’t think it was that many gray hairs, I don’t dye my hair, but it must be something 😂

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      • LOL! I totally can’t recommend you send them that, says the woman who sent a ripped up membership card back to a local organization that crossed one of her treatment boundaries and then mailed a request for a donation. Do as I say, not as I do, Kent 🙂 My childhood left me in a place where I don’t pay to take shit from anybody…especially when life has shown me I can get it for free already, and anytime I didn’t ask for it at that.

        In regards to crossing streams, Hannah actually came down and started talking to me when I was in the middle of responding to your comment…I try not to phub her, but since my comment was already in progress, I tried to wrap it up and then put the phone away. She, by the way, thinks we should just skip the word trollop and go with thot. She’s 15, I think that is to be expected, lmao. And I would certainly never call her either!

        And, I just have to assert that perhaps, with all due respect, you can’t fully get it until you’ve lived it (though I really do appreciate your willingness to equalize the language usage). Even being an incest survivor gets a woman treated differently and seen as less than, and certainly she had no control over that. Women who are sex workers often find they can’t get other jobs when they want them, there aren’t the same consequences for a woman who has sent out a topless selfie to a lover who then posted it without her permission on-line as there are for men…women can loose their jobs and their social communities just for something that out of their control… and sometimes the man won’t even get a slap on the wrist for dragging his ex-woman through the mud of the internet that way. As a woman who would like to see things be fair, I think both sides should get the same treatment. So, we need to either lighten up on the women (which I favor), or toughen up on the men (not really as helpful an approach as the former in my opinion). Alright, I’ll get off my soapbox and stop ranting now 😉

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      • I know, it’s pretty crazy! For awhile I thought myself and my military brethren were kind of it for ptsd, then once I started researching the mechanism of it, I realized we were swimming in the shallow end, and it wasn’t a contest. I see sexual assault survivors in kind of the same light as some military folk who’ve really been through the shit, that is to say with a lot of respect and some intimidation on my part, to be honest, because I don’t know if I could keep it together after something that heavy.

        I’ve heard thot, but everyone’s using it! Boo! I’d much rather be called a trollop or something made up on the spot—I’m a big fan of the word “yerbert.” 🤣

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      • Well, I’m going to give you an honest answer because the older I get, the more important I think it is to give voice to certain things publicly because you never know who might need to hear/read it. When something like that happens to you, you have really two main choices. You can heal and try to find a way to move on from it, or not. I can assure you, it is in some ways a very hard thing emotionally to try and process sexual abuse when it is from a relative. The ickiness factor is significant and the shame factor is high, but it can be done. And a person can go on to live a happy life, if they make choices that put them on that path.

        I don’t know how much of my blog you read on a regular basis, and no judgement with that. There are very few blogs I am a weekly presence on because I would start to feel overwhelmed by the commitment with everything else gong on. But it’s possible you’ve read enough to know my stepfather in particular was, in my opinion, a somewhat sadistic man, he enjoys watching people suffer I think and in my experience, so I had just as much stuff to work through in counseling from him as from my dad or anybody else in the family that did things they shouldn’t to me. There was a time in my life when I thought I could have shot him and not cared, but the truth is I am a gentle and empathetic person on the inside (no matter how fiery I can get in defense of myself and others if I feel it is warranted) and I don’t think I could mentally handle needing to take anyone’s life for any reason other than self defense. And even then, I would struggle.

        I would never want to compare the challenges. Life can be hard in many ways, I honor the difficulty of what you went through, though I don’t know the specifics. I know that some people look at my life and think I wasted certain potential, or they want to judge me for joining our former church. But, I was simply doing the best I could to hold myself together, heal, and make a quiet, significantly happier, significantly safer life for myself. Success is relative, and I’ve had the kind of titles that start to make people look at you differently before I became the fabulous stay at home mom I am today…and you know what? Happiness doesn’t really come from that. But a happier life can be found when you are coming from some shit and chaos, but it takes work and making choices to move toward healing. And, a commitment to never see myself as less-than any more, regardless of what others think.

        And, I had to look up yerbert, lol! Ok, so do you mean something different than the drug? Just curious, no judgement if you don’t.

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      • I’m happy you see things the way you do, after all that’s happened! Many people I know become paranoid and super involved in politics because they have chosen to hand over the reins of their happiness to others. And though I don’t have anything against politics, it often seems to be an avenue where folks express the idea that the majority must bend to their will, or they won’t be happy.

        Yerbert’s just a made-up word. I like the sound of it! 🤣 My ex took the dog-naming responsibilities away from me because I wanted to name them things like Dogface, Rowfus Roofus, and Mustache Guy (little mustachioed terrier who I also wanted to name Wizard-face and Rat-thing.) I just like random funny words. 🤣

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      • Part of the reason I see things the way that I do is because I wanted to find happiness in my life. Somethings in life are outside of a person’s control, but if you let someone take your future and present happiness based on their past actions, that last part is something a person is choosing to give up in my opinion. And I say that as a person with deep mental and emotional scars. And, nobody else can give me happiness. It’s an internal process. I can work towards building happier circumstances, and I have and I do. I find there is a lot to enjoy about life, and I am very grateful to be here and to have been able to find happiness for myself in many things.

        Politics is a trickier thing for most people, but I think it isn’t just that. So many people want you to be their echo chamber on other things, like religion. It’s kind of like they need that to feel validated in their own rightness, and if you disagree, they feel like it’s an implicit judgement on what they are doing and therefore them, and many people don’t feel comfortable living in that place. As a person who likes a good discussion, I’m cool with different lines of thought as long as everyone is respectful about it and that’s not really a challenge for me personally.

