Friday Lunch Weekly Blog

Dig in each week as our Lunch Ticket staff brings you thought-provoking personal essays and nonfiction stories in our Friday Lunch Weekly Blog. From stories about grief and loss, to tales of growing up and overcoming challenges, to celebratory pieces about love and family, these stories are shared every Friday throughout the year. With these blogs, we aim to give you a glimpse into Lunch Ticket and the values we stand by for this literary publication, to empower writers and readers with the knowledge and skills to lead meaningful lives and to advance social, economic, and environmental justice. We hope you enjoy.

Book Cover A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

A Little “Triggering” Life

Jazmine Cooper
Earlier this year, I read A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. If you haven’t read this book yet, be advised,…

An L.A. Story

Franz Franta
The other day, I watched L.A. Story (1991) with Steve Martin for the first time since I was a child.…

The Epiphany

Regan Humphrey
Between June and July, you lost twenty pounds. And maybe he died because of it. Wait. Was it fifteen pounds?…

The Happy Heretic

Karen Gaul Schulman
With fanatical determination, I memorized the required lines to affirm I took Jesus Christ as my lord and savior, all…
Write Without Fear. Edit With Mercy.

A Love Letter to the Sentence

Ashley Russ
I hit a writing wall. I could construct a narrative and cast characters, but I didn't enjoy the sentences I…

The Feeling

Jazmine Cooper
The first time my classically trained ears hear “Forty Six & 2” by the legendary metal band Tool, I was…

A Little Voice That Never Quits

Ben Lewellyn-Taylor
I’m crying in the principal