Insecure Writers Support Group 5 January 2022


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The Insecure Writers Support Group question for the first installment of 2022 is what is your biggest writing regret?

My biggest writing regret will always involve the ill-advised book that I published back in 2007. Not only did I spend thousands of dollars on a POD publisher but I had it in my head that this story would help people somehow. I revealed much too much about myself, forgetting the following truth.

Some truths should be fictionalized because most people aren't going to believe them. I made myself too vulnerable. I opened myself to attacks and ridicule through what I revealed in this book. I was also so desperately in need of someone to understand me that I let everyone in rather than communicating with my "fans" in a coolly polite fashion until I could be sure of their real motives.

I know I'm being cagey, but I don't want to open up Pandora's box again. This experience took a lot out of me. I almost gave up writing for good. 

I've learned a lot about myself during this past year. I may never "succeed" at the coveted "love yourself" thing, as I have no idea in the world how that would look or feel, but I sure as hell have learned to respect myself. Even I am not allowed to say the mean shit I used to say to myself anymore.

I may initially come off as snarky, standoffish, and even uncaring, but I need to protect myself. I am worth protecting and so is my writing. If people can't understand that, they are welcome to think that I'm just an asshole. 

Sometimes it's better to be an asshole than to be too solicitous. There are too many people out there willing to take advantage of someone who is desperate for validation.

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Free use image from Open Clipart Vectors

How I Fucked Up (This Time) And What You Can Do To Avoid Being This Stupid


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I really, really, really fucked up. Like big time fucked up. Like how could anybody be this fucking stupid fucked up.

I'm so angry at myself. I didn't see the email requesting corrections to my story that was accepted for a charity anthology. Consequently, it wasn't included. Well, abra-ca-fucking-duh.

I just feel like such a stupid piece of worthless shit right now. I know that from the outside looking in this probably seems like a "get over yourself" kind of thing and a "you brought this on yourself so suck it up" kind of thing, but I'm so sick and tired of my anxiety and ADHD fucking up my life this way.

Here's what I did that I probably should have done a long time ago.

I created a Proton Mail account because part of the problem is my personal account is so damn cluttered. Not to make excuses for myself, because I should have been checking. Damn it all and fuck me sideways. 

I told the people at Grinning Skull Press that they could use the story in a future anthology if they want. I suppose I'll self-publish it. 

In the meantime, I wish there was something I could throw myself off of. Story of my life, fucking perpetual fuck-up. It's my own fault, there's really no excuse.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. I'm going to be kicking myself all day. I'd sacrifice myself to something, but nothing would want to eat anything this stupid for fear that it was catching.

I was just so proud to be selected for that anthology and then I went and fucked it all up because that is what I do. 

I'm starting to understand my anxiety and ADHD a little better, but even that makes me mad because it took me more than half a century to get to this point. Always a damn day late and a dollar short, me.

No, I am not about to take medication to try and short-circuit the ADHD. Psych meds (and it is a psych med because it affects brain activity) and me don't get along. What would have been nice is to have someone along the way help me understand my ADHD and develop strategies for living with it rather than filling me with self-loathing and anxiety. 

Somehow, all of the times people called me a flake and a fuckup didn't do anything to help me become less flakey or fucked-up. How 'bout that? What a surprise!

I really fucking hate myself right now. 

I've spent my entire life wondering why I have to be this and hating everyone who told me to just stop being this. Nobody would be this by choice.

Sometimes when people appear to be flakey or uncaring or uncourteous, they are actually struggling. Like me, they may be wrestling with ADHD or anxiety, or both. I'm sure it's frustrating to deal with, but slinging insults isn't the answer and is probably doing more harm than good.

Have a good day. I'm sure I won't.

The one thing I can accomplish consistently

Mid-Month Update 12/12/21


The following is a copy of my most recent, sporadically updated Naughty Netherworld Newsletter. 

Hello to my four subscribers. Long time no update, and that will probably continue to be the pattern. I'm currently most active on Readers Roost ( but you can also check in with me on Naughty Netherworld Press (

I may not be sharing quite as much of my own work at Naughty Netherworld Press in the coming months because currently creating pieces for submission to anthologies has taken precedence over my personal projects. Any submissions that get rejected will eventually be self-published because that is how I roll.

I just submitted a trio of story seeds for a fun project that you may want to check out.

You can also download a copy of my brand spankin' new list of publications seeking submissions during the first quarter of 2022. 

