Unforgettable: A Humorous Motherhood Tale

Clara rolled onto her back in the soft bed, wondering what had woken her. The only sounds in the dark room came from the low, comforting snores of her husband lying beside her. An insistent poking invaded her personal bubble, a rhythmic tap, tap, tap on her shoulder pulled her further out of sleep. She …

The Problem with “Pretty Girls” and Princesses

By Angela Noel A woman with a cloud of yellow-tinted hair compared my face to a series of shapes and declared it too round to be the coveted oval of beautiful people. I was eight years old. Why this lady, grandmotherly in age, appeared in my second-grade classroom to teach “grooming” to the female students …

Crisis at the Border- The Loss of Liberty

**Author’s Note: I began writing this in June when border separations were first beginning. Like many, I was appalled at the vindictiveness of not only the Trump Administration, its allies, but also fellow citizens of our country who became zealous proponents of this policy. Unfortunately, because of the fast-paced changes of the policy changes and …

Sexism and Sexual Assault

Asia Argento is an alleged rapist. Her alleged victim— Jimmy Bennet, age 17 at the time of the alleged incident.  Argento is accused of paying him off to keep quiet about the encounter. Sounds rather Weinsteinian, don’t you think? I mean, talk about irony; only months ago she accused ol’ Harv of rape and now …

I Want You To Know This About Beauty

Breast cancer

As a journalist, I spent the last few weeks interviewing women who lost their hair and their breasts as they fought for their lives battling the beast that attacks 1 in 8 women in America — breast cancer.  We shed tears. “I woke up healthy one day and went to bed terminally ill,” one woman said. …

Blogging Ain’t Easy: Here’s How I Can Help

Do you remember why you started blogging? For me, I have always had a love of writing, reading, and words in general, but I never imagined I could actually do it in a professional capacity. That, I think, is the biggest attraction most feel about blogging. When I started it was actually a time filler …

A Brazilian Girl’s Survival Guide to Living in America

#MondayBlogs #WWWBlogs #Diversity
The world over there, in “America,” seemed as foreign as the world of Tom & Jerry on my great-aunt’s television set.  I liked watching Tom & Jerry just as much as I liked hearing about my mother’s new life — it was entertaining and far away.  This was just as well because my mother and I were about as distant, mother-and-daughter-wise, as Earth and Pluto.         

the beginning of a poem about You…and Me

By Daria Papish Mansfield I find myself reflecting on you often  I have seen your goodness heard your laugh finding my face across the big sea its chimes blend with your voice in the wind…..perhaps the beginning of a poem about You…and Me

The Sea

The Sea, Fiction, Henrietta Ross

By Henrietta Ross The drapes shivered in the wind blowing in from the sea and a tiger stripe of sun uncurled across the floor. He dragged himself up, pearls of sweat gathering across his forehead, his shirt clinging to his skin. ‘I can smell the flowers.’ ‘Peter?’ ‘I can smell them, Fadma.’ ‘I make breakfast.’ …

The Political Waste Land of Today

But for too many of our citizens… Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities, rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation…” Except he is the one leading those who lay waste the land. He violates the laws that would protect us, our air and water, and sells off our common lands to oil, gas, and other corporations to be stripped and mined. When the water meant for all is stolen, sold off to private corporations, the soul is desiccated, and becomes like soil without water. What could possibly grow from this “stony rubbish”?

Vacations Are For Epiphanies: An Essay

“I have come to see travel as a sort of bookmark between the pages of everyday. It is a permission slip to put down the mundane and return to life with sun-kissed skin, a shot glass and a T-shirt, and maybe a new perspective.”

The Importance of Love, Simon that Time Ignored

As I sat in the theater opening weekend with one of my best friends and watched Love, Simon, I was surprised by how hard the simple film hit me. I’ve seen way too many LGBT themed films with miserable endings to expect anything than the unhappy endings movies tend to give to non-straight couplings so …

Fingers and Bones: A Poem

Fingers And Bones: A Poem About Life Lessons By Special Guest Jacqueline Cioffa Time does not care about how many minutes or seconds you’ve wasted daydreaming or sleeping or eating ice cream. Daydream often, play often and laugh as often as you can. Because time does not wait for you to catch up with the …

Do We Even Need To Be Present In Our Own Lives Anymore?

