Cheri Lucas Rowlands
Story Wrangler, WordPress.com. Senior Editor, Longreads. Not to be fed after midnight.
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  1. “There’s something about the confluence of springtime and death that feels right: life ends and life starts up in an explosion of pink blossoms. I’ve got grief on one shoulder and gratitude on the other, writing a book while losing the person who was most convinced I should be writing books.”

    Authors
  2. “I’m more of a binge writer. I have to pull way back and let my creative pulse breathe. Then, at some point, I go in and I write and write and write…. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to respect the cyclic nature of my creative life.”

    Essay
  3. “If your work has value to anyone, then it should have value for you, and you should be at the front of the line to receive that value, because you’re doing the work.”

    Authors
  4. “But in her very last post, in a poem that she wrote a quarter of a century ago, Le Guin left us with what often seems like the only possible answer: ‘And I will honor only / my people, the powerless.’”

    Authors
  5. “The human race was not, in fact, exterminated in the late 1990s, as the film portends—but we have been doing our damnedest ever since to make sure it is.”

    Commentary
  6. “It felt so odd to be so enclosed within a word, like I occupied a space—a space as small as their tongue. A coin perhaps, my value etched on the surface: gender: female, race: Asian, worth: half a regular person.”

    Identity
  7. “Little things — things that used to be simple and all my own — became packaged and delivered out into the world. My life was ready to be consumed.”

    Commentary
  8. “Yet now with the final of those projects all but completed, with nothing that necessarily infringes on the divide between work and life, I still find myself a little ambitious, a little restless, desiring progress and purpose in a creative outlet.”

    Inspiration
  9. “These snippets of a lifetime make me ponder on how vital stories are. How we keep people, traditions, habits, alive through words. I’ve heard you die twice. First your physical death. And then again, when there’s no one left to tell your story.”

    Family
  10. “Instead of getting to enjoy growing up, I felt trapped in my youth, the thing that had made me special until my ex-boyfriend called it my affliction, like a Dorian Gray bargain gone uniquely sideways.”

    Essay
  11. “Why is sentimentality considered such a ‘sweet fear’? It can portray an overly saccharine and false portrait of the world, for one. And as many have declared, that sentiment has no place in climbing.”

    Commentary
  12. “Nothing opens the mind and heart to a spiritual experience like solitude. It may not always be easy, and there will undoubtedly be some lonesome, wistful moments, but it is these very moments that allow a spiritual journey to unfold.”

    Books
  13. “As an introvert, you need to know yourself. What you need, and what stresses you out. It’s not about what you can do. Most introverts can impersonate social butterflies when necessary. . . . It’s about balancing the cost of those performances with your own mental health.”

    Personal Musings
  14. “We abuse time, make it our enemy. We try to contain and control it, or, at the very least, outrun it. Your new-model, even faster phone; your finger on the “Close” button in the elevator; your same-day delivery.”

    Books
  15. These days, I don’t wear my glasses when I’m out in public. . . . I can see the world, but it’s out of focus. I can’t make out faces, recognize friends. Most importantly, I can’t tell where anyone is looking. If men’s eyes consume me, I’d rather not know.

    Essay