A Striptease For You

strippers photo: strippers strippers-3.jpg

I’m in a bit of a rut. You see, the writer part of me wants needs to create things that the blogger part of me doesn’t. Writing is a way of exorcising demons. A cathartic cleansing. An artistic pest control for the brain. Typically, I mold my toxins into little analogies that take on lives of their own, a.k.a. my fiction stories. The problem? I haven’t been writing any new stuff lately. I’ve been busy with the novel and, oh, I don’t know…blogging.

The blog for me is a playground. A very necessary one. I want to keep it that way. I’m honest as shit, self-deprecating, silly, sometimes naughty (okay, a lot naughty),  sarcastic… but I also conveniently hop around the heavy stuff. And that’s okay. I have to look too many of my real-life readers in the eye. That’s a vulnerability I’m not comfortable with. But when I don’t write the heavy shit out, I get stuck.

Beth stuck =  a  f*cked up Beth

I scour other blogs whose innards are displayed for all to see, and I admire the shit outta them. Their bravery astounds me. But I don’t work that way. I’ve tried. Doesn’t mean I won’t try again. But I have to feel it. If I’m going to give you the Full Monty, it had better matter.

Part of what makes my fiction so complex and dynamic (and yes, twisted at times) is that it’s the conduit for everything I’m not able to express any other way.

It’s the metaphorical me. Stripped. Bleeding my soul onto the pages.


My blog may be a tease, but I bare it all in my stories.

I like poetry for this purpose. I can be naked, yet shrouded in mist and mirrors. Inference and innuendo. Here is one where I am fully exposed. Can you see me?

Murky basements, web covered nooks hide
forbidden yearnings, mummified.
Music wakes them, songs siren.
They crawl and beg to be
heard again. Breathless
I unfurl.
Set me

You probably can’t. Not totally. But that was the goal.

I’ve got to get the novel put to bed. So you can read it. And so I can move on.

I need to get back to writing. Characters await.

Is writing cathartic for you? Do you write “naked”? How do you see your blog? Do you dance around certain subjects? Your comments MATTER.

**Related Post: I’d like to thank My Inner Chick for her post on blogging without boundaries, which led me to deconstruct and evaluate the struggle I was having, and ultimately help me understand how I write.


  1. Oh dear. I hope this doesn’t mean you’ll be blogging less. I mean, go work on your novel! I support you!
    My only writing is on my blog, but I feel the same way about baring all. I read Considerings and think, “Lizzi is amazing. Maybe I should try to share more personal stuff.” And then, no, I can’t. Love that line about having to look too many readers in the eye.


    1. It means I’ll be blogging a little less, yes, but truthfully I could never go on a total hiatus. I love it too much! More than that, it’s truly a part of me now. I love you for caring, btw. For real. I want to bake you cookies or something. xoxo

      **Lizzi is the BOMB.


  2. Well, now lookie there, Sarah – Iseeya! Thanks for the shout-out 😉

    I know that there are some areas I write ‘naked’. Maybe even more than necessarily I should. I look people in the eye in real life (family, mostly) and I find myself having to justify why I share so much and why I’m okay with that.

    And honestly, it’s because writing is SO cathartic, and some of the heavies I’m going through are SO painful, that to not write it out of me would be to allow it to turn to toxins within me, and poison my life.


    I’m heavily edited. I have layers. The most of it, and the insistent, clamouring stuff – that I write – the fun because I want to, and the pain because I have to.

    And in both of those things, the connections I’ve made and the support networks I’ve discovered and the absolutely wonderful, beautiful friends I’ve made, have made it all worthwhile.

    However…I have my basements and closets and nooks.

    Some of them also get poemed over at The Well Tempered Bards. That helps.

    Others…they simmer, without comment or notice, and remain curled away within me. Again, like you – there may be an occasional spectre of those other ‘Reals’ which pokes its head out, pretending to be an illusion. But no. I don’t share everything. And I’m quite content with that, I think.

    I love what you’ve done with this piece. You truly are an incredible writer, and I hope that when you publish your novel, you’ll let us all know so we can get a copy 🙂

    As for your striptease…tantalising. Makes me want to brush the cobwebs off and see if I can’t gaze beyond those mirrors 😉


    1. I love the word “nook”. And the metaphor “basements”. I don’t know why. I do love how candid you are, and I love (and sometimes envy) the support you receive around you. It’s beautiful. And inspiring.