        But, I think when it comes to abuse survivors, I don’t know that politics is what they bury themselves in. Religion maybe…I know for me, one of the great appeals of organized religion was this sense of having a Heavenly Parent who loved you, because when you have earthly parents who either don’t or don’t in a healthy way (and I’ve got both to deal with, a mom who never wanted to be a mom and didn’t start out loving me even if she says she eventually got to that place, and a father who I’m not sure if what he felt was love, but that sure as heck isn’t what healthy love is supposed to look like), there is this a huge amount of damage from the need of that type of love that most humans have. You kind of have to come to a place where you can be your own light, and you can give yourself the love and empathy that didn’t come from others. It’s a hard thing, and I’ve already ranted too much. It’s complicated.

        I sometimes will make words up too, but it’s often that I mated two words (snizzle: a sneeze that fizzles, for example). It is fun to play with language! I need to get going, have a new therapist showing up today and I’m super excited! Take good care of yourself 🙂

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      • I’m on board with what you’ve said, especially the part about “you kind of have to come to a place where you can be your own light.” When I’m in a good enough mood, I can see how negative experiences with other people actually were positive in the respect that they didn’t do what I wanted them to do, because if they constantly did what I wanted them to and I derived happiness from their actions, then I wouldn’t be my own light. I wouldn’t be in charge of my own happiness. Of course it’s nice when people do what I prefer, but whether they do or don’t is a separate thing from my decision to be positive about it (I can at least be satisfied with negative experiences and take an it is what it is approach to them).

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      • Are you echo chambering me?😉😂 (Just teasing) I think recognizing and taking back your own power over your own happiness is the difference between surviving and thriving. That being said, some things are going to be painful regardless of how much a person tries to shift their focus to something they can be happy about. I don’t openly and blatantly say as much on my blog out of respect to the feelings of my in-laws because it is important to my husband that I handle the topic with incredible delicacy for their sake, but all of my closest friends within our former Church cut off contact unless they encountered me in public with one of our son’s therapists (and even then in one of them pretended she didn’t know me in that type of circumstance) either right when I left or shortly thereafter. There’s no way to keep something like that from hurting if you want to be in healthy relationships with people where they touch your emotions and you touch theirs. Sometimes you end up having to default to a survival position to get through something, but my game plan in situations like this to pull myself into a thriving position is to focus on the ways I can bring happiness into my life independent of what another person does. I also acknowledge my right to feel pain and even devastation, I do what it takes to heal that, and then I move on. Life can be hard in many ways, but it can also be good anyways, and I want to spend as much time as possible focusing on those good parts.

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      • Sounds like you’re in a good place! There’s a lot of folks who get stuck in the misery and are just too stubborn to try a new tack.

        And maybe I am “echo chambering,” because being happy despite being in agony is what Echo is all about! (if-you’re-reading-this-comment-and-you’ 😅 Mwahaha! 🤣

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      • You crack me up 😂 you have been a great sport about how long winded I can be in some of my responses, thank you for that😁

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      • And, I think you are right about some people not wanting to try a different approach, by the way. I personally can be stubborn that’s for sure, but not in that way. I like to find something to enjoy about life where I can, even if I’m living in a dumpster fire of stress and unwashed dishes 😂😅 and if that takes changing what I am doing, then so be it. Although, I did clear out most of those dishes finally this morning, and maybe I’ll get to the second Echo book this month. Maybe… I bought it a while back, but it’s been busy training new therapists and with the holidays…

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      • The unsightliness of unwashed dishes! They should have a hidden compartment for them that raises up on a motorized track when you’re ready to wash them. I’m a total bachelor about it—I use one dish and one fork, which is a holdover from when my ex told me I was littering the sink with dishes. I washed them and said I was henceforth only using one dish and one fork, and, of course, the sink filled back up with dishes which weren’t mine. One of the few (maybe only) arguments I won without arguing, lol!

        Don’t worry about Echo, it’s definitely more of a niche book. Sure, it has an innovative and fresh (I think, at least) take on enlightenment and Why We’re All Here, but a lot of it is a disgruntled soldier being pissed at his superiors, lol! Echo 2 is almost all action and all pissiness. If you want something angry but at least funny, Kor’Thank might scratch the itch. I wrote that trying to capture the spirit of an r-rated version of Calvin and Hobbes. But no worries either way—I’m stoked that you enjoyed at least one of my books! 😁

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      • Well, I think it would be great if Harry Potter-esque magic was a thing, because then those dishes would wash themselves!!! Usually, the drudgery is mine, and I’m a busy woman…so sometimes, it sits for longer than I would like. I wish, wish, wish we could get away with fewer dishes. But sometimes it helps to have a few more given my schedule, like for example this past weekend, I was training a hab therapist whose never done hab before, much less with someone who has Tony’s level of challenges. That was 14 hours where I couldn’t do anything else…so for times like that, it’s probably good we have more than 1 plate per person. Though, maybe someday…a woman can only hope! The only thing I really like to have more of than I need is eyeshadow. I get so bewitched by color and texture, and I have such a blast doing as bright of a makeup as I can have time for (it’s a for me and my artistic side kind of thing, nobody does this type of makeup from the standpoint of enhancing attractiveness) I’m more hedonistic about it than I should be, to be honest.

        You know, I don’t get some of the small things couples like to argue about. To me, dishes is a smaller thing. Maybe it’s just a side effect of my background, but I kind of feel like many things just aren’t worth arguing about, it’s kind of more like, let’s discuss each other’s views on it, talk about what each person is needing out of this, and try to find a way to honor both sides of it. My husband’s job means he’s gone most of the time, so it’s not like he’s trying to stick me with a crap job, he’s just not available to do it most of the time.

