Belonging and Being a Writer of Color at FFW

I lived in Central Asia for a few years, and I loved it!  But the weather was cold (think Southern Siberia); the winters were long; I never became fluent in Russian by any means; and there were aspects of the culture I never understood. In fact, I remember feeling incredibly angry and frustrated with myself […]

Learning to Listen

Many years ago in the midst of a particularly heated argument with my husband, I made a tearful plea: When I’m angry, what if rather than getting defensive you just listened to me? An unfamiliar look came over his face and he stood speechless. Clearly, this was a new thought. When he dialed down, he made […]

Safety Net

When it came to Jonathan’s education life was a balancing act on a high wire with no safety net beneath or if there was one, it had holes in it. Yesterday as I read a Haiku written by my son I was swept away in a torrent of memories and emotions. ENDURANCE I am a […]

White Privilege Means I Can Look the Other Way. It’s Got to Stop.

What do we do in the wake of Charlottesville? What good are words on the Internet when hate, death, and violence are the order of the day? How does one white woman writer with a small platform engage issues of racism now — when videos show us how hate mushrooms, how the image of God […]

I’m Thankful for my Grief About the Election

It would be so much easier to bear a Trump presidency if I hadn’t learned about structural racism. Easier if I’d avoided stories from my black and brown friends about micro-aggressions, ignored history, police violence, and daily grief. Easier to stay positive if I hadn’t figured out exactly how sexual assault happened in my high […]

A Peculiar Kind of Christianity

One of the verses that was drummed into my head as I was growing up in the church was 1 Peter 2:9. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his […]

A Mudroom Exclusive: An Interview with Shannan Martin

Hi guys, Ashley Hales here. At The Mudroom, we love to let you know you’re not alone. We can sit in The Mudroom together, drop off all of our stuff, and know that we have a tribe who listens, understands, and can help hold all the crazy.  And we’re privileged to do that even virtually, […]

Black and White Narratives

If you’ve ever spent time around old country folk, you know how they’ll spend 5 minutes getting the date and weather right for a story. “It was spring…no wait, it was June, because that was when my daughter…no wait, that would have been in ’71 because…” I’ve been thinking about what and how we remember. […]

Finger Pointing and Neighboring

Like so many others, I am following the developments in Dallas, Minneapolis, Baton Rouge, Kansas City and Florida, And I know that there will be fingers pointed. I could point my finger at the police, who disproportionately kill unarmed black men, who are seven times as likely as white men to die at the hands of police. […]