      Trust me, when I publish my novel even strangers in Madagascar will know about it.

      Thank you, my friend!!!!


      1. ‘Nook’ is an awesome word.

        I’ve built up the support around me, as you are here – look how many have responded to you! You’re doing the same thing – interacting, building community, making friends. And doing it with style, panache and humour I could only hope to emulate 🙂

        Looking forward to the novel.


  3. Gah, I suck at poetry interpretation. So you’re saying (cobwebs in the basement) that you haven’t gotten any sweet lovin’ lately? Am I even close? Lol. Great stuff, even if I’m wrong, Beth. I’ve written several non funny posts and they’ve been my most popular by far. Still, they aren’t posts that really expose too much of me to anyone beyond my feelings in the moment and about a particular situation, if that makes sense. Writing is cathartic for me fo sho!! I’m jealouse that you have a novel coming soon!! I want to write a book I think, but have no clue where to start. Or what to say. Lol.


    1. HAHAHA! Uh….no. Not even close. But thanks for trying anyway – lol. Glad you can relate to the writing thing. If you wrote a book I’d buy it. But you know I like your naughty humor. 🙂


  4. Writing has sometimes been the only way I can let my feelings out. Writing poetry has been a way for me to understand my own feelings and develop a solution to problems. I agree that blogging is essential. My blog is one of muses.

    I feel your pain. I’ve been trying hard to incorporate writing back into my life after the chaos that was college and job searching. Then there’s the 40 hour work week. I’m actually planning specific chunks of time to writing. It’s been hard to get back into the swing of things.


    1. Oh Yes, I can see that you are a lot like me! “writing has sometimes been the only way I can let my feelings out” YES! And so true about poetry. This past October was a big eye-opener for me. Prior to that I hadn’t done much in years, and never that much in one month. I was shocked at how much emotion can purge into just a few lines! I sort of fell in love with it.

      I hope you’ll be able to find some good writing chunks with your busy schedule! I know you need it. Good luck!


  5. Your hits are going to be off the charts with this title.
    I am in awe of your poetry skills. The blog is where I do most of my writing lately. As I write about my family “am I revealing too much?” is a constant. A constant.


  6. I feel you. Sometimes I don’t even realize my inner crap is getting processed into my fiction until I see the almost finished product. Then, I freak out…eventually I let it go. Mostly. It can be bizarre when other people read what is essentially my “real feelings” and process it their own way. Part of the whole writing deal, i guess. But that’s one of the reasons I like to blog too, because it lets me write in a different way. Am I making sense? Probably not. If I could push the chocolate chip cookies I just made through my laptop to you, I would. You especially deserve one for that poem! Cool stuff. Happy writing, Beth!


    1. OMG – YES! You made total sense! So funny cuz I didn’t realize how much I was making aspects of my MC like me until my friends read it and said they visualized her as me, and I was like really, why? I was actually disappointed to hear that. And they said, cuz she’s totally you, doofus. Then I realized the similarities….and I really hadn’t before…and I had to do a face palm! And way later I could see aspects of the story that could be total metaphors for my life. CAHrazy. But, other than those closest to me, no one knows so (like you said) everyone reads it and processes it their own way, and just sees it for the story so it’s cool.

      Yes, blogging is such a part of me now. I’m loving it. It really is another branch on my writing tree. Very necessary.

      Cookies??? YAY! xoxoxo


  7. get to that novel girl! I can’t blog all those deep, personal things that some can. I know for some that this medium is a way to get their feelings and pain out, but I find some of it too much information for me. I have stopped reading midway through a post on some blogs because I am like “I don’t want to know this shit”, and some grab me and draw me in. Guess it depends on my mood.

    just get back to that novel, I would like to read it at some point.


  8. Because you asked…

    Is writing cathartic for me? Yes. Big fat letters: YES!!!! When I write, even if it’s only for me to read, I’m free and unchained, able to say what I want and what I really think, and what I like. Growing up as a preacher’s kid, I’ve censored myself for most of my life. I love to rip the censorship bondage off of my fingers and just go crazy with my keys.

