#Paperback Release and #Giveaway!

 

 

Hello lovelies!

So, things rarely seem to work out the way we hope, and this is no exception. I had hoped to do a big pre-order thing leading up to the release of the paper edition of Pack or Prey, but as it turns out, life likes to hog the spotlight. So instead, I am going to post a simple announcement that:

Pack or Prey is officially available for purchase on paperback! Get it here now!

“But Melissa…Duckie…sweetie…You mentioned something about a giveaway?”

Why, yes, voice inside my head that may or may not require mild doses of anti-psychotics. Indeed, I did mention something about that.

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I have never done a real giveaway before, so you guys get to be my guinea pigs! Huzzah!

I am going to do this in three places: Comments on this blog post, comments on the FB post for this blog post, and comments on the tweet–you might have guessed it–about this blog post (don’t worry, I will pin this particular tweet to my twitter profile for easy searching.)

All you have to do is share this blog via your own blog, Facebook, or Twitter then comment “Shared” to enter for a free paperback. Important: Don’t forget to comment after sharing so I can enter your name!! I won’t always be able to see who shared just by you sharing!!

Pro tip: If you comment telling me what having a “home” means to you, you will get a second entry! If you comment telling me about when/how you finally gained your own sense of independence, you will get THREE entries! What?!

I will shove all the names into a randomizer and pick one winner on July 4th as soon as I see the first big boom in the sky, so you get 2 days to share and enter! I may even do a FB live event. Who knows. Depends on whether I can figure it all out… or if I look like a sunburned, drowned rat from my celebrating. Or if I’m drunk…

Ok, so maybe no FB live. That sounds like more trouble than I am willing to get into on a Wednesday evening. But share, share, share, and get entered! The contest starts…

Now!

 

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#CoverReveal for Pack or Prey

We finally have arrived at cover reveal day and it’s bittersweet for me. I try to keep my blogs as real and authentic to my personality as possible, and while sometimes this means being totally awkward and making a complete dummy of myself, today it means forcing myself to celebrate one moment in my life when I want to do anything but be happy and celebratory.

This morning I learned that my big brother passed away and while we knew it was an inevitability, no amount of preparation can ever prepare you for losing someone who was so entwined in your life and your heart. He was a pain in the ass, but he was my bubby, and my heart is broken.

Still, I know my brother supported my writing and wanted nothing more from me than to see me succeed and as much as I want to just curl up and cry, I also know he would want to kick my ass for doing so. So I push forward.

I have worked with Silvana before on my previous book cover, but had unintentionally stifled her true talent by stubbornly wanting a very specific model used. Wisely, when I was ready for a new title–and as such needed a whole new cover–I let her have free reign on this project. I gave her some simple instructions and ideas of what I liked but left everything up to her. And I can tell you that what she did was magical.

Without much more ado or incoherent ramblings–let’s reveal this thing shall we?

kindlecover

 

Isn’t it a beaut? I could stare at it all day. You can get your shiny new copy on the Kindle Store for $1.99 in the next day or two (sorry, Amazon is sometimes slow to update covers.)

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to manage sorting out the other thing I had in store for you all. I will work on that soon, so keep a look out. In the meantime, hug the people you love. I am going to go do the same right now.

 

#CoverReveal Countdown: #CoverBoner No. 1

 

Last day of the countdown to cover reveal! I’m excited guys!

Leading up to this moment, I’ve shared some awesome covers with you. Covers that made me go Oooooooooh. So far we’ve had Runes of Truth, the first of G. Bailey’s A Demon’s Fall series, followed by Lost Child by D.S. Butler, then the carb-a-licious Sourdough: A Novel by Robin Sloan, and yesterday showed off Capture Death by Michael Anderle. Today’s #CoverBoner was picked in a slightly different way from the last four. I actually found this one while discussing what I wanted for my new design.

 

#CoverBoner Number 1

Beautiful Stranger: Thrilling Urban Fantasy with a Science Twist (The Marked Ones Trilogy Book 1) by [Vancil, Kat]

Beautiful Stranger by Kat Vancil

This one caught my attention because of it’s vibrant color and it’s fairly unique design within the genre. No supernatural tie-in or otherworldly surroundings here. In fact, at first glance I thought this to be a romance novel, and even if it had been, it would still be unique in its absence of rippling abs and erogenous zone closeups.

I like when a design catches me off guard and this cityscape inside a silhouette idea is one I’ve yet to see take over the virtual shelves. Yet. I’m sure there is a technical term for this sort of design but, alas, I am not a designer. I am a wordsmith. And not a very good one, because I cannot think of a witty term for this design. Go me.

