All posts by Erika Raskin

Gorilla My Dreams


by Patrice Calise When I was a little girl, I wanted to be one of the boys. No shock there: I grew up in a house with four older brothers, our parents, and several male dogs. My brothers got to run bare-chested in the heat of South Florida summers while I was encumbered with a full t-shirt and eventually (horribly) a bra. (I’d tried walking through the house without a t-shirt when I was 11. It didn’t end well). My brothers just never seemed bothered by their bodies because nobody ever seemed to be observing … Continue reading Gorilla My Dreams

Do They Think You’re Good Enough? How to Stop Giving a Rat’s Ass


By Janis Jaquith Is it pathetic that my gray roots are showing? What about wearing yoga pants to the grocery store – are people thinking I should know better? Women have always been subject to physical scrutiny and now there’s the added hell of being judged by our work/life balance. Lean into your career and neglect your family. Stay home with the kids and lose ground in your career. We’re zealots. We’re slackers. I feel like I’m tap-dancing for an unseen audience, hoping I’m good enough. Good enough for what, I’m not sure. To occupy … Continue reading Do They Think You’re Good Enough? How to Stop Giving a Rat’s Ass

When Words Fail


By Stefanie Newman I spent most of my life at a loss for words. On job interviews I could never describe my good points or my bad. As an art professor I would get student evaluations that said She was nice but I didn’t understand what she was talking about. Life’s important moments found me rooting around for words with the dogged persistence of somebody looking for their car keys I had a reverence for language that only a visual artist could have. Color and form were slippery and vague, but I was sure that … Continue reading When Words Fail

The Space Where You Were by Nina Denison


It was like one of those dreams where you’re trying to reach someone in a crowd and you keep glimpsing the back of their head before they’re swallowed up by the thick humanity. The crowd is impermeable— you try elbowing your way through, but it closes in on you again and you find you haven’t advanced. You’re panicking. You have no voice. It wasn’t a dream, though, and I didn’t need to use my elbows—I just couldn’t get to you. You kept disappearing around corners, into rooms, your shadow bending all over the wallpaper and … Continue reading The Space Where You Were by Nina Denison

Writing Advice


    9 Pieces of Advice for Writing Fiction From Streetlight’s Fiction Editor First off, crafting stories is a skill that can be learned. (Unlike, say, the ability to keep house.) So here are a few pointers from someone who writes and reads. A lot. 1. Plotting: There are many different ways to do this. I know writers who cover their walls with blueprints, mapping each chapter like cartographers before embarking upon the very first sentence of any project. On the other extreme are those of us who take a more minimalist approach. We are … Continue reading Writing Advice

My Friend Pointy Girl


The whole kerfuffle starts with a thought. I could illustrate my blog. As soon as I think it, she shows up: the familiar, furious fluster-roar: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? YOU’RE NO ILLUSTRATOR! YOU’VE NEVER EVEN TAKEN A DRAWING CLASS! YOU CAN’T DO THIS. YOU CAN’T JUST DECIDE TO DRAW THINGS AND SHOW PEOPLE. STOP INSTANTLY. The wrath of Pointy Girl. She’s been around as long as I can remember and that girl has the tongue of a snake. She shrieks at me when I want to do something different. She snarls when I … Continue reading My Friend Pointy Girl

Come and Get My Gun by Sean G. Murphy


“Do you know how fast you were going?” Not fast enough, you don’t reply. You have somewhere to be, and you can’t get there quickly enough. It’s not your own bed (that’s where you just came from) and it’s not her bed (that’s where you won’t be coming again, anytime soon); it’s the house you are usually driving away from at this hour, hoping to find the way home through half-shut eyes. You’ve seen this little piggy before, you think, as he holds his flashlight expectantly in your face. And not just in those recurring … Continue reading Come and Get My Gun by Sean G. Murphy

The Ones Who Stay by Jenna-Marie Warnecke


August 2012 Paris is empty. There’s no one left except the tourists who planned poorly, or cheaply. All the Parisians and even the other expats are in the south, or in Spain, or on the Côte. Everything’s closed; not one event scheduled until September. Even the blogs and guidebook sites I shoot for are quiet this time of year. I’ve taken every possible photo of Paris. There’s not much to do except walk around and look at shuttered doors. I’m the only person I know who has enough money to live in Paris, but not … Continue reading The Ones Who Stay by Jenna-Marie Warnecke

No Matter What by Tracey Levine


On the day I found out that I was pregnant I went to a bar and drank heavily with my boyfriend. It was early afternoon and I had a spicy bloody Mary and followed it up with a few craft beers. He drank the same. We stretched our arms across the table and held hands, like newlyweds. The word shot-gun came up. We certainly weren’t getting married, not that we never would. We’d decided before my pregnancy test appointment at the clinic — I didn’t want to pee on a store-bought stick, that we weren’t … Continue reading No Matter What by Tracey Levine

The Writing on the Wall (or life’s little prompts)


I’m a writer which means I am constantly taking in interesting things. Even when I shouldn’t be. I can be having a very serious conversation with a doctor, for instance, while simultaneously pondering competing information. It’s where my stories come from. Recently, I was mid-discussion with a specialist about medication doses when I found myself wondering about the wedding ring he was sporting on the wrong hand. I was barely able to restrain myself from interrupting and asking what that was about. Instead, while he patiently explained the prescription, I crafted a whole tragic narrative about his slow transition from Widower to … Continue reading The Writing on the Wall (or life’s little prompts)