    Do I write naked? Um…no…I try to do as little as possible naked because then I have to look at the naked me, and I mean that literally and figuratively. Maybe I should try it though. Stripping now….oh wait.

    How do I see my blog? As a work in progress…a rough draft…a place where I can be myself and nobody seems to judge me (because not many people read it). I enjoy sharing myself, the part of me that’s always in my head…the part of me that I hide from most of the world.

    Do I dance around certain subjects? Well, yes…of course. I like that I’m anonymous in my blog, so I feel a sort of freedom in what I say, but still, I withhold. Inside my head is a stock market ticker of thoughts. They fire rapidly. I mean, I GOT Ally McBeal. If you watched it, you understand…if I wrote down everything, I’d lose my mind. And I’m already on the verge of that most of the time.

    Tick tick tick!!

    Your writing is…sigh…beautiful. I love the poetry, and the depth of what you say. I love your colorful words and the song that they play in my head. I love the picture you paint for me with every stroke of your prose. I love your novel…so much. It belongs on book shelves. I know it’s an effing nightmare right now with all of the edits/rewrites/etc. Hang in there. Like I always say…Devi, Barron, Nodin…even Joe…and yes…he stays…they’ll all be household names soon. I can see it. And. I. CAN’T. WAIT!!!



  9. Also – there’s always the beauty of the Guest Post, so you can be a bit more naked but at someone else’s house…and your own people can only find out if you tell them…as it were.


    1. So true, Lizzi! If the opportunity ever presents itself, and the scenario is right, I would jump on that. (love the idea of being naked in someone else’s house – haha!) It would much easier than making up a fake identity blog to discuss such things, wouldn’t it?


      1. Yes. And that way you still get to share it with the people who you DO want to read it, and not with the people you don’t. Keep a weather eye – if you need the opportunity there are plenty out there.


  10. I don’t write naked, I can’t, I have teenagers who would puke all over me.

    But the truth is that I did write one such post. It’s been sitting in my drafts since August. Seems I don’t have the balls for this naked stuff.


    1. Sitting in your drafts since August?? Well now I’m all curious! But I understand….oh, how I understand! I’ve deleted many such posts!

      If you ever decide to post it, I will be there with bells on to support you! xoxo


  11. I read this first thing this morning and had a little snafu and just now got back to it. Beth, I’ve thought about it all day long because you knocked this post out of the frickin’ park! LOVED IT!!! You know how spectacular and inspiring your writing is to me, my dear. I used to write my short (real life) stories to an email group. That was private and safe and very popular with those folks. So, to put myself before the world has been a continual adjustment of risk taking. I’m by no means comparing fiction to non-fiction writing on any sort of difficulty level. It’s now been a process of slamming back another shot of whiskey and taking off one more piece of clothing and stepping away from the pole re: getting naked/striptease. When I saw the title to your post come through on my email I said, “Sweet, Beth!!! I have a ton of $1 bills on me!!” You and I are sooooo alike and I luv ya bunches! 🙂


    1. Aw, thank you so much!! We really are a lot alike, Mike! It’s tough no matter what kind of writing you’re doing, you’re absolutely right – all of it takes guts. You do an amazing job on your blog! And YOU inspire ME. How ’bout them apples? It’s so true. You ooze enthusiasm and joy. Luv ya right back. xoxoxo


  12. Writing is definitely cathartic for me. I often haven’t even fully processed my thoughts until I have sat down and just bled out my fingertips and onto the keyboard. Then I see all sorts of things popping up on the screen that I hadn’t quite arrived at on my own and I’m like “Oh, yes– that IS exactly how I feel about that, hmmm.”

    I, for one, would love it if you blogged naked (wait, what?) and just “let the heavy shit out” as you say. The post I wrote for Black Box Warnings was definitely from the Heavy Shit side of my mind and I was nervous about whether it would turn people off, so I can understand your hesitation, but! I’m ready to read anything and everything you decide to let out. And if it’s going to cause some sort of creative blockage that will harm your novel and/or blog then I really must insist you clear it out 😉


    1. I KNEW you wanted to see me nekid! haha! Seriously tho, I remember your post for Black Box Warnings and it was awesome! Lizzi, in an earlier comment, mentioned that might be a good idea for heavier subjects – a guest post. I would definitely consider it if was the right avenue, right situation, etc.

