As a writing professor, I receive a lot of free grammar handbooks. Most of these, enumerate the rules of comma usage to a degree that even I find daunting. Most list at least eight rules. Several list over ten. One contains twenty-four rules for proper comma usage. Today, I will set the record straight for the […]Read more "Three Comma Rules to Rule Them All"
From the beginning of the pre-Christmas promo blitz launched by Fox, I vowed that I would not watch Empire. Partially due to the fact that I was trying to watch an episode of Sailor Moon on Hulu over the holiday, and the spotty wifi at my parent’s house kept crashing, and every time the show […]Read more "How Empire Can Obliterate Smash’s Curse"
to work in the mornings I walk the other direction past a sign commemorating Joshua Glover a runaway slave from St. Louis maybe near where Ferguson is now The Fugitive Slave Act imprisoned Joshua here in Milwaukee but protestors broke down the jail’s door so Joshua could get to Canada on the Underground Railroad …………………….Looking […]Read more "The Agitators"
This was originally published on another blog on July 27, 2011, but is no longer available online, so I’ve republished it for the PDXX Collective. “Who teaches us to be human?” asked Ursula Le Guin, the famed feminist speculative fiction author. “What to fear? What to love? Children learn genderless lessons from women, gendered from […]Read more "Learning From Women At the 2010 Winter Fishtrap Gathering"
It’s been a couple of months since my last post on PDXX — months (1? 2?) that have both flown by and dragged on like a train with wooden blocks stuck under its wheels. I had a double mastectomy on November 4, a preventative surgery I chose after finding out I have the BRCA mutation. The post below […]Read more "Double Mastectomy Ins & Outs"
I will never say, “I can’t write unless I have my special pen.” I will learn to write with earplugs in, cramped in the backseat of my car on my lunch break. I will not put off writing until I tidy my office, get the kids into college, or retire. I will learn how to […]Read more "15 New Years Resolutions for Writers"
Thank you, everyone, for reading the PDXX Collective. It’s been a successful year for us, but as always, there’s room for improvement. Bold Gals Opine Should blog maintanence be forgot and never a redesign? Should blog maintenance be forgot while bold gals opine? CHORUS: For bold gals opine, by jove, for bold gals opine, we’ll […]Read more "Bold Gals Opine"
Today my husband and I went to our first Friends of the Dhamma gathering. I’ve read about and practiced mindfulness meditation on and off for a while, and my husband has been interested in Buddhism. He found this organization and we decided to go check it out. They had a doula downstairs to watch the […]Read more "Mindfulness of Parental Paranoia"
For this profile, I connected with Jan Mercer Dahms, who works in business development at Plum Alley, a crowdfunding platform for women entrepreneurs. Crowdfunding is becoming increasingly popular among start-ups and nonprofits and I was curious to learn more about this platform that helps women fundraise. What was your background before working with Plum […]Read more "Crowdfunding Tips From Plum Alley"
How to Sleep on Christmas Eve Tonight let us sleep like children on an unmade bed. Sleep at the table with your hand beneath your head. Sleep with your face pressed against the cold glass or on the floor beneath a braided rug, hugging your tissue box, finally consoled. Sleep through the clocks. Sleep through the […]Read more "How to Sleep on Christmas Eve: A Poem"
This guest contribution comes from Allen Forrest. Allen was born in Canada, bred and schooled in the U.S., he has created cover art and illustrations for many literary publications, his Bel-Red painting series, created with an art grant from the city of Bellevue, WA, are on display in the Bellevue College Foundation’s permanent art […]Read more "Graphic artist and Painter Allen Forrest"
One of Cuba’s most notorious bands, Porno para Ricardo is nothing if not controversial. Their unrelenting anti-Castro stance has made them a thorn in the side of that regime and a darling of the Miami exile community, and fellow punk rockers debate the band’s position within the island’s small scene: some applaud their cojones, others call them […]Read more "FRIENDS, ACQUAINTANCES, AND PASSING STRANGERS: Porno para Ricardo"
This guest contribution comes from Patricia Brooks. Ms. Brooks has published two novels with Dell, Falling From Grace and But For The Grace. Her novel, And Whose Little Girl Are You?, is about the recovery from rape of the same character earlier in her life. * Poised precisely like a drop on the lip of […]Read more "Holding Pattern"
This second guest contribution comes from Ross Eliot, who wrote a memoir about his time living with Dr. Babette Ellsworth, a prominent college professor, trans woman, and aspiring nun in Portland, Oregon. You can read the first installment of the Babette series here. * On a late Friday afternoon in mid-November 1999, Babette excitedly bustles around […]Read more "The Many Lives, Two Deaths and Double Kidnapping of Dr. Ellsworth: Part Two"
the hooves of history chase a country through a guillotine a driver’s side the squad car’s open window and you are the white man sleeping in the house at the top of a hill an inheritor in the will of your grandfathers’ stables your wiped clean record repeats can you awaken […]Read more "weatherproofing"
Last weekend, my friend Sharon Harrigan had an essay featured on The Rumpus titled “Stain.” In it, she describes a twisted encounter with a stranger during the innocuous act of walking her dog. At twelve years old, she was old enough to sense that something was off in his manner, his casual and cruel way […]Read more "The Knife Man, the Monster and the Pen Pal"
