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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

TBIN interview questions

Author’s photo: Evie, Robert, Aimée.

When I read Nia Simone McLeod’s answers to Lucy Dan 蛋小姐 (she/her/她)’s TBIN May Interview Questions, I was so happy to get to know Nia a little bit better. It’s such a cool and interactive idea that Lucy has created and crafted.

So here I am, attempting to answer the questions and feeling simultaneously amped up and overwhelmed with life.

Messy desk? (That’ll be an interview question below).YES. Messy house? YES. Do I like it? NO.

I find personality profiles like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) helpful in ascertaining my inherent quirks and traits as I navigate life, but then…


It’s hugging

Hugging Evie

Two elementary-aged kids, a girl and a boy, hug while wearing silly nose, eyebrow, and glasses masks.
Two elementary-aged kids, a girl and a boy, hug while wearing silly nose, eyebrow, and glasses masks.
“goofy love” by demandaj is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

When you’ve spent a year plus hibernating away from friends, it feels like you’ve found a new drug when you get to see them again.

Remember that song?

When I was in elementary school, I choreographed living room dance routines to an entire Huey Lewis and The News Album.

Something about his peppy, upbeat tone had a positively invigorating effect on me. I got all pepped up before I’d tried any kind of drugs at all.

Source: YouTube.

My friend, Evie, was my new drug yesterday. We’ve been hanging out, outside, socially distanced, about once a month for the last…


False urgency isn’t serving anyone

Two EMTs pushing someone on a gurney.
Two EMTs pushing someone on a gurney.
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

There is a symptom of anxiety that results in the feeling of urgency for non-urgent situations. As writers, we are likely to feel a false sense of urgency around article submissions. It’s a symptom of anxiety that is worth dealing with head-on.

This false sense of urgency is hardwired into us humans. Victoria Lemle Beckner, Ph.D. argues that anxiety is a necessary part of being human, but “false alarms” often occur:

“False alarms are incredibly common. The brain can misjudge a situation (that car wasn’t close enough to hit you), misread others (your manager is actually thinking about her troubled…


A Kick in the Ass

Life can be a real ass-capade if you let it

https://www.pexels.com/photo/2-brown-and-grey-donkey-closeup-photography-208821/

My funny bone has disappeared. Where did it go? I don’t like it when I bang my elbow on a coffee table and feel the tingle that won’t let up. That’s not the funny bone I’m writing about.

Wait, when I lost my funny funny bone, do you think it slipped down into my bottom? Maybe I’m twice as funny except that my funny bones are hiding in my butt cheeks. I’ve noticed they’ve started drooping. I don’t think it’s because I’m in my forties. It must be my funny bones creeping on my booty and dragging it down.

I…


A junk food reckoning

A young caucasian woman with slightly messy blonde hair covering her face is smiling with an open mouth and holding a heart-shaped lollipop up to her eye. She wears a long-sleeved light red vertically ribbed sweater. There is a plain light pink background. The photo has an emotion of carefree happiness.
A young caucasian woman with slightly messy blonde hair covering her face is smiling with an open mouth and holding a heart-shaped lollipop up to her eye. She wears a long-sleeved light red vertically ribbed sweater. There is a plain light pink background. The photo has an emotion of carefree happiness.
Photo by alleksana from Pexels

CW: Disordered eating.

In childhood, candy was a sweet hug. A high followed by a crash. I was an anxious kid who struggled with sleep. I craved the relief of the crash that followed the candy high. I had the sweetest of sweet tooths. Came by it naturally, by way of both sides of my family.

Fantastic candy. ZotZ in their little plastic packages. A sweet hard candy with a sour fizz liquid middle made me feel alive. Kissed.

Pop Rocks felt fun and dangerous as they created mini mouth explosions — candy having an obvious chemical reaction with my…


A patient’s point of view

Photo provided by the author of the author and her newborn after successful VBAC, 2010.

CW: Traumatic C-Section is part of the narrative.

Disclaimer: All information and resources in this article are based on my personal research and opinions unless otherwise noted. I wish to contribute to the VBAC conversation from a patient's point of view; I am not a doctor. My educational background is in English-Creative Writing. Please consult health care professionals before making decisions about your health.

When I tell friends that Ceci, our second child, was my VBAC baby, I usually find a confused expression on their face or they ask me point-blank, “What is that?” to which I answer, “Vaginal Birth…


Poetry distilled in alcohol

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

You scrunch your handsome
scruffy face
under the weight:

mortgage
wife
kid
two-car garage.

Life wasn’t supposed
to feel like this:
constant barrage of bills
mouths to feed
no time for romance.

You’re losing weight
disappearing from the life
you found yourself starring in
sipping on coffee travel mug
bottles of booze tucked in the
bottom drawer of your desk
under your car seat:

self-medicate
take off the edge
shoulder the burden
make sure the lights stay on
twinkle twinkle little star
working into the night hours
and clocking in for your 9–5

while Julie stays home does laundry and…


Musings on humility and humanity

“File:Set of various puzzles.jpg” by Lpele is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

It was the summer of first grade. Mrs. Billingsley did not like it when kids abused requests to go to the bathroom. Once that past year, I was too scared to irritate her and tried to hold my pee, until I just couldn’t anymore. I sat in a puddle of pee in first grade in a kid-sized chair and pretended nothing happened.

When Mrs. Billingsley saw the mess, she scolded me for not raising my hand, telling me I should’ve asked to go to the bathroom. I mumbled a meek and embarrassed apology.

On a hot summer day, from my…


Especially on the hard days

Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

I’m tired. You’re probably tired of reading my writing about tiredness. But, here we are. Back to the page, back to being tired.

My right hip hurts. It’s a constant ache in the hip and butt area. It causes me to favor my left leg when I walk. Only when my bodyworker — who’s actually my Primary Care Provider, who is also trained in Osteomuscular Manipulation, which is kind of like gentle chiropractor work, from my lay-person point of view — works on me she says my left hip is worse for the wear. …

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