Browsing Tag

simplereminders

Converse-Station, Interview, writing

The Converse-Station: Angela Giles Patel Interviews Chloe Caldwell.

September 7, 2014

The Converse-Station.

Jen Pastiloff here. I’m the founder of The Manifest-Station. Welcome to The Converse-Station: A place where writers interview writers. With the site getting so much traffic, I can think of no better way to utilize that traffic than to introduce the readers to writers I love. The dialogues created within this series have stayed with me long after I’ve read them on the page. Today’s is no different. It’s between Angela Giles Patel (who happens to be one of my best friends and one of the 2 editors of this site) and the incomparable Chloe Caldwell, who is just an astounding writer, teacher, truth-teller.

By Angela Patel.

My first introduction to Chloe Caldwell was via her Letter in the Mail from The Rumpus. In the letter she admitted “I’ve never known how to write a letter, or a postcard, (or an email…?) without just going into the dumb shit in my brain.” And it continued on for nine glorious pages filled with all sorts of wonderful. By the end, I was smitten by her and immediately read everything I could get my hands, or cursor, on. Then I learned she was teaching an online course at LitReactor. I signed up, paid attention, and the rest is history. Continue Reading…

5 Most Beautiful Things, Beauty Hunting, Contests & Giveaways, Guest Posts

BeautyHunting.

September 2, 2014

By Jennifer Pastiloff.

I am so excited that Beauty Hunting is now a thing in the world. As you may or may not know, that’s the title of my book. Beauty Hunting. In fact, type in beautyhunting.com and you’ll see that it leads you….HERE! I want to make the idea of Beauty Hunting viral-a world of people scouring the earth for what lights them up, for what makes then nod their head Yes Yes Yes, for what makes them never want to give up searching for what is beautiful in a world that is sometimes not very forgiving. In a world that is filled with pain and loss and sadness and war and trash- to actively seek beauty.

And look, there isn’t just pain and loss and sadness and trash- there are births and cups of really good coffee and big wide ass smiles and flowers that smell so good you have to stop in your tracks. There’s all sorts of good stuff on the surface and also sometimes, very deep under the surface. Continue Reading…

Guest Posts, Inspiration, Owning It!

What’s in a Name?

August 25, 2014

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black1-300x88By Antonia Malchik

My friends call me Nia. Since I left college and people started calling me by my legal name, the one my mother chose because her favorite book at the time I was born (so the story goes) was Willa Cather’s My Ántonia, “my friends call me Nia” is what I end up telling them, eventually. Once we get to know each other well enough that having them call me “Antonia,” like a stranger, feels odd.

“Nia” is not a nickname that’s easily explained like Katie or Jenny or Jess. It requires a story, a narrative—where it came from, its genesis. When I started working at real jobs, in offices where I was an employee or freelancer or temp, I had to make a choice: was I going to be in each office long enough to warrant erasing my legal name in favor of the one I’d used my whole life? Explaining made me squirm, like flinging open window into my interior person so strangers could peer around inside. Continue Reading…

Anonymous, courage, Guest Posts, healing

Shame to Love: Learning To Live Again After Rape.

August 24, 2014

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black

Trigger warning: rape/stalking.

Note from Jen Pastiloff: This essay had previously been anonymous. I woke up and got this email this morning,”Dear Jen, Can you re-post the rape essay I wrote and change it from “Anonymous” to my name? It’s his shame to carry, not mine. I’m ready to be brave.”

So, here it is again. Angela Marchesani is no longer anonymous. I am so proud of her.

By Angela Marchesani.

On our second date, he raped me.

It wasn’t “rape” like I had imagined rape would be. I intended to have sex with him- when we first met, the chemistry was amazing. He was tall, fit, handsome, and charming. Plus, my aunt set us up, which in my mind made him safe. We danced to that stupid “Pina Colada Song” after drinks on date two, and going back to his place might have even been my suggestion.

But there we were, in his bedroom, and my condoms were in my purse downstairs. When I tried to get up to one, he pushed me back. I tried to explain what I was doing.

He called me a slut and held me down. I pushed against him, this 6-foot tall kickboxer, to no avail. I begged him to get a condom, but he wasn’t even hearing me any more.

Oddly, I remember saying to myself, “It’s not rape if you don’t fight back.” Maybe that should have been my nudge to fight this beast. Instead, I resigned.

Continue Reading…

Beating Fear with a Stick, cancer, courage, Free Stuff, Guest Posts

Cancer Is a Bitch. But Wait! There’s Good News Too.

