Photo by Tobias Tullius on Unsplash

About a decade ago, I was in my early twenties and working at Best Buy. Most of the employees were male, and I was struggling to make friends in this new west coast environment after moving to California from Maryland. People were closed off. Cliques were already formed, and newcomers were largely unwelcome into established social circles.

But I was determined, so I tried harder. I’d had a lot of friends in high school, and wasn’t about to give up on having a social life while I was young and primed for having fun. It was actually encouraging that there…


Some tips and tricks for winding down

Photo by Ben Sweet

It seems these days that most of us share a problem: we’re having trouble falling asleep, and often staying asleep as well.

This is, in large part, the result of our almost constant exposure to the blue light from our phones and computers. We spend all day looking at screens, and when it’s time to turn off, our eyes are ready but our minds aren’t.

Although there’s no magic button I can recommend, there are lots of options and techniques available to help you get some sleep. Several will be common knowledge, but…


Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

Although I wouldn’t call myself an “anti-vaxxer,” I do think I fall into the group that is being called “vaccine hesitant.” In addition, I’m sane and logical, and a liberal, so I’m in an interesting space where I’m able to see each side of what has become an extremely polarizing issue. Even as I stand in the middle, I sympathize with the difficulty this decision presents for many people.

On the one hand, you have the pro-vaccine camp who apparently jumped at the chance to get vaccinated, left the questioning to the professionals, and trusted in our institutions to provide…


Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

It occurred to me today that when someone says, “I can’t read your mind,” it’s really more of a cop out and a way to shift the blame, rather than an expression of surprise at someone’s expectations. Because in truth, if you know someone well, you should be able to “read their mind” in a sense. And we really only ever use this phrase with people we know well.

The reason I had this realization is actually kind of funny. I was eating some leftover hash browns while my dog stared up at me from knee-level. As usual, I giggled…


Dominic Frempong of TSL

Today I came across a story warning of the “excruciating” pain women may experience after having an intrauterine device (IUD) inserted. This form of birth control is not for every woman, of course. And although I don’t doubt the truth of some women’s horror stories with IUDs, I do think it’s worth examining the other side.

I, for one, have had an excellent experience using this form of birth control, and I do recommend it. In fact, I’ve sung its praises to many friends and acquaintances over the years. …


Photo by yfriansyah on Unsplash

For the summer, I’m living in a small town in the northeast to write. Since arriving in June, I’ve met lots of locals and had to answer the question, “What do you do?” at least a dozen times. So far I’ve stuck to saying, “I’m a writer,” for the sake of simplicity.

It’s been interesting to see how people react to this. In general, it has led to folks revealing what their idea of a writer is, rather than asking for clarification from me. Two people seem to have assumed that I’m some sort of journalist. One told me, “This…


Photo by panitan punpuang

Being creative isn’t easy. Let’s start by throwing that out there.

Though I wouldn’t say the creator instinct is rare, exactly, I would say that the majority of my friends are not creative types. If I had to guess, I’d say the creatives make up about 20 percent, maybe a little more, of my friends.

Most are consumers, and I think that’s true in the general population as well. In fact, I don’t doubt that I have a higher percentage of creator and creative friends than most people, in part because I am one myself, and we seem to be…


Photo by Steve Johnson

As a writer, I find it hard to relate when others in the field complain about experiencing writer’s block. It’s just not something I get hit with, personally. In fact, the number of ideas I have can be downright overwhelming. Sitting in front of a screen or a notepad, there’s never a shortage of things for me to write about. There’s never a point where I don’t know how to move forward with my stories. They have a natural beginning, development, and end.

The problem is making myself sit in front of the screen to type. I’m not one of…

Cassie M. Thompson

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