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Essays & Columns

Feminist Flicker - Decoding Sexism In Movies

Meet The Feminist Flicker. She may not have any super-cool gadgets, and she may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound - but, she can decode even the subtlest sexism in any given movie, with her Feminist Flicker-Vision.

It is an unfortunate, but inescapable truth that sexism in society is supported and promoted by sexism in the media - especially movies. Indeed, even the most beloved of films can sometimes be unmasked as a hive of insidious misogynist messages. 

But fret not, dear reader. Just as Morpheus revealed the nature of the Matrix to Neo, so The Feminist Flicker is on hand to expose the truth to you - by decoding sexism in movies, one film at a time.

Parenthood: How Coffee Keeps Me Out of Jail

Parenthood. A difficult journey, of which there are many maps available to guide you down various paths. The hard part, however, is finding the right one to use. 

My path involves a lot of humor. And coffee. 

Parenthood: How Coffee Keeps Me Out of Jail ​details a hilariously raw view on how I am surviving my journey of being a stay-at-home dad. The reason for this odyssey is my adorable little son, who at times can also be a terrifying leprechaun. 

Series ingredients: Stay-at-home dad, humor, sarcasm, and real-life. No sugarcoating used. WARNING:​ Manufactured in a place that processes nuts. 

 

 

Extreme Esteem

"Think of it as your weekly pick-me-up, with no caffeine added. Each week, Murray will provide thoughtful and practical insights and advice to help build your self-esteem and uncover your true potential."

Don't Forget to Write

What happens when life doesn't go as planned? What happens when you have more questions than answers? What happens when you realize you'll never have everything figured out?  Don't Forget to Write examines these adventures into adulthood including high school graduation, college memories, losing her job, love, life and loss. Sarah shares her collection of essays written from personal experience.

No Vacancy

No Vacancy is a collection of humorous personal essays. Each essay is independent of each other, but together the collection weaves an autobiographical tapestry, at times sad, bizarre, and deeply personal. No skeleton in her closet is safe.

Lisa tackles subjects including grand conspiracies, generation gaps, memory loss, aging, nostalgia, modern technology, Corporate America, airline industry, affairs, addiction, unorthodox relationships, male species, and female anatomy, to name just a few.

So, You're Thirty!

When did I become an adult...and what do I do now?

A weekly tongue-in-cheek "How-To" column about surviving your 30s.

The "How-Tos" (or how-to-NOTs) encompass the daily and general life-perplexity of a 30-something single professional, attempting to work, date and recreate in the city.

 

The Domesticated Poet

A behind the curtain look at life for this poet/Stay at home mom. Join me as I discover what it takes to balance the two as well as break the sterotypes that go along with both. 

Grandmas Gone Wild

When first hired as the property manager of Sunny Harbor Retirement Village*, I mistakenly assumed I'd work with sweet little grannies who crocheted blankets and played shuffleboard for excitement. That stereotype vanished the second Florence walked into my office complaining about her former boyfriend’s new girlfriend’s “collection.” This place was Grace and Frankie meets Melrose Place meets Animal House and forever changed my perception of aging.

 

 

* This series recounts events as they happened, however, names, locations, and other identifiers have been changed. The residents portrayed in the essays are no longer with us.

 

Walks With Sam

The beauty of a walk can inspire a life. Ask all the great walkers  -- Beethoven, Charles Dickens, Henry David Thoreau, William Wordsworth, Mark Twain. But when you add man's best friend to the mix, the walk becomes an adventure. WALKS WITH SAM takes the reader on a weekly hike with writer David W. Berner and his dog, Sam, a black Golden Doodle. What do they discover?

All proceeds from this series are donated to PAWS Chicago, a no-kill animal community. 

Lines in the Gravel

Lines in the Gravel is an engaging, often humorous, series of snapshots about Al Ainsworth's experiences growing up in rural Star, Mississippi. It is one story—told by a collection of stories—of family and faith that transcends his own experience to connect with others who seek to perpetuate their own values through the stories they tell…and re-tell.

Vista of a sisyphean mind

Vista of a sisyphean mind series looks at the world in a unique perspective that's inspiring and motivating. The series is an exploration into the greatness of life.

Inspirational short stories are also published here.

 

Adventures with the Medical Brigade

One writer. A city full of medical professionals. Time to keep up with the Drs. Jones. 

Follow Amy through various awkward encounters and strange experiences while she tries to define herself as a creative writer in a city completely devoted to practical medicine. "Bohemian Rhapsody" meets Grey's Anatomy in this kooky but true clash of right brain/left brain living.

Love is a Location

A series of essays and journal entries on how to live authentically, with boldness and confidence, in any and every situation. 

 

 

Fine Lines and Ambiguities

How do we form our identities as we grow from children, to young adults, to new adults? What does it mean to grow up in America the child of two immigrants? To have one foot in two cultures, belonging to neither? How do you understand your place in the world with a sibling with a chronic disorder? How do you build a life around childhood, adolescent, and adult mental health issues? I'm attempting to answer those questions through my story, because you've got that story, too.

