Personal Essay Filter
  1. Idaho: What Makes Love Last?

    Ashlin Horne on love: “It isn’t an illusion of stability that we can fit inside of cabinets and between four walls. That won’t keep us in the arms of another person. It isn’t just forty years of furniture and picture frames that keep it together.”

    Personal Essay
  2. On That Life I Always Wanted

    “In the end, the basic ingredients of existence never falter, whether you’re flying business or red-eye economy, or staying home.” Erin at outerNotes reflects on the lifestyle of a worldly jet-setter and wonders whether she’s “made it.”

    Essay
  3. Forced Intimacy: An Ableist Norm

    Mia Mingus on disability, access, and autonomy: “When someone is helping me with access, I am vulnerable; I am interdependent with them, even if they don’t realize it.”

    Personal Essay
    Photo by zeevveez (CC BY 2.0)
  4. cleaning the house, tending the weeds.

    On the accretion of stuff: “And so, without siblings in whose faces we might see our pasts, and without children who reflect back to us ourselves and our future, we cling to the representational, the inanimate, the stuff to which we attach memory and meaning.”

    Death
  5. I Write Down Wishes So That They Come True

    “Even at fifty, I feel the stirrings as strongly as a young shepherd boy who dropped everything he knew, crossed the desert, and ultimately found his  heart’s desire.” Musings on books and dreams by Michelle Terry, inspired by Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist.

    Books
  6. On Anonymous Blogging

    “Everywhere you look now people are creating glossy narratives about their lives on myriad social media accounts, and the kind of unfiltered ramblings that were the norm on sites like LiveJournal are just a dim memory.” The writer at Tiny Rubies recalls journaling at LiveJournal and how writing online used to be.

    Internet
  7. How To Work For Your Favourite Rapper

    “The first few weeks will be blurry, abstract, and smoked out. Every experience eye opening; some burdening, most reddening. The hotel rooms are bigger than your future.” Negele Hospedales, aka Hospey, recounts what it’s like to work for Chance the Rapper.

    Music
  8. The Old Green Singers

    Angie recalls her family’s beat-up truck, “Old Green,” which became a concert hall on wheels as she, her mom, and her brothers sang their way through good times and bad.

    Family
  9. Negative Inspiration

    When there was nothing else for Kevin Richard White, there was writing: “I want them to know we’re given a voice at birth. We’re given a chance to use it. All you need is paper and time.”

    Essay
  10. “I spoke about achievement and beginnings, pausing and smiling as my voice reverberated. And I told God, privately, that I would saw off both of my legs and never take a sip of alcohol if only he would let me die somewhere other than up a holler in Lincoln County.”

    Family
  11. Brief delights

    Andrea Stephenson on nature, the seasons, and writing: “In the long, slow turn of the seasons, I see the pattern of a writer’s life. A cycle of hope and despair, of tunnelling inwards to find a nugget of wisdom and reluctantly re-emerging to display it to the world.”

    Inspiration
  12. Five Writers on What It Means to Be a Friend

    Five stories and perspectives on friendship.

    Personal Essay
    "Secrets" — from "It Takes Two" by Jane Lurie.
  13. “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
  14. Eating in Vietnam. Also, a Travel Companion.

    “Vietnamese food must always have balance. There is bitterness, there is sourness, there is the pain from heat, but there is also sweet. This is the goal of Vietnamese food: to have all the emotions of life in one bite.” Antonio Perez describes his culinary adventures in Vietnam with vivid, sensory details.

    Cooking
  15. Heart in a Brown Paper Bag

    “I’ve discovered that a city, while you’re vacationing there, behaves similar to a person on a really good first date.” Los Angeles writer Ze Luiz at StripSearchLA describes his first visit to Seattle, Washington.

    Exploration