The Cheese Grates It: Goals for 2020

Image by Annalise Batista from Pixabay

I refuse to do New Years' resolutions. Those always imply crap like "New You in 52," which, of course, means diet culture. I raised the middle finger to diet culture closing in on ten years ago, and I'm damn well not sorry. I suppose it will be a battle every day of my life till the day I die to be treated as a human being without buying into the same shit that never worked for me in 33 years of yo-yo dieting and trying to hate myself thin, but it's a battle that I will fight.

Here are my big fat goals for 2020.

To format and release my first non-erotic published work in 13 years. Ketil and Yitzy's Adventure in the Xura Dream House is finished. I am currently in the process of editing and formatting it. It will be published in January of 2020.

To start publishing my poetry. I am currently formatting a book called The Poetic Rejects of 2019, which will, as the name implies, contain all my rejected poems from the past year. It may also contain some rejected prose, depending on the length of the piece.

To continue to submit works here and there, now and then, all the while giving no fucks whether or not they are accepted or published.

To continue working on and publishing my own stories, regardless of whether or not anyone else likes or reads them.

Basically, to survive another year.

Oh, I do have one resolution.

I resolve that I will never again do anything like the Battle of the Poems.

That was really stupid of me, and I'm dreadfully sorry.

Best wishes to you, whatever your goals are in 2020. 

You are welcome to have resolutions, but if they are diet-y resolutions, I don't want to hear about them any more than I want to hear about your bowel movements.

I guess I have one more resolution.

I resolve to keep bringing the snark in 2020. It is my goal to make the ghost of Ambrose Bierce proud.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

I still miss these fuckers. Just sayin'.

Stupid Beak-Head Dodo

Image by ChaminaGallery from Pixabay

This is Stupid Beak-Head Dodo, AKA, me.

Sometimes I get an idea in my head and am too pig-headed to let it go.

My Battle of the Poems was a supremely stupid idea. I thought it would be fun and I thought I would get a few participants, particularly when I offered a monetary prize. 

Things like this do not work when you hardly have any audience.

I am truly sorry for putting the few readers who actually interact with me through this.

I assigned the final poems a number and threw a virtual dice. This is probably what I should have done in the first place.

I promise it won't happen again.

Yours sincerely,
Stupid Beak-Head Dodo

An Analysis of Gone With the Wind

Hattie McDaniel
10 June 1893 - 26 October 1952

A wonderful analysis indeed. I thought that Gone With the Wind was very well-written, and I thought that the movie version was very well-made. That being said, I can see the horrific levels of racism and sexism in both. 

Too many people these days refuse to take an objective view of anything, and anyone who has the least little favorable thing to say about a work that has been deemed problematic is automatically a horrible monster who approves of terrible things. It is very difficult to have a thoughtful discussion anymore.

Battle of the Poems 2019: Day 25

The brief Senryu "Silenced Voices" triumphed in yesterday's Battle.
Today's semi-final tie-breaker features Mr. Perfect up against the Prime Time Pantoum. Which will win your vote?

Poem #11
Prime Time Pantoum

Trying to model my life
To be more like the pretty people
Starring on glitzy, prime-time TV shows
Is an exercise in futility

To be more like the pretty people
I try to hate myself into conformity
Starring on glitzy, prime-time TV shows
A destructive, soul-stealing dream

I try to hate myself into conformity
Starring on glitzy, prime-time TV shows
A destructive, soul-stealing dream
Is an exercise in futility


Poem #22
Mr. Perfect

he's honed his image
everything is perfection
on point tip to toe
such a perfect gentleman
until he takes off the mask

Weekend Writing Warriors 29 December 2019 (PA, SF)

Click to join Weekend Writing Warriors and read more snippets

 Also sharing with:

“My answer may seem overly simplistic and not terribly pragmatic,” the great creature replied. “It is only this. You have befriended me. I have never had a friend, and you are the finest of friends that I could have ever imagined. Most of my kind, as I have previously stated, do not utilize the sensibility known as compassion, and they see me as lesser for doing so. I struck out on my own to conduct scientific studies for the sake of science. But then I encountered you, and I felt that it would benefit us both were your mission to become my mission. I can certainly continue to collect samples during the course of our adventures, and you and I can serve as consultants for one another.”

~Cie for Naughty Netherworld Press~

Artist Unknown

In this week's snippet, Yitzy answers Ketil's question regarding why Yitzy is interested in assisting him on his "potentially fruitless quest." Last week's snippet can be found here.

