All posts by Paula Boyland

How the Imposter Syndrome Works to Keep You Small by Lisa Ellison

Close up photo of ant in grass
 

At thirty-seven inches and thirty-seven pounds, I was the second smallest kid in my first-grade class. The smallest was a kid we called Peanut—a boy so tiny, he’d drown in the shallow end of the pool. Everyone loved to ruffle Peanut’s hair. I loved his “old man” style, complete with plaid bell-bottoms, butterfly-colored shirts, and hair slicked down with Vitalis. Peanut was a sweet, old soul who appeared to like being small. For a long time, I did too. Growing up in a rust-belt town where bad luck seemed like all we had, a small … Continue reading How the Imposter Syndrome Works to Keep You Small by Lisa Ellison

Where Are My Words? by Pamela Potter

Photo of lit candle and envelopes
 

All my life, I’ve processed joy and sorrow, confusion and diatribe, in writing. I have a book of hand written poems working through the tragedies and angst of a teenage mindscape. I have notebooks journaling my college years full of anecdotes of friends and my small adventures. I have abandoned blogs leaving breadcrumbs of my growth and change on the internet like a hidden treasure map. This past year has left me grasping for a comfort that will not come. In March 2020, my words fled. Cancelled like the cruise I had been looking forward … Continue reading Where Are My Words? by Pamela Potter

It’s the Month of Self-Love: National Self-Check Month by Annis Cassells

Photo of box that says Love Yourself and roses
 

Among other national celebrations like Black History Month, Great American Pies Month and National Library Lover’s Month, February is also National Self-Check Month. Turns out, there’s a whole yearly calendar of “National” months, weeks, and days! Who comes up with these? I don’t know about you, but a month around self-care sounds really good to me. It’s a continuation of the theme I’ve been touting for most of 2020 and into this year. So I am onboard! (And if you know me, you know I’m also about those other months I mentioned, too.) Sometimes we … Continue reading It’s the Month of Self-Love: National Self-Check Month by Annis Cassells

Sunday Morning by Paula Boyland

Photo of clock
 

Last night I received an email from Emily, the copy editor, reminding me I’d signed up to provide the blog post for Monday. Uh, oh. For some reason I never added the deadline to my calendar. I knew I’d signed up to provide the last blog post of the year, but thought I had another week. Another example of the 2020 time-warp. I promised her I’d have something to her before the end of the weekend. So, here I am on Sunday morning trying to figure out what I’m going to do (short of actually … Continue reading Sunday Morning by Paula Boyland

Lost in Tech by Stryk Thomas

Photo of hand holding out a phone
 

“Welcome! How can I help you today?” I asked as the store doors opened. The first customer was an older gentleman who I’d glimpsed pacing outside like a taunted zoo lion for at least a half hour before we unlocked the door. “You’re finally open,” he gritted through his teeth. “I’m here to get a new phone.” So began one of many interactions I have as a writer who moonlights in sales for a certain technology company. The retail store is frequented by diverse customers. The wants, needs, and preferences vary as wide as desire. … Continue reading Lost in Tech by Stryk Thomas

Why Not Now? by Maya Lear Brewer

Photo of book with dried flowers inside
 

She beats her fist on the secretary desk. Its ancient wooden arms bear her blows. This is the place where her great uncle sat writing his weekly sermons, the place where her grandfather, the professor, sat drafting his letters and lesson plans, and the place where her father sat recording his daughters’ accomplishments on his calendar. This desk is the place of performance, yet not for this writer. Not now . . . Now as she sits, the pen drips ink, the ink bleeds upon the page; but there are no words, just smudges among … Continue reading Why Not Now? by Maya Lear Brewer

COVID-19 Dreams: Missing Parts by Kathryn Temple

An old brass key dropped in the woods.
 

I’ve been having some strange dreams lately, probably most of us have. A cooked salmon lies in the middle of the highway, missing half his body, yet alive and showing no signs of distress. We all get out of our cars to gape, wondering how he can survive, cooked, headless. The salmon seems sentient, yet placid, accepting. A woman is sawing the legs off a live fox. Witnesses don’t protest; the fox seems fine. Someone is removing a variety of my organs — heart, liver, intestines — as I watch from a distance. I don’t think I’ll miss them. … Continue reading COVID-19 Dreams: Missing Parts by Kathryn Temple

Four Backstory Traps and How to Escape Them by Lisa Ellison

Typed word Backstory on paper in typewriter
 

I remember the exact moment when I decided to become a writer. It was the winter of 1987. I was in sixth-period study hall, gripping Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. The book catapulted me into the world of Louis Creed and Jud Crandall, making the rowdy seventh graders around me disappear. Every day that week, I stayed up well past midnight, unable to put Pet Sematary down. I spent the next few years in various states of terror as I devoured King’s most famous works including It, The Stand, and The Tommyknockers. Stephen King is a … Continue reading Four Backstory Traps and How to Escape Them by Lisa Ellison

Mornings by Pamela Potter

Sunrise
 

I love mornings. For me, this time is full of promise and magic and possibility. Anything could happen today. Nothing negative has marred the perfection of the peace and quiet. No one has made any demands. The quiet is only broken by the sighs of my cats and the hum of my space heater, because it’s January. Well, no demands isn’t quite accurate. First thing every morning when my cat realizes I’m awake, she gets on my bed and we have quiet, thoughtful cuddle time. It’s a mindfulness time for me. I try to stay … Continue reading Mornings by Pamela Potter