miltonPeople who meet me for the first time, and then hang out with me for a bit, whether student, co-worker, new friend, find me friendly, self-effacing, generous. And then they hear that my company is named Devil’s Party Press and many of them get nervous for me and wonder why, almost like the old 1970s thing of “What’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?” why I would associate myself with THE DEVIL!?!

Well, honestly, The Devil in the name is 100% related to the fact that I live in a little town that I love that is named after the poet John Milton, and that Mr. Milton was said to write so very well that he must be a member of the Devil’s Party, much like I am a member of the Democratic Party. And that is the sole reason I chose that name. It was suggested by a writing group member, and I loved the idea because it connected the press to the town, and it was a BADASS name, like older writers are BADASS writers.

Still, people say, I mean, the devil….

Well, you know, I just don’t believe in him, or his lighter half either actually. It’s perfectly okay if you do. I just don’t.

And, hope you don’t mind me saying so, I am 54. I don’t want to be afraid of anything anymore.

I don’t want to be afraid of death, though I fully acknowledge I’m going to die someday.

I want to find things I like to do, and I want to get myself into a habit of doing them, so that, should I ever be left alone in life, I don’t have to be afraid of being alone with myself.

I want to do the things I always wanted to do but never had the balls to do, like getting my tattoo, dying my whole head of hair purple, wearing gigantic earrings, so that when I am on the verge of dying I won’t be sad that I never overcame my fear and let myself try the things I wanted to try.

A lot of the things I wanted to/want to try I always figured, to make it easier, I’d wait to do after my parents were dead, but my mother isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and I’m glad she’s not going anywhere, so I better just do them and deal with her comments and find an adult way to keep the relationship going so that I can have both, because I want both, and as a 54 year old adult, I can have both.

This week, I bought a car, on my own.

I chose the car; I negotiated the car, and I am responsible for deciding if it was a good car, and if we could afford it, and if we would all like it. And I have no idea if it is, if we can, and if we will, ultimately,  but, I did the best I could with the information I had, and I’m not going to worry about it past there because, dammit, I only need permission from myself to buy a car that I will be the main driver of, and I am giving myself permission, and I am not thinking about it past there. Done. Great car. I love it. I already put a Tina Belcher sticker on it.

I mean, who am I? Who am I really? Isn’t it time I know me? Isn’t it time you know you?

Life, life is full of heartache, disappointing people, injuries, expensive cosmetics that melt in the car, tasteless food, empty refrigerators, empty hours, empty nests, empty beds, mosquito bites, elastic that fails during a job interview, prettier more vibrant people than you or I could ever be and…

so the fuck what?

Life… life is full of chances to

stand on the beach tossing bread to the gulls

take a flight to anywhere because even in dumb old Rochester or Savannah or… you can have an adventure

meet a cool new person who also loves Weezer

try a new recipe

try a new restaurant

help someone

kiss someone… with your tongue!

get yourself a pet

learn to drive stick

get high

plant strawberries

sing in public

dye your hair a weird color….

Really… what is on your list?

You know what the Devil is? It’s not a he, or a who, it’s a what.

It’s the thing that keeps you afraid, that keeps you from being the badass person you are; that makes your world small, that tells you you can’t when you want to.

Remember that it’s the devil who belongs in hell, not you.

Be the badass you that you want to be.




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