Make every word count

Last night I went through my old MFA papers and stories. Of course, there are a lot of them, with the margins scribbled in red pen, the words crossed out. The pages, like a literary battlefield! The funny thing is, I don’t remember writing half of them. But what I do recall are the basic writing tools that helped me set a foundation for crafting clear and concise prose.

Also, I love this stuff! Wordsmithing can be a trip. There’s nothing like getting rid of the junk and crafting a compelling sentence. …


Stop rationalizing your way into relationships.

First, let me start by saying I’ve had my fair share of polyamory experiences.

These relationships are hard. They require a lot of internal work. Can they be rewarding? For certain types of people, yes. But after many months of attempting to give polyamory a try, I realized that not only was this type of relationship not for me but that this was something people shouldn’t feel they needed to try at all.

There seems to be a lot of pressure out there to give polyamory a try, that it is an enlightened way of loving and holding a relationship


#1 — Don’t be afraid to look stupid.

Back in middle school I wanted Meg Ryan’s haircut. That short choppy shag, flipped-up on the bottom. Cute as a bee. I even brought a picture to the salon, and after I watched the snipped layers fall to the floor, I finally got just what I wanted — a replica-do from You’ve Got Mail.

Perhaps that was my first dive into Nora Ephron’s world, into my love affair with rom com classics. When Harry Met Sally especially charmed me. (Yeah, yeah I know, Ephron only wrote the screenplay. But her influence is there!) I saw the film for the first…


Fiction Friday

I adopted my first sister when I turned thirty-three. I knew by then that I had wanted one, after all those years an only child. My mom, my dad, and me. Plus, there was the chance I would never marry, so what a perfect way to keep someone around.

What is the difference between a sister and a best friend?

Well, a sister is bound to you, generally by blood. But in my case, I had a contract that made the whole relationship official.

Not to mention, with the state of modern dating, there were so many women looking for…


From art-boy to big-boy.

“I won’t date a normal,” my friend said the other day. She was updating me on her Tinder journey. The types of men that came up and how she swiped.

“A normal?” I said.

“Yeah,” she said. “Like a basic b.”

I laughed, this friend of mine is one of the funniest. And of course, I could relate. We all have a type whether we like to admit it. For me, it used to be artsy guys, musicians, or writers — someone brainy, part rugged, who still managed to have style. It wasn’t until I read a whole lot of…


It’s all about considering the other person.

There’s nothing more satisfying than a good conversation with someone who is excellent at hearing and responding to what you have to say.

As an introvert myself, I’ve spent much of my life observing people, standing on the rim of conversation circles. I’ve witnessed gregarious talkers, shy talkers, punch-line talkers (you know, those who always complete the joke), laughers, and those who choose not to participate in conversations at all. It’s interesting to note how people share stories, and how they give and receive information. …


It’s okay to set boundaries in romance and love.

When I first told my friend Jerry that I required a proposal from my boyfriend before moving in, he thought I was crazy. Not just crazy but nonsensical.

“I don’t think you really know someone until you live with them,” he’d said, and looked at his wife, Sara, whose expression toward me read, well, rather impressed! It’s a dilemma for all couples, isn’t it? That we don’t really, truly know someone before we are sharing the chores with them, the same couch, the same bed. …

Hannah Marie

Writer, love & relationship geek, explorer of the outdoors. Let’s connect! Instagram @hannahpass

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