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A pop-up detour traps me on a city street; the way out blocked by a semi-truck unloading, the trucker unimpressed by the urgency of my schedule. Can’t move forward. Can’t move left or right. Must reverse slowly.

The driver’s horn blasts a millisecond before I sense the thump of bumpers — a tremble really. Between yoga breaths, I retrieve my insurance card. I will apologize. The driver will forgive. We will exchange information and move on. We might even commiserate, “Don’t these street repairs make you crazy?”

The man waiting behind my car is well-groomed and wearing a white polo…

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The Internet is the tree of knowledge of good and evil. To avoid temptation, one must consider the apple carefully before taking a bite — the author

On an autumn afternoon during the coronavirus pandemic, I became host to a virus — the cyber-kind. My Amazon account was hacked, and my iPhone phished, in an artfully executed scam ten days after my sixty-fifth birthday. You might suspect my age made me an easy target. Yes, I am a digital immigrant — the use of technology is foreign to my analog upbringing. But I have worked to learn digital skills, like…

Landslide Lit(erary) features poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction on the challenges of growing up, growing older, looking forward, and looking back. Times of identity crisis. Stories of food and music, citizenship and parenthood, hardship and resilience. All are welcome in this place.

Our inspiration is the lyric from the song, “Landslide,” written by Stevie Nicks (1973)when she was a struggling young artist. She wrote the song in Aspen while gazing at the mountains and wondering about her future in music. Though many believe this song is about aging, Nicks wrote with her father in mind. …

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“I wouldn’t put that bumper sticker on your car. You might make the wrong impression.” This was my father advising me not to advertise my political views, while I sought a job after graduate school. The bumper sticker was John Culver for Senator (who would lose to Charles Grassley). Culver was a liberal Iowa Democrat who had opposed the Vietnam War when in Congress.

“But Dad, I’m a social worker,” I said, trying to reassure my father that support for a liberal Democrat would neither surprise nor dismay potential employers. I had been a voter and a Democrat for four…

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“I have wanted you to see out of my eyes so many times.”

~Elizabeth Berg~

Perhaps, you write creative nonfiction — personal essay, memoir, literary journalism. You use fictional techniques to create true stories. But the first-person pronoun, at times, feels a bit narcissistic. And, you tire of the relentless drumbeat of ‘I.’ Sometimes you think about writing your true story as fiction. In that genre, you will be able to revel in the life of an invented character; put a little space between yourself and your self.

This is an essay about point-of-view pronouns. …

Inspired Writer Contest Finalist

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I cover my eyes at the strobe-like quality of certain movie scenes, each time recalling my first EEG — the tangled headgear, the mingling aromas of alcohol, glue and solvents, the sweet syrupy sedative, a brief sleep and, upon awakening, the madly flashing lights positioned above my closed eyes. The scratching and ticking of robotic pens accelerate in rhythm with the speed of the strobe. I feel like my brain will explode. Flashing lights still make me wince.

My personal aversion to flashing lights might have guided me, as an English professor, when on the first day of class a…

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“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

~Martin Luther King, Jr.~

It was early 2017. White nationalists seemed to be everywhere in the months following Donald Trump’s election, waving Confederate flags and proclaiming the USA is a White nation. All this in spite of Oprah and Obama. I felt the need to apologize. “I am so sorry,” I told my personal trainer, a Black woman. “Racism must have been here all along.” She was probably accustomed to liberals craving penance and seeking forgiveness. …

I place two coffee cups on the counter, as if each is a fragile antique I had picked up at Portobello market. The mugs feature a map of the London Underground and the ubiquitous subway warning, Mind the Gap. “I’ve been looking for these all over London,” I tell the clerk in Heathrow’s duty-free shop. He looks squarely at my smiling face and asks, “Why? He does not seem to understand the fascination tourists have with this particular souvenir. …

Image by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pixabay

True stories by ordinary people are commonly referred to as the “nobody memoir.” We lack the plot line of celebrity. No rags turned to riches. No lonely child turned superstar. We are still working on the arcs of our plots. Neither famous nor infamous, the typical nobody memoirist describes the most intense incidents of a lifetime. Drama emerges from adventure, adversity, angst, or abuse. The protagonist climbs a mountain or rows an ocean, walks a thousand-miles on a treacherous seaside trail, confronts an abusive past, recounts her recovery from rape, exposes a dysfunctional family.

Popular memoirs dig deep into the…

Kimberly Garts Crum

Essayist. Teacher. Seeker. Co-edits a Medium publication. Submit to LandslideLit(erary)!

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