Image result for killin it gif

So that concludes the countdown of my current top five #CoverBoners. Tomorrow I unveil the new look of Pack or Prey and hopefully have some more awesome stuff to share with you.

 

 

 

#CoverReveal Countdown: #CoverBoner No. 2

 

Day four of the countdown to my pretty new cover for Pack or Prey brings us to cover-boner number two. If you haven’t been following along, Monday we had a beautiful example from Runes of Truth, the first of G. Bailey’s A Demon’s Fall series, followed by Tuesday’s kick-in-the-gut Lost Child by D.S. Butler, and Wednesday gave us a rather surreal experience with Sourdough: A Novel by Robin Sloan. Just a brief reminder about my countdown and how I picked these five particular covers…

I have scrolled through pages of books on the Kindle App store until I found 5 covers I wanted to share with the world because—well, gosh darn it—they’re just beautiful. Just because a cover isn’t listed, doesn’t mean it wasn’t a beautiful design, I just can’t showcase them ALL. In order to be showcased, they had to meet one of the following criteria:

  1. They instantly catch my attention, enough to make me STOP scrolling.
  2. They invoke a curiosity about the book itself.
  3. Extra points if it was a style I don’t see a thousand times already. (jk, I’m not actually keeping score lol but it did push them to the top of the list)
A few quick disclaimers: I stayed in the dark/urban fantasy genre as that is closest to my own work and my own reading preferences. I did not seek out certain authors or books I have already read, so I am not rating the books themselves, only my first impressions of the cover art.

 

#CoverBoner Number 2

Capture Death (The Kurtherian Gambit Book 20) by [Anderle, Michael]

Capture Death (The Kurtherian Gambit Book 20) by Michael Anderle

Wow. This cover just hit it all for me. First off, it’s coloring is pleasing and gives great stage dressing for the overall feel of what I am going to read inside its pages. Secondly, it’s a style I don’t see very often and it’s well done. The face in the background gives me a menacing taste of, who I assume to be, the main character and joined with the perfect symmetry of the full bodied-model in the foreground, it has good balance. My eyes aren’t focusing on one single space, but rather the whole picture. Of course, it made me curious enough to peek at the book’s description and immediately I see the name: Baba Yaga.

Well, if that didn’t instantly hook me. Suddenly, the cover image seems even more perfect. Unlike the other books on my list, this one appears to be nearing the end of a series. So if you are interested in diving into this series, I would start with Death Becomes Her (The Kurtherian Gambit Book 1) which is on Kindle for $2.99. This looks like a series one could become quite invested in.

 

 

#CoverReveal Countdown: #CoverBoner No. 3

 

Image result for lemon on a pear

Continuing my countdown to my cover reveal with cover design #3 today (and appreciating some well-made puns). Monday we had a beautiful example from Runes of Truth, the first of G. Bailey’s A Demon’s Fall series, followed by Tuesday’s kick-in-the-gut Lost Child by D.S. Butler. Just a brief reminder about my countdown and how I picked these five particular covers…

I have scrolled through pages of books on the Kindle App store until I found 5 covers I wanted to share with the world because—well, gosh darn it—they’re just beautiful. Just because a cover isn’t listed, doesn’t mean it wasn’t a beautiful design, I just can’t showcase them ALL. In order to be showcased, they had to meet one of the following criteria:

  1. They instantly catch my attention, enough to make me STOP scrolling.
  2. They invoke a curiosity about the book itself.
  3. Extra points if it was a style I don’t see a thousand times already. (jk, I’m not actually keeping score lol but it did push them to the top of the list)
A few quick disclaimers: I stayed in the dark/urban fantasy genre as that is closest to my own work and my own reading preferences. I did not seek out certain authors or books I have already read, so I am not rating the books themselves, only my first impressions of the cover art.

 

#CoverBoner Number 3

Sourdough: A Novel by [Sloan, Robin]Sourdough: A Novel by Robin Sloan

Okay…… So…. yeah, this one is a little strange and I kinda love it. First off, it made me instantly stop scrolling because I couldn’t believe that it’s what I actually saw. When I got a good look at it…. yup. It was definitely a loaf of sourdough bread floating in the air, glowing with rays of light like the second coming of Jesus. Its simplicity is actually quite genius in my opinion. It piques curiosity and gives nothing away. Literally.

