Work

Previously published

FACES of Memphis: Susan Graf, Founder of FedExFamilyHouse, StyleBlueprint-Memphis, September 25, 2017
“The founder of FedExFamilyHouse and an active volunteer, Susan recognized that a family traveling 6,000 miles for complicated surgery and follow-up treatment would have unique challenges, but above all else, would have the universal needs for food, shelter, safety and love.”

FACES of Memphis: Amy Faulk, CEO & World Champion Racer, StyleBlueprint-Memphis, August 14, 2017
“Amy Faulk’s automotive education began at her father’s body and radiator repair shop in Union City, TN, where she and her brother spent their days learning the parts and processes that keep cars running. Under the watchful eye of a father who didn’t believe women should drive at all, Amy never imagined that she would one day be drag racing at 260 miles per hour.”

The Bluff City’s Biking Revolution, StyleBlueprint-Memphis, August 4, 2017
“Just seven years from our low point, Memphis has made dramatic progress in becoming bike-friendly, and thanks to city planning and grassroots efforts, biking is now a realistic and enjoyable option for everything from work commutes to weekend adventures.”

FACES of Memphis: Tonya Dyson, Music Aficionada & Advocate, StyleBlueprint-Memphis, July 24, 2017
“Both onstage and off, Tonya Dyson sings the soul of Memphis. An accomplished professional performer as well as an energetic creator and supporter of the arts, Tonya is building on the hallowed ground of Soulsville and beyond.”

FACES of Memphis: Yancy Villa-Calvo, Artist & Activist, StyleBlueprint-Memphis, June 26, 2017
“She was pursuing a master’s in teaching while also serving as CBU’s director of academics for graduate and professional studies when a medical crisis forced her to balance her well-being with her constant drive to serve and engage. Fortunately, from that challenge came the opportunity to change course and dedicate herself to communicating through art.”

FACES of Memphis: Natasha Sen-Fizdale, StyleBlueprint-Memphis, June 12, 2017
“As the owner of marketing and design agency The Creative Penny, Natasha Sen-Fizdale knows the power of a strong personal brand. She expresses her own through social media, where more than 30,000 followers keep up with her style, travels, professional ventures and, of course, fandom of the Memphis Grizzlies.”

Another April, still snowing, Medium, April 16, 2017
“I realize it seems silly to think that as a copywriter in Memphis I’d ever have this type of bond with an international superstar, but the thing I knew about Prince is that you really never could know.”

The Long-Life Magic of Not Giving a F*ck, Medium, March 3, 2017
“I’ve been scurrying for a few days getting ready for the show and it takes me a few minutes to settle in and enjoy the music, but as I finally do, something dawns on me: These people are old.”

The Wheelhouse: How to React to a Story of Rape, Memphis Flyer, May 21, 2014
“As much as most of us know that it’s never okay to blame a rape victim, it’s hard to resist the urge. We’re biologically hard-wired to believe that normalcy prevails.”

The Wheelhouse: Congrats, Josh, You Made the Right Choice, Memphis Flyer, March 25, 2013
“What’s really amazing about Memphis right now — and what must surely set your positivity phasers to stun — is its potential.”

The Wheelhouse: Hillary Clinton vs. Michelle Shocked, Memphis Flyer, March 19, 2013
“Now, to be fair, Michelle Shocked never embraced being a gay icon. She sure did embrace gay money, though.”

The Wheelhouse: Dorothy Didn’t Surrender, Memphis Flyer, March 12, 2013
“When Disney got hold of the Wizard, they imagineered themselves up a pseudo-prequel that combines the worst of modern focus group mentality and old-fashioned gender roles.”

The Wheelhouse: Living a Gluten-Free Lifestyle, Memphis Flyer, March 5, 2013
“Trying to fight a non-stop battle against a dust-mote-sized foe feels, quite simply, impossible.”

The Wheelhouse: Lee Smith and the Southern Story-telling Tradition, Memphis Flyer, February 27, 2013
“The most tragic details are prone to being reshaped into comic asides, or, if they don’t serve, simply thrown aside. Whether that’s selective memory, artistic license, or flat-out denial is hard to say.”

The Wheelhouse: Keep Programs for Gifted Children, Memphis Flyer, February 20, 2013
“We need smart kids. We need them to get smarter and more creative and be the generation who thinks up better solutions than what we have now. And we need them here.”

