Life and Such

Sticks and Stones and Amazing Grace

I hate the hymn “Amazing Grace”. This is a post I’ve been dying to write mostly because of that iconoclastic line. But it isn’t meant to be a gratuitous use of shock value. It goes to something much deeper. It’s not the song but one word in the first verse, “wretch”. It’s an ugly word in […]

Winter Is Here

Winter Is Here

While it’s true that listening to A Dance with Dragons inspired the title, it has nothing to do with this post. Rather it’s Marissa Meyer’s upcoming release Winter that inspired the topic. For those not familiar with the Lunar Chronicles series: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, and Winter, they’re futuristic retellings of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, […]

Adventures in Travel: Going the Long Way

Adventures in Travel: Going the Long Way

Since becoming a full-time freelancer in 2011, I’ve been teaching at writers conferences, which means I’ve done a lot more travel than I did when I worked for the newspaper. In the last couple of years I’ve flown to St. Louis, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Austin, and, most recently, Grand Rapids. Next week I’ll be off […]

Misdirection and the Gullibility of the American People

Misdirection and the Gullibility of the American People

Dr. von Ratner eyed the incubators through the two-way mirror. They sat in the waiting room, arms crossed over their chests and trembling, terrified, but not of him or of what he was about to do to them. No, they feared the consequences of their own actions. They believed he was here to help. Von […]

Weight Loss Is Not About Willpower

Weight Loss Is Not About Willpower

Secrets from the Eating Lab, a book by Traci Mann, somehow manages to be both reassuring and discouraging. Nevertheless, I love this book. The author won me over before she even gets to page one, because in the preface she notes that willpower is not what influences weight loss. Despite what most people assume, a […]

A Matter of Taste 

A Matter of Taste 

Seven years ago, my husband took a job in a small town. The biggest sacrifice for me was giving up access to various ethnic cuisines. Back in the day, we often went out for Mediterranean, Indian, Thai, or Korean food not to mention Chinese, Japanese, and German. In our current location, we’re limited to Chinese, […]

Two great tools for recording Internet audio

Two great tools for recording Internet audio

The problem with streaming audio or video on the web is the difficulty of saving it for later. I faced this recently when the IndieReCon writing conference was going on. I really cannot spend any more time sitting at my desk than I already do. I needed a way to get the con’s talks off […]