        And, with all due respect, I’ll read whatever the heck I want!!! I got plenty of micromanaging about what I could and couldn’t read in my former church, and I am going to read whatever the hell I want to now! And, I didn’t mean that to deliver as much salt as it could have seemed to, I get the sense that you are trying to respect where I came from with your recommendations, and I can appreciate and be grateful for that. But I am still planning on getting around to it!

        And, I am sorry for how long this response is (really am!), but while I’m already here and we’re on the subject, I’m going to give you another heads up. I did love your last book, and I am going to mention it on my blog sometime soon. However, I have to put a couple of content warnings in my commentary that I don’t personally feel, but that are necessary because I know that my in-laws absolutely would not think kindly of the profanity or sexuality of some of your blog posts (again, I’m not bothered or I wouldn’t be here). And I don’t want to cause any hurt feelings about that. I will need to comment on that because it would damage my relationships with them if I didn’t warn them to avoid some of your other content out of respect to their own personal views, and they would want to do so because they are still very devoted members of my former church, which has some pretty strict teachings on what is acceptable when it comes to content for books, movies, music, etc…Just wanted to let you know, because I would not want to cause hurt feelings with that. So, my apologies in advance on that one! 🙂 Ari

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      • I don’t really get the dishes thing either, because the logical guess would be it was more than an issue about dishes, but it really was about the dishes that time because after I switched to my one dish/fork policy, I never heard about it again!

        I get the content warnings—there’s a giant spectrum that comes with that. Some folks want outright regulation of some subjects, while others want things publicly categorized to varying degrees, to include subjectively distaste. Can’t please everyone, but at least you can try to avoid ruffling feathers here and there.

        I’ve never been so complimented by someone’s saltiness, LOL! If you want to read Echo despite it bearing the marks of my early noob writing, along with the big doses of disgruntlement and violence, then consider me flattered! 😁

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      • I did read the first Echo, so I already have a sense of the growth you have made as a writer. When I was young, despite the fact that I got the sense my mother as a mathematician wanted me to be really anything other than the artistically inclined child that I was, she was also rather militant about correcting any grammatical slips I would make, even in casual everyday speech. Literally every aspect of my speech and grammar. I determined as an adult to never be that person to anybody else. I am not here to judge your journey. I can appreciate the artistic merits of something without needing it to have all the hallmarks of literary perfection.

        I’d rather suspect that my in-laws might have some philosophical differences with how Jon views the world, but I think it meets the content standards that they strive for so I’m going to recommend it anyway. And in truth, as the mother of a child with significant disability, some of my views are even different. A woman who was the caregiver of a significantly disabled loved one and found herself in a less than ideal marriage that wasn’t abusive would view the situation much more pragmatically. She would be inclined to think this is the best I’m going to get out of any situation, because even in leaving I’m not dateable… So if you are already in the best you can get, make peace with it and move on. And that isn’t pessimism, I’m a person who believes in optimistic realism but not delusion. If you are the parent of a child who most people won’t even babysit, you’re not even thinking dating or the career of your dreams is going to be an option for you, so that person would also see “at least” in a very different light. But, I think there is a lot I can agree with about the nature of our modern society and the way we’ve all been tapped to plug and chug away in a manner that assists someone higher up the food chain in finding all of the happiness and fulfillment they want, while trading away everything that each of us might want for ourselves in that regard.

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      • Grammar Nazis! I think they were the first target of my humorous ads, lol!

        I think you’re on the right track. I believe conditions can’t force someone into happiness, nor into misery, as evidenced through anecdotal experiences, rich folks who hate life, poor folks who love it, etcetera etcetera. While getting smashed in jiu jitsu or straining in the gym may not seem outwardly pleasant, I truly enjoy the release and expression of both activities. Same with dancing! (Just fell down a BTS rabbit hole after watching them do Dynamite at the 2020 VMAs, and now I’m trying to learn the dance, lol!) Whatever’s in front of me has the potential to be appreciated to at least the point of satisfaction (it is what it is, no use worrying about it, I’ve been here before and I know it’ll pass, or at the very least, we all die eventually so this won’t last forever) and satisfaction opens the way to more positivity, which primes my perception to see opportunity and my attitude to take advantage of it. Everyone has a different way to frame that, and Jon’s is still that of a nineteen year old kid, so he definitely will see things in a different light than others. But as you said, the core philosophy will be the same. He, like others, wishes to express as much of himself as he possibly can. And like many others, he doesn’t want to compromise to outside obligations that infringe on his self-expression. I’ve planned a good twist of irony at the end of the series that’ll wrap that conundrum up, but even when it’s written, I won’t be on the nose and straight out mention it. It will unfold through everything that happens to Jon. 🙂

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      • Grammar Nazis indeed, lol! Yes, my mother can be quite precise in her language usage, she is skilled at didactic writing, though she is not creatively inclined and has never to the best of my knowledge written anything of that nature. Though, she did write all of my stepfather’s college papers as I understand it, which mystifies me, because I would never want to give credit for something like that to another. But, on the positive side, I can credit my ability to write immaculately when desired to her nitpicking tutelage, so I try to recognize both sides of what those experiences did to me.

        I had to watch that BTS video so I could better visualize what you are trying to learn, and the choreography and the way they time their moves together is seamless, really. I can see that the moves are influenced by Michael Jackson’s style of dancing. My personal dance goal for this year is to improve my belly dancing…it is more of a challenge for me in some ways because I have reduced flexibility in my right Achilles tendon, and those moves require a level of bent knee that is more difficult to achieve on my right side because of it. And I like challenges. It is something I do for myself, not to be exhibitionistic… childbirth did not do pretty things to the skin on my stomach and I have no interest in the publicly performative side, it’s more something that makes me happy because it’s a style of dance well suited otherwise to a woman with my type of figure and I don’t need to worry about anybody in my house judging me for what my tummy skin looks like.

