Ugly Pumpkins

Aaron brought home another ugly pumpkin. “From my mom to you,” he said, plopping it on the counter in front of me. It looked like a giant brown dingleberry with a pinched off turd for a stem. At least the last ceramic pumpkin Sue gave me was close to the right color. That one was… Continue reading Ugly Pumpkins

Come Follow My Hike in Scotland (West Highland Way)

I've spent the last 15 months bleeding. It's true. Uncontrollable and heavy as hell. I wrote a piece on it for Salon. But that was only 5 months in! I still bled for 10 MORE months! Finally, after blood transfusions, iron transfusions, and a recent medical procedure, I am only bleeding a little bit, and… Continue reading Come Follow My Hike in Scotland (West Highland Way)

That’s Not How Any of This Works

I’ve learned today I need to work on my literary citizenship

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

Vintage black and white photo of man and woman in Victorian dress on penny farthing bicycle with square wheels.Pedal harder, I think we’re going somewhere!

What do we mean by “literary citizenship”? At Salon, Becky Tuch sums it up nicely:

…most agree that good Literary Citizenship entails buying from local bookstores, attending readings, subscribing to literary magazines, interviewing writers, reviewing books, reading a friend’s manuscript, blurbing books, and so on.

And while Tuch (and I) agree with the spirit of these activities, she questions their hidden purpose. Why must we be literary citizens? Because publishers barely market mid-list and literary authors. Because Amazon has radically changed the bookstore and Wattpad has disrupted the publishing pipeline. But as Tuch points out,

the burden to ameliorate the negative effects of these industry changes falls not upon those responsible for said changes, but upon writers.

We must market. We must build platform. We must generate enough profit that the publisher will ask us to make more money for them…

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Beloved

My Mom says she named me Amy because it means ‘beloved.' “I could’ve named you Laura,” she says. “Would you’ve liked that better? Laura?” Her arms rest slightly crossed, one hand holding the pipe in the air like a magic wand she might presto over my head at any moment. She‘s high enough to take… Continue reading Beloved

The Home {Chef} Break-in

When I was six, I lived next door to Jude and Justin in a sleepy but central neighborhood in Boulder, Co. The brothers weren’t allowed in my house, but sometimes their large and boisterous family would invite me into theirs, which was always an exciting thing: to get to play INSIDE. It was the early… Continue reading The Home {Chef} Break-in

(Listing) Fears of My Life

The red book with the scraggly drawings on the cover which is prominently displayed on my living room bookshelf is called Fears of Your Life, and it is written by Michael Bernard Loggins, list-maker extraordinaire. Inside is page after page of Loggin’s fears, plaintively laid out in a simple, bare-bones script that accentuates the earnestness… Continue reading (Listing) Fears of My Life

Grievances, INC.

    Mary was the one who told me about Grievances, Inc. It was lunch break, and we were in the courtyard. Mary ordered the Rad Na from the ‘Noodles to Thai For’ food truck. I had my usual tuna sandwich. I was griping again about David from accounts receivable. Today, instead of leaning his… Continue reading Grievances, INC.

Lady Parts in Revolt

That's what my essay which recently appeared at Salon should've been titled. But I didn't think of this perfect title until my essay was already turned in and on its way to legendary viral status. Some of that last sentence is true. Instead, the essay was published with my placemark name- "The Menopause Checkup." Right?… Continue reading Lady Parts in Revolt

Spaces with Men

*Friendly advisory: domestic abuse* A Job I’m an assistant manager working the graveyard shift. Every night I organize the aisles, count the cigarettes, stock the cooler. They hired Gary to help me out; to take care of customers and clean the store while I make orders and reconcile the register. An assistant for the assistant.… Continue reading Spaces with Men

This is What the Trail Teaches Me:

Enjoy it now, it only gets harder, I think twenty, thirty times a day. The dusty ribbon of dirt I follow winds through dry, prickly plants intent on leaving faint tracks of blood along my shins as I pass by. Fist sized rocks appear, scattered on the trail as if spilled from some impetuous child’s toy box.… Continue reading This is What the Trail Teaches Me: