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Nonfiction

  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

I’m so excited to be teaching locally through Ivy Tech this fall. Please join me in one (or more) of these five classes. I would love to write with you. Beginning Your Memoir In a supportive group setting, begin preserving your true stories for yourself or next generations. Shawna Ayoub Ainslie, your facilitator, is an established local writing coach who specializes in writing joyful or difficult stories using expressive writing techniques and prompts. With her help, you will define your story and begin recording it while creating a sustainable writing practice.

The Honeyed Quill has been both reservoir and oasis for me as I launched myself. I have always written. Writing is my one true constant. Even when I am not putting the words down, I still compose them. There have been long stretches where I thought I wasn’t writing only to discover I had been all along (and often gems I later publish after discovering them within my grocery lists). I find this amusing, this idea that I would ever NOT be writing, even when writing hurts or scares me. And

Dear Wonderful Friends, I haven’t been present here at The Honeyed Quill nearly as much as I’d like, but for good reason. I’ve been publishing work with some of my favorite sites, developing pieces for others, teaching at the Spring WriteAway Retreat, and co-creating courses for local and online instruction. This has happened in addition to my usual client hours. I’ve been the best kind of busy. The kind that makes me want to slap exclamation points and shouty caps all over this post as I write it. But I’m

It’s easier to be a parent in summer because the kids take care of each other. You know the saying: “It takes a village to raise a child.” There’s something to be said for having multiple children to pitch in with raising each other. I imagined I would have four kids. Four perfect children evenly spaced and matched, who knew how to accomplish chores with a single instruction. Children who stuck with lessons, completed what they started, cleared their dishes from the table, and existed without raging screen or sugar

You know when you have a blog and you keep promising yourself you’ll post soon. Today. Tomorrow at the latest? And then it’s many weeks later and all you have to show for your promises are a few drafts and a sense of impending doom associated with your site? So much so that you every time the site is mentioned or comes to mind you clean a different area of your house or work on someone else’s site until you don’t have time left to think about your own? Mentioning

This Mother’s Day, I am happy to support mothers like me, parents for whom mental illness can be an ever-present or overwhelming piece of the parenting experience. I wrote an essay about my own experience parenting through bouts of anxiety and PTSD episodes and held onto it for many months before reaching out to Stigma Fighters to see if they might want to publish it for Mother’s Day. I held onto it because stigma makes it difficult to speak up. Stigma Fighters knows this. They recognize the ways we are silenced and

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