City councilors in my hometown of Niagara Falls (our unofficial tagline is, “Yeah, it’s a bunch of water falling on rocks , but it’s cheaper than Vegas, ya cheap bastards!”) are discussing whether or not they should be allowed to take part in council and committee meetings via video or audio links in light of changes …

OTVMagazine Submission Policy and Guidelines

#Submit
May I…?
What if you could ask one thing of the Universe, your spouse, a friend, your neighbor, even yourself? May I have your ear because I need you to hear this? May I have your heart because I want you to feel this? Or may I simply have a moment of your time because life spins fast and I feel dizzy? Let May be your permission slip to ask an important question, muse on a curious topic or make a statement of any kind.

Sometimes There Are No Answers

"Sometimes There Are No Words" by C. Streetlights @CStreetlights via @OTVMagazine #Answers

Answers. I deserved answers to all the many questions I had tormenting my life during that time. I wanted to know why years of loyalty meant nothing to a school district that I had invested my career in. I wanted to know how a community I had loved and built a life in could suddenly …

Tell Me When You’re Ready: The Narrative of Threat after Philadelphia Starbucks arrests

Before I continue with my story, note that this conversation between mother and son in Minnesota happened on April 12, 2018, just hours after two black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks. But I didn’t know that then. What I knew as I waited to turn left into my mostly white neighborhood (84% as of the last census), was my son had imbibed a narrative about people with dark skin, a threat narrative. I also knew I had no idea what to say to counteract this heady drug of fear. Seeds of worry grew within me. Where had he learned this? Was it TV? Was it something I’d said or done? Or something he’d learned at school?

Jesus Would Have Let Me Cry On His Shoulder

By Juliana Marcelle Crespo Gloria tried to convince me that Jesus lay dormant in the fibrous sinews holding my muscles and joints in place. She’d come up to me while I was doing arm curls at her husband’s gym.  I set down the barbells and turned towards her so I could give her my full …

Can a Poem Save Your Life? A Poem by Aaminah Shakur

Can a poem save your life change the world make a difference bring world peace stop a war feed the hungry house the homeless Can a poem start a fire ignite a revolution open a door build a school or hospital make someone believe do more than wish take an action Can a poem save …

Mist : A Journey Into The Heart of a Poet a letter from The Publisher Shareen Mansfield

A few years ago I launched OTVMagazine. One of the first pieces I featured was a poem written and published by my mother-in-law. I shared a poem with readers that I treasured. When OTV moved to self-hosting many of our archived pieces were corrupted. Daria’s bio and my original link to her poem were lost …

Edits, Ego, Blogging Advice, Facebook, Twitter, Pintrist, Google+ and All The Rotten Shit In Between

Writing prompts, blogging advice, personal essays pitches & waiting for word on acceptances is something I typically don’t do anymore. I hate rejection. I hate edits even more. But I don’t hate them for the same reasons most of you do. No one asked so I figure I might as well chime in to share …

Successful Blogging With OTV & Heidibiz

Having our content read by a wide audience and successful blogging is and always should be the goal for all of us, am I right? How many of you thought this crazy blogosphere was gonna be cake? I know I did. I thought well, I’m just going to write really cool stuff for women and …

How to Celebrate Friday the 13th

So it’s Friday night and you’re wondering what to do after a long week of painful monotony filled with office stupidity and customers from hell. Any other night, it’d mean some catch-up time with The Handmaid’s Tale or YouTube-binging of PB & Jeff or listening to Austin scream about how badly games do science or …

Final Debate POTUS 2016 Rocky Horror or American Horror Story :Trump -He actually won

Thursday Night, many of us tuned in LIVE to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show, but we gotta rewind to three nights ago, when we tuned in LIVE to see the Rocky Future Horror Show. YES, the third and FINAL Presidential debate, live from Las Vegas, where only the classiest mistakes happen! The last debate, …

 A Father’s Day Essay: How to Hate Your Father 

Fatherhood

TRIGGER WARNING sexual abuse Waiting For Father You are a scrawny young girl with hair half as big as your body. You sit on the cracked cement steps where the sun paints shapes through the trees. You lick the sticky remnants of a Popsicle off your fingers and forearm and watch the cars pass on …

The Phone Booth

The Phone Booth

 By Karen J. Weyant My best friend and I learned how to make prank calls in the phone booth near the Skat Gas Station in town. We learned the random dialing tips from television sitcoms, but the phone calls took time and practice, until we could deliver our lines without giggling or hanging up the receiver …

Charlottesville: We Cannot Wash Our Hands of This

This is OUR world and we insist it and others comply with our demands.   Nay, our WHIMS.  This is white America:  please ME entirely or you don’t deserve to exist.
Can any of us honestly wash our hands of this?


