All posts by Erika Raskin

Date Night by Nicholas A. White

3d movie goers
 

I haven’t seen Dave this excited in months, since before our son left for college. “We’ll see a compressed version of Arnold’s life,” he says, sprinkling his fingers like falling fireworks. “Can you imagine? You’ll love it. It’ll be like one of our movie dates, but better.” “Well, okay,” I say. “I guess we can go.” “It sucks for Arnold having leukemia and all,” Dave says, checking his phone. “But there’s nothing we can do, you know?” We first learned about the Deathwatching app while dropping our son off at his dorm back in August. … Continue reading Date Night by Nicholas A. White

The Trapper by Alex Lowe

black bear in woods
 

Sometimes he dipped his popcorn into his coffee. He only did that when the popcorn was burnt. Today, it was the coffee that was burnt. The popcorn was soggy. But it was breakfast. The same breakfast he had eaten every day for most of his adult life. Popcorn was cheap. Coffee was cheap. Milk never agreed with him anyhow. The sun still was not up, but the sun always rose later in Mississippi. When he lived in the city he never made it awake before the sun. But that was many years ago. Now the … Continue reading The Trapper by Alex Lowe

Anacostia Unmapped


 

By Katie Davis   Around Washington people say Anacostia as a code word for poverty, crime, isolation. Many add in a low voice, “Don’t go there.” In fact, a city-wide website left it off the map entirely and pushed Virginia up into D.C.. I say, go to Anacostia in South East Washington while it is still a mostly black neighborhood with a rich history. Cross the Anacostia River, not something most white Washingtonians (including me) have often done. Walk along Martin Luther King Avenue and see the life sized posters pasted onto the walls, a … Continue reading Anacostia Unmapped

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