August 21, 2014

Shaken Not Stirred: A Chemo Cocktail. A Comedy About My Tragedy. By Joules Evans. (hint: good news follows.)

Hi beloveds, Jen Pastiloff here. I’m the founder of The Manifest-Station. There’s a lot going on here with us trying to get the new site launched (eek! Thanks Carla White) but…it is very important to me that I get this post up asap as my dear friend Joules Evans wrote it. I met Joules when she drove from Ohio to Massachusetts to attend my Kripalu retreat last February.  (Yes, I am doing it again and it’s filling up fast!) Anyway, we have become buds, and, truth be told, I am obsessed with her and her book Shaken Not Stirred.. A Chemo Cocktail. The kindle version is FREE TODAY and tomorrow to celebrate 6 years aka 2190 fucking awesome days since hearing that damn word. each and every one a GIFT. even the hard ones.<< Joules words. That is the good news. To celebrate she made her book free for two days. Please get it and take the time to read what is below. Have your mind blown. Seriously guys, her book is moving and funny and divine.  I love this woman to the end of the earth and back. This post is an excerpt of her book. Please get it. And get it for people. And spread the word. And fuck cancer!

Continue Reading…

Beating Fear with a Stick, Guest Posts, R Rated, Sex

I Chose The Wave.

August 20, 2014

By Amy Botula.

Leave it to high school juniors to determine what their English teacher needed. I was invited to the School of Rock Showcase only to discover later my students had appointed themselves yentas. It had taken 14 years to happen, this gesture of match-making. Not when I was teaching elementary school in a mostly Mormon community, still in my twenties, and reminding parents to refer to me as “Ms.” Not when I taught middle school and was settling into my thirties. But now, at 40, courtesy of three shaggy punk rock kids.

Continue Reading…

And So It Is, Interview, Jen's Musings, Video

The Goodest Hardest Look At Yourself.

August 19, 2014

By Jennifer Pastiloff

Annie Sertich and I were having coffee last week (she is a fantastic author and actress) and she decided to give me an impromptu interview. I shared it on my Facebook page and got a myriad of reactions.

Listen folks, I would never, and I mean never- and you can quote me on this if you want to, which I doubt you do- but I would never knock waiting tables.

Continue Reading…

Beating Fear with a Stick, Guest Posts, healing

The Things I Couldn’t Name.

August 18, 2014

By Janine Canty

I was five or six the day I let my mother’s jade necklace fall out of a window. One minute it was there. The next it disappeared into thin air. Like a cheap magic trick It was early evening right before the streetlights come on. Homework was being cleared off of dining room tables. The ugly landing outside smelled like sausage and Del Monte carrots. Inside of apt.3, on the second floor, I was bored. Frightened and angry. Emotions cooked inside of me like soup. I couldn’t name them. I couldn’t control them. I hadn’t asked for them.

The rest of the world was getting ready for dinner. Mothers were burning palms on gravy steam. Fathers were arriving home with shirt collars loosened. Armpits an oval of sweat.

Continue Reading…

courage, depression, healing

Depressed Cake Shop.

August 17, 2014

By Valerie Van Galder

Like many people, I was devastated last Monday when, routinely checking my email, I learned that Robin Williams had taken his own life.

Just that morning I had been at Sony Pictures where I spent many years running various marketing departments and was now working as a consultant. I had stopped and smiled at the poster from RV, in which William played a hapless but well-meaning Dad taking his family on a vacation. I thought for a moment about how I had enjoyed working on that campaign, and then continued on to my meeting.

Now I thought about how depression is often accompanied by so much brilliance, so much humor, and then, as I do every day, I thought about my dad, and the journey that had brought me to running an initiative called The Depressed Cake Shop.

Continue Reading…

courage, depression

The Balls Out Truth About Depression.

August 13, 2014
Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the Tuscan hills above. No yoga experience required. Only requirement: Just be a human being.

Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the Tuscan hills above. No yoga experience required. Only requirement: Just be a human being.

By Amy Ferris.

This is what i know this morning

post coffee

pre wine

yesterday my friend asked me, did you ever try it? yes, i said, yes, i tried suicide.

obviously, this was all around the news of robin williams & his death.

yes, i said… i was young, much younger, and so sad, i was so miserable & so unhappy & i felt all alone in the world.

Continue Reading…

Anonymous, Eating Disorders/Healing, healing

I Am Afraid of Getting Better: A 21 Year Old On Having Anorexia.

August 13, 2014

Anonymous

I am afraid of getting better.

