The Problem with Pretty Girls and Princesses–Now on OTV

By Angela Noel

September 12, 2018

We affirm what we value. When it comes to girls, too often we value what’s on the outside rather than what’s within. I’m honored to have my essay, The Problem with Pretty Girls and Princesses, featured in OTV Magazine. In it, I share my story of how being called a pretty girl (or not) impacted me. And more importantly, what I’ve decided to do about it.  Continue reading “The Problem with Pretty Girls and Princesses–Now on OTV”

Guest Post: That Could Have Been My Child

A Guest Post By: Janet Mary Cobb

August 20, 2018

I remember November 24, 2014 like it was yesterday. The dreary weather in Chicago matched my spirits as I drove to work, wanting only to turn my car around, pick up my children from school, and head home.

I’d learned just hours earlier that twelve-year-old  Tamir Rice had been gunned down by a police officer in Cleveland, Ohio while playing in a park. I couldn’t help but think, “that could’ve been my child.” My children were twelve, sixteen and seventeen; a daughter and two sons; African American. Tamir Rice was playing in a park. He wasn’t in a gang, didn’t live or hang in a ‘bad neighborhood,’ and was threatening no one. He was a child!

I pulled into the parking lot at the high school, turned off the car, and said to myself, “What the hell am I doing here?”

My mind twisted in knots trying to figure out what I could do to protect my children, but I had to walk into a building pretending that a tucked-in shirt and a good education would prepare these Black and Latinx students (and my children) for the dangers they would face on the street.
Continue reading “Guest Post: That Could Have Been My Child”

Love Letter: Let Me Get My Coat

A Love Letter by Brenda from You Can Always Start Now

March 9, 2018

Dear Mom,

A positive aspect about aging is perspective. I am trying to live with no regrets – something you taught me. I know you found it hard to say the words I love you. And, looking back, I realize it was both your era and personality. To put yourself out there and be hurt and disappointed is hard. As a woman now, I realize how hard your life was.  Continue reading “Love Letter: Let Me Get My Coat”

Love Letter: Do You Remember?

A Love Letter by Claire Saul

February 22, 2018

In the months leading up to Cheryl’s death at thirty-seven from very aggressive breast cancer, I witnessed my friend’s short battle for life. We found ourselves in the tricky situation of being close friends with children who were best friends, but also my nurse to her patient. We talked and talked, and knew it was only a matter of time until she would need to come into the hospice. The night before she was due to go home I remember begging the night staff (also my friends) to take extra care of her. She wanted to be at home and had a day with her children before she drifted into unconsciousness.  She died two days later.

Cheryl’s sister read the poem I wrote for her at the funeral.   Continue reading “Love Letter: Do You Remember?”

Love Letter: Dear Dad, I’m Sorry

A Guest Post by Mind Over Meta

December 9, 2017

I remember the morning when mum came into my room to tell me you’d passed away; I could hear my younger brother crying in his room. Nan and granddad came round, having lost their only child, and I remember the dimly lit rooms and deafening silences. I remember your funeral, I remember your friends all dressed in black. I remember time standing still and yet life carrying on.

You were just forty-six years old when you died. I was just thirteen. Continue reading “Love Letter: Dear Dad, I’m Sorry”

Twin Posts: What Does it Mean to be “Enough?”

By Angela Noel

November 9, 2017

Writing, whether for my own blog or for others, offers both joy and challenge. I’ve particularly enjoyed guest posting lately. Sometimes my host has had a specific idea of what he or she wants, other times not. In all cases, I seek a universal theme–the thread that connect us all.

It just so happens that the guest posts I wrote for two awesome bloggers happened to both be published this week. And both explore a core aspect of how I now view and operate in the world: being enough.

Whether you’re more concerned with relationships or work, there’s something here for you. Continue reading “Twin Posts: What Does it Mean to be “Enough?””

A Love Letter: The Nature of Love

A Guest Post by Dave Driver

November 2, 2017

A young friend posited the following: “I know the ones we love are never things we own. And I know that love is something to be given freely, not to be expected. Finally, I know that all things change in time, especially human beings. It is for all these reasons I wonder why long-term relationships are to be pursued.”

I sent this in reply: Continue reading “A Love Letter: The Nature of Love”

Love Letter: Memories of the Grandadest of Grandads

A Guest Post by Hayley Beasley Dye

September 28, 2017

Becoming a grandfather is fairly easy, one just needs to have a child and for that child to also have a child. Lots of men become grandfathers, but becoming one is not the achievement that a man should be recognised for. No, being a good grandfather, is what a man should be commended on.

What qualifies a man as a good grandfather? Sure, being able to turn a blind eye when your grandchild has pilfered yet another Fox’s Glacier Mint from your tin that you kept hidden away, is definitely an essential quality, but making your grandchild feel your unconditional love is, as the kids say these days, “the one.” Continue reading “Love Letter: Memories of the Grandadest of Grandads”

Story Skeleton: The River Carries the Story

Guest Post: A Story Skeleton by Kathy Davis

September 28, 2017

I can watch the flow of water in a rocky, shallow river for hours at a time. Nothing particular occupies my mind; just the travel of water over the hills, valleys, and byways that comprise the river’s topography. The water goes carelessly over, around, and under the boulders and stones that determine its path. When it meets resistance it does not fight against it. Rather, it seeks the nearest and easiest course in its gravitational pull to reach its final level. Continue reading “Story Skeleton: The River Carries the Story”

A Handsome Stranger Becomes a Best Friend

A Love Letter by Lauren Elliot.

June 6,2017

Note: Luke and Lauren retreated to separate rooms and gave each other an hour to write their respective marriage vows in June 2015. The below is adapted from what she promised to her now-husband on their wedding day.

Dear Luke,

We first met during Fresher’s Week in 2008, on a little trip to Sainsbury’s. I was strolling along the road when I bumped into a tall, handsome stranger, who said he would come along for the ride. You were so friendly that I couldn’t resist. From them on we were inseparable! We spent countless nights talking on the benches, pretending to be Rose– ‘Jack, the boats, come back…’

I had fancied you since I met you. I was suddenly really shy around you, and scared of losing the friendship we had already built. You were too far out of my league! So when you finally kissed me at Sunday lunch, I couldn’t believe it! I had so many butterflies! By Christmas, I loved you all the world! I told my nan and grandad on Christmas Day that I’d met the man I was going to marry. Continue reading “A Handsome Stranger Becomes a Best Friend”