Writer’s Block & Laundry are an Ugly Pair

Birthday Walk on the Beach

I’ve been dealing with writer’s block for the last two to three months. If you’re not a writer, it’s an excruciatingly frustrating experience. I liken it to this: you put dirty clothes in the washing machine and feel relieved you took the first step (let’s say this is opening your laptop). You know that the wet clothes need to be put in the dryer, but you put it off and have to rewash the clothes because of mildew because you waited too long (you get distracted by anything else in your life and do not write). You finally put the clothes in the dryer and push start (you set aside time to write and then you stare blankly at the screen while you try to translate words onto a page). The clothes sit in the dryer for two days because you just cannot, for the life of you, muster up the follow-through to get the clothes out of the dryer and put them on your couch (you then block out time, yet again, to write and words start to flow and you have a fantastic idea, and then you stop). The clothes sit on your couch for two days, then you fold them, and then for some reason, unclear to you at best, you are unable to put the clothes up, an act that will most likely take ten minutes (you are paralyzed by the words on your page).

This is where I’ve been, paralyzed by the words on my page and unable to process the thoughts in my head and translate them into tangible paragraphs to read.

I had an epiphany this month, well two actually. First, fear of failure is paralyzing to me. This is not a new concept to me, but it circles back every once in awhile. When I went viral two years ago, I was terrified I would never again move people with my words as I did then. I was wrong, of course, as time has proven to me, but I had to continue to put authentic writing out.

My second epiphany is that I needed to process the last few months. Since July, our town has struggled with a multitude of stressful events. Alton Sterling was killed by a police officer. Shortly after, a man came into our town and shot and killed police officers. Our town dealt publicly with riots and bad press. Then, a flash flood destroyed almost half of our town, with almost no national attention. To top it all off, the coach of the LSU football team was fired, and their beloved mascot, Mike IV, died last week.

Since July, my writing partner Harmony Hobbs of Modern Mommy Madness and I used our page Hobbs & Hayworth to address some of the issues our city has faced. First, we held a round table discussion to talk about race relations in our town and how to talk to our children about current events. You can watch that here.

And then we got to work getting the children and school affected by the flood the school supplies and uniforms they need. At last count, we’ve been able to help about 5,000 children in our local parishes, all thanks to everyone who stepped up and helped us when we asked. Read more about this here.

I have a lot more to write about all of the above, but what has really weighed on me over the last few months is the revelation of people’s character. It’s been said many times, but now more than ever, I believe that in times of challenge, people reveal their true selves. It is truly remarkable that once the fog of survival fades, everything becomes crystal clear. People’s true motives, deals made with their devil behind the scenes, and what others say about you when you aren’t around are revealed, even when you can hardly stand to look with one eye open at the truth.

I don’t know about you, but I like to know where I stand with people, no matter how painful that knowledge is. This brings guttural disappointment, and feelings of embarrassment if you have been blind to something right in front of your eyes. But this is life. Times of trial and challenges reveal that friends will become strangers, and strangers will become family.

The question remains, what do you do with this knowledge, because once exposed, you can never go back to the way things are. It changes you at your core. You can be bitter, or you can use it as fuel to once again, re-evaluate.

For me, my circle continues to get smaller. And yet, my life has continued to get much larger, so much fuller, and more fulfilling. This is a trade off I will gladly take and not look back.

I turned 38 recently, and as I have written many times before, it is a painful reminder for me. But it’s more than that. It is my personal litmus test as to whether or not the weight of my baggage is worth it. I will tell you, unequivocally, even though I would not wish it on my worst enemy, it is so worth it. I am loved, and surrounded by family, friends and colleagues who fuel me to be better. My commitment to myself, as I head towards 40, is to remain true to myself and act with integrity. People will continue to question why I do the things I do and continue to say negative and untrue things about me behind my back, but I am the only one who has to answer to God and the universe for my actions. And that, knowing who I am, is the greatest gift I have starting my next year on Earth. I wish it for all of you, because once you know it, it provides incredible freedom to live an even more authentic life.

And so, I am holding myself accountable to put the dirty laundry in the wash and finally put this writer’s block up on the shelf where it belongs.

Baton Rouge is My Town. Our Town.

Baton Rouge is My Town

I live in Baton Rouge. I am a transplant, but I consider it my home. I had to get off of social media last night because I didn’t have adequate words to describe my thoughts about what is happening in my town. Our town. Even if you don’t live here.

Last Thursday, before any of this happened, I had a conversation with my oldest about white privilege, specifically white male privilege. It’s a conversation I have frequently with our sons, because I refuse to raise assholes.