You don't need to have an Odysee account to download the list. It's free to anyone who wants a copy. However, I do suggest getting an Odysee account. It's an open-source marketplace that operates using its own cryptocurrency, the LBC, currently valued at $0.05. It's a great way to back up YouTube content if you create such or as an alternative to selling on Amazon. I usually make PDF copies of my stories and poetry collections available for purchase on Odysee as well as Amazon.

Most of the entries on my list are compiled from 

You will want to check Literarium out as well because I only listed publications where I felt my work might be a good fit.

If you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Yule, or Xmahanukwanzyule, I wish you happy holidays. If you don't celebrate the holidays, I wish you happy un-holidays.

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Nah, I'm not drunk. With the crummy medications I have to take for my various ailments, those days are well behind me. I'm living vicariously through my avatar.

Posthumous Thoughts: The Usual Suspects

Posthumous Thoughts: The Usual Suspects: “What d’ya got?” The captain was unusually surly this morning. Junior had pulled an all-nighter trying to keep up with Bannon who hadn’t res...

I've been frustrated with my writing un-career, but I've never considered whacking anybody. I did, however, have a dream where I killed this musician to steal his song lyrics and used my voodoo power to shrink him down and try and stuff him in my glove box when I saw the police coming. It was an odd dream as I'm honestly not homicidal and I have nothing against the guy who was the victim in my dream.

Reminder: Readers Roost Is Here for your Holiday Reading Needs


If you'd like to support indie and small press authors over the holidays, come by my book blog, Readers Roost. I feature book tour posts, the quarterly Roost Recommendations, plus the all-new permanent genre pages. Bookmark Readers Roost for all your reading needs any time of the year!

Ornery Owl sez:
Show 'em that you care with the perfect gift from Readers Roost.
Be sure to get a little something for yourself too!

It's the link you need when you wanna read!

Charity Sunday: In Memory of my Dad


Today is the eleventh anniversary of my father's passing. He had a serious hemorrhagic stroke in 2006. In the following years he had more strokes, developing vascular dementia. During his working life he had been a college professor. Towards the end of his life, he would read and re-read the same line in a catalog. He also developed congestive heart failure. His circulation was so poor that at the time of his passing, his lower legs were purple.

Collier Hospice in Wheat Ridge, Colorado was the second best thing to being able to pass away at home. The room was spacious, pleasant, and quiet. The staff were attentive but allowed for plenty of private family time. On the night before he departed, I read my father A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas. He always read it to my brother and me when we were kids, along with Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. I know that in this lifetime, I will never again be able to read A Child's Christmas in Wales aloud because I can't get through it without breaking down.

I will donate a dollar for every comment received on this post to SCL Health in honor of my father.

Link to learn more about Collier Hospice.

Link for the SCL Health Foundation donation page.

I apologize, but NaNoWriMo in conjunction with the November Poem-a-Day Brain-Dissolving Challenge has dissolved my brain and I can't think of an excerpt to post. If you would like to read a gloomy holiday-related poem that will appear in a future anthology, follow the link.

I'm adding in the 28th chapter of my NaNoHellMo project. I'm 1000 words from being able to stick a fork in that fucker. Be forewarned, it's a long read.

Day 28

28 November 2021

Spirit of the Universe, please set aside everything I think I know about myself, about my story, about my need for validation, and especially about you, Universe, so that I may have an open mind and a new experience with myself, with my story, with my need for validation, and with you, Universe. Please help me to see the truth. Amen.

Today is the 11th anniversary of my dad’s passing. It was about a half-hour ago that the hospice called my mother to inform her that he was gone. The ringer on my phone wasn’t working so she had to call twice. On the second time she said something hurtful that has stuck with me. She said “you’re never here for me.”

I don’t want to sit too long in this place. My mother is better these days, not as angry any more. However, my parents’ disappointment in me has always been palpable to me. I think it’s been a driving force in my life. I want to show them that I can be successful without having to do what they want me to do because I can’t do what they wanted me to do.

My parents helped me a lot financially over the years but it always came at the price of having to listen to how disappointed they were in me. I felt like I was always begging them to see what a mess I was, to please have some understanding for me and to let me get better so I could succeed on my terms.

I remember when I got the job in the independent living section of the retirement community where I worked. It was such a relief to not have to kill myself in the long-term care center anymore. Part of what got me the job was my EMT license. I was never able to work as an EMT because I would have had to take a $4 per hour pay as an entry level EMT over what I was making as a C.N.A., but the license still helped me.

