I never thought I would enjoy being a part of a group of women. I’m what you might call a little edgy in that annoying way, and I can be obnoxious at times, so I’m allowed to say something as cliche’ as that last sentence. We should all be allowed our cliche’s. It’s part of being a writer.

I don’t remember the first time I walked into the Creative Writing class where I met the other ladies of Skirts Up. I was in a very weird time in my life. I was drinking and I was working. As far as I had been concerned, I was done with writing.

Looking back, I think we were all in weird places in our lives. There was a lot of crying, and a lot of sharing; all in the context of our stories. I think that sharing made it possible for us to reach each other in what could have been just another classroom setting. I think that sharing was something new that I hadn’t experienced before in the context of writing.

Over the last ….I think five years, I’ve learned to put myself on the page. I’m not finished by any means, because you never stop learning to be yourself. What I’m getting to is I never would have known how to even start cutting through my Fear and Loathing attitude and really start to carve myself into a story’s page without my fellow Skirts-Uppers.

We all learn something from each person we meet.I’m glad I know ya’ll. ūüôā


Did you check behind the fridge?

Did you check behind the fridge?

“The clear awareness¬†of¬†having¬†been born into¬†a losing struggle need not lead¬†one into¬†despair.”-Christopher Hitchens

When I was younger, I believed that there was an ultimate truth. I believed there would be some great sentence, or some unconditional knowing that would resist the chaos. This sacred state of being would allow for all the upsets, and all the cruelties; not just in my life, but in the lives of the ones I loved, and the lives of the people and creatures and things around me. I felt like this truth, and this understanding would allow me solace; a garden in the eye of the hurricane if you will.

I went to college looking for this. I partied looking for this. I took on habits looking for this. I did yoga looking for this. I made out looking for this. I made love looking for this.I read the Bible. I read the Bhaghavad Gita. I prayed. I cursed. I went straight edge. I decided straight edge was boring. I tried a juice fast. I did meditation. I drank REALLY EXPENSIVE WINE. I read Eat,Pray, Love. I threw Eat Pray Love into a donation bin with gusto. I re-watched Star Wars and tried to make Yoda’s words fit whatever shitty situation I was going through. I made Dalai Llama quotes my phone wallpaper. I had a band, and looked for truth in the music. I studied philosophy. I studied Psychology. I tried Nihilism.

I fucking quit.

And then, I did all that shit all over again.

And yet…..

The universe did not share her secret song.

The great lord of all things big and small did not whisper his delightful husky words of enduring and overcoming peace into my ear.

And you know what?

I guess that’s okay.

Maybe there is a great Novocaine truth to take the edge off the cruelties of this existence, and to answer that resounding, sleep depriving “Why?” .

Maybe, I just never read the right bumper sticker.Perhaps it was put on a Volvo that drove too slowly to pass me, or a Dodge, driving North when I was headed East. Maybe I missed the bible verse. Maybe I drank a red, when I needed white. Maybe I was sick that day in Philosophy.Maybe I just haven’t done enough Breaths of Fire while internally staring at my third eye.Maybe I should’ve stayed through Sunday night that year I went to Bonnaroo. Maybe.

Wherever it is, if it even is,my elusive ultimate truth, is far too elusive for me. Either way I can’t spend any more time looking for it. Too much work.



A brief review of Sequels

A brief review of Sequels


I actually watched the 2016 Ghostbusters movie the other night. I also recently (as in a couple months ago) saw The Last Jedi. These two movies are connected to some of the most relevant content of my life. I refer to, of course, the all too godlike films of the 70’s and 80’s which now sit on irrevocable pedestals in the minds and hearts of so many people around the world. I felt like I needed, as a writer, to make a statement about these two films, because I loved the originals so much, and the studios are cashing in on nostalgia.

Ghostbusters 2016 had a lot of potential to be a funny movie, even though sequels are usually not that good. (Except for some movies, especially Temple of Doom, I would be a different person without that movie. A sadder person with a hole in my soul, unsure from whence said hole had come from.) I liked the actors, but the writing wasn’t worthy of them, or the franchise.

The Last Jedi also had a lot of potential, and I am sorry to say that the writing was lacking as well. By the end of the movie, I didn’t feel like anything had happened. Well, people died, but nothing meaningful happened, and that’s pretty depressing.

I was guilty of wanting sequels, because when you fall in love with a character, you want to see them more. Unfortunately, that leads me to something else that I can say about these movies. Maybe a group of people catching ghosts is an archaic idea in this day and age. Maybe the Star Wars universe just doesn’t have enough happening for 9+ movies. ( Also, I wish they weren’t making a Han Solo movie, because I’m pretty sure Disney doesn’t believe that Han shot first.) Maybe I don’t want my heroes old, dead, or obsessed with how many wontons are in their soup. Maybe I got what I wished for and I didn’t want it when I got it. I suppose that’s life, and they are just movies,but that doesn’t make me feel any better about it.



IG Writers December Challenge

IG Writers December Challenge

Happy Sunday!

I just have to share this Instagram (IG) Writers December Challenge that I came across at midnight, created by  @normalchey on IG

It’s a great way to look at your writing life by posting everyday of December for the challenge listed. ¬†It’s also a great way to get into posting on a regular basis so that you can connect with other writers.

Check me out on Instagram  @hbnorell on IG

Have fun with this, it’s a joyous month to celebrate you as a writer!