only the best in the midwest

missouri gothic
  • your out-of-state friends laugh when you tell them you live in misery. you laugh too. you have to laugh. it’s a joke. only a joke. you wish you could make them stay away. they laugh it off.
  • “you haven’t been to the city museum?” you ask a friend. “you have to have been to the city museum!” have you been to the city museum? you can’t remember. maybe you went there on a class trip. you must have been. everyone has been to the city museum. everyone. you suddenly remember that your friend is still waiting for you inside the whale.
  • the tv screen goes white. oh no. oh no. black text begins to scroll across the screen. you feel sick. “accept jesus into your heart”, the man says. his voice is familiar. you’ve heard it so many times. who is he? who is he? he runs the church not far from here. but who is he? you’ve seen his face, but you can’t picture it. the black text is running on a loop now, you’re sure of it. “accept jesus. accept god. jesus loves you. jesus loves you. we love you.”
  • everyone has a ghost story. but everyone swears that ghosts don’t exist. which is it? missouri is a ghost story. all our houses are haunted. by the dead, and by those on their way.
  • you just want chick-fil-a. everyone wants chick-fil-a. but it’s sunday. wasn’t it sunday yesterday? you swear it was. but isn’t tomorrow sunday? chick-fil-a is closed on sundays. it’s always closed.
  • you’ve passed 9 churches now. or was it 10? you can’t remember. you don’t want to. everyone is at church. dead eyes stare at you from the windows. 
  • the past week has been nothing but thunderstorms. thunderstorms and tornados. it’s okay. no one you knew was in the path of the tornado. no one ever knows anyone in the path of the tornado. and you love thunderstorms. you love them. you say this through a tight-lipped smile.
  • you will never leave this place. you want to. but no one ever leaves. do they?
  • there are coyotes everywhere. you know this. that’s what they say. those strange howls at night. the missing pets. it’s the coyotes. it has to be.
  • you receive a letter. its address reads “st. louis”. no, that can’t be right. you don’t live in st. louis. you look closer. your zip code is there. but you don’t live in st. louis. you’ve never lived in st. louis. you feel afraid.
  • there are hawks. on every fence post, on every telephone pole, every road sign. they mean nothing, you tell yourself. they’re only hawks.
  • you love going to st. louis bread company. it confuses your out-of-state friends. “do you mean panera?” they ask. no. you don’t. you mean st. louis bread company. they’re different. they have to be.
  • a tornado is coming. you could be in its path. no one would know you. you go to the store. it’s fully stocked- except for bread, milk, and eggs. there is no more bread. there are no more eggs. there is no more milk. why? why is that all we take? what do we subconsciously know is in those three foods that will save us?
  • “what high school did you go to?” that’s the question they always ask. why? you try to remember. you can’t. did you go to high school with them? yes. yes, you must have. didn’t you? you can’t even remember being a teenager.
  • billboards seem to be everywhere. you don’t even recognize what they’re selling anymore. they blend together. 
  • you’ve only been to the arch once. so has everyone you know. you go there once, and then never again. you don’t remember how you got to the top. you hate elevators. you always have. 
  • you look up at the shadow in the sky. your stomach drops. that’s not a shadow. it’s a massive cloud of black birds. they seem to be swarming directly above you. you can’t stop staring. every part of you goes numb. you think you hear someone screaming. is it you?

In the mood for romance?  Like supportive female friendships, the midwest and/or hot mechanics?  Then check out Conjuring Affection on Amazon!

Alison Conner is your average Minneapolis-based twenty something: she likes beer, indie bands, and wine nights with her best friend Linnea. Oh, and she’s a witch. But not, you know, a useful witch—she can cool the air with her mind, but only if there’s a ghost around. It’s not exactly a power they make movies about. She’s a party-trick-only witch, and that’s fine.

Also fine? Linnea’s brother Erik. Which is a problem, because Linnea has made it clear she’s not okay with that.

But when Erik is around, Alison can’t exactly help herself.

Just $2.99 on Amazon, and free with Kindle Unlimited!

Ohio Gothic
  • You’re pretty sure you just passed that corn field… Oh, you just passed it again. Best not to look anymore. You might go blind.
  • The beaches of Lake Erie aren’t made of sand. You’re not sure what they are made of, but there’s teeth. And finger nails.
  • If you’re in the middle of nowhere, then why are you hearing footsteps? They only come when you walk, like they’re following but don’t want to catch up… Why?
  • When you dive the highway at night, no time passes. The road is an infinite loop, and headlights glare at you from in front of you, and in back. but they never catch up.
  • Everyone talks of the amusement parks and plan their vacations around then, if they can ever find them. They don’t. And they never come back either.
  • In the fall, it’s best not to go into the forest. There aren’t forest fires, but no one looks forward to spontaneous combustion.
  • Children scream in the distance, at the park. No one goes to help. No one wants to die.
  • In the summer, lights blink from the forest. Lock your doors. Those aren’t fire flies. You don’t want to know what they are.
  • the shadows get big and long when the sun sets. you better run on home. doppelgängers are a bad sign. You don’t want to be replaced.
  • It snows long into the new year. food is scare, but someone has to go… Everyone hides. No one wants to go. Eeny meeny miny mo.
  • Spring comes around after great loss. The trees bloom in blood. Iron fills the air. 
  • Winter leaves hungry mouths to feed. They’re lying in wait in the roads. Road kill isn’t enough. You can’t drive safely anymore.

