POSTS

Zero Waste Ideas: 50+ Easy Ways to Fight Climate Change

Over the Thanksgiving table, we talked more about the climate than we did about gratitude. It’s not that I’m not grateful (a gratitude practice is part of my self care habits) as much as that climate change has my attention — helped along by the Black Friday climate change report the administration hoped to hide behind all those doorbusters.

It’s easy to feel hopeless when major news like that comes out. The effects of climate change are so massive, whether that’s more of California burning or the slow starvation of polar bears, that the default reaction of most people I know is “I can’t do anything about that.”

And while it’s true that large-scale climate action is needed, that does not mean that individual actions don’t matter.

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Remembering Matthew Shepard 20 Years Later

I was so young when Matthew Shephard was brutally murdered, but we were all so young then.

Matthew’s murder made me feel how vulnerable it was to be different. To be queer.

I was in the closet when he died, and I wouldn’t come out for another year. But on some soul level, I knew I was gay, too. I knew it could happen to me, in another place, in another time.

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Writing About Climate Change: How You Can Advocate About Big Issues in Your Writing

Coming up as writers we’re taught to write what we know, first and foremost.

So for a long time, I felt like my writing had to express certain parts of my personality and interests—those hobbies, passions, and things I knew a lot about.

That meant that when I felt great despair about things, whether it’s the refugee crisis or climate change, those topics didn’t always make it into my work because I wasn’t a subject matter expert. They sat on the sidelines.

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Dread, Fatigue, Anxiety, Exhaustion, and Escape Dreams or How I'm Dealing With This Bullshit

It started as an off feeling: Sluggish digestion. A morning fatigue that wouldn’t lift. And intense, crazy dreams whose themes—running to catch a train that didn’t stop at my station—suggested anxiety. Was this the expected tiredness that so often comes with a shift in season? My brain’s response to the dull, gray weather and shorter days?

I brushed off my feelings at first. I’d been working on the weekends and taking care of home maintenance needs. Of course I was tired and stressed. That was all…or was it? 

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What I Learned on Writer's Residency

While my summer writing residency feels like it happened ages ago, sometimes I can still grab onto the immediacy of the experience. 

Doing a crossword puzzle in bed, I see myself curled on the loveseat in my cabin working a crossword. Reading through the books I picked up in Whitehorse, I remember the intense hues of those alpine lakes. 

I’m not in Alaska, but the things I learned, they’re still in me, and they’ve changed my writing process in a few fundamental ways. A couple months out from residency, here’s what sticks with me most.

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Summer Publication Update

A writer friend suggested the idea of having a set number of pieces out for consideration: Say five or ten or two, whatever your number is. The idea is, you submit to magazines until you reach your magic number, you let them consider your work, and then when a rejection rolls in you send out to keep your number where you want it. It’s sort of a low-stress submission strategy, and it’s appealing to me now because balancing edits and querying and revision is SO MUCH WORK.

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How to Get Out of the Comparison Trap and Celebrate the Success of Other Writers

My neighbors had a tree service out today. All morning, it was chain saws and tree grinders droning on. That’s annoying, yes, when you work at home. You can’t really polish an essay before submission when your idle thinking time is interrupted by the grinder plowing through another load of leafy branches.

Then when you start comparing your productivity to theirs, it all derails.

They’ve taken down a century old tree while you’re still trying to muddle through one measly blog post.

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Photo Post: On Writers Residency in Alaska

I’m back from my writers residency in Alaska. Right now I’m getting back to speed: the bags are unpacked and I’m over the jetlag, and working on implementing the lessons I learned from my residency into a new workflow that will allow me to be as productive as possible on the important work.

I’ll share my insights on productivity and process in another blog post. Today I thought I would share a little of the factual information about my writers residency—where I went, what it was like, and some photos from southeast Alaska because it is BEAUTIFUL.

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