Not With a Bang But a Whisper

coffee and a blank page


When my brain finished integrating last fall—last stage in healing the mental fractures that nearly killed me, after 25 years of misdiagnosed and untreated PTSD—I came back to myself less than two weeks after an illegitimate election placed an unstable and corrupt would-be dictator in line to be the next US president. In other words, I finally knew myself in the world just as the world I knew tilted on its axis and began slipping away.

The core challenge that posed has taunted me ever since: how do I normalize this overwhelming new sense of self I am experiencing, while at the same not normalizing this overwhelming new world, filled with political chaos targeting every social principle I believe in?

As a human being, feeling at home within my mind and body is everything. Is life itself.

As a citizen, feeling at home within this burgeoning autocracy would mean death.

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when a body loves a body

coffee and a blank page

There were protesters outside the local Planned Parenthood clinic again this week. And, also again, a group of women in bright pink escort vests arrayed quietly along the front of the building, a buffer to the hate and madness.

These protests have ebbed and waned over the 15-some years I have lived in Philly, but they are clearly on the rise again. When I first moved here from Texas, I remember being shocked to see Planned Parenthood locations advertising on local TV, out in the open and unafraid. It expanded my vision of what became possible when we who believe in equal bodily rights and the full social participation of women were not forced to accept shaming and violence as “normal” responses to our stance. As mere “business as usual.”

On Wednesday​, as I do every time, I crossed the street to thank the escorts for being there. We shook…

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The Price [The villainess series]

coffee and a blank page

* * *

“But, then again, what if they were role models?”
–Sarah Gailey, In Defense of Villainesses

* * *


The Price

Older than the ocean floor she slithers across,
the sea-witch rummages between her cartilaginous breasts
for the shell that stores the latest tongue
and voice in her collection.

Not the first fish I taught to waddle onto land,
she snorts to the anemones.
Not likely to be the last, neither—
and every damn one of ’em convinced
evolution’s just a party trick.
A way to meet cute boys.

She’d outdone herself on this one, too:
No talking. No singing. No dancing
without the girl feeling like there are razors
in her shoes.
Absolutely NO take-backs.

Settling her head into the wattles of her throat,
the sea-witch peers, sightless, into the cold ocean night.
Can’t nobody say as I didn’t warn her,
she harrumphs quietly, before pulling the…

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Magnificent Black War Horses: Xiang Yu’s Wuzhui & Alexander’s Bucephalus

Even in the age of automobiles and motorbikes, famed war horses and their riders remain charismatic and enduring figures. They inspire authors and movie directors to produce numerous adaptations based on their impressive exploits. Alexander the Great and Bucephalus were a prime example in the ancient Greece. There were Xiang Yu, the Conqueror of Western Chu, and his beloved steed, Wuzhui in the ancient China.

In both eastern and western cultures, black horses symbolize power, authority, and fearlessness. These powerful men helped to create the preconception by accomplishing astounding martial feats while riding their mounts. Both men were elite cavalry commanders of their times. Both Alexander the Great and Xiang Yu the Conqueror died in their thirties and their stallions died shortly before them. After Bucephalus passed away of old age, his rider founded a city called Bucephala to honor him  and died sooon  after (Rodgers, 2008).


The Image of Alexander and Bucephalus (3:05 – 3:08)

Xiang Yu and Wuzhui’s end was more tragic. When his remaining battalion was surrounded by his nemesis Liu Bang’s army, the warrior king, knowing his end was near, lamented that “ [he] could lift a moutain by might, but now [his] time is gone and Wuzhui won’t run” (Sun, 2015).  Because of this poem, the horse, along with his rider, is remembered to this day. A source claims that Wuzhui committed suicide by jumping into a river when Xiang Yu had tried to send the wounded horse away on a boat days before this.


The Painting of  Xiang Yu and Wuzhui (0: 44 – 0: 51)


We are fascinated by these magnificent black war horses and warriors because they were so powerful and swift together. They completed each other so wonderfully and shared their lives and glory. We do not imagine these ancient conquerors without their trusted animal companions thousands of years after they died.



Rodgers, N. (2008). The Rise and Fall of Ancient Greece.  London: Lorenz. 

Sun, J. (2015 November 5).  Heroic Horses of Ages Past. Retrieved from

Creating Footnotes in WordPress

Thank you for your help! I will consider adding the plugin.

Lorelle on WordPress

WordPress Tips and TechniquesAmong the many techniques students and clients request in my WordPress and blogging workshops and classes1, requests for creating footnotes in WordPress are rare, but they do happen.

There are very distinctive differences between traditional writing and web publishing styles.2 Footnotes have been replaced by links to cite a reference or resource to support the concept or point of the article. Yet, many still like the traditional and familiarity of a footnote, especially academics.

According to Wikipedia3, a footnote is called a note, often confused with endnotes. Footnotes are notes in the “foot” of the page in which the reference is needed. Endnotes are collections of reference notes and citations found at the end of the entire document or book, like a bibliography. While a website is a collection of many web pages, a web page does not consist of individual pages like…

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