Fourth Wave
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Fourth Wave

This is an email from On the Crest, a newsletter by Fourth Wave.

The Hunt for New Writers Continues

And in many cases, pays off bigly (gotta give him that one; fun word!)

Photo by raza ali on Unsplash

After gaining many wonderful writers at the beginning of October, I figured I’d continue with my winning strategy. So I’ve been reading a lot of stories on Medium, and when I like them, inviting the authors to join our little band of heartfelt feminists on Fourth Wave, with great results!

Welcome to New Writers

I’m so proud and happy to welcome the following writers.

Christiana White has a melodious voice that draws me deep into her stories. I love the way she spins a tale, and how she doesn’t feel the need to introduce it or wrap it up with a bow at the end. She trusts her readers to draw their own conclusions, as in this dialogue that revolves around alcohol:
Two Sides of the Same Coin.

Tara Lyn Mallick’s voice is raucous and hilarious, making me laugh even when the content is grim. I think this one would make a great Saturday Night Live skit. It’s about everything that could possibly go wrong when a group of white people try to show up for the Black Lives Matter movement.
What Happened When My “Progressive” Neighborhood Decided to Have a Meeting About Racism.

Tara also contributed this gem about President Trump’s Covid strategy:
Trump Says That People Are Tired of the Virus. Well, No Shit.

John Kruse first grabbed my attention when he suggested that instead of “packing” the Supreme Court, Democrats should “unpack” it by impeaching Thomas and Kavanaugh and removing them from the Court. That sounded so good to this feminist that I sent a link to that story to the Biden/Harris campaign.

For Fourth Wave, John points out something we probably should have noticed before: that DJT has ADHD. October is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Month, so read all about it here:
We Already Know What’s Important About Donald Trump’s Health.

Mikester brings up a problem that’s very visible in San Francisco: how criminalizing homeless people perpetuates a brutal system. My own son has had similar experiences with the criminal justice system while homeless. So I was proud and honored to host Mikester’s story which is so personal to me:
Erasure is Attempted Murder.

Matthew John is another writer I’ve been following on Medium for his great political analysis. For Fourth Wave, he made the timely case for abolishing Columbus Day with a raft of historical facts, not the least of which is that Columbus didn’t land in North America. Read his smart argument here:
It’s Time to Abolish Columbus Day.

Bella DePaulo is a significant authority on being single. I first became interested in her oeuvre when I stumbled on this story reporting on a study of single women in their 70s who never had children. How are they doing? Contrary to popular expectations, just fine! So we were glad to host another one of her stories on Fourth Wave which debunks many myths about singles:
Single and Securely Attached.

And Thank You to Returning Writers!

Yong Yee Chong checked in from Malaysia to alert us to another great book and ask the question: “Am I conveniently being the woman everyone wants me to be?” in her latest contribution:
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

Donna Jenson came back with an uplifting piece on how revealing secrets can heal even the deepest wounds of sexual abuse in her personal story:
From Isolation to Community

Stephen Emmanuel Ogboh returned after a long absence to our open arms with another great poem from Nigeria in his contribution:
You Will Not Know Until She Tells You

Vicki Larson defended the honor of older women (like me) and refuted common tropes in her incisive
Stop Telling Older Women They Are Invisible

And Raychelle Heath graced our pages with contributions on the themes of feminism and equality in the prose piece
Sexual Harassment Changed Me But Didn’t Break Me

and the poem about “what happens in a black woman’s heart when fighting becomes too much
For Them

As for me, the most consequential piece I published was
The Story of My Abortion

With Amy Coney Barrett about to be seated on the Supreme Court and Roe v. Wade threatened, I figured the time was right to take this scene from a book I never published but still have hopes for some day. It’s true, and vulnerable, and potentially shaming, so when after one day only four people had read it, I thought about taking it down. I didn’t want to cast my pearls before swine!

Then I got a note from Medium saying they had decided to feature it. Since they recently changed several systems (again), I didn’t really know what that meant. I imagined it would be like the old curation, which sometimes gave a bump in readership, but other times didn’t. So I was well pleased when it turned out to be much more than that. Five days later, it’s been viewed 1.6k times and read 557 times with 93 “fans” (people who clapped). And I’m here to report that if you get a similar message, feel free to start partying right away! :)

The success of that story led me to take another scene from my unpublished autobiographical novel, this one about The Night My Mother Died

I’ve been thinking about publishing scenes from my books on Medium for some time, and really it was reading work by people like Christiana White and Jen Maidenberg, which read like short stories, that inspired me to take the plunge. So I’m grateful to them for much more than their contributions to Fourth Wave. I’m also grateful for their examples, as well as the encouragement and example of James Finn, who besides writing serious political analysis also serialized his fun and scary story The Bear and the Slaughterhouse Boy on the LGBTQ publication Prism and Pen.

Besides the two heavy pieces listed above, I tallied up
5 Reasons I’m Excited About the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
(hint: one of them is that my daughter is a scientist).

And I reviewed two entertainments: my Book Club Pick: A Burning,
and a list of What I Liked About “Lovecraft Country” on HBO.

I hope you find a few stories you want to read in this newsletter. Remember to clap and/or comment to support your favorite writers, and remember that you can hold down the clap function to clap up to 50 times.

And if you’re a writer, don’t be shy. Submit to the Wave!

I’ll sign off like Dr. Jill Biden does on Twitter:

12 days!

Patsy Fergusson
Fourth Wave



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