The story ended up being either a short novella or a long novelette. It is currently in the process of being formatted, and I am agonizing over finding or creating a suitable cover. It's difficult to find free-use Lovecraftian art. I am aiming for publication in January.

The Great Race of Yith is the creation of H.P. Lovecraft. Ketil Nagel and Yitzy Yithian are original characters created by Team Netherworld.

Friday Flashback: Dungeons and Dragons: Satan's Game

I originally published this on 27 December 2010 in the first incarnation of Encyclopedia Netherworld, a blog that has since been retired. This date was just a day shy of the one-month anniversary of my father's passing. I imagine I was trying to take my mind off that fact. The beige-colored Creature from the Black Lagoon character made me think of an adolescent version of my original Netherworld character, Geoff Ghast, so that was kind of fun. 

This character might be Geoff's nephew or such since ghasts are a very long-lived species. It's rather certain that he isn't Geoff's offspring. Geoff isn't exactly the most mature fellow, regardless of his probable longevity. No self-respecting female ghast would want to start a family with this eternal Peter Pan of a mythos horror.

I know that canonically ghasts die quickly in the light. I don't adhere closely to canonical rules when writing things that are just for fun.

As Geoff once said: "I've got the moves like Jagger, totally."

Battle of the Poems 2019: Day 24

"Form" trounced my "love" poem for the Orange Menace in yesterday's quarterfinals battle.

It's time for the semi-finals! Today Angie Blue goes up against Silenced Voices. Will you choose the sad story of a girl who never wins, or will it be the brief monody honoring those who have gone from this world?

Only a few more of these! Cast your vote!

Poem #7
Angie Blue

in a time that came and went long ago
whether I was taking down my walking cane and hat
or wrapped up in my bell-bottom blues
I guess you could call me Angie Blue

I was that girl who lived my life in the songs I heard
on the rock and roll radio
I dreamed of wide spaces and endless love

and maybe if I'd been pretty
instead of an ugly duckling girl
maybe I'd have found something more

than fire that quickly turned to ice
and shallow-hearted boys looking for a hookup
that didn't last any longer than a song

you could call me Angie Blue
the ugly duckling girl who learned the truth
that there will never be a prince who rides along the sea and the mountain

my collection of colorful hats now sit collecting dust
my walking cane is now used to support
a body that doesn't work very well

the boys who wanted a good-time girl
are now middle-aged men cheating on their wives
with foolish young women not much older than I was then

I suppose it was better to live my truth
then to get caught up in a web
of love that was no more than lies

but I have been lonely
there is no one and only
unless you count only lonely me

footloose in my mind
with a body that can't dance in reality
and not so fancy or free at all


Poem #18
Silenced Voices
For Those No Longer With Us

though all different
you each had a special gift
I won't forget you

Battle of the Poems 2019: Day 23

Wowsers, I'm late getting this out today! Nothing's wrong, I've just been busy. I've almost got my dryer vent installed, but I'm going to need one more segment and one more connector. I should write a Do It Yourself manual entitled: "How To Fuck Up Your House All By Yourself Because Your Ignorant Ass Doesn't Know What The Fuck You're Doing."

Perky Death won yesterday's quarterfinals.

Today we have Sly Fawkes' free verse takedown of the current U.S. political situation up against our sassy Form poem. We are on to the semi-finals to choose which will be the final poem in my November PAD Chapbook entry!

Those poems that aren't chosen for the PAD Chapbook Challenge manuscript will be published by me in a chapbook tentatively titled "Battle of the Also-Rans."

Poem #16
Break Free of Tyranny
(Composed by my radical alter-ego Sly Fawkes)

it seems to me
that for a nation of people
who love to talk about freedom
there were all too damn many of us
willing to trade our freedom
to be under the orange thumb
of a tangerine despot
now it's time
to put up or shut up
now it's time
to take our country back
now it's time
to realize that electing
a rude, loudmouthed reality tv star
with an ego the size of Jupiter
was a really stupid idea
and now it's time
to impeach the sonofabitch
who shouldn't have been in the White House
in the first damn place
now it's time
to fix our mistake
and really make America great

Poem #12

can't force
me to adhere
to a prescribed form
I'm totally a
free spirit

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 2019: Day 22

Image by Kim Shaftner from Pixabay

The frisky and fun Form poem won yesterday's Battle of the Also-Rans. Today's also-ran quarterfinals pits our awful cosmic aerobics instructor against the antonym poem Loved and Despised. Which would you rather find in your Christmas stocking?

