Can you hear us now, Ferguson Police Department?

Can you hear us now, Ferguson Police Department?

I had occasion to Google one of my pseudonyms last week. I’d Googled my legal and birth names several times before just to see what was out there, but for some reason I cannot explain, I hadn’t Googled my pen name for many, many years. I was surprised in ways both pleasant and horrible. On one hand, my name popped up in places I had no idea were extant, including a brief, but favorable, mention in a reference book available on Amazon. I was extremely pleased to find a published copy of the first article that gained moderate world-wide attention in any medium within a particular demographic. I had the raw copy, but not the edited version.

The Scream - a pastel by Edvard Munch

The Scream – a pastel by Edvard Munch

The reason I have almost always used a pseudonym is because the thought of being famous scared the daylights out of me. I am very private in many ways. The idea of pulling out a credit card in a department store and having my name be recognized always terrified me. I don’t mind taking responsibility for my words at all. I’ve put them in the universe and it is only right that I stand by them or, should I change my mind, repudiate them. But, there are all kinds and levels of responsibility. Now, because my private persona will become better known very soon now, I cannot convey my feelings in the manner I feel them because that would be quite irresponsible. That isn’t a fit of ego. That is the reality of journalism, assuming the journalist in question believes in the ethics of the trade. For better or worse, within reason, I most certainly do. Consequently, should I choose to convey my thoughts and feelings publicly, I must do so in a restrained and reflective manner. In effect, my screams of rage must remain virtually silent.

This is the day after the night we all knew would come, but hoped would not. This is the day after the night that should have scared the crap out of the U.S. and made its people sit up and realize race relations in this country cannot continue as they have. This is the day on the precipice of the beginning after having traversed the end because, no, race relations cannot and will not continue as they were at 7:59:59 p.m. Central time, the moment before St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced that a county grand jury to which his office presented evidence declined to indict white Ferguson, MO police officer Darren Wilson for killing unarmed black teen Michael Brown by shooting him at least six, and maybe as many as ten, times. Brown was just one of the multitudes of people of color, mostly, although not exclusively, male who are gunned down with impunity in the U.S. even as politicians tout “American exceptionalism” and diplomats smack the hands of other countries for their human rights violations, conveniently forgetting our own.

About 13.2% of the U.S. population was born or immigrated to a country that hates them. Blacks. That is not to say all non-blacks hate all blacks because that is most assuredly untrue. That is also not to say blacks are the only hated group. This country was built on the backs and lives of people of color. First, it was Europeans who robbed, raped and murdered their way onto land that belonged to American Indians, wiping out hundreds of cultures in the process. Then, since Native Americans didn’t make good slaves, Europeans brought in Africans beginning in 1619. Although it may have been illegal due to the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves passed by Congress in 1807, African slaves were still being imported toward the end of the Civil War. I know because an ancestor was brought to these shores and purchased by the man who would become her husband to keep her out of chattel slavery. She is known in our family’s oral history as “the Twi woman.” Twi is a language spoken widely in what is now Ghana, although the ancient kingdom had different boundaries. The first known slave in my lineage to have been kidnapped from his home was North African, probably from the general vicinity of present-day Morocco, and landed here +/- five years of the Revolutionary War. He got his mistress quite pregnant. I hate to think about what happened to him, but her daughter was free and shows up in both a couple of U.S. Census rolls and in a book of local history as a free mulatto who lived with her relatives–most likely her uncles and cousins.

Even millions of slaves weren’t enough to settle this vast country. Therefore, companies turned to China and Japan for cheap labor to work on the railroads along with blacks. As slaveholders had done before them, white supervisors/overseers turned those who would be natural allies against each other because that was the best way to make sure they never combined their strength to gain power. The same thing happened on cattle and sheep ranches where most people have no idea that anywhere from one-quarter to one-third of cowboys and ranch hands were Mexicans, Indians and blacks. Until the late 1960s, all cowboys in western movies were as white as snow. It was only during that time when there was a surge in research of black history overall that many blacks learned we’d played a major role in settling the West, including, very regrettably, keeping American Indians on impoverished, germ warfare-riddled reservations. For that, I am so, so sorry and deeply ashamed. Being a Buffalo soldier should never be a source of pride. Yet, here again, it was a strategy of divide and conquer. To this day, in many Western states, Native Americans are held in lower esteem than blacks. How, pray tell me please, do families who have participated in any one or several of many genocides find any pride in themselves when they look in the mirror? I do not know. My heart hurts at the mere thought even as it rages at the evil that was done out of avarice.

