The Real Juleigh Howard-Hobson Has Already Stepped ForwardJuleigh Howard-Hobson
I am not worried about my name being added to any blacklist, dox-list, out-list, or whatever other lists that exist out there with the express Leftist-liberal purpose of naming names, pointing fingers, and showing the world exactly who is who. Those slimy little ‘enemies that be’ can’t tell the world something the world doesn’t already know regarding who I am. I’m me. I’ve been me for a really long time.
I can say this because, whether or not other people (in some cases the use of the word ‘people’ is generous) like what I am doing: I am doing nothing wrong. What I say and what I think are equally as valid (if not more so) and equally as important (if not more so) and equally as right (actually, much more so in my opinion) as anyone else’s words and thoughts. I refuse to be bullied into masked submission by using a fake name to cover the vital or artistic tracks that I make. Anywhere. I refuse to not be able to look anyone in the eye and say, “I did that.”
I’ve been told (and quite often by peers, which is heartbreaking . . . because once they tell me, they are no longer peers of mine) that I am throwing my work and any potential I might have had for lucrative and/or enduring fame, fancy Pulitzers, nifty Peace Prizes, or for getting into Poetry magazine or being included in a college anthology or two, right into that big sinkhole of obscurity we have made for ourselves over here on the fringe, Right side of things. Because I write for places like Counter-Currents and Mjolnir magazine. Because I write sonnets about Unity Mitford. Because I write essays about being an anti-feminist. Because this. Because that. Because because because.
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard such statements regarding using my actual name: that I’ll never get into non-fringe publications. That I’ll never win non-fringe awards. That I’ll never be able to sell freelance to the non-fringe magazines. That I’ll never get my foot into any non-fringe doors. And that if I continue to go on using my name for all the things I do and write, I’ll never be able to use that name to introduce myself. Anywhere. At homeschool events. At Scouts. At farmers’ markets. To Avon ladies.
To date I have been asked by one – one – respected publication (and only after I was promoted to being its assistant poetry editor, mind you) to sever my ties with the, ahem, unsavory flavor of the Right-wing sites I was writing for at the same time. My refusal to do that cost me exactly that one position.
And nothing else ever happened. The end.
I don’t worry about it.
You see, I’ve been unacceptable to lots of places, most notably a few heavily Christian publications to which I have the impertinence to continue to send my poetry. In my defense, I don’t send Heathen poetry, I just send poetry, but . . . I guess they can’t risk me dragging in hordes of smelly Barbarian readers to assault their literary monasteries, and really, I don’t hate them for that, even while I think they ought to take the risk anyway. The same goes for the free-verse venues that won’t give a formal quatrain a second glance.
Nevertheless, I am all for freedom of association, and if they don’t want to associate with me or publish me because of who I am or who I associate with myself, well . . . okay. I don’t want to see Allen Ginsberg pieces in The Occidental Observer or Maya Angelou in the Alternative Right blog, either. We all have to realize that we fit in some places and don’t in others. But we should all try to find out where those places are that we fit in . . . and that entails putting ourselves out there. Ourselves and our name.
I am forever putting myself and my name out there. Everywhere I think people might like to hear things from me. About me. By me. I have work in farming magazines about what to feed to chickens. I have work in Leftist-leaning anthologies about being a tattooed mom (my essay there even got quoted in another, even more Leftist-leaning university tome about inked women . . . or maybe they spelled it womyn), I have an essay about raising Heatheny kids in an anthology from a women’s press that is used as a college text (ha ha ha ha). I have work in Catholic journals. I have work in Odinic journals. Lots of Odinic journals. I am in more small-press poetry anthologies and magazines than I have the patience to list here – none of which are Right-wing or Heathen at all. I have work here. I have work there. I’ve been on a writer’s panel at a national homeschool convention. I’ve spoken at an Asatru event regarding being a traditionalist woman. I had runic art in the Heathen Art Show in Portland, Oregon. I won a blue ribbon for a crocheted “plarn” (recycled plastic bags: plastic + yarn = plarn) shopping bag at a State Fair. Same darn name always.
Someone once asked the writer, Shirley Jackson, which was the real “her,” the writer who wrote parenting articles or the writer who wrote folk horror stories. She said they both were. That’s how I feel. We are none of us simple, flat, one-note people. We all have various thoughts, hobbies, and political visions. We have the ability to hold two thoughts in one head, sometimes even opposing ones (whether Trump is going to be great or horrible as the top dog of the free world, for instance).
I’ve got the standard number of short-listings and awards from the usual obscure-to-everyone-except-other-formalist-poets literary places, a couple of nice Pushcart and Best of the Net nominations, and I’ve had a few reviews, write-ups, and interviews here and there along the way as well. The fact that my poetry and my essays are online at places like Counter-Currents, Black Gnosis, and Alternative Right, and the fact that antifa once posted my name and address for any and all to see, hasn’t made a difference. At all.
I still send work in to just about any call that comes my way, wherever I think my work fits. It’s made for some strange bedfellows over the years, but I like to think that I’m leaving some breadcrumbs for readers to follow . . . perhaps someone who likes my work there will like my work here, and proceed to read other people’s works there, awakening to the fact that we aren’t monsters there, we aren’t villains, we aren’t evil ignoramuses . . . we are people just like other people. We have ideas that aren’t popular, we have a code of ethics that doesn’t match the current global lack thereof, we love our world, we love our past, we have honor and beauty and a value. We are worth reading.
Just as what we write is worth our names being on it.
That is why I write under my real name all the time. Call it foolish, predict my regrets, decry or disdain my decision . . . but know this: I am not afraid of who I am, and I am not afraid of who knows it. I am not wrong because some people say I am. I am not awful because some people say I am. I am not evil because some people say I am.
The cycle of world thought is ever-changing. Just look at what happened with witchcraft. I don’t see anybody burning on stakes for saying and writing and doing the same things they were condemned and executed for back in the 1600s. The only thing that changed is the way the world thinks. Not the witches.
You get my drift, I presume?
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