All my life I’ve gotten into random conversations with people where the subject of our life trajectories comes up, and I always end up feeling kind of weird. This past weekend I hung out with a friend who told me he decided on his career path in high school, diligently researched colleges, applied himself strenuously to his field of study, threw himself at the best internships available, and then went on multiple rounds of job interviews with companies he had also heavily researched, and that’s how he ended up in his current job. He made … Continue reading Writers and Artists—It’s Time for You to Stop Trying to Fit into Society’s Conventional Box by Lauren Sapala
By and large, the biggest problem I run into with struggling authors is the challenge they have around marketing themselves. I hear a lot of different reasons for this: “I’m too introverted.” “I hate anything that has to do with sales.” “I don’t want to be fake or phony,” etc. I get those reasons, because way back in the day when I felt like I had an allergic reaction to anything that had to do with marketing, I told other writers I hated marketing because of those very same reasons. But, here’s the thing. That … Continue reading Yes, Writers, It Is Possible to Get Past Your Fear of Marketing Yourself as an Author by Lauren Sapala
Things that get in the way, viz., from Online Etymology Dictionary: 1530s, from Latin obstructionem (nominative obstructio) “an obstruction, barrier, a building up,” noun of action from past participle stem of obstruere “build up, block, block up, build against, stop, bar, hinder,” from ob “in front of, in the way of” (see ob-) + struere “to pile, build” (from PIE *streu-, extended form of root *stere- “to spread”). I’ve been in an odd sort of writing funk–not a writer’s block in the classic sense, because I am writing—both prose and poetry. Drafting, anyway. I feel … Continue reading Obstructions by Ann E. Michael
I’ve lived way out in the country for a little over a year and, with the exception of an inability to have food delivered, I have no complaints. There is something weird about the house though: the rocks. The previous owner used them to mark the driveway to separate it from the yard. But he didn’t stop there. He went on to create a path outlining the entire acre. He also used them to encircle the trees in the yard. Every. Single. Tree. We live in the George Washington National Forest. This is something that … Continue reading Beauty is in the Eye of the Boulder by Emily Littlewood
Horror is my favorite movie style by far. There are endless sub-genres, including supernatural, inbred/cannibalistic families on the prowl, suspense/thriller, cult related brainwashing activities, etc., etc. (they breed like mutants—fact-check this on Netflix). Unlike some people I know who enjoy only one or two of these specific categories—you dilettantes know who you are—I, a true aficionada, love all of them. Hunkering down for a scary film in the theater is especially enjoyable, with the heightened effects of sound, lighting and communal terror, but I am perfectly happy watching with my dog on the couch. But … Continue reading The Truth is Scarier than Fiction
I’ve forgotten how hard moving is. Not just the organizing and packing but the time spent in small details; the time spent on the phone and mad-dash trips to the store for tape and bubble wrap. My husband and I have lived in our current house for just over ten years. We had moved to Harrisonburg as an escape from Washington DC, where our work commutes into northern Virginia were beginning to feel impossible. Not wanting to prolong the move by taking the time to buy a house, we rented. And on moving day we … Continue reading The Storm Before the Calm
In a word: Yes. In their defense they did save me from a slow, painful wasting away. I was under 100 pounds when I got them—and it’s not the lungs’ fault, exactly. It’s the drugs I take to keep my body from rejecting them. After 28 years of dealing with cystic fibrosis I was losing my footing; my health was declining. Quickly. The steepest part of the slope began with a massive hemoptysis, a fun episode consisting of coughing up handfuls of blood all over the bathroom. My husband, whose go-to stress relief is cleaning, … Continue reading Do These New Lungs Make Me Look Fat?
I’m not surprised that I adore copy editing Streetlight Magazine. It’s a wonderful marriage between my slightly obsessive-compulsive tendencies and my love of reading. Perusing numerous pieces of writing while searching for extra spaces, improper italicization and the incorrect use of dashes is something I could do all day long. While I admit I get irrationally excited every time I find something to fix (especially since it doesn’t happen that often), my favorite part of the job is that I’m reading from varied genres. As an English major I spent my share of time … Continue reading The Path Home