Monday, January 25, 2016


It’s a new year, following the old year and just in front of the year to come. Time to disclaim.


1. The act of disclaiming; the renouncing, repudiating, or denying of a claim; disavowal.
2. A person who disclaims.
3. A statement, document, or assertion that disclaims responsibility, affiliation, etc; disavowal; denial.

1. To begin, I would like to renounce, repudiate, deny, and disavow the rumors. I am not crazy, zany, wacky, or “intense.” I don’t know how these rumors get started. I mean one person sees you wearing a king’s crown and waving a scepter—at a laundry mat—and people start talking smack about you—the rotten gossips. 

Listen! The problem is that I don’t have that voice. You know the voice: that mealy-mouthed, butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth, I might have mice living in my vocal cords girl-voice. When I speak I sound taller than I am, and I come across more intimidating than a grizzly bear. Just play dead and I won’t maul you.

When I write I sound smarter than a grizzly bear. I can’t help it. I’m Irish. We have a way with words and a penchant for using words like penchant. 

I renounce the gossip. Dressing up in period costume is a time-honored way to confuse evil spirits and boring people. 

I repudiate the false narrative that meek means weak. 

I disavow any embarrassment about zumba. Zumba is a Latin based exercise. Hips and booty are involved. When I zumba, I zumba, and my hips don’t lie. I’m easy to pick out in a zumba crowd. My stuff is actually moving. It’s because I lived in the Bahamas when I was a kid, and the first “live” band I ever heard was a steel drum band. It’s in my blood. 

2. I have been writing weekly blogs for more than a decade. No one makes me—except me. Most of what I write is based loosely in reality, coated liberally with lies. I’ve won national prizes for my humorous lies . . . er . . . um . . . I mean essays. It’s true. sent me money. That’s how I know it wasn’t a lie.

3. This is my official semi-yearly, once-in-a-while, now and again disclaimer. I am not crazy. I’m confident and adamant. People hate that. I don’t suffer fools lightly. Fools hate that. 

I love words and all the dazzling things you can do with them. 

The last book I wrote, Beyond the Strandline, is a grid collapse/survival/action/adventure/romance, and it’s intense. So intense I had a couple of Beta readers let me know that they couldn’t finish it. It was too scary. At first, I thought, “Oh no! What have I done? It made people uncomfortable and worried.”

And then I thought, “Oh no! What have I done? I was able—through the power of pen and word—to move people to FEEL uncomfortable and worried. Interesting.” The tips of the writer’s fingers beat a contemplative rhythm against each other as she smiled evilly.

I’m not bad. I’m good.

Linda (Sound Off) Zern 

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