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I write to inspire, to educate, to connect, to feel seen. Bibliophile. Feminist. UNC-CH Grad. Mom to a kid with ASD & ADHD

Can we forge connections using shared dreams?

woman asleep, her bed drifting in the sky surrounded by puffy, white clouds
Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels

I think it’s fascinating that people from all walks of life experience the same dreams. How wild is that? There’s something elemental about the human psyche and the human experience that leads our subconscious to visualize the same dreams.

It almost gives me hope that humanity is not as divided…

It’s an unfair misconception that autistic kids don’t feel empathy

small boy holding a red, paper heart, standing in front of a white brick wall
Photo by Victoria Borodinova from Pexels

Cinematography and Oxytocin

Do you cry at movies? I do. All the time. Books, too. It doesn’t even matter if I’m in public. I let the tears fall.

There’s some evidence that people who cry at movies and books are more empathetic. Paul Zak, the neuroscientist who coined the phrase “moral molecule,” showed…

For the first time ever, I’m just not feeling my birthday

woman sits with back to the camera, wearing a party hat, cupcake with candle next to her
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It’s my birthday today. They say you’re only as old as you feel.

I feel every bit as old and tired as my 44 years. I’ve got mysterious aches and pains, and I don’t know how much of it is stress-related and how much of it is age-related.

Marketing experts say an ideal reader profile is necessary for authors, but I’m not convinced

woman, with an open book covering her face, lying on tree trunk that leans out over a reflective lake
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

I watched an old episode of New Girl recently where Nick, an author of a detective novel, told Jess that he envisioned his readers as “blue-collar, nautical workers on the coastline of Maine.”

He was comically way off. Turns out his book was beloved by a female YA audience. How…

On Mental Health and Vulnerability as a Writer

Lonely woman standing on a rocky coast surrounded by ocean
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Sometimes stress hits me like a wave full in the face with a choking mouthful of saltwater. I can’t write when I feel like that. I can’t even read on those days.

That’s how I felt at the start of this daunting school year. …

A tug-of-war between a writer and a housewife

woman sleeping on a bed with laptop and open notebook nearby
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

It’s a balancing act. I was a stay-at-home mother, a long-time scribbler and storyteller. But I wanted to be more intentional about my writing. Could I turn my hobby into something more? Yes, I could. It would be tricky though.

I once heard a writer speak abut how she wrote…

How a childhood fear became symbolic of a creative life twenty years later

church under a starry sky
photo by Sergio Souza from Pexels

I was afraid of a lot of things as a kid: drowning, raccoons, kidnappers, and, once a year, a bell named Michael.

I lived for a while at a theological seminary. Outside our Gothic Revival chapel stood a structure that housed a hundred-year-old bell known as “Michael the Bell.” …

There was urgency in my need for her to see the whole child

outside autumn scene, boy looking calm with eyes closed and headphones on
Photo by Jonas Mohamadi from Pexels

I had woken up in the wee hours and couldn’t get back to sleep. My mind was wide awake and agitated. My son, who was in kindergarten, was being evaluated at school with an IEP team full of therapists. Evaluations were not new to us. I had him evaluated as…

A feminist, short speculative fiction

woman like a goddess, nude & tattooed, lying down in bed of clouds, cradling a glowing orb
Photo by Tino from Pexels

The dream came to her every night now, insistent like the tug of a rip current. It wouldn’t let her go. As soon as her thoughts grew hazy with sleep, she would be opening and swallowing. The dream was always the same. She swallowed the earth whole.

She stirred in…

I’m jealous of your hometown

Photo by James Wheeler from Pexels

By my tenth birthday, I had lived in seven different homes. Between kindergarten and 12th grade, I was in five different school systems. Sometimes when I say this, people ask if I was an army brat.

Not an army brat. It’s just the instability of being in a low-income family.

Sarah McInnes

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