Monica Van De Pitte joined Lake Oswego based wireless provider Velocitel in 2012. Her son was one at the time, and she was still nursing him, so they told her to pump milk in a supply closet. Oregon law requires companies provide unpaid break time for pumping, in a locking private room. Some companies provide […]Read more "Sexual Harassment of Nursing Moms"
You Don’t Have to Explain A poem is your mother’s shadow moving through winter, ethereal and familiar.Read more "Everything I Have to Say About Poetry"
For the most part, Breaking Bad implies that forgiveness can seem like a good idea, but one has to decide whether the act of forgiving will be a relief or an exposure to future threats. I was thinking about the idea of forgiveness while I stomped down East 84th Street to work today. Let’s face it, the reason for my fugue state was simple: […]Read more "TV Forgiveness"
This doesn't even look like me. #100daysofdepression Day 1 A photo posted by Lauren Hudgins (@laurenhudgins) on Nov 14, 2014 at 8:02pm PST On November 11, I started a #100DaysofDepression selfie project on Instagram. I photograph myself once a day while battling Seasonal Affective Disorder. This isn’t an original idea. I got the “inspiration” from […]Read more "100 Days of Depression"
Once you leave your mother’s breast for the garden you must learn to grow yourself. All greensticks and gangly you will climb fences like ivy and reach for the light or you will crawl the dark way of wolf’s bane skinwalker, shape shifter yee naaldlooshii going to ground on all fours. The latch of love […]Read more "once you leave"
It was the coldest day of the year. My wife and I sat at a table at Embers drag club, watching the leaves swirl in little tornadoes on the street outside. “Are you nervous?” my wife asked. “No,” I lied. We were waiting for the Tegan and Sara concert at the Roseland Theater. Sara […]Read more "How to Be Famous"
Photo by Adrees Latif for Reuters Early requests from Michael Brown’s family and President Obama to keep peace upon arrival of the jury’s decision yesterday felt loaded with inevitability. If we were truthful with ourselves rather than hopeful, we knew what the outcome would be. Reactions would have stood a better chance of being perfectly peaceful […]Read more "A House Built On Hate: Can We Tear It Down?"
for Leslie Feinberg in the span of two mountains, in the space between trains, we move in quick, bite the hands that cut us, kick back our finger on the heart of the beet The sink’s short memory Washed The blues of it, red juices, stained steel, both two or more things true and the […]Read more "left a warrior"
This guest contribution comes from Ross Eliot, who wrote a memoir about his time living with Dr. Babette Ellsworth, a prominent college professor, trans woman, and aspiring nun in Portland, Oregon. * I moved to Portland in 1998 from Seattle. A twenty-two year old with little direction in life, I soon began attending Portland Community College. […]Read more "The Many Lives, Two Deaths and Double Kidnapping of Dr. Ellsworth: Part One"
I have been camping in my house for a week. This sounds strange when I say it to people. They ask, to clarify, if I’ve moved back into my house. Like every question this year, the answer is complicated, full of footnotes and asides and more questions—“did I tell you…?” “Did you know that…?” “Well, […]Read more "Camping"
This guest contribution comes from Kathleen O’Neil. Kate attended McGill University in Montreal and has had her art history, literary criticism, and poetry published. She travels extensively, especially to see Etruscan cave tombs and to try regional cuisines. She is an editor at LitNav, which highlights mostly new (and sometimes classic) poets and poetry. * People […]Read more "Connecting to Anna Akhmatova"
I’ve been worried about the erosion of reproductive rights. I’ve imagined these all leading to a dystopian hell where women are arrested for miscarriages and families facing infertility are denied the procedures that would allow them to bear children. Silly, naive me. I hadn’t noticed this has already come to pass and is much worse […]Read more "A Culture of Life Imagined"
“I’m doing National Novel Writing Month,” I tell my writing students. “It’s fun.” They give me the look I give my trainer when he talks about a “really fun triathlon.” It’s like that really fun diet where you eat nothing but chard. But it is fun, and thousands of people participate every year. The goal is to write […]Read more "10 Reasons to Win NaNoWriMo"
Cassia collages scenes from motherhood in which how one frames and is framed by others is a crucial and defining element.Read more "An Exercise in Framing"
Dear readers, If I fail to write a PDXX Blog post every two weeks, I must be excused because: I have SAD. I have sadness. I don’t fucking feel like it. Any kind of deadline brings crushing anxiety. (Yes, I went to graduate school to be a writer. Don’t judge me like that. I can […]Read more "Excused"
I’ve lived in my home for seven years. It’s been full of joy and heartache, struggle and fun. A few months after moving in, we found our bathroom rotting away. This was a fix we had requested the owner complete, and he did a half-assed job of it, therefore not finding the extensive rot, and […]Read more "Goodbye House"
What ghost story do you love? I was waiting for a Manhattan-bound Q train to pick me up and I thought about this. The platform was hushed, as outdoor platforms often are in between passing trains. I heard a woman at one end, or maybe the other side, humming to herself. I couldn’t tell if the […]Read more "What’s Your Ghost Story?"
“I Knew if She Caressed Me, I Would Die” excerpt from Forgive Me if I’ve Told You This Before The club was in a section of town that appeared to be nothing but warehouses. “I don’t think this is right.” Chloe’s knuckles had been white on the wheel ever since we pulled out of the Singing […]Read more "“I Knew if She Caressed Me, I Would Die” – Excerpt from Forgive Me if I Told You This Before"