Happy Holidays to anyone reading this, and PLEASE PARTICIPATE! All you need to do is tell me which poem you like best.

Poem #10
Tyranny of Perfection

so I got to thinking
what if Death 
isn't a grim dude in a black hood
but is instead
an annoyingly perfect and perfectionistic
aerobics instructor
who chirps at you
that it's time to do your cardi-oh-oh
and when you do those leg lifts
you've gotta squeeze those glutes
because if you don't squeeze 'em
no-one else will
and I kind of got to thinking
what if I don't want my life
to revolve around whether or not
some dudebro wants to
play grab-ass with me
and then that chipper death
chirped at me that I
need to mind my carbs and calories
because fat is the very worst thing
that a person can possibly be
and then I got to thinking
that maybe that's not true
that in fact the worst thing a person
can possibly be
is a sanctimonious twat
who refuses to respect
other people's lives and conditions and preferences
and bodily autonomy
and who really can just fuck off
and then I got to wondering 
if maybe that's the way Death works
is by annoying people to death
by making them fight all day every day
with vicious inner voices
that tell them they're no good
because they have dimpled thighs
or chunky butts
or saggy boobs
or tummy rolls
or they just aren't perky-werky enough
and then I got to thinking 
that maybe what happens
is people get tired 
of hearing Death's annoying voice
bleating at them to get up and at 'em
because nobody who isn't perfect
deserves to have a life
and so they smash the snooze bar
on their internal clock
one too many times
in an attempt to shut the annoying bitch up
once and for all


Poem #19
Loved and Despised

Admirable - Awful
Beautiful - Boorish
Compassionate - Cruel
Darling - Deplorable
Enlightened - Egocentric
Fantastic - Foul
Genuine - Gruesome
Heavenly - Hellish
Innocent - Irredeemable
Just - Jealous
Keen - Kinky
Lovable - Loathsome
Marvelous - Malevolent
Noble - Nasty
Obliging - Oligarch
Pure - Pretentious
Quaint - Quarrelsome
Resourceful - Ruthless
Sagacious - Sadistic
Tender - Terrible
Unaffected - Unjust
Valiant - Vile
Warm - Wicked
Xenial - Xenophobic
Yielding - Yellowblooded
Zany - Zealot

Battle of the Poems 2019: Day 21

Free Use Image from Pixabay

Prime-Time Pantoum took the title yesterday. Today's also-rans are all about playing with words. Will the Antonymic Bomb blow away the sassy Shape poem, or will Form find a way to diffuse the Bomb?

Poem #5
Antonymic Bomb

adored abhorred
beloved bedeviled
cherished castoff
delightful devil
embraceable evil
fortunate fiend
great goblin
honored hated
idolized ignored
joyful jerk
kind killer
lovely leech
meticulous mess
nice neer-do-well
open obstruction
pleasant prat
quiet quarrel
righteous rogue
sweet scallawag
tidy tawdry
unforgettable understrapper
vital vampire
wholesome wagtail
xylographing xenomorphs
yeomanly yobbos
zesty zombies


Poem #12

can't force
me to adhere
to a prescribed form
I'm totally a
free spirit


Sly's Tackle It Tuesday Holiday Edition + Inner Champion Workbook: Chapter 9: Find Strength in Adversity

Disclosure: If readers purchase a copy of the book through the above link, I earn a small commission from Amazon.

Today's post is written by my social activist alter-ego, Sly Fawkes.

Lessons I’ve learned from challenging experiences:
When it comes to people who are hateful towards me, I've learned that it really isn't me, it's them. Note that this does not prevent the things they say from hurting or stop me from going into a downward spiral of self-loathing in every case. However, these days I am more likely to consider the source. 

If you feel the need to say crappy things about another person, it says more about you than it says about that person. I am not talking about criticisms of bad behavior, I am talking about ad hominem attacks and negative stereotypes. 

dumb blonde
lazy welfare recipient
lazy fatty
lazy (insert race here)
they could just try harder
at least I'm not...
like a girl
maybe if they laid off the cheeseburgers
it's for their own good
users are losers
just get a job
if they just tried they could (insert oversimplified action here)
if they just didn't look so gay people wouldn't pick on them
godless (person who doesn't worship as I do)
disgusting bum
looks too healthy to be sick
probably faking their illness to get out of things
needs to just be more positive
was probably asking for it

Have you ever said any of these things?