The Wheelhouse: A Fond Farewell to the Hi-Tone, Memphis Flyer, February 12, 2013
“The room was a little rough and grimy, but the atmosphere was homey. Well, if your home had a beat-down pool table and a bathroom unfit for company.”

The Wheelhouse: Hang Up and Talk, Memphis Flyer, February 5, 2013
“Okay, you caught me. I’m an old crank. Or at least, this is the thing that makes me feel like one: Now that we have phones that are small enough to be ignored, they are never, ever ignored.”

The Wheelhouse: The Genius of Stacey Campfield, Memphis Flyer, January 29, 2013
“Nothing sharpens the mind and academic prowess like the weight of your family’s well-being on your underage shoulders.”

The Wheelhouse: Wisdom from the Mind of a Child, Memphis Flyer, January 23, 2013
“As a Memphis public school attendee and child of the new millennium, he’s got a grip on the essence of the struggle for civil rights.”

The Wheelhouse: Winter is Here. Be Very Afraid, Memphis, Memphis Flyer, January 16, 2013
“No one has ever, in the history of meteorology, experienced a winter storm of this magnitude. Well, except for everyone north of St. Louis, who would call this frozen typhoon by its more common name: January.”

The Wheelhouse: Threat-of-Gunpoint, Memphis Flyer, January 9, 2013
“I don’t know why it took so long, but at that moment, I realized how deeply, badly in trouble I could be.”

The Wheelhouse: Gator Bowl Redux, Memphis Flyer, January 2, 2013
“As I watched the game in Jacksonville this week and saw today’s students doing all the same things (well, except for freezing their asses off), all those numb-toed, sore-throated hours came spinning back to me.”

The Wheelhouse: Keeping the Monster at Bay, Memphis Flyer, December 19, 2012
“It’s a truth we try to swaddle in waffled cotton and tighten down in five-point harnesses, but the reality is that we are all one fallen oak limb, one slippery intersection, one frayed wire away from potential disaster.”

The Wheelhouse: Fiscal Cliff Notes, Memphis Flyer, December 12, 2012
“I’m no economist (I mentioned that I kept a business afloat on personal credit cards, right?), but I start feeling a little like one when all the current budgetary rhetoric flies around because the financial mess we’re in as a country feels a little too familiar.”

The Wheelhouse: Memphis: Future Games, Memphis Flyer, December 5, 2012
“We have holes all over the city, from downtown storefronts to suburban foreclosures. But what’s making Memphis a must-see is how we’re planning and working and collaborating to fill them.”

A More Humane Society, Memphis Parent, December 1, 2012
“Over the course of the past year volunteering at HSMSC, Brianna has experienced a shift in her perspective that transcends animal welfare. ‘Once you realize that all of these animals have a story, it makes you think about other people differently.'”

The Wheelhouse: What Do You Want for Christmas? Memphis Flyer, November 28, 2012
“I’m not sure if that’s his humility or guilt talking, but even on my meanest mommy days, I don’t think I could give my kid a toothbrush for Christmas.”

The Wheelhouse: Home for Thanksgiving in Minnesota, Memphis Flyer, November 21, 2012
“Dateline: Minnetonka, Minnesota. Home of the eponymous moccasin, Tonka trucks, and the purifying lake waters touted by Prince in Purple Rain.”

The Wheelhouse: Going Gluten-Free Is A Big Change, Memphis Flyer, November 14, 2012
“I’m not better or smarter than anyone walking around with an undiagnosed illness, but I’m maybe just a little more stubborn and cynical. And I encourage everyone to be the same.”

The Wheelhouse: Well, An Election Happened, Memphis Flyer, November 7, 2012
“The good ol’ Keillorized Democratic stronghold of my upbringing was infiltrated by tea-partiers, which doesn’t even make any sense. No one’s ever been served tea in a Lutheran church basement. My people are coffee-drinkers.”

The Wheelhouse: It’s Halloweek, Memphis Flyer, October 31, 2012
“I need to make this quick, because I have to finish building a four-foot-tall crayon from Amazon boxes and craft paper.”

The Wheelhouse: Pink October, Memphis Flyer, October 24, 2012
“The arrival of October brings a wash of red, orange, yellow … and pink. With its designation as Breast Cancer Awareness month, October has become a pastel paean to mammary memory.”

