How to Write More Complex Rural Characters

I got rid of my southern Indiana accent on purpose. My father pronounces “iron” like “arn” and “Italian” like “eye-talian,” but as a child, I understood on a deep level that his accent was wrong in some way. The characters I admired on TV didn’t talk that way. Most of the characters who spoke like my… Continue reading How to Write More Complex Rural Characters

Is A Rural Life Right For You? 4 Questions To Answer Honestly

I recently went back to Indiana to visit my family. It was weird being back in the boonies. Good weird, but also so different than the D.C. area. For two nights, I stayed at my aunt's house tucked between two corn fields. When I went to bed, I noticed my aunt left all the windows… Continue reading Is A Rural Life Right For You? 4 Questions To Answer Honestly

20+ Resources for Rural Writers and Creative Types

Are you a rural creative type but need help figuring out what resources are at your fingertips? Have you heard that you should attend a residency or a workshop but have no clue where to find one? Does the idea of getting funded for your craft sound like a pipe dream? You're in the right… Continue reading 20+ Resources for Rural Writers and Creative Types

How To Convince Yourself to Take the First Step—Even From the Boonies

I know you've heard it a thousand times: "The first step is the hardest." But it's true. Even making the decision to try is the most difficult part. And I don't mean telling yourself that someday you'll give your creative pursuit a go. I mean driving along the highway one day and deciding, with determination,… Continue reading How To Convince Yourself to Take the First Step—Even From the Boonies

My Story Was Published!

"Why didn't you tell me you had a story in The Democrat?" my dad asked over the phone as I stood in my childhood bedroom. "Right, I forgot to mention that," I said. "I didn't know when it was coming out. Is it in the paper?" A smile spread across my face. I had submitted… Continue reading My Story Was Published!

Sometimes The Radical Decision is to Stay

I have had a whirlwind of a year—I moved in with my boyfriend, finished my Master's thesis, graduated, adopted a dog, got engaged, and started wedding planning. In the midst of all this, we were talking about moving to another city, maybe Philadelphia, maybe elsewhere. And I was up for it. Until I wasn't. When… Continue reading Sometimes The Radical Decision is to Stay

The Wrong Train Took Us Through Charlottesville

We got on the wrong train. Well, we were booked on the wrong train from D.C. to Chicago. Our train took 8 hours longer than it should have. Plus, it arrived 3 hours late. We either sat up or crunched into fetal positions for 28 hours and breathed in only 4 minutes of fresh air… Continue reading The Wrong Train Took Us Through Charlottesville

A Trip to Indiana Reminds Me of My Roots

Last weekend, my boyfriend and I flew to the Midwest. I had mixed feelings as the plane glided over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. My family lived very differently than me, with guns and woods and multiple cars per person. But I had also just finished a book, Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War,… Continue reading A Trip to Indiana Reminds Me of My Roots

How to (Try to) Not Be a Perfectionist

A boyfriend from many moons ago told me he liked me "because you never stress over anything." When I mentioned this to my close friends, they burst out laughing. "OK, has he met you?" they asked. Their laughter offended me for a few seconds (jeez, I'm not that bad, am I?) I was surprised my… Continue reading How to (Try to) Not Be a Perfectionist