The harmful message of “On Writing”

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I’d wanted to read Stephen King’s On Writing for such a long time. It keeps appearing on lists of the best books about writing, a subject of interest to me since I’ve had a burning desire to be a writer ever since I’ve been able to hold a pencil.

Writing is especially important to me now that I’m on federal disability for Bipolar disorder and severe chronic headaches. My daily routine has been whittled down to this: breakfast, reading, writing, lunch, rest in bed from 1–5, supper, TV, sleep.

When all other senses of purpose have been taken away from…


We share more common experiences than we may think.

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Mental health awareness is common now, but that was not so when I was in college fifteen years ago. I only knew of two people with bipolar disorder. One was my neighbors’ daughter, who had her young kids taken away from her a few years after high school. The other was a guy in my college pep band. He’d sent out barrages of emails to the group at all hours, proudly declaring in front of his girlfriend that he could never be monogamous. (He shared details of their sex life, too.)

In both cases, I was uncomfortable with their “otherness,”…


Seriously, you should try it.

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What if Nazi Germany won World War II? What if the Confederates won the American Civil War? These questions, and many more obscure ones, are posed by alternate history. Given a point of departure from the “Original Timeline,” what might have happened next?

Using historical research and their own imaginations, devotees of alternate history craft fascinating alternate timelines of awe-inspiring detail. What if Caliph Al-Hakam II of Cordoba died in 976 and his son Hisham became Caliph instead of Ja’far? (Yeah, I’m lost, too).

Back in 2015, I joined a community of alternate history writers…


Can’t wait for Bridgerton Season 2? You’ll love this new podcast.

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The first episode of “Duchess,” a new podcast from Duchess Emma Rutland, aired on February 4th to five-star reviews. Duchess Emma, who wasn’t technology savvy until her daughter, Violet, suggested she share her experiences as a modern duchess, delves into the world of Duchess Demetra Lindsay of Hedingham Castle in Essex.

“Duchess” resists the image of aristocratic ladies throwing dinner parties and hosting tea for their peers that we have fallen in love with in Bridgerton, Downton Abbey, and the fountainhead of the genre herself, Jane Austen. Instead, we fall in love with competence. …


Education

The neat and freak seen in canines today

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When I was growing up, my family would seek fresh, deep powder in the mountains and listen as the snow whisked under the runners of the dog sled. Our three 100-pound Alaskan Malamutes pulled the sled joyfully (except for Snowflake, who knew the other two would pull her weight if she slacked off). The dogs looked as though they belonged to the snow-laden evergreens and the silent white sky.

I was proud that our Malamutes were one of the closest breeds to wolves. Indeed, people often mistook them as such. …

Erica Olson

Medium member since January 2021 · History major · Humanist · Writing from Western Montana

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