Tag Archives: Recycled Virgin

WordPress Insights, or helloooooooo out there…


It’s a weird idea to write a blog. I started this one when blogs were relatively new, and I used to have a separate MS blog (“Musings of a MadSow”) back when blogger was a thing…The latter was a place where I could whine about various things about my Multiple Sclerosis – I’d been newly diagnosed and much seemed unjust and strange at the time. (It still does, mind you – I’m just quieter about it).

This one started as an exploratory thing, writing practice, a place for me to dump my thoughts and see how they floated. I’ve done crazy things with it, like try to write a profile of all those countries you see as you scroll down the lists when you sign up for things…(for ex: https://wordpress.com/post/dorothyanneb.com/1931) – that was interesting – for me anyway – and I still have ever so many countries to investigate. Sadly, many of them will be gone as tidal waters rise. Quite terrifying to see how many places will simply be drowned in the next few years. But I digress…

I’ve written about travels and parenting and dating and living alone, about the pandemic and Christmas and politics. In short, it’s been all over the place, grounded only in my mad brain and its various wobbles.

So it’s been interesting to look at the WordPress analytics and see where I’ve touched people, what seems to interest them, how they responded. It’s worth a look to see what tags grabbed attention, what links made people look.

Oddly, one of the most popular terms that sent people to my site was “heffalumps and woozles”! Who’d have guessed that? In any case I am now going to include a reference to h and w in every blog post just to drive traffic…

Scariest animation ever. Hmm. Reminds me of a certain elephant-themed political party…

I also found out how much I’ve earned from the ads that pop up on the site. I get a minuscule amount per click through and I have made an astounding $1.90!! Almost as good as my Kindle Unlimited income which seems also to be an astonishingly small amount (buy Recycled Virgin here and enjoy contributing to my coffee fund as well?)(You’d also be encouraging me to finish the others in the series which at present are languishing…)

Of course, none of this money is paid out until it reached some astonishing number like $100, a total I doubt I will achieve in my lifetime. One can dream of post-mortem success, but really, who will that help? If there is an afterlife, it must be crammed with artists ranting about how they lived in poverty and look, NOW people pay for their work! It must be tremendously annoying. I imagine Van Gogh is particularly incensed.

Not that I am living in poverty, I hasten to add. If you have extra money, please DO share it with people really living in poverty.

In. any case, I thank WordPress for its lovely analytics and its interesting if somewhat depressing statistics.

Do you blog? What were your most often searched for terms? Do people read your blog? Or is it all for you?

Why I wrote about the Virgin Mary, or “Hello? Hello? Do you see me?”


mary12Choosing to write about religious topics is risky. All my writing book advisors go on about ‘finding your niche’ and being sure people want to read what you are writing…and of course, being contrary, I wrote the book and then wanted to publish it. It’s a bonus if people buy it, I told my self.

But my self is a horrendous lying thing.

Of course I want people to buy it and read it and like it or think about things. Even if it isn’t easily classified, if it doesn’t have a GENRE, really. Does everything need to have a genre? Apparently, if you want to be found.

So why write about Blessed Mary if the book isn’t genre?

Because of Elizabeth Warren. Or any of the many many other women who are overlooked, whose accomplishments are minimized, who feel like they have to shout to be heard (and then they are called strident). Women who cannot be seen even if they want to be. Women who are told they have no purpose except to make men happy and birth the next generation2d1df2684651e1b0a983f960b4171b4a

That happened to Mary. Here she was, the mother if this big important man, and her contribution was so minimized she barely existed until the Catholics used her image as advertising copy and trotted her out everywhere like a show pony, changing her completely as they did so. They used her as a friendlier contact point than a bleeding man on a cross.

She was the perfect mother figure, a loving presence for all the church. Then the church men started playing with her. (I refuse to call them church fathers.)

They needed to make her unusually pure. Never mind the ‘why’ — what about the how? The church men were puzzled. Oh, right, she must have been born without that original sin thing – that’s how she gave birth without any pain. (Say what? Given that men were also telling every other woman that their births had to be painful because of Eve and the

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At least she’s having fun here…

apple (a set-up if ever I heard one), this all seemed a bit strange.)

But wait – how could she have been born without original sin? Well, her parents must have been unusually holy. And their parents before them, and so on, like some backward-dated Ancestry file. Never mind that previous documents assigned the line of David to Joseph. “We can change that!” the church men said. “While we are at it, let’s make her ever-virgin, unsullied by man. Because women who have sex are dirty. Men who have sex are dirty, too, but they have urges that must be met.”

