Photograph of a turtle withdrawn inside its shell. By Kenneth Buker.

Introversion and Anxiety: I AM My Shell

If you’re familiar with English idiom, you’ve probably heard the phrase “drawing someone out of their shell” before. If you do a search on it, you’ll find numerous examples of people asking how to accomplish this act with someone they consider shy or introverted or awkward. What’s interesting if you look at those results is…

“A Severe Breakdown in Communication”

Content Note: Discussion of sexual assault, rape apologetics. Dear Abby, You recently responded to a young woman who described being sexually assaulted. Your response? “It appears you and that boy had a severe breakdown in communication, which led to your being sexually assaulted.” Now, I’ve never been an advice columnist, but I am a writer…

A Tremendous Thing

Content Note: Death, cancer, grief. My best friend Maggie died. She had a lot of plans for her life, a lot of dreams never realized, and the cancer didn’t care. She died anyway. She wanted to be a writer and a mother, but her various works in progress will never be finished and her children will never…

What does a rapist look like?

If we think of rapists as monsters, as something you are instead of something you did, we’re actually supporting rape culture. Because anyone can shrug and say, “Of course I’m not a rapist, rapists are monsters,” and then happily ignore the ramifications of their actions when they hurt someone.

I'm going to type every word I know.

How to Write

Write. If you want to be a writer, you have to write. That’s the advice everybody gives. Make writing a habit. Aim for writing 2000 words a day. Use NaNoWriMo to help push you into this habit. If this is hard for you–so the advice often goes–then you’re just not “meant” to be a writer.…

Prince

Gallusville

Imagine you’re driving on a road trip and your car breaks down in a weird little Midwestern town. The mechanic says it’s going to be a couple of days, so you get a motel room. At dawn, you get woken up by screaming. You rush outside. On a park bench near the sidewalk is a…

How to Write a Surgeon

Finally we’re to the fun part. Not that writing and editing and all of that isn’t fun. Geez, how could I survive as a writer if it wasn’t? But this is the definitely the part I’ve been waiting for: getting to share what I wrote with all of you. And here it is at last:…