Gather round, sweet summer children, and learn from your elders.

I tried to be butch and change my new-to-me car headlight that was out.

I got the bulbs from the Auto Accessories Boutique (…just my personal take on a re-branding option). Looked up on the YouTubes how to do the thing.

Perfect. I GOT THIS.

Tools, check.

Hoop earrings, check.

Hands start gettin all dirty and mechanic-y looking, check.

Man — maybe I should go to Auto Technician School. I’m pretty fucking good at this.

Our fearless leader and her chariot, mere months before this harrowing tale takes place.


The bulbs I got…don’t fit? Like — the shapes are all wrong for making A go into B (that’s what ze said).


Here’s a list of bullshit I’ve tried to convince myself of, sometimes with more success than others.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
  1. Only other people become successful writers.
  2. I don’t have any ideas.
  3. Ideas I do have aren’t that interesting.
  4. It’s too risky to try.
  5. I’m not a good enough writer.
  6. I don’t have the time to devote to it.
  7. Other people are better at it.
  8. The market is saturated.
  9. All the good ideas have been taken.
  10. I tried once and failed so that’s all I need to know.
  11. That’s not the life for me.
  12. I probably won’t be happy doing it.
  13. I probably won’t…

On releasing an old lesson that tried to serve me.

Photo by kyo azuma on Unsplash

There was a moment in my freshman year of high school that tried to stunt my writing. I’ll paint the scene for you.

I’m in Mrs. Campbell’s English class on a rainy day in rural Oregon, 1996.

We’d just read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and needed to write a short essay about it. We were learning the 5-paragraph essay, what a thesis is, how to cite sources.

Mrs. Campbell stands at the front of the classroom with a stack of papers in her hand. They’ve been graded. She’ll be passing them out.

But first, she’s going to read aloud…

A micro-memoir of a false start

Photo by Greg Raines on Unsplash

(Names have been changed.)

At 14 years old, I acknowledged to myself that I liked girls.

It was after a few years of pretending those thoughts weren’t really there. The understanding that I was queer was a vague, fuzzy concept that I’d felt creeping up behind me. I hadn’t yet turned around to look it full in the face.

Once I wrote it down in my journal, it became real. I’d eased into it by starting out with a blatant lie:

“I’ve been having questions about boys…”

After I’d warmed up to that, I moved on to the crux of…

In which typography brought me out of grief and into action.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

In January of this year, both my parents, age 68 and 70, were in the hospital with flu and pneumonia.

My mother was able to come home after a week, but my father remained in a medically induced coma for longer, finally recovering for a few weeks in an assisted living center.

I’ll spare you any more details, but the long and short of it is this: I took some time off of work to take care of them, their house, and their 5 acres of property.

As you might imagine, I was a bit of an emotional wreck, internally…

In the last decade, I’ve had two full-time telecommuting jobs. Here’s how I made them work.

Photo by Connor Limbocker on Unsplash

The first issue people have with work-from-home jobs is finding them. I’m sorry to say I won’t be of much help there. I found both of my telecommuting jobs on Craigslist, of all places.

So my purpose here isn’t to instruct you how to find a work from home job. I’ll do that in another post. My experience isn’t about freelancing either, which is a completely different animal.

For now, I’m here to talk about having what it takes to be successful in a telecommuting position where you work for an employer full time.

1: Telecommuting is not just for introverts

Let’s get this out of the…

More than 30 years later, this simple book on writing keeps the pen moving.

Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg, first came into my life when I was 13 or 14. That was the age when I started believing my internal editor when she told me what I shouldn’t write about.

I had been visiting my mother’s friend, a retired elementary school teacher named Barb who had converted her garage to a space for all her books.

(My mother has another retired elementary school teacher named Barb who also converted her garage to a space for all her books. But this story starts with Barb H., not Barb S.)

There was an upright…

And then I forgot them

I couldn’t get enough freshly sharpened pencils.

My spelling was terrible but I hardly noticed.

The only thing I cared about was getting the stories out.

I wrote about aliens, animal friends who could talk and were orphans for some reason, kids who shrank down to tiny size (likely influenced by Honey, I Shrunk the Kids), Super Mario Bros., dreams, snowmen that came to life, time travel.

Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash

Writing didn’t come to me slowly. It came quick and sharp. I got it as soon as I understood how it worked:

  1. Think of something to write about.
  2. Write about it.

In my…

Erin W Hall

writer | reader | queer | PNW born and raised | content marketer

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