Why I Didn’t Write For Ten Years

There are people who come into our lives and change us, often in ways that we never would have wanted or imagined. As you recall, I have briefly written about the abusive ratbastard cop here. I try, have tried, always will try to never let his short involvement in my life have dominion or consequence in my future. It was so long ago. So much is different. And safe. For the most part, I never think of him except perhaps in passing, when I see one of his grown children that I pretend not to know.

By the odds of cruel fate, while I was deeply in my grief at my cousin’s passing, I received a friendly message from HE WHO WILL NOT BE NAMED on my personal Facebook page. Ah, Facebook. The playground of the bored sociopath.

My sorrow had chinked my armour and while I would normally snort derisively at the audacity of such a stupid person, I started to remember. Pain added to pain. Fury added to pain. Beyond all doubt, he did one of the worst things anyone could do. He took my words.

Let me backtrack…

As a youngster, I was the insecure, the odd duck, the bullied, the outsider. I was raised by people I now refer to as The Criticisms. In a very small town, I had no escape except inside my mind and into stories. Other’s words, my words. I wrote and wrote. My sanity and my sense of self, my release, were words.

The Criticisms weren’t very supportive. They’d say, “That’s fine, but go study Math as you’ll have to get a real job someday.” It’s okay. Them, I forgive. They’re  just people and people fuck up all the time.

I kept writing quietly, never showing anyone, wearing my words close to my heart, letting them protect and save me. I worked on my craft, telling myself, “Someday, I will tell a story. Someday.”

I collected my words in journals, for later, whenever. Someday.

Almost at the end of the relationship with nameless, I came home one day after work to find all my writings, my journals, opened to pages where I had tried my hand at erotica. Nameless had the look of “I will put you through terror” on his face and a fire lit in the fireplace. It was so absurd, I actually laughed.

I’ve said before, there is no such thing as a bad abuser. They are all very good at what they do. After 4 hours of being berated by a person trained in interrogation, I burned them all. To make it stop. A life’s work. My words. My salvations. My releases.

After that, I didn’t write. No journals, no fiction, no poetry. Writing down words was too dangerous. Who might read them? Who might find them? Who might use them against me?

But in my head, they flowed. The “What ifs…”, the “Whys”. I wrote in my mind for 10 years, until finally, one day, a couple of years ago, I wrote something down.

I nervously took my cheap notebook to my husband. I asked him to read it, and please remember, it was just a story, it had nothing to do with him or me and was it okay? He looked at me curiously, read it and said “It’s good. Keep it up.”

I was safe again. My words could come out. And I’m here.

So nameless, all that you did is behind me. All you tried to do, all you thought or think you were is nothing but fodder. My husband, my son, my life now, it’s good steel. Go ahead. Beat on the door. You can’t come in.

The words you took from me? They’re back now. And they are legion.

I will write until there is nothing left to write on.

How To Fuck Up All Chances Of Becoming A Professional Writer

Dear Stranger,

You recently sent me an email asking if I would be interested in doing some columns for you which got me very excited as I’m completely flattered whenever anyone reads me, let alone when someone thinks my writing is worth sharing with anyone else, especially on a professional level because hey, let’s be honest, I’m no pro and if you read closely you’ll likely find spelling and grammar errors, flow problems (Ha! Flow! Sounds like my period) and realistically, most of what I talk or write about is absolute nonsensical bullshit (I should trademark that phrase) and half the time, I write these things in under 15 minutes and don’t proofread or edit, anyway, as I said, I got excited, so I reached for some chocolate because, yum, am I right, and it’s way too early in the day to drink, but of course, in this house there is never any fucking chocolate when you need it as I make it disappear down my gullet every night before bed, so I found some Doritos, which I haven’t had in 4 years as I’m getting super old (fuck) and the main ingredient in chips is salt, which raises my blood pressure and I am decidedly too stubborn to die young (I have too many people left to piss off, namely my husband, and if he thinks I’m kicking off so he can find himself a younger, hotter woman, that prick is delusional as he knows I’m nothing if not spiteful, which is why we’re both still in this marriage to begin with) and the Doritos made me even happier, salt be damned, but the old blood pressure did rise rather quickly, which made me goofy and I sent you back a nice email that I signed with “Love, Leanne”.

