And Sometimes You Say No

Being an author myself, I understand the frustrations when it comes to publishing. I have self-published. A person shouldn’t have to pay exorbitant fees for going the traditional route.

O at the Edges

And Sometimes You Say No

Perhaps I’m getting cantankerous in my dotage, unwilling to admit that I can’t expect good things to continue coming my way, and should consider settling for what’s offered. After all, the age reel isn’t rewinding, and my inbox is not exactly buzzing with publication offers. There are more funerals than weddings in my future. I limp. Each day is indeed a blessing but my remaining minutes do not feel unconstrained. Far from it.

A few months ago I received an acceptance email from a chapbook publisher affiliated with a literary journal that had published one of my poems. The chapbook is strong, I think, and I felt good about the acceptance, until I read the one-sided contract. You can guess which side received the greater benefit. I emailed a reply asking for clarifications, and received one back the next day. To sum it up: the…

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Crossing Wyoming

This is an interesting read. I admit I know very little about this part of American history, so this was my little history lesson for today!


By Eilene Lyon

We’re rolling westward on Interstate 80 in southern Wyoming, on our way to do breeding bird surveys along a proposed transmission line route. The rising sun is adding fire to the stratus clouds hanging low in the sky. Our Ford Super Duty truck passes plains and low hills draped in sagebrush and greasewood, populated by scattered pronghorn. In a land devoid of trees, we see power poles march off into the distance, sporting an occasional raptor.


We pull off the highway and onto a dirt two-track. Though we can still hear the hum of passing semis, I can’t help but think of the emigrant trains that passed through this state in 1849 – some headed to Oregon, but most in a rush to find gold in California. Perhaps ten thousand that year; five times that the following one.

Fifty miles north of where we’re working is South…

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Awesome Stories 372

I came across this blog this morning and am glad I did. Taking a few moments to read this inspiring post was a good reminder of spreading kindness. Look for ways to help spread kindness. Be intentional.

writing to freedom

This week Awesome Stories bring you peace parks, common ground, and kindness.

Philly Peace Park

What a wonderful solution to a neighborhood problem. Tommy Joshua noticed some teens in a lot near his house playing with matches. Recently, several area homes had been burned to the ground. Tommy decided they just needed something productive to do so he built a basketball court and started playing ball in his backyard. At first, the kids watched, then a few joined, then more and more as he became a trusted mentor to the kids. The fires stopped. Ever since a brush with Leukemia in his twenties, Tommy’s life has been about community organizing and public education. This led him to create North Philly Peace Park, a community-led system for food, social justice, and ecology. Their vision is to connect neighborhoods around Philadelphia first, then cities on the east coast, “as part…

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Poetry Tuesday – Ahead

Bloodshot eyes burn, downcast,

There, see the hardened ground.

Step by step, each one an escape

From the life left behind.

Trembling, turning away,

Tears blinding already blurry vision,

Desperate cries echo forth,

Losing themselves among the crowd.

Lost to wander, wanting nothing more

Than to run rampant and fly free,

But where, whimpering child?

Shattered shell, broken barriers,

Defenseless decorations of fear

Harboring in the heart,

Raving rage to rip the righteous.

Every dissolving dismay

Leads to one penetrating point:

We are left to journey alone,

Never looking back upon

The fickle, fragile footprints

We have etched upon hardened hearts,

But rather, keep steady in solitude,

Forever forging our way ahead.


My novel, Lorna versus Laura, is available for $4.99 here.

My novel, Hannah’s Rainbow: Every Color Beautiful, is available for $5.99 here.


The Difference Between Being Broke and Being Poor

An eye-opening read for sure. Don’t take your food for granted.


Words by Erynn Brook | Illustrations by Emily FlakeLongreads | June 2018

Erynn Brook is a feminist and freelance writer who studies media, people, communication and culture.

Emily Flake is an illustrator for The New Yorker, The Nib, MAD Magazine, and New Statesman, among other places. 


Editor: Michelle Legro
Art director: Katie Kosma

Support for this work was provided by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.

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