Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 


123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789


You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.


Filtering by Tag: Kurt Vonnegut

Reading as an Alternative to Injury

Chrysta Brown

10 medical boot During my junior year at a performing arts high school, there was an epidemic of foot and ankle injuries. This is one of the clearest pictures I have of that year: A group of girls sitting against the dance studio mirror with one leg crossed in front of them, and the other elevated on piles of ice packs. It could be the middle of that memory, but at that time there are at least four of them sitting there with their expressions straddling the line between looking sad and trying to look sad.I remember my instructors’ expression more clearly. They were annoyed. They would address us, the uninjured, and say things like “That’s why you all get injured. You’re not warming up properly,” or “Maybe if you would hold your arms properly your ankles wouldn’t hurt.” We would sigh and take it, adjust our arms, and save our sighs and grumblings for the dressing rooms after class.

These hostile attitudes changed a week or so later when one by one the injured girls limped into the studio wearing a sneaker on one foot and a large black and medieval looking boot on the injured leg. “Tendonitis,” they informed anyone who asked and sometimes people who didn’t. They would be unable to dance, climb stairs, carry their books and book bags, go through metal detectors in the morning, or show up to class on time for anywhere from six to twelve weeks. The girls once chastised and accused of simply trying to get out of a dance class where now praised for watching in padded chairs in the back of the studio. Occasionally, the injured few would perform the arm and head positions of the dance we were working on and the teachers would turn their backs to the ones who were dancing with their whole bodies to correct the partial movements of the brave and broken ballerinas. It was impossible not to notice the difference in treatment. I saw the praise, attention, and compassion that came with being hurt. I wanted that. I wanted an injury too.

Two weeks later, I would sneeze in the middle of a math class. When I went to bring my head up from the display, I found that I couldn’t.

“What is wrong with you?” my friend asked, cackling at my crooked neck.

I brought my hand to my cheek and tried to pretend that I was merely leaning on the elbow on the desk thoroughly bored with trinomials. Unfortunately, there were a good six inches between my elbow and the desk. “I think my neck is broken,” I told her. I went to the nurse, who wouldn’t give me Advil or call my parents. Instead, she attempted to cure me with her favorite antidote: a bag of ice cubes that would within ten minutes and send streams of icy water down my shirt.

The diagnosis was whiplash. Whiplash. From a sneeze. Not only is it a ridiculous way to injure yourself, but after that doctor’s visit and a conveniently tied scarf, no one would look at me and know that something was wrong.

The chiropractor nudged my neck back to its rightful place. She cleared me to dance before I could even practice my expression of grief with just the slightest hint of heroic acceptance. She sent me home with a special pillow, a set of exercises, and an ice pack stamped with the name and contact information of the office. “You’re a dancer,” she reminded me. “I know you don’t want to take time off.” I stifled a scowl. She knew nothing.

I think the thing that all bodies have in common is the ability to break and rebel, but not all injuries are external. They don’t all get casts, braces, or doctors notes. Sometimes they are covered with ace bandages, baggy clothing, smiles, or a cheerful “I’m good. How are you?”

In Kurt Vonnegut’s Timequake, he talks about his motivation for writing. “Many people need desperately to receive this message: 'I feel and think as much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people don’t care about them. You are not alone.’”

Obviously, Vonnegut and I are talking about two different things. He’s talking about writing, and I’m talking about sacrificing the use of my limbs for a little kindness from my classmates and professors, but even so, I wish I’d read that book during that time period of my life. With the injuries that come with dancing and living, those seen and unseen, that information might have been nice to know.

The Ideal Writing Spot

Stephanie Smith

Stephanie Smith It seems that most famous writers create a certain habitat for their genius, a custom-made space where their creativity can flow forth uninhibited. Virginia Woolf had A Room of One’s Own, J. K. Rowling has her European café, and Kurt Vonnegut has his hardwood floor where he worked out of his lap. So what are the basic requirements for a writing spot?

A desk, of course, is essential (except, apparently, if you’re Vonnegut). Preferably, a mahogany, stylishly-distressed desk that just looks like classics have been written all over it. A desk in the tradition of Tolkien’s and C. S. Lewis’, which you can actually see on display (including the wardrobe that inspired Narnia) at the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College. Extra points if your desk has a secret compartment.

Next, coffee. Every writer needs an energy boost now and then. And if you’re self-employed, your caffeine addiction might even count as a tax deduction (don’t quote me on that…)! But don’t try to outdo French novelist Balzac, who was known to drink 50-300 cups of coffee per day.

Your writing space should also host somewhat of a cozy mess. Creative minds aren’t known for their organizational skills, you know.

Surround yourself with inspirational literary quotes. These will remind you not only how much you love, live, and breath writing, but how fun it is! Motivational catchphrases such as, “My stories run up and bite me on the leg” –Ray Bradbury, and, “Writing is…like a long bout of some painful illness." -George Orwell, should get you off to a good start!

You should also have something to fidget with as you wrestle your brilliant ideas down onto paper. Stress balls, those cool moldable erasers, etc. Now is the perfect time to develop a bad habit such as cracking your knuckles or chewing your hair. All for the sake of art, of course.

A muse: whether it’s a picture of your sweetheart, your cat, or your Edgar Allan Poe bobble-head, you should have something to attribute your strokes of genius to. And someone to take your frustration out on when writer’s block hits.

What’s your writing environment? Where do you hammer out your thoughts, poems, and stories?

Stephanie S. Smith graduated from Moody Bible Institute with a degree in Communications and Women’s Ministry, which she now puts to work freelancing as a book publicist and writer through her business, (In)dialogue Communications, at After living in Chicago for four years, traveling to Amsterdam for a spell, and then moving back home to Baltimore to plan a wedding, she now lives with her husband in Upstate New York where they make novice attempts at home renovation in their 1930s bungalow. She is a member of the Young Professionals of the Southern Tier and blogs for Moody Publishers at