        I can understand what you are saying about the physical release and challenge of certain physical activities. I really can’t do martial arts because of my right foot, POTS has changed how rigorously I can do certain things, and I had to work to overcome some negative associations to get to the point where I could be willing to do much less appreciate strength training. But I find it joyful to do everything I can to workaround those issues because there is this release that comes with physical challenges and activity.

        Finding happiness in difficult circumstances is an art of perseverance and dedication to constantly looking for a workaround. To be given something hard in life and say, now, how can get around this and come to the best place possible? I have several workarounds that are near fruition for me, and as each thing comes to pass, I will use that opportunity to find ways to continue to move my life in ways that will bring me as much happiness with what is possible for me as can be found. And sometimes it’s just in being able to magnify the small things and soak up those feelings. I used to have my nose pierced, but my former church required that to be removed. Tony’s therapy stuff was still more physical when I left, and that piercing healed shut. You know, I’m going to go get my little nose cz chip back where it belongs now that things are becoming less physically arduous with his therapy. It is a small thing, and a quiet joy, but soaking those in can reap a whole lot of benefits psychologically. Take good care of yourself, and good luck with the dancing!

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      • For the achilles I do a 2 minute roll out (kneel like a samurai with a baseball between thigh and calf and wriggle back and forth to massage the muscles, breathing and relaxing to deprogram the knots, move the ball progressively lower then go back up to hit the whole calf) then a bent knee calf stretch against an angled surface like a foam roller (straight knee targets the knee, bent knee targets the ankle). It’s important to roll before stretching, if you’re going to do both. Hopefully that will help if you have time or inclination to do it.

        Belly dancing looks pretty tough! (Coordination-wise, anyway). My core is used to tensing to support weight or to twist sharply sideways to generate force, so it’d take a while to make it learn how to rotate smoothly like that. Awhile ago, I tried to learn locking, but I had other commitments, and it really was like learning a foreign language for my body. Fun, though! BTS are nuts with their dance practice, diet, and the fact that they sing while dancing for live performances. Plus only two (I think it’s two, but I know most of them don’t) of them have a strict dance background, the rest just train their asses off and it definitely takes a toll, so I doubt I could get to their level. I can learn this one dance though, maybe, lol!

        Applied martial arts (stuff that works against an actively resisting athlete) is a bit of a catch-22, because it’s very easy to get injured, so it requires a bit of experience to find a training rhythm that will give you enough recovery time. It’s different for competitors—because they pretty much have to go full-burn injury or not—but for the rest of us, it’s a delicate balance of making sure we don’t go down the spiral of injury, depression, weight gain, recovery, and repeat.

        Sounds like you’re doing the right thing—all or nothing mentality is what kills progress, but if you’re willing to veer off the track towards a tangential goal, or something that may not solve everything but is at least a step forward, you tend to come across unexpected blessings (in my opinion). The indirect way may seem frustrating at times, but the milestones tend to yield more and more leverage, which tend to make the journey fun, which of course is really the point. In any case, I’ve seen my friends who demand all-or-nothing results lose out and slowly erode over time, staying exactly where they are, exactly as they have been. Usually, their feelings of powerlessness manifest into an intense interest into politics, and I just can’t with the rants. If you have the time and feel that strongly about it, go do something about it, even if it’s just a little bit. That’s how I feel, anyway.

        Go get you that nose piercing! You deserve it! 🙂

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      • I did get my nose re-pierced, last night! 😀 And, my belly button too!!! The happiness level is high, super high. When I was younger, I let people get in my head about the bellybutton piercing, telling me that I was too big of a girl to get that kind of thing, nobody wanted to look at my belly, blah, blah, blah. Never should have let that shit get in my head, but really, the former church would have had me take it out anyway. Damn it, I don’t care that my tummy isn’t pretty enough for other people’s standards (I got preeclampsia when I was pregnant with Hannah and was putting on 5-6 pounds of fluid weight a day towards the end, and I have still have a small amount of excess skin on my stomach that crinkles, etc when I move), I’m not walking around in crop tops…I got it for me! *I* am going to feel happy every time I am looking at those iridescent sparkles down there while I am brushing my teeth, etc.

        I appreciate the recommendations on the tendon. I have to be very careful what I do with it. So, we didn’t know about my birth defect for years, but then my foot kind of started caving in on the heel and loosing flexibility after a few years of gymnastics. I have two of the characteristics of a club foot, basically, but not all three, and the original orthopedic surgeon who worked with me said it was probably all of the abuse I put it under while training that caused it to deteriorate quicker, but otherwise things might not have gone south until my 20’s. But, because of the way my heal bone is shaped, and the way my body responds to pressure on that tendon, I tend to get calcification nodes in that tendon. And that’s where we are now. The last surgery I had to clean things out was in 2003, I am probably overdue, but I am hoping to baby it along and get Tony into school before undertaking that. With the calcification nodes, I have to be careful about rolling, etc in that area, but I can focus on the calf muscle.

        This is going to sound perhaps heartless, and I don’t mean it to be. If somebody is only complaining about their circumstances, and doing nothing to try and change anything about what they are complaining about, I start to loose sympathy. I am a woman who prefers to be doing whatever I can about my circumstances. Some things I can not fix, but anything I can….it’s fair game. Some things take a long time to work out a resolution or improvement to, and I find in those cases it helps to keep track of and celebrate the smaller milestone successes along the way.

