Virginia Sole-Smith, THE EATING INSTINCT: Food Culture, Body Image, and Guilt in America

Virginia Sole-Smith, THE EATING INSTINCT: Food Culture, Body Image, and Guilt in America

Virginia: Writing as much as you can and reading as much as you can are really the cores of how to learn to be a writer. The reading piece of it sometimes gets forgotten. I see a lot of people blogging and putting a lot of content out there. That's great, but you really learn to be a good writer by reading a ton.

Marisa Bardach Ramel & Sally Bardach, THE GOODBYE DIARIES

Marisa Bardach Ramel & Sally Bardach, THE GOODBYE DIARIES

Marisa: Ever since having children and now especially also with publishing the book, I really do feel her presence more than I have in a very long time and more than I ever thought I would. I do think she knows the book is coming out. I’m torn between whether she thinks, “Of course Missy finished this book because she's so sentimental and family-oriented. We were so close that of course she had to, in a way,” -- she was very sarcastic and funny. I also hear her saying, “Missy, seriously? You worked on this book for twenty years? You wrote this book and you're getting it published? Seriously?” I can't tell which. She definitely knows. I'm not sure yet what exactly she's saying about it. Maybe both.

Claire Gibson, BEYOND THE POINT

Claire Gibson, BEYOND THE POINT

Claire: We’re all constantly fighting the chaos that just comes into life naturally. My house, every day, I clean it. At the end of the day, it is a mess. You can let it be a mess or you just constantly work at keeping the chaos at bay. That's part of our human experience is learning how to make the most of the space that we have, whether that's creatively as a novelist trying to make things work, or in the military, constantly fighting against enemies that would like to make our country less safe, or in the case of that character, shaving every day just to keep your performance and your face looking professional.

Cathy Guisewite, FIFTY THINGS THAT AREN'T MY FAULT

Cathy Guisewite, FIFTY THINGS THAT AREN'T MY FAULT

Cathy: There's an essay called “My Meaningless Midlife Six-Minute Fling.” I write about the experience I've had, sadly way more than one time, where I'm in the grocery store and realize that the single-serving snack bag that I picked up and ate while I was shopping, intending of course to pay for it but I ate it during the course of the shopping, realizing that it didn't contain one serving. It contained six servings and realizing that in my first few minutes of shopping, I've now eaten more calories than I'm supposed to eat in an entire day just because I didn't squint harder enough at the label.