What follows is my birth story. It isn’t short; it’s more of an odyssey.
Although I have shared this account with close friends a few times over, I have yet to find a way to tell it that does not sound dramatic, or make me sound like a victim — which I am not.
My birth story is presented in three sections below:
Note: I did not want to know the sex of the baby, which explains the use of pronouns below.
Somewhere along the way, in my early twenties, I became terrified of giving birth. I heard too many stories of things going wrong. Thankfully, as life goes, I eventually found my “half orange” — a term of endearment I picked up in Bolivia, their equivalent to our “my better half” — and, in April 2020, I was thrilled to find out I was pregnant.
And that was thanks to a goat.
In 2017, my husband and I moved to Portugal. Within a year, we bought an old farm and started renovating the ruins on the land with a goal to…
The amount of information available to expecting and new moms is mind-boggling. Not only do you already have your hands full growing a little human, and then adjusting to your new life where a little person depends on you completely, but if you’re anything like me, you’re left with a million questions at all times. You want not just answers, but reliable, practical information. Easier said than done.
That’s why I’m writing this article. It’s the list I wish someone had sent me when I announced I was pregnant.
Here’s what will hopefully be a useful starting point if you…
Exercises from Chapter 1 “the sound of your writing”
In January 2018, a writer friend and I decided to have a call every two weeks to work on our writing, providing feedback and acting as accountability partners to each other.
We started with Ursula Le Guin’s incredible book “Steering the Craft: A 21st Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story”, which I cannot recommend enough. Le Guin is funny, irreverent, clear, and provides advice, examples, and hands-on exercises. …
Author’s note: This writing exercise was carried out in January, but seemed fitting to share now that we all have a bit more time to reflect.
It has never been easier to get your words out into the world. From personal blogs and self-publishing platforms, and in a virtual reality where captions are considered microblogging and some channels force us to fit ideas into 140 characters or less, the opportunities are endless.
Amidst these paradoxical contrasts and opposing forces, the question becomes not do you publish, but what do you publish. Political opinions, judgmental tirades, self-absorbed belly-button gazing personal essays…
This is my third year participating in the National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo. For the past two years, it was fun, and relatively painless to bang out 50,000 words in 30 days. I wrote a Young Adult Fantasy novel in 2017 (still being edited), and a memoir-based book in 2018 (still to be edited).
For this edition of NaNoWriMo, I’ll start with the end: I failed.
I did not “win” because I did not log 50,000 words by the time midnight came around on November 30th. …
The three of us sat on the uneven ground, rocks and roughage digging into my thighs. Jean was on the phone, smiling and nodding like everything was going according to plan. When she hung up, she didn’t say anything — or maybe I was just in a rush to know in how much trouble we were in. “So?” the word escaped my lips, as though it had been digging a tunnel with a spoon for years and finally made it out.
She shrugged, though whether she was trying to act nonchalant or felt apologetic, I couldn’t tell. …
The day started like any other, but it wasn’t quite a day like any other — I was invited to a party!
The Easter Party
On this particular occasion, I hitched a ride with my godfather.
I was excited to go to this Easter Party, even though the hostess (I’ll call her “Dragonmom”) intimidated me a little. I was friends with her kids, and they were pretty cool. She was intense — and super competitive.
My godfather and his three charming, smart, attractive sons, were always in Dragonmom’s good graces. I never knew if it was because she hoped her…
Or did I?
In 2017, I wrote the first draft of a YA fantasy novel. It felt revolutionary. I had taken my never-admitted-to dream of writing a book, and looked at fear of failure right in the eye. Thanks to NaNoWriMo, I danced my way to achieving my dream, and staring down my fear.
In 2018, I wrote the first draft of a memoir about how I left…
A year ago, I took the plunge and participated in my first ever National Novel Writing Month — NaNoWriMo for short — writing challenge. I wrote a first draft of a Young Adult Fantasy novel, the backstory to one of my favorite characters from back when I played Dungeons & Dragons (oh, how I miss those days).
Now, I’m working on finding an informal mentor. Either way, the goal…