        Well, I need to get going! New hab therapist is going to be here in 5 minutes, and she’s going to need intensive support for the next month or so! Thank you for chatting with me on-line about these things, I appreciate the time you have given up to do so! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Congratulations on the piercings! In the end, you have to make time to make yourself happy. Pleasing others can quickly become an endless rabbit-hole.

        I get it with the losing sympathy. At a certain point, the only way to communicate with others is to be happy yourself. Good luck with the new therapist!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you 😁 And the piercings are fabulous, in fact, I told the piercer I had never seen anything so fabulous as my new belly button ring 😄 I now have all the piercings I ever wanted, and I personally love them!!! I think the new therapist will be just fine, although she did need to call out today because her kiddos woke up sick. So, I am going to play piano and take advantage of the unexpected free time to focus on other things… take good care of yourself!

        Liked by 1 person

      • It was great…I love playing piano, though I am not as good as I was a few years ago because I don’t have as much time to practice. Someday I will get that regular practice time back I think. If you had the unexpected gift of free time, what would you do with it?

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      • Like most folks, I’ve got a list. Surprisingly, I’d rather not travel. I like my routine, I like my setup.

        I think I’d really get into grilling and barbecue, raising dogs (I’ve raised one puppy at a time, but I’ve always dreamed of having enough time to raise a litter and have them all nap on top of me) learn to sing, learn magic tricks, learn to play guitar, learn to draw, I think that’s the order I’d like to do things in. 🙂

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      • Well, it’s your list, so certainly it should make you happy whether others find something surprising or not!! I can understand liking a routine and set up. I have to tamp down on my internal reactions when other family members invade my bathroom space, because it impacts my set up and I like things the way I like things! Since I recognize that’s generally a “me” thing, I try really hard to take some deep breathes so that I don’t breath fire on anyone for that sort of thing. Though, I would actually love to travel (camping, not so much though, I would do it for my family, but really, I like a close proximity to all things hygienical). Music is a joyful thing, I always wanted it to be part of my world, and it wasn’t really allowed when I was growing up. So as an adult I took singing lessons, taught myself some things when it comes to instruments… and litters of puppies are cute, but a lot of work!!! My mom had a chocolate lab that had a litter when I was younger…I have always loved animals, so I was constantly wanting to be involved with the puppies, but as young as I was, the level of actual help I provided is questionable! So, what about the music, magic tricks, and drawing resonates with you as an interest?

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      • I think the resonance is from the fact that as I get older, I just want to have fun in the moment, as opposed to toiling away and constantly justifying to others how I’m doing the right or noble thing. (Oh, I forgot to add freestyle rap, standup comedy, and beatboxing to the list). Sure music and dancing can have a lot of ego attached to it, but to me, more than any other activity, they’re about enjoying the moment and spreading some joy. Drawing falls dead last on the list because it’s the most solo of the activities for me. It’d be nice, though, to be able to at least capture the feel of my covers in a preliminary image for my cover artists, instead of sending them lengthy descriptions with attached images that approximate the feel of each element in the cover pic. (Also, it would be fun to mock my friends with pornographic caricatures).

        The bathroom thing sounds tough! I think I’ve gotten spoiled with my solo life, since I couldn’t imagine living with others unless they had their own bedroom and bathroom. I tried allowing one of my very good friends stay with me for a few months, but I hate having to wait for the bathroom, feeling any up-and-about energy when I’m lying in bed, or sharing my space in general.

        Puppies, though…I still feel I could get on board with puppies. I’d have to have the right layout with lots of outdoor space and a dedicated indoor space where I could build up their routines while minimizing the destruction. (Also, I would have to make enough where I wouldn’t feel guilty about hiring twice-weekly cleaners. Dog hair is no joke!) I think in the end I want three adult dogs minimum, five dogs max. 😁

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      • And, I’m going to go ahead and add another quick notice because I don’t want you to do or anyone else to feel badly for me on the music thing. When I was younger, it was the dream I wanted for myself and I had a lot of feelings and things I had to work through because of what happened. But as an adult, I have enough objective perspective to know while I can sing decently enough if I practice daily and I can play an instrument in a mediocre sort of way given my circumstances, they aren’t my primary gifts and I have made peace with that. It still makes me very happy to do those things, but I don’t know that I could have ever gotten good enough to make a career out of that anyways so… peace with where I am at and what I have is where I try to land. I got to sing solos a couple times in my former church and that was an awesome enough experience to have even for all the feelings I have overall for that church.

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      • That’s important to realize! I wanted my primary gift to be military stuff, but it’s pretty obvious at a certain point who’s designed for it and who isn’t. There’s a military equivalent of a pro-athlete, where they intuitively get the concepts, teamwork, and daily routine, where they don’t need much sleep, where they can move well with weight, and where they have pretty good physical recovery to the point they can get drunk on a regular basis and still perform pretty well.

        For better or worse, it has been made clear to me that I am made to be a writer. And honestly, it gives me a lot of peace to write whether someone likes it or not. The activity is very relaxing, so I’ll keep going until I’m given a hint otherwise. I think it’s great that you’re still staying involved in music, but you’re not making it something to stress out about (by that I mean if I stressed out over writing as my potential only source of income, I would begin to hate it pretty quickly). If my writing eclipses my other sources of income to the point where I could live solely off my books, I would love it, but I can’t worry about that in the present moment, or writing would suck balls.

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      • Thank you for sharing that. I think that is one of the bonuses of aging, the ability to recognize that none of the people who want to dictate what you should do have to live your life- you do. And you should be doing something that brings and gives meaning and joy to *you*, not them. It is a fabulous place to land at. I have always loved to learn new things, especially creative things.

