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
These are scary times--if extreme right-wing semi-fascist rhetoric scares you. It scares me, so I've found myself huddling, a little depressed, a little beaten down. I'm not talking about your religion or your political orientation. I'm talking about the extremes that many of my Christian and Republican friends are appalled by. The language of hate … Continue reading A Memoirist’s Manifesto
You didn’t get the grant that would have affirmed your talent and promise. You don’t have a book to hold in your hands that would make all this flailing on the page real. You have been immersed in a deep well of inquiry and making, which is sometimes lonely business, and you want to share … Continue reading On Wanting, Shame, and Artistic Ambition
You are a female memoirist. You sometimes feel like an unreliable narrator of your own story. You are part of a vast machine of culinary production, and you feel strangely removed from the formulaic confection you have helped make. The problem is the series of cake pans you have been given, the containers into which … Continue reading Baking Cakes: A Female Memoirist’s Question-esto
A friend asked me a great question recently: how do you know when to put a difficult life event out there in the world, either on a blog or as a submission to a publication? She asked wonderful questions about motives: what are we doing when we share the hard stuff? My first motive in … Continue reading Should You Share It With the World?
My ebook on direct care workers is now available from SheBooks! Two Eyes are Never Enough: A minimum-wage memoir is an ebook that was just released, one in a new series of short ebooks by women, including some writers whose work I follow and love, including Hope Edelman, Susan Ito, Faith Adiele, Marion Winik, and many more forthcoming. Each … Continue reading Two Eyes Are Never Enough
By an accident of court scheduling, my divorce was finalized on February 15, five years ago. The five-year mark feels like a transition from current events to recent history. I’m glad that the divorce happened. It was necessary for a lot of reasons, but I wasn’t the victim in that relationship. I got myself into … Continue reading Celebrating Liberation Day on February 15
Your book is taking a long time to write. You see updates on social media about the release of other books, and you get a racing hopeless feeling inside, as if your little book with its million little legs were trying to climb up a mudslide. You have been through this draft so many times. … Continue reading Your book is taking a long time to write
I wrote an essay recently, "The Final Bakesale," in As It Ought To Be, about the challenge of conveying climate change as a narrative that grabs people emotionally. Bill McKibben's memoir, Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist, is a fantastic braided story that addresses this very issue, weaving back and forth between … Continue reading Activist Memoir: Oil and Honey
Lance Armstrong was sued this summer by readers who had read his memoirs, It's Not about the Bike (2001) and Every Second Counts (2003) and felt scammed when investigations into Armstrong's doping revealed that the memoirs were untruthful. The $5 million consumer-protection suit "accused Armstrong and publishers Random House and Penguin Group of committing fraud, … Continue reading Lance Armstrong’s lies in memoir protected by First Amendment. Hmmm.