The U.S. economy, education system and, most notably today, legal system are all based on the exclusion of people of color. The exclusion is due to pure racism, certainly, but that is not all. Generally speaking, whites who have exploited, abused, murdered, humiliated and denigrated people of color themselves, or are descendants of those who did, are terrified. Most will never admit it to themselves much less to anyone else, but that fear is there nonetheless. I finally watched the movie Django Unchained. Leo DiCaprio’s character kept asking why slaves never revolted. Factually, that’s not true. There were revolts, especially in the West Indies. It was because of their revolts that slaveholders developed methods to marginally elevate the status of some slaves above others, creating a caste system that helped keep what passed for peace on plantations. In addition to a false caste system, slaveholders took away their property’s native languages and religions. They did anything and everything to strip any perceived shred of humanity they could from us and it worked far too well. We, as a country, bear the scars of this sin. Had there been atonement by those who perpetrated these crimes against humanity, maybe there would not be thousands of Darren Wilsons and God-only-knows how many dead black, brown and red men, women and children. Slavery may have been abolished, but the mindset that perpetuated it lives.

There was never any thought in my mind that Darren Wilson would be brought to justice by the State of Missouri. The decks were stacked in his favor. Do not forget that Missouri was a slave state. In addition, according to the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School site on lynching, 122 people were lynched between 1882 and 1968. Fifty-three were white and 68 were black. In contrast, Delaware, also a slave state, had one black person lynched in those 86 years. That is comparable to Maine, a non-slave state, whose sole lynching was of a white person. Mississippi had the most: 42 whites; 539 blacks. So Missouri wasn’t the worst, but it most certainly wasn’t the best. The same systems of inequity and dehumanization remain today.

In a guide to the Yale University-New Haven Teacher’s Institute curriculum course “The Negro Holocaust: Lynching and Race Riots in the United States, 1880-1950,” instructor Robert A. Gibson writes, “The United States has a brutal history of domestic violence. It is an ugly episode in our national history that has long been neglected. Of the several varieties of American violence, one type stands out as one of the most inhuman chapters in the history of the world [–] the violence committed against Negro citizens in America by white people.” Gibson went on to define lynching as mob violence by hanging, gunshot or other, exceptionally sadistic, methods. Whatever the method, lynching was a form of terrorism meant to express hatred and keep blacks in line.

No agency keeps official statistics about police violence. Those figures are not collected by the FBI like other crime stats such as rape, assault, robbery, homicide (by non-law enforcement, that is). Even if they did, reporting crime statistics is voluntary. Somehow, I don’t expect police to tell on themselves and invite scrutiny by a member of the Justice Department actively doing their job. The corraling of the numbers has been left to individuals and media. The Root lists 20 black men and women killed from 1999 through 2013, the year the list was compiled. The site hiphopandpolitics.com has compiled a chart with 29 people who were killed by police/security, 16 since the 2012 murder of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman.

The last few months in my own state, Ohio, have been less than stellar when it comes to police violence of questionable justification against blacks. Six Cleveland police officers were acquitted last June in the 2012 shooting of unarmed driver Timothy Russell and his passenger Tanisha Williams after a car chase that ended in a hail of 137 police bullets and involved nearly half of all of the Cleveland Police Department’s officers on duty at the time. John Crawford III was shot in a Walmart outside of Dayton last August because some white guy was scared by Crawford walking around the store with an air gun–store merchandise–and called police to say that Crawford was pointing the gun at people. The police then shot and killed him while he was talking on the phone with his girlfriend. The caller later recanted his assertion of Crawford pointing the gun but the cops were not indicted. The Justice Department is investigating. In the most tragic of all recent incidents, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed just this past Saturday by Cleveland police while in a playground with a toy gun after someone called the cops to say that, even though the gun was “probably” not real, Rice was pointing it at people. The Cleveland Police Department has said the toy was indistinguishable from a real gun because the orange tip on toy guns was removed. If the caller knew it probably wasn’t real, why the hell couldn’t the police figure it out?