        I think it is indeed, very important to realize the gifts you have and the degree to which you have them versus the gifts you want to have- though sometimes it can bring a sting with it when that appraisal doesn’t harmonize with the most desired outcomes. Some things I am better at than playing instruments…drawing, for example. But, when I was having to prioritize what brings me the most joy, it was one of the first hobbies to go when Tony’s therapy and behavioral challenges started becoming more intense. I also have to realize that I struggled to portray human emotion accurately sometimes in my art, which was why I always preferred flowers, toys, etc. as subject matter when it came to drawing or painting. But Hannah, oh she has a gift for rendering people. Sometime soon she’s going to let me post some of her portrait work…and she totally kicks my ass there. Writing is one of my strongest gifts, but I would probably be more interested in journalistic writing or poetry than books (though I did start one a few years ago that was quickly laid aside when things got intense with our son), simply because I like to do shorter pieces. My attention span for the things I create can be shorter, and a book is a longer endeavor.

        But my biggest gift has always been helping people, but my whole life I listened to one person after another tell me that wasn’t profitable enough and disparage the choices I wanted to make. You know, when Andy and I were dating and when we got married, I was making most of our money. I can make money for myself if I want it, and I don’t want to listen to another person try to shoot down what I want to do on the basis of how profitable they think I should want to be. I am at a point right now where if I were to be working, I want it to be a passion job that feeds my soul, because I can always do the creative stuff on the side if I want to and I feel confident that I can make enough money to provide what I need if that were required, and that is all the matters to me personally. When Tony gets into school, I’m going into one of the therapy fields so that I can provide supports to other low functioning families in my area, because there is such a shortage out here and I know what it is like to feel the worry and heartbreak of knowing your child needs those supports and not being able to find it. I have plenty of gifts, but helping others and fixing things have always been my super powers. And right now, that way of giving back means the most to me because I know some of what other parents in this position are going through.

        And the sharing bathroom things…you know, when you are a parent, love can teach you to make peace with some things that are very hard under normal circumstances to deal with. But it isn’t always easy even when you really love someone, that is for sure! And, I know that dogs can bring the hair!! Our St. Bernard, I was the one who was assigned to brush her…I swear, you could brush her for an hour, and there were still handfulls and massive clumps of fur coming off when she was shedding…holy cow, that job was never done! My clothes were practically as furry as she was sometimes, LOL! Well, take good care of yourself and best of luck as you pursue that list! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow, I don’t think drawing could ever bring me that much joy. Not because it’s uncool or anything, but when I futzed around with it, I realized that there needs to be some intuitive understanding of where the light sources are in the drawing, and how it affects every object within it along with the perspective. I feel like I have that intuition with writing though, where I can kind of sense a character’s presence and psychology and let it flow into a linear narrative. It’s great that your (daughter?) is talented at drawing! Maybe she’ll do comic books one day! (A Door into Evermoor was heavily inspired by Ultimate Spider Man, specifically issue #13 where he almost kisses Mary Jane). Comic books were a huge influence on my writing process.

        Your helping people superpower is a great superpower to have! Especially since you can live off it, and it’s an easy source of self-worth (not that I believe people should ever have to defend it, it’s just that society tries to diminish it for better sales and whatnot) I tried to guilt myself into believing I had it, but people honestly just drain me. I hope I can help them in more indirect ways, like easing their stress or entertaining them with a well-written story.

        St. Bernard! One of my favorites! I always get them confused with bernese mountain dogs. Nothing better than hugging a big dog, or seeing them romp around with giant smiles! 😁

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      • I really loved Ramoth, our St. Bernard!!! Everything except the drool that is, LOL! She was a prolific drooler, as one would expect with that breed. She was very loving dog and very protective of us, I think she saw us as her children! She was my favorite of the dogs we had, though I suppose one shouldn’t pick favorites (I certainly never would with my children).

        You know, if me and my return comments start to be a drain, just like a comment and move on. I will understand if you need that kind of space. I don’t want to be a drain on anyone, it’s been delightful chatting with you on-line but I can chat someone’s ear off and that is for sure!!! If there were a 12 step program for that, someone probably would have staged on intervention by now, just saying.

        And the truth is, even though I love people and I love helping people, I always need a space each day away from people because their emotions press on me and I pick up and carry so much that I just need that time to not be carrying that or having those feelings pressing on me or I get grouchy because it starts to feel like too much. Typically, I try to comment on people’s posts instead of just liking them because I want to sent the message that you know, hey. I really thought about what you wrote, I don’t just give random likes. But I also don’t want you to feel obligated to engage with me all the time. Hope you have a fabulous day! 🙂 Ari

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      • SAme with me—don’t feel obligated to respond to something just because I commented. I’ve set my boundaries with comments and interactions, and it’s served me well so far. When I first started, I would respond at all hours of the day as fast as I could, and I almost went insane! (Half-kidding, but half-not.

        After my dogs died, I went back to work as a dog walker for awhile so I could pal around with a horde of dogs. I loved em all but I really loved the big ones, and I took a perverse pleasure when my dogs started howling and crying for me whenever I walked in (much to the dogsitters’ dismay). I probably would have loved Ramoth, lol!

        It’s important to get space from people because that would be a horrible life if we were expected to just continue helping people no matter how miserable we became. Gotta set those boundaries!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve never once felt obligated! I have enjoyed chatting with you 😀 That being said, I do drop off the map from time to time, and it’s possible I could sometime in the next few days. Our beautiful angel girl had a COVID exposure from her boyfriend, she is recovering really well, I’ve been mostly doing very well so far, probably because I’ve been recently boostered (just a bit tired and swollen lymph nodes…I had spent a fair bit of unmasked time around Hannah before we knew about the exposure, which is unavoidable if you’re a mom). But, if Tony gets this (and we’re all wearing N95s around the house trying to keep him from getting it, but still things can happen because nobody’s keeping them on to sleep) it could be a very different story for him. So if he gets sick, nobody could hear from me for like a week at least and it won’t be because I’m feeling drained by the conversation, it will be because when he gets really sick, he requires intensive nursing management.