Then your New Year's resolution should be to stop being judgmental and hateful. You don't know what anyone else is going through or what conditions or circumstances led them to be where they are now.

Even "if I can do it anyone can" is no excuse for being horrible to someone else. No, not "anyone can." Everyone's circumstances are different. 

Five ways I can positively channel negative energy in my life:

1. You think I'm bad at the things I do? Fine, you are welcome to think that. I'm going to do them anyway.

2. Try to educate through action. I hate the fact that damn near everything I read has to have its Moment of Size-Shaming, which immediately lowers my opinion of the work and its author. It doesn't make me popular, but I call this out wherever I see it. I also try to put my money where my mouth is. I try to have at least one large character in every story who makes a positive contribution. Actions rather than appearances are what makes a person good or bad. Fat is not synonymous with slovenly or lazy. Small is not synonymous with weak. Old is not synonymous with incapable. 

3. Realize that seeking approval from others doesn't work. Anyone who needs me to be perfect or they will ostracize me is not someone I want to keep company with.

4. Tell my story so that others who are being bullied and ostracized realize that they aren't alone.

5. Engage in activism. Try to encourage change in the way people like me are treated. Call out the use of words like "obese," which are used to stigmatize, shame, and silence larger people. 

Obese is a word used to excuse poor treatment of larger patients, to shame them into silence, and to practice lazy medicine, attributing any malady the patient reports to their adipose tissue. This attitude results in dead patients, and I'm not being hyperbolic when I say that.

Ellen Maud Bennett was a 64-year-old Canadian woman. She had been feeling ill for years, but every time she went to a doctor to try and find out what was wrong, they told her that if she just lost weight, she would feel better. When a doctor finally took her seriously, it was discovered that she had stage 4 ovarian cancer. She died a short time later.

Ovarian cancer is extremely treatable in the early stages. If doctors had listened to Ellen instead of dismissing her because of her physique, she would probably still be alive.

Ellen did not want her death to be in vain. In her obituary, she called out the lazy and bigoted practices which resulted in her untimely demise.

Personally, I think that one Ellen is worth a million sanctimonious medical "professionals" half-assing their way through patient "care." Either treat your patients--all of your patients--with respect or find another profession. 

Sometimes doing the right thing means distancing yourself from people or ideologies who refuse to treat you with respect. I have stopped calling myself a feminist after 46 years of proudly bearing the title. I began identifying as a feminist in 1973 when I was eight years old and sick to death of being told what I couldn't do because I was a girl.

Feminism, however, has changed a lot since then. These days, it seems more and more that feminism is only for women who meet a certain standard of attractiveness, and that certainly doesn't include fat women. In fact, most feminists will tell you that they refute size activism because it "promotes obesity and unhealthy lifestyles." Meanwhile, all fat people, but fat women, in particular, experience great difficulty in obtaining compassionate and competent healthcare. Women's concerns already tend to be dismissed by a sexist healthcare system as "hysterical." Fat women are seen as hysterical, lazy, and stupid.

Our current healthcare system literally kills people due to size bias. This bias, by the way, kills thin people too. A thin person is automatically assumed to be healthy, which leads to health problems being overlooked. Medical "professionals" believe that fat people would all be healthy if they'd just lose weight, thus their real health concerns are overlooked. 

Model and photographer unknown

The fact that fat women are seen by modern feminism as unworthy of activism to improve and in some cases save their lives means that modern feminism is unworthy of my support. This does not mean that I will no longer fight for all women's rights to equal treatment and opportunities. It simply means that I will no longer identify as a feminist while doing so. My actions may be feminist A.F., but until feminism embraces all women, including the round ones and those deemed "unattractive" in other ways, then feminism and I must part ways.

Sly wishes you happy holidays, be you thick or thin, and hopes that one day we can find more reasons to embrace rather than ostracize one another.

~Sly Has Spoken~

Image copyright juliahenze

Happy Xmahanukwanzyule 2019

Click to enlarge
Created with Pixlr
Background image:
Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Tidbit Tuesday will return in 2020

Battle of the Poems 2019: Day 20

Free use image from Pixabay

Angie Also-Ran lost to Mr. Perfect in yesterday's Battle of the Also-Rans. Today I'm pitting Prime Time Pantoum against The End. Which of these gloomy soldiers will win?