Police shootings under extremely questionable circumstances have replaced the mobs. More accurately, when all is said and done, the “mob” has become the legislative, judicial and, particularly, the executive branches of local governments. The practice of using lynching to control and terrorize blacks has become so engrained that it isn’t even recognized for what it is by the perpetrators. Heaven forbid anyone should call them racists even if they describe the victims as “thugs” or looking like “a demon” as Darren Wilson and his supporters have described Michael Brown in overt and continuous efforts to dehumanize him. After 400 years of racial violence and injustice, people of color are just plain emotionally exhausted. Wilson’s lack of consequences has told us in no uncertain terms that it is open season on us. Is it any wonder that there was arson and vandalism after the Ferguson announcement? If we are continuously told that our lives don’t matter, what do we have to lose anymore?

I promised myself when I was still a teenager that I would not allow myself to die of natural causes in the U.S. Even then, I knew that there were a great many people who hated the fact that I existed and presumed that I was either going to be an “exception” and amount to something or just like those “other” people who looked like me, forgetting that those “other” people who vaguely looked like me would have had one hell of a hard time buying a house or, at that time, even renting in my ‘burb. It didn’t matter that the resident blacks were, for the most part, either in the traditional professions themselves or children of professionals. Ironically, we were the home base for thousands of Jews fleeing persecution in the Soviet Union. They did not come here as racists. It was something they gradually learned as new immigrants assimilating into American life. The persecuted became, in too many cases, the persecutors. The paradigm is in no way exclusive to Soviet Jewry. Those who developed racist beliefs and behaviors were only following in the footsteps of immigrants before them.

To remain still long enough to be forced to acknowledge the cacophonous scream echoing in my brain causes physical and emotional pain. I have roots in the U.S. that go back to before there was a U.S. and yet I am the interloper. My Native American, European and African ancestors built this country but I, as a person of African-descent, am literally demonized for living on the American soil my ancestors tilled. I hate racists and I loathe bigots in any form. I do not and will not apologize for those feelings. I had hope that I would see a racially- and culturally-appreciative society in this country in my lifetime. I don’t have that hope anymore. There are millions of people of good will here, but most will not stand up and fight for the equity of all for many reasons. Fear plays a significant role, but so does ignorance. There is a great deal of fear involved in racism and bigotry, especially when it is those who are afraid of retribution for their sins and the sins of their ancestors. The fear is that if people of color were to ever gain real power, a reckoning might be at hand. Well, maybe. Then again, maybe not. Everyone is not intellectually or spiritually predisposed to think in terms of retribution. Some of us only scream silently.

The country is on edge awaiting the announcement later tonight of a St. Louis County grand jury’s decision to issue or not issue a true bill. In other words, we are waiting to find out whether 12 people–nine white and three black–thought there was probable cause to indict white Ferguson, MO police officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing unarmed black teenager Michael Brown on August 9.

Reviewing the timeline published on the Newsweek website, I am reminded that there is plenty of reason to be on edge. This case was the last straw for many people of color in the seeming war on black and brown people by various local governments at the hands of their police forces. At the same time, the worst of the worst racists crawled from under their rocks, some in the guise of “news” organizations spreading unverified supposed facts that have since turned out to be completely without merit and turning the word “thug” into code for “nigger.” The Internet, especially Twitter, was ugly, dirty and heartbreaking. I knew this country had a severe race problem. I now believe with all my heart that if the racial divide becomes any more severe, there will eventually be a race war.

People of color are sick and tired of having to justify our mere existence to stupid white people. Unfortunately, most of those who aren’t stupid, who don’t demand that we justify our every breath of life, stay silent. It is as though the racists have silenced those who had some semblance of decency by threatening to take away their “white card.” If a person of color complained about the treatment or ideas doled out by the racists, they were called racists. As the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense. This pattern has continued in recent days as astute, experiential observations were made, albeit in extremely clumsy ways. A case in point is that of Duncanville, Texas Independent School District teacher Vinita Hegwood who, according to USA Today, tweeted,”Who the (expletive) made you dumb duck (expletive) crackers think I give a squat (expletive) about your opinions about my opinions RE: Ferguson? Kill yourselves,” from her private account. She was fired by the school board a week later.

