How to be Relentless

Why Tell Your Story?

I’ve been working on a post about the need to be perceived as a reliable narrator when writing about mental illness. This is a thorny issue because the definition of an unreliable narrator is “Whether due to age, mental disability or personal involvement, an unreliable narrator provides the reader with either incomplete or inaccurate information […] Read More

Class, Writing Mental Illness, Offered Online

I’ll be teaching Writing Mental Illness online from January 23rd through January 25th.Writing Mental Illness is an important course because of how difficult it is to speak of mental illness and be heard.For more info, click here […] Read More

Alma was an Artist

This is a picture my grandmother’s aunt Alma painted. It was among those I shared at the reading last night […] Read More

Reading at Patrick’s Cabaret: Dec 5th & 6th

I’ll be reading at Patrick’s Cabaret in Minneapolis on December 5th & 6th from my memoir She’s Going to Heal: Mental Illness in an American Family. The show is at 8pm.Patrick’s is located at Lake & Minnehaha.Hope to see you there […] Read More

Teaching and Disability

Because my disability is hidden, I’m faced with the privilege of deciding whether to come out as disabled. I remember once disclosing that I had a disability during a job interview. “But you don’t look disabled,” the interviewer said. She didn’t mean I didn’t walk with a cane. She meant I didn’t look like the […] Read More

Techniques for Writing Mental Illness

I taught Writing Mental Illness in June and July for Artability at Apollo. As I’ve been thinking about how those classes went I’ve been thinking about the best techniques to tell stories of mental illness from a place of agency.These techniques are to* use generic good writing skills. Use a small slice of time, search […] Read More

MLK Jr, Barack Obama, and Exodus

This was kicking around in my head all day long yesterday, and it was approached or implied more than once on NPR/MPR yesterday. (By the way, I’m treating political speech as literature at least for the purposes of this post.)So, the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years before they entered the […] Read More

On flirtation with Mikal Gilmore’s Shot in the Heart

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how books work their way into my life. Of course as a reader I’m always reading something. But, why am I reading Joyce Carol Oates’ Blonde instead of the Lee Smith novel I picked up a month ago, or Nick Flynn’s Another Bullshit Night in Suck City? My […] Read More

On Encouraging All Readings

One of the things I loved about being a student at Arts High was that everyone had to go to Common Ex. Ex stood for experience. Everyone came to Common Ex. Photographers. Filmmakers. Musicians. Dancers. Visual Artists. Writers. There was an attitude that there was something any artist could learn about the practice of their […] Read More

The Dread Writer’s Block

For about the last month I’ve been not writing, not merely just not writing this blog. So I thought my first post back should be about the dread writer’s block.When I was at Arts High, everytime a guest came to our class, someone would ask whether they believed in writer’s block or not.This can be […] Read More

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