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Living to write. Writing to connect. Fascinated by details, emotion, and meaning. 13X Top Writer. Founder: Age of Empathy. Open to gigs: aimee@gramblin.com

An interview with the absurdist mind behind “Youth in Revolt”

Michael Cera as Nick Twisp. Dimension Studios Trailer Still of 2009 Youth in Revolt. Teenage rebel wearing blue button up and white pants, pretending to be Francois Dillenger, Nick’s bad-boy alter ego.
Michael Cera as Nick Twisp. Dimension Studios Trailer Still of 2009 Youth in Revolt. Teenage rebel wearing blue button up and white pants, pretending to be Francois Dillenger, Nick’s bad-boy alter ego.
Michael Cera as Nick Twisp/Francois Dillenger. Dimension Studios Trailer of 2009 movie Youth in Revolt.

I got my first Kindle and asked Hogan Torah for a book recommendation. He’s a wildcard so I wasn’t sure what I’d get. He suggested C.D. Payne’s young adult book Youth in Revolt.

Youth in Revolt takes place in 1990s Oakland, California. It is written in diary style by the 14–15-year-old protagonist, Nick Twisp. Nick provides witty social commentary, humor, and an honest take on the burgeoning sexuality experienced in youth.

Nick quips, “Why does this society hold so steadfastly to the fiction that its children are asexual?” Nothing is off-limits in C.D. Payne’s 1993 self-published book.

In 2009, the…


My Creative Nonfiction Table of Contents

A serene photograph of tie dye hanging on drying racks in blues, pinks, and green colors. The tie dye is hanging inside a house near a window. The window looks out onto a beautiful blurred tree with green leaves and pink flowers. It’s a bright, hopeful, clean aesthetic.
A serene photograph of tie dye hanging on drying racks in blues, pinks, and green colors. The tie dye is hanging inside a house near a window. The window looks out onto a beautiful blurred tree with green leaves and pink flowers. It’s a bright, hopeful, clean aesthetic.
Photo by Teona Swift from Pexels

Welcome to my Creative Nonfiction Table of Contents. These are personal stories from my life. The styles range from creative nonfiction to lyric essays. Within each story, I hope there is some kernel of truth or wisdom that you relate to.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lyric Essays

Creative Nonfiction/Personal Essays


A compilation of my Music Stories

Welcome to my Music Table of Contents. Hogan Torah, Noah Levy, Sarah Paris, and Rob Janicke have been particularly encouraging as I’ve decided to dive back into music as a fan who struggles to hold a tune but loves listening to music.

Most of my Music stories fall into the realm of creative nonfiction. There’s usually a story along with a fan-girl appreciation.

Thanks for stopping by! 🖤

The Riff

Guest Appearance on The Riff Podcast (by Noah Levy)

HTMV

Hello, Love

The Brain is a Noodle


Creative Nonfiction tips from your honorary English Professor

Beautiful woman is immersed in water on her back in seaweed. She is face up, eyes closed. Beautiful makeup, elbows bent, hands resting on the top of her head. Magic, beauty, fantasy aesthetic. Captivating.
Beautiful woman is immersed in water on her back in seaweed. She is face up, eyes closed. Beautiful makeup, elbows bent, hands resting on the top of her head. Magic, beauty, fantasy aesthetic. Captivating.
Photo by Alice Alinari on Unsplash

Imagine that we are sitting in a classroom on a crisp autumn day. There are twelve of us sitting at desks that are arranged in a circle. There’s natural light pouring in through large glass windows.

You’ve come to learn how to craft creative nonfiction and personal essays. I sit with you, as one of you. We are all on this journey of life, and every single one of us has the wisdom to contribute to the discussion.

If you don’t already know, I give you my credentials: storyteller for as long as I can remember. I hold a Bachelor’s…


“Wish You Were Here” — On variations of love, longing, and musical understanding

“Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here Wallpaper” by Scott Clark is licensed under CC BY 2.0

I was born in 1978, but I didn’t grow up consuming Pink Floyd. I didn’t try playing records backward to find secret messages. I didn’t mourn the Pink Floyd shows I never saw. But, Pink Floyd permeated my life anyway, starting when I was about 21 years old, back in the summer of 1999.

My best friend drove her family’s Suburban expertly through the New Mexico mountains as the starry night sky enveloped us. Our second road trip from Norman, Oklahoma to Las Cruces, New Mexico to get tattoos.

On these trips, she ended up with an Oscar the Grouch…


One woman’s reflection on the pandemic times

Middle aged man and woman kneel in a forest floor. The woman holds a bouquet of hand picked flowers. They look calm and happy.
Middle aged man and woman kneel in a forest floor. The woman holds a bouquet of hand picked flowers. They look calm and happy.
Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

At the Botanic Garden where I once worked, mockingbirds kept me company, and the gentle bubbling of water features eased my mind and soul. At the garden, I found a peace and solace I’d been craving ever since giving birth to our first child ten years prior.

My life stalled and then screeched to a halt a couple of months before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the United States, where I live. In late December, my body was screaming at me in pain. It had been trying to get my attention for several years.

At work, I was bent double in…


Another disturbing story of whitewashing and unfair compensation for minority workers

Photograph of the facade of the convenient store, “Kim’s Convenience” for the CBC show by the same name. There is a poster of the Kim family on the side of the store and two signs that say “Kim’s Convenience” in green, white, and blue.
Photograph of the facade of the convenient store, “Kim’s Convenience” for the CBC show by the same name. There is a poster of the Kim family on the side of the store and two signs that say “Kim’s Convenience” in green, white, and blue.
Source: Wikicommons.

“Kim’s Convenience” has been in the news this week, not because its final season was released, but because some of the Korean-Canadian actors finally feel they can express their grievances against the show being racist and non-inclusive.

I didn’t know that until after I binged Season 5 on Netflix. In case you aren’t familiar with the show, it was a short (25ish minute per episode) sitcom/romcom, which followed the quirky Korean-Canadian Kim family who ran a quaint store called “Kim’s Convenience.” …


A garden metaphor poem

Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

The garden flops
grows wild like
matted weeds
tangled hair

I planted potatoes
too late
harvested them
too early

barely-bites
for any of us.

When I harvested
the potatoes
too early
I disturbed the snow peas.

Green snap of sweet crunch
garden delight.
I bit into the crisp flesh
and tasted the sweet
fleshy popping of green peas.

A treat so sweet
I ate them in the garden
didn’t even share
until I uprooted the sweet plant
and it browned and died
and there were no more
sweet snap peas to eat.

I overplanted my raised
metal garden container:
tomatoes, salvia, peas
parsley…


My poetic retort to our children who say there’s no such thing as a sugar high

An half watermelon setting on green grass. One spoon is in the red flesh. Another spoon lays beside the watermelon. There are black seeds in the watermelon.
An half watermelon setting on green grass. One spoon is in the red flesh. Another spoon lays beside the watermelon. There are black seeds in the watermelon.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Falling asleep in the
cradle of our queen-sized bed
there’s a distant muffled
sky rumble

our dog in the backyard
midnight melon high
but we don’t know yet

yapyapyapyapyap
scurry and scat and scuttle
the high-pitched whine
of a chihuahua on a mission

a closer rumble from
my sleepy husband

What’s wrong with your dog

He doesn’t feel the pull
to animals that I do
our children do

To him they’re inconvenience
nuisance annoyance

Our dog has been circling
whining at the backdoor
running from room to room
tossing toys in the air
like a show seal
for hours and hours and…

Aimée Gramblin

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