Mist

Mist Cuts the sky in two Separating heaven From earth. It’s soft gauze spreads, Covering over my wound. I need to hear the forest whisper now, So I can moan and cry. After a frigid morning, The sun manages to come out Surprising me. My mood brightens. Pets jump up to find me on my …

“Mom, voices keep telling me to kill myself.” Schizophrenia the truth about Mental Health and the innocents left behind

By Shiloe ShoeMaker & familyEdited By Shawna Ayoub Ainslie #SurviveYourStory “Unbreakable Bond” “Mom, voices keep telling me to kill myself…” the first words that hit me in the gut and screamed that something was seriously wrong. I always knew as she was growing up things weren’t always ‘right’. Unusual fits, endless crying, maintaining below average …

OTV Magazine Blog Party Linkup

blog party

OTV Relaunch Blog Party We can hardly believe this day has finally arrived!! If you are a regular reader or contributor, you know that Heidi & I have been stupid busy moving to Self-Hosting which wasn’t as easy as we expected and I can’t thank Heidi enough for the work she put in getting everything …

Meet Author C. Streetlights Editor and OTV’s Voice Of Reason and Lead Columnist

C. Streetlights

Author C. Streetlights There’s a good chance C. Streetlights became part of the mafia in New York City after sympathizing with her waitress at TGIFridays and her waitress gave her a large takeout bag filled with sandwiches and desserts. “The family” took care of the bill, she told C., throwing her arms around her, kissing …

Facebook Social Media Addicts: Share If You Agree, Ignore If You Agree

Hello my name is Meghan, I’m a recovering Facebook addict.(Hello, Meghan! you say). But I wasn’t always this way! My journey through Facebook Recovery is as long as… as a rant about the DNC posted by someone you haven’t spoken to since college. Let me start at the beginning. Back when Facebook required an “.edu” …

Special Guest Author Jaqueline Cioffa : Feminist, Poet and Activist

  Jacqueline Cioffa. Feminist. Mental Health Advocate. Poet. Activist. Dog Lover. Model. Celebrity Makeup Artist. Stone Crab Enthusiast. Author of the poignant soul-stirring saga, “The Vast Landscape” and “Georgia Pine,” Jacqueline’s work also has been widely featured in numerous literary magazines and anthologies. She’s a storyteller, observer, truth teller, essayist, potty mouth, beauty enthusiast and …

Raymond Baxter The Relationship Blogger On OTVMagazine

Raymond Baxter. You are probably wondering why you know that name. This is why: He’s everywhere. Seriously, this man is a wizard, which is why we asked him please pretty please to make himself our wizard. “OTV Wizard?” he said. “Jolly good.” And you know what, he’s not even British. He only said it like …

Daria Mansfield OTVMagazine’s Poet In Residence

Born on the plains of Manitoba to Ukrainian immigrants, Daria is a dreamer.  She longed to stretch her wings to far away places.  Her English Lit degree tucked away, she reached for England, Canada’s mother country.  Her former inclinations towards acting soon evaporated as she tapped into her inner world, finding it deep and rich …

With This Vow My Telltale Heartbreaking

you loved me I thought I stood by you all those times touch sky I could I thought How cliche?! love I was blinded touch my hand you don’t not sober you made that vow looking back I meant a vow to stay with you I made a vow we were unstoppable I once thought …

Girls Who Write Code

By Dori Owen “Many times, when children enter school they shun mathematics and science during the years when they should be learning the basics.” ―Margot Lee Shetterly, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race The first time I noticed that there was …

The Trumpan Women (A Tragedy with Haiku)

By James W. Gaynor The Trumpan™ Women [A Tragedy with Haiku] Chorus: Like smoke blown to heaven on the wings of the wind, our country, our conquered country, perishes. Its palaces are overrun by the fierce flames and the murderous spear. Euripides  The Trojan Women Orange has almost no perfect rhymes. The only word in the …

Losing my Identity – By Charlotte Farhan

Within our built up identities there are many aspects: beliefs, attitudes, your history, behaviour, personality, temperament, knowledge, opinions and roles within personal relationships and within society. Your self-definition is the broad concept of what makes you, you.”