What kind of illogical statement is that? I wrote that down the other day in my journal at one of Jen’s workshops in England, and kind of baulked at what it even meant.  I know that I don’t want to continue the way I am, I definitely don’t want to get worse, but I am scared of getting better.

What is the other option? Is there even another option?

For the past three years I have been battling with anorexia.

I can’t really believe I just wrote that down.  I don’t think I have ever actually written that sentence down before.

I’ve never had a happy relationship with my body.  I always felt like I was too podgy.  I was the girl who used to forge her Mum’s signature to miss out on swimming lessons because of a persistent ‘ear infection’.  Really, I just didn’t want to put on my swimming costume and have to suck my stomach in, sit up really straight, and not put my legs all the way down when I sat down so they didn’t expand to look twice their normal size.  The thing is, I know looking back at photos of myself, and remembering the other girls at school, that I wasn’t actually big at all. Continue Reading…

courage, death, depression

Depression is a Duplicitous Asshole.

August 11, 2014

by Angela Giles Patel

Everyone battles something. Some of these battles are episodic and some rage over the course of a lifetime. Many of these battles are so private that they happen without anyone else even being aware of them taking place.

Today I learned that a man I respected for his ability to share himself so publicly died. His depression had reportedly been growing in severity and yet he still entertained. And I felt the harshest of reminders that just because someone is bold enough to speak openly about struggling with a disease, they are far from free of it’s grip. Just because someone’s job is making us smile, it doesn’t mean they are carefree–it just means they are very good at their job.

Continue Reading…

5 Most Beautiful Things, beauty, Guest Posts

You Can Have This.

August 10, 2014

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black1-300x88

By Jen Pastiloff. 

I want to show you something.

Come.

Here, sit with me.

There’s a cat here. I hope you don’t mind cats. Coffee is curled up on the bed with me. It’s threatening to rain outside and I’m sitting here on a bed at my sister’s house, just south of Atlanta. I’m staying in her back room with the weird exercise machine that simulates horseback riding. My nephew Blaise, proud owner of Coffee the Cat, was given the horseback riding machine to strengthen his core muscles. He has a rare genetic disorder called Prader Willi Syndrome which creates low muscle tone and a feeling like you are literally starving to death. All the time. Starving. To. Death.

Last night, Maddock, his 5 year old brother (proud owner of Sugar The Cat), climbed on it, and with his imaginary lasso, yelled Giddyup! Giddyup! before he tried standing on it like a surfboard. Which, I can’t say anymore without calling it a surfbort. (Thanks, Beyonce.)

So that’s in the room with me and Coffee The Cat and my shit that is sprawled everywhere and the book I have been reading, Once I was Cool, by Megan Stielstra*.

Coffee and Megan.

Coffee and Megan.

 

I want to show you what I mean by beauty hunting since I talk about it so much.

But how can I show you? How can I pull you- you, in your car or the parking lot or your room or your desk or wherever you are reading this, you, with your own set of ideas and beliefs about people and the world and the way things turn out and how people are- how can I get you in this room with me and this cat and this goofy rodeo horseback riding Panasonic machine and get you to believe me that when you listen to people and when you show up, like really show up, there is beauty everywhere.

And I think, who am I to show you, anyway? What the hell do I know? I haven’t gotten out of my pajamas today and I drank too much coffee and I’m just trying to not drown so what can I tell you about how people are and beauty and the way the world is?

I can’t. But I can share with you my journey.

That’s all we can do. Right? Continue Reading…

Anonymous, depression, Guest Posts, healing

Both Sides Now.

August 9, 2014

Hi guys, Jen Pastiloff here. I am the creator of The Manifest-Station. This gorgeous essay was submitted but asked to remain anonymous. 

Both Sides Now.

And I a smiling woman.   

I am only thirty.

And like the cat I have nine times to die.

There are dark, blood red spots on my right Top-Sider. They are, in fact, spots of my blood. I cannot bring myself to wash them off. I will occasionally look down at my biohazard shoe and think, oh yeah. That happened. This time last week. Oh yeah. A week ago today, I walked into my therapist’s office at 4pm, apparently still stoned out of my head on the 48 Klonopin I had taken the night before.

I didn’t mean to, exactly. I don’t think I did. I told her I took 47, but I had brought the bottle, giving it over to her, and as she counted the remaining yellow disks, one more was added to the total, creating a dosage of 24mg, 48 pills total. The week before, after a long period of clean time, I had taken 10. I hadn’t learned my lesson. Again.

Continue Reading…