My Real Life Modern Family

Featured, Lifeline, My Real Life Modern Family

On the Tenure Clock: A Cautionary Tale

2 Written by: | Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014 10:22am

image via mycollegesandcareers.com

image via mycollegesandcareers.com

As Goucher writing prof Kathy Flann endured five years of tenure-track hell, her health fell apart and she began to question her own creative work–you won’t guess what happened next.

When I landed what’s known as a “tenure-track” job teaching creative writing at Goucher College, it was the culmination of long and arduous quest. There were so many fiction writers clambering for university teaching positions that several hundred people would sometimes apply for an opening. Read More →

Featured, Lifeline, My Real Life Modern Family

Let It Be: The Complex Story of Coming Out to Family

0 Written by: | Wednesday, Apr 09, 2014 10:10am

image via FLIGRAFIE PHOTOGRAPHY

photo via FLIGRAFIE PHOTOGRAPHY

Baltimore writer Danielle Ariano tells a complex story of coming out to her family…but sometimes shrinking back in.

“You can’t tell your grandfather,” my mother said to me on one of my visits home.

We were sitting in the den watching TV. In recent months I’d started to consider the possibility of coming out to my extended family. I looked at her. Read More →

Featured, Lifeline, My Real Life Modern Family

Tribulation: A (True) Southern Fable

2 Written by: | Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 9:52am

 

image via moparmusclemagazine.com

image via moparmusclemagazine.com

When a childhood road trip turned stormy, humorist Jennifer McGaha imagined the worst–and her brother only made matters worse.

It was mid-July 1977, and we were cruising down I-40 in a 1969 Ford LTD on our way from North Carolina to the Grand Canyon. My father did not believe in listening to music while driving. He wore a light blue cap that said “Olin” in darker blue on the front, and he stared straight ahead, his eyes focused on the road. My mother angled toward him, one foot tucked underneath the other thigh. She filed her fingernails while she chattered. Read More →

Featured, Lifeline, My Real Life Modern Family

He Married Her Best Friend

1 Written by: | Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 10:38am

image via a pairofpears.com

image via a pairofpears.com

University of Baltimore MFA student Ellen Hartley found her truest love affair in a most unexpected way — through an equally emotional loss.

It began with a phone call.

Ellen, I’ve got dreadful news.  Helen died yesterday.  It was Myra, the sister of my best friend from music camp 40 years earlier.  I didn’t even know she’d been sick; over the years we’d lost touch.  I knew only that she lived on Long Island and had four children.  I was shocked and angry I hadn’t gotten to say goodbye. Read More →

Featured, Lifeline, My Real Life Modern Family

The Rucksack: What One Woman Carried to War

17 Written by: | Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 11:12am

image via female-soldier.com

image via female-soldier.com

University of Baltimore MFA student Lisa M. Van Wormer recounts poetically the contents of her rucksack when she served one long year in the Gulf region–the list of items will surprise you.

One knotted ball of light brown hair ties

One of the many challenges of being a woman in the Army was that your hair always had to be regulation: either cut into a bob that did not touch your collar or pulled back into a tight bun. Even in a sandstorm, even under a Velcro-strapped Kevlar helmet, perfection was required. Many of my fellow female soldiers had tools to make this magic occur: hair-colored bobby pins, hair bands with no metal on them that would blend in with a natural hair color (as stated in Army Regulation 670-1), gel and smoothers, even a sock cuff to pull off the “perfect bun” look. I knotted my thick, wavy red hair tightly each morning and always had my cargo pockets full of hair ties as close to my color as I could find, but inevitably by midday wisps would become unruly and slip out of ranks. Read More →

Featured, Lifeline, Links, My Real Life Modern Family

Staying Home: The World’s Most Awesome Dad Questions His Existence

11 Written by: | Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014 9:30am

MrMom-Still3I had the good fortune of knowing I was going to be an awesome dad years before I inseminated my wife. I was director of a day camp for 10 years, the kids loved me, and I even look like Steve from “Blue’s Clues.” “You’re going to be an awesome dad,” the parents would tell me daily, and not just the single moms trying to get a piece of this. And by “this,” I of course mean free daycare. So inseminating my wife was a mere formality in collecting my prize as the World’s Most Awesome Dad. Read More →

Lifeline, My Real Life Modern Family

The Inexplicable Nature of Seed Pods

0 Written by: | Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 9:30am

image via aeliope.blogspot.com

image via aeleope.blogspot.com

University of Baltimore MFA student Ian Anderson remembers his teenage summers at the beach with friends who were like brothers until they couldn’t be any longer.

I was sitting on the step in the garage of Greene’s Bike Rental with my summer friends, Dominic and Marty. Dominic was a year younger than me, wearing a long, white t-shirt and gym shorts—his uniform. Marty was a year older than me, but the shortest and with the kindest face. We were waiting for the cops to show up. Mr. Greene assured us the cops were coming, and our parents. I was 14 years old, an age when angry parents are infinitely worse than anything the judicial system can offer. Mr. Greene kept walking around the garage, cursing, coming back to us, saying, “you little shits,” and then walking around again. I was scared. I think Marty and Dominic were, too, but they didn’t show it, so I didn’t either. The garage door was open, framing a blue sky with cotton candy clouds, the kind you see on postcards. The wind was coming in off the sea, cooling the streets of Wildwood, where my family rented an apartment above my grandmother’s beach house every summer. It was a beautiful day outside, but we were in the garage. Read More →

Lifeline, My Real Life Modern Family

A Valentine Tale: Reunited after 25 Years

3 Written by: | Friday, Feb 14, 2014 10:00am

image via loveizlyf.blogspot.com

image via loveizlyf.blogspot.com

Right now I’m on a plane. It’s a Friday afternoon and I’m flying across the country from my home in Baltimore; when I get off this plane I will be greeted by my ex-girlfriend. It’s been 25 years since I’ve seen her.

We’ve both just turned 50 and found each other via Facebook. And we’re both single again. I learned that she was still living in California, where she’d moved shortly after we broke up. What would it be like to see her again? I wondered enough to make the leap. In  minutes I will find out. I have no idea what this reunion will hold — even though I’ve dreamed about it half my life. Read More →

Featured, Lifeline, My Real Life Modern Family

Fear of Injection

0 Written by: | Wednesday, Feb 05, 2014 8:00am

shotdrugBetsy Boyd – Baltimore Fishbowl senior ed. – discovers that fertility shots really make you want…your mommy. This essay was originally published at Medium.com. It is part of an ongoing series.

“You can’t reap your harvest without first planting seeds, right?”

My Chilean fertility doctor thinks farming metaphors can help someone woefully unscientific like me understand the intricacies of ART—assisted reproductive technology, for the uninitiated. Read More →

Lifeline, My Real Life Modern Family

Wretched of the Earth: When I Was a Wild Child

11 Written by: | Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 9:39am

author shot

author shot

Recently in a conversation with my mother about how special I was as a kid, she said, and I quote: “I wasn’t going to allow you to be the nasty little wretched sonofabitch you wanted to be.” Damn, Mom! She really lit in on me with that one, but she’s right. I was a little bad-ass growing up. Read More →

Most Comments This Week

2

On the Tenure Clock: A Cautionary Tale

Written by Kathy Flann

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014 1:32pm

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Charm City Cook: Channeling Julia Child

Written by Amy Langrehr

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014 12:49pm

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