Please, don’t misunderstand me. What Hegwood did was, when seen in a vacuum, completely unacceptable, abusive and bigoted. However, as someone who has had to walk away from Twitter for days and weeks at a time, knowing that I have a public persona, to prevent myself from expressing the utter rage I’ve felt at the continuous assaults on my own person, on other Twitter users who were either people of color or brave whites who vehemently disagreed with the racist disinformation meant to smear Brown, blacks in general and justify Wilson’s taking of his life, I get it. Boy, do I get it! Being a person of color on Twitter means that you have a target on your avatar. It doesn’t matter if you’re Palestinian, black, brown, red or some combination thereof. If you are not a white Tea Partier who believes in the bestiality of those unlike you, you are toast. Anyone who says that these racist bottom-feeders are just spouting words have no clue about the present and historic power of those words, the ideologies and the hatred behind them. No, they are not just words. They are attacks as vicious as any made with a material weapon.

Less than an hour prior to the 9 p.m. announcement of the grand jury’s decision, MSNBC.com posted a report about the racist hashtag #FergusonRiotTips floating on Twitter. Among the tweets that appeared with that hashtag are “pants up, don’t loot,” in a play on the slogan “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” popularized by protestors in support of Brown in the months following the shooting. Brown allegedly raised his hands in surrender and asked Wilson not to shoot him.

What’s happening online is simply indicative of hatreds given form and voice offline.

President Barack Obama, America’s first black president, has received more death threats than any other president. Indeed, he received Secret Service protection even before becoming the Democratic Party’s candidate in 2008 because, as a black man in a racist country, his life was in danger on a daily basis. After becoming president, the threats continued and grew to a rate 400 times that of his immediate predecessor, George W. Bush. The Birther Movement asserted that Obama wasn’t even born in the U.S., but in Kenya and, therefore, not even eligible to run for president under the Article II of the U.S. Constitution which states:

No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

Obama, who was born in the State of Hawai’i, has produced his birth certificate time and time again. Has any other candidate ever been asked, much less required, to do so in order to try to quell the din of people with cesspools for brains? The answer is simple: No. Has any other president ever had “You lie!” shouted at him from the gallery during a joint session of Congress as Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) did in 2009? No. Has any president in the modern era been as openly disrespected and abused as Obama, regardless of party? No. I freely admit that I had no respect for Sen. John McCain when he ran for president in 2008 nor do I now when as I wish he’d retire and go sit on the porch of one of his eight homes and look at the beautiful sunsets over the Sonoma Desert. Still, had he won instead of Obama, he’d be president of the United States. Period. Even if I have no respect for the person holding the office, as much as I abhor it, it is only right to respect the office. Yet, that isn’t the case with Obama. He’s a black man.

If I have heard it once I have heard it 100 times, invariably from older white people, that this isn’t the country they know. Thank God it isn’t! Then again, maybe it is. And that’s the trouble.

RIP Michael Brown. I suspect strongly that the rest of the country will not for a long, long time.

thewickedwoman:

I could not have written a better post myself. Thank you!

Originally posted on America The NOT SO Beautiful:

August 24, 2014

By Mike Caccioppoli

Someone needs to tell me why cops have tasers. Are they for when a kid kicks them in the shin? Or maybe when a woman starts to argue about being pulled over for doing 66 in a 65. Is that what tasers are for? Heck I’m so old I can remember when there was no such thing as a taser. Only on Star Trek. You know, when their ray guns were set to “stun” instead of “kill.” Seems like the guys on the Starship Enterprise knew when to set their guns to either level. If only cops were as smart.

Or as courageous. I think I remember when cops had courage. Been a while though. Now when an “assailant” is 25 feet away with a knife, and that assailant is on crack or heroin or meth and can barely speak or move, it’s…

View original 1,234 more words

It’s been far too long since I’ve posted to TWW. I sincerely apologize, but there is a very good reason. In short: I’ve been quite sick. I am not referring to a bout of fibromyalgia, although I am currently experiencing that now due to the additional stress on my body. I am referring to the fact that I have a type of tumor that is usually benign and usually doesn’t cause problems but, in my case, is still probably benign, but is most definitely causing problems.

three metalic question marks

I attempted to deal with my symptoms by myself for about six weeks. Finally, it became clear to me that I needed help and phoned one of my doctors. By that time, I was weak and in pain. We made a decision to try to manage the most obvious symptoms via drug therapy. Unfortunately, the original prescription was for a drug that was nearly $200 and I simply could not afford it. The pharmacy didn’t tell me there was an alternative and, at that time, my ability to reason was faulty, to say the least, so I didn’t ask my doctor. It took about a week, but eventually I phoned my doctor again and told her that the medication she’d prescribed was very expensive and asked if there was an alternative. Fortunately, there was. I filled the second prescription a few days later.