Is it about a crusty-bread-wielding assassin? Does the sourdough find its true love in a piping-hot french onion dip? Does a Sourdough-Savior bring peace and prosperity to a world suffering at the hand of a Keto diet-obsessed dictator? I have no idea WHAT this book is about, or what genre it is in, which means I am stopping to read the description, the categories, everything. If it gives anything away, its the subtle humor of the arrow pointing at the load of bread like a neon sign saying, yes… indeed… this is bread. Maybe it’s because I have been totally depriving myself of all things carbs lately (Help me, Obi-Wan Ka-dough-be. You’re my only hope!) but I really liked this cover for it’s simplicity and it’s poke at humor while making me dig for what the book is really about. Generally, you WANT your readers to see what they are getting into with a glance at the cover but…. I don’t know, this just works somehow. I love when something can manage to break the rules well.

If you are as curious as I was about this glorious loaf of carbs, you can get Sourdough: A Novel on Kindle for $14.99—by far pricier than the rest of my list but if the reviews were any indication, it might be well worth it.

 

 

#CoverReveal Countdown: #CoverBoner No. 4

Today we continue my countdown to my cover reveal with cover design #4. Yesterday we had a beautiful example from Runes of Truth, the first of G. Bailey’s A Demon’s Fall series. Just a brief reminder about my countdown and how I picked these five particular covers…

I have scrolled through pages of books on the Kindle App store until I found 5 covers I wanted to share with the world because—well, gosh darn it—they’re just beautiful. Just because a cover isn’t listed, doesn’t mean it wasn’t a beautiful design, I just can’t showcase them ALL. In order to be showcased, they had to meet one of the following criteria:

  1. They instantly catch my attention, enough to make me STOP scrolling.
  2. They invoke a curiosity about the book itself.
  3. Extra points if it was a style I don’t see a thousand times already. (jk, I’m not actually keeping score lol but it did push them to the top of the list)
A few quick disclaimers: I stayed in the dark/urban fantasy genre as that is closest to my own work and my own reading preferences. I did not seek out certain authors or books I have already read, so I am not rating the books themselves, only my first impressions of the cover art.

 

#CoverBoner Number 4

Lost Child: A Gripping Psychological Thriller by [Butler, D. S.] Lost Child by D.S. Butler

Oh man, this one was a gut punch. But in a horribly good way. One of my top fears is losing one of my children, and Butler’s designer managed to freeze me to the spot as I scrolled to this one. There’s nothing pretty about this, but it hits all the right emotions. Foregoing a model of a child in favor of a single, discarded shoe was exactly the right move and I both love and hate them for it. The question of what happened to that little girl is going to haunt me until I read it. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and Butler’s designer didn’t mince a single one. It’s reminiscent of that six-word story: “For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.”

Uggggh. Total. Gut punch.

If you are interested in finding out what happened to the pint-sized owner of that shoe, you can get Lost Child on Kindle for $2.99!

 

#CoverReveal Countdown: #CoverBoner No. 5

So, the incredibly talented Silvana G. Sanchez (of Ebook Solutions by Selfpub Designs) is wrapping up the art for Pack or Prey (formerly Deny the Moon), which means it’s almost time for my shiny new COVER REVEAL!

Words cannot express just how much it’s killing me knowing how close it is! I saw the sneak peeks and they are GORGEOUS, and to be bluntly honest, I felt like I could wet myself with joy…. but I didn’t.

Honestly, I can’t afford to replace my office chair…

 

Image result for wet floor gif

 

Uncontrollable bodily functions aside, I decided to do a little twist on a traditional reveal by showcasing other eye-catching covers in the days leading up to my own cover. I have scrolled through pages of books on the Kindle App store until I found 5 covers I wanted to share with the world because—well, gosh darn it—they’re just beautiful. Just because a cover isn’t listed, doesn’t mean it wasn’t a beautiful design, I just can’t showcase them ALL. In order to be showcased, they had to meet one of the following criteria:

  1. They instantly catch my attention, enough to make me STOP scrolling.
  2. They invoke a curiosity about the book itself.
  3. Extra points if it was a style I don’t see a thousand times already. (jk, I’m not actually keeping score lol but it did push them to the top of the list)
A few quick disclaimers: I stayed pretty close to the dark/urban fantasy genre as that is closest to my own work and my own reading preferences. I did not seek out certain authors or books I have already read, so I am not rating the books themselves, only my first impressions of the cover art.

So, with that in mind, here is the first pick.

