Narrating My Audiobook Felt Like Doing an Impression of Myself

Even the most authentic voice on the page is a translation, a refraction, an altered version of the author’s actual speaking voice. Finding the right balance of refining the voice without losing its character took me years—polishing a sentence until it gleamed and then tweaking it just enough to make it feel real again. Swearing just enough that I still sounded like myself, but not so much that it would be distracting.

Coming Home to Somewhere Unfamiliar

I was exuberant with the freedom I’d found, the friends I’d made, the neighborhood where I felt at home for the first time since the blurry memories of early childhood, but just under the surface was a depression that felt like panic. I felt everything, all at once. So I drank and got high so it made sense for me to laugh hysterically until tears ran down my cheeks and then sob until I was red in the face and choking. That turning point between laughter and tears was where I lived all the time, and inebriation was a convenient excuse to let it out.

Misadventures in J-School: When Grad School is the Wrong Thing

I never thought of it as compensating, I just thought of myself as someone who’d gotten her shit together after an untethered adolescence spent running around the East Village, getting drunk in Tompkins Square Park instead of learning algebra. But then I got accepted to Columbia, the stamp of institutional approval I didn’t realize I’d needed so badly, and I imagined the sweet vindication of becoming a high school drop-out with an Ivy League master’s degree.

Don’t Use My Family For Your True Crime Stories - What it's like to watch true crime as the relative of a murder victim.

This summer, my cousin Sabina would have turned 30 years old. Instead, it will mark nine years since she was murdered. Though it’s been almost a decade, I’ve just very recently started writing about her, and her death. It always felt too raw, too sacred to pull apart for story fodder—even if I’m the one doing the telling. The thought of someone who didn’t even know her using the horrible, violent way she was taken from my family as “material” is unfathomable to me. This is what I think about whe

How I Learned to Stop Judging And Love Insta-Witches

When I was thirteen, I discovered witchcraft. More accurately, I started paying attention to it. It had always been around me, in the silk-wrapped tarot deck on my mother’s dresser, and the sage she burned every time we moved into a new apartment. But when I was thirteen, I dove in and studied with a hunger and dedication I had never applied to anything before, and one that I never quite matched again; not even when I went to graduate school ten years later.
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