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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

Writing about Disability and Illness… in Pittsburgh and online!

On August 12, I will be leading a one-day workshop, with Creative Nonfiction on "Extraordinary Embodiment: writing disability and chronic illness" in Pittsburgh. Yay! If you (or yinz) are in the area, I hope you'll consider joining me. Illness and disability are universal human experiences. But too often written works about these experiences can be … Continue reading Writing about Disability and Illness… in Pittsburgh and online!

Post-Publication Book Awards

After my first book, Opa Nobody, was published, I suddenly realized there was a thing called post-publication book awards. I was in the flurry of trying to promote the book and therefore getting used to this foreign book-promotion world. I was also working full time, and, to make things complicated, I the mom of a … Continue reading Post-Publication Book Awards

Letter to Myself, as a Depressed Person in These Times

Dear Sonya, I wanted to remind you that given the state of the nation and government, it’s totally normal to be super-depressed. The daily assaults on reason, fact, morality, and the future itself all seem to require a candle lit in the house of mourning. And you—while making your calls and going to rallies—have lit … Continue reading Letter to Myself, as a Depressed Person in These Times

Reaching other Pain People

The happy thing for me this month is that I am celebrating the release of my essay collection, Pain Woman Takes Your Keys and Other Essays from a Nervous System. University of Nebraska Press continues to be a fantastic home for books, and I'm so glad to get to work with them. And I am … Continue reading Reaching other Pain People

Sacred Heart, Broken Heart

  Though I am a Buddhist these days, I suppose nobody gets out of Catholicism easily--or ever. I was raised a Catholic, and I have been obsessed with the image of the Sacred Heart for as long as I can remember. The Sacred Heart is in my mind and heart now every day--it reminds me that … Continue reading Sacred Heart, Broken Heart

Paul Ryan’s Soul, Such As It Is

Paul Ryan Says Free School Lunches Give Kids "An Empty Soul." (Time Magazine) Paul Ryan, Expert on Living Without a Soul, Says Free School Lunches Give Kids "An Empty Soul" Paul Ryan Says Free School Lunches Give Kids "An Empty Soul," Wins Final Round of Dehumanization of Poor People Challenge and Claims 2016 Gingrich Cup Free … Continue reading Paul Ryan’s Soul, Such As It Is

Sewing Myself Back to the Noir World, with a Peach Pit Under My Tongue

I am trying to knit myself back into a world that is not so much changed as noir. The contrast is way up, a black-and-white movie of the previous life. The villains belong to my childhood, so 1980s with their Cold War mentalities and their penchants for Reaganesque excess and their truly reprehensible hair. In some … Continue reading Sewing Myself Back to the Noir World, with a Peach Pit Under My Tongue

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