I liked the job in the independent living section much better. I had a lot more autonomy and there was far less heavy lifting. I was proud when I told my father that I’d finally found a job that I thought I could stick with. His response was “well, we’ll have to see about that.” He and my mother were hell-bent on having me get my nursing license so I could make more money. There went my feeling of pride in one fell swoop.

When I did get the nursing license some six years later, I made between $2 and $6 more per hour than I had made working as a resident assistant, and I was killing myself working 60-hour weeks. My sciatica got better because the first case I had involved working with a one-year-old infant whose case resolved.

The next major case I had would be the main client I worked with for the rest of my career in nursing. It might have been okay if the patient had stayed with the agency that I was working with, but there was a serious disagreement between the agency and the patient’s mother, so he was transferred to a different agency.

I signed on with the new agency but kept my foot in the water, so to speak, at the agency I was already with. I had good (though expensive) health insurance through them. I did not know about the Medicaid buy-in if it existed, and I don’t know if it existed in 2016. There can be dry spells working for homecare agencies, so I figured it was smart to be signed on with more than one.

Working as much as I did fucked my health to hell. One of my patients developed a severe respiratory infection which he passed on to me. I had to call off from my other assignments so I wouldn’t pass it on to those patients, but my coordinator told me that I could keep working with the patient from whom I’d picked up the illness because I couldn't re-infect him and laid on the guilt by saying “the family really needs you.”

My diabetes was getting worse and I wasn’t on insulin yet. I was really, really sick. There is no way under the sun that I should have been working. During the night, I sat by this patient’s bedside. I would play games on my tablet or write on my laptop. Sometimes I dozed off, but it was a light sleep and I would always snap to if something were amiss.

I didn’t snap to on this occasion. I recall looking at the time when I started feeling so drowsy that I knew I was going to go under. I was in a state of complete unconsciousness for the next 20 minutes. When I woke up, the patient’s father was sitting at the end of the patient’s bed glaring at me. I collected my things, apologized profusely, and left. I knew what was coming.

I think that I had a T.I.A. (transient ischemic attack) brought on by all the stress that my body was undergoing. I was well and truly unconscious. I was, unsurprisingly, fired from the first agency. I wanted to rail at my coordinator for putting me in that position, but I remained stoic during the process, responding only with “yep” and “nope” and finally saying “okay, bye,” and leaving.

It wasn’t so bad at first because the second agency kept me on with the patient I’d been working with before. Unfortunately, his case worsened to the point where he needed more care than a regular LPN could provide. He had a rare x-linked genetic disease and was going to start needing infusions. I am unsure if he is still alive. He had lived longer than most kids diagnosed with this condition.

I tried to go back to work in a long-term care center when the homecare agency was unable to find me another suitable client. It didn’t work out. The diabetes had taken a lot out of me physically by then and I felt like I was going to pass out. I also felt confused, probably as a result of my blood sugar taking a dive.

There is a high rate of burnout in long-term care and this is because they work their staff to death.

I made a promise to my father that I haven’t been able to keep when I was sitting beside his body in his room at the hospice. I promised that I would finish my Bachelor’s degree in English. My father was a college professor and was always disappointed that I only had an associate's degree. Unfortunately, I am too busy to take on even one more thing.

One always hears these stories about people getting a lucky break after years of hard work. I honestly don’t think I’m ever going to be able to join that crowd.

Book Promo: I Am Not For Sale


A desperate espresso café owner, a determined coffee franchise rep, a quiet Midwestern town, anonymous threats out of the blue—where does the true danger lie?

I am Not For Sale

Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense and Mystery

Heat level: Four flames

Print length 287 pages

81,000 words



It’s nothing personal…

It all seems simple enough—Ukrainian immigrant Nadja Petrov is determined to hold on to her thriving new coffee shop, Nadja’s Literary Cappuccino, and Java Beans District Rep Kevin Langley is equally determined to move into her North Iowa town with a franchise and run her out of business.

He scopes her out, she keeps a watchful eye on him, and the sparring begins. But there are other players involved, and the web of intrigue soon threatens Nadja, her shop, and her aunt as well as Kevin, his potential franchise, and his son.

Within this cauldron simmers a sexual attraction between Nadja and Kevin that catapults them to overcome their fears of intimacy and commitment. Their lovemaking is tender and raw. Their love is nearly lost in tragedy—can it survive doubts, fire, and even a death?



