Writing About My Childhood: Bad vs. Good

I am writing my butt off and making some serious progress on my poetry book. I am really excited to see what comes of this.

The first section of my poetry book is about my childhood and I’m finding it really challenging balancing the bad with the good. 

I grew up in a conservative rural area — heavily Christian and sort of stuck in time. My family stuck out like a sore thumb. I was raised by a single dad who was not conservative at all. I had big dreams and my dad was always supportive. It was everyone else I had to worry about. Knowing that I was leaving when I graduated high school is what got me through some rough times. 

Many of my poems have the usual small-town complaints. I know many people will relate to that. However, the countryside was always beautiful and I had some really nice experiences there with my family. Our little house was in the middle of nowhere with an endless horizon. I loved watching storms approach from miles away. I loved watching the fields speckled with lightning bugs. I just don’t have that where I am now.

I cherish these memories but I know I was never meant to live in that area and I’m sure as hell not raising my family there. At the same time, it wasn’t all bad and I’m having trouble expressing that without sounding confusing. Thankfully I don’t turn in my final manuscript until December so I definitely have a little time to figure this out.

Covid-19 Update: How are you?

How are you holding up?

I found out last week that the office where I work will start reopening June 15th. By that time I will have been home for three months. 

I miss getting out of the house for something other than groceries, but I’m really in no hurry. Two weeks ago some retail stores opened in Ohio and this past week restaurants opened. Also, yesterday the daily death count in our state from COVID-19 more than doubled that of the day before, so obviously nothing is safe yet. 

I miss my family. Today my dad and his girlfriend visited. They sat out in our front yard and we sat on the porch. It was so nice talking to them, but it’s just not the same as having dinner at dad’s house. 

However, this really hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be. Honestly, I don’t really leave the house much to begin with other than going to work. I’m a pretty serious introvert. My daughter has been home from daycare as long as I’ve been home from work. I’ve been spending all my time hanging out with her and writing. I got an incredible amount of work done on my poetry book. Actually, I’ve kind of enjoyed my time home. Don’t kill me for admitting that.

It’s become very clear as Ohio has opened back up that money is more important than people’s lives, and I hate that about America.

How are you guys doing? What’s it like where you live?

What about aliens?

So in my last post, I talked about my husband and I watching BuzzFeed Unsolved: Supernatural on Prime video, and I asked what you guys thought about ghosts. However, this show also features UFOs and aliens.

How do you feel about aliens? How about UFOs?

I feel aliens are way more probable than ghosts, and I think with time, we will have more answers. 

As far as UFOs go, I think there’s a fair amount of evidence. However, I think UFOs could be a bunch of different things and not necessarily be associated with aliens.

I hope you don’t think I’m crazy, but I definitely think UFOs and aliens make more sense than any of the other supernatural topics investigated on the show.

What do you think?

How do you feel about ghosts?

How do you feel about ghosts?

I’m not saying people are lying when they experience something they consider supernatural, but I think everything has an earthly explanation — even if we haven’t figured that explanation out yet. 

I struggled with schizoaffective disorder as a child and young adult. My hallucinations often involved the supernatural and I was terrified. Thankfully with medication, I left that all behind years ago. But still, talking about ghosts can occasionally bring back memories of some of my hallucinations — most of which were visual and auditory. 

For the past few nights, my husband and I have been watching BuzzFeed Unsolved: Supernatural on Prime Video. He gets off of work at 10 at night and if we’re lucky, our daughter will fall asleep so we can watch TV. Anyway, while I don’t believe in ghosts, the stories are absolutely fascinating on that show and I do wonder what happened. I think the most interesting part is when they explain the history of a location they are investigating. We really enjoy it.

While I believe everything has an earthly explanation — let’s be real — I’m not exploring an abandoned asylum after dark anytime soon. 

How do you feel about ghosts or explaining the supernatural?

Poetry Book Update

I have been posting less frequently to my blog because I am working my butt off on my poetry book, The Heathen Mommy From Holy Toledo. I found out two weeks ago that it will be published by Freethought House. I want to tell you a little more about it.

The book is about being an atheist mom in the Midwest, and many of the poems I have posted earlier in my blog will be used in the book. My goal is to have around 80 poems. I have broken the book up into sections: poems about growing up in rural Northwest Ohio, poems about being an atheist, poems about being a mom in Toledo, and poems about being a working mom in the current political climate.

I am so excited to be working on this project. I’ve really made a lot of progress just in the last two weeks. I hope I can keep up this pace and not run out of steam. This is something I’ve wanted for a while so it feels great now that it’s actually happening.

I will post updates every once and a while and keep everyone posted.

A Little Vent About a Nearby Small Town

There’s a town an hour south of here that I have a very troubled relationship with. At the moment, I have a doctor I see in that town, but he is the only reason I go there.

I got involved in their art scene for a little while. I did a two-woman show at a local gallery. The gallery was packed and everyone knew each other. One man was absolutely obnoxious over two nude paintings. When I asked the gallery owner what was up, it turned out the man was her friend. She replied, “I’m sorry. He’s always this way. He’s a realtor in town and everyone knows him.” Apparently, that made it okay. I can laugh it off, but my partner in the show had trauma in her past and was visibly shaken. I can’t believe that was allowed to happen.

I also worked for an arts organization that helped the disabled in town. I was horrified when they would pick and choose who was more deserving of their help, even making ignorant comments about certain disabilities. 

I thought I was going to write off small towns forever.

I live in Toledo where there are more opportunities for artists. I can leave that town and be just fine. I couldn’t imagine being an artist in that town and those are the people you have to deal with if you want to get involved in the local art scene.

It’s hard to believe people act that way in the art scene. Aren’t artists supposed to be open-minded? Not everyone is your competition and it costs absolutely nothing to be nice.

Dealing with this town’s art scene was disappointing, but it was a learning experience. I am now more selective in what opportunities I take as an artist. It’s important that an opportunity is meaningful and not just something to add to my resume. It’s also important to get out of Ohio. 

Thanks for letting me vent. Feel free to share your learning experiences or other small town disappointments.

What’s your circle look like?

Do you surround yourself with good people? 

When I was younger I was a very positive person. I thought there was a little good in everyone. Now I’m a little older, and, well, life happens. Now I know there are definitely bad people out there. Unfortunately, there are a lot of them.

But I am still aware that there are good people, too — just maybe not as many as I first thought. 

I’ve become more introverted as I grow older. I’ve got to be honest, with the exception of not seeing my family, this quarantine hasn’t been that hard on me. I don’t leave the house much anyway. I have been home from work for a month and a half. With staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I feel closer to my daughter who’s home from daycare and I’ve spent a lot of time writing. I really don’t need a whole lot. 

In many cases, I prefer to be alone. However, the few people I have around me on a regular basis are good people. My husband, of course. He’s my partner in everything. I read my poetry to him and he’s supportive even though he doesn’t like poetry.

 I’m also very close to my family. They are very supportive and we have a lot of fun together. I know I am extremely lucky to have a supportive family.

I have a few good friends who unfortunately have all moved away. We still keep in touch through Facebook. I don’t go out much but I’ve never really desired a busy social life. 

So basically, I surround myself with only a few people, but they’re good people and I like it that way.

Do you feel the same? What’s your circle look like?


My poetry book will be released next year!

I have been working on a poetry book for a few months now and I found out earlier this week that it will be published by Freethought House. I have a lot of work to do and I am writing my butt off, but I am so excited about sharing my poems. The book is called, The Heathen Mommy From Holy Toledo, and I will probably be posting updates from time to time. I can’t wait to see this project come together! 🙂