      Thanks for your support, you awesomerock! xoxo


      1. B, I’m with Aussa and Lizzi, and Black Box Warnings would be an ideal forum for your “inner demons” to get an airing, they’re a very supportive mob over there. If you need an intro, just say, but I’m sure they’d love to hear from you. Rd


  13. Funny that I have been bouncing this same issue around in my own muddled head for a while. I have written the hard stuff and then I deleted it. Didn’t save it as a draft….deleted. Gone. I hear you loud and clear because I want to write naked. Truly I do. I just am not sure I want the world to see me naked. I have a fear of being judged by my past and even some of my present. Then I tell myself, if they judge me they meant shit to me in the first place. The ones who really care will stick and comment and not judge. Right? Well, doesn’t that sound simple? I guess it’s a little like most things in life that matter…..you just have to jump. I have all the words, I just need to jump.
    If you jump, my friend, it will be artistic and bold and phenomenal. I know this.


    1. Reaaallly? I’m intrigued, Sandy! I so understand the deleting…I just said that in an earlier reply – I’ve written so many that I’ve deleted! UGH. As soon as I start picturing the people I know IRL and having to face them, I hit delete. For me that’s the deal breaker. I can tell just about anything to a “stranger” or to someone I don’t have to face, you know?

      I know for a fact that everyone feels the same and you would never be judged! I will be there with open arms to support you 100% if you ever hit publish…you can count on that. You’ve seen a few things from my past. And those were the nice things. haha! I don’t judge shit.



  14. I so get what you say about your approach to writing. It’s always been a very cathartic process for me, and I make no bones about not writing stuff full of sunshine and rainbows because that’s just now how my life comes out when I filter my experiences and put them on the page. I go back and forth between what I post on my blog because there are so many different types of post I want to write. I figure it’s like life… take me or leave it. When we are honest and bare our souls, readers get that and are drawn to it.


    1. You are brave, Jeri! I do love how diverse your posts are. And it’s funny because I respect and devour all types of blogs/posts no matter how “heavy” or silly or serious or whatever. The more “real” the more I LOVE it, so I don’t know what the hell I’m so afraid of. I guess it’s the people IRL that I’m most afraid of. I just don’t like to feel vulnerable or exposed. I don’t even like my therapist to see me cry. LOL.


  15. ugh. Sometimes, I hate the inner me for being so lame and not writing a book. I also hate how much i have to think about typing w one hand. It’s like I lost my brain/ and can’t find the flow while pecking away at the keyboard (try it, it sucks). You rock. Write. Now.


    1. Fuck, how much longer do you have to wear that cast? That SUCKS! Is it still green? The Christmas Yule log? So sorry you have to peck everything one-handed! And I just asked you questions….GAH! You don’t have to answer me. 🙂

      Thank you for your support & encouragement, btw. xoxo


  16. B, I wear my heart on my sleeve (knife on the the table) always! I couldn’t tell my deep end from my shallow end in a blue fit…but sometimes I read what I wrote as if it was written by someone else and think about the depth afterwards. Just write your heart because you’re fucking awesome and everything you write is worth reading. Love yer shit. Respect REDdog


    1. Rd, I want to write like you when I grow up! I don’t want to be able to discern my deep from my shallow end. Someday, maybe. Someday. Thank you for your words…*sigh* you made my night. I was just about to shut down my computer and I get this gem of a comment. There are several comments I want to print and hang in front of my computer and yours is one of them. xoxo


  17. One of my favorite posts from you–this REALLY resonated with me. I hate writer’s block and yet I often feel like I can’t always SAY what I want to say on my site–my entire family reads my blog, so I have to be somewhat careful. And there is that pressure to keep the humor going 24/7. The solution? A second, secret blog site. Just a place to spill the dark stuff and bleed all over the pages. I have a manuscript collecting dust–hard to get my act together to organize it. Write your book, Beth. You’re ready–it’s time.


    1. Aw, Marcia! You’re so sweet, I heart you big! Thank you, thank you!!! xoxoxo

      I totally considered a fake blog! OMG. It would be kind of fun. I would give myself awards. LOL. I’d say, this liebster goes to xxxxx for her unbelievable honesty that I admire so much. LOL. And the fake me would comment on this blog and vice-versa. We would be besties fer sher. *sigh* I love the fake me.

