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I love beginnings. Beginning of the week, beginning of the month. New season, new year. Beginnings crack the world wide open, inviting us to set intentions to chase our best self in the coming period.

This is especially true as January graces us with her presence and the Earth completes one more turn around the sun. With the end of December closing in, we all begin to reflect back on the year past and look ahead to the next 365 days (or 366 as it were, as 2020 is a leap year).

When it comes to New Years Resolutions, many…

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If asked, my family and friends would probably tell you I have a lot of walls and am hard to get to know.

Truthfully, my family is more likely to comment on my walls than my friends. I am someone who has a lot of acquaintances in my life, but few friends. This is by design. In personality parlance, I am an INTJ, 5, and a C. I’m a bit of a lone wolf, and my list of confidants is carefully cultivated. Once a person has made it to the role of “friend” and allowed into my inner circle, I…

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This is the first year I’m doing NaNoWriMo. Or, well, I guess I should say this is the first year I am sincerely putting in the work to do NaNoWriMo. “Giving it the old college try,” as my dad would say. In years past I’ve thought about attempting NaNoWriMo, sometimes even going so far as to make a half-hearted attempt on the first day, only to inevitably give up shortly after starting because the goal seems too insurmountable.

For those not in the know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Writers across the globe commit to writing 50,000 words…

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The world loves Lizzo. And what’s not to love? From killer performances at the VMAs to her “Cuz I Love You” album cover where she appears nude, Lizzo is the epitome of being comfortable in one’s skin. Her songs encourage people to stand up for themselves and not to settle. She shimmers with self-love and is unapologetically fat.

And yet, too many people support a fat woman like Lizzo but don’t show up for the fat people in their daily lives. Oh sure, Lizzo’s fantastic when she’s on stage in a bright yellow bodysuit and they#100percentthatbitch and dance along with…

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After years of writing personal essays and nonfiction, I have decided to return to my roots of fiction writing. It’s been several decades since I attempted to create a world and characters all my own, but in some ways, it’s proving to be just like getting back on a metaphorical bicycle.

For the most part, anyway. Other times, I stare at the blinking cursor in my document with mounting frustration because the words just aren’t coming. I’ll spend hours staring. …

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When I’m having a bad day as a writer — I mean a genuinely awful, no good, horrible, very bad day where I am suffering from severe writing imposter syndrome — there’s one thing I always do:

Go to Goodreads and read reviews of my books.

I want to tell you that I make a point only to read the positive ones. That I use this as an opportunity to find those glowing five-star reviews that assure me that I am a talented writer and have fans who love my books. But alas, no. …

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Last month, the Salem Reporter published a piece on the number of technology-related titles banned at prisons across the state of Oregon. The reason behind the banning — like the reason behind all prison book bannings — was tied to the safety of the facility.

Or, as the Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC) put it: Information would create clear and present danger.

Of the 1,600 banned books on the list, technology-titles make up a small percentage. Most titles are banned from Oregon prisons for being sexually explicit, which is a common reason practiced at prisons across the United States. Of…

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Over the weekend, a graphic began to circulate among many of the fat advocate influencers I follow online. Taken from Teen Vogue’s Snapchat, it shows a closeup of hands on a belly right above the headline MYTH: Body positivity is just for fat girls

Beneath that, the copy states “Some of the most vocal voices about body positivity are people who are plus-sized and female-identifying, and that leads to lots of people assuming that a requirement for being positive about your body or getting involved is that you have to be a fat woman or girl. This isn’t true.”

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It took me 36 years to realize I didn’t have to diet.

Up until that point, I believed that cultural narrative that bodies like mine — fat bodies — were a problem in need of a solution. The answer? Dieting. Of any variety. Weight Watchers. Calorie counting. Intermittent Fasting. Keto. Slim Fast. Mediterranean Diet. Carbohydrate Addicts Diet. I’ve done them all.

The message was always clear: It didn’t matter how dangerous the behavior was, as long as it makes me thin.

This means that on more than one occasion, for a significant amount of time, I engaged in behaviors that…

Jill Grunenwald

INTJ Slytherin Scorpio. The New York Times once called me “a stylish and sparkly writer.” My three favorite words are All Day Breakfast.

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