Monday, December 31, 2018

Just Try Yoga Already.

This one wasn't planned.

"I am literally buzzing with excitement, like it’s a midnight Harry Potter book release, because I just got my Dedicate — Day 0 email from Adriene Mishler of Yoga with Adriene."

Yeah, I got the email and needed to write this.
Just Try Yoga Already. (Seriously, what's the worst that could happen?) self published on Medium.
Photo by Fabian Møller on Unsplash


Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Featured as One of EburgVeg's Top Ten Favorite Bloggers!

EburgVeg: Top Ten Favorite Bloggers
I'm on there! Amazing!
Read it all here.

And here's a piece I wrote about EburgVeg, for Raise Vegan!

A Lookback at My Favorite Writing on Medium This Year

Year-in-Review 2018
See it here (with all friends links, so you don't need to be a Medium member to read any of it).
Balloons. Photo by Sagar Patil on Unsplash

Growing Up Jewish in America

I just published Growing Up Jewish in America on Medium.
This is an epic one. I wrote it right after the Tree of Life shooting, then held on to it since then, feeling emotional enough about it that I didn't want to just hit publish. I took another look at it this week, saw that top Hanukkah pic, and thought, "I've gotta get this out there now."

I'm Featured in P.S. I Love You's Favorite #Family Submissions!

Here's a link to P.S. I Love You's Favorite #Family Submissions!
Three of my pieces are included! Wow:
The Truth About Santa Claus
The First Time Your Baby Smiles at You
and
Love Letter to My Dog
Image Credit: Pixabay

Dinner Date with My Husband

Dinner Date with My Husband - A Poem
Published in P.S. I Love You on Medium.

Us, gazing at our amazing kiddo, at my parents' house. Photo Credit: my mom.

“love 24 hrs” Photo by Wyron A on Unsplash

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Parental Anxiety and Accepting Help

Parental Anxiety and Accepting Help - Holding On and Letting Go
I just self-published this one on Medium.
It was inspired by a dream that helped me understand my feelings in regards to parental anxiety and control.
I also wanted to write something positive about the experience (free childcare!) that's happening right now while we're staying at my parents' house, as my mom is very concerned about how I write about very personal things and thinks my writing skews too negative. It is definitely a fine line, how to be honest instead of falsely rose-colored, but how not to cause others pain through your honesty. Let's add that anxiety to the mix.
Me and my boo, before a holiday party, when she was 1. Photo Credit: Author.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Saturday, December 8, 2018

My newest piece for The Writing Cooperative (on Medium) is called Is My Pain Funny to You? (Maybe That's Okay.)
Just a quick piece celebrating some of my favorite Jewish radicals and reminding myself that it's okay to laugh even though life is sort of horrible.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

You Call THAT Radical Feminism?

After not hearing back from a publication I was hoping to write for, I went ahead and self-published this one on Medium:
You Call That Radical Feminism?: TERFs and Donald Trump are teaming up to take civil rights from trans folk.
 


Monday, November 26, 2018

My Body, Our Choice?

I get pretty personal here, about a struggle going on in my own life, and the broader feminist context.
My Body, Our Choice?, published in P.S. I Love You on Medium. 

Our wedding, photo by Mike & Nickie of Madlove Photography.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Love Letter to My Dog

It's bout time I wrote about this little beast who snuggles me as I type.
Love Letter to My Dog, just published in P.S. I Love You on Medium.


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

How to Find Time to Write When You're a Parent

This piece is called How to Find Time to Write When You're a Parent, and it's published in the Art & Parenting publication on Medium.
When I started writing, it seemed impossible that I'd actually be able to stick with it. Having a kid really does change everything.
I've been going steady with the writing for 7 months now!!
So far, I've published 24 pieces on Medium (14 of those in publications), 17 articles on the Raise Vegan website, 2 articles for Veganuary, and I think 13 articles in the Raise Vegan print magazine (plus pieces I've already submitted for issues through February).
And I have a couple other drafts out there that I care about, so I'm looking at my options for them. I just got my first rejection from Bitch, and I've already sent them a second!
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Monday, November 12, 2018

Do Kids Have Empathy?

