Even though I was a women’s studies major in college (not in the Dark Ages, mind you, but definitely last century), I never came upon the term “intersectionality” until a few years ago. Like the social model of disability, the concept was a revelation to me. Continue reading →
Hidden disabilities include any which, as their name suggests, aren’t readily apparent. Chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, epilepsy — all fall under this category and affect millions of people on a daily basis. Continue reading →
Self help mantras abound in our society about “cultivating an attitude of gratitude,” cute rhyme and all. And while I won’t discount the value of gratitude practice in our lives, I definitely think it has a shadow side. Continue reading →
I don’t exactly keep it a secret that I’ve had some extraordinary experiences in my life. I published my first novel, Necessary Madness, at the age of 18. I’ve traveled the world on publicity tours and research trips. I’ve battled a major mental illness and, as an abuse survivor, a justice system that was anything but.
There’s enough material in that brief list for at least one memoir, maybe more. But I have no interest in writing one. Continue reading →
Part of my commitment to courage in writing fiction is my desire to give voice to the marginalized: people with mental illness, people of minority sexualities, people who are neurodivergent. Almost all my characters, even those more superficially on the “inside” of society, find themselves in situations where they feel cast adrift, either geographical or emotional outsiders. Many are expats. Most cling to an equilibrium that’s fragile at best. Continue reading →
For most of my life, I looked at my disabilities through the lens of a medical model: there was something broken about me, and I just had to suck it up and deal with it. But as I got older and the bravado of my youth faded, I began to feel more vulnerable, more disenfranchised, and — yes — angry. Continue reading →
I played it safe for many years in my writing. Kept the deepest and most important parts of my work and my self under wraps. Some of that was due to youth, some of it was due to fear.
But then I reached a point where I couldn’t anymore. My struggles with mental illness, my navigation of my own complicated queer sexuality: all weighed on my mind and my heart in ways I didn’t realize until I started writing about them. Continue reading →
An Open Letter to Writing Bloggers:
Listen, I don’t want to start some inane blog war. I debated long and hard whether or not I should approach people directly, write about the problem here, or even write about it publicly at all. But as an author who also has lived experience of mental illness, I feel it’s my duty to address this misguided and often callous “advice” that I’ve seen on multiple blogs. Continue reading →