Found in the Vault, a Weekend Writing Prompt: Paint Chip Memoir

Did you know the list is a legit narrative nonfiction form? Yep, and it's ancient. McSweeney's did not invent the list. Around the first day of the first month of Noah’s 601st year, as the ground was drying out, a writer in Sumeria (now southern Iraq) carved wedge-shaped letters into stone tablets, composing a work of wisdom scholars consider to be . . .

Wrangling An Elusive Essay Form: Mosaic

1. Collage, fragmented, montage, segmented, lyric, sectioned: a mosaic by any other name was still a thorn in my flesh. The first mosaic I ever tried to write amounted to little more than a clumsy knockoff of a Richard Rodriguez essay assigned in my first MFA nonfiction workshop. 2. Three years later, I tried again. … Continue reading Wrangling An Elusive Essay Form: Mosaic

A Gem from Help, Thanks, Wow: A Word About Heart Armor

"Sin is not the adult bookstore on the corner. It is the hard heart, the lack of generosity, and all the isms, racism and sexism and so forth. But is there a crack where a ribbon of light might get in, might sneak past all the roadblocks and piles of stones, mental and emotional and … Continue reading A Gem from Help, Thanks, Wow: A Word About Heart Armor

Inspired by Koreanish, My Year in Review: 2014

I'm no Alexander Chee, and by comparison my brushes with achievement are mere crayon self-portraits on the fridge. Chee's are more Matisse in the MoMA, with categories such as "Best of Me on NPR" and "Best idea I had in public where people could hear it." You know that whole Amtrak residency thing? Yeah, that was Alexander Chee's idea. My big … Continue reading Inspired by Koreanish, My Year in Review: 2014

Creative Nonfiction, Gumby of Literary Genres

"Creative nonfiction is a gloriously flexible genre. What we don't know or can't know doesn't have to wreck our writing. Instead, what seemed at first to be only an empty space can be an opportunity to shape and expand a narrative, exploring the gaps and writing our way through the myths."  -Jessica Handler, author of … Continue reading Creative Nonfiction, Gumby of Literary Genres

Don’t Be Trolling: “A Typo Is Just a Typo”

"...resist the temptation to post those 'gotcha' comments online, pouncing on every its for it's. While you're busy fussing, you're failing to read for knowledge, inspiration, or pleasure."

Downplaying symptoms: just pretend it’s NOT a heart attack

Heart Sisters

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

When a blockage or spasm in one or more of your coronary arteries stops allowing freshly oxygenated blood to feed your heart muscle, a heart attack can happen. The faster that you can access emergency treatment to address that culprit artery, the better your chance of survival.  The period of time between your first symptoms and actively getting the help you need can be divided into three phases:

  1. decision time – the period from the first onset of acute symptoms to the decision to seek care (for example, calling 911)
  2. transport time – the period from the decision to seek care to arrival at the Emergency Department
  3. therapy timethe period from arrival at the Emergency Department to the start of medical treatment

Only the first phase is the one you have complete control over. So don’t blow it.

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Be Thanking

Living on pins, needles these past months since Surviving a second heart attack in eleven years I'm finally Beginning to relax, Feeling better, better than back to normal, lighter, back to Working at my Marketing job for a Publishing company, which isn't all that creative but freed me to reserve my creative energies for Digging into deep thesis revisions, finally … Continue reading Be Thanking

Which Way to the Vomitorium?

As I've mentioned before, being a mom to this particular son* is a gas—and always educational. This morning I decided to visit him in his room before he fully woke up and remembered his mother irritates him to no end. He rewarded me by reading aloud, in Latin and then English, selections from "Which Way to … Continue reading Which Way to the Vomitorium?

What I Wish I Knew After My MFA Ended

I’m re-blogging this wisdom list as a reaction to the commenter who called it “atrocious advice,” whom I would redirect to Sara Finnerty’s point #2. xo

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

A guest post from Sara Finnerty:

420-Jacquelyn-Mitchard-splits-limbo-looking-back.imgcache.rev1308082218874In the years after I got my MFA I was a miserable mess. I felt like a failure as a writer and a human being. I still feel that way sometimes, but now I try and fail and try again and I know that does not mean I am a failure, it only means I am a person like everyone else. If I could, here are some things I would tell my self six years ago when I was finishing graduate school.

1)   Don’t even try to get published. There are some people in your class who will stop writing altogether. There are some who will only tangentially write. You will never stop writing, but don’t try to publish right now because your writing is still borderline terrible. Yes, you have an MFA but an MFA does not give you the heart, the will, the…

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10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Working Out

I love this, especially upon learning that exercise for me is life or death.

wellfesto

Mid-way through a recent group exercise class, the teacher lost me.  She didn’t lose me because of some complicated step sequence or insanely long set of burpees; I mentally checked out because of a few words she kept saying over and over.  “Come on!  Get that body ready for your winter beach vacation!  Think about how you want to look at those holiday parties!  PICTURE HOW YOU’LL LOOK IN THAT DRESS!

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