        I have sometimes thought dog walking would be a cool thing to do! There’s a woman near us who walks dogs and makes artisan soaps as her two jobs, and every time I see her out walking while Tony and I are I think about how much fun that could be. I really love walking outside, I am one of those people that prefers physical activity where I can feel the sun and the wind combing over me, it just feels so much more joyful. Though, if we got a dog right now I’d probably be starting out with a smaller dog because Tony’s still a little scared of bigger dogs.

        Ramoth had a bit of a back story. Her first owner had abandoned her after she got pregnant with a litter of puppies, if I am remembering correctly, was before she was a year old. She was hunting to survive and she went after someone’s pet chickens, so the guy shot her in the eye they though with a pellet rifle. She survived, but was blind on one side, and was taken in to a rescue clinic, where my mom adopted her to be a companion to our new black lab, Beorn, because he would crash through the front window when we were gone from the house because he had really bad separation anxiety. We spent many months with a quilt covering the opening because she couldn’t afford to keep replacing it. I don’t think our family at the time could have afforded a St. Bernard otherwise, and I think because of how young we were, we kind of took the place of her puppies in her mind. Because she was blind on one eye, she’d be kind of clumsy if she went in to lick your face and sometimes a little too much teeth got involved, though not enough to injure, just sting. But I did just love her, she really was a neat dog!

        Well, I need to get going for now. Take good care of yourself! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • The feeling’s mutual—no obligation here! Every now and then I do like you do and just pretend that social media doesn’t exist. The last time I did that was in August or September.

        I’m boosted up myself. Felt it was the responsible thing to do because of jiu-jitsu, but it seems I always get weird skin issues a week or two after the shot.

        I’m glad Ramoth had a happy ending! I think that was why I was fine (after a few weeks) when my dog died, because I knew I had given him a good life. He had a bit of separation anxiety for a while, nothing as bad as that though. I kind of made a game of it–when he peeked in the shower, I’d pretend to turn into a zombie and lurch after him while making zombie noises. He’d run like hell, I’d go back in the shower, then we’d do it again.
        The floor got wet, but we both had fun, lol.

        Random question—since you’ve got a background in fantasy, what do you think of Tolkien? I respect him, but I don’t think his stuff aged very well, and I’m having a bit of fun in the new book making fun of him.

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      • That is what I say to myself about any of my rescue pets who passed away. Dickens, aka Catzilla, was a kitty that was thrown out a window by the truck driving in front of us while Andy and I were carpooling to work about a year before Hannah was born. The driver actually threw two kittens out the window and rolled over one themselves with their bac tire, but Dickens was able to avoid the tires and we pulled off the road, caught him, and took him to my vet (we already had two other rescued fur babies at the time, so I already had a vet). Until I became a parent of human babies, my animals were kind of like my babies and I have grieved for each of them…and maybe I spoiled them just a little. An emergency vet was astonished at the amount of money I was willing to pay to save Catzilla’s life after one of his escapades, but I sobbingly told him, “I don’t care how much this will cost, save my cat’s life!” But I know I did everything I could to give them good and happier lives than they would have had, and it is a thought that can bring peace.

        It sound like you had a lot of fun with your dog. What was his name? I am sorry for the grieving you have experienced! Pets are fabulous companions…although cats can sometimes be a bit spiteful when they’re feeling like you’re not giving them everything they want exactly the way they want it, lol. They don’t understand things like diabetes and insulin and reduced food and they will punish you for some of life’s necessities when it comes to ensuring their survival!

        And, I love random questions 😀 Ah, Tolkien, the venerable elder statesman of 20th century fantasy. Well, that’s rather complicated. On the one hand, I feel a sense of nostalgia about Tolkien’s work because my mom used to read to us from his books when I was a little girl (she was kind of Tolkien obsessed). Since it was one of the few times I can remember her really spending much time with us, I have a fondness for the books. That being said, there’s a dryness about them that never tempted me to read them after an independent reading as a teenager. Some books I will want to go back to and reread, like I love The Riddlemaster of Hed series. But there just isn’t that pull for me and Tolkien.

        Yet, his work has been heavily influential. I remember binge reading Terry Brooks when I was in elementary school, and you can really see the influence Tolkien had for him and other fantasy writers. I think others have tried to pillory Tolkien (Tony really loves veggietales Lord of the Beans, which kind of roasts the series a bit). I do know some writers wrote in a way about some issues that I never noticed as a young girl. L. Frank Baum for example. I was obsessed with the OZ books in early elementary school years, and when I looked at them as an adult, I was horrified at the number of references that I felt were racist. I think fantasy is a genre that can be easy to cloak certain biases in and justify it by saying, well, the author is just talking about another world. So I would have to review the texts a bit more to see how I felt about whether or not Tolkien was guilty of that in his writing, but honestly, I’d kind of rather read other things.

        I certainly do not find it any great blasphemy for someone who writes fantasy not to be entranced by his works though. They will not appeal to everyone (indeed, if I can’t bring myself to reread them they didn’t touch me as deeply as other works either), and it is nice to have a fresh take on things!

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      • It is a little weird, seeing widespread racism from way back when. Pretty sure a lot of it wasn’t malicious and just a product of the times, but who can say?

