1. “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
  2. “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
  3. “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
  4. “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
  5. “I want to read about goals, dreams, fears, foibles and achievements. I want to read about you. I want to read about real people blossoming and withering. Growing and shriveling. Experiencing life . . . and death.”

    Inspiration
  6. “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
  7. “Choose a windy day and stand at any spot out in the country. Then (this part is important) turn your back to the wind. Open the box and toss the ashes into the air. For the first time in my well-planned life, let the wind take me where it may.”

    Death
  8. “I had grown weirdly protective of my Franken-scar. I wanted it to remain messy and strange and a little puzzling. That felt right to me.”

    Personal Essay
  9. Donna-Louise Bishop on dealing with disappointment in a marriage: “Sometimes, even maybe most of the time, one of us has to love that little bit harder.”

    Relationships
  10. “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