The first thing I learned when I started work as a teacher in Maevatanana, Madagascar was that music ruled.
My first week there, the hit “F*@k You” by Cee Lo Green blared from every possible set of stereo speakers. Malagasy people like their music loud, so no one escaped Cee Lo’s invitation for the listener to eff themselves in his upbeat revenge song.
Most of the locals didn’t speak English, but they adored English music. It didn’t stop at Cee Lo. …
On my first attending junior high in 1994, I had the perfect outfit that I felt certain would convince anyone who saw it that I was worthy of their friendship. The look was orange stirrup pants, a massive T-shirt featuring Bugs Bunny as a rapper, and I carried a huge shoulder bag with metal rings connecting the strap to the main body.
To my shock, my soft, triangular pants and massive cartoon shirt weren’t a hit. Apparently, at 13, I was supposed to be trendy and sexy and try my best to be a grown-up, exactly the thing I didn’t…
If you asked me what I wanted to be when I was 15, I would have told you without hesitation, “A journalist.” And if you asked me what I definitely did not want to be, I would have said, equally fast, “I know I don’t want to be a teacher.”
To meet my singular career goal, I did everything an aspiring news writer should do. I wrote for my high school paper and later got accepted onto the staff of The Argonaut, the official newspaper of the University of Idaho. I also worked at the school radio station, KUOI 89.3…
Like a lot of women, I have a running inner narrative about how I feel about my physical self.
“Jesus, you’re big,” I’ll say to myself, then go downstairs to make myself some chorizo with eggs. The negative self talk doesn’t make me at less, I eat more when I mentally flagellate myself.
AppleTV’s new show Physical understands the struggle. As the audience, we get to hear main character Sheila’s constant internal narrative as she berates herself. She’s biting, funny, and detached from the world around her and I cannot stop watching.
Back in 2017, a strange moment at a theoretical physics panel went viral.
On stage were six theoretical physicists talking to a large audience of young people in the field on the topic “Pondering the Imponderables: The Biggest Questions of Cosmology.” Of the six scientists, Professor Veronika Hubeny sat as the sole woman.
Things went the way you’d expect. The guys had a million things to say about stuff that may or may not exist. During the first hour, Hubeny barely said anything as the topic didn’t pertain to her particular style of physics, but when she finally got to…
I’m not usually a fiction person anymore, but I enjoy it here and there, particularly Young Adult (YA), or high school fiction.
Why do I love stories about high school? I think it’s because they’re normally so insane. High schoolers commit murders, solve mysteries, sing and dance beautifully, and in the case of Eliza and Her Monsters, churn out killer content.
Francesca Zappia’s short, action-packed book about internet celebrity tells the story of Eliza, a young social reject who secretly produces a Harry Potter-level webcomic called Monstrous Sea. The story follows her dual lives online and IRL. …
My journey into copywriting continues to challenge me.
You know when you make progress as a writer and it becomes the thing you do to get paid, putting you into a comfortable, “I got this” mentality?
Well, copywriting chucks that comfort right out the window!
If you want to get a job writing project descriptions, selling via text, or composing blurbs for books on Amazon, then double up on limitations.
Creating copy for a product can feel great, but it comes with a million rules. …
There’s a scene in the first installment of A Quiet Place, John Krasinki’s 2018 directorial debut, that I can’t stop replaying in my mind.
Krasinki’s character Lee, a loving husband and father, takes his sensitive, justifiable jumpy son Marcus, (Noah Jupe) out to go fishing while his pregnant wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt) does laundry and daughter Regan, (Millicent Simmonds) does something no one seems to worry about. Separated from his home and family, Marcus can hardly catch his breath as he watches his dad calmly collect fish out of handwoven traps in the stream. …
A few weeks ago, I got a strange email from Amazon. It said something about First Reads and free books. Now, I should have caught and hung onto the first few words of the email subject line, but the truth is, it somehow didn’t make an impression.
Instead, my head started clanging out an alarm — FREE BOOK! FREE BOOK!
Anyone who consumed afternoon TV in the 1990s will remember the blonde, ditzy character Charlene from Designing Women, a show about a group of ladies in the south who open and run an interior design firm. Jean’s character Charlene refused to believe life could be anything less than endlessly fun. She rocked sweater dresses with legendary shoulder pads and always wore massive earrings to balance out her teased, curly hair.
I loved Charlene growing up. Nothing ever got her down and she had a wealth of ridiculous stories for her colleagues. She often got dismissed or put down by the…