Reflections on Middle-Class Prepper culture and visions of apocalypse. This is an essay by Calla B. Martin. January in Minnesota is typically a time to hunker down, do projects, and what I love most: read. While the temperature dips up and down, those of us fortunate enough to spend warm hours at leisure have time to reflect and contemplate this world we live in (that is, if we aren’t too distracted by social media). I digress. It turns out that reading speculative fiction about the catastrophic failure of our social and physical infrastructure alongside recent news articles about the real systemic vulnerabilities of that infrastructure is…kinda a bummer and not just

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Reflections on Middle-Class Prepper culture and visions of apocalypse. This is an essay by Calla B. Martin. January in Minnesota is typically a time to hunker down, do projects, and what I love most: read. While the temperature dips up and down, those of us fortunate enough to spend warm hours at leisure have time to reflect and contemplate this world we live in (that is, if we aren’t too distracted by social media). I digress. It turns out that reading speculative fiction about the catastrophic failure of our social and physical infrastructure alongside recent news articles about the real systemic vulnerabilities of that infrastructure is…kinda a bummer and not just

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As much as I loath to admit it, the three most life-changing books I’ve read recently are self-help books, all written by middle-class, privileged people who decided a traditional nine to five wasn’t for them. While my co-editor argues you should take the advice contained therein with a grain of salt—I’m guilty of being not-so-secretly addicted to them. Part of my brain really enjoys the cheerleading, while the other part scoffs and says the advice-givers are exceptional, if only in their arrogance. Still, all things said and read, there’s something inherently hopeful and positive about consulting another writer for his or her best advice, even if I end up doing my

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As much as I loath to admit it, the three most life-changing books I’ve read recently are self-help books, all written by middle-class, privileged people who decided a traditional nine to five wasn’t for them. While my co-editor argues you should take the advice contained therein with a grain of salt—I’m guilty of being not-so-secretly addicted to them. Part of my brain really enjoys the cheerleading, while the other part scoffs and says the advice-givers are exceptional, if only in their arrogance. Still, all things said and read, there’s something inherently hopeful and positive about consulting another writer for his or her best advice, even if I end up doing my

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Posted in Reading

Even readers skeptic of self-improvement books will get lots of helpful ideas and inspiration from Jeff Goins’ book about the hard work of finding your purpose(s) in life. His combination of true stories to motivate and practical methods to get started on your life’s work makes the book a fast and fun read that will get you on track to leaving your legacy. The Gist: Everyone Has a Calling  We all have a calling, we just have to be brave enough to let our lives point us to what it is and persistent enough to stick with it, even when things are hard. Your calling isn’t something you just know you’re

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Even readers skeptic of self-improvement books will get lots of helpful ideas and inspiration from Jeff Goins’ book about the hard work of finding your purpose(s) in life. His combination of true stories to motivate and practical methods to get started on your life’s work makes the book a fast and fun read that will get you on track to leaving your legacy. The Gist: Everyone Has a Calling  We all have a calling, we just have to be brave enough to let our lives point us to what it is and persistent enough to stick with it, even when things are hard. Your calling isn’t something you just know you’re

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Posted in Book Reviews

This is an essay by Elizabeth Simons. I wish I had more discipline. Or more specifically, I wish I was better at directing my attention to things I want to do but avoid, anyway. Enter self-help books, the darlings of the publishing industry and surely the answer to my dilemma.

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This is an essay by Elizabeth Simons. I wish I had more discipline. Or more specifically, I wish I was better at directing my attention to things I want to do but avoid, anyway. Enter self-help books, the darlings of the publishing industry and surely the answer to my dilemma.

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Posted in Nonfiction, Reading

It’s not every Amazon best-selling author that goes it alone and survives to write another….and another, and another book. But then Brenda Pandos has a supernatural  support system made up of the pantheon of magical creatures in her head, recently rounded out by the addition of a time-traveler fighting against an evil all-powerful regime that is trying to do away with blue eyes, among other things. Understandably, we were curious as to how she makes it all work and where the ideas come from. Learn more about what makes this author tick, as well as her  best tips for readers and writers below: What’s the last thing you read? (It doesn’t have to

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It’s not every Amazon best-selling author that goes it alone and survives to write another….and another, and another book. But then Brenda Pandos has a supernatural  support system made up of the pantheon of magical creatures in her head, recently rounded out by the addition of a time-traveler fighting against an evil all-powerful regime that is trying to do away with blue eyes, among other things. Understandably, we were curious as to how she makes it all work and where the ideas come from. Learn more about what makes this author tick, as well as her  best tips for readers and writers below: What’s the last thing you read? (It doesn’t have to

