Let Us Work Together

If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.

–Aboriginal activists group, Queensland, 1970s, including Lilla Watson, artist, activist, and academic


I'm Listening

I won't even try to write anything about the verdict in the Travyon Martin murder case. I will note that it is on my mind, in my heart, on my radar.

In lieu of writing my own words, I'll point to the words that I'm reading and taking in.

Questlove: Trayvon Martin and I Ain't Shit at New York Magazine

"We're" Not Raising Trayvon: The Difference Whiteness Makes at The Feminist Wire

No Justice for Trayvon: White Women in the Jury Box at The Feminist Wire

To White Folks: The Collective Lament of Trayvon Martin is Not Your Anti-Racist Platform at Tidal

We Are Not Trayvon Martin

Martin Bashir and the Trayvon Martin Travesty in 4 Minutes

Our Dead Children by Joshunda Victoria Sanders


Just Give In.

Did you know?

  • I'm turning 35 in September.
  • I'm typically hopeful, positive, striving for peace and satisfaction.
  • I'm also a human being. (This is stunning news to me as I typically walk around assuming I'm some sort of hyper-evolved spiritual superhuman.)

All of these things, plus a sense of futility engendered by the anticipated yet still devastating injustices around the world lately, combined last night at midnight to lay me flat on my bed, arms flopped over the side, my face pressed into the dog-hair-covered comforter, moaning to myself and Chris about how I've completed no projects of note in any of the careers I've ever attempted: acting, theatre production, filmmaking, book writing.

Nothing has come to the fruition I've hoped it would.

(Note: I am aware that this is not technically true. But when you're in the middle of a pity party, facts are irrelevant. Really, they make you feel even worse.)

I've lived long enough to know that when you're feeling this murky, you might as well give in. What you resist persists, especially pitiful feelings of failure and suckitude.

So instead of attempting false cheer, I decided to list 35 people who are better than me. One for each year of my life. It made me laugh at midnight. So let's just go with this, shall we?


  1. Wendy Davis.
  2. Leticia Van De Putte.
  3. Really any of the amazing Democrats involved in fighting the omnibus abortion bill in Texas. Sylvester Turner. José Menendez. Royce West. All of those folks.
  4. My son (okay, I'm fine with this one).
  5. Younger people.
  6. Older people.
  7. Henri Cartier-Bresson.
  8. Henry Ford.
  9. Henry Thomas.
  10. That courtesan who famously served herself as the dessert course. I forget her name.
  11. People who can remember all the names ever.
  12. That eleven-year-old kid who invented a rubber band device that keeps people from leaving their kids in hot cars.
  13. Audre Lorde.
  14. Tami Taylor. Also she's fictional but that doesn’t matter.
  15. JK Rowling.
  16. Bryan Adams.
  17. Brian Boitano
  18. Kate Winslet.
  19. Casey Affleck.
  20. Forest Whitaker.
  21. Anderson Cooper.
  22. Aloe Blacc.
  23. Tori Amos.
  24. Gary Clark, Jr.
  25. Kaki King.
  26. Glen Hansard.
  27. Markéta Irglová.
  28. Mark Snow.
  29. Helen Grime.
  30. Tina Fey.
  31. Michelle Obama.
  32. Amy Poehler.
  33. Eiko Ishioka.
  34. K.D. Lang.
  35. Amanda Palmer.

There. Now I feel worse. It'll turn into feeling better soon. Maybe by the morning, after the storm passes.


Not Able to Quit

It's not possible to advise a young writer because every young writer is so different. You might say, 'Read,' but a writer can read too much and be paralyzed. Or, 'Don't read, don't think, just write,' and the result could be a mountain of drivel. If you're going to be a writer you'll probably take a lot of wrong turns and then one day just end up writing something you have to write, then getting it better and better just because you want it to be better, and even when you get old and think 'There must be something else people do,' you won't quite be able to quit.

Alice Munro, short story writer


Mutually Exclusive?

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.

E.B. White