Set Up: Kevin has driven three hours and dropped by unannounced late in the evening…

“Come in,” Nadja said, her voice just above a whisper. “I’ve wanted to call you, but I didn’t know how.” She grimaced. “I made a mistake. I know you didn’t talk to the newspaper reporter.”

“How do you know that?” Kevin folded his arms across his chest.

She tried her best to ignore her memory of him standing bare-chested in her kitchen. She failed miserably. “Because you said you wouldn’t lie to me.”

“And you trusted that?”

“Once I had time to think about it, yes.” She brushed back tears. “I’m sorry I panicked.”

“I know.” His voice was soft. “Let me.” He wiped away her tears. “You were badly frightened. It was best for me to leave—though I wasn’t thrilled about that at the time.” He gave her a quirky smile. “I guess we both needed some space for reflection.”

She nodded, grabbed his hand, and led him toward her kitchen. “You want some coffee, or wine?”

“Wine would be great. That would be relaxing.”

She led the way to the kitchen, where she grabbed an open bottle of wine from the fridge. “Hope you like Pinot Grigio. It’s what I have left.”

 “That’ll be quite fine. Maybe it will help me unwind. I did speed more than I usually do getting down here. I wasn’t at all sure you’d even talk to me.”

Nadja chewed on her lower lip, then handed him a glass of wine. “I think I’d like to do more than talk, if you want to.” She paused. “Maybe a little of this,” she whispered, rising on her toes to slant her lips across his. She parted before he had a chance to react. “Why don’t we take our glasses into the living room?”

They settled on the couch, and she held a glass in one hand and intertwined the fingers of her other hand with his.

He squeezed. “Do you have anything on under that robe?”

She grinned, certain he’d wanted to ask that question ever since he’d gotten over his initial nervousness. She shook her head and squeezed his fingers back. “I wasn’t expecting company.”

“And if you’d known I would ring your doorbell this evening? Would you have worn something else?”

“It would not have made any difference.” She blushed and glanced away.

“Unless you chickened out?”

“That could’ve happened, I suppose.” She jutted out her chin. “But you’re here now. And I’m not running away this time. And yes, I am naked under this robe. Does that fascinate you?” She saw no need to inform him that she’d become very wet, almost as wet as when she played with her wand.

He brushed a finger across her willing lips. “More than I can say. Before I kiss you, I need to let you to know I met with my bosses at Java Beans. They are no longer interested in buying your property. They remain committed to setting up a franchise in the Northern Iowa area. But they are not at all pleased about someone misrepresenting them in the paper.”

“I don’t want to talk about that now.” She pushed back a lock of hair from her brow. “I thought you came to see me. I want you to see me. All of me.”

She held his gaze steady and guided his hand under her robe until her hand and his cradled a breast. She moaned when his fingers came to life. She left him there, wrapped both of her arms around his neck, and leaned across to kiss his partly open mouth. She swallowed whatever verbal response he made while his fingers continued caressing her breast.

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About I Am Not For Sale

I Am Not for Sale was born in the fortuitous intersection of several threads when Mr. Kraft and I lived in a small Midwest town – our favorite sole proprietor espresso café, the opening of a newly authorized casino in the next county, the growth of a new regional chain of espresso cafés, and a trip one of us took to Ukraine at about the same time. Our heroine is a feisty self-sufficient recent Ukrainian immigrant to the U.S. whose aunt helps her open an espresso café in their small town. Her café,  the new chain of cafés, and the possibility of a new local casino are on a collision course…


About Adriana Kraft

When it’s Time to Heat Things Up

Award winning author Adriana Kraft is a married couple writing Sizzling Romantic Suspense and Erotic Romance for Two, Three, or More. Whether readers open our romantic suspense or our erotic romance, they can expect characters they care about, hot sex scenes, and a compelling story. Our suspense stories deliver one man, one woman, danger and intrigue. Our erotic romance is edgier and nearly always includes ménage or polyamory, sometimes with two women and a man, sometimes with two (or more) couples. We write our Erotic Romance stories to entertain, of course, but most of all we write them because we believe in happy endings for all who fall in love, whatever their gender, sexual orientation or numerical combination.




Newsletter: free download of our erotic f/f/m romance novella Cherry Tune-Up for signing up.



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Insecure Writers Support Group 5 January 2022

  Image by Tumisu from Pixabay The Insecure Writers Support Group question for the first installment of 2022 is what is your biggest writin...