The Story of How I Became Tara Birch

Since 2002, three years before I began blogging as "Steven D", I used the pseudonym Tara Birch when posting my poetry and fiction online. I often stated Tara was a pseudonym, but until now I never publicly revealed my true name. Most people accepted that Tara was a female, and when asked, I said I was female. But that was a lie. Though I now identify my gender as nonbinary, I was born a biological male and my name is Steve Searls. So why did I use the name “Tara Birch” and assume the identity of a woman when posting poems and stories online? My answer is complicated, but for anyone who wishes to understand why I would do such a thing, here is my story.

Update on the Farm - Winter Lingers

February ended with a major storm and we joined the rest of the country with a visit by the polar vortex. Projected to get another dusting tonight. Trying to keep in perspective - irrigation season begins in 5 weeks.

Those of you with outside livestock know the trials and tribulations to keep everyone healthy, fed and watered. Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. I was pleased with my pre-planning moving stock close to water troughs that can be heated and brought down a weeks worth of hay. Only 12 inches of snow predicted to last 5 days. First night dropped 3 feet of snow. I dug walkways everywhere and unburied the chicken house openings. By day 3 below 20 degree temperatures were projected to last 10 plus days.

Fortunately I have neighbors, politically we may differ but are always ready to assist each other.

Something Not Political - feedback welcome

As I mentioned in my meta essay, I've been working on a novel. I also write short stories. So, to give you some idea how I spend my time when I'm not obsessed with the daily shitshow, I thought I'd post a short-short or what is often categorized these days as flash fiction. It's about 1200 words. If you have the time and inclination, feel free to read it and offer any comments, good or bad. Thanks in advance, Steve.

Brief Update on My Health Issues

First indications are that the "worst case scenario" that was on the table is now considered unlikely. I will know more when the pathology report comes back, but the doctor who did my procedure said all indications look positive to him. I have some more tests to do, but this is a big load off my mind. Still need to figure why things took such a downturn for me, but might simply be exhaustion and stress made my chronic autoimmune condition less manageable over the last two months.

A digital Yahrtzeit

At 4:19 AM six years ago I got the call, my husband had died. Six years ago now. Past, not forgotten, two offspring who are doing well. I got to grow up in some ways I had been buffered from. Bittersweet. A bad week, our wedding anniversary is Bastille Day. My choice. This week is always painful to me, for six years. Our truncated family spent this day last year with one offspring and her spouse, whose father suicided when he was young but cognizant. Bittersweet. Two widows at their wedding.

My Non-Political Happy Post of the Week

It may not make fans in Cleveland happy, but it sure helped me remember the best day I had all year, February 7, 2016, when the Denver Broncos, my team since I was ten years old, upset the Carolina Panthers and won Super Bowl 50. The team received their championship rings the other night and here is what it looks like:


Video highlights of the game:

Iam an older single woman, widowed for 6 years

and I am comfortable revealing that I miss discussion/physical touch by men. Sons and sons-in-law do not really count but are helpful.

So, not into the church or bar scene I decided to invest in online dating sites. A disappointing suck of money, yes. I had a very nice lunch with a 93 y/o, we could talk architecture, he could talk WWII. Sigh.