I have wanted to write about this for a long time.  I have so much to say about it. The problem is that I don’t have any stories about it– not that I am willing to share, at least. The world belongs to people who have the best stories.  Sexual liberation belongs to women who are willing to stand up and say “I have sex! I have this much sex with this many people, and it’s okay!” or  “I dress like this, so take that society!” Purity, modesty, and all that is pro-Virgin power comes from personal testimonies and Conservatively told bible stories.

And then there’s me.

Of course, I admire people who do tell their stories. They have changed my life, and the world really does belong to them.  Stories have a neat way of improving social consciousness, evolving into full-blown movements. [Insert Pokemon evolution joke here?].


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Lauren J. Barnhart

I am in the final stages before releasing my memoir, and for a few weeks there, I dealt with a paralyzing fear.  All I could think about are the attacks people will make on my character (though I’ve been attacked by readers before, on numerous occasions).   Or the ways in which certain people in the book will feel misrepresented or insulted (though I did my best to tell my story as it actually happened).

I listened to my dad telling stories about my sister and I over family dinner, and realized how unique each of our stories and perceptions really are.  He had no recollection of what we were really going through at different stages of our lives.  A bitter drink turned sweet with distance.  In fact, everyone from my youth has little idea of the double life I lived, now captured in my book.

“The risk is fearsome: in…

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This story was written for the DP weekly writing challenge. “Write a story behind the picture provided.”

This was my take.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

I took the picture. Hell, I took several- he just wouldn’t let go. My stomach was churning. I took note of an aluminum streetcar and pointed my Nikon in its direction and snapped away. It reminded me of a futuristic homage to better days.

A rounded man in a striped shirt struggled up the stiff and shiny cobbled steps. He reached out with his left arm and latched on to his wife’s, who seemed to have a little more vigor in her step. They were most likely going home for an afternoon siesta. Siesta: that’s all it seemed people did around here.

We were walking down a narrow sloped hill with beautifully crumbling buildings on each side, separated only…

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