#CoverBoner Number 5

Runes of Truth: A Reverse Harem Urban Fantasy (A Demon's Fall series Book 1) by [Bailey, G.] Runes of Truth by G. Bailey

This was the very first cover to snag my attention. While the color scheme is pretty and sort of soothing to the eye-palette (that’s a thing right?) it was the model’s pose that really caught me. In a genre filled with dark backgrounds and scantily-clad models (sometimes in a sensual embrace or wielding a wicked-looking weapon) the model here is placed on a light background giving her all of our attention. It’s popping her out at us. Paired with the dynamic pose, it makes for a very eye-catching visual. She isn’t just standing around as an idle prop on the foreground, she’s taking action. She’s fighting something, or fighting FOR something, which makes me all the more curious about the book itself and what this woman could possibly be fighting.

If you are interested in finding out, you can get Runes of Truth on Kindle for $0.99!


 

Bonus News

Along with the cover reveal, I am nearly ready to put Pack or Prey on the virtual shelves in paperback form! Information on a release date and how you can win a free copy of the paperback edition will be released in the coming days so keep your eyes peeled!

 

Recording, Re-titling, Re-releasing, Oh My!

When things start moving, BOY do they move!

So I’ve been hiding away lately while I worked on a super secret project, which has snowballed into something much bigger and—I believe—better. Sadly, the previous announcement on the Duckicorn website is no longer available to view since the site has been closed, but that’s okay. I still have this blog and I can break it all down to you a little better now that I have more details!

So what is my secret projects you ask?

1. I am finally releasing my book on AUDIBLE!!

Yes, I am super stoked! One of my long-term goals has been to get anything I write onto audiobook format. Well, it’s happening! I am collaborating with a new voice talent, Katrina Link, who is bringing Harley to life beautifully as we speak! I’ve already listened to the first fifteen minutes of audio and I am so happy I could sing. But I won’t. Don’t nobody deserve that. Keep an eye out as release details come up.

2. Re-releasing my PHSYICAL COPY of the book!!

I love ebook and audio so much, they are sooooo convenient for a busybody like me who needs thirty-seven extra hands before she could sit and read a book. (not to mention maybe a few cages to keep kids away) But there really is just no replacement for a hefty book you can flip through and smell that new-book-deliciousness. Therefore, 416 pages are heading to an online retailer near you in the very near future, complete with a shiny new cover designed by the lovely and uber-talented author and cover designer, Silvana G. Sanchez, who will also be re-covering the other formats of the book! I just got a sneak peek and I need a wet floor sign from all the drool. It’s GORGEOUS. Cover reveal coming soon, as well.

3. Rebranding with a shiny new—better fitting—title!!!

Yes, you heard that right! If you picked up on my subtle not-mentioning-of-the-book-by-name in this post, then maybe you already knew something was up. The pitfalls of self-publishing are as bountiful as the perks, and one of said problems is simply that sometimes we publish a book long LONG before it is ready. If you’ve followed along with me throughout the start of my career, you might know just how much I’ve struggled with this.

I’ve released the book twice after heavy edits and a new cover, and I promised that would be it. It was time to leave the book be and move on to new things.

Well, I am still a baby at this and still learning things as I go. So I apologize for the flightiness that is me. But I promise, this is it. I know this is it because, after a year of deliberating I have finally made the decision to re-title Deny the Moon. The process will be gradual, I will be switching the title on Smashwords, Amazon, and Goodreads as soon as I am able to, but I feel it is the best course for all. This is the name the book should have had from the start. From now on, Deny the Moon has hereby been re-titled as:

Pack or Prey: A Wolfblooded Series Novel

Not only is this better for this book, but it fits in more cohesively with the rest of the upcoming books in the series. (Yes, I am still writing book two. But It’s almost there! I don’t want to jump the gun again!)

 

So there you have it. I’ve been working on things as time allows me, but I think things will start moving faster in the coming months. I will say that this is it. Once this has all been accomplished, I will finally feel as though I’ve done right by my story and can move forward with it and finish book two. Everyone takes 5 years to write a sequel, right?

Right?

 

 

To the Critics of #MeToo and #IBelieveYou

I’ve seen a lot of reactions to the #MeToo campaign over the last couple of days. Some were heartwarming, some heartbreaking, and others filled me with white-hot rage. Two days ago, I posted my own #MeToo on my facebook with a strange mixture of emotions I’ve yet to pick apart. I’ve seen two family members, and some very dear friends post their own, my heart breaking with every new post. My heart swelled seeing men reply to their friends and family with #IBelieveYou, and was shook again when I saw male acquaintances bravely admit #MeToo.

