Practice Today

Your feet are on the track today. Your brush is in the paint this moment. Your hands are on the keyboard right now. You’re practicing. So practice now.

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New Gig

My first book review – of Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of Family and a Culture in Crisis – has been published in The Hawk Eye, my local newspaper! You can read an excerpt of it here.  I’ll be writing periodically for The Weekly Read in the future. I’m so excited!

Locked Out

I yell at horror movies. Not scream. Yell. Like an exasperated, uncertified life coach. The main characters in typical jump scare-peppered torture porn are not life choice role models. I ask them why they’re not calling Triple A about that cut fan belt after their girlfriend just tumbled into the pool of decaying roadkill. I suggest they stay…

February

The dye washes out of reality in an Iowa February. According to weather experts, the worst part of winter is the last week of December, and the first weeks of January. That certainly accounts for frigid weather and hip-deep snow, but not much else. February takes January’s misery into itself, and compounds it. The product…

Legacy, and Lack Thereof

A day ago, a friend asked me, “what is your biggest fear?” I can’t typically answer that. When it comes to existential questions that want quantitative answers – what’s my [insert comparative word here] [insert mental or emotional process or list here]? – I’m not your gal. I’m a navel gazer, sure, but kind of…

Expectations (this workout’s gonna suck…)

Tuesday night was my first trip to the gym since last Thursday. While that might not sound like much time, it’s important to consider how many cinnamon rolls, bottles of wine, Christmas cookies, and slices of fresh bread transpired in just those four days. The word ‘debauchery’ becomes ‘de-batch-ery,’ this time of year, as I…

Food Memory

Picture your favorite meal. If you don’t have a favorite meal, picture a favorite food. What does it look like? What colors are there? How does it smell? Does it have a sound? Does it hiss or sizzle? Does it crunch? Now, think about eating it. How does it feel in your mouth? What do…

TED Talk: Charter for Compassion, by Karen Armstrong

From the TED site: People want to be religious, says scholar Karen Armstrong; we should help make religion a force for harmony. She asks the TED community to help build a Charter for Compassion — to restore the Golden Rule as the central global religious doctrine. If you haven’t yet run into a conversation about…

Parenting My Thirtysomething Self

I’d like to think of myself as an adult. An adult that buys anything with unicorns plastered on it and believes in ghosts, yes; but an adult. When it comes to anything that requires effort, discomfort, self sacrifice, commitment or responsibility; however, that adult persona wields about as much real influence as the mother of…

Nostalgia

Yesterday, a friend and I shared a long, rainy-day conversation about childhood. It was the sort of conversation I look back on with equal measures of hope and apprehension; did I do this right? Was I really listening? Did I say anything wrong? No matter what’s happened in later years, I acknowledge that the years…

2 Books to Get You Away From Netflix, and Back to Work

When I was at the start of consciously developing my writing – beyond fifth grade short novellas about my life as a puppy or Cinderella re-imagined with lions – I read every book on writing I could find. I read how-to writing books on everything from character and plot development to romance and mystery novel…