I almost titled this In Defense of Childhood Empathy.
Parenting is so hard.
So I understand the urge to sweep away the rude things kids do by lamenting that they won't get empathy until they're older.
photo of Tzivia and I, taken by my mom
But, here, I posit that empathy is a language they will learn to speak, if only we speak it to them from the get-go as if they already understand it, just as we do with our mother tongues. Yes, we can start simple, with empathy baby talk, but our kids are wonderful, loving people, who just need some guidance and practice to understand.
Here it is: Do Kids Have Empathy? published in P.S. I Love You on Medium

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Saturday, November 3, 2018

To All the Exes I Might've Married (But Didn't):

Here's my newest piece, To All the Exes I Might've Married, published in P.S. I Love You on Medium.


"And I’m sorry I yelled at you.
You were good to me.
You were okay to me.
You were really affectionate when you were intoxicated."

Friday, October 19, 2018

Helping Your Kid Create Diverse Art

My third piece published in Art & Parenting is called Helping Your Kid Create Diverse Art.
I write about representation in children's books as well as drawing time with my kiddo.
Snippet:
"I picture children of color (and, in this case, every kid who isn’t a white girl with longish straight hair) seeing this picture and fearing that the magic isn’t for them. The unicorn is dreaming of little white girls. The unicorn isn’t dreaming of them."
Amazing marker drawing Tzivia drew of me, her mama!

Read it here!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

My First Published Piece in The Writing Cooperative

The Writing Cooperative just published this quick piece about the anxiety of waiting on a publisher when the story you're trying to share is your #metoo story.

A snippet:
The hope was that publishing my story would help others with their own #MeToo stories, untold or otherwise. I wanted to empower others. I wanted to feel more empowered myself.

Maybe I didn’t think this through, though, submitting to a publication: I literally gave a man the power to accept or reject my #MeToo story.

You can read the whole thing in The Writing Cooperative publication on Medium.
art by my kiddo

Monday, October 15, 2018

Online Yoga Saved My Marriage

I wrote this one a few months ago and submitted it to Modern Love. Actually took the time to do some editing, using the very helpful Modern Love submission tips.
So here's Online Yoga Saved My Marriage, my Modern Love Reject, which thankfully P.S. I Love You snatched up and published immediately! I get personal about our marriage, and I share with you the amazing yoga videos that have made such a difference in our lives.

Monday, October 8, 2018

My Rapist Wrote Me an Apology.

This is a really hard one to share, mostly because I would rather my mom never, ever had to read any of this.



But I believe that by sharing our stories, we are stronger, we can heal. We are always getting stronger. We are always healing.

Writing this was one piece of that healing for me.

I have been going through the stages of grief this past week and a half since the Kavanaugh hearing. Bargaining, Anger, Denial, Depression -- everything but Acceptance.

The day he was sworn in, it was all about Denial. Previously glued to the news, I knew the vote was coming, so I shut myself off from internet news and NPR. If I didn't hear it, then it wasn't true. I made it to night before I mentioned to my husband that the vote was supposed to be that morning but I didn't know what happened. He told me they confirmed him. Still, I told myself we were probably confused, and it was just some committee vote or something.

Denial.

When it comes to my personal story in this piece, I'm mostly at Acceptance. It still disrupts my life, perhaps conjuring disproportionate responses to small breaches of consent that I could otherwise overlook. Fight or flight.

It weaves together with other things that have happened to me, like the man who full-on choked me without warning during a first-date kiss, and when I struggled to escape, let go and said, "Fine, we'll work up to that."

If it was just one story, or if my friends didn't all have stories, or if society didn't keep showing me that powerful men can do anything to anyone and half the country will just hand them more power over us, then I could Accept.

But right, now, I Dissent.

Here's my story: My Rapist Wrote Me an Apology.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Losing--and Finding--Your Artistic Innocence

This is my first piece written for a specific publication on Medium! The publication is called Art & Parenting and is about "How to balance your creative work and your children. How to make both thrive." That's the central question of my life right now, so I'm so excited to contribute to this publication!