        Apparently, Tolkien was hassled about his distinct lack of important women in his books (Arwen didn’t kick ass like she did in the movies), to which he responded that Sam’s wife was absolutely crucial. I’m like—come on, SAM’S WIFE? Lol! No worries, though, it gives Erany something to take issue with. Personally, I never liked the portrayal of magic swords. In the books, Sting glows and evil races seem to hate them (could you argue the swords are racist?). As a kid, I loved reading through the magic items section in the DM’s guide, so I was less than impressed by LOTR swords. Even the movies didn’t do a great job with them, imo. I think Gandalf uses Orcrist to channel some lightning, but that wasn’t in the books. And when Aragorn draws Narsil after it’s reforged, it doesn’t glow or anything, he just looks really impressed, which I found a little lacking for arguably the most powerful sword in LOTR.

        All that being said, it gives me plenty of fodder to throw into my story. The few people I’ve asked about Tolkien say exactly what you do—respect the guy, but his stuff is like reading a history text—but it’s a different story in online forums. I’m not sure if people are trying to come off as purists or loyalists, but a lot of people swear up and down that he’s an acquired taste and really is entertaining. Not me, though—it took many stops and starts to read his books all the way through, and I never got sucked in to them like I hoped I would.

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      • I find it interesting that you should bring up the tepidity of his female characters, because I was reflecting this morning that I should have added that to my response, but it was already long enough as it is. However, it is hardly something he alone is guilty of so it didn’t necessarily come to mind as the first thing to lambast him for. Plenty of female writers even have a tendency to create heroines that are only viewed as strong because they’ve got a bit of temper. Being quick to act on an initial surge of anger isn’t actually a sign of genuine strength in my opinion (though certainly I have occasionally done that myself even). Many main plot points for female characters seem to pivot around accessorizing the male characters. So for women in this society, it’s something a great deal of art of nearly every kind is messaging them that this should be your only aim and value. And in fact, that is how most human cultures have viewed woman. I thank you for taking aim at that! 😀

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      • Honestly, I was going to go that route myself by originally making it a fantasy buddy-cop thing between Ren and Jon (interspersed with some Gyrax). But obviously I changed things up. I also realized the party is still kind of unbalanced with two ladies and five dudes, which will change throughout the story. That isn’t me kowtowing to PC culture, I just thought hey, here are some characters I want to introduce, why not make them women? While I love the Hobbit (and not LOTR, ironically) it’s kind of a huge sausage-fest with ten-plus interchangeable Dwarves. I can’t remember any distinguishing features from any of them except Thorin, to be honest. Also, instead of Ren being Jon’s main partner, it is obviously now Erany. We’ll see. I just throw a soft intention out there, and see how my muse responds. Usually the broad strokes hit me while I’m exercising, driving, or showering, and then neat specifics arise during the actual drafting. Being YA, I’d like to have strong characters in there that different folks who might be younger can relate to as closely as possible. Glad you are on board with it, and you’re very welcome! 🙂

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      • The concept of PC culture is, I think, becoming less relevant. We are quite divided culturally and as a society right now. To me it seems to be the messaging that is relevant to someone is more based on the group they personally agree with. And in regards to equality, for me, I think the pertinent question isn’t related to what is PC, but rather what should be? How should we view our wives, mothers, daughters? What kind of opportunities should be afforded each of us? Is it fair, or even relevant, to limit certain opportunities based on gender? My husband was once interviewed for a position that he found out later wasn’t really open. The owner of the clinic was just interviewing candidates in case his female provider didn’t come back from maternity leave…and she’d explicitly told him she would. I wonder, would he have done that for a male provider recovering from a surgery? Probably not.

        It is true that sometimes women will choose to stay home with their kiddos after birth, but many if not most really can’t afford to do that anymore. And indeed, at this woman’s level of education, that kind of decision would be even less likely. We operate so much from a position of bias on so many levels…some of the biggest companies in the world have a minimal female presence in the upper echelons of their management teams. And we should ask ourselves…why is that? Are women deficient in these skills? I certainly wouldn’t think that…you know, I could rant a really long time about this. So I’m just going to save everyone from an extended verbal deluge and say it’s a hot mess of inequality and I celebrate any efforts, fictional or otherwise, that work towards envisioning different possibilities.

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      • I’m pretty sure I agree with you on all that. I suspect most people who oppose that stuff in books and movies are really against a preachy or ham-handed vibe, which I am against as well, and is a definite danger with writing inclusive storylines (really wish the admiral and Poe in Last Jedi could have worked out the problem in a way that showed they were reasonable and able to think critically, instead of thumping their chests and showing how feisty and stubborn they were). There’s a few who are just dead-brained reactionaries who I don’t think will ever change their mind. Those people, I think, are just driven by fear. They need something to push against, and they need to feel better than everyone else because they lived through the old days which they associate with their youth and some kind of rite of passage.

        Didn’t strike me how weird my nineties comics and tv shows were until I went back and saw that marginalization wasn’t just a one-off fluke. Never even thought Friends was weird until way later! 😂

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      • You’re only “pretty sure?” 🤔 Maybe I should rant some more 🥸🤣
        In all seriousness though, I think it’s more complicated than fear for some people. Some people have a very dogmatic perspective about this. My former church for example, was heavily patriarchal. Just wearing pants to church as a woman can invite serious social unpleasantries, including people who will no longer even speak or say hi to you. For some groups, a rigidly defined perspective on gender and adherence to what they believe is the proper hierarchical nature has become a matter they’ve elevated to being necessary for eternal salvation. Though some perspectives are gradually changing in some of those groups, many people with that type of mentality aren’t open to different perspectives and they don’t want to see that kind of representation in entertainment either. They just see it as another example of how so much of the world has sunk into a babylon-like state. Those particular mindsets can be very difficult to share perspectives with because there’s not even an openness to different possibilities in many cases.


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