All posts by

Shawna Ainslie

When trees are down lift them up. Bench press them skyward and smile. Generate an income on thoughts and prayers and sweat and tears. When trees are down, lift them up. Re-root them in the manure of your life. That shit has to be good for some thing. Wish for cash to grow like needles, pluckable and evergreen, currency prompted by a nine-year -old in a blue dress with her head on your shoulder. She is working for pennies and if you produce, you earn. Make space for the veins

Dear THQ Family, I have great news. It’s Girl Scout cookie time, and now you can order your cookies online. That means you can support your favorite girl scouts directly (obviously mine) from anywhere in the U.S. Cookies will be shipped to your door, and your purchase earns money for my daughters and their troops, allowing them to participate in educational programming and community-driven action. Below you will find links to my daughters’ shops. Please know that you can order cookies as gifts or donate them to Operation Cookie Drop

This morning I found an email in my inbox from the director of the Ivy Tech Center for Lifelong Learning. I teach locally through the CLL and love it. My classes are all nonfiction and cover memoir, narrative techniques, blogging and writing after war for veterans. Most of you aren’t local to Bloomington, IN. No worries. I also teach online. My class for the Center for Creative Writing is a 5 week customized course called Writing through Trauma to Truth. My next session begins January 16. I only have two

Content warning: sexual violence. Shoot the messenger but only when the delivery through chattered teeth cracks you open heart- first take his shoes, strip his chest, cut him sideways lodge the bullet somewhere along the spine of the book he carries and reads to you from again teeth chattering because there you are with a gun after all the men who followed you home shouting about that ass, cornered you at parties messaged you dick pics and hey beautifuls and marry mes and propositions in slurry speech and memories you

I am wiped out. My heart is singing me lullabies, saying sleep, sweet girl. Lay you down with that heavy burden. Boundaries are heavy. Boundaries are hard. Especially when their necessity is clearly not understood. My heart is singing I should set it all aside, girl. Lilting a siren song and I want to lay it all down, lay it all out, have it all out but the point of boundaries is to allow for compassion and prevent reactivity. This line can mean severance or it can mean acceptance, release,

I keep on lifting heavy things you shove at me keep putting them down only to find my hands full the weight of your words your closed grip pulling me down saying stay down the weight of your spite burying me Stay down you say the strength I’ve gained is no boon– these muscles can’t strike back these muscles can only rep, lift and lower only lengthen and tense, only curve around my bones can only bear the load of each strike until I’m sunk Stay down spine bowed beneath

  Once upon a time, a king, a queen and their three daughters lived in a castle. They loved each other so much that they always tired to protect one another from the truth. I’m not saying that they never fought, because they did. I’m just saying that they were overprotective of each other. The kind would not let his daughters date and could never say no to them. He was a gentle man, though he may not seem that way if you’ve ever met him. His daughters really did

I have a long history of being broken and put back together. My body is a remade thing. Injury, surgery, near-death, recovery. Those are signposts along the path of me. I met Yi Shun Lai when we taught together at the #Write2theEnd Spring WriteAway Retreat earlier this year. Teaching alongside Yi Shun was an amazing experience, specifically because we had been matched up by the retreat facilitators using a yin yang method. I am known for a deeply nurturing teaching style, and Yi Shun is known for her direct, bright and energetic

My grandmother died today. I learned it upon waking up. As I drew a breath that she wouldn’t. I learned it by text message from a sister who didn’t want me to learn it by Facebook where my mother, in her grief, had recorded her mother’s passing. I learned it while still in bed, my body warm, my heart rate picking up just slightly as I shifted the blankets, one of which my grandmother gave me. As I stepped out of bed to walk to the bathroom where I would

*Note: This post was shared on another platform I write for a couple weeks ago. I hope you enjoy this re-share. I’m not shy about sharing my mental health experiences because I don’t believe mental illness should be stigmatized. Stigma stands in the way of progress. It prevents understanding and limits access in varied situations. Stigma also breeds fear. An example is the way popular media has applied the idea of “bad” to specific religious practices or groups, vilifying them in the public eye. What I’m saying is it’s important

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