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Book Reviews in Brief: Glitch by Brenda Pandos What would you tell your young self, if you had the ability to go back in time and give your best advice and in the process make a real difference in the world? In Glitch, our reluctant heroine, Abby,  gets to know the advantages and potential disasters time travel (and zombies) present. Sci-fi and Fantasy addicts will enjoy time-traveling with Abby in this Divergent-esque dystopian Young Adult novel. Read more about Brenda Pandos. The Gist: Abby spends her time flirting with her best friend’s brother, playing baseball, following the rules and, trying not to think about the zombies beyond Brighton’s closely monitored walls. She’s just your average

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Book Reviews in Brief: Glitch by Brenda Pandos What would you tell your young self, if you had the ability to go back in time and give your best advice and in the process make a real difference in the world? In Glitch, our reluctant heroine, Abby,  gets to know the advantages and potential disasters time travel (and zombies) present. Sci-fi and Fantasy addicts will enjoy time-traveling with Abby in this Divergent-esque dystopian Young Adult novel. Read more about Brenda Pandos. The Gist: Abby spends her time flirting with her best friend’s brother, playing baseball, following the rules and, trying not to think about the zombies beyond Brighton’s closely monitored walls. She’s just your average

Read more

Posted in Reading

Write often, read more. Some of the best words of advice we’ve heard from a fellow writer, lately. Dan Lewis, the great mind behind the highly addictive Now I Know newsletter reflects on reading, learning , writing, and the merits of Harry Potter, baseball, the Simpsons and Star Trek. First things, first. What’s the last thing you read?  I read a lot — occupational hazard of writing as much as I do! The last book I read was Ready Player One, and I loved it. Do you have any unusual writing rituals or habits?  I tend to write on the train a lot. It’s quiet and there’s not much else to do. It’s

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Write often, read more. Some of the best words of advice we’ve heard from a fellow writer, lately. Dan Lewis, the great mind behind the highly addictive Now I Know newsletter reflects on reading, learning , writing, and the merits of Harry Potter, baseball, the Simpsons and Star Trek. First things, first. What’s the last thing you read?  I read a lot — occupational hazard of writing as much as I do! The last book I read was Ready Player One, and I loved it. Do you have any unusual writing rituals or habits?  I tend to write on the train a lot. It’s quiet and there’s not much else to do. It’s

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This is an essay by Elizabeth Simons. Running High and Low Creative nonfiction blends the thrill of a good story with already established facts. Crucial to good creative nonfiction is how the story is told,

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This is an essay by Elizabeth Simons. Running High and Low Creative nonfiction blends the thrill of a good story with already established facts. Crucial to good creative nonfiction is how the story is told,

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This micro-post (essay, if you will) was penned by  Elizabeth Simons Writing is hard work. Make no mistake about it. But oh, the fun you’ll have! You get words, the stuff of language, and you get to arrange them in endless combinations until they sing or fly or glide or roar. You can make up tall tales. You can make people laugh or cry. 

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This micro-post (essay, if you will) was penned by  Elizabeth Simons Writing is hard work. Make no mistake about it. But oh, the fun you’ll have! You get words, the stuff of language, and you get to arrange them in endless combinations until they sing or fly or glide or roar. You can make up tall tales. You can make people laugh or cry. 

Read more

Posted in micro-posts

Book Reviews In Brief: Sparrow Migrations by Cari Noga Contemporary fiction fans will want to read and re-read Cari Noga’s debut novel, Sparrow Migrations curled up with a cup of tea (I like oolong with jasmine), or with a glass of white in one hand. Her characters have heart, even during hard times. Noga uses multiple connected narratives to reach her readers; at least one of the stories is likely to resonate with you.   The Gist: Sparrow Migrations‘ multiple narratives begin with Robby and his parents Linda and Sam on a ferry in New York. Robby has autism, and Linda and Sam are still struggling to come to terms with what it

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Book Reviews In Brief: Sparrow Migrations by Cari Noga Contemporary fiction fans will want to read and re-read Cari Noga’s debut novel, Sparrow Migrations curled up with a cup of tea (I like oolong with jasmine), or with a glass of white in one hand. Her characters have heart, even during hard times. Noga uses multiple connected narratives to reach her readers; at least one of the stories is likely to resonate with you.   The Gist: Sparrow Migrations‘ multiple narratives begin with Robby and his parents Linda and Sam on a ferry in New York. Robby has autism, and Linda and Sam are still struggling to come to terms with what it

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Posted in Book Reviews