While I’m certain you are loveable, I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable with my forward and entirely uncalled for proclamation of love, I mean, come on, we don’t even know each other, and it’s true I do love a lot of people but as you are a complete stranger I thought I should clarify that “love” as I don’t want you thinking that if we ever meet in person that I’ll expect you to sleep with me or anything, not saying it wouldn’t be nice, as this is in no way a denigration of your probable sexiness and prowess, but I am married and aside from all the contempt, I do love my husband and am faithful to him, so I was thinking maybe we might just want to form a friendship and if that goes well then we’ll throw in some hand-holding and cuddling but seriously, no pressure.

Sincerely,

Leanne

p.s. If you can get me a book deal, I will love and totally sleep with you. Just so you know.

p.p.s. I feel really tall right now. Is that one of the signs of stroke?

Monday

Stupid Monday, marching in at the beginning of the week, all Meh, and Meh, I’m Monday, Ha! Monday can kiss my ass.

So…I’ll fill you in on some things because Monday has me all miserable like a menstruating bear with a chapped vagina and someone said “Write about the things that make you happy”. You know what? Nothing makes me happy on Monday! NOTHING!

As to my absence from this dusty blog (My God, someone should vacuum this hell hole) I shall now attempt to explain. We live in the country and for 3 years have had high-speed internet and phone service provided by a company that rhymes with Snodgers. (I hereby release myself from all litigious action because you know what you did, you stupid dickwads, and I didn’t use your name so bite me.) (That’s legal, right?)

I am convinced that there is a built-in life span for all electronic products. Right around the time the warranty wears off, let’s say a couple of days after, all hell breaks loose. So for the latter half of August, our internet hub gave us sketchy phone and internet at best and finally stopped working COMPLETELY about a month ago. Dear Hubby, in all his masculine beauty, caressed my panicked forehead, deepened his voice an octave, grabbed the phone and said “I shall take care of this, my gorgeous and darling wife, as I know how important the web is to you.” You buying that last part? Yeah, me neither. *sigh*

But what should have been easy ended up with the said company sending us the wrong  $150 dollar part (that you can’t get anywhere else. Clever.), charging us for it plus shipping AND signing us up for another 2 years WITHOUT our consent. Oh boy. To top matters off, when Dear Hubs called 4 times to rectify this bullshit, he got YELLED at by the senior v.p. in charge of this fuckery. Hence no internet and no home phone. Does anyone know what this sort of thing does to a blogger? I’ve taken to writing things on paper in longhand and shoving it in the faces of frightened strangers saying “Can you read this? And comment? Tell me I’m funny, nice stranger! PLEASE!” How I haven’t been arrested is beyond me.

Wait. I’m supposed to be writing about things that make me Happy. Okey dokey.

One good and grand thing happened this summer that I haven’t had the chance to post about, what with the above, the dead dog, depression, what not. Ready? Are You Ready?

I got invited to be in an e-book. AND I got published in an e-book! Squeals! Joyous armpit farts!

It’s called All Cracked Up and is a collective of bloggers that are some of the finest humorists and story tellers EVER! Seriously, I read it and tears rolled down my face. I actually felt out of my league, that’s how good these folks are. Here’s the link.

                    

If you do yourself one favour, buy this and snort laugh along with me. You’re welcome.

You know what? I do feel kind of …well, not happy, but less Monday-ish. But Monday can still suck it.

Oh and we got a new puppy but that’s a post for another day, which will happen soon because FUCK YEAH! We have internet again!

And don’t use any service that rhymes with Snodgers. They yell when they think they’re right.

I’ll Likely Win A Prize For This. Or Not.

It’s time for some search engine updates. If you’ve been here before you’ll know I get some of the damnedest searches that lead folks to this humble blog. And they slay me every time. This is also the way I tend to break out of a writer’s block. And I’m blocked, Baby, let me tell you. I’ve been working on a couple of things over the past few weeks and so far I have written “The”. I feel a Pulitzer in my future, oh yes I does.

