Month: January 2020

TueNight 10: Carmen Rita Wong

Age: 48 Quick bio: Carmen is a writer, speaker, and an investor and advisor to women-owned businesses. A former national television host, magazine advice columnist, and faculty professor at NYU, Carmen serves on the board of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and The Moth. She also hosts a podcast, has published two novels, and is currently working on her fifth book, a memoir.  Beyond the Bio: Damn, you get wise in your 40s. And, tired. But it’s the wise and curious parts that keep me going. Self-acceptance, too. There is a level of DGAF that is hard-won and you’d better believe I enjoy the hell out of that. What makes you a grown-ass lady? Grown-ass is a scale. I was a grown-ass lady at 12 years old, helping care for four younger siblings, working, and excelling at school. But now, as a single parent with aging parents and a brother now living with advanced cancer, being grown-ass feels like a given. But what I will never forget is that being grown-ass doesn’t mean being old-ass. Keep playing. …

Her Voice Will Always Be Here: Remembering My Friend Nancy

I scrolled through old text messages to find bits of audio. Here was my friend Nancy Falkow McBride speaking to me direct from Ireland, from her hospital bed. That low, slightly raspy, South Jersey accent — not at all what she sounded like when she sang. Which is how I first met her, her voice. I listened. She was right here. Still. Nancy preferred to talk her text messages, which, to me, was all the better: I could get a living, breathing sample of my friend so many thousands of miles away.  Sometimes I’d listen to her messages in the moment and we’d message back and forth. Sometimes she’d send them at 8am her time — 3am EST — and I’d listen to them later, when my day began.  Once, she left me a blessing of sorts. “My wish for you,” she paused, with a hint of a giggle in her voice, “is that your book comes out, and that it gets made into a movie. And then you’ll put your pal Nancy Falkow on …

Get Tix to Our Next Live Event “Risk” 1/28 at Luminary!

Tickets are on sale for our next event on January 28! Get all the details and BUY TICKETS HERE! For our Winter edition of TueNight Live we’re taking RISKS – telling tales of life after the leap. One of the upsides to getting older is that the math of “If not now, when?” gets just a little bit more insistent, prompting us to consider big changes and small ones that 10 years ago would have been unimaginable. We will be in the stunning space Luminary in Flatiron — a premier collaboration hub for women and women-identified who are passionate about professional development and expanding their networks. As always, we’ll have wine, delish snacks and fabulous stories from women who have been there/ done that. GET TICKETS NOW — We won’t be selling tickets at the door. Our storytellers include: Bridgett M. Davis (@bridgettmdavis) is the author of the memoir, The World According To Fannie Davis: My Mother’s Life In The Detroit Numbers, a New York Times Editors’ Choice. She is also the author of two novels, Into the Go-Slow and Shifting Through Neutral, shortlisted for …

TueNight 10: Julia Munemo

Age: 45 Quick bio: Julia is a writer currently living in western Massachusetts. Fifteen years ago, a stack of pulp fiction written by her long-dead father landed on her kitchen table — most of the novels were interracial porn. Julia, a white woman, had been married to a black man for six years by then, and their first son was a toddler. Her memoir, The Book Keeper: a Memoir of Race, Love, and Legacy, tells the story of what happened when she finally faced her shame about her father’s secret career and cracked open those books. Beyond the Bio: “I couldn’t have faced my dad’s books before I was 40. People talk about feeling more confident and questioning themselves less at this age; me, I still question myself all the time and confidence has never come easily. But something did shift after 40 that allowed me to face my legacy. I think it’s about the ability to feel vulnerable. I felt invincible in my 20s and a good chunk of my 30s. Now I know I’m …

I Sent My Anxieties Downriver — On a Grapefruit

A scene from the sacred Loy Krathong ceremony in Thailand A hand reached out of the darkness to give me the pomelo. The hand belonged to my 12-year-old son; the pomelo, a Southeast Asian grapefruit, was mine. On this night, alongside an urban creek with the sounds of rush-hour traffic rumbling in the distance, that pomelo was about to become something magical. I tried to act casual — as casual as is possible for a 51-year-old woman standing in the dusk holding an outsized fruit stuffed with four carnations, a small candle and a scrap of paper. I don’t know whether it’s legal in America to float a flaming piece of citrus fruit down a creek. But I wasn’t going to ask. I had one shot at this, and it mattered. I couldn’t wait a whole year for this opportunity to come again.  A man peered at us through the moonlight from a public bench, watching as we approached the rocky edge of Pine Creek. I pulled a book of matches from my pocket and …

TueNight 10: Addie Tsai

Addie celebrating her recent book publicationAge: 40 Quick bio: Addie is a queer, nonbinary artist and writer who teaches creative writing, English, humanities, and dance, at Houston Community College. Her debut, queer Asian Young Adult novel Dear Twin, was published by Metonymy Press in November 2019.  Beyond the Bio: “Two weeks before I turned 40, and three months before embarking on promoting my first book, my marriage of four-plus years (seven altogether) fell disastrously apart. Forty is coming with lots of changes, both good and bad, exciting and paradigm-shifting. But I’m also excited about what the new decade might bring, too.” 1. On the nightstand: The Map of Salt and Stars, by Zeyn Joukhadar 2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: Roller-skating 3. Jam of the minute: “Washing Machine Heart,” Mitski 4. Thing I miss: My ex 5. 80s crush: Janet Jackson 6. Current crush: The DJ who played for Lizzo when she opened for HAIM, before anyone knew who she was 7. Will whine about: Traffic 8. Will wine about: Dating sagas 9. Best thing that happened recently: I made Autostraddle’s list of 55 of the best queer books …

I Said Goodbye to Bad Romance

By Heather M. Graham I walked into my last relationship certain that I just wasn’t good at being with another person. Every relationship I’d had since I had 17 concluded with an unhappy ending. One boyfriend declared that he couldn’t see himself married to me (after having moved in with me), and another was spooning me when he told me he’d gotten another girl pregnant — and her name was Heather, too. But this new thing seemed to have a chance. He was an old friend who’d already seen the unpretty sides of me and he was still in. He reassured me that I’d be OK, and that made me feel safe enough to try. And I was OK. This relationship proved to be different than the ones that came before. There wasn’t a dark and desperate side to it that drove my belief that I was inescapably broken and fundamentally unlovable. It was the exact opposite. It’d only taken me 25 years to get there. * * * * My first love was beautiful, …