Despite being the mother of THAT guy, she only gets a mention at birth and at his death. Oh yes, except she is brought up to ‘fail’ him by asking him to make the water into wine at a friend’s wedding. Apparently, this indicates that she doubted his mission. I’d argue that this would have proved that she thought he had unusual powers, but of course, she must have known that given the angel, etc, etc.

That’s a problem, too. How did a baby form in her unsullied womb? Lots of ideas were trotted around, none of them particularly convincing, until people just gave up and said it had happened. The bible doesn’t say much. That hasn’t kept people from discussing how, though, and mostly making the pregnancy seem like a total out of body experience for Mary.

The-Immaculate-Conception

what’s that funny feeling?

This resulted in ridiculous discussions like one I had in my Mariology class, about THAT guy’s DNA. “Of course, he must only have a half set of chromosomes!” one woman opined, forgetting the need for a double set to make that baby grow at all normally. Or let his beard grow.

I can find no mention of Mary’s parenting of THAT guy. But surely she had a huge role in that? Perhaps she was the source of so many of his ideas about mercy and wealth and kindness? What if Mary was the actual founder of the religion we all call Christianity, and if THAT guy had to take the reins because women weren’t even allowed to speak then?

You see? Once you start looking at Mary’s story, questions arise. Why are the church men so mean to her, so determined to wipe her out of the picture, while still using her as a meme? As I dug into books about Mary, I found myself feeling frustrated on her behalf. I wanted her to be given fair coverage, for her and the women who followed her.

I tried to present a story about Mary, done with respect and care. Oh, and let her have a little fun along the way. I’d like to hear from you if you think if I reached that goal.

Find my book on Amazon.

 

Being Seen (and read) or where the heck did that chin hair come from?


Well, it’s out in the wilds. The ebook version is launching on Saturday.

The book. My book. By me. All alone.

Recycled Virgin (Scleratis Series Book 1) by [Brown, DA, Brown, Dorothyanne]It all seems such a small story, so meaningless. I mean, I like it, but I am having trouble dealing with the thought of my friends reading it and then having to make a comment on it, either positive or negative or, ugh, patronizing. One fellah commented that “some of my chapters seemed fun.”

I’ve taken out a contract on that guy, and YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE! (Kidding, of course…)(Well, maybe…)

But it’s all a bit like doing a public speech, and meeting and greeting people afterward and when you run to the washroom at the end of the festivities and peek into the mirror, maybe giving yourself a confident, “you did it, girl!” smile, you notice a 3-foot long chin hair sticking straight out and wiggling with every lip flex.

Did they see it? How could they miss it? How do those things grow so damn fast? You know you’ve peered at yourself in your home mirror, holding your face every which way and shining lights and there was NOTHING THERE that morning, and somehow this hair grew like Jack’s beanstalk in a matter of hours. images-2

You wonder in a panic if the hair scraped the face of the people you were talking with, and if they felt it and decided not to comment, like those friends who don’t tell you you have spinach in your teeth or that your hem is tucked into your tights… Maybe they were being gentle with you, sensing your inner fragility, realizing that under chin hairs can destroy any semblance of professionalism. You can see it is almost reaching the mirror, across the sink.

Of course, you have not brought hair removal devices with you and it just won’t leave to tugging, so then you have to go out and REJOIN the mob, knowing full well your hair vine will be spotted by EVERYONE.

I took my beloved dog Pickles to the groomer once and when I was picking him up, shivering and pinkish and looking hurt to his soul (which is why I ended up grooming him after this because he didn’t find it so traumatizing, but I digress), and the groomer, who I had trusted with the animal I loved the most in the world (the kids were in a horrid stage, and let’s not mention the ex) told me that the dog hairs from her clients had slipped off and rerooted themselves in her face.

I gazed at her, non-plussed. What does one say? It seemed wrong to talk then about the biology of facial hair and how it didn’t behave like a seedling. She, after all, had a few sprouting from her chin. All different colors, she pointed out, because of all the different dogs. I was left speechless.

The more important issue was why did she mention this to me?

Well, yep. I ran my hand over my chin when I got into the car and sure enough, a hair-vine was extruding from my face. How long had I been going around like that? Who knew? Cos, you see, once these hairs grow a certain length (you official beard growers know this), the hair gets all soft and molds itself to your face. Well, unless it is yearning for freedom. Then it reaches out, struggling towards the unwary, terrifying them. Whacking against walls and tangling in scarves…

So, the book thing is sending its little horrifying curls out into the world and I keep wavering between singing and dancing (and being profoundly grateful for the support friends and family have shown me) and wanting to pluck it like a chin hair out of existence.