The Wheelhouse: Time to Listen, Memphis Flyer, October 17, 2012
“The televised debates have been a cufflinked form of bloodsport, with fans poised on either side to cheer on their man and see all exchanges as points for their own team.”

The Wheelhouse: A Dog’s Story, Memphis Flyer, October 10, 2012
“She wasn’t the prettiest dog at the park; most of her left side was shaved to the skin, and large scars were visible in the bare patches. Without exception, everyone asked what had happened to her, and each time the volunteer at her side calmly replied, ‘She was set on fire.’”

The Wheelhouse: The Rites of Autumn, Memphis Flyer, October 3, 2012
“The Yankee in me is hunkering down, preparing for the possibility that there might be 32″ of snow on the ground tomorrow. The Southerner feels the relief of surviving the worst of the year and having weeks of honeyed skies ahead.”

The Wheelhouse: Going Mormon, Memphis Flyer, September 26, 2012
“Looking back, it’s pretty easy for me to understand how I was drawn to Mormonism’s aggressively familial environment. The members were really nice, the community was protective, and the desserts were fantastic.”

The Wheelhouse: No Boys Allowed, Memphis Flyer, September 19, 2012
“‘Packing up will be easy because we have a man to help us,’ she said, leaning coyly against the boy. I felt like one of the arrows had flown astray and hit me in the gut.”

The Wheelhouse: A Very Special Episode of The Wheelhouse, Memphis Flyer, September 12, 2012
“The fall TV season, with all its color and splendor and ill-conceived new premises, is descending upon us. Unfortunately, I’ll be missing out on most of it, with only a few furtively DVR-ed programs caught before bedtime.”

The Wheelhouse: The Manassas 10, Memphis Flyer, September 5, 2012
“They’re not only setting high expectations over there, they’re eliminating excuses. And when you’re dealing with hundreds of teenagers, that’s a critical first step.”

The Wheelhouse: Something in the Air, Memphis Flyer, August 29, 2012
“When I first moved to Memphis, the new pollen and unfamiliar ground cover assaulted my sinuses. Norwegians, it turns out, were never intended to encounter Bermuda grass.”

Southpaw: Chief Justice’s Rough Draft, Main Street Journal, June 26, 2012
“We don’t know if you noticed, but the Court spends the day in ankle-length black wool. So let’s just save some time before Clarence goes commando and get right to what you’re all waiting for.”

A Plain-Text Email to My Freshman Year, Punchnels.com, May 21, 2012
“Depeche Mode. Really—that’s his move. And what’s worse, it will work.”

Babies, Elephants, Walks, Main Street Journal, July 17, 2012
“I held my baby on my hip and looked out on their miniaturized veldt. “Tyranza,” I said, my voice no louder than if I were talking to a friend beside me. The stately matriarch turned to look at me.”

Southpaw: Sweet Home Shelby-Co, Main Street Journal, June 19, 2012
“Standing with my rolling suitcase to buy a three-day pass, I knew I looked for all the world like some out-of-town yokel off for a few days in the big city.”

Southpaw: Time Out of Mind, Main Street Journal, May 15, 2012
“The fact that infant mortality is a battle still needing to be fought in a major city in the U.S. reveals a “mommy war” that can’t be summed up by a staged, intentionally provocative photograph of a middle-class woman with every parenting choice at her disposal.”

Southpaw: Our Blessing and Our Curse, Main Street Journal, May 1, 2012
“Perhaps no style of music represents Memphis better than the blues. It’s low-slung, self-deprecating, heart-broke, funny, sly and sexy. And yes, it can be damn repetitive.”

Southpaw: A Modesty Proposal, Main Street Journal, April 18, 2012
“I’d like to strongly suggest that the Tennessee state legislature support the most scientifically based method for preventing unwanted sexual activity among adolescents: mandatory sensory deprivation of teenagers.”

Southpaw: No Stopping Point Short of Victory, Main Street Journal, April 3, 2012
“Memphis had an opportunity in 1968 to make a statement against injustice that resonated throughout the country. The loss of that opportunity, shadowed by the loss of Dr. King, settled into the long list of great-things-that-weren’t, another moment sabotaging our civic self-esteem.”

Southpaw: All the Voting Ladies, Main Street Journal, March 20, 2012
“In the last five presidential elections, women have had higher turnout (and less conservative voting patterns) than men. Combined with the basic mathematical fact that women are the majority, it would stand to reason that nothing against our interests should get past us.”