And then there are the ones who somehow manage to make something already unbearable to begin with even more ugly.

Not only were there the predictable victim-blamers, men throwing angry tantrums about divisiveness between the sexes, and people trying to demean what it is these people were saying, but there were women–who had moments before cried #MeToo!–invalidating men who joined the movement with their own stories of abuse. I don’t know which one pisses me off more.

 

“If we can’t step back and take in the ENTIRE picture—which may or may not resemble our own personal struggle—then we will NEVER find a solution.”

 

So here is my opinion on the subject, broken down by each horrible response I have seen so far:

 

“This is an issue of men preying on women! Men, sit your ass down!” or “I get that men can be abused, too. Or that women can be the abusers. But this is a largely MEN attacking WOMEN problem!”

 

#MeToo is for SURVIVORS of sexual abuse, harassment, and rape. Survivors—not men, not women. It was originally created in 2007 by Tarana Burke, founder of Just Be Inc. as a succinct and powerful way for survivors of abuse to connect with one another, and has evolved into a battle cry over the last week.

This is about people, of any demographic, making their voice heard as loudly as they are comfortable. This isn’t just about men attacking women. The larger issue, which includes all sets, is the predatory preying on the victims. People hurting people, and that pain being considered “the norm.” If we can’t step back and take in the ENTIRE picture–which may or may not resemble our own personal struggle–then we will NEVER find a solution.

 

“This whole movement is STUPID. What the Hell do you think you are going to achieve by posting two words on your facebook page? Do something WORTHWHILE!”

 

This is a perfect example demeaning or dismissing the victims. You have no idea how many years it took some of these people to share that they were hurt. For many, this is the very first proclamation from a childhood of sexual abuse. This is the first time they are letting go of the shame, the guilt, and the fear. They are finding support through recognizing each other.

For others, they have shouted from the rooftops what they had gone through and no one ever believed them. How many years of second-guessing, of shouldering blame for something they had no control over, do you think some of these people suffered? By telling the man or woman who responds to their cry with #IBelieveYou that their support is useless not only demeans them, but it also belittles the overwhelming relief that survivor felt by FINALLY hearing those words.

The hope is that, with a wall of #MeToo’s pouring into people’s newsfeed, it will stop being some far-off epidemic. We can finally see just how close it hits to home. It will no longer be some intangible issue that couldn’t possibly effect my little world. Not only that, but the more people that post it, the more likely it will cajole that one victim into speaking up. You never know how many predators will finally be outed.

 

“The whole ‘Casting Couch’ trope has been a fixture of Hollywood for decades. Why start screaming and crying about it NOW?” or “They knew what they were getting into in that business. They should have found another career if they didn’t like it.”

 

God give me strength on this one…

 

“We should NEVER accept sexual abuse and harassment as being a ‘risk of being in the business’.”

 

Let’s just pretend you aren’t assuming this ONLY happens in show business or to young, naive actresses.

Imagine you are working your dream job, whatever it may be. It’s what you’ve worked your entire life towards. Thousands of dollars in school, classes, resources. Exhausting hours, long commutes, starting from the bottom and clawing your way up, fighting to prove yourself over and over again until finally you land and interview at the company you’ve had your eye on since you decided you wanted to be in that field. Except, when you finally start the interview with your future boss, they aren’t really interested in how hard you worked, your experience, or your ability to do the job. They want something from you if you want the job, a job thousands of others have gotten because of what was on their resumes rather than what was on their bodies. They dangle this job in front of you because they have the power and they know you would do just about anything for the break you’ve been fighting for.

Would you give up everything you lived for or just lie back and take it? If you were young and desperate and did what you had to do, would you not feel shame or disgust for what they put you through? Do they, then, get to just continue their predatory ways because you didn’t speak up right away?

I don’t care if it’s acting, medicine, education, law, or just a babysitting gig. No one has the right to exert power over someone like that. We should NEVER accept sexual abuse and harassment as being a “risk  of being in the business.” To suggest such only lets survivors know that you aren’t someone they can run to for help when these situations arise. Because that is what we are hearing when you say that. We hear you saying what we went through is not a big deal. Which is the very reason many of us take years to come forward—if ever.

Why are we all screaming now? Because we didn’t always have a platform from which to let our voices be heard. Back when the “Casting Couch trope” began, there was no Facebook or Twitter. There were no readily available outlets that allowed us to speak up on a large scale, to find support in one another, and to let us visibly see that we aren’t as alone as we were years ago. We can find one another, we can find help, and healing can finally begin.

