Category Archives: Ink & Paint Creative Writing

We don’t need Margaret Atwood to tell us we live in a dystopian universe.

 

 

I have to begin by saying I am not a fan of Margaret Atwood’s books. I did, however, recently read her seminal novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, because it seemed apropos given the current events we are witnessing. Moreover, it’s been years since I attempted one of her works. Since my brain has been rewired by chemotherapy, my taste in literature has changed slightly, along with my sense of smell.

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I Wanna Be a Hot Size 4 Like Mama June Shannon

“There’s a Smokin’ Hot Mama Waiting to Bust Out”, and you can watch her on WE tv. Yes, Mama June, the notorious mother of Honey Boo Boo, the chubby little beauty pageant queen from Toddlers & Tiaras who captured the hearts of redneck America, has undergone a radical transformation to keep that reality television income flowing.

Mama June, otherwise known as June Shannon, 37, shocked American television viewers with her redneck lifestyle, her four children sired by three different men, and the leveraging of her youngest child, Alana, as a child beauty pageant queen. As if Toddlers & Tiaras wasn’t a horrifying enough look into a world where parents enter their children into creepy beauty pageants in order to earn a few bucks, and more importantly, live vicariously through their offspring, TLC, the network that hatched the original series, gave Mama June, Alana and their family their own reality series, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

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Donald Trump Has Us All Distraught

I knew it was going to take a significant something to light a fire under my ass to get me blogging again. I’ve spent the last three months marinating in the American people’s decision to award Donald Trump the presidency, and watching seemingly everyone who swears they didn’t cast a vote for him become completely unhinged (myself included). Friends, family members, colleagues, online acquaintances, and even complete strangers find themselves at odds with each other over how the most unlikely candidate for the big chair is actually managing to sit in it.

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Reflections On the 4th

I’ve been tossing around one of my lists in my head, and since I haven’t posted in a while, I thought it was the perfect time to share my thoughts.

The Fourth of July in America is mainly about barbecues, fireworks, and enjoying the summertime weather. When you live in the Pacific Northwest, especially during an El Niño year, it’s more like a random day in November. The weather notwithstanding, I’m happy to be an American today, just as I was happy to be a Canadian on Canada Day (July 1).

Now, here’s what’s rolling around in my head:

Two Years Ago Today…

Two years ago today, I came home from the hospital after having a double mastectomy. Breast cancer changed my life in so many ways, and the one, rather, two things I miss the least about my pre-breast cancer self are the parts I no longer have. Seriously, I don’t miss the “girls”. I might look slightly strange to some people, but I don’t care. Take me as I am; if you don’t, it’s your loss.

This Is the First Thing I’ve Written In Two Months

Before I started working full-time, I thought all I ever wanted to do was write. It turns out that I was in serious denial about needing a break. I was so exhausted from the constant hustle that I hated what I wrote, and hated the act of writing even more. I’ll always need to write – what I won’t likely do for the foreseeable future is try to make a living at it. Being a writer today is exponentially more difficult now than it was pre-World-Wide-Web. My hat is off to those of you who can endure the hustle, but my hustling days might very well be behind me. I gave it my best shot. There are more enjoyable ways to make money, and I’m going to explore those for now.

My Nose Is Back!

Many of you remember me as a pretty major “frag hag”, and I am happy to report that my nose is once again fully functional. In fact, I’ve been bingeing on fragrance with utter abandon lately, and it feels great. It’s the most incredible feeling knowing that sociopathic relatives and vile medical treatments were unsuccessful at trying to kill my love of scent. Rebuilding my collection is reinvigorating my spirit to the point where I’m seeing pink unicorns and rainbows every night in my dreams. Well, not really, but there are many of you out there who get what I’m saying.

Ignorant People Have Me Shitting Bricks

I’ve been trying my best to ignore the contentious political climate that has overtaken most of the developed world, but I find that lately, I’m lapsing back into my addiction to politics. I had other things on my mind for so long that I didn’t realize how badly ignorance now plagues our lives. Sure, I’ve read tons of crap on social media about Hillary, Trump, and Brexit, but what really gets me is how easily we can be coerced into forming opinions. A great many of us have no idea what’s behind the way we think, nor are we the least bit concerned about repeating our mistakes. We simply want to follow the herd instead of delving deeper into what we read, see and hear. There has always been an underlying hatred of the intelligentsia, and now it is so far out in the open that many smart people find themselves afflicted with delusional thoughts and paranoia. Please pay attention, folks – there will not be anywhere to hide if you don’t.

And finally…

Life Is Good. Here’s Hoping It Stays That Way.

When Full-Time Freelance Writing Is No Longer Viable

I’ve worked as a full-time freelance writer since September, 2009. Over the past seven years, I’ve experienced some pretty euphoric highs, a few bouts of blinding anger, particularly when one client pulled a $6,000 job out from under me for a very minor spelling error (I believe it was actually because they decided they didn’t want to pay me that much after all), and some near-suicidal lows. Those three phases can be somewhat typical for a person who freelances at anything – not just writing.

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Dissembling In Order to Save My Life

One of the biggest lessons cancer taught me is that it comes in many different forms. When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, it is simply not  just cancer. There are many different types of breast cancer, and once the type is determined, doctors can decide how best to treat it.

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Preparing For Weight Loss Surgery After Breast Cancer

Back in January, I mentioned that after enduring many frustrating months of bureaucratic boondoggle, I received approval from my insurance provider to pursue having weight-loss surgery. The process began in earnest the other day, and like the time spent waiting for corporate bean-counters to give me their official okey-dokey, I’m looking at yet another steep, uphill climb.

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Why Kim Kardashian’s Nude Selfies Piss Me Off

I’m coming up on two years of dealing with the breast cancer “experience”, and the more time that passes, the more I am beginning to resent the impact cancer has had on my life. As much as I truly don’t miss having breasts, I sometimes wish I could take leave of my body to prove a point to other women. Life doesn’t revolve around what your breasts, your ass, your legs, and every other body part looks like. You don’t have to be stricken with cancer to attain that mindset.

Sometimes, I wonder what would happen if Kim Kardashian were diagnosed with breast cancer. I’m not wishing evil on her, but I wonder if she would choose to do what’s best for her health rather than compromise it by attempting to preserve a couple of hanging glands that might eventually kill her. Her body is, after all, her golden ticket. Do not attempt to kid yourself by believing society does not value looks above all else. It is obvious that we are more obsessed now than we have ever been.

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I Am a Woman Who Hates Other Women

In honor of National Women’s Day I give you this post, which was also published on Medium.com.

Last week, I had lunch with a writer friend of mine. We met almost two years ago, introduced by a mutual Internet friend who put us together because she had gone through breast cancer surgery and reconstruction, and I was about to embark on a similar journey. We hit it off instantaneously, not because we had illness in common, but because we shared the same perspective about our gender: we are both women who hate other women.

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