Why Didn’t She Leave?

Because her husband had the health insurance and her child had a serious medical condition and she knew in her gut he was mean enough to cut them both off the health plan if she tried anything. Because daycare is so expensive, and she couldn't afford to leave and wait for a two-year court case … Continue reading Why Didn’t She Leave?

Against Advice

The United States--and in particular its white Protestant-Work-Ethic subculture--is a fix-it culture. We like shows about remodeling houses and makeovers. We DIY and we read advice books and advice columns. We are helpers, which is great, and we are resourceful. But we also often give advice when love or support is more warranted, and we … Continue reading Against Advice

The Essay as Buddhist Practice

Sitting on my cushion to meditate, I sometimes feel like I’m burrowing inside an essay. And at the keyboard, I take out a few Buddhist tools to chip away at whatever subject I’m pursuing. One of my teachers, Elizabeth Mattis Nyamgel, has a book called The Heart of an Open Question, which was really important … Continue reading The Essay as Buddhist Practice

Recommitting to Action

Remember back in 2016 when we thought the year was so impossible because a bunch of rock stars died? Hahahaha. Ha. Ha. (I'm not trying to downplay those losses, but the losses since then have been... Ugh. Yeah.) So you've lived through 2017 too, and it was stunningly rough. And now we are in for … Continue reading Recommitting to Action

What does it mean when CHIP funding stops?

One of many, many egregious things going on right now is the Congressional refusal to fund the CHIP program, which provides healthcare for low-income kids. As I have written about here and elsewhere, I have a personal connection to this issue, as my son and I were on the CHIP-funded state healthcare program in Ohio … Continue reading What does it mean when CHIP funding stops?

Nightmare Before Xmas Raffle!

As you may know, the Republican "Tax" Plan has a million festering surprises in it, and none of them are good. In addition to making the rich richer and everyone else poorer, it contains elements that will further weaken the Affordable Care Act. That is where you come in! I want to encourage people who … Continue reading Nightmare Before Xmas Raffle!

Doing the Work: Finding Places to Publish

To new creative writers, the array of literary journals available can seem quite overwhelming, and I completely understand that. However, I'd encourage you to do the slow work of navigating this universe rather than hoping for a shortcut. Often new writers will ask, "Where do you think I should publish this piece?" and I'd like … Continue reading Doing the Work: Finding Places to Publish

The Engines of Nonfiction: Kindling Surprise

This thing is a large plastic container I bought in the duty free section of a German airport on the way home from my aunt's funeral a few years ago. My mom was with me, shaking her head and laughing at this most irrational purchase. It was FILLED with my most favorite candy, called in … Continue reading The Engines of Nonfiction: Kindling Surprise

Your Trumplandia Horoscope

for the week of November 6   Aries: Ok, so you  may have burned through almost all of your Facebook friends with fits of blocking and unfriending. It's been a rough few years: yes, this past one, but also the campaign. The thing is, some of those people you unfriended were bots, but others were … Continue reading Your Trumplandia Horoscope

Trauma Anniversary, Nov. 8

Some anniversaries of loss come, for me, in a kind of anxious restlessness, where I'm churning far above my body, wondering why I feel so disconnected. Others come with the feeling of being pulled into a pit. In many cases, I'm not self-aware enough to really understand what motions my body and psyche are going … Continue reading Trauma Anniversary, Nov. 8

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