story talk

Coronavirus Update: How are you doing??

Anita Wirawan writing Anita's Notebook blog

In my area much is closed down already. My family and I have been staying at home unless walking around the neighborhood or getting groceries.

I have done my best to get a hold of a lot of the regular readers of the blog here to check in. Everyone is okay so far, just mostly on edge wondering what will happen next.

If I haven’t gotten a hold of you yet comment below how you are doing or email me!

Let’s take it one step at a time, and stick together.


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Deer Woman: Native American Legend And Modern Day Sightings

Deer Woman Native American Indian LegendImagine that you’re at a dance doing your thing, but suddenly get a weird feeling that something has changed in the room.

The mood has gone quiet.

You look around and spot a mysterious woman walking slowly, and she is absolutely turning everyone’s heads.

There are whispers and stares as she passes. Even though it’s the last song of the night, nobody seems to have seen her before now.

She is incredibly beautiful, with long black hair and deep brown eyes that have a flash of wildness to them.

Her long dress sways effortlessly as she dance steps across the floor, towards a young man on the sidelines. He can’t believe his eyes but it’s true, this gorgeous woman has stretched out her arms towards him with upturned palms, inviting him to dance with her.

He is the lucky one. All the other men in the room are frozen in jealousy as the two dance in time to the music.

The whole room is staring in a hypnotized state.

But then a scream cuts through the crowd. It’s from a young boy who has a look of terror on his face. He is pointing to the mysterious woman, or more specifically the bottom of her dress.

“She has no feet!” he yells, and suddenly all eyes in the room are scanning for her feet. But none are there.
Instead, beneath the hem of her dress are the hooves of a deer.

The woman has stopped dancing, in fact she has frozen in place, except for her eyes darting here and there.

“DEER WOMAN!” comes a shout from the back of the crowd.

“It’s Deer Woman! It’s Her!” comes another shout.

Slowly the crowd closes in on the woman, not daring to make any quick moves and hardly believing what they are seeing anyway.

Her eyes continue to dart around until –BANG– she makes a run for the double doors under the glowing exit sign. Those who saw it say that she seemed to bound up and down instead of truly running.

After feeling stunned for a moment a few of the men in the group start chasing after her. But when they cross the double doors they find that she has disappeared without a trace.

The young man she had chosen for the dance is still standing in the middle of the dance floor.

Yes, ever since he was a child he’d heard the story of Deer Woman told by the elders in his family. But he never thought any of it could be true, and never heeded any of the lessons.

Now he sees how close he came to losing his mind. It was Deer Woman, and if he had followed her home he might have even lost his soul.


The Lakota Way Deer Woman BookI first heard the story of Deer Woman while listening to an audiobook of old stories from the Lakota Native American Tribe.

It is called The Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons For Living by Joseph M. Marshall III. I highly recommend it especially the audiobook version as it’s read by the author himself with real feeling.

I had my headphones in and I heard the Deer Woman story while I was falling asleep, drifting in and out of reality.

Some of the scenes from the story were so vivid in my mind that they seemed absolutely real, even though the weren’t.

And that is how the Deer Woman is, she blurs the line between what is real and what is only illusion, and uses that strategy to steal the soul of men.

Tales of Deer Woman have been told by many different Native American tribes for as long as anyone can remember.

Different tribes have different versions of the story, but generally it goes that Deer Woman appears to hunters who are out alone, especially when a hunter is tired or things are not going well.

Her lodge will mysteriously show up nearby. She will walk out of the lodge and the hunter will see that she is the most beautiful woman there ever was. Then she will smile understandingly and invite the hunter inside the lodge to warm up by the fire and drink tea.

If the hunter stays the night at Deer Woman’s lodge he will never be the same.

When he wakes up he will be lying alone in the field, no trace of the lodge or Deer Woman to be found.

But he is changed, his mind is now obsessed with Deer Woman and his whole being is bent on finding her again. He forgets his family, he forgets his friends, he even forgets himself.

In the words of Joseph M. Marshall III:

“Such a man goes looking for her, he tells himself that he must find her.

But what he is really looking for is his spirit, because she has taken it from him.

He is forever restless.

If a man can see Deer Woman and turn away from her though, he will gain new strength and good luck, he will be different than his peers and rise above them.


Modern Deer Woman Stories

But what about Deer Woman stories modern day times?

Most men don’t go hunting anymore, so you would expect Deer Woman stories to have died off. And yes it’s true that they are not as common as they used to be.

But Deer Woman stories are still going despite the changing times.

Instead of a mysterious lodge appearing in hunting grounds, Deer Woman will be a hitchhiker on the side of the road, or sitting in a corner at the bar, or a gorgeous stranger at a pow-wow.

She will be incredibly, hypnotically beautiful. The only way to tell that it is her is to look closely at her feet.

Below the hem of her skirt instead of human feet she will have the hooves of a deer, thus giving away her true nature.

For the man who follows her home he will wake up alone, and just like in the old stories he will have lost his mind. And spend his life wasting away while looking for Deer Woman.