Either that or grow a beard so it all seems like it should be there, filling my author’s face with other books and articles and writing like a demon to get things out. (Next book: DIsgusting the Devil is on the assembly line) Creating a new framework so that this one eases gently into a crowd and thus is less obvious as a solo event. Maybe it’s time for me to embrace my writing beard?

So, I hope you have a look at my book, maybe read it, write a review, hostile, friendly, grumpy or bored. I’d love to hear what you think…No, really, I would. Just let me check out my chin…

 

 

beard-1.jpg.optimal

Faking it til you make it, or Hey! My book is out!!


Image result for fake it til you make it meme

So, how many of you leap into things, smiling through faces while hiding a certain amount of quavering within?

I’ve done it all my life, think I’ve come from a family who taught me about this, created another family who can do it. It’s a useful skill. Got me through university, job interviews, marriage, parenting. (Though those last two are debatable – not sure if I succeeded there.) (Probably ex-husband and kids would have something to add here – hope they don’t. Some illusions are necessary for me to keep my aging smile properly polished.)

The only problem is, the inner quavering is still there. Tapping on the insides, making your brain make bad decisions, sending you into wee tailspins of anxiety. It used to appear before I taught a class or did public speaking, only to slip away at the actual time of delivery. The only reminder was a feeling of unreality during the engagement and a curious fatigue after it, like I’d run a race. Stage fright, as they call it.

Now that I’m older and more uncertain of my cognitive abilities, that fright is stronger, lasts longer.

I haven’t slept well for weeks, and it’s all about the book, trying to get the book out, worrying about the book. Thought I had it all happily created, only to realize with a gasp the file I used wasn’t the one I wanted and besides, there were formatting things (like dual chapter headings) that loomed in my sub- and conscious mind. Eeeks! It wasn’t perfect, that I knew, but stupid mistakes are just that. They needed to be purged. Fixed. Redressed.

Currently, the revised files are being evaluated by Kindle Direct Publishing before they get finally uploaded. Thank heavens I had yet another look at things. Formatting computer documents isn’t my strong point and if I’d been smarter, I would have hired someone to do it for me, but there I went, leaping in as if I knew what I was doing, grinning madly all the while.

Not that I MIND waking up at 4 AM, really. It’s lovely and quiet out and the apartment is warm and cozy and I can schlep about in jammies without worrying about delivery men coming to the door. Even the radio is sotto voce. It’s pleasant.

The gnawing anxiety isn’t so good. It makes me nervous eat, sucking back carbs and needing things to chew on – popcorn, random pieces of string. Image result for anxious eating

So, I squash it, ignore it, put my mind in other places and pretend things aren’t happening, at least until someone mentions they have ordered my book and then the circle spins again. What will they THINK?

Truth is, I can’t make anyone LIKE what I’ve written. I am so grateful if they are willing to support my wee venture. I’ve learned a lot about publishing and have ever so much more to learn. I just hope not to embarrass myself into dust.

And my story seems small, given that it is, in fact, small. It’s not going to change the world. But then, I never really thought I could – no, that’s not true. I was brought up to believe I would.

I blame my mother for that. She KNEW we would all be mavericks, leaders, changers. (She was wrong, incidentally, but we’ve all been imploding trying to meet that expectation)

As I toddle into my 60’s, I realize that my changing the world probably isn’t going to happen. Except in the small ways that we all change a teeny part of our world as we go along. And of course, changing ourselves to make the world better. I can only hope my little changes are good ones.

Unlike in online publishing, I can’t resubmit and erase the errors.

Want to see the book I’ve been toiling over? Here’s the blurb for Recycled Virgin and a link:

Recycled Virgin (Scleratis Series Book 1) by [Brown, DA, Brown, Dorothyanne]What if the Virgin Mary never ascended? What if she’s been hard at work on earth for generations? What if she finds out that the real story of her religion’s founding has been lost in a melee of male privilege?

The former Blessed Virgin Mary has had enough. She’s spent the past 2000 years looking after others, only to find that her true story has been erased. No one knows the real Miryam, the flesh and blood mother, the woman who taught the foundations of a world-wide religion to her often disobedient son.

As she lives through her latest reincarnation, she struggles to understand why she keeps returning. Will her study at a Theological College finally allow her to free herself? Will she be able to retell her story, make herself real? Will she find the other half to her soul?

Recycled Virgin is the first book in the Scleratis Series.

Note: it’s the FIRST book, which implies there will be more, and there are. So it’s back to chewing string for the next while…