Would You Vote For The Governor from The Walking Dead?

*Spoilers* The Walking Dead is having a good second half of the season. And I mean gooood… I officially have forgiven the first half for being kind of lame and I’m relishing the hook-ups (Richonne! Carol and what’s-his-face!) and the emergence of a new and seemingly powerful foe; the so-called “Saviors” who are obviously anything …

OTV News, Archives & Summer Cash Giveaway

Summertime Is Coming! Find Out What’s Cooking @OTVMagazine Dear Readers and authors, As you know we recently made the transition from WordPress Business to Self-Hosting using BlueHost. We have had some issues with content movement along with corrupted images that simply didn’t move! Thankfully, Heidi Williams, who is master of all things and my closest …

The Truth About Angels: A celebration of love, sisterhood and family 

#ArchiveDay I don’t believe in angels, yet I have many. I have only one course of action: my own bravery, strength, survival, and happiness.
I will save myself, love myself, appreciate myself, understand myself, and protect myself so that she may one day not have to worry if I will be okay. I’m okay, She saved me once and the rest is up to me.

“I Feel Bad for the Charging Bull!” Wall Street’s “Fearless Girl”-By Jillian Green DiGiacomo

“These days it’s all about the Fearless Girl, that adorable little figure secretly installed in lower Manhattan by an investment firm to celebrate (and advertise) its “Gender Diversity Index” fund. The 250-pound bronze statue by artist Kristen Visbal, stands head held high, shoulders squared, hands on hips, in the direct path, and in brazen defiance of the most famous beast on Wall Street, the Charging Bull. The four-foot-tall effigy has certainly made her presence known.”

Writing What Matters : Trump, Equality, Gun Control and Activism

Editor’s Corner: Writing That Matters By Shareen Mansfield Dear Readers, If we were having coffee, I’d tell you it’s been a hot minute since I last wrote anything that really felt like it mattered. . To be truthful, writing isn’t something that I can do on a schedule or with a prompt. I want to …

You Need to Fly :A Poem by Shareen Mansfield

Open your wings
expand
into a cloud
flow
 glide
clouds are cotton
candy unicorns run wild
mermaids fall from the sky
tiny magical lifeforms
 raindrops
that grow into the coral reef
they are
artist caretakers
making the reef a sacred place
beautiful
blue
 Azul
 topaz
Gold flickers.
Pearls shimmer

Photo Album

by Aaminah Shakur Somewhere there is a photo Of my mother and father I’m told I look just exactly like her Only she was darker My mother who was Indigenous and Black On her father’s side Indigenous and Scots-Irish On her mother’s side My brother said our aunt showed it to him It is her …

A Rant for the Everyday Douchebags and Tinder Trolls

Mother Dick, you are a douche. Start using yourself like the tool you are. Start by draping yourself with bath blankets and water proof pads. I hear Egyptian cotton is amazing, make sure you grab those. Next insert your middle finger into your ear. Shove it into your brain. I would suggest anesthesia but, being a Mother Dick, you can’t feel things anyway. Take a deep breath, slow and deep, while gradually inserting that middle finger. Penetrate. Loosen the hardened fecal mass you call a brain. Get that excrement out. And don’t forget the importance of hand hygiene. You can rest at intervals; Egyptian cotton sheets are ready.

Another Rant To Internet Trolls in the Era of Trump

Image obtained from Someecards.com It’s been one of those summers. You know the kind. The temperature rises, then the MotherDick Insurgency begins. At first I thought, no, don’t do it. Another MotherDickrant isn’t going to help anybody. Except, well me. So why the hell not!? Image obtained from Someecards.com First, to the MotherDick who blurted out …

Rest in peace, rise in impatiens: Life lessons from my deceased and beloved grandmother

Two and a half years ago, I made a permanent move back to my hometown. It took me all of one day to realize that my deceased grandmother, my Mimi, my most favorite relative, was absolutely everywhere. My parents’ home was formerly my grandparents’ home. When my grandfather died, I was 16 years old. For …

Nature or Nurture: Do Kids and Culture Clash?

