“It rips my life away but it’s the great escape…”

Finishing a book is a celestial event.

As you savor those last lines of a novel, there is a transformation going on within you. The culmination of hours upon hours of intense focus finally pops the bubble of fiction surrounding you and suddenly, you are yourself again. Only not just yourself — some new version, changed by the events you’ve experienced only in word form.

I remember vividly how scenes in books have affected me and changed me in both magnificent and minute ways. The Road by Cormac McCarthy is one of my all-time favorite works of literature for one…


A South Florida native moves to the Wild Wild West.

“Never drum on a white lady’s boobies at a big redneck dance. Got it,” Will Smith says. And at that line from an incredible cheesy movie from my childhood, I was hooked.

This isn’t your typical “girl moves from the big city to the country” story, where I fall in love with some wild cowboy who teaches me to lay down my big city ways and ride horses into the sunset.


My best friend and I toked on a cross-country road trip.

“I’m always going to regret not buying that dub,” my best friend said, tension clear in her voice. We’d been on the road for just over 20 hours of our 4,000 mile trek from Florida to Colorado, and Emily was getting a bit antsy for us to arrive in a state where we could finally buy a damn joint.

After an unsuccessful and thoroughly disappointing stop at a dispensary in Oklahoma (where only medical was legal, but I had hoped to use my medical card from Colorado), Emily and I were both fiending a bit for something that would help…


If there’s no soul, your substance won’t shine true.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had a sacred spot.

It began because my sister, a budding Pagan and nature-lover, was always bragging about her “fairy spot” but would never take me there, citing its magical properties as dangerous and not for the unprepared. Rather than wait for her to reveal the secrets of nature, I decided to find my own spot within walking distance of my house, one that no one could hide from me.

There is a park close to the elementary school where I spent my fifth…


“Glowing up” is the 2020s version of the makeover montage.

TW: eating disorders

Who doesn’t want to transform themselves?

To become the best possible version of yourself, to reach for your dreams and fall in love with yourself? Although 2020 was the year of lost dreams for many people, it also brought rise to a new trend, one called “glow up” culture.

Just take a look at the before and afters featured in the above screenshot. The first, pre-glow up, is usually as unattractive as humanly possible — like they made themselves look ugly and messy for the purpose of the this particular thumbnail. For a lot of creators, this…


Only readers know how much a reading slump hurts.

Work is done for the day.

You’ve come home, eaten dinner, taken a shower, taken care of kids and pets, and now it’s time for leisure of your favorite kind: reading before the crackling fireplace on a cold night.

You light your favorite latte and hazelnut scented candles, palm your book in your hand, and turn to your marked page. The firelight plays and leaps in shadows upon your book, lighting up its figures with colors and light inside of your mind.

There’s something so picturesque about sitting down with a good thick book in your hand. It’s like settling…


Will it ever come back?

The days have gone by quickly, without many words to track them. Scattered journal entries, to-do lists and grocery lists — these are the words that littered my existence over the last month, but none of them had any hint of art or larger purpose attached.

All my life, my singular dream has been simple. I just want to write. But two years of writing for a living (freelancing my damn heart out, to be exact) has changed my love of the craft in ways that I never expected.

Part of the issue, I suppose…


Give your writing the ✨shine it needs.

Writing isn’t easy, and there are so many ways to approach it that *writing tips* has become an essay genre of its own. The overwhelming amount of information about available to teach people about writing tends to distract us from the work of actually doing it. Not only that, but everyone’s process differs, so simplistic mantras like “write every day” can only take you so far.

As a lifelong writer, I’ve picked up quite a few unconventional ways to get my ideas flowing, ones that work incredibly well for my brain and its…


Marilyn Manson should’ve been “cancelled” years ago.

During my darker times, one of my guilty pleasures is binge-watching YouTube commentary videos to distract myself from my own sad life. I can credit D’Angelo Wallace for helping me to find the genre with his incredible series on Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star. This vast array of social commentary available at my fingertips helps to distract me during my low times, even when the subject matter makes me want to vomit.

The best commentators typically include stories from the victims of sexual assault, grooming, and other creepy-but-typical behavior we see from celebrities big and small. As a storyteller myself…

Sam Ripples

Mistress of words and Truth.

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