Barbara Burgess

Hello, this is Barbara.

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Favorite Book of 2014

3 Books All Women Should Read

I was at the grocery a couple of evenings ago.  The young lady at the register had her bottom lip stuck out so far that I almost deposited a coin.  I will call her the sad clown.

“How are you this evening?” I smiled and made eye contact with the sad clown.

“Can’t you tell?!”  The sad clown glared at a man with word “manager” on his name tag as he walked passed.  “Fuck my life.” The clown murmured.

The sad clown rang up my avocado and my salad mix.  Joyless.  To be fair, ringing up someone else’s groceries cannot be too thrilling.

“At least, you don’t have much longer to go until your shift is over, right?”  I took a stab at showing her the bright side.

“You’d think.  I have 50 minutes left.  This sucks.”

I said nothing.

With the transaction complete, I rolled out thinking of all of the books that I’ve read that have made me sure to never say the words, “Fuck my life.”



*All of the links below are affiliate links, but you do not have to use them.  Libraries are very important, so check out your local library before you spend the money on the books.

Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

This book will scare the everything out of you, but in a good way.

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

Nothing will make you appreciate your freedom of education more.

The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler

This will open your eyes to many things.

To Be Clear, I’m Not Mad at the Sad Clown

I’m really  not.  I know her.  I am sure at one point, I was her.  I do not remember being ungrateful, but I am 100% sure that at some point in my teenage years I was ungrateful for everything I had.

Even on our worst days, we have bathrooms, food, water, the right to drive, the right to vote, the right to talk about whatever we want, the right to write a book with the word “vagina” in the title, and more.

Can we do better?  Yes.  Will we?  If we keep reading and talking, yes.



Today in The Bradbury Challenge

One Essay/Article

There’s No Morality in Exercise:  I’m a Fat Person and Made a Successful Fitness App

One Poem

The Atheist Wore Goat Silk

One Short Story


*I did not like this story.

View story at

View story at

I Ranted on Facebook.

I had a moment yesterday…

According to the media, it seems the candidates have only two ways to appeal to women: through their children and their bodies. What if you don’t have children? What if you love your body? How about appealing to me as an entrepreneur? As a citizen concerned with economic growth over the next few years? How about you stop pandering to my heart and see what happens when you appeal to my brain?

I turned on CNN for less than one minute! One minute! And, someone congratulated the Hilary campaign for appealing to women by asking them to think about their children’s future(s)! As if mothers need to be reminded, and father need not be. Fear mongering is apparently the only way the news and politicians know how to talk to us. Rape, rape, rape, abortion, abortion, abortion, thigh gap, big butt, big boobs, have kids, don’t have kids, which freakin’ bathroom is the right one…what the hell is happening?!

I love our country. I do. I love journalism. I do. The world is not all bad. The country is not all bad. I won’t feel the rage I felt earlier all day, because I am grown up and can choose to not listen to the crap. I can seek out the facts just like all the other adults and make an educated decision. But I really want to trust the news. I want the news to be there for me and not there against me and my people. By my people, I mean human beings.

A few things I want to clear up:

When I say “according to the media”, I am talking about big media, and, yes, most media (all of those commas are appropriate).

I believe there are some citizen journalist that have taken more care in reporting election coverage than some of the big boys and girls in media.  Though, I do not know who…

Please post your favorite political blogs and author sites that post FACTS in the comments.  

Also, I have a moment in the text above starting with “rape, rape, rape” and so on.  Rape is a crime.  Abortion is not.  Thigh gap, big butt, and big boobs can be attained by surgeries which are not controversial at all, but abortion is the bad guy even when the baby was conceived during a violent crime.  Hum.

Man, the bathroom thing…Are we separating people of color from white people again?  It clearly was not a good idea the first time.  Segregating gay, queer, and/or transgender people is an equally bad idea.

You know, we current have our first (of what I am sure will be many) highly qualified, black president.  Do think that is because black people were treated poorly (to put it lightly) for years and years thus making them inclined to work harder for their children’s education and character?  Do you think that is why our country has seen great black men and women rise up time and time again molding this country into something bigger and better than bitterness, racism, and themselves?

Maybe we should have transgender bathrooms to ensure that we someday have highly qualified, transgender political voices.


I ranted again.  And the purpose of this was to put an intelligent voice on my rant…not to continue it.

This is the great human blessing and flaw:  passion.  To be passionate about a thing moves a person to do two things:  tear down and build up.

Tearing down one campaign also tears you down.  Building up a campaign builds you up.

It is easy to get behind rants and pep rallies.  It is easy to make the other party (Not political in this case.  I simply mean group.) look stupid when you believe you are on the side of the angels.

But, you know what, someone over there believes that they are on the side of the angels.

We need cool, intelligent minds when talking about these topics.  We need to talk to each other.  Each. Other.

The other is not those who agree with you.  The other is the Trump supporter two tables down or the Hilary supporter a couple of seats over.  That’s right.

You cannot rant to each other and get things done.  You cannot just wait for your turn to speak.  You need to listen.  You need to talk without trying to change each other’s minds, but to instead understand each other’s minds.

You cannot blame the media for making you feel small.  There is a lot of media.  You are a grown up.  You can dig deeper.  You can have better conversations than what is on the news.

Yes, I am talking to myself, but I am also talking to my friends, family, and neighbors.  Go.  Listen.  Talk.  Be bigger.




Today in the Bradbury Challenge

I was in Barnes & Knoble today, and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get my Bradbury Challenge out of the way.  Unfortunately, I got distracted and only managed to read a poem in full in the store.

Poem – The History of One Tough Motherf***** by Charles Bukowski

Short Story – Where I Live by Kurt Vonnegut

Essay – none today

Article – Obituary: Two men who radiated happiness in The Economist

Bradbury’s Daily Duties

Ray Bradbury suggests that writers read one short story, one essay, and one poem a day.  I am going to give this a go.

I am going to give this a go and see how it treats me.

To his list, however, I am adding an article about a current event.

To Find the Pieces

To find the pieces, I simply typed 100 of the best short stories and clicked the first link.  Then, I clicked the first stories on the list.

I did the same for essays and poems.

For articles, I am reading from The Economist and clicking on their top story.

Today I’ve Read

Short Story – The Story of an Hour

Essay – Attitude

Poem – Dream within a Dream

Article – Melania Trump’s Excruciating Blunder