      Yes. The pressure. I hear you, girl. (are you saying YOU have a secret blog? That would be so mysterious and awesome!)

      You need to work on your manuscript, too! That’s so cool that you have that! Do it!


  18. for me what happens (in the course of writing a Post) is not cathartic but amounts to walking out on stage alone. (just a single baby-spot, house lights down).
    being a ‘niche blog’ makes the feeling of ‘oh shit! now what?’ a little better but it is still to stand on stage in front of an audience of: well-wishers, haters, family and friends, bored readers, jealous writers and a fuckin million people what can written better in me.
    however, to tie into your metaphor, it’s your body and apparently *some*people are willing to pay the price of admission to come and watch, hoping to see in you what they hope is within.

    great post (‘guy whistle noises come from the balcony)

    hey!! speaking of pushing the damn envelope, over at the Doctrine we’re trying what amounts to a live blog… a video chat…we use google+ hangout check with Lizzi (Considerer) for technical details

    but you need to join us! tonight 7pm EST


    1. “single baby-spot, house lights down” I love that. I can understand that nervousness and feeling of being on stage all alone, definitely!

      thank you for the whistles – much appreciated! xoxoxo

      A LIVE video chat blog, eh? Tonight? Okay so that will be 6pm my time…which means I will be here with my very loud, obnoxiuos boys all alone, which means THEY will be in the video. haha! I will see what I can do, thanks for the invite! I’ll get with Lizzi fer sher.


  19. Beth – you hit the nail on the head for me. If you don’t blog about the heavy shit, you get stuck. And that is exactly where I am at the moment. I am going through a heavy moment in my long term marriage at the moment and it is not something I can blog about. As a result I have everything bottled up inside me and I can’t write about anything!


    1. UGH, Lanthie, I’m so sorry! I completely understand, obviously. That sucks. A couple people have suggested a guest post on another blog (?). Don’t know if that would be helpful to you. Or maybe even writing it as a fiction piece, just to get it out of your system. PURGE.

      I hate that feeling, though, when you need to write for your blog, but your head is writing something else. GAH.

      Hang in there, girl! xoxoxo


  20. I agree – writing is sooo cathartic. If it wasn’t for the ability to spew my thoughts somewhere I think I would explode. I spent a year working on my memoir of Shitastrophy’s and have walked away from it for now. I had to – I was too close to it. Now the blog is helping me to realize the many things that need to be reedited. I will soon pick it back up and finish. So my friend, I went the other way – looks like we are meeting in the middle:)


  21. So we are, so we are! I remember reading about your book when I first was nosing around you blog. I would read that shit in a heartbeat! I hope you do edit it and get it on bookshelves, funny lady. xoxo


  22. Beth, I am in awe of you and your writing…I have said this before, and NO I am not a stalker, but you do poetry TOO? . 😀

    For me, my baby blog is definitely an outlet, but this week I have two blog posts started and can’t seem to finish them, or keep them corralled in the direction that they started! WTF? My draft blogs are taking over???? Anyway, hate that you might be here blogging less, but can’t wait for the novel!


    1. I know the feeling of having posts in drafts just sitting there – ugh! It’s so hard! I hope you get them written because your writing is amazing! And thank you for your support, it means a lot to me! xoxo

      As for the poetry, I try. You can see my attempts on my Renditions page. It’s close to a months worth. Some silly, some deep, all real. I especially like my open letter to my migraine. Lol. Talk about writing in the moment!


        1. Just a beginner problem? Hell, I’m a beginner too! But there have been plenty of people in this comment section that are pros and have said they have the same problems! That made me feel SO much better! That’s the beauty of posts like these I think. You stick your neck out a little (scared shitless) and you’re met with a crowd of support. It’s amazing.


          1. O.M.G. read the rest of the comments…I had NO idea you had only been doing this 5 months. How did I miss that? Wow, just wow. You were born for this, and the novel, of course! 🙂


  23. Yes – get that novel written so I can read it! I don’t display all of my innards, but enough of them. It’s not really my style, but if the mood strikes me I will do it. I used to dance around religion but obviously I don’t anymore. I don’t share stuff about my kids that they aren’t cool with me sharing. Other than that, I’m just not that deep.