 

“If they aren’t willing to name their attackers, then their voice is useless.”

 

Some victims still won’t be able to speak up. Some will remain silent because they still fear the consequences. My heart goes out to them. They are still allowed to count themselves as survivors. If they have the strength to let people know, “Hey, me too,” and not call out their attacker by name, guess what? That doesn’t invalidate them. Who are you to decide which survivor is worth their story and which one isn’t?

Yes, it would be a better world if everyone was strong enough to lay it all out there but this is reality. Some are still very much in their abuser’s lives. Some have close family who have grown up from whatever kind of kid they were when they assaulted or harassed them. Some are too kind to destroy people’s lives, even when those people have hurt them. There is no end to the reasoning behind not naming your attacker, and I for one am not going to harass someone over it or make them feel small because they can’t bring themselves to. They’ve already gone through that once (or more,) I refuse to add to their pain.

 

#MeToo can effect anyone of any gender, orientation, class, or creed. Just because it happens to a male, or a rich person, or a polyamorous person doesn’t make it any less life-altering. Whether or not you have personally experienced sexual assault, your life is likely to have been affected by it. If your girlfriend is afraid to walk put the trash to the curb at night, or your husband is twitchy when it comes to being intimate, if your once-outgoing children shut down out of nowhere, talk to them. Ask them questions. If you find out the worst, will you tell them it’s a risk of being small and helpless? If even ONE predator suffers the consequences of their actions as a result of this movement, I will call that a good day. And even more importantly, tell them #IBelieveYou.

Tired

I’m tired of the ugly.

Ugliness has infected this world, spreading its vile toxicity to every man, woman, and—yes—even child. Its firm, sticky fingers clutch at us and linger on through our daily lives, sucking away our energy, our strength, and our compassion.

We cannot work without it weighing us down. We cannot commute without it sliding into our ears, burrowing under our skin. We cannot live without it stealing each breath we fight for.

I’m so tired.

I’m tired of fighting with strangers, fighting with family, fighting with friends, fighting with myself. I’m exhausted from resisting and fatigued when I can’t resist any longer.

The world was not supposed to be like this. We were not supposed to be this way. We are one people. One people, yes, but with many facets. It’s the facets of a diamond that make it shine with brilliance, and yet, as people, we sling mud on the facets sitting opposite ourselves, doing whatever we can to dull its shine, to make what should be beautiful…

…ugly.

I already feel ugly, I don’t need your help.

I feel ugly in my skin, I feel ugly in my heart, and I feel ugly in my head. I try to be strong, but I am weak. I try to be kind, but sometimes I’m biased and unyielding. I try to understand, but my stubbornness and my inherent need to be right, OUR inherit need to be right, still tries to stir the embers of that oh-so-easy fire of contempt for anyone that thinks differently than we do—

It’s hard to go against your instinct. Especially when you have no idea WHY it’s instinct.

It’s programming coursing through your veins, signaling in your brain with microscopic ones and zeroes, telling you that this is what is right. And when you fight against that, when you try to reprogram yourself, when you question the coding and the syntax your consciousness was built on, it makes you… tired.

Well, I’m tired. Bone-deep.

I’m tired of watching my friends fight with friends. “Opinions that are like assholes: Everyone has one, but no one really wants to see yours. We don’t discuss those unpleasant things in polite company, so please pull your pants back up, and wash your hands.”

I’m tired of finding hair-thin cracks in previously solid families, caused by opposing politics hacking away at it. “Libtard!” C-RACK! “Cuntservative!” C-RACK!

I’m tired of being afraid that THIS unpopular opinion or THAT political view will throw my otherwise perfectly-perfect marriage onto a runaway train towards Divorce.

Don’t question the status quo. Don’t upset the nature of things. Don’t stand. Don’t kneel. Speak up. Keep quiet. Right. Wrong. Yes. No. Left. Right.

Humans are not elastic—we can only stretch and bend so much before we break. Humans are not play doh—you can’t shape someone else to your preferred specifications.

Humans… are human.

We are different, and stubborn, and fallible, and right, and wrong, and ugly when we feel threatened and uglier when we feel superior. We have opinions that don’t always mesh, we have histories that others can only speculate and empathize with but never, ever, truly comprehend. We are argumentative, and infuriating, and mean well, and some of us just want to watch the world burn.

But mostly, we are just tired.

I know I am.