Poem #11
Prime Time Pantoum

Trying to model my life
To be more like the pretty people
Starring on glitzy, prime-time TV shows
Is an exercise in futility

To be more like the pretty people
I try to hate myself into conformity
Starring on glitzy, prime-time TV shows
A destructive, soul-stealing dream

I try to hate myself into conformity
Starring on glitzy, prime-time TV shows
A destructive, soul-stealing dream
Is an exercise in futility


Poem #30
The End
A Fetch Story Poem

When the end came to her world
She left her body behind
Everything she knew was gone
She walked through poison atmosphere
Watching the city burn
She looked up to the sky
At the small sun gone nova
Having glutted itself on the energies
Of its larger companion
The planet flooded with gamma rays
Could no longer sustain life
She grieved her useless efforts
Wishing she could snuff herself out
Like one of the candles that she burned
In the vain hope of countering
The misguided sorcery
That brought about the end
The end of life
The end of hope
The end of everything

About Me Monday + Inspire Me Monday + Inner Champion Workbook Chapter 8: Try New Things

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Something new I want to learn about or try:
I discovered the vegan recipe book by Chef Allyn Raifstanger through the Online Book Club. I have been wanting to start incorporating more vegetarian meals into my meal plans for years. I would never be able to be a vegan. I like cheese and omelets too much. It is also unlikely that I will ever be completely vegetarian. However, I would like to eventually eat more plant-based than meat-based meals.

I can cook, but the truth is, I'm a lazy cook without a lot of patience. Also, most vegan recipes leave me flat when it comes to flavor and hungry an hour later.

The person who reviewed this recipe book via Online Book Club tried some of the recipes. When she said that the "chicken" recipe she tried tasted like chicken and the author wasn't preachy about health or veganism, I knew I needed to give the book a look. I don't abide preachiness, and I don't need anyone triggering my abusive partner ED (Eating Disorder) to resurface.

My plan:
I am going to write down the ingredients I need and try the recipes in the book. I am also going to try the Every Plate delivery service. The ingredients come in the box with enough for two people and I don't have to go shopping for them. As I told you, I'm lazy. However, not all of it is laziness. I do have real problems with fatigue.

Every Plate is a lot less expensive than other boxed meal plans, making it a good option for families on a budget, which is pretty much everyone these days!

A routine or habit that I need to change:
My all-or-nothing thinking. My worst habit is to immediately tell myself how something will NOT work, and it always spirals into telling myself what a garbage excuse for a human being I am.

How I will replace the negative routine or habit with a positive one:
I don't know if I ever will entirely. However, I have to continue combating this thinking by telling my lousy inner critic to take a long walk off a short pier with raw steaks tied to them into a lake of hungry sharks and offering counter-points to her negative arguments.

This isn't the same as jumping into a potentially life-altering situation feet first without examining the potential repercussions. It simply means not telling myself that I'm trash for considering something in the first place.

How will this change make me a stronger and happier person?
Getting the Inner Jackwagon to shut up more often than not would help give me the confidence to make potentially positive changes. Believing in myself a little more couldn't hurt.

Also, regardless of what the rest of you may feel about reincarnation, it's something I consider to be a possibility. I don't want to drag all this negativity about myself into another lifetime! Talk about hauling around a psychic ball and chain.

Like the tattoo on my left outer calf says, born to lose, live to win. Thank you, Lemmy!

Before anyone decides that this is an appropriate moment to pop off about how much you hate tattoos, allow me to shut that nonsense down before it starts. I'm not forcing you to get a tattoo. This is my leg upon which I voluntarily got a tattoo that has personal meaning for me. I was 51 years old when I got this tattoo, thus, well and away old enough to decide whether such a thing was appropriate FOR ME.

You are welcome to not like or want tattoos. You are not welcome to tell me what I should or shouldn't like or want.

Seriously, I've had people start railing about their dislike of tattoos on a post where I was sharing a picture of a tattoo I had done in honor of a person who was terminally ill and who has since passed on. It was my first tattoo, and I was (and still am) quite proud of it. The person who felt it necessary to display their rudeness was, no doubt, trying to show everyone how stainless and pure they were by not having any of those icky tattoos. From my standpoint, they only managed to show their backside. Don't be that person.

