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Right, Like a Man: On the Power of Gender in an Author’s Name

I prefer the way I write when, while writing, I imagine being read as a man. There’s an immediate freedom to not be apologetic. To do as we were taught in high school English and eliminate the self-conscious “I think…” from the writing. I’m not sure when it happened, the shift into having to pretend. … Read more

Scare Tactics & Lies: How women are lured into making babies (Part I of II)

“I shouldn’t say never but I’m dreading motherhood.” I saw that tweet years ago and haven’t been able to forget it. It sticks with me because I used to feel that way. In my first post-high school relationship, as a girlfriend to the guy who’d become my first husband before I turned 20, I sensed … Read more

Q&A: The Year of Dan Palace

This interview was originally published on the now-absent website Indie Bookworm, hosted/written by Cathy Murray. It’s short. Enjoy! P.S. Because I was working on this novel during a heavy time (my dad was admitted into the ICU not long after I started writing it), I had feelings about it later, association feelings, that made me … Read more

The Slow Burn of an Empty Nest

“I don’t want them to go. Seriously. I love them to death. But once they are gone, won’t it be kind of nice to have fewer complications, fewer interruptions?” These are the things you say before they go, before they’re gone. Up until the second it happens, their leaving is still theoretical, so it’s safe and easy … Read more

Society and a Middle-Aged Woman Meet at a Diner (and have an honest conversation)

SOCIETY is already seated when MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN (MAW) enters the diner. Society watches as MAW approaches and sits down. SOCIETY: I’m pleased we’re doing this. I know you’ve been wanting to get something off your chest, and —Oh, yes, it is a bit of a crepey situation, isn’t it. MAW: Sorry? SOCIETY: (reaching across the table to … Read more

A Hopeful Author Apologizes to a Literary Agent for an Email Error

From: JessicaSmith@mail.com To: JessicaVale@agentmail.com Sent: Saturday, 11:07 PM Dear Jessica Vale, In my recent email to you requesting representation for my literary novel Letters Lost, I neglected to include my telephone number. I apologize for the oversight. You’ll find the number in my signature below. I hope this minor error won’t tarnish your opion of my … Read more

We Women Know our Value (Especially when an abortion ban threatens to kill us)

On March 7, Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC’s Morning Joe commented in a telling way on the five Texas women suing the state after being denied abortions that would have reduced the risks to their lives. About 15 minutes into the program, after the standard political-stuff opening(s), Mika and co-host Joe Scarborough moved into a conversation with All In Together CEO … Read more

kristen j. tsetsi