I think Deer Woman is an interesting character, especially since stories of her have survived since old times and are evolving into modern day.

I will be collecting Deer Woman stories from now on so if you’ve heard of any Deer Woman stories email me or post in the comments below!

story talk

The Peter Pans Among Us: True Stories Of Peter Pan Syndrome

man with Peter Pan syndromeWe all know him: Peter Pan, the boy in green tights who flies around and never grows up.

He makes for an interesting main character in a fiction story, but what happens when someone becomes a “Peter Pan” in real-life?

I’m talking about a problem that’s become known as Peter Pan Syndrome, a real-life condition where a man avoids doing adult things and “growing up”.

Well, to be fair Peter Pan Syndrome can affect women too, but seems to affect mostly men.

There are even extreme cases where the man goes as far as literally dressing up as Peter Pan, with pointy shoes and all. But more common cases of Peter Pan Syndrome are adult-aged guys who desperately do everything they can to stay forever children.

Chances are, you’ve known at least one or two Peter Pans.

I’m talking about that guy who goes waaay out of his way to avoid adult responsibilities.

During his early adult years people might say, “Oh he’s just emotionally immature and will catch up eventually.”

But over time it becomes obvious that the Peter Pan is actively avoiding “growing up”. He will spend 100x more energy to avoid doing even a simple adult behavior, rather than do it and give up the feeling of being a child.


I want to take a second here to clear up what is NOT Peter Pan Syndrome.

Just because someone likes “childish” things does not make them a Peter Pan.

Plenty of adults out there have a mega awesome Marvel superheroes collection that they tend to lovingly …and still take care of the responsibilities in their life. That is perfectly normal.

Whereas a person with actual Peter Pan Syndrome would have the mega awesome Marvel superheroes collection …and skip days of work to play with them and then go shopping to add to the collection (all on credit cards), and end up getting fired for missing too many work days.

And then this Peter Pan would expect someone (usually someone with Wendy Syndrome, more on that later) to cover their bills.

Rinse and repeat for the rest of their lives.


book cover for The Peter Pan SyndromeBack in the 1970’s a psychologist named Dr. Dan Kiley noticed a troubling problem amongst certain of the older teenage boys he was helping:

They were having trouble moving on to the next stage in life because they avoided all responsibilities.

After a while he realized that these teenagers indeed never did move on to the next stage in life, no matter how much time you gave them. They simply became legal adults who still were childish by choice.

This problem made him think of the famous character of Peter Pan, the boy who refused to grow up and spent eternity playing in a place called Neverland.

And as Dr. Kiley looked around him he felt that in modern society there were a steadily rising number of Peter Pans.

He eventually wrote a book called The Peter Pan Syndrome: Men Who Have Never Grown Up where he discusses the problem, and the term Peter Pan Syndrome stuck.


Okay so if these Peter Pans go to extreme measures to avoid adult responsibilities, how do they even survive in life?

Like in the situation I wrote about earlier where the guy with Peter Pan Syndrome skips work so much that he gets fired…how is he not constantly being evicted from apartments and ending up on the streets from lack of money to pay his bills?

Enter in the woman with Wendy Syndrome.

woman with Wendy Syndrome

Here is a woman, who is either some sort of spouse or even his mother, who swoops in and does the adulting that Peter Pan so desperately avoids.

Peter Pan has lost his job yet again and the electric company shut off the lights in his apartment? Wendy will come over with a bunch of money in her purse to cover the bill (and will probably end up physically going over to the electric company to pay it for him as well).

Or in the case of a real-life Peter Pan and Wendy that I knew:

“Peter Pan” went out and randomly bought an expensive truck, even though he was “between jobs” and money was so tight his daughter didn’t have a bedroom to sleep in.

When I asked him why he did something like that he just laughed and said, “Hey if you got it, flaunt it.”
“Wendy”, his wife, then did the work each month of somehow scraping up the money to put food in the cupboards and to keep the electricity on (mostly), despite this huge new monthly truck bill. And she never even got so much as a ‘thank you’, it was just expected.

If you look closely enough at the life of a Peter Pan, there will be at least one Wendy in the background.

And if this Wendy happens to finally leave his life, he will quickly find another. He has to, or else risk actually having to take care of some adult responsibilities himself.


old illustration of Peter Pan from the bookAs somebody who loves stories, I think it’s fascinating that a story character created in 1902 has in a twisted way become this symbol for a problem in modern society.

No doubt a person who has Peter Pan Syndrome would view himself like the fun-loving Peter Pan character of the J.M. Barrie book and Disney movie. An innocent, if mischievous, seeker of fun.

But in real-life the Peter Pan Syndrome lifestyle is not possible without constantly being abusive to others and leaving behind a trail of destruction.

The best thing to do if you have a Peter Pan affecting your life, or if you are a Peter Pan yourself, is to get help from a therapist to learn how to deal with the situation in a healthy way. Otherwise Neverland turns out to be a pretty miserable place, no matter what role you play in the story.

Have you known anyone with Peter Pan Syndrome? Write your stories in the comments below!