A Feminist’s Diligence

Note: I strive to start conversations with my writing, especially when it comes to feminist or LGBT issues. This one reflects my recent thoughts about equal pay for women and the rising rates of women in STEM fields. 




Soon enough, she will reap what her efforts have sown. She is a pillar of strength, an icon of integrity.


When she stands on the brink of failure, her efforts are doubled. Working well under pressure is one of her strongest traits; everyone agrees.

She will always fight to succeed in a man’s industry. Her industry.

And if her sex is used as a weapon or some omen of her imminent failure, she will set her jaw and carry on with pride unfettered by the opinions of those who doubt her diligence.

Only she decides her fate.

© 2016 H.R. Stephens

Walk Among the Heather

The prompt for this week was to use my own name. My name would not count against the word count, making it a total of 101 words instead of the usual 100 words. Since it was to use my own name, I felt my sense of creativity demanded I make this entry autobiographical.

I loathe California. At least, Southern California. I want to live in a place where you can tell which season you’re in just by stepping outside. I place with fall foliage and chilly evenings.

My family lives in California. My husband does not want to leave his parents and siblings, and I understand why. But for me, California is like a pris0n. I feel like I am constantly drowning under the waves of meaninglessness that surrounds me. Nothing matters here; everything is superficial, artificial.

Still, I find hope in the love I bear for my family. If happiness is a choice, I will always fight to make it.



Stream of Consciousness – 9/9/2016

This is a stream of consciousness post. It was typed in one sitting, in one go, with no edits. Any italic or bold text was done with CTRL-I or CTRL-B. 

I love my husband more than anything, and the two years I have spent with him mean more to me than the 26 I spent without him. Together we have built a family – even the ugly parts. Financial decisions weight upon us like any other family in the world, but we always pull through and make it work because we have a support system. More importantly, we have each other.

My anxiety is rampant and I never know what to do with my hands. I loathe my body, and there is so much for me to do all the time, even though I don’t even have a job. My mind can be a pretty dark place much of the time, but when he comes in the room, everything is alight with light of knowing that I am loved.

He is raising my daughter as his own, and he has given me a son that is the light of my life. He completes the part of me that wants to be a part of something important. My family is important.

Hopefully, through my writing I am creating something important. Because I feel like my own personal importance will be manifest in the children I raise, the support I give my husband, and the art I create. My writing is the way for me to make something beautiful for people to hold on to, and I hope that is clear. But it may not be. And if it isn’t, I need to work on that. My writing is for the world, not for me alone. For me, it is the act of writing that is my catharsis, not the finished product.

Someday, I’ll feel like I, too, am important.


I’m trying a new thing where I’m more positive than I used to be. It’s not very effective; I am always sad because I am too stressed out. Still, I think writing is cathartic whether the words are dark or light. Either way, my soul feels lighter after I poured it onto the page.

The prompt this week was “Recluse.” This one is a love story to solitude.



Stream of Consciousness – 9/4/2016

This is a stream of consciousness post. It was typed in one sitting, in one go, with no edits. Any italic or bold text was done with CTRL-I or CTRL-B. 


This is disjointed because I’m distracted but when am I not? Because I am always distracted. I am a mother of two. I am the wife of a glorious man with an intellect far greater than he believes. I am a daughter, I am a sister, I am a beneficiary, I am an account holder, I am a member, I am a participant, I am a…

But when am I Heather?

When am I me? When does it matter whether or not I have wants and needs and hopes and dreams? This is a struggle that is more than likely relateable for millions of moms everywhere, and that is why it is so often dismissed. But my identity is my own and I have the right, the absolute human right, to it. I have the right to display it, demonstrate it, practice it. And so many people would likely tell me to suck it up or stop complaining or to be grateful. To count my blessings that I am alive and my children are beautiful, intelligent creatures and that my husband is the pillar of strength that he is.

And pardon my language, but how fucked is it that I cannot be simultaneously grateful for my family and mounful for my loss of self. Are our senses of self so flimsy that we can shed them in sacrifice gladly and be considered weak for attempting to hold onto them? Because I don’t think that is strength. I don’t think it makes you any better of a parent or a spouse to discard yourself. I think it is entirely possible for me to Me, Mother, Wife simultaneously.

Knowing that it is possible – and I do know it, deep in my core I know it – does not mean that I know how it is possible. I don’t know how to be all those things and still be me. But I won’t give up. Not yet.

Because if I’ve learned one thing from the trials I have been through, it is that life always gets worse before it gets better and the trend always swings back upwards. It is essential that you hold onto that cycle when the path is dark because otherwise you lose your way and I have far too much to lose if I get lost and far too much to gain if I just hold on.

So it goes.



The themes I’ve focused on for the 100 Word Challenge have proven incredibly cathartic for me. As a survivor of significant traumas and one who lives with multiple disabilities, I find that reaching within to confront the darkness that resides deep inside my soul can be good for me – as long as I don’t do it too often. My trauma had a happy ending: I met my husband, we fell in love, and I found myself in a position to not only pursue my goals at a pace my disabilities can accommodate but exceed them.

These 100 Word Challenges give me a weekly goal; a deadline that I must adhere to in order to participate but one that will bear no consequences should I fail. Participating each week is the perfect conduit for my creativity.

That said, I was absolutely unable to accommodate the run-on sentence clause for this week’s challenge. My stories mean something to mean. They have a purpose. Each one is a form of bite-sized social commentary. Still, I did what I could.