The Women’s March, Bad News Burnout, and What Comes Next


The other weekend, I attended the Women’s March in D.C. Soon after the march was first announced, a local woman chartered three buses and started collecting names and checks. I signed up with a friend of mine and started making my preparations, ordering a pair of winter hiking boots, packing wipes and tissues and maps and cheap sunglasses into a cross body bag no bigger than 8″ x 6″ x 4″.

As the march approached, the backlash began. Controversy over whether or not the march was welcoming to those from marginalized communities. Controversy over the emblem that had been adopted in the form of the omnipresent pussy hats. Controversy over what, exactly, could even be accomplished with a march. I started to wonder whether it would have been more effective for me to attend a local march. I continued to make my preparations—ordering my transit card, soaking a bandanna in apple cider vinegar and placing it in a small, plastic sandwich baggie—but I wasn’t sure why I was going, and whether or not it was the right thing to do. [Read more…]

My 24 Favorite Reads of 2016


Since last year, I’ve been tracking my reading on a spreadsheet in order to ensure that I’m reading diversely. And since I started writing for Book Riot earlier this year, I’ve been exposed to a lot of fantastic reads in genres I may never have taken a second look at otherwise. So as we come to the end of 2016 (with 89 books under my belt!), I thought I’d share my favorites. Because maybe you’ve been seeing the same old books on the same old best-of lists and you’re getting bored.

Some of those books are for sure on this list. But there’s other stuff, too. And backlist titles. And re-reads. Basically, this is everything that made me feel all heart-eyes when I read it. 😻 😻 😻

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How Many Sex Educators Does It Take to Change a Writer?


Earlier this month, I attended a four-day sex educator conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey. While there, I was gathering information for three different assignments but, because I was curious and because it felt particularly relevant to my interests, I also attended a workshop on the sexualization of sex educators.

It was held in a room large enough for over 200 people, with a wall of windows looking out over the Atlantic City beach. As the rows of chairs began to fill up, I looked around at my fellow attendees: educators, yes, but also clinicians and program coordinators and me, the lone writer.

The workshop began and the co-facilitators immediately got attendees involved, asking them to shout out the types of people by whom they’d been sexualized, so they could write down all of the answers on a giant easel pad at the front of the room.

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How to Save the World, One Small Step at a Time


It was never my plan to be a sex writer. Is it anyone’s plan? No. I wanted to be the next Bill Ervolino, writing slice-of-life humor columns for my local paper. Instead, I somehow ended up reviewing Carol Queen’s Exhibitionism for the Shy and test driving vibrators and state-of-the-art condoms. Suddenly, I was making a living writing listicles on the top ten ways to boost your libido. I was creating online clickbait for cash. And it was burning me out.

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Writing to Rise Up


This past Tuesday, I walked to my polling center at the elementary school around the corner and cast my vote, and then I walked back home and worked on my book and started editing a teaching manual on bullying and braced myself for whatever might happen next.

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The Stuff Our Stories Are Made Of


I finally read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children this past weekend, because the movie looks like fun and I like to read the source material first and who doesn’t enjoy something dark and peculiar? It was delightful, of course, and well deserving of all its accolades, but what charmed me the most was that the story itself was inspired by found photographs, vintage photos discovered at flea markets and such.

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Maintaining Freelance Momentum: A Sisyphean Task


You would think that after being a full-time freelancer for nearly 10 years, I would know better than to get complacent. But I’m only human. I have the constant twin distractions of a work-at-home husband and a 2-year-old daughter. I have an ever-alluring TBR pile. There are Joss Whedon television shows to binge watch and Twitter feeds to refresh and stickers to paste into my Passion Planner. I have dreams. I have exhaustion.

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My Most Complicated Relationship is with My Body

I pulled on the bikini I’d purchased two years ago, a mere month or two before learning I was pregnant. This was to be my first time finally wearing it. I looked at myself in the full-length mirror and I grabbed at my sides and I tilted my head as if that would change what […]

How To Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem

I’m a writer, so of course I watched the hell out of Dead Poets Society as a teenager. And of course I covet this Yawp T-shirt from Brooklyn Poets and of course I listened, rapt, when Robin Williams said “Carpe… carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.” For years, though, I thought that in order […]

Why I’m Not Good At Pressing Pause

It was Wednesday of last week, and I felt as if work was imploding around me. Tasks I had hoped to get done by then were starting to look as if they’d never get done. Projects with lots of moving parts were not coming together. People I had been relying on to get things done were unresponsive. I […]