My Grandma told me about werewolves, magical donkeys, and other strange stories

La Befana, photo by Vetre Studio on Canva Pro

When I was young, I would ask my father to tell me my Nonna’s stories again and again. She grew up in the mountains of Casalvieri, a small village in the region of Lazio, Italy. Italian culture has strong ties to Catholocism mixed with Stregheria, or witchcraft. Before the rise of Catholocism, the Italians, like many European people, had roots in pagan beliefs. Folk tales were a way to keep pagan beliefs alive without breaking the rules of the new religion. …

My body and my mind are constantly at war.

Photo by Francesca Woodman, “Providence, Rhode Island”, 1975, found on Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Trigger Warning: this article contains descriptions of sexual assault, trauma, and addicition that may not be suitable for all readers. Fearless community, please read with care.

As a survivor of multiple sexual assaults, recovering from trauma will always be a part of my life. This has never been more apparent to me than right now, three years sober from substance abuse and in the first long-term relationship of my life.

Before this, every romantic experience I’ve had was volatile, unpredictable, and short-lived. Oftentimes, my drug and alcohol abuse was intertwined with the people I dated. …

A Poem

Photo by Akio_Nakai for Getty Images, from Canva Pro

In college, I dated a girl
By dated, I mean spent nights in her West Village apartment
Tending to her and lending ears
Something slightly larger than a fly on the wall
Maybe a beetle on her windowsill?
A beetle that listened intently
And looked pretty enough with a multichromatic shell

She told me she was a writer
And her college major was Love & Violence
How peculiar, that you can major in Love & Violence
Why must those two things go together?
Los dos son como uno…

I asked to see her writing She showed me a photo of…

I can’t stand you.

Image by Willowpix from Getty Images Signature / Canva Pro

Dear Bob,

I’m writing this on Medium because I know you will never read it. Using the internet is likely something you don’t know how to do, especially when it comes to a platform for independent thought like Medium.

I’m writing this so I don’t lose it and curse you out because I love my apartment, and I really don't want to move again.

I know you say political stuff around me because I’m queer, and I live with my girlfriend. It’s obvious that you’re trying to test how far you can push us. It will not work, because we…

I found solace in the forests of New England to get me through a dark period of my life.

Photo by Valeria Ushakova from Canva Pro

In my 8 years of living in New York City, I have never experienced tension in the air like there was at the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic. One week I was taking the subway from my home in Brooklyn to Greenwich Village to commute from work, the next week, the city mayor was shutting down schools and restaurants.

I lived alone in a one-bedroom basement apartment in Brooklyn and started to imagine what my life would be quarantined at home…

If you want to break someone’s spirit, take away their books

Image from Pixabay

On the night of May 10th, 1933, the smell of smoke was in the air in Germany. 40,000 people gathered in the town square of Opernplatz to watch the blaze of thousands of books deemed ‘un-German’, symbolically cleansing Germany by fire. Throughout the country, students held huge bonfires, throwing book after book into the flames, lighting up the night.

Through setting fire to books, the Nazis were setting fire to freedom of thought. Literature was devoured by the fire of hatred, building the perfect foundation for The Third Reich and the crimes against humanity that went along with it.


SEO Optimization is Only Half the Battle

Image by Pexels via Canva Pro

You’ve written an informative, SEO optimized blog post that you’re proud to hit the “publish” button on. You did all your homework: researching keywords, including excellent imagery, and optimizing every sentence. You wait for the clients to come rolling in, but your inbox is quiet. You check the contact form on your website, hoping that there’s something wrong keeping you from seeing the results you know you deserve.

There’s nothing wrong with your contact form.

Many writers make the mistake of putting all their time and energy into SEO optimization and lose sight of the quality of the article. …

I learned this important lesson the hard way so you don’t have to.

Image from Getty Images Pro via Canva

Freelancing is scary. Many people will remind you of that when they find out you’re a freelancer and respond with the classic response:

“Oh wow, that must be tough. I could never deal with the stress of not having a regular paycheck.”

Being a freelancer comes with a lot of responsibilities, including doing your own bookkeeping, keeping track of income for tax purposes, and finding clients. These are the most obvious struggles, but the biggest challenges go deeper.

The Two Biggest Downfalls of Freelancers

The most difficult aspects of being a freelancer are much more subtle than all the things I just mentioned. They lie beneath…

Being with someone who has the same type of neurodivergency is amazing but can be frustrating at times.

Image by Andrii Zastrozhnov for Getty Images via Canva Pro

‘I thought you said you took the trash out already?’

‘Why is the litter box like a port-a-potty on a construction site? You promised you’d clean it!’

‘Wait… they’re coming over TODAY? I totally forgot - I didn’t clean the house!’ *immense panic ensues*

These are just some of the fun things that are said on a regular basis in my house. My partner and I both have ADHD. She was diagnosed at the age of 5 and tends to be more hyperactive. I was diagnosed at the age of 23 and lean more towards inattentive.

We’ve been living together…

Liv Pasquarelli

Nerd, LGBTQ+ feminist, and Rhode Islander. In ED and addiction recovery. Weird History writer for Ranker. Founded a blog on indie beauty —

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