Series artwork is done by Emmy Colon: www.midnightingart.com. She's the bomb dot com.

A Writer Looks at Fifty: Middle Aged Musings in a Millennial World

A Writer Looks at Fifty is one man’s attempt to navigate life in a world dominated by millennials, celebrities and everything digital.  Looking at life’s little quirks, oddities, and things that give us pause, this weekly series will explore the author’s desire to adapt to an ever changing world while trying to maintain his sense of calm and balance.

Buzz writes about subjects including but not limited to:  Books, Film, History, Popular Culture, Music, Cooking, Television, Bourbon, Education, Dining (fine and otherwise), Relationships, Pets, Employment, Travel, Shopping, Sports, Growing Up, Wine, Beer, Astrology, Aging, Transportation, Myths, Legends, People, Customer Service, Gaming, Hotels, Millennials and the odd observation or two about the Weather Channel.

Each essay will explore a different topic but usually adhering to the author’s general theme of “how did I get here and why am I drinking so much wine?”  Hopefully he’ll change some attitudes and maybe some latitudes and have fun all the way.

So come along for the ride and remember:  Life is all about the journey and not the destination.

The Misadventured Piteous Overthrows of a Self-Taught Lit Snob

Unpublished novelist, picky reader, Shakespeare-obsessed movie addict moans for the company of other writers, groups, guilds, readers, listeners, on-lookers, acquaintances, or random strangers. Will also accept a small, intimate gathering of stuffed animals around a tiny tea table for commiseration.

Or, just read the scathing, potentially humorous rantings.

Just a writer writing about writers...writing. And some other stuff in there somewhere.

Caution: I use adult language. While I loathe excessive and gratuitous cursing and sexual situations in writing, I talk like a sailor in real life. I will try to do my best to keep it tastefully direct. Try.

Stop the Truck, I See a Picture

Most Americans think of two things when they hear Nebraska: corn and cows. I want to be offended, but both corn and cows outnumber Nebraskans, so you win; however, I think there is more to Nebraska than our main exports. This series will explore a favorite pastime of rural Nebraskans, which is dirt-road driving. What is it? What’s the thinking behind it? What exactly does one do on a dirt-road drive? Of course, it’s just driving on dirt roads, but digging deeper, this series will examine the philosophy behind the drives. I’ve laughed until my stomach’s hurt. I’ve cried until my checks were chapped. I’ve yelled until my lungs were sore. These rides are full of deep conversations and earnest introspection. We rednecks ponder the same questions you do. Why are we here? Why does God let bad things happen to good people? Is God real? We do all of this while eating Slim Jims, drinking sodas, and listening to sport’s games.

Coffee and Criticisms

A look into gender roles, resistance and the journey so far-over a cup of fresh brewed coffee.

What a Life! What a Day!

How does Mona Lisa spend her day? What does Mr. Plod have for breakfast? What does the Man in the Moon think of us here on earth? Find out in What a Life! What a Day! A spoof of the UK's Sunday Times series, A Life in the Day, WaLWaD asks famous mythical, literary or biblical figures, or even objects or concepts, to describe a typical day. Humorous, irreverent, instructive, or just plain wacky, WalWaD will have you thinking outside the box even as you chuckle. Every Monday, starting 1st June.

Humor the Antidepressant

A humorous barreling toward sarcastic take on people, events, and life in general. 

The Art Of Holding On Too Long

A series of non-fiction essays, articles, and prose pieces on the topic of love, memories, mistakes, and holding on much longer than one should.

Who am I? Who are you?

An antidote to the 'gene-centred' view of what makes us who we are, this series considers topical issues reflecting how we see ourselves. From genetic modifications to end of life decisions, how do these issues influence our self perspective?  What makes us who we are? Join me on this journey of discovery. We may be surprised by what we find. 

View a complete list of ongoing and completed series here.



Meet The Feminist Flicker. She may not have any super-cool gadgets, and she may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound - but, she can decode even the subtlest sexism in any given movie, with her Feminist Flicker-Vision.

It is an unfortunate, but inescapable truth that sexism in society is supported and promoted by sexism in the media - especially movies. Indeed, even the most...View Series



Parenthood. A difficult journey, of which there are many maps available to guide you down various paths. The hard part, however, is finding the right one to use. 

My path involves a lot of humor. And coffee. 

​Parenthood: How Coffee Keeps Me Out of Jail ​details a hilariously raw view on how I am surviving my journey of being a stay-at-home...View Series



"Think of it as your weekly pick-me-up, with no caffeine added. Each week, Murray will provide thoughtful and practical insights and advice to help build your self-esteem and uncover your true potential."

