CHANNILLO

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Essays & Columns
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Completed Series




Essays & Columns

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.

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.

Carcerated Grammar

In the outside world, writers starve to have their words consumed and considered. On the inside, every 'letter' is sacred and sav(i)ored.

In a nutshell, it's correspondence between a guy and woman in prison... and another guy with the same name... and occasional other characters (you know how destiny and randomness go.)

Instagram: @carcerated.grammar

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Pseudo-accolades for Carcerated Grammer's  Weekly / Biweekly / Monthly 'Cerealized' (sic) Prison Correspondence:

2017 Channillo Awards '1st Place Runner Up' in Best Ongoing Series, Humor and Journal Entries Catagories. 

https://channillo.com/2017-channillo-award-winners/

"'Carcerated Grammer' is... well, what can I say? I've never read anything quite like it. it goes well with pie."

- Larry Jacoby 'The Colored Sightglass'

 

"I feel for Bianca but I suppose, I'd read anything sent to me in prison too."

- Harriette Fairline 'The Long Island Shore Woman Gazette'

 

"the age old adage you can't polish a turd, well the only thing here easy on the eyes is thanks to the yellow paper it's written on.

- Tony Cima 'Hoffman Hot Rods Fanzine.'

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.

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. 

 

 

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.

 

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. 

 

 

The Upward Journey of a Betrayed Wife

Betrayal.

No one ever thinks it will happen to them. I certainly never did. But suddenly it's there like an ugly throbbing sore hidden under a loose bandage and you wonder if you'll ever feel normal again. 

Guess what? You will. No, really...you will. But it will be your new normal and you will decide exactly what that looks like. 

Want to know how? Follow my upward journey. I'm still sorting out my new normal. The only thing I know for sure is I will survive because going backwards is not an option. 

Go forward with me and let's do it together.

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. 

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. 

Secret Life of a Pseudonym

SECRET LIFE OF A PSEUDONYM is the autobiography of author Julián Esteban Torres López.

As Julián struggles with an identity crisis, he shares the adventures and misadventures of his family's life in Colombia; the struggles and paranoias of being an undocumented migrant in the United States (1989 - 2002); and the traumas of the human condition: economic hardship, depression, heartache, a/theism, introversion, war, and the search for home.
 

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.

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."

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.

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.

Alaskan Sourdough Starter: The Mother Sponge

Alaska officially became the 49th state in 1959, before that it was a territory, a wild place, the Last Frontier, and the men and women who lived there prior to statehood are the main characters of Sourdough Starter. Their unique stories and adventures are a window into a world of everyday experiences seldom told until now. If you are curious about life in the Last Frontier, this is the book for you. 

                                                                                                                             These stories are transcribed from interviews with 27 men and woman from all walks of life, native and non-native, that were published in the states largest newspaper, the "Anchorage Daily News". Sourdough Starter is the kind of book you have always been looking for. It's like sitting at the kitchen table, having a cup of coffee or tea, with the men and women of Alaska personally telling you their stories. It's about genuine lives, true stories, and actual people, sharing with you, how life was and is in the 49th state.

 

                                               

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.



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



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



In the outside world, writers starve to have their words consumed and considered. On the inside, every 'letter' is sacred and sav(i)ored.

In a nutshell, it's correspondence between a guy and woman in prison... and another guy with the same name... and occasional other characters (you know how destiny and randomness go.)

Instagram: @carcerated.grammar

---

Pseudo-accolades...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


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



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

 

 

 View Series


Betrayal.

No one ever thinks it will happen to them. I certainly never did. But suddenly it's there like an ugly throbbing sore hidden under a loose bandage and you wonder if you'll ever feel normal again. 

Guess what? You will. No, really...you will. But it will be your new normal and you will decide exactly what that looks like. 

Want...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


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



SECRET LIFE OF A PSEUDONYM is the autobiography of author Julián Esteban Torres López.

As Julián struggles with an identity crisis, he shares the adventures and misadventures of his family's life in Colombia; the struggles and paranoias of being an undocumented migrant in the United States (1989 - 2002); and the traumas of the human condition: economic hardship, depression,...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



"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


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


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


Alaska officially became the 49th state in 1959, before that it was a territory, a wild place, the Last Frontier, and the men and women who lived there prior to statehood are the main characters of Sourdough Starter. Their unique stories and adventures are a window into a world of everyday experiences seldom told until now. If you are curious about life in the Last Frontier, this is the book for you. 

                                                                                                                            ...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.