Essays, Journalism, & Other True Stuff
- Famous Amos. This piece is old and the display is awful, but I'm proud of it because it was the first time I interviewed a celebrity. I remain grateful to my awesome editor who dealt with my nerves and tightened my writing.
- How "Dora the Explorer" Works. As an editor for Publications International, I turned their backlist into bite-size articles for the website HowStuffWorks. We wanted to explore new categories so I wrote this fun piece after interviewing the good people at Nickelodeon. HowStuffWorks won the Webby for Best Writing on the Web.
- How to Refresh Your Author Website. I teach Penguin Random House authors how to create a digital presence that engages their readers, furthers their brands, and can be found in search.
- Hurricane Hobby. My dad loved hurricanes and seemed happiest when one was aimed directly at his house. I wrote this essay to describe what it's like to live through the eye of the storm with a parent whose favorite time of year is hurricane season. Performed with 2nd Story.
- My White Daughter's Cornrows -- and the Sometimes Ugly Conversations It Sparked. An opinion piece I wrote for the New York Observer. It was one of the most shared and discussed pieces of 2014.
- The Choices of Motherhood. In this essay for the New York Observer, I share my struggles with finding the parenting balance. Should I let my daughter choose her own path or demand she follow what I dream for her?
- Time Capsule. Because I was a precocious child, I started keeping a time capsule during my pre-teen years, writing letters to my future self. I performed these letters as part of the show Mortified at the legendary Green Mill.
- Troubleshooting & Repairing Major Appliances (first edition). Sometimes, you're just born lucky. I inspired my dad, author Eric Kleinert, to write his first book. In a single day, he had a publishing contract from the renowned folks at McGraw-Hill. He asked me to help, and I ghost-wrote and edited sections of the first edition. His last book, HVAC and Refrigeration Preventive Maintenance, came out in November of 2014.
- TV show recaps. I had a blast writing weekly episode recaps. Published across Tribune-owned Fox television websites.
- Visiting Ix-Chel. An essay about fertility and medical mistakes. Published in Hair Trigger.
- WGN'S Tornado Seminar. This web seminar prepared users for tornado season. It was incredible to create a piece that could help save lives. This was nominated for an Emmy.
- Carrot's Choice. This short short takes place during Carrot's weekly poker game. With Irving the Parrot just one hand away from winning his freedom, Carrot must decide how he really wants to play. Published in the Story Week Reader. You can read Carrot's Choice as a free PDF.
- Her Husband's Crown. A short story about the wife of an Orthodox Jew on their vacation to conceive. Selected as a Finalist in the Glimmer Train Press Fall Short Story Award for New Writers.
- Something True. A short short about a girl who wants to guarantee "a forever." When she gets an idea from her closed-up earring holes, she takes these normal pubescent feelings too far. Published in the Amsterdam literary magazine Versal.
- And I Feel Fine. A woman at odds with her mother and her hometown. After she intentionally crashes her car, she contemplates the gift of second chances.
- Banana, Cheese, Coins. A down-on-his-luck lawyer is forced to take a job hawking cheese at the local mall.
- Good Santa, Bad Day. Santa Claus has been working the mall circuit since the '70s and was even voted the "Best Santa of DuPage." Everything is jolly until he meets Bethany, who he thought was about a six on the kid meltdown scale.
- Peripheral Vision. The intricacies of family life told from three intertwined perspectives.
- The Demise of the Relationship of Bethany and Jude, as told through their Facebook Status Updates. Bethany and Jude are that couple who always air their dirty laundry in public. Everything explodes on the snowy January day that Jude decides to bike to work.
- Waiting. A woman waits to meet her grown daughter for the first time.
- Wanting It. A short story about a woman who goes to the Ho Chunk Casino on a mission for sex.
- For Erica. A magical realism monologue about a woman who climbs bonsai trees. This piece was a semi-finalist in the Camenae Ensemble Theatre Company Monomanical Competition.
- GHOST OF A CHANCE. My sweet spouse and I wrote and filmed a ghost story set in a gymnasium on New Year's Eve. Finalist in Videocy Short Film Contest.
- THE COLLECTION, a completed full-length screenplay, is an animated adventure that tests the bonds of true friendship. After a purple diamond is stolen from the museum’s collection, the remaining jewels must band together to rescue him before they are split up and put into storage.
- Mitch. A women's fiction novel about grief, love, and family. A woman who has avoided her past must confront it when she becomes the legal guardian for her autistic twin brother. An excerpt, titled Mitch and Sabrina, was published in F Magazine, alongside a piece by one of my favorite authors, Ray Bradbury.
- Untitled Contemporary Romance. For two years in a row, alongside other writers on Book Country, I participated in The Summer Writer's Club, writing daily to finish half the book.