It’s been eight years since I walked out of the glass doors of Planned Parenthood with a can of Progresso soup and an emptiness food wouldn’t fix. I felt sick, depressed and ashamed. It was all in the pursuit of keeping my dead relationship together.  Oh, the loneliness that I felt that day. I had no one to talk to that I felt safe around. For years I feared putting my secret onto paper and immortalizing it. I was too afraid of being judged to share, to see if anyone else was walking around with this painful little world inside of them. A little world of emptiness where a spark, a life, a

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It’s been eight years since I walked out of the glass doors of Planned Parenthood with a can of Progresso soup and an emptiness food wouldn’t fix. I felt sick, depressed and ashamed. It was all in the pursuit of keeping my dead relationship together.  Oh, the loneliness that I felt that day. I had no one to talk to that I felt safe around. For years I feared putting my secret onto paper and immortalizing it. I was too afraid of being judged to share, to see if anyone else was walking around with this painful little world inside of them. A little world of emptiness where a spark, a life, a

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Posted in Reading

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

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.

Read more

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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Cari Noga’s debut novel, Sparrow Migrations, makes the case for reading more, and maybe even writing contemporary fiction. She makes multiple narratives and difficult stories look much easier to tell and enjoy than we’ve known them to be in the past. Get a taste of Cari’s carefully chosen words at her blog–we like this post about signs and her son, check out our Book Review in Brief or just ask Amazon for a free sample of the new edition of Sparrow Migrations. Trust us–it’s worth a read or few. What’s the last thing you read? (It doesn’t have to be a book, could even be the label on your breakfast cereal, I suppose). After a long wait on my local

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Cari Noga’s debut novel, Sparrow Migrations, makes the case for reading more, and maybe even writing contemporary fiction. She makes multiple narratives and difficult stories look much easier to tell and enjoy than we’ve known them to be in the past. Get a taste of Cari’s carefully chosen words at her blog–we like this post about signs and her son, check out our Book Review in Brief or just ask Amazon for a free sample of the new edition of Sparrow Migrations. Trust us–it’s worth a read or few. What’s the last thing you read? (It doesn’t have to be a book, could even be the label on your breakfast cereal, I suppose). After a long wait on my local

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This article was written by Sarah L. Webb. I’m addicted to reading with a pen in my hand. So addicted, in fact, that I have to have a pen even when I’m reading on my Kindle. Not only am I addicted to reading with pens, but I’m also a pen pusher. My goal is to turn my adult students into pen users just like me (which is a lot harder than pushing pens to youth readers). I wasn’t always this way.

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This article was written by Sarah L. Webb. I’m addicted to reading with a pen in my hand. So addicted, in fact, that I have to have a pen even when I’m reading on my Kindle. Not only am I addicted to reading with pens, but I’m also a pen pusher. My goal is to turn my adult students into pen users just like me (which is a lot harder than pushing pens to youth readers). I wasn’t always this way.

Read more