I got off of social media last night and had a conversation with both boys about what is going on. I told them about my friends that I love and respect worry that their boys won’t come home one day and that this is a real fear. My heart aches for them. My heart aches for Alton Sterling’s children and that they will never be able to open a computer without the fear of seeing the videos of their father being killed. My heart aches for Alton Sterling’s aunt who has raised him and has watched her greatest fear play out in real time. My heart aches for our city.

I am also appalled at the racist underbelly of OUR TOWN that has come out in droves in the comment sections of our local news. APPALLED. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

The way it works for me when I write is usually something percolates in my brain and then I sleep on it. Then the words come together. I went to bed last night with a storm of thoughts of all of my friends who had to have conversations with their sons about how to act around police, and even as I type this the next morning, it brings tears to my eyes. I know a very tiny fraction of this fear, because I worry about how my sons might react since they are autistic when put in a situation without me present to keep them from acting out. This is a TINY gnawing fear, minuscule in comparison to the GIANT looming fear my friends went to bed with last night. It brings tears to my eyes to know that they fear that one day they, too, will watch their son’s death play out on the national stage.

Last year, I wrote this piece around the time of the Baltimore riots. It’s not enough for what is happening in our town, but it adequately sums up my thoughts on acknowledging race relations in our town. I moved to Louisiana with my family in the 80’s. I swore growing up I would leave the state and then I fell in love with the state. I love the people, the food, the outdoors and everything that makes it Louisiana. I do not love the racist underbelly. I actively choose not to associate with people like that, but I know they exist and it is my biggest disappointment in our state. My biggest pride is watching our state come together in a time of crisis, as it has done so many times before. I am hopeful I will watch that happen again and people’s hearts will be changed. This is a parenting issue and needs to happen for the sake of our children and the next generation.

I will speak up for injustice and raise the next generation to do differently. It’s my responsibility, and yours, too.

Read the post I wrote last year about race here: Let’s Talk About Race

This is What “20 Minutes of Action Looks Like” /NSFW/Trigger Warning


Brock Allen Turner raped a woman behind a dumpster. His father, Dan Turner, has said his son’s lenient sentence “is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action” and more stomach-turning excuses, which you can read here.

I read his dad’s statement, and my hands shook for two hours. Then, my whole body started to tremble. TWENTY MINUTES OF ACTION. TWENTY MINUTES OF ACTION. TWENTY MINUTES OF ACTION.

I don’t even know where to begin with the levels of disgust I have for this. I do, know, however, where to begin to describe what “20 minutes of action” steamrolled into my life.

This is what “20 minutes of action” looks like:

I refused to take baths and have exclusively taken showers for the majority of my life.  I hate getting into the pool.

Why?  Because my abuser used to ejaculate on my hair after “20 minutes of action” and then would stick me into the pool or the bathtub and gently clean his cum off.  If someone saw a seemingly loving male relative with me in the pool, they were wrong. He was washing away his evidence of his disgusting behavior, knowing that if my 50 pound body fought back, he would drown me, as he tried to the one time I fought him in the water.

Does this make you cringe? Does it make your stomach turn? It should. And yet I refuse to shut the hell up about it. I will keep talking about abuse because the only people that should be ashamed are my abusers and the people who were complicit in the situation.

My kids, like most children, love to get in the swimming pool. It takes all of my emotional energy to get in the pool with them. All of my emotional energy to watch them squeal with delight in a simple joy of childhood. In those moments, I feel like I am drowning even though my head is above water, suffocating under the weight of the memories that feels like I breathe them into my lungs every time I wade into a swimming pool.

Twenty minutes of action has robbed me of 20 minutes a day where I weigh myself and mentally check my lifelong struggle with anorexia. Twenty minutes of action has cost me 20 minutes a day of joy a day with my kids because I worry daily about someone touching them and am suspicious of all of the people in their lives.  Twenty minutes of action steals 20 minutes a day I have to use a catheter on myself to empty my bladder, a by-product of scar tissue from the abuse and weakened bladder muscle from anorexia. Twenty minutes of action causes 20 hours a year sitting in a doctor’s office dealing with the physical ramifications of those actions. I wonder 20 minutes a day if I’m too damaged for my husband to love me. I worry 20 minutes a day if I am too damaged to parent in a way that doesn’t rob my children of the simple joys of childhood.

I am so sick and damned tired of no one giving a damn about the victims, and only caring about the future of the abusers. If this is you—take a damn seat. You are enabling future abusers and are complicit in their actions.

This is not a drinking culture— this is a culture that rapists know that even if they are outed and caught, the punishment is a slap on the wrist and the majority of people will care more about them than their victims.

As far as his very brave and courageous victim, whose victim statement needs to be read by everyone (read it here), I stand with you. Keep talking. Keep balking. Keep fighting.