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”  ~Albert Einstein By Kara Post-Kennedy In our modern society, I think it is a very rare and unique sort of parent who dreams their child will grow up one day …

Commons, What Isn’t Seen

Commons Bumping under clouds. Co-pilot trainee alternates between tracing paths on a rudimentary flight map and pointing ahead past the gimmick of the spinning wing. We begin our descent into light and Boston unfurls below: and there is Logan, and there Fenway. Rows and blocks of old sepia downtown surrounded brownstones strain against the new …

Why I created greeting cards to celebrate gender transitions

By Jade Sylvan Coming-of-age, graduation, marriage, new babies, new jobs, new homes – you can go into a drug store right now and find a panoply of greeting cards to congratulate someone you care about on any of these major life transitions. I went through a phase of dismissing greeting cards as mass-produced schmaltz or …

Identity After Infidelity

INFIDELITY (n) – “The action or state of being unfaithful to a spouse or other sexual partner.” synonyms: unfaithfulness, adultery, disloyalty, deceit, falseness, affair, cheating. Infidelity….it’s real and is sadly the reality of a lot of men and women. I never thought that I would experience it, but I thought then that IF I did, I …

An ode to hode… Or , The finest of them all

A gentle giant Who was 90% heart. Hodor held the door Set aside his fear Giving his life for his friends. Hodor held the door Duo-syllabic Benevolent altruist Hodor held the door Find more from Al Lane here. Picture courtesy of: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/game-of-thrones-season-6-director-jack-bender-reveals-hodors-death-scene-was-originally-a-lot-more-a7060046.html

The Spike: Cause & Effect

By L R Fletcher Toni holds his breath to avoid inhaling the bus’s fetid fumes as he bounces aboard, the promise of the special weekend ahead putting an extra spring in his step, and pauses for the eagle-eyed driver to inspect his pass. The hook-nosed pilot is the only one on this route to have …

Everybody Street

Everybody street Everybody is street Every body is a street body It’s a documentary About street photography In New York City A dozen, maybe 15, photographers Talking about what they do They are all white But they street? Jamel Shabazz is there Only Black man He street For real But everybody street? Nah A dozen …

Sin Twister and Amnesia

Sin Twister I hear it spewed from loud mouths spit-slicked with the hate I was born with, “I’d see him dead before I saw him a faggot.” I see clenched fists raised high, scarred from years of cuffs And I will eat your young! (but now, “Jesus!”) After fists come down to pummel his wife …

How a Cello Healed My Heart

By Shawna Ayoub Ainslie   I met my childhood best friend on an Autumn day under falling leaves. Her mother was on their patch of lawn calling her name into the apartment complex parking lot. Her name was my name. This was cause for concern. My older sister sprang into action, confronting the girl’s mother. …

The Power of Thinking Positive 

By Thomas Ives There has been an increase in the sadness and gloom in the world recently. Some has to do with the election; some has to do with tragedy or even our personal daily struggles. This blog post is all about the positive that I have seen, read or taken part in recently. I …

Reimagining Self-Care as Activism in the New World Order

By Stacia M. Fleegal I’m going to attempt to coin a phrase here: active self-care. If you’re like me, you are deeply unsettled, if not outright horrified and afraid, about America’s political climate. If you’re like me, you want to help; but in the face of such relentless and pervasive ignorance, have wondered, how can …

Lend An Ear

By Jacqueline Cioffa Those who live on in our minds, those ones we can hear eyes closed, are the familiar bonds that can never be broken or diffused. I’m a mutt, Black Irish, German with a pinch of Italian thrown in. I know this because I have always been curious about where I came from, …

only a woman

by Sumayyah Talibah we are hidden figures regulated to the shadows pulling the strings from behind the scenes until they need us to be seen draped across arm and chaise lounge and silver screen our collective beauty seems to be the sum of our worth only a woman indeed we’ve cured disease and sent ships …

In Kellyanne’s Kitchen

By James W. Gaynor Hello, Human Inhabitants of Planet Earth! I’m Kellyanne’s microwave, contacting you via your laptop (the device with acamera function you actually know about).Ms. Conway’s other kitchen applianceshave appointed me their spokesmachine — although the toaster oven, after consultation with Justice Kagan’s MixMaster,would like to make it clear that neither its broil …

A Call to Arms. A Call to Love.

By Sarah E. Boucher Feminism gets a bad rap. The term has been twisted to convey something far different than its original definition: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests Basic. Elegant. Yet somehow feminism has become associated with radical behavior, …

We Rise

By Lisa A. Listwa Life has a way of hitting us when we’re down. Or at least that’s often our perception. How many times have you thought to yourself that a situation couldn’t possibly get any worse? And then it does. Several years ago, I had reached a crossroads. I was a wife, the mother …

What Makes A New Yorker… A NEW YORKER?