Free Use Image by Open Clipart Vectors on Pixabay
Ornery Literary Services
Will work for links and tips

Sharing with:

Good Stuff For Monday: Win Free Vanilla and More

Disclosure: I am an independent affiliate for Watkins Products

This post originated on the Good Stuff from Grover blog. However, I am sharing it with some of my other sites in case the opportunity may appeal to readers there as well.

Howdy, Grover Gang! It's the Ornery Old Lady here with a great giveaway and opportunity for my U.S. and Canadian readers, with apologies to my readers in other countries.

Every month, Watkins Products gives away $100 worth of extracts and spices. Wouldn't it be wonderful to win a free bottle of vanilla?

Watkins Products have been around since 1868. Choose from high-quality spices and extracts for cooking, grooming and home remedies made with pure and natural ingredients, and household products without harsh chemicals. These products are never tested on animals.

Unlike some home businesses which have monthly sales quotas and cost an exorbitant amount to join, Watkins consultants pay only $29.95 per year for access to the training website and their own page. You don't even have to recruit anyone or sell anything ever if you don't want to. You can simply use the membership to purchase products for your household at a reduced cost. This opportunity is only open to residents of the United States and Canada.

Happy Holidays from Cie the Ornery Old Lady and the entire crew at the Grover Hotel.

Battle of the Poems 2019: Day 19

Photo by Amine M'Siouri from Pexels

The Senryu monody "Silent Voices" won yesterday's Battle of the Also-Rans. Today's competition pits Mr. Perfect against Angie Blue's Acrostic. Which is your favorite?

Poem #22
Mr. Perfect

he's honed his image
everything is perfection
on point tip to toe
such a perfect gentleman
until he takes off the mask


Poem #27
An Acrostic for Angie Blue

All alone adrift
Nothing nice nevermore
Going, going, gone
Intwining imaginative intricacies
Envisioning elusive eternity

Boiling bad blood brew
Love long lost
Unquiet undying urges
Escaping exotic eyes

The Crazy Creatives Cheerleading Camp Come As You Are Party + Inner Champion Workbook Chapter 7: Find Your Why

Disclosure: If readers purchase a copy of the book through the preview link, I earn a small commission from Amazon.

Five things that make me happy:
1. My son
2. Writing
3. Doing crafts, i.e. loom knitting
4. Exploring nature
5. Learning new things

Identify why each of the above makes you happy. For example, if vacations make you happy, ask yourself why. Are they relaxing? Are they a hassle or expensive, but worth every penny because of what you learn about the world? Is it the time spent with loved ones?

Why these things bring my happiness:
1. My son is simply one of those people who was born with a desire to be kind. He wants to make the world a better place. He doesn't care about being showy or flashy. He just wants to be able to do his own thing. He is very good at working with his hands and has a great artistic eye. 

At times, I have not been as supportive of him as I should have because I misunderstood him. My parents also misunderstood him and scolded him for not "trying harder" when he would withdraw. 

Neither my son nor I were aware until he was an adult that he is on the autism spectrum. He hid a lot of his distress from overstimulation. He was born in 1990, and at that time, most people believed that autism was identified by the pronounced behaviors in people who are more severely affected, i.e. rocking and screaming. Most people believed that everyone with autism is non-verbal.

My son has since been able to reveal such characteristics as extreme sensitivity to sounds. He turns on rain sounds because otherwise, the humming from his phone charger disturbs him. I can't hear the phone charger at all. He is very aware of the sounds of water running through pipes. One time when the washing machine hose was dripping and causing water to run down the laundry room wall into the basement, he heard it all the way up on the second floor of the house and went to check it out. I was completely unaware of the problem.

I first started to suspect that my son might be autistic when he would turn the air conditioner in his room down to the coldest level while he was sleeping in order to be able to sleep under his heavy comforter even in the hottest days of summer. Weighted blankets have been shown to be very helpful in calming people with autism. Fortunately, at this point, the knowledge about the condition has increased exponentially.

However, society is often very slow to catch up. People with autism still tend to be treated as if they are retarded. People with autism are intellectually diverse. Some have severe intellectual disabilities while some have higher than average intellectual capabilities. People with autism are often pigeonholed as having lower than average intelligence because they tend not to learn well using traditional methods. 

