Brooke Allen

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The Geek's Guide to the Writing Life: Having Something to Say and Saying It

My friend, Eric Bryan, recently pointed out that I re-post a lot of articles about writing on social media, articles with tips from how to structure your writing time to overcoming self-doubt to plotting your novel, but rarely do these essays touch on perhaps the most important aspect of the …

Writing
Depression

I could’ve been a Duggar wife: I grew up in the same church, and the abuse scandal doesn’t shock me

Like a real-life Kimmy Schmidt, I fled the exploitative and abusive sect into a culture I couldn’t fully understand<p>Unlike most of the writers covering the Duggar sex scandal, I was raised in Advanced Training Institute (ATI), the fundamentalist Christian organization with which the family is …

Breast Cancer

10 Proven Ways to Be Exceptionally Likeable

Richard Branson, arguably one of the most likable entrepreneurs in the world, views his likability as one of his competitive advantages.<p>Research backs this up. Likable people are more effective leaders, build deeper relationships, and have better reputations.<p>The good news is that likability is a …

Marketing

12 Women Explain Why They Never Want to Have Kids

"All I ever wanted was to have children. I had an incredible childhood, brought up on a farm. No mobiles, no iPad, no PlayStation. Just playing outside with my mum and dad both at home working on the farm. I am starting to think that I couldn't cope with bringing up a child in this new world. They …

We Are All Liars (Sort Of)

On some level, we are all phonies, it’s just a matter of whether or not we are good or bad ones.<p>In his new book <i>Keep It Fake: Inventing an Authentic</i> …

The scientific trick to healthy happiness

Science has proven a few things about happiness. First, there is the well known research that having fewer things, and fewer choices over consumer …

Happiness

Adam Sandler movie put actors in redface: “I’m full-blooded Navajo and they bronzed me”

A number of Native American extras have already walked off the set of “Ridiculous Six”<p>Another day, another dispiriting detail from the set of Adam Sandler’s “Ridiculous Six,” which a number of Native American extras walked off last week because the script contained offensive content (a cellphone …

Native Americans

19 Organizing Tricks That Take 5 Minutes or Less

A tidy space is just a few mini projects away.<p><b>1. Donate unused mugs.</b> <br>Unless you're a true mug aficionado, you probably have more than you need. Separate your favorites and donate the rest.<p><b>2. Sort your food containers.</b> <br>Double-check that there's a lid for every container, get rid of loners, and stack …

Transgender teen Leelah Alcorn’s death ruled a suicide — mother threw away handwritten note

“I’ve had enough,” wrote the 17-year-old trans girl<p>Leelah Alcorn, the transgender teen who ran in front of a semi in suburban Cincinnati last year, left a handwritten note on her bed the night she decided to walk three miles to the highway and end her own life. The note read, simply, “I’ve had …

LGBTQI

I secretly lived in my office for 500 days

Unable to pay rent in L.A., I slept behind my desk. But what began as a quick financial fix soon became a lifestyle<p>I was asleep when I heard the door rattle against the frame. My eyes flashed open and I sprung upright in my under-desk sleep space. Was it all over? Had someone come to work early? I …

Outdoor Spaces

“Rolling Stone has a lot to answer for”: Jon Krakauer on campus rape, victim backlash and why “Missoula” was the hardest book he’s had to write

The celebrated author of “Into the Wild” investigates rapes in a football-worshiping college town<p>Jon Krakauer’s “Missoula” is a tale of two trials, a football-worshiping college town, a politicking DA and a handful of courageous and determined young women. Its subject — rape, particularly rape on …

U.S. Department of Justice

Closet Clean Out: The Only 10 Pieces of Clothing You Need

I have only good memories of walk-in closets, except for the time I was rummaging around in the back of one–and suddenly came across a high-top …

15 Illinois School Districts With the Top-Paid Administrators and Teachers

Education in Illinois comes under much scrutiny. But in order to propose effective ideas to make the system better, Illinoisans should know what the current system looks like. Here are 15 Illinois school districts with some of the highest-paid administrators and teachers in the state.<p><b>50. Oak Park</b> …

A Volunteer Is Changed for Life By Volunteering at a Local School

I can't even write about Mel Ryane's memoir, <i>Teaching Will: What Shakespeare and 10 Kids Gave Me That Hollywood Couldn't</i> (Familius), without falling apart laughing. This hilarious account of a former actress naively volunteering to teach Shakespeare to third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders at a Los …

Parenting

Are You Book-Worthy?