    1. Trust me, I can’t wait to get the novel to you, and everyone!

      It’s funny, once I told my son I talked about him on my blog (didn’t use his name). I wasn’t sure how he’d feel about it. He thought for a minute, and then he asked me if I could plug his YouTube channel. GAH.


    1. Haha! yeah, I don’t plan on sharing sex stuff. Well, I do, but just playfully. Lizzi gave me the nickname “the smutster” so I’m clearly a pervert, but it’s all in fun….no *real* stuff is shared.

      I remember the post you did about body image. That was so powerful. I think posts like that might be hard for me, only because of the real life people that read my blog. I think IRL I like to exist with an air of *I got this*. I don’t like to reveal vulnerability. But sometimes I yearn to write of it.

      I’ll figure it out.


  24. I pretty much always write blog posts and comment when naked. People get a little peeved at me when I do this at work though. You know, all that sexual harrassment stuff.

    Writing is relaxing and creative. It calms me. Finish that novel and blog on the side. Naked of course!


    1. I know you blog nekid…we’ve talked about this before and now I have a visual of you at your desk in the buff. NICE.

      Thanks, Phil. I’m workin’ on it. Naked of course. 🙂


  25. I think you are a gorgeous gem- and how you share, what you share, who you are IRL and on line- all coincide to your art, your gift- and the writer has control to share her/his work in whatever form it comes in. I get your incredible poem. And THAT is your art/shades of you and pockets of who you are deep within. But so are all the other facets you share. They all create a perfect masterpiece that is uniquely yours. It’s a beautiful thing, really- isn’t it?

    If you ever want to do an anominous guest post and ‘get it out’ let me know…

    Can’t wait for the book!


  26. Aw, Chris. You so get me. (As do so many others on this comment page!) But thank you for these (seriously) beautiful words. Another comment I will literally print out to keep next to my computer. A metaphorical hand-hold for when I’m feeling hesitant or afraid. YOU. YOU. all of you contribute to me reaching my full potential. I hope you know that. Means SO much to me.

    Your offer is tempting and something I will consider and take seriously. Thank you so much.


  27. Awesome, deep and so me in some of the same aspects. I’m not writing any fiction though. I look forward to your novel. As much as I keep it real, there are definitely some subject I dance around – a biggie is marriage. But I have definetely “bared” my soul a few times. For the most part though, my blog is my playground too. And when I play too much – I get stuck. As you know I have a blog advent calendar up for the month. I can’t remember if some deep stuff is in there or not. But anyway, by not hanging out at the playground this month I have started writing in my serious book again. Definitely have had some aha moments. So when I come back I’ve got to find some balance there cause I’m not planing to ever give it up. 😉 Though my blog is also my playground I do also see it as a my biography in a way – a bunch of stories but not told in order.


    1. That’s awesome you have two places to write, too. I bet that really helps you equalize the two parts of your writing. Glad you’re getting some “serious” writing done this month.

      It is amazing how the blog ends up being like an inadvertent biography (mingled, unorganized), isn’t it? Some of my stories follow a linear line, some don’t, but they all are about me, or my life. Who knew? When I started this I had never even read a blog before. I thought I was going to write about writing. I thought it was going to be very “writerly” and not so much “me” at all. But then the “me” oozed out onto the pages despite myself. Sometimes I’m blown away the life this blog has taken on. What it has evolved into. What it has become to me. And it’s not even been 5 months! I can’t imagine what it’ll be at my 1 year anniversary! Where will this crazy/wonderful train take me? Looking forward to the journey….


  28. I hate myself when I’m stuck, and I hate being stuck, so inevitably I end up hating anything that happens on the page. Then, later, I love it.

    Sorry you’re stuck. I typically take a break. If that gets too long, I just write crap through it. 🙂


  29. Thanks, Katie. I’m aggressively editing at the moment so I’m conveniently avoiding the writing issue. That and I have some “fun” blog stuff scheduled to do here and there – things I’ve signed on to do (and I don’t have to think). That will fill the crickets chirping in the blogosphere….from my end anyway. ha!


Speak to me! I wanna hear ya!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s