Onward.

female gunt

Why did you have to google that? Tell you what, you just hustle your ass down to Wally World or any good old-fashioned Monster Truck show and you will see the gunt. The gunt is not hidden there. The gunt shows itself proudly. The gunt has no shame. And every time you see the gunt, you must utter “The Gunt Abides” for no other reason than I said so.

everyone looks at me during yoga

That’s because your boob fell out of your top. It’s okay. It happens to the best of us.

shitting in my yoga pants

Um, I take back what I just said. I think I know why they are staring at you now.

fucking bored at sixty

Mom? Is that you? Go knit something.

grannies need a shag too

MOTHER!!! Get off the computer or I’m phoning Dad! Jesus…

what does it mean when someone says you look different in a good way

Well, they’re probably being a bitch. Don’t hang out with them anymore. (Either that or it’s back to that yoga pants thing and they’re trying to be nice. Are they standing far away from you when they said it? Check for shit.)

how can i show my boobs to my neighbour casually

Hmm. That’s tricky but I’ll try to help. Try pressing them up against the window when you are cleaning. Better yet, get a couple of those swiffer floor washing pads and stick `em right on your bare hoots and rub your hoots against the glass. It’ll seem way less obvious.

jesus holds my hand

Sweet. He’ll also hold your hair back if you are vomiting after a night of drinking. He has for me, anyway. At least I think it was him. All I remember was calling “Oh Jesus!” as I retched and someone showed up. But I was drunk so I can’t be sure.

i really like your beard, can I touch it with my vagina

I don’t know who you are but you are responsible for my husband growing a beard so I can say that to him all. the. time.

sore nostril

That might be because of that fantastic beard you have and all the vagina it’s attracting. Shave. Take a week off. Or get your finger out of your nose. Either one.

And my personal favorite,

bombshell

*Batting lashes, blushing, giggling coyly* Me? No. Stop it! (Come back here any time, you silver tongued devil!)

That’s it, my Ducks. Feel free to share your best search terms in the comments. And yes, I still love you.

xxoo

An Open Letter To A Blogger (Not You.)

Dear Well Known Blogger: (No, not you, or you, or you.) (Quit it! It’s not you!!!)

I read you for a couple of months a year or so ago. I liked your writing and you had a great back story. Very sad, indeed. But you wrote it well. I followed you on the twit and Facebook. I wanted to know you. I really wanted to like you. I imagined gleefully meeting somewhere, having a beer. I wanted to like you as a person, not just a bloggy face.

But then…

Well, I have issues with the whole social media thing. I do. This spring I bore witness to the worst aspects of it, when a blogger got bullied and chest butted by another blogger’s husband over what I consider something so benign as to be laughable. On twitter. For the world to see. What I found so incredibly disturbing was that this was a case of cyber-bullying, in essence, by a person that brands himself as a family man. I think I get it. He mistakenly thought he was standing up for his wife, yet the way he went about it left me to wonder what he would have done if he’d had physical access to the person that offended him.

Is this what we’ve become? Is social media just the new jungle gym to knock someone else off of? Does anyone think of the embarrassment that they may cause? Or the pain?

Back to you. I stopped following you on the twit after I saw one of your tweets congratulating a country on their killing of a madman. Like Yay! He’s dead! Way to go! That just flat-out gave me pause. If you are a person that advocates for others (which you do), why would you ever tweet about anyone’s death like that? I didn’t get it. I unfollowed you and stopped reading. But like I said, I really wanted to like you. For you.

I just came back to you a few days ago. I was almost excited. Like reconnecting with an old friend. But you did it again. You insulted someone on twitter. Someone that had done a lot of work, laid themselves out in front of people. Someone who didn’t deserve to be made fun of because they were sharing their truth as they see it. You called them a name. I ask you; if that person read your ‘harmless’ little tweet, what do you think they would feel? What if that person made their living this way? Who are you to piss on them?

