Story #12 for the 52 Stories in 52 Weeks Challenge

Photo by author’s father, Charles Dana. Used with permission.

Last night I dreamt about broken hearts and beehives.

Quarantine days, tragic stories, the bleakness of the time bomb inside us all. The losses we have already experienced, and the unknown who have yet to fall. Celebrities and loved ones, the old and the young. These are the thoughts that plague us all.

Yet along with all of the tales of loneliness, despair, and toilet paper comes beauty: the sudden cessation of polluting factories and belching cars, the promise of sparkling water and clear skies, people venturing out into their gardens to plant seeds that will grow into food to…

7 tips for success from a work-at-home veteran

Photo by Paige Cody on Unsplash

Congratulations! You now get to work from home. It’s the culmination of a life-long dream. No commute, no dress code, and all the puppy kisses you want!

But for people who are working from home for the first time, there are a lot of challenges that come with the shift in work habits.

As someone who has worked from home for the past eight years, first for a company and then as a freelancer, I’ve seen it all. …

How to cope with coronavirus news and conversations everywhere you turn

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

For the past four years, we’ve all been living through the worst dumpster fire of our lifetimes. We have kids in cages and corrupt politicians bragging about their corruption. Black and trans people being killed just for existing. Elizabeth Warren dropping out of the primary. I could go on but I just… can’t.

And then out of nowhere comes the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. (Seriously, as if we didn’t already have enough going on?)

This article is for everyone out there who is feeling depressed or anxious. Everything you’re feeling is valid, and you’re not alone.

Story 10 for the 52 Stories in 52 Weeks Challenge

Photo by Mia Anderson on Unsplash

A small brown dog went to the park,
hoping to see old Jack the green shark.

Jack said, “what a day for a jog!
To get out, could you pass me that log?”

Noodles the poodle said she’d help.
She tossed in a stick covered with kelp.

The stick wasn’t enough for Jack,
who really just wanted a good snack.

“But I don’t know what else to do!
Maybe I could jump in there with you?”

“I would like that a lot,” said Jack.
“My only friends are ducks who go quack.”

Noodles jumped and then said, “it’s quite dark!”

Random shortages as people prepare for a coronavirus outbreak

Toilet paper. Photo by author

Tonight I went grocery shopping—for science.

The experiment

Overseas, toilet paper has been scarce, and I’ve seen reports that certain necessities are running low at grocery stores in the US. I wanted to see for myself if reports that hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, toilet paper, and various grocery items were in fact in short supply, as the Internet would have me believe.

Since I live in St. Louis, it made sense to shop at my local Schnucks store, since that’s the main grocery store chain in the city.

I meandered through the produce and deli sections (a girl’s gotta eat!) and noticed…

There’s a lot of coronavirus misinformation out there — here are sources you can trust

Doctor with red stethoscope
Doctor with red stethoscope
Photo by Online Marketing on Unsplash

As fears ramp up about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), so do hoax sites, fake cures, conspiracy theories, and people out to make a quick buck.

Here are some resources you can use to find legitimate news and other information critical to helping you keep yourself and your family safe. I’ll also suggest some things to look out for so you don’t inadvertently share inaccurate information about the outbreak.

Coronavirus information from public health organizations

Below is a list of coronavirus resources from respected health organizations.

Tips on how to keep you and your family safe

Photo by Richard Thijeratt on Unsplash

Everywhere I go these days people are talking about the coronavirus (officially named COVID-19). They’re scared for themselves and their family, and it doesn’t help that the president is calling the whole thing a hoax. Many of my friends are asking if the coronavirus is really that bad, how to avoid getting sick (and where to buy masks), and if they need to be worried or not.

I’ve been following the news since the original outbreak and have tried to stay as informed as I can about the latest information about the outbreak.

Here are some tips on how to…

Rule #2 of Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling

Photo by Seven Shooter on Unsplash

As a writer, I’m constantly trying to figure out what I should write about next. Whether it’s for an article for freelance clients or my next fiction project, I’m always caught my personal interests and the marketability of my next project. Should I write what I think would be cool, or what I think will do well?

Based on what I’ve heard from fellow writers, it’s an age-old question without a clear answer.

If we turn to Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling by Emma Coats, the second rule is:

“You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an…

Story 8 for the 52 Stories in 52 Weeks Challenge

Photo by Jordan Donaldson | @jordi.d on Unsplash

He never saw it coming.

I’m a paleoclimatologist who studies evidence of climate changes in the fossil record. Even though I was looking way back in time, I was the one who was given the gift of seeing in the future.

When it came to predicting where the next disastrous flood or hurricane would hit, my accuracy was 100%. With that kind of record, everyone listened to ‘Stormy Bill’. I was at the top of the heap and was making money hand over fist with my video channel.

Eventually, I predicted that the melting of the ice caps would lead…

How a musician’s side project inspires me to keep pushing myself

Photo by Providence Doucet on Unsplash

The Irish traditional group Lúnasa just performed in St. Louis. Although I’ve been a fan for years, I’ve never had the opportunity to see them play live before.

In addition to being on tour, fiddler Colin Farrell is also doing a tune-a-day challenge for 2020. Each day he records a video and uploads it to YouTube.

Playing a song a day? No big deal for a professional musician, right?Here’s the catch: although he started off playing tunes he already knows, he’s shifted to writing a new song almost every day.

All of this was preamble to performing his latest composition…

Jackie Dana

Freelance writer, editor, & author who believes in the power of dreams. Loves cheese, gardening, & fairies. Former academic advisor. Find me at

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