I choose wrinkles.

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When did you have stitches on your forehead, Momma? My daughter asked one night as I put her to bed. She blinked up at me with her serious face…and reached up to touch the wrinkles above my brow bone.

I didn’t, dear. Those aren’t scars; they’re wrinkles. People get them as they get older.

Satisfied by my answer but mildly horrified by the idea of permanent skin marks without trauma, she nodded before hugging her bear a little tighter.

Yes, aging leads to wrinkles.

They’re not a sign of disease or internal putrefaction but the physical manifestation…


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Helicopter parents catch a lot of heat these days. Read any article about Millennials, and you’ll likely find a section ripping their parents for coddling, over-praising, and essentially ruining them for successful adulthood. The system of hyper-insulating our young doesn’t end in the home, however, as I quickly learned as a college instructor.

After graduate school, I spent two years teaching Composition at a small university. The first year I taught freshman on campus and the next I was sent to a local high school to teach the same courses to seniors looking to graduate with college credit.

During both…


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Writers dominate Medium. Each day, someone sits at a computer thinking of ways to inspire other writers to keep going, get better, make money. I read these stories.

Your stories.

Mostly, they help but sometimes they don’t. It’s not that writing is difficult. Anyone who’s ever tried to string a few words together and make them look fancy knows difficult doesn’t begin to cover it. But writers feed off their own frenetic tendencies. Even when their hearts and minds scream to slow down, they resist, fearing that to stop — even for a minute — means defeat. So we keep…


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Organization is overrated.

It’s like the chaos of our world instills a feeling of helplessness that makes us crave structure.

Experts pen massive how-tos on decluttering and organizing one’s home, and people flock to them. Because we all want to be clean. And disorganization feels too messy.

As a writing instructor, my lessons hyper-focused on logical flow of ideas. I made charts, cheat sheets, diagrams.

The students still struggled.

The main reason for this difficulty, I’ve come to realize, is the misguided notion that people arrange and understand thoughts in the same way.

Take memory, for example. We all process…


photo: Kellepics on Pixabay

The dreams started when I was nine.

In second grade, we moved from the city to a suburb — better schools, better house, better life. Though most kids reluctantly accept change, my aversion has always been a bit extreme.

I remember delighting in the new house and cozier neighborhood. Getting my own room didn’t hurt the case, either. What ignited my anxiety was the paralyzing thought of making new friends in an unfamiliar school.

I’m shy; they’ll hate me. I can’t talk to people I don’t know. The teachers will be mean.

Needless to say, this transition rocked what little…


photo: Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Hi, my name is Laura. And I would eat your freaking toddler if she were covered in maple syrup.

You see, I have what some would call a sugar addiction, and I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember. The anti-sweet movement has me doubting the sustainability of this partnership with poison, however, and I’ve recently fallen prey to the belief that sugar is bad. So after several months and myriad attempts to release sugar’s sweet sweet hold on my consciousness, I’m admitting defeat.

I can’t give up sugar. Not entirely.

But every good failure deserves its…


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I freaking love the Beastie Boys.

When I was 17, I had one of those crazy, unsettling crushes for a guy in his early twenties. He was detached but not in a cold way. Funny but not because he tried. And he was nice.

He was obsessed with all things Beastie — knew the words to every song, collected tidbits of band member trivia.

At first, I listened only to find common ground with him for whom I pined. …


my face. every day. photo: Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

My son has a robust craving to please…well, himself. This strong will doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I hear it might one day provide the foundation for good leadership skills — independent thinking being a highly-sought-after trait and all.

But let’s speak the truth here. I’d rather he stretch those freethinking muscles after he leaves my house.

Most days, his attitude challenges my patience. Sometimes, though, his desire to do the opposite of what rational adults advise leads me to a much darker question.

If one of nature’s primary goals is to perpetuate only the strongest, smartest of…


photo: Drew Hays on Unsplash

Perfect writers don’t exist. We all have room to improve.

I’d also venture to say many of us have space in our schedules for more work — paid work. Real jobs that offer fair compensation for challenging, ongoing employment are rare, to say the least.

So where do most of us go to find hope, a network of others who’ve survived the early stages of rejection and generated a semi-livable life in the savage world of written communication?

Why, the internet, of course.

The problem with that tactic should be apparent. The digital realm offers many things, but consistency isn’t…


#illstirfryyouinmywok

photo: averie woodard on Unsplash

I woke up this morning feeling nostalgic. I can’t help it. I spent my teenage years glued to a group of girls with whom I’m still friends, but we’re sprinkled all over the country now and sometimes I miss them — so badly I want to wear body glitter, eat no bake peanut butter pie, and play songs from the Jagged Little Pill album until the urge to cut myself subsides.

We’re grown-ups now. Mostly. We have careers, raise children, pay mortgages. Yet when we come together and chat — even in a brief text —something happens. The façade…

Laura Diane Duarte

Just tryin to communicate here, people. www.lauradianewriter.com

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