Again, I think I get it. I’m of the mind that you think you are as famous as The Bloggess. www.thebloggess.com. That just maybe, you can call people out and be rude when you feel because you are “famous” and no one will take you to task. Well, I’ve read almost all of Jenny’s work and I will say this. If she has to get into a shitfight, she manages to still do it with humour and dare I say, a semblance of class. If she calls out her minions on twitter, all of us now happy members of The Unicorn Success Club, she also can call us all back. Do you know why? Because we are all nice people. We read her because she has a good heart and like attracts like.

Having said that, if I have to be a social maven who is rude, mean and thinks others are beneath them to be successful at blogging, I guess I want no part of it.

I think I’ll happily stay here in my own dimly lit little corner of the web. I hope you are aware that if I tweet, as I’ve been known to do, the biggest person I make fun of is myself. And I never high-five anyone’s death. I don’t care who it is. That is just bad form.

I think that’s it. If you do read this, I can only hope that you realize that fame is fleeting. Someday soon you’ll be second-hand news. I also hope you learn that an inner censor is not a bad thing. You are better than some of the things you’ve put out to the world.

Back On The Horse

Writers Block is a bitch.

Last week, I had the start of my Red Dress Moment, and I had several thousand people visit my humble little place here. Quite frankly, it scared the shit out of me! All of a sudden, I felt like everyone was looking at me. And all I wanted to do was turtle.

It’s not that I don’t feel oh-so-honoured. (Thank you, Jenny!) I do. I’m glad you stopped by. (Oh hey, to whoever accidentally lit this place on fire? You can’t smoke in here!) But I’ve put this pressure on myself to do right by everyone watching and reading me. Which is ridiculous.

I am just me. This blog is a lot of satire, just to make you laugh. Because I love that feeling, making someone laugh. It breaks the tension, eases people. And if you have gas, a big hearty guffaw covers the sound of a big banging fart. (Yes, feel free. Break wind around me. Everyone else fucking does.) This is also my place to be very serious. With the only hope that maybe I can touch someone’s heart, just a little. You will definitely know the difference. I categorize things as Ducky (fun, good) and Not Ducky (shit that bothers me, or means something). Which also leads me to my blog name. (See the segue there? My god, I’m brilliant!)

I chose One Odd Duck because that’s how I’ve always felt. Different. Not quite the same as everyone else. But I’ve realized that this duck? Maybe not so odd. Methinks there are a ton of folks who think and go through all the same things I do. And that makes me feel less alone. Less odd. A bit more Ducky. So I thank you for reading me. For being here. Cheering me on.

A friend of mine tagged me in a meme today. Erin at www.myweeklyjoy.com. (Actually, I’ve been tagged in a couple of others that I’ll get to this week as well. Wink.) I thunk to myself  “Self, what better way to start writing again?” So anxiety be damned! I’m back on the horse! (And off the wagon!) YeeHaw!

This meme is called Eleven Things.

First off, 11 Random Things About Me.

1. Wait. My left foot is super itchy. Okay, better.

2. I sometimes have trouble focusing.

3. I wear a robe as a sweater at home. If you are a really good friend of mine, I will wear it to your house. And you will start feeling comfortable enough to start wearing yours in front of me.

4. I’ve become a much better friend as I get older. I fuss over my friends. To the point where I have heard the words “For Chrissake, will you quit it! My bowels are fine!” I guess I really value them. If you are my friend, I will show up at your house with a gun and a spade, no questions asked.

5. My heritage is Scottish and Dutch. That means I really like to drink, but I don’t want to pay for it!

6. My kid is the best thing that ever happened to me. I look forward to every day because of him. He keeps me here, in this life, when my anxiety and depression are so overwhelming that I just want to go. He knows how much he means to me. He also knows that it is not his fault.

7. I almost brought a Bum home today. Well, I don’t know if he was a Bum, but he asked me for money for a loaf of bread and he looked dirty and tired. Was about 50 years old or so. I seriously thought about it because I hate seeing anyone or thing down on their luck. Then the little voice in my head said “You have a child. What if he is a pedophile?” And I hate that we as a society have to think that way. I didn’t bring him home. But I did give him money.