What does it take to become … A NEW YORKER??? Ever since September 8, 2008 I have pondered this question. That was the day I moved into a rented room in a dilapidated house in Forest Hills, Queens. My first day as a New Yorker. 8 million people live in New York City. Or maybe …

Surfacing

By Kathryn Holzman They were married in the summer. The Justice of the Peace sat at the helm of the rowboat. From the shore, stereo speakers played the Wedding March. Renee wore a bathing suit and a veil and promised, for the second time in her life, to love another until death parted them. Her …

We Contain Multitudes. traditions, ancestry & culture

By Lisa A. Listwa When we start a conversation about heritage, it is easy and natural to jump to topics like researching ancestry registries, or passing along holiday traditions, family heirlooms, and recipes. It is logical to talk about cultural history and ethnic background. But what is heritage, really? And how are we connected to …

#ThisIsHowSexismEnds: Not Another Column About the Word "Slut" – 19 Terms for Relationships that Dehumanize Women 

Trump won by earning the vote of those who dismissed his nauseating, predatory, misogynistic statements as “locker room talk”. These same voters ignored his actual lies, and his corrupt and unlawful so-called business practices.

ThisIsHowSexismEnds In Partnerships with TheGoodMenProject : Not Another Column About the Word “Slut” – 19 Terms for Relationships that Dehumanize Women 

By Shareen Mansfield A few weeks ago I was invited to be a Media Partner by The Good Men Project as part of Media Tour in support of #ThisIsHowSexismEnds.  Initially, this started as a Facebook Group inviting authors, editors, publishers and people from around the globe the opportunity to discuss sexism in order to find …

Meet Lisa Listwa Regular Contributor : Wife, Mother & teacher

Lisa A. Listwa: Wife, Mother, Brilliant Writer Lisa A. Listwa is wife to the nicest guy on the planet, mother to one glorious handful of a daughter, and reluctant but devoted owner of three rotten cats, affectionately nicknamed “the Rottens.” The History Of Lisa Her eclectic career history includes being a legal secretary, member of …

Meet Rica Lewis: OTV’s Managing Editor

OTV's Rica Lewis

Rica Lewis: Yoga Whisperer Rica Lewis is a yoga enthusiast and writer/editor. She’s basically a flexible word nerd. Her two favorite places to be are at the keyboard and on her mat. Yoga and writing help her make sense of this crazy life, sort out the clutter in her soul, and channel her energy into …

Never Too Many Cooks: Literary Recipes in a Flash

By Charli Mills A chef in the kitchen is not unlike a writer at a desk. Both feel the heat of what it takes to transform a raw start into an end worth savoring. A chef chops vegetables to maximize flavor and texture the way a writer slices sentence structure to evoke reader response. One …

Book Review: Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice in 61 Haiku (1,037 syllables)

By Colleen Chesebro Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice in 61 Haiku by James W. Gaynor (1,037 syllables) MY RECOMMENDATION: Fans of Jane Austen’s famous book Pride and Prejudice will fall in love with the creative poetic genius of author and poet, James W. Gaynor. If you’ve ever read the classic novel, you might have found the …

A Woman’s Worth is More Than Her Body

By Kara Post-Kennedy I was 12 years old when a grown man told me with a wink that he noticed my chest was “starting to fill in”. Like most 12 year old girls, my changing body was a confusing and frankly upsetting thing, and this comment threw me into a tailspin of panic and shame.  …

Dear Food, Let’s Be Friends Again…

Dear Food, You were my medicine when life brought its afflictions. You consoled me through the ails of loneliness, sadness, worry, and a frequent offender: boredom. You were my go-to when waves of self-loathing rose like bile in my belly. Push it down. Eat away the pain. You were always here to distract, my special …

extraordinary. unchanged. a moment.

By Desiree-Anne Martin I am an author, poet and general word junkie. Therapist, student, wife, full-time mother, part-time warrior woman. Recovering addict who dabbles in an unpredictable mood disorder. I call Cape Town, South Africa, home but I suffer from severe wanderlust. I think caffeine, chocolate, bacon and cigarettes are the four major food groups.   …

A Love Letter To My Teenage Self

By Dori Owen If I could build a time machine and come back to tell you what I know now—the most important wish I have for you is to know how deeply you are loved and treasured. Write this on one of the notes you pass in the school hallways, because this is where you …