I started writing my first novel at age eight. It was about a family of pencils that came alive at night and wandered around the classroom having various adventures. I was several chapters in when a well-meaning adult asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.


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I found Artisanal Article Machine the way I find most publications: someone I like published a story in it. The name immediately pulled me in. It rolls off your tongue with the initial alliteration. …

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Despite the propaganda of Hallmark cards and wanna-be grandparents, parenting comes with some pretty big downsides.

“Listen,” says your friend. “The sleepless nights and dirty diapers were all worth it when Kylie first said, ‘I lub you, mama.’” She is on a seemingly endless crusade to persuade everyone in your…


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Megan turned over a Jack. “Top that,” she gloated at her big brother, confident the odds were with her for once.

“Okay,” said Tim laying down a Queen and flashing his annoying grin before sweeping up the two cards and adding them to the bottom of his deck.

Megan sighed…

Image by Kenneth McAndrew from Pixabay

I was surprised to find three pairs of my spouse's undies packed in our overnight bag. What was the man planning to do during a quick trip to visit a historic university town?

I was willing to grant the wisdom of packing a choice of long-sleeved and short-sleeved shirt options…


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Volunteering in my local village shop gives me a chance to interact with my neighbors. There are the children who wander in to buy sweets, the walkers who stop mid-hike for a coffee, and the regulars who come by every morning to pick up their newspaper.

For some of the…

Image by Karen Warfel from Pixabay

“Be kind”, “Be Polite”, “Be Nice” and “Don’t judge” are dangerous orders to give to a child, and a form of grooming for adults. — Alison Tennent

As a new parent, you look down at your sleeping child and vow to do everything in your power to protect them from…

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I adore collecting perfect snippets of prose: the ideal first line, the finely crafted sentence, the deliciously satisfying final mic drop. I geek out when I find words crafted together which fit their story perfectly and are also beautiful on their own.

Read this from Jessie Waddell:

I’m not built…

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

Capturing a spy always makes a good newspaper copy. Confederate soldiers had captured Civil War doctors and possible spy Mary Edwards Walker. The Richmond Sentinal, a daily paper in the Confederate capital, was there with the story.

The female Yankee surgeon captured by our pickets a short time since, in…

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I am a master of willing suspension of disbelief. Aliens invading from other planets? Sure. Faster than the speed of light travel? No problem. Awkward teenage girl takes off glasses, puts on makeup, and suddenly is dating the hottest guy in school? Great. …

Mary DeVries

Writing, wondering, and wandering across three continents. Finding the funny everywhere I go. https://marydj03.medium.com/membership

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