Sign in

Telling Stories in Istanbul | jodicowles.com

Which is why I focus on the other 99%

I’d just graduated from a couples-churn-out-factory masquerading as a university and was being forced to attend a marriage seminar by my lifelong best friend — chiefly because she was the speaker and needed someone to run the sound equipment for her — when I received the, hands down, best marital advice I’ve ever been given.

Let me be clear, at the time I had no real interest in the topic. Not only had I just endured four long and nuptial-filled years, where I was not even given the satisfaction of pelting friends with rice because that was when we were…


And why it took until now to admit it

I remember sitting in the theater while Matthew McConaughey gave his closing argument in the movie, A Time to Kill. He was describing in detail a horrific attack on a small black girl, asking us to imagine it happening at each step of the way, and I was weeping.

And then he choked out a line I still remember, 24 years later:

“Now imagine she was white.”

And it made a difference.

Not in a way I could understand, not in a way I had ever been conscious of before, and certainly not in a way I could articulate. …


Asking for a friend

I have many skills, but Exhibit A above will quickly show you that drawing is not one of them. As I was looking at my masterpiece this morning, it got me thinking — at what point is my 19-month-old daughter going to start judging me on my (in)ability to draw an adequate cat or notice that 75% of my animal sounds are indistinguishable?

And how soon after that will she start judging me on things that really matter, like my lack of fashion sense or the fact that she’ll be able to speak three languages better than me?

I’m quite…


As it turns out, a pandemic is similar to every other crisis in life

In early March, I was averaging three or four hour-long runs a week, right on schedule for an April half marathon my husband and I were planning to enter.

This morning I barely finished two miles on the treadmill and it felt like I could taste blood in my lungs.

Stupid pandemic.


Is Your Garden Failing?

Several days ago in passing a friend mentioned the term cultivating faithfulness.

It quickly brought to mind an image of ground hardened almost to cement, and after a moment staring in dismay, I recognized the scene.

It was the plot where my fledgling and always finicky self-control plants used to grow — never thrive, mind you — but there were usually a few sickly leaves on each plant.

In these days at home, I’ve let myself go in many ways, excusing it with the uncertainty and stress, turning an intentional blind eye to plants withering day by day, while I…


Volume 6: the Jacker Revolution in Branch 12, 384–412 PST

Preface

As mentioned in my previous volumes, this series is an attempt to provide as extensive a history as possible of the Jacker phenomenon, as witnessed in each of its various iterations throughout the 16 branches of our species.

Unlike several of our branches who broke from the Collective immediately, or others who swung from side to side each time a certain number of generations passed, Branch 12 has the unique qualifier of majority adherence to the Collective until approximately the mid-350’s, Pulse Standard Time (PST), when early reports began to surface about Jacking in the outer settlements.

There is…


Flash Fiction

Something moves in the black. Shimmers. Squirms.

I’m used to the darkness, so the movement is startling and uncomfortable somehow, but also mesmerizing. There’s some kind of light, some slight gloss of reflection. It wiggles and twists and I struggle to make sense of it.

Is it a worm? A snake? The thought of it joining me here repulses, but I don’t think I’ve yet guessed right.

It’s changing every moment, struggling, growing in size and — pushing — somehow. Pulsing from somewhere within, it continually lengthens.

And then suddenly it’s changing in a different way and the picture clarifies…


Flash Fiction

My eyes are drawn to the brief flickers of flame, well-masked by a tremendous amount of smoke. The bitter taste of it sits on my tongue as the awful sounds of battle clang in my ears.

Then she emerges. Staggers, really. Her arms are at her sides, her hands empty. Somewhere back there in the smoke she lost her sword and shield.

The remains of a helmet cling to her head, but there’s a significant chunk missing. There are so many injuries it’s difficult to know where to begin — the wound on her forehead, mixing a trail of blood…


A Short Story.

The sand is mesmerizing. The way it moves, drifts — hovers, almost — over the surface of the beach. One might almost be forgiven for thinking it was alive because it moves like it has intelligence, or maybe more like the wind moving it has intelligence.

Directing. Guiding. Showing it where to reach and leading it through its complicated dance with the water always coming and going.

The wind is relentless — it hasn’t stopped blowing all afternoon.

And I realize, suddenly, that it’s a lot like our Enemy. That realization causes a shudder to pass through my body, completely…


It’s time to stop using US and THEM.

I would like to know what you think.

Not what the media says you think, they who gain ratings every time they can get us to fight one another on camera. Not what the politicians and leaders say you think, they who benefit from glomming us into groups and then pitting us against one another. Not even what I think you think based on what group or box I’ve previously used to categorize you.

And no, I’m not talking about the memes or the “she says it better than I ever could’s” that many of us tweet and share on…

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store