Stop Living in Fear

I think my writer’s block is fear. It’s becoming one of those days where thinking about what to write, and rereading things I’ve already written, fills my head with a sort of melancholy that makes me feel so tired of even trying. For some reason my own writing makes me feel like going to bed, hiding my head under the blanket, and turning off my brain. Forcefully numbing myself with social media or Netflix. I don’t know why this is.

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Writing Tips (Part 1): 5 Common Developmental Errors in Nonfiction

Developing the skill of self-editing is just as important as honing your writing craft. In fact, I’d argue that one can’t be done without the other. You can learn all about crafting beautiful imagery, you can develop your vocabulary, and you can refine your tone and style until you have a crystal-clear voice as a writer. But if you can’t catch your own errors, if you can’t polish your writing, all your craft and skill are going to be buried under the bulk of unedited words.

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Another Year Older

I’m not very good at celebrating birthdays. I don’t really know why. I like the idea of it, but I’m not the socializing, party animal kind. For my last birthday I stayed in with my housemate and her partner. We watched a horror movie, projected onto the wall and ate an obscene amount of bad food and cake. We drank a fair amount of wine too. I mean, why not? It was my birthday after all.

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A Letter to My Body

The fact is, I'm not mad at you for changing. I know it seems like I am. But I know it isn't your fault. It isn't your fault that we're sick and that we can't do life the way we used to. Neither one of us asked for this. And the truth is, you've handled this thing amazingly. I hate to think of where I would be had you not shown so much strength over the last seven years.

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My Mom Was a Runner

My mom was a runner. I don’t know when or why she decided to run, but once she began it became a very important part of her day. Up at dawn, she put on a tattered baseball cap, equally worn t-shirt and shorts, and Nike Air shoes. She carried a stick and a pocket full of dog treats. A dirt path around a quiet, desert golf course was her domain as the sun began to rise. She didn’t have an easy life. There was little peace in her life apart from running. This was the one thing she did for herself. An introvert, she rarely socialized outside of family. Life had ups and downs and she had concerns about various family matters, finances, and other things. But for an hour each morning, these were put aside as she allowed herself to feel the emotional freedom that comes from the movement and breathing that accompany running.

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The Dinner Table

Every Sunday my family gathers together for family dinner. We pile all the food onto the table and check in with each other. On a warm summer night, the windows will be open and our neighbors will be wondering what we're laughing about. In the winter, the woodburning stove is lit and crackling. The ambiance changes with the seasons but a constant is that, whether in joy or stress, my family week after week comes to the table to spend time together.

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Growing Up Among the Trees

There is something about sitting among the trees and just watching and listening that is so beautiful and cleansing. It causes you to pause and think about what it took for the forest to grow. The trees that have managed to survive the longest have undoubtedly been through so much. But the trees that had short lives and ended up on the forest floor, only to become kindling later, still served a purpose.

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At Home With My Siblings

This is perhaps one of my favorite things about my family. We’re not that great at speaking these things out loud to each other, and never have been. Truly, we are not the best communicators, and I may be one of the worst. I’m quiet, an introvert with a monkey mind, and I am particularly bad about being mindful about connection. I have a hard time remembering to floss at night, let alone pick up the phone or send a text to stay in touch.

Yet somehow, despite the lack of communication, we find ourselves together, comfortable. We are able to slip back into our sibling camaraderie like you would a pair of worn-in jeans – effortlessly, without the need to suck in or squeeze or reshape into something more desirable. We can just be.

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I'm Visible Now: Reflections On Beauty and Self-Image

I always wanted to be considered one of the pretty girls. I knew I wasn’t – I had frizzy hair and a gap in my teeth and I was taller than my pants were long. I didn’t have any breasts and I hadn’t gotten my period yet. I stuffed my bra with socks and smeared lipstick in my panties, hoping no one would discover my secret that I was not yet a woman. These were the things I eagerly awaited because my mom told me that was the point things would change.

But it didn’t.

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