Entries by jmphillippe

Advanced Generalist

I am a know-it-all. This is not a confession I make likely, because being called a know-it-all when I was growing up was not a positive experience. And yet, I couldn’t help myself. I liked knowing things. I still like knowing things. It goes deeper than needing something to feel superior about (I know something […]

Writers Need to Stretch

I’ve been hitting the keyboard hard lately, and even though I have adjusted  my set up with cushions and things like that, there is still no escaping the fact that extended time writing is hard on the body. Healthy body movement is one of the things I struggle with most. I have a tendency to […]

Regression to the Mean

Two days before Christmas, I had to put my beloved cat Oscar down. The holidays have been hard for me for a very long time. Grief is like a shadow that is always with you, but changes size and shape depending on what light is around. On the brightest moments of the brightest days, the […]

Frustration and Counting Your Spoons

I have had a very frustrating week, followed by a frustrating weekend. I suppose part of this is the nature of the holiday season — too many things squeezed into too little a space of time. Part of this is connected to my day-job and what feels like a never-ending and overwhelming work load. And […]

Spark

Sometimes, I feel stuck. Sometimes, all I have in me is a stream of consciousness dump… I am fumbling for words, searching my memory for rich sensory details, imagery and metaphor, a perfect picture painted with perspicacity, brought forth from my fertile imagination. I am new again, raw, an amateur who is just barely beginning […]

Essential Self-Care

The news isn’t good again. I can’t remember the last time I read the news and felt anything other than dread and sadness. I feel like a collective anxiety has taken over most everyone I know. In times like these, it is important to remember to take care of yourself — and easy to forget. […]

The Power of “Me Too”

One of the most powerful feelings in the world is that moment when you realize that something you thought just happened to you, that only you understood or experienced (often with fear and/or shame), also happened to someone you know. Somehow sharing the experience changes how you feel about it. It shifts the burden from […]

The Framing of Tragedy

The numbers keep going up. At this point, it’s 59 people killed, and over 500 injured after another American mass shooting.  When I was a journalism student, I learned about the power of framing a story. The best way to understand it is to think of taking a picture — there is only so much that […]

Running on Empty

I have been trying to write this blog for several hours now. I wanted to write something about Charlottesville, VA, and about white nationalism (how it came to be, and why we can’t just abide it). I wanted to write about meeting anger with compassion, and the struggle to do that. I also really want […]

Heroes Vs Villains

There is a saying that no villain really knows that they are a villain. We are all heroes in our own minds. But in fiction, it is also often true that heroes don’t know they are heroes. They resist the title. They push back against the events that would take them to heroic destiny. The […]