 View Series


What happens when life doesn't go as planned? What happens when you have more questions than answers? What happens when you realize you'll never have everything figured out?  Don't Forget to Write examines these adventures into adulthood including high school graduation, college memories, losing her job, love, life and loss. Sarah shares her collection of essays...View Series


No Vacancy is a collection of humorous personal essays. Each essay is independent of each other, but together the collection weaves an autobiographical tapestry, at times sad, bizarre, and deeply personal. No skeleton in her closet is safe.

Lisa tackles subjects including grand conspiracies, generation gaps, memory loss, aging, nostalgia, modern technology, Corporate America, airline...View Series



When did I become an adult...and what do I do now?

A weekly tongue-in-cheek "How-To" column about surviving your 30s.

The "How-Tos" (or how-to-NOTs) encompass the daily and general life-perplexity of a 30-something single professional, attempting to work, date and recreate in the city.

 

 View Series


A behind the curtain look at life for this poet/Stay at home mom. Join me as I discover what it takes to balance the two as well as break the sterotypes that go along with both. 

 View Series


When first hired as the property manager of Sunny Harbor Retirement Village*, I mistakenly assumed I'd work with sweet little grannies who crocheted blankets and played shuffleboard for excitement. That stereotype vanished the second Florence walked into my office complaining about her former boyfriend’s new girlfriend’s “collection.” This place was Grace and Frankie...View Series


The beauty of a walk can inspire a life. Ask all the great walkers  -- Beethoven, Charles Dickens, Henry David Thoreau, William Wordsworth, Mark Twain. But when you add man's best friend to the mix, the walk becomes an adventure. WALKS WITH SAM takes the reader on a weekly hike with writer David W. Berner and his dog, Sam, a black Golden Doodle. What do they discover?

All proceeds...View Series



Lines in the Gravel is an engaging, often humorous, series of snapshots about Al Ainsworth's experiences growing up in rural Star, Mississippi. It is one story—told by a collection of stories—of family and faith that transcends his own experience to connect with others who seek to perpetuate their own values through the stories they tell…and re-tell.

 View Series


Vista of a sisyphean mind series looks at the world in a unique perspective that's inspiring and motivating. The series is an exploration into the greatness of life.

Inspirational short stories are also published here.

 

 View Series


One writer. A city full of medical professionals. Time to keep up with the Drs. Jones. 

Follow Amy through various awkward encounters and strange experiences while she tries to define herself as a creative writer in a city completely devoted to practical medicine. "Bohemian Rhapsody" meets Grey's Anatomy in this kooky but true clash of right...View Series



A series of essays and journal entries on how to live authentically, with boldness and confidence, in any and every situation. 

 

 

 View Series


How do we form our identities as we grow from children, to young adults, to new adults? What does it mean to grow up in America the child of two immigrants? To have one foot in two cultures, belonging to neither? How do you understand your place in the world with a sibling with a chronic disorder? How do you build a life around childhood, adolescent, and adult mental health issues? I'm...View Series


A Writer Looks at Fifty is one man’s attempt to navigate life in a world dominated by millennials, celebrities and everything digital.  Looking at life’s little quirks, oddities, and things that give us pause, this weekly series will explore the author’s desire to adapt to an ever changing world while trying to maintain his sense of calm and balance.

Buzz writes about...View Series



Unpublished novelist, picky reader, Shakespeare-obsessed movie addict moans for the company of other writers, groups, guilds, readers, listeners, on-lookers, acquaintances, or random strangers. Will also accept a small, intimate gathering of stuffed animals around a tiny tea table for commiseration.

Or, just read the scathing, potentially humorous rantings.

Just a writer writing about...View Series



Most Americans think of two things when they hear Nebraska: corn and cows. I want to be offended, but both corn and cows outnumber Nebraskans, so you win; however, I think there is more to Nebraska than our main exports. This series will explore a favorite pastime of rural Nebraskans, which is dirt-road driving. What is it? What’s the thinking behind it? What exactly does one do on a dirt-road drive?...View Series


A look into gender roles, resistance and the journey so far-over a cup of fresh brewed coffee.

 View Series


How does Mona Lisa spend her day? What does Mr. Plod have for breakfast? What does the Man in the Moon think of us here on earth? Find out in What a Life! What a Day! A spoof of the UK's Sunday Times series, A Life in the Day, WaLWaD asks famous mythical, literary or biblical figures, or even objects or concepts, to describe a typical day. Humorous, irreverent, instructive,...View Series


A humorous barreling toward sarcastic take on people, events, and life in general. 

 View Series


A series of non-fiction essays, articles, and prose pieces on the topic of love, memories, mistakes, and holding on much longer than one should.

 View Series


An antidote to the 'gene-centred' view of what makes us who we are, this series considers topical issues reflecting how we see ourselves. From genetic modifications to end of life decisions, how do these issues influence our self perspective?  What makes us who we are? Join me on this journey of discovery. We may be surprised by what we find. 

 View Series

View a complete list of ongoing and completed series here.