Building new habits and re-making your identity for a kinder and healthier way of life

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More than eight years ago I discovered the tastiest “secret sauce” there is: it primed me for ever-more-frequent moments of delight, gave me tons of energy and a new sense of purpose, and canceled my writer’s block for good. You’ve probably heard the joke that goes, “How do you know someone’s a vegan? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you!” Guilty as charged, but here’s the thing: we blab about this lifestyle because it wouldn’t be right to keep this recipe for joy to ourselves.

I went vegan on a reforestation project run by hippies and wanderers in the spring of 2011…

It’s a paycheck AND an opportunity to live more intentionally

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Let’s talk about this cultural obsession with “quitting your day job.”

There is an attitude—propagated by those perky millennial solopreneurs who pay to insert themselves into your Instagram and Facebook feeds—that any creative person still working a day job isn’t ambitious or savvy enough to “make it.” This may be true for some folks, but certainly not for all of us. As I wrote in Day Job? I Wish!, I’ve been writing novels and various works of nonfiction for almost half my life now. Hustle? Yup, I’ve spent the past nineteen years hustling. Self promotion? Uh huh, I do that…

Jazz chanteuse Risa Branch on animal-rights activism, switching genres, and the healing power of music

Photo: Alex Logaiski

“I don’t know any jazz singers apart from you,” I tell Risa Branch as we peruse the dinner menu at Farmacy Kitchen, a pop-up vegan restaurant in SoHo. “You’re a kind of time traveler.” She may look like a 21st-century New Yorker — hair in long locs, an intricate silver ring running the length of her index finger, the chill-and-steady presence of someone who meditates every morning — but when Risa opens her mouth to sing, you get why fans would liken her to an “old-school jazz singer from the ’30s” even when she was performing electro-soul on the Vancouver…

A closer look at the cognitive dissonance encoded in Charlotte’s Web

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Last year one of my favorite librarians took on the “Newbery challenge”: reading, in order, every children’s novel that has won the John Newbery Medal since its inception in 1922. I lingered at the circulation desk, curious to hear how well the older prizewinners had aged. Juli Anna pulled a face — half pained, half embarrassed for these bygone titans of children’s literature. “Many of the books are sexist and horribly racist,” she said. “It’s probably for the best that most children aren’t reading them anymore.”

If you’re like me, the first novel that comes to mind when someone says…

Good work fueled by a Fair-Trade oat-milk dirty chai latte.

Thanks for your interest in joining our community!

  • What we are looking for: cultural criticism (particularly literary, extra-particularly #kidlit, which inspired the name of this publication), “white learning” and vegan-oriented social justice, reflections and experiments on personal growth and creativity through a vegan lens, interviews with vegan artists, veganized heirloom recipes, and plenty more that falls under the category of “we’ll love it when we see it.”
  • While we would be glad to publish your journey-to-veganism story, in order to write for us we ask that you be 100% committed to an ethical vegan lifestyle (meaning that you are all…

A cautionary tale from a novelist who shouldn’t be writing full time

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While I was living in New York in my early 20s — still a few years before Facebook and Twitter and Meetup — I’d sometimes browse the Craigslist activity-partner listings hoping to connect with other aspiring writers. The interactions that followed essentially amounted to platonic first dates, which could feel a little awkward when meeting up with straight men. The most memorable of these was Remy, who sent me a link to another Craigslist ad he’d posted advertising a corpse under “free stuff.” Ideal for anatomical research, he wrote. Please arrange for pick-up as soon as possible. I laughed, uneasily…

Branding for Nonconformists

Connecting with readers by sharing snapshots from real life

It’s been more than a decade since social media became an essential part of an author’s job description, and after all this time I still feel like I’m doing it wrong — except on those days when a reader reaches out and the unavoidable time-suck momentarily feels worthwhile. Is it too late to become more proficient at Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook? (And how should we define proficiency?) We know that the more you use these platforms the more the algorithms will favor your content, so is it even possible to use social media effectively without diverting much too much time…

Hint: it’s a very good sign that this question has occurred to you

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“I’m feeling generous today, so I’m going to give you a copy of my book,” the woman told us. “I’ll even sign it for you.”

My colleague and I squirmed on our metal folding chairs as she autographed two copies of her self-published “novel,” which was only thirty pages long. When volunteering at a book festival you just know you’ll be encountering eccentrics over the course of the day, and many of them are pleasant enough to chat with for a few minutes. Not so with this one. A variety of books written in our community workspace — fiction and…

Try this hybrid novel-writing method and enjoy the benefits of careful planning AND creative euphoria

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Now that the novelists among us are beginning to think about NaNoWriMo, posts on either side of the plotting-versus-“pantsing” debate are showing up more frequently in my social media feeds. Plotters are meant to be methodical, mapping out each scene of their narrative beforehand, while pantsers — from the expression “flying by the seat of your pants” — prefer to settle in at their keyboards with only a premise and a few primary characters and…see what happens. …

A lesson in perseverance—and kindness—from one of my favorite authors

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We were well into the new year, but my father’s Christmas tree was still standing in the family room. Home from New York for the weekend, I sat on the couch, maybe reading or maybe journaling — I just remember that I was moping. I was twenty-three years old and already a failed novelist, or so I thought. I’d managed to finish my first book and sign with a literary agent, but after three rounds of reject-o-rama I was feeling depressed. (And now I feel intensely embarrassed to reflect on the sense of entitlement I had then! …

Camille DeAngelis

Authoress: LIFE WITHOUT ENVY (“a self-help book that’s actually helpful”) and assorted fantasy novels.

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