Immigration, Equality, and Why I Gave My Vote Away

Photo credit: 2012 Joe Shlabotnik/flickr

The following is a post written by guest contributor Meg Munoz:

If we are to love our neighbors, before doing anything else we must see our neighbors.” -Frederick Buechner

I know, it’s been a month since the election, but truth be told: I’m usually a little late to the current events party. I like to chew on things for a while, so it took me a bit of time to figure out what I had learned from this most recent trip to the ballot box.

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Of Harry Potter and Pirates: When Asperger’s Finds Your Home

Photo credit: 2007 Solo/flickr. Use does not represent endorsement by the photographer.

The following is a post written by guest contributor Meg Vallee Munoz:

“Mom, what’s wrong with him.”

I want to say it was a morning like every other, but that would be untrue. I was emotionally exhausted and had been functioning in crisis-mode for weeks. It was the question I’d been waiting to hear, the question I’d been dreading, the question I knew could only be avoided for so long. The possibility of it being asked had been haunting me since everything started.

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When Past Hurt Threatens the Joy of Current Blessings

Photo Credit: Flickr/chicagophotogirl . Usage does not represent endorsement by the photographer.

Well, the time has come to announce that I’m 6 months pregnant.  We are expecting a little girl on January 19th of 2013.  I’ve waited to write about it.  I’ve waited to be excited about it.  My past has haunted me this entire pregnancy and it has threatened to steal every ounce of joy out of this miraculous moment. I’ll tell you why.

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What the Green River Killer Has to Do With My Unexpected Lesson in Forgiveness

Gary Ridgway and Jesus. Photo credit: 2010 liquidnight/flickr. Use does not represent endorsement by the photographer.

Since I was a little girl, I have always known uttering the words “I forgive you” meant something special.  It was something that had to be asked for after an apology, it was something that had to be meant in your heart when you said it, and it was something that wiped your slate clean when you heard it. But I didn’t know how much power that phrase packed until I watched a documentary on Gary Ridgway, AKA The Green River Killer.

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50 Shades of Grey: Harmless Fantasy, Female Empowerment, or a Substitute for Real Intimacy?

Photo credit: 2012 Eren Belle Asentista/flickr. Use does not represent endorsement by the photographer.

’50 Shades of Grey,’ the novel by E.L. James, is taking our world by storm, which you already knew.  Bookstores cannot keep in on the shelves.  It is hitting record numbers in e-reader downloads and  in only 6 weeks, outsold ‘The Hunger Games,’ putting it as the best-selling book, thus far, of 2012.

Before we delve into this subject, I will concede that I have not read a single page of this book.  But I have read plenty of reviews, watched video reviews and listened to quite a few people explain this book to me. After reading and hearing all that I have on this book I’ve chosen not to read it, if that makes sense.  Is it harmless fantasy? I’m not sure it is.

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The Death and Resurrection of Dreams and Expectations

Photo credit: 2011 Steve Hoefer/flickr. Use does not represent endorsement by the photographer.

“You have exhausted me.”

Sitting in a theater with my parents in 1992, I saw ‘Patriot Games’ for the first time. It was the moment when I knew I wanted to make movies.

Now it was early 2006, and I was headed back to visit Los Angeles, a city that I loved and had visited several times to see relatives as a child, and several times again in my early 20s, usually as a film critic for a media company based in Santa Monica. This time I was invited to stay in the perfectly clean guest house of a produced screenwriter for a few days, to meet in person and to work on our project. I mention that it was perfectly clean to acknowledge the irrationality of the thought that I was sure a black widow spider was going to aggressively hunt me while I slept.

This writer had signed me into a contract to develop a film script around an idea of his, after I pitched him my fourth screenplay, which he liked but thought would be a tough sale. Up until this trip, I thought the creative process was going great.

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The Conclusion of the Heartbreak Series: Saying Goodbye

Photo Credit: 2008 christopherleonard/flickr. Use does not represent endorsement by the photographer.

They say grief is a journey, and I’m ready to agree with that.  It has been a long one for me.  They say every journey has a destination.  That’s true as well. The time has come for this journey to end.  I have to say goodbye to the baby I lost to a miscarriage, and let go of this heartbreak once and for all.

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When Heartbreak Ruins Friendships, and My Letter of Apology

Photo Credit: Flickr/chicagophotogirl . Usage does not represent endorsement by the photographer.

Over the last few months I’ve written about heartbreak: my initial heartbreak in Heartbreak and Hope, and I’ve also talked about how that heartbreak actually strengthened the relationship between my husband and I in Marriage and Tragedy:  How Heartbreak Brought us Closer Together.  But today I’m here to talk about a side of heartbreak that does not really have a silver lining.  I’m here to tell you how heartbreak has hurt some of my closest friendships. Perhaps you can relate.

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Holidays with the Narcissists, and What to Do About It

Photo credit: flickr/brendan-c

As the holiday season arrives each year, some of us find it to be a time that almost triggers the worst in those people around us who are a taxing, burdensome presence rather than an uplifting presence. As the recipients of this draining energy, we find ourselves bewildered and frustrated, often in ways that are difficult to articulate. But maybe this year can be different.

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