Southpaw: Being Memphisotan, Main Street Journal, March 6, 2012
“Not only do I own cowboy boots, I’ve had them resoled. I’m pretty sure that’s a step toward becoming a naturalized citizen, right after dropping the second A in Graceland and somewhere before running against a Ford for local office.”

And then some older stuff that I can’t link to anymore, plus the Chicago Tribune column misquoted by Newt Gingrich  …

My Words: Personal credit crunch was a blessing in disguise, January 22, 2012
“As someone who came of economic age in the late ’90s, it was tricky to grasp the idea that a new balance transfer offer wouldn’t always come in the next day’s mail.

My Words: Veterans themselves are symbols of service, The Commercial Appeal, December 18, 2011
“I was raised with the awareness that my dad was a Vietnam veteran, but other than a tucked-away photo album and the occasional appearance of his dress blue hat in our dress-up box, there were no visible reminders of his time as an Army officer.”

My Words: Southern graces put Midwesterner in hometown limbo, The Commercial Appeal, November 6, 2011
“I’d lived in four different states by the time I turned 18, but Memphis was the first place anyone ever asked, “You’re not from here, are you?” as soon as I opened my mouth.”

New franchise works to foster a love of science in Mid-South students, The Commercial Appeal, May 5, 2008
“One would never suspect that behind the door of Suite 106 in a Bartlett industrial park, a mad scientist lurks.”

Old City Millwork: Music to their ears, The Commercial Appeal, April 21, 2008
“After 20 years of audio engineering and production, including 12 years operating recording studio Memphis SoundWorks, Hedges can concentrate amid cacophony. But instead of drums and electric guitars, his ears are now filled with the sounds of table saws and planers.”

Thoroughly Modern Midwifery, Memphis Parent, October 2004
“For women interested in midwifery care, the choice can be confusing — what’s the difference between a CNM and a CPM? Can I have midwife care in a hospital? What if I want to have my baby at home?”

The Quiet Complication: How depression affects mothers and newborns, Memphis Parent, October 2004
“Though it’s more common than preeclampsia or gestational diabetes in pregnant women, new mothers are rarely prepared for the onset of post-partum depression.”

Family, Bed, Fertile Ground, Fall 2004
“I love sleep. I love it the way other people love food or wine or impractical shoes.”

Mothers Re-Examine Circumcision, Memphis Parent, August 2004
“Ammonia injections. Snake fat. Circumcision. What do these things have in common? All three were used as medical treatments during the Victorian era.”

MINI Me, Fertile Ground, Spring 2004
“Unfortunately, I don’t actually live in a Doris Day movie. I live in a world of rear-facing car seats and gigantic all-terrain strollers.”

Hospital Birth How-Tos, Fertile Ground, Winter, 2003
“I resigned myself to a hospital birth, but to make things even more complicated, I was determined to have a low-intervention labor and delivery.”

Mother Love Found At Mothersville, Memphis Health and Fitness, September, 2003
“Many Memphis moms have been eagerly awaiting a parenting resource that sits happily outside the mainstream.”

Beyond Multiple Choice: Innovations in Professional Testing, CLEAR Exam Review, Summer, 2003
“We are watching the constant expansion of technology in our daily lives, including in the areas of learning and assessment.”

The Inactive Person’s Guide to Pre-natal Workouts, Fertile Ground, Summer, 2003
“I just seem to be missing the gene or the neuron or the inspiring inner Oprah that makes other people feel slack and depressed if they sit around too long.”

World Wide Womb, Fertile Ground, Spring, 2003
“Now several years and hundreds of bookmarks later, I find myself asking a similar question: how did anyone survive pregnancy before the Internet?”

The Church of Baseball, Memphis Health and Fitness, July, 2003
“When we were both very small, my sister and I learned how to bat left-handed … If we bothered asking why, my dad answered in a very logical tone, ‘Because you’ll be one step closer to first base.'”

Curing the Race, The Memphis Flyer, September 20, 2000
“But what do men know about breast cancer? And why should they bother to learn?”

Only one label for Tiger: The best, The Chicago Tribune, April 18, 1997
“So why isn’t anyone excited about the first Thai player to win the Masters? And who has said a word about a Native American breaking the boundaries of exclusivity?”