My focus here is how we're born with a natural love to create, but at a very young age, judgment and commodification sneak in to rob us of our artistic innocence. I explore this with Tzivia and with myself.

So here it is: Losing--and Finding--Your Artistic Innocence

Monday, September 3, 2018

Are These the Good Old Days?

Tzivia, when she was a baby, hugging the beach, in Port Townsend
I’m driving with my kid to a 3rd birthday party yesterday, when Macklemore and Kesha’s song Good Old Days comes on the radio. I start crying — bawling — as I sing along to the chorus, lost in thoughts about my life before becoming a parent.

Afterwards I turn off the radio and ask my 4-year-old:

“Did you like that song?”

“Yeah!” she says, “What’s it about?”

I cry harder as I explain, that we’re always changing, and people — especially grown-ups — have a hard time living in the present, being happy about where we are. So much looking forward, looking back. Saying some other time was the best, when we were younger. That it’s hard to see the good that’s right in front of us.

As I talk, I’m wondering to myself if this is a Good Old Day right now. We’re headed to a party. To see our friends in the sunshine, to eat pizza and cupcakes. A total Good Old Day, right?

So why am I crying?

Friday, August 31, 2018

Selling Pieces of Her Childhood

I shelter her from screens, but the whole world can watch our home movies.

I have friends who’ve hidden all photos of their children from social media. Meanwhile, my kid’s eaten dog food in an online Orajel ad*, and she has her own Public Figure Facebook page. Not that she’s ever seen it.

Read the rest on Medium

 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Veganism Makes Parenting Easier Part 2 - On Medium

I just got home from 3 days in Larrabee State Park near Bellingham, WA. My kid and I made the drive for the Seattle Vegan Families Group’s annual camping trip. The hazardous smoke cleared just in time, and we donned our rain gear and celebrated at a group campsite with 10 or so other vegan families.

It was a seriously awesome time: epic views, vegan s’mores, kids and dogs (and grownups) running wild in a car-less wonderland.

What surprised me though, was that my kid, being her usual awesome self, seemed to be the worst at sharing and the quickest to fuss. It’s not that she was on hard mode, but that we were surrounded by the sweetest, most generous group of kids we’ve ever had to pleasure to be around.

Read the rest on Medium! Remember, you can applaud up to 50 times!

Tzivia asleep in tent
Tzivia, sleeping through train noise, in our tent at the Vegan Families Camping Trip


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

A Goodbye to Babywearing? - On Medium

One of the things I love about Medium is that you can post things there that you've already posted elsewhere (as long as you own the copyright). So I just posted a reworked version of an old post from this Vegans in Love blog, a photo-heavy one about our family and babywearing.

Here it is on Medium (and please remember that you can clap for it FIFTY TIMES, so please gimme a round of applause, dear friends).


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

A mother is a mother is a mother

I fully admit that more poignant essays have been written about Tahlequah, the grieving orca mother who carried her dead newborn for 17 days and 1000 miles.
But I felt like this perspective needed to be heard, so I wrote it for Raise Vegan.

Living Vicariously Through Your Children

New piece on Medium
"How much of our parenting impulses are just a response to our own childhoods, to finally fulfilling our unrequited wishes?"
pink hair Tzivia

Monday, August 6, 2018

35 is the New 15.

Getting older isn’t what I expected. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

Happy Birthday to me. I’m Turning 35 this week.

hella vegan ice cream from Fiddlehead Creamery
I’m married, to someone in his 40s. We’ve got a kid. And a dog. We own a home. That all checks out. That’s exactly what the fortune teller at my elementary school’s Halloween Carnival told me my life would be like when I grew up.

But then there are other things:
I still eat food off the floor. I still like playing on the playground. I still take baths.

And most unexpected:
I’m still figuring out what I want to be when I grow up.

When I grow up, maybe I'll be the queen of the ocean.

Some of the current frontrunners are writer, children’s librarian, children’s book author, homemaker, vegan pastry chef , and restaurateur, although those are definitely not the only jobs I’m considering.

