Its alarming frequency and some hope for the future.

“Widowhood Was Escape, Freedom, a New Life.”

My mom once told me how someone from her women’s group at church announced that her husband had died, which unsurprisingly triggered pity and sympathy from everyone, but also a glimmer of envy.

“Envy?” I asked, incredulous of these reactions and how nonchalantly my mother was reporting this.

She went…


Writer, sister, traveler…still figuring out what else.

Introducing Myself

Reading others’ “about me” posts made me question how much I have to share about myself. Especially now, feeling isolated and aimless while basically unemployed and living at home again during a pandemic. However, I think for a shy 22-year-old I’ve experienced a fair bit so far.

I’ve lived in…


I acknowledge that pleas to support independent bookstores, especially during the pandemic, are nothing original. Just recently, The New York Times highlighted how crucial it is to support local bookstores. And the American Booksellers’ Association, or the ABA, recently launched their “Boxed Out” campaign to encourage people to shop indie…


Luckily, it’s just mild for me right now

I would never have expected my hip/leg joint discomfort to arise from arthritis. Not that I had any scientific reason to rule it out. I just had always associated arthritis with elderly people’s hands.

I don’t think I was entirely alone in my thinking, however; the “most common misconception about…


A catastrophe at the time, but a blessing for historical understanding

While in Stockholm, my family and I visited the Vasa Museum that showcases the Vasa ship, which set sail for a pathetically short time in 1628. Funnily enough, we happened to be there on the exact day it had sunk 391 years ago: August 10th.

I’m not usually that interested…


Stop pinning the blame on the victims of unequal pay

I’ve applied to countless full-time jobs since I’ve graduated and I usually have to cringe when I see the salaries (if they even are listed). I knew publishing and nonprofits weren’t lucrative fields, but yikes.

Still, it’s a tough job market outside of a few sectors, with hiring processes that…


Ridesharing apps need to take disabilities seriously

Two days before I graduated college, I had surgery to remove ovarian cysts. It wasn’t medically necessary, but it was crucial for my Peace Corps position that began in a month (and then the Peace Corps dropped me abruptly, but that’s another story).

By the time I could leave alongside…


Quite literally named

At once desolate and vibrant, Sunken City is a now-graffitied remnant of a neighborhood that was gradually destroyed by a slow-moving landslide. Luckily, no one died because the landslide stretched for two decades, beginning in 1929, but some houses fell into the sea.

Now, what’s left includes “residences, old pipes…


You almost never see successful teenage authors

Am I on the Right Track?

Considering some music artists I listen to who debuted young—WILLOW, Aaliyah, Lorde, Stevie Wonder — can make me question my own creative choices. They weren’t good for 14, 15, 16. They were great in a way many could only hope to be.

I know comparing yourself to a select few…


Growing up Christian still affects my thinking even if I’m not devout

The story I’ve been writing on-and-off for two years — the only fiction project I’ve ever felt truly passionate about — features two main characters, including a girl who is obsessed with Christianity in the absorbent way that other kids are obsessed with turtles or Ancient Egypt.

I’d consider her…

Kayla Vokolek

Creative writing grad located in Los Angeles. She/her. kayjewel98@gmail.com

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