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Lindsay is the author of the graphic novel The Dyslexia Book, due out in 2021. Find her project on Patreon for more information.

Mindful Traveling. China. South America.

Hired help means something different outside the US

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

I lived in Shanghai, China, after an unexpected job offer turned into a surprisingly long stay. There, almost everyone had an ayi.

An ayi, or auntie, can be anything from a hired cook to a nanny for a newborn. As a preschool teacher, I saw them daily. They picked up their charges, washed their faces, taught them how to urinate into plants. They became part of China’s bizarre, random scenery that kept the place so interesting.

The longer I stayed, the more I saw my friends hire their own personal helpers. …

For science fiction superstar Octavia Butler, it was a horrible movie

Photo by Jeremy Yap on Unsplash

Learn more about Octavia Butler in my upcoming podcast episode. I’ll be investigating claims that Butler was a dyslexic writer and finding evidence to back up or refute this claim. Find it on my Patreon page.

When a young Octavia Butler sat at home one afternoon, she caught a made-for-TV-movie called Devil Girl from Mars. I didn’t make myself sit through the film, the trailer gave me all the low lights.

The production took all the worst bits of low-budget movie making and blended them together. …

And how her life inspired two incredible books

Meags Fitzgerald’s hands in a video from Instagram. Screen capture by author

My new podcast, The Lives of Writers, is available to subscribers on my Patreon page. You can hear the first episode, Meags Fitzgerald, for free here.

Meags Fitzgerald is an author with whom I fell madly in love after I heard about her book Photobooth. Fitzgerald fell in love with the old machines and decided to make a hard left in her career path to work more closely with the dying technology. She identifies as queer, (same), has an obsession with red hair, (definitely), and loves any piece of pop culture that dabbles in magic (yes!)

In 2015, Fitzgerald wrote…

One man’s mission to tell a non-profit’s story

@jenntstb visits the mural representing SAWA. Screen capture by author

In 2019, Mexican painter and illustrator Iskar traveled to LA to start working with a gallery when he got an unexpected opportunity. The gallery’s owner introduced him to Rafi Nourafchan and Emily Shagley. Nourafchan heads a foundation of the same name and Shagley runs SAWA, a non-profit benefiting Kenyan women.

Shagley and Nourafchan wanted to feature a mural inspired by SAWA’s story on the famous 7575 Melrose wall, a space reserved for street artists. The Instagram-famous walkway is a living gallery, cycling through works by LA’s best creators. …

What is it and how does it work?

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

Any writer elbows-deep in a project has one thought in the back of her mind. Namely, “What am I going to do with this thing?”

Publishing today can get muddled. Should you self-publish a freebie prequel to build buzz for your upcoming novel? What about going the traditional publishing route and letting a publisher take over? Maybe it’s not a book, but rather a series of articles meant to published across Medium.

With so many online spaces, hundreds of options, and endless paths, it’s easy to end up at a crossroads with no idea where to turn. I found myself…

And it still rocks my face off

The founding members of Bikini Kill. Photo by Tammy Rae Carland

If you saw any of the multiple ads for the new Netflix movie Moxie, you heard the opening strains of “Rebel Girl” by Bikini Kill.

It starts with a hard set of slaps on the drums, followed by a hard grind from the guitars and bass. Then a voice that sounds like a preteen whine comes in with the accusation, “That girl thinks she’s the queen of the neighborhood!”

The song Rebel Girl first hit our cassette players back in 1991 when NO ONE wanted inclusion. …

Journal with comics

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

This year I dove into the deep-end of education writing. I wanted to create something for teachers, something they could use in and out of the classroom. I took on a nonfiction graphic novel, The Dyslexia Book, (due out later this year), but I had a problem.

The book in my mind didn’t match any books I found on the market. I found the prospect terrifying. What was I thinking? What made me want to write a graphic educational book? Am I insane?

There had to be someone else who tackled educational comics. I set out to find some and…

My creative space is the least imaginative place on Earth

Photo by Ystallonne Alves on Unsplash

The first time I saw a Starbucks, I was on a family trip to Seattle, Washington. Like all kids who grew up in Idaho, I held a deep love for the nearby big cities. My school friends and I dreamed of running away to Portland or Salt Lake, but no place grabbed us as hard and as deeply as Seattle.

To my youthful surprise, none of our hosts wanted to patronize the famous shop with a massive line winding down the sidewalk. …

You can use the same thing at home or with students

Photo by Jonathan Chng on Unsplash

I’ve had a terrible time getting my attention span under control. Despite my best efforts to wrestle my eyes from the YouTube menu or endless stream of news, I find it takes ages to get myself into a good mentality for work.

However, I found three activities that get my attention under control despite my subconscious’s constant attempts to trip me up. When that little voice in my brain screams for me to binge The Boys on Prime or go back to bed for another four hours in lieu of writing, here’s what I do.

1. Long, meandering walks

My partner and I felt…

Learn, publish, and plan a career

Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

I remember the first time I learned about the amazing MFA writing program offered by Iowa State. The thought of it made me drool. Long, chilly fall days in libraries, sitting at big wooden tables with my fellow authors. Chats with professors who lived to discuss literature and hobnobbed with the best writers in the world.

Then I saw the program’s price and settled for a communications degree at the Univsersity of Idaho.

We all love the idea of surrendering our lives to a two-year program of nothing but beautiful books and late nights writing sessions with gangs of lit…

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