My husband, meanwhile, is considering (depending on which day you ask) fantasy artist, professional Dungeon Master, science fiction novelist, vegan “meat” magnate, restaurateur, homemaker… and then there are the really random schemes: Should he be a scuba-diving boat cleaner?
No one told us life would be like this. Maybe because no one knew.
My dad worked at the same company since before I was born til when I was in college.

Sometimes it’s hard to know how much of this gig economy is something I chose (I certainly didn’t want me or my husband to have to work outside the home full-time when we had a little baby to care for) and how much is something thrust upon us by late-stage capitalism.

The work I’ve done since my 4-year-old was born feels more like it’s maybe, hopefully leading somewhere, rather than it being anything I’ve worked towards.

I’m doing a lot of unpaid writing, hoping it will lead to more paid writing.

I’m working a couple hours a week, leading a children’s program at the library, hoping….?

I’m running a small Etsy shop.


I’ve done Mechanical Turk, and for 6 months, I worked from home as a rater, which, I’d love to say more, but I had to sign an NDA.

There are more things. More gigs. Lots of them.

This is 35?

Every week or so, I have the same conversation in my head:
When it comes to work, what is freedom?
Is freedom owning your own business? Or does the business then own part of you?

Is freedom getting a “regular job,” so you can go home when your shift’s over and leave it all behind?
 
Is this freedom? What I’m doing now? Piecing it all together?

And what is my kiddo learning from all this? By the time she grows up, will these questions seem outdated?

What’s your life like now? And what did you think it would be like when you were a kid?

Read this whole thing on Medium and give me a round of applause here!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Sixty-Seven Hours of Homebirth

I've been writing and rewriting this birth story for years.

After an inspiring talk with my mama/writer friend Kai I started writing again this year, and the first thing I worked on was editing my birth story down to submit to the Pacific Northwest Writers' Association contest. I didn't win (or even expect to), but it got me back into writing, and now I've got 20-something new published pieces to show for it, and more slated to come out in print in Raise Vegan!

PNWA submissions receive two professional critiques, and I got my critiques in the mail this week.

There were some useful criticisms, which informed my editing today, some great compliments, and some criticisms I'm just going to have to disagree with:

"Additionally, some details are simply too personal for strangers to absorb, and do not need to be shared outside of one's loving family."

homebirth birth story Darcy Reeder

Both critiques mentioned that my pacing was spot-on, following the rhythm of my contractions. That was something that came naturally when I was writing it, and I loved that they both noticed it!

One thing I've struggled with was where to publish this, who exactly is my audience. When writing it, I didn't want to hold back on the "TMI" details (that's the problem with most depictions of birth--not enough reality), but who exactly is going to publish this sort of thing? I decided on Medium. Now it's out there, and it probably won't make any money, but hopefully pregnant people will read it (I was so hungry for birth stories when I was pregnant!), and if it gets some claps, even better!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Vegan Baby Clothes: Etsy Helped Me Find "Me" Again

For my lastest piece for Raise Vegan, Vegan Baby Clothes: Etsy Helped Me Find "Me" Again, I wrote about my experience starting my Etsy shop, ItsyPunx

I know, I know, self promotion--*cringe*--but my editor actually encouraged me to promote my stuff. Making the clothes and starting the shop actually was a turning point in my post-partum recovery, so it was cool to be able to write honestly about that. I didn't used to think of myself as being ambitious. Before having a kid, I looked forward to motherhood as the most important thing. Well, I was right in a way--it is the most important thing to me, but I also found how important it is to me to keep the parts of myself that I like that aren't about mothering. It's all compatible with my being a mama, but it's separate. Anyway, it's a constant conversation with myself and with my other parent friends, how to balance these parts. I'm definitely still figuring it out, and it was a trial even to get the time to write this this week.
 This is a photo of me selling my upcycled baby clothes at one of Seattle's Punk Rock Flea Markets. It was the first time I did an overnight by myself (no kiddo or husband) since Tzivia was born, which for the childless might seem like a "So what?" but it was a huge deal for me. My independence was especially tested when (oops) I ran out of gas on my way home, in the middle of I-5. But I survived!
Oh, how she's grown. Tzivia in her ItsyPunx studded vests, at 1yo and 3yo.