8. I just want everyone to be happy and safe. I know that’s not possible, but it’s what I wish.

9. I worked in health care for years, in all different areas. I was good at it, but I burnt out and started to hate it. I thinks it’s important to know that about yourself and quit when you need to.

10. I would marry my husband all over again. He is my mate. He surprises me all the time. He “accidentally” throws things at me. Like every time we fish, he’ll take an ugly slimy thing off the line to throw back, and it will come flying at my face. I think it’s deliberate. He says not. Sometimes I want to kill him, but I think that’s par for the course.

11. I’m a book-a-holic. I own too many books. I’m very learned on a wide variety of shit that doesn’t matter.

Okay! So, now comes the part where I respond to 11 questions Erin laid out.

(This is long! I’m tired. You probably are too. Go have a nap and come back later. I’ll wait.)

*whistling* *picking nails* I wonder if I can Yodel? *yodeling*

Hey! You’re back! Did you know I could yodel?

1. What’s the last song that made you want to dance? Metallica-Whiskey In A Jar.

2.  Favorite shoes you ever had? In my punk days, I had a pair of kitten heeled zip up boots that were ankle height and had three skull buckles to fasten the across the top of my foot. I bought them second-hand for cheap. I loved them. My mother threw them out 15 years ago. I am still mad.

3. What movie most resembles your life? Hmm. A tie between Steel Magnolias and Fight Club.

4. What is your passion in life? This. Several other things. I’d like to get good at them all.

5. What’s the first thing you would buy for yourself if you won millions of dollars. Perky boobs. Then I’d build a beautiful retirement home for disabled people with the best staff on the face of the planet. Then some Botox.

6. Favorite person in the world? My son. Then the Dalai Lama. I’d like to give that crazy old man a hug.

7.  Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella? Sleeping Beauty. I loves me some good snoozing. If napping was a sport, I’d go for the gold.

8. Favorite outdoor activity? I like doing yoga outside on my grass. It makes me feel like a kid because I get a great upside down perspective on the horizon. And I get to lay down at the end. Maybe have a nap.

9. Person who shaped your life the most? Pema Chodron. Dorothy Parker. Cher. Mostly Cher. This is hard, Erin!

10. What does your dream house look like? Exactly the one I have now. As long as the same people are in it.

11. What is your perfect date night? Date night? Wha- Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!! What is that? (Actually, me and hubby are going to a Full Frontal Nerdity expo in April. Date night? Date weekend! Hello! Did I mention the whole cast of Star Trek: Next Generation will be there? I’m taking Will Wheaton cookies and Flonase. His sinuses are bad. And I’d like to bake for him. Does anyone know if he has a peanut allergy? I don’t want to kill him.)

So, now it’s my turn to make up 11 questions to be answered.

1. If you could turn water into wine, would you share with your friends? And what’s your address?

2. If you had to be on a deserted island for an extended period with just your spouse, would you consider eating him/her?

3. Do you own a cat? (If not, I’ve got one for you.)

4. Are you ready for the zombie apocalypse?

5. Can you explain why my neighbour’s horses and dogs end up finding my yard to crap in? I’d really like to know.

6. Where were you on the 17th of November at 11:32 p.m? (Your wife wanted me to ask you.)

7. Why is my left foot so itchy?

8. Disco or Death Metal?

9. If Gretzky and Jesus were playing street hockey, who do you think would stop for a beer first?

10. What makes you snort laugh?

11. If I invited you for drinks and target practice this weekend, would you come?

Wow! That was hard. I feel a bit like a cop.

The rules for this meme are that I have to go tag 11 bloggers to do the same. I will, but I’ll just warn you all – you will not see me coming. I move like the wind and I fit in small closets so you won’t be able to get away. To anyone else that wants to respond to these, have at it! Comments are open for everybody and I’d love to see how you answer!

Well, I think I’m getting over my anxiety. Thanks Erin. (You should go read her. She’s pretty sweet.)