My Future Goals In An Obituary

My Future Goals In An Obituary

A class assignment providing future personal insights.

Way back in Fall 2014, I took a class called Media Writing. One of our assignments was to write our own obituaries. Not only would we get experience in writing them, we could also use them to keep our future goals on track.

Dr. Kimberly Steele lost her lifelong battle with Crohn's Disease at 4:18 am this morning.

Kimberly was most known for her journal clips, collections of literary works as well as her magazine Vanillerotica.

Kimberly was born February 1, 1981, in Cleveland, Ohio. She expressed a deep love for writing at a young age. She began penning poetry at the tender age of ten.

After receiving her Creative Writing high school Diploma from Cleveland School of the Arts in 1999, she went on to earn her Bachelor's in English; Master's in Creative Writing; and Doctorate in English from Cleveland State University.

Kimberly's first poetry anthology, Love just feels like an invitation for more pain was published by Cleveland State University's Poetry Press in 2020.

Her next anthology, The Random Thoughts - Clinically Depressed musings of a poet, was published by Kent State University's Poetry Press in 2022.

Her third poetry anthology, which won a Bisexual Lambda Award, 3; A poetic account of thrice alter egos, was published by Bottom Dog Press in 2024.

Her short fiction anthology - which also won a Bisexual Lambda Award - The Stories I Want To Tell; an erotic short fiction collection project, was published by Cleis Press in 2021.

Kimberly's magazine, Vanillerotica, started online in 2007 and only published works six times a year. She published poetry, short stories, interviews, and resources for new writers.

Her goal was to showcase new voices in Erotic Literature, and as soon as the magazine was incorporated in 2019, she added a print version where she showcased erotic photography and comic books - which skyrocketed her to the limelight of the Erotic Literary Community.

Kimberly is survived by her two primary life partners; her husband, her wife, and her two children. A celebration of her life and the hobbies she was well known for advertising will be held at 2 pm at Cleveland Church of Christ, 1035 E.105th Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44108.

I didn't think to add my long LGBTPQA+ community activities in my obituary - but I can always add it in. This is just a working model for now.

I know this seems morbid, but I carry my fake obituary with me everywhere to keep my future goals close to me.

Not only are my career goals in this, but my educational, relationships, family, and personal goals are in there.

I don't think I've ever seen an obituary that included such important pieces of someone's life after they've passed.

Have you seen such an involved obituary? What would you want your Obituary to say?

Cover Image Credit: Skitterphoto

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A Letter To The Tomboy I Used To Be

To that girl with the baseball hat, board shorts, and grass stains, thank you.

To the tomboy I used to be,

Thank you so much for making me the strong, beautiful, determined, and badass girl I am today. I am proud of who you've become. It is because of you that I can stand on my own two feet. It is because of you that I am not afraid to stand up for what I believe in. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

You were never easy to deal with. Mom and Dad had a lot to handle growing up. It was Dad who had to fight for you to be able to play boys' baseball. It was Mom who had to stand up to the boys that were mean to you for playing a boys' sport. It was both of them who had to cart you around to all of your games and practices, because playing one sport a season was just not enough. It was Mom who had to wash your clothes endless times, because the grass and dirt stains would never come out the first time. Don't ever forget who helped you become who you are.

Your attitude and thought process is very different from that of most girls. You grew up dealing with your problems through wrestling or fighting. Pettiness was not something you could deal with. Your anger came from losing a game, not drama with girls. You didn't understand why girls fought, or were so mean to each other, and to this day, you still don't understand it. You are different. You aren't like most girls by any means, which can be difficult for you, even now. You are so much tougher. You think differently. You are determined.

I love who you turned into. You are so strong; you handle everything with such passion and grit, that I can't help but thank you. Thank you for pushing yourself, and for not letting anything or anyone get in your way. The boys were mean sometimes, and the girls talked about you, but that never fazed you. That chip on your shoulder only made you strive even harder for greatness.

Thank you for making me unique. Thank you for making me extraordinary. Thank you for making me, me.



Cover Image Credit: tumblr

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I Found My Voice When I Was Diagnosed With Muscular Dystrophy

How I became a writer


I have always had a love and passion for writing since I was little. Probably as early as third grade. I would always write makeup stories about monsters and typical third-grade stuff. My third-grade teacher, Mrs. Strobbe saw my potential. Her class was hard but it pushed me to become a better writer. Rarely anyone got an A in her class and I had received an A in that class. Then as time went on, I pushed away from writing just because I didn't think I could make way with a career of writing - obviously I was wrong.

I began on the teaching path the rest of my elementary years. (Yes, I've had an idea of what I wanted to do when I was just in elementary, call me crazy.) In 6th grade, I still thought teaching was the way to go. At the time was going through a rough patch- getting spinal fusion and getting diagnosed with MD. It was a lot for a 12 or 13-year-old to handle. I had a lot of thoughts and feelings.

My mom had encouraged me to write again whether in a blog or writing in a journal. I had decided to write in a blog and it felt really good to write again. I only talked about my surgery because I wasn't quite ready to share the whole MD ordeal yet to the whole world. Close family knew but my friends had no clue.

I got into high school and students even teachers would ask me "Why are you riding the elevator?" Why this and that. I didn't really share much because I was afraid people would think differently of me. But I was tired of people asking me. I then wrote a piece on social media and put my story out there for the world and it felt amazing. I finally found my voice and I was loving writing more than ever. It was because I had the courage to speak up and stop hiding. I needed to share what I have been through and teach people to learn to embrace what they've got no matter who you are. I wanted to be the person to make a positive impact on people who have diseases and those who don't understand what it's like having a disability through the power of writing. I wanted to have the power to tell people's unique stories who may be afraid to speak up for themselves or share their story.

My goal when I write is to hopefully make a difference in someone's life or just someone that can be relatable. In high school, I am also highly involved in publications ie being Co-Editor-In-Chief for the Magazine for the last four years and it was a huge game changer as well, I never thought that I could make a living and realistically have a job In the journalism field. Being in publications was an eye-opener. It lead me to so many opportunities- writing for Newsboys, going to Mizzou for Journalism field trips etc. It made me fall in love with writing even more than I had. For me, writing is everything to me and I know I wouldn't be the same person or even the writer I am today without sharing my story.

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