<i>By: Nicole Eva Fraser</i><p>Most people don't want to write -- they want to have written.<p>That's a wry writers' saying, reflecting the fact that the average person who declares "I want to write a book" really means "I want to be a world-famous bestselling author who rakes in the millions and is universally …

Writing

2 Jameson Irish Whiskey Cocktail Recipes

11 Problems Only Perfectionists Understand

There's no such thing as "good enough."<p><b>1. You're not satisfied unless you see results.</b> You could be scrambling to meet a huge deadline at work or just trying to make the perfect fruit tart. If your dish doesn't look like it should be in a cooking magazine, you're not satisfied and feel like nothing …

The 5 Biggest Mistakes You Make When Painting Furniture

Improve a less-than-stellar piece with paint, patience, and my tricks. I had the oops moments; now you can learn from them.<p>There's no shortage of tutorials about painting furniture online. And I've used a lot of them to paint dressers, console tables, chairs, mirrors, and more. But I have found …

The 50 Mini Modern Classics of Literature

From F Scott Fitzgerald's brilliant Babylon Revisited to a modern Saul Bellow classic, these are Penguins Mini Modern Classics<p>In 2011 Penguin launched 50 Modern Mini Classics. Here is our guide to the books.<p><b>HELL SCREEN (1918) by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa</b><p>Japanese author Akutagawa's book was first …

The Indian wedding that exploded in violence

I grabbed my uncle before he crushed a man’s skull — and learned about the fault lines at the heart of modern India<p>It was the first days of the new year, and thrumming through the soles of my feet was that distinctive, hard-driving rhythm—the dhol drum singing out its bhangra beat. The dance floor …

Weddings

How I became homeless

One mistake (not mine), and I’m inside a nightmare. Three kids, no house and too many nights on borrowed mattresses<p>My eviction did not come with a dramatic pounding on the front door, like it happens in the movies. Just an unceremonious letter, lumped in between credit card offers and credit card …

Wealth gap between white and black people is largest in 25 years

A new report reveals the state of financial inequality in the U.S.<p>A new report from the Pew Research Center reveals that the wealth gap between black and white people is the widest it has been since 1989, with white households possessing 13 times the wealth of black households as of 2013.<p>The …

Mom’s tossing everything, including me

My mother is an “anti-hoarder,” who obsessively rids her house of any clutter. Who knew I’d be next?<p>“Five dollars,” my mother says to the man wearing a hat with a clover leaf on it. She’s referring to the box springs, mattress and frame that are lying in the middle of our driveway.<p>“For each or for …

The creation of William Shakespeare: How the Bard really became a legend

Shakespeare wasn’t always a literary icon — or even the most popular writer of his era. Then how did he get so big?<p>Ladies and gentlemen, the Bard is back. With the recent discovery of a previously unknown First Folio in a French library, Shakespeare has once again been thrust into the limelight (as …

The Best Fiction of 2014: Ford, Ferrante, Klay, and More

The Daily Beast selects, in no particular order, our nominations for the best stories and novels published in 2014. Also, the best biographies of …

Archaeologists may have solved Polish vampire mystery

In 2008, skeletons were discovered with sickles across their necks to keep them from rising from the dead<p>A new article published in the journal PLOS ONE focuses on the buried vampires of 17th- and 18th-century Poland. Who were these unlucky souls, so feared by the living that they were buried with …

“Mockingjay”s eerie echoes of Ferguson: Our real dystopian nightmare

It’s hard not to look at this desolate fictional world and see a dark mirror of our own<p>In the midst of events of Ferguson, Missouri this week, it’s been difficult to maintain focus on “pop culture,” whatever that is. At times like this, art can seem like a meaningless response, an empty refuge …

Should medical professionals be involved in force-feeding prisoners?

One Navy medical officer spoke out against it and could be discharged from the military<p>This July, a Navy nurse refused to force-feed prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, and asked to be assigned to other duties. The move was described as "the first known rebellion against Guantánamo's force-feeding policy" …

“You and your scarf have no place here”

I committed to wearing a hijab at the age of 10. As a United States immigrant, each day is a test of my resolve<p>The first time that I felt silenced, an older woman came up to me at a mall in western Massachusetts and said, “You and your scarf have no place here. We’re free in America.” Her anger …