It took days and days for the medication to begin to work. While waiting, I became more and more ill, but I also vaguely began to put some of my symptoms into a coherent picture. My doctor’s diagnosis was only half correct. She wasn’t dealing with the entire picture. As sick as I felt, I knew I had to find a way to make a rational argument for what I believed to be happening to my body.

I went to a follow-up appointment feeling dizzy, exhausted, confused and very out-of-sorts. After blood tests were performed, I was diagnosed as being in the mid-range of moderate anemia. I was anemic enough to experience symptoms, including a constant headache, pounding heart, muscle aches and confusion. As borderline incoherent as I was, I did make her understand that there was something else afoot. A simple test proved that there was a really good possibility I was right. However, being right meant that I needed surgery. My whole world turned upside down. The anemia symptoms, in and of themselves, forced me to keep WickedWomanMag.com down after being temporarily closed for other reasons. I couldn’t write, edit or monitor the site. I’m still not really up to it. That is an enormous problem that affects everything else in my life, including my need for surgery.

I have lost a lot of the people to whom I was closest in Cleveland over the last six years. These were true family members I could count on to support me and help me in a time of need. Even though my mother had dementia at her death, she would have been supportive of my illness as she finally acknowledged her own. Having a chronic condition is isolating. Therefore, I have a very limited number of friends to count on. My closest is totally allergic to dogs and there is no one here I trust with my canine family. I used to be very involved in the dog fancy in the Cleveland metro area, but haven’t been in over a decade. There are still one or two people with whom I’ll speak, but a lot of my friends have passed on as well. My best doggie friend lives in the Twin Cities area and suggested that I move to Minnesota over a year ago. She saw that I was struggling and could use the support. There is a very strong breed community in the area and I know several of the members. Indeed, my last three Airedales were born in the area. At the time, all I could think about was the cold and dismissed the idea. However, because I routinely need top-notch medical care, am faced with needing surgery in the next several months and have no support system here, suddenly the cold, white North isn’t looking too bad. The University of Minnesota Medical Center is there as is Mayo Clinic, although a bit farther south of the Twin Cities metro area. They would fulfill my medical needs.

The short of it is that I am going to try harder to get well enough to finish writing the one article that is keeping WWM closed for so long. It’s one thing to write a blog post. It is quite another to take research, synthesize it, organize it and put it into a form that is both understandable and entertaining. It takes organizational skills I don’t have right now. There is some evidence the anemia is resolving, but I have gone into a fibromyalgia flare due to the stress my body has suffered since, really, April or May. In this particular flare, I am experiencing intractable insomnia. It takes everything I have to get out of bed some days. The only reason I do is because my girls need to be fed and pottied. Otherwise, I’d lay there and not care whether I ate or drank anything at all. As illustration, it took me 11 days to begin to go grocery shopping for the month. In the interim, I ran out of every staple in the house. If I did find something to eat, it was invariably fried, something I almost never do, but did so in these cases because it was quicker than broiling or baking. When I couldn’t even manage that, I ordered in. A lot. It wasn’t something I could avoid because I was just too tired and weak to stand in front of a stove.

Because I have no real support for being truly sick here; no support for my girls, and; because I do not believe I am getting the best care from either of the world-reknown hospitals in town (one of which is rated #4 in the entire country), I need to move. The caveat is that I can’t move if I can’t raise money for WWM so that I can hire an associate editor, pay myself, the freelancers and cover all of the other things for which capital is needed for a start-up. If I can get WWM open, then I can probably raise funding. My plan has been to run a crowd funding campaign. Believe me, doing so isn’t nearly as easy as many make it sound. I’d still need a business plan, but I have had that plan circulating in my head for over a year. My illness cost me my business consultant, but he taught me enough to continue on by myself. Still, I’d have to try to stay on top of the campaign and interact with donors. My energy is quite limited because I cannot get enough rest. If my rheumatologist can find the right medication to help me get restful sleep, I can accomplish my goals.