My son, for instance, has trouble learning anything at all from a textbook. He does not have problems reading long novels that hold his interest. The best way for him to learn a new skill, however, is by observing and doing, not by reading a boring textbook and attempting to answer a long roster of meaningless questions. For instance, when he was in the EMS program, he would become extremely frustrated by trying to read and answer questions in the textbook. It did not matter if I read the text to him, he didn't absorb it and trying to just upset him. However, he took a lot away from his clinical experiences, and he did well with the medical terminology and even the pharmacy calculations which were always a sticking point for me.

Unfortunately, at that point, the community college EMS programs were hell-bent on passing no more than 75% of their participants because they wanted to prove how "tough" their standards were. I was astounded by the amount of information that students were being expected to learn in the space of one semester. I had gone through the EMS program six years prior to when my son was in it, and at the point when he entered the program, the students were expected to learn skills that were previously part of the paramedic program. 

When my son opted to drop out of the program, I fully supported him. I was aghast at the changes that had taken place. It's a damn shame too because I think that my son would have made a good EMT. However, he probably would have opted to work in an emergency room rather than on an ambulance because, like many autistic people, driving is a skill that is problematic for him.

2. Writing has always been my main way to survive. I do not think that I would last long if I didn't write. If I go for several days without writing, I start to become clinically depressed. It helps me work through problems and provides me an escape from a world that I've always found hostile to my very being.

3. Unlike writing, there is no impetus for me to have a certain level of "success" when it comes to my crafts. I just do them because I like to.

4. Exploring takes me out of my everyday environment, away from civilization, to a place that does not judge me. Connecting to the natural world renews the spirit.

5. One should not cease learning simply because one is not in school. Without new knowledge, a person stagnates. Learning because I want to learn just feels good. 

How my goals connect to the things in life that bring me joy:

1. I want to succeed because I want to be able to support my son in his own goals and give him the best life possible. He deserves this.

2. I would like to earn my living writing. However, I doubt this will ever transpire. So, I intend to write as if I were earning my living doing so, but not as if I MUST earn my living doing so. I never want it to be a chore, and I never want it to become a duty or a means to seek acceptance. When I start doing any of those things, I know I'm on the wrong track.

3. I want to be able to have enough money to do my crafts anytime I want and not have to worry that I should be doing something that's earning money instead.

4. I want to have enough money to have the time and resources to explore and take care of nature.

5. Learning is necessary to find new avenues to obtaining my goal of multiple income streams. Also, without learning, life stagnates.

Free use image from Pixabay
Will work for tips and links

Weekend Writing Warriors 22 December 2019 (PA, SF)

 Click the banner to join Weekend Writing Warriors and read more snippets

Also sharing here

The ghost and his alien friend stood before a squat house which vaguely resembled a toadstool with its overlapping roof. Behind them, they could hear the lapping of waves on the shoreline of a beach littered with debris and decaying fish. All around them in the gloomy twilight, they could hear the tittering of ghouls. The air reeked of putrefying flesh.

“Shall we enter this structure, Ketil?” Yitzy inquired. “I cannot say whether it would allow us safe  harbor from the potentially nauseating odors in this unpleasant environment, but I believe it shall take us to the next point in our destination.”

“Yithian, make no mistake, I am most grateful for your assistance,” Ketil declared. “Only I have a curiosity to know why you have taken it upon yourself to join me in my potentially fruitless quest.”

~Cie for Naughty Netherworld Press~

This snippet comes from Team Netherworld's WIP "Ketil and Yitzy's Adventure in the House of Lost Dreams." This will be the first published installment in our flagship series, "The Yadira Chronicles." It is slated for publication in early 2020.

Ketil Nagel is the spirit of a Swedish extreme metal musician who sacrificed himself to the vampire goddess Mormo on June 6, 1991; his twenty-fifth birthday.

Yitzy is a renegade member of the Great Race of Yith, exiled by his fellows for embodying compassion and empathy. The majority of the Great Race of Yith are known for their coldly scientific natures and belief in the superiority of their species.

Earth's Dreamlands, Mormo, Nyarlathotep, and Xura are the creations of H.P. Lovecraft. The Xura Dream House appears in the Call of Cthulhu RPG scenario, The Land of Lost Dreams, in the Call of Cthulhu Dreamlands supplement. Ketil and Yitzy are original characters created by Team Netherworld.

Closing Comments on This Blog

At this point, this blog is only a place for sharing links, and the only comments I've been getting are comments like the following fro...