Category Archives: Opinion

The choice is ours

America is the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Which is why the freedom for a woman to choose what she does with her own body must be protected. Many brave women and men fought for that right, which resulted in the Roe v. Wade decision. And people continue to fight for that right every day.

This is not the only battle being fought for women’s reproductive rights — and the fight is far from over. I’ve written about this before in detail and I’m pro-choice. I believe every woman should have the freedom to choose whatever she believes is right for her. And my definition of pro-choice encompasses every possible choice a woman might want, or need, to make.

The choice is ours

To mark Blog for Choice Day, here’s what I plan to do this year to help get more pro-choice candidates elected.

I will continue to stand with our President, who respects women’s reproductive issues. The most recent example? He approved nearly universal insurance coverage for contraception. Availability of birth control can’t be overlooked in a pro-choice conversation. Choosing not to have a baby must start there. Greater access to birth control for all women translates to a decline in unwanted pregnancies. Just you wait and see.

I’m going to share facts about reproductive issues and rights at every opportunity. Facts I hope can counteract the angry, ill-informed rhetoric some try to pass off as the truth. Educating people is essential to helping them understand what’s at stake.

I’ll communicate the facts about candidates who are either staunchly pro-choice or anti-choice. The public must be fully informed when they cast their vote.

I will spread the word about pending legislation that could infringe on a woman’s right to choose. This includes the rights protected by Roe v. Wade but other reproductive issues, such as personhood amendments, can’t be ignored. Any attempt to manipulate or control what a woman does with her body is a violation of her rights.

At every opportunity, I’ll tell legislators and elected officials that it’s time to stop trying to meddle in the private business of women’s bodies. I’ll make my voice heard in ways such as signing and sharing the NARAL petition to challenge Speaker Boehner not to hold any anti-choice votes in 2012.

The choice is oursI will use my ability to communicate what’s at stake with as many people as I can, however I can. When anyone else tells a woman what she can and can’t do with her body, it’s an assault on her basic human rights.

We are the land of the free and the home of the brave. However much bravery it takes, we must fight those who try to take away the freedom of American women. It’s our right, as citizens and human beings, to make our own choices.

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Inspiration may be closer than you think

I’ve been doing more writing than usual lately, which is a lot. But I read once that if you feel stuck, one of the best ways to get unstuck is to write — something other than what you’re focused on. (Well, that and tossing a rubber ball against the wall. That helps, too. Quite a bit, I’ve learned.)

So I’m writing this.

The whole idea of writing, writer’s block and keeping the flow going got me thinking about the things that inspire me. And they often have absolutely nothing to do with what I’m actually writing.

Inspiration may be closer than you think

Of course, the best inspiration is a good idea. And the people I write for and work with have more good ideas than you can imagine. Brainstorming and exchanging ideas with them is a constant source of imagination and hope. So that’s certainly not a roadblock.

But as anyone who writes or creates anything knows, sometimes that isn’t enough. You need something else to nudge you from inertia into action and restart the flow when it stops. Very often, inspiration catches me completely by surprise, found buried in a magazine article or an overheard conversation in a coffee shop. But there are certain things that never fail to inspire me. Thank goodness.

Inspiration may be closer than you thinkFirst, there’s always music. The writing music I like best doesn’t have lyrics, because I can listen and write at the same time; lyrics are too distracting. My go-to artists are Mozart, Brian Eno, Explosions in the Sky and Sigur Rós (yes, there are lyrics, but they’re gibberish so they don’t distract me). Taking breaks to listen to music with lyrics is another great motivator. Stephen Sondheim is consistently inspiring, and lately Florence + the Machine seems to conjure magical powers of insight.

I have countless other sources of inspiration, one standby being Eddie Izzard. Watching even a clip of one of his comedy routines sets my mind off in a different direction — because his brain doesn’t seem to go in a straight line, but in a zig-zag pattern that still ends up somewhere brilliant. (From yappy dogs to the Romans, anyone?) Watching him encourages me to look at things differently, to make new connections. Plus, a good laugh is always good for you.

Inspiration is closer than you think

Right now I’m taking inspiration from myriad, diverse sources. Downton Abbey and a re-read of Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides for great storytelling. Visits to DC sites like the Library of Congress and the National Archives, because they remind me of the vastness of our country’s past challenges and triumphs. Florence + the Machine’s Ceremonials is on repeat alongside Sondheim’s Into the Woods (which wasn’t written, I don’t think, as a political parable but it sure could be taken as one). Even conversations on Twitter or looking at random feeds — to see what people are thinking and talking about — serves as inspiration.

Sometimes, inspiration is right over our shoulder, so close we might miss it if we’re not paying attention: in the laughter of someone we love or the eyes of a dog that wants nothing more than to be petted. Life can be much simpler than we make it sometimes.

Inspiration is all around us. And I’m more grateful for that than ever when I have something truly significant to work on.

Speaking of which, time to get back to it. But I’d love to hear what inspires you. That might just inspire me, too.

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Yes, I started a blog

No, there’s not much here yet. But there will be.

I have a pretty busy job. I write a lot, every day. And I tweet what I think with some frequency.

But there are times when I have more to say, or just want to say something different.

So that’s what this space is for. When topics warrant it. Also, when there’s time.

As they say in TV, stay tuned.

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