Even if I don’t move to Minnesota right away, I still have to move out of the family home because my mother made disastrous decisions while she was ill. (Yes, I knew she was sick and tried to get her help. Her brothers interfered and she got none even as she became progressively worse.) I have to dispose of or pack up over 40 years worth of stuff all while I feel like hell. There are probably some friends of my mother’s who have sons or grandsons who can help with the heavy lifting, but they need to know what to lift. Over two years after she died, I still haven’t gone through all of my mother’s belongings. Her clothing is more or less where she left it the day she was taken out of the house via ambulance never to return. I wasn’t strong enough to do it until just shy of the second anniversary of her death. By that time, I was hip deep in WWM and didn’t have time. Now, I don’t have energy, although I am trying to do bits and pieces here and there. No one else can do this but me because I’m the only person who knows what’s important and what isn’t.

To summarize: I have been sick; I am sick; I have to find the strength to re-open WWM; I have to raise funds for WWM so that I can support myself and my canine family; I have to decide whether I can afford to move or will be forced to stay in town with almost no support for being truly ill, especially in the weeks and months after surgery.

There is so much going on in the world right now that I deeply yearn to write about. There are days that are better than others and I can manage a blog post. Now that I’ve updated readers on what’s going on, I will try to write blog posts here. At least that way, people won’t think that I’ve fallen off the edge of the Earth.

Something really horrible happened to me a bit ago. I’d rather not go into exactly what. However, it has been an ongoing crisis that has left me extremely emotionally vulnerable and not my usual self. I can say that I fought with every ounce of strength in me because my life and that of my girls (four-legged, if you remember) was very much on the line–and I do not mean that figuratively. However, that fight has sapped me of any reserves for the moment. I will recover. I will never view the world the same way again. For me, that’s saying something.

As a general rule, I don’t post my personal issues here. This blog was never meant for that. I am making a slight exception now because what happened, and is happening, has so adversely impacted my ability to function on WickedWomanMag.com. I had to take the site down for what I thought would be look and feel fixes that would take a day or two at most. Then, just as I finished making repairs, the theme was updated and the update broke all but two pages of the site. Needless to say, I was pretty angry. Knowing that anger would do me no good whatsoever, I contacted the developer who looked and said that he thought I’d need to rebuild the site altogether. As we were trying to find a middle ground, my life fell apart. I haven’t been up to working since, although I am doing my best to try to get the site back up by Friday.

In the last few weeks I have been degraded, humiliated, debased, abused, harassed, terrified and thrown into a chaotic hell. I’ve been close to petrified that I’d lose the only family I really have–my canine children–and learned to hate something fierce. It’s not that I hadn’t experienced the feeling of hatred before because I have. The Cleveland branch of one side of my family is better named either Borgia or Medici than its actual name. There are a couple of good-hearted people in it, but I can count them on one hand. The rest . . . well, as I said, Borgia or Medici would be better surnames. Be that as it may, what happened to me has brought about feelings that surpass anything I’ve felt for the worst of the twisted relatives. If my old therapist still took my insurance, I would be sitting on her couch within the week.

As bad as everything is, I have no choice but to muddle through. The remainder of my life depends on what I do now. I don’t have the time to curl up into a fetal position until I can breathe again. I have to continue to do the work I started. But for an angel who rescued me, I wouldn’t even be able to do that. I only wish that someone could have shielded me from all of the other crap that happened, but they couldn’t. Worst of all, I couldn’t–and seemingly can’t–do anything myself. I don’t do powerlessness well at all. It’s not something I can accept. To do so is the most frightening thing there is other than losing my girls.

I am going to sleep and work some more later today. I just wanted to let you know that there was something going on and that’s why WWM has been closed for so long. I am going to fight through this depression and anxiety because I have to. There are people who are depending on me to do so. Inside, in my heart of hearts, I know that I will never be the same. With luck and time, maybe I will be stronger, but I will never be who I was.

I am ashamed to say it, but I totally forgot to post anything here telling you that WWM is open. There are only four articles up at present, but that should change by this time next week and continue throughout the month. I’ve spent at least 50% more time dealing with graphics and web design than I have writing. I look forward to the day when that isn’t the case. Things should be better now that there is a skeleton of a theme up. That is to say, this is a very powerful theme, but I haven’t learned how to harness that power yet. Therefore, I’ve still got a learning curve ahead of me. Nevertheless, I hope to stop playing with graphics as much and start writing again–you know, the way I’m supposed to. :)

Thank you all for your support. I am not leaving TWW at all. I just haven’t quite determined exactly what I’m going to put over here. There will, however, be content of some sort.