Dean expects it to be like the movies- like one big grand sweeping gesture, with a pop song playing loudly in the background as they slowly embrace, words slipped out accidentally after heart-pounding sex. Dean knows that real life isn’t like the movies (god does he know), but for someone who has survived the apocalypse, his life is built on sweeping gestures and grand pivotal moments. So he expects the moment he realizes he’s in love to be similar. 

He doesn’t expect it to hit him out of nowhere. For that feeling of fondness to turn into the realization that he’s in love with his best friend. 

So it takes him by surprise when he’s sitting in some shitty diner in the Midwest, watching his best friend eating a hamburger unaware of the ketchup that has dripped onto his tie with a fondness that only he can feel for the former angel, that this would be the moment he realizes he’s in love with Cas.

Goddammit, how has he missed this? How has he not figured this out before? Right now he’s watching Castiel, who is looking down at his tie with an expression of confusion and outrage that a condiment would dare land on his person. If it’s love that Dean feels at that moment, it’s lust that he feels next when Cas swipes the blob off of his tie and licks it off the back of his finger.

There it is. In a simple gesture, Dean’s life has changed, and if he acts on his feelings nothing will be the same between them.

And when Cas turns his attention to Dean, his eyes kind, his face reflecting a similar fondness, Dean is okay with this fact. 

Just a Scratch  (Steve Rogers x reader)

Request:  Hi can I request a Steve x reader where the reader is like a paramedic or something and after a big battle she is helping with all the casualties but then she notices Steve is hurt and makes him sit down so she can patch him up? Fluff fluff fluff. Thank you!

Here you go, lovely!  Hope you like!



This was a big day for you. It was your first day as an Emergency Room nurse at one of the best hospitals in all of New York City.  You were from the Midwest, having just moved to the giant city only a month ago.  Nursing back home had become a bit routine, and you felt like you were no longer being challenged by your work.  Sure, you still cared about your patients, and honestly caught yourself getting too attached to them and their families, but the work and skills themselves had peaked for you there.  You needed excitement in your career again, and what better place than New York?  

It was a brisk January morning, your nose cold from the wind across your face.  You had been staring up at the building for nearly 10 minutes when you finally decided that you should go in.  You’re okay…you’re okay… Rubbing your cold hands together and straightening your posture, you stepped into your new home.

~~~

Your first six months were pretty uneventful; a few gunshot wounds, a lot of stitches and casts, a few heart attacks, and far too many patients with vague problems, just looking for a place to stay to get themselves off of the streets.  You had learned the most important parts of your job very quickly: where to punch in, how to get to the cafeteria, and most of all where the bathrooms were.  

Today was just the opposite; the city had gone crazy.  There were aliens- yes, aliens attacking the city from a giant hole in the sky.  No one back home is going to believe this.  All of the available ambulances were out scrambling to pick up the wounded, and every staff member in the ER had been told they needed to stay until the job was done.  At least the overtime would look good on your next paycheck.

After about 4 hours of a constant stream of patients with wounds ranging from dust in their eye to large debris lodged in their head, you were thinking that you would be able to go home any minute now.  This was probably the worst that you’ve needed a shower in your entire life.  Certainly this had to be blood in your hair, right? But did you really want to know what else it could even be at this point?

~~~

“Can I get some help over here, please?!”

Running to the ER entrance to assess the situation, you were met by a very large, very handsome, very patriotic appearing man holding a woman in his arms.  She was unconscious and bleeding.  She was extremely pale and didn’t look long for the world.

“Jim, I need a gurney over here!  Get her into room 2!”  Grabbing your phone, you alerted the attending physician to meet them there, hoping that the poor woman had arrived to you in time.

The attractive man was turning to leave.  

“Excuse me, sir?”  He stopped and turned, his face looking exhausted and dirty.  “Do you know who that woman is?  Is there anyone we can contact for her?”

Taking a few steps towards you, he looked as if he was searching his mind for any information. After a moment he shrugged his shoulders and sighed.  “’I’m sorry, ma’am.  I don’t know who she is, but I found her on the corner of 39th and Park.”

You began to write some notes on a paper in your pocket when you noticed a large stream of blood soaking thru the man’s pants and dripping onto the floor next to him.  “Hey, we need to get that looked at!”

“It’s nothing, just a scratch.  I need to get back out there.”  Again, he turned to leave, but you grabbed his arm to stop him.

“You need to sit down.” Pulling his arm away from you, he took a step back, losing his balance slightly.  “You will sit down now, sir.”

He looked torn, looking to you and back out the front door, trying to decide which way to go. Finally, he relented to your orders. “Yes, ma’am.  Maybe I should get this checked out, but please be as quick as you can.”

~~~

Pulling up the leg of his uniform, you gasped at the size of the wound.  Trying to not alarm your patient, you attempted to mask your reaction. “Wow, that’s so…I mean…I just realized that I don’t even know your name yet.”

“Steve.  Steve Rogers.”

“Well, Mr. Rogers, this is going to take quite a lengthy repair.  We’re going to have to stitch this shut in layers if you hope to ever have it heal appropriately.  Not to mention that you’ll need antibiotics to be sure you don’t develop an infection. You may need to stay overnight.” You were shaking your head as you spoke, still marveling that he could walk on this leg.

“Please, call me Steve.” He cleared his throat, looking apprehensive to say more.  “I heal quickly, so I’m sorry if I’m not as alarmed as you are.  Could you just clean and cover it so I can be on my way?  They still need me out there.”

You looked at him as if he hadn’t heard a word you said.  Who is this guy?  And what’s up with the outfit?   “Well, Steve, you do have the right to refuse treatment, but I highly recommend you stay.  I would hate for you to lose this beautiful leg.”  Yep, you were the master of saying stupid things.  “I mean, this otherwise healthy limb.”  

He sighed, clearly frustrated at the situation.  “Tell you what, can we strike a deal?  How’s about you cover this up so it stays clean, I go finish this job and try not go get hurt anymore, then I come back and you do what you need to do?”

It was clear that you weren’t going to win this, so you reluctantly began to dress his wound. “Ok, but I’m off in a few minutes, so I’ll just have to take your word that you came back.  Judging from your spangley appearance, you’re probably trustworthy.”

His head snapped up, a large smile on his face.  “Did you just say…spangley?”

Your face was heating up, and you were sure you were now as bright as the sun.  “Uh, yeah.  Your uniform is very…Star Spangled Banner-ish.”

Now he was laughing, and wow, did his gorgeous eyes light up when he laughed.  “I may know a guy that you would get along really well with.”

Ah, screw it.  “You seem like a guy that I could get along with too.”  He didn’t say anything, but you heard him take a deep breath.  You had just finished your work and pulled his uniform back over his leg.  “There you go.  I held up my end of the bargain, so you had better hold up yours.”  

He hopped off the gurney, testing his leg for any pain.  “See? Good as new.”  He took a few steps, slowly and with a small limp. “Well, almost,” he smirked.  “So, will you wait for me?  I’d really like it if I could see you again when I get back.”

You stood from your exam chair to look him in the eye.  “Alright, Steve.  But I have one question.  Now, you be honest with me, are you really going to come back and finish the deal?”

He moved to stand within inches of you, looking down with those beautiful eyes, so close you could feel his breath in your hair.  “Ma’am, I’m always honest.”

Part 2

Michigan/Ohio/Indiana/Illinois feminists

My best friend and I have been talking about planning a small conference or a gathering for radical feminists in the region to get together and learn from each other and share ideas about how to move forward. Ideally, we’d meet up in a semi-central location, depending on where we are all located. Currently we’re thinking towards the end of the summer.

What we’ve talked about is giving women a space to speak about issues that are important to them–whether that means presenting some feminist analysis of a topic, talking about feminist history, or talking about personal experiences and challenges as a radfem. And taking the opportunity to connect and network with each other and think about what we can do to build feminist movements in the region.

If you wanna do this, please get in touch with me! We want to start planning. :)

Small Town Main Street. July 2016.

Main street to “A Golden Water Tower”–it’s the only non-residential street in this small town. Enjoyed an early supper at Cooky’s Café (red sign on right)–best fried chicken around. Opened since the 1940s, the family diner offers every drool-worthy homemade pie imaginable.

Some Good News on WLS

When I talked with my insurance last week, they said if I decided to do WLS, I had to go to one of their center’s of excellence. The issue with that, is they said, the nearest one they had was about 80 miles away. 

I know from my research that one of the best programs in the Midwest is much closer to me - just about 20 miles. I kept pushing and the people I talked to last week were wrong. That closer hospital is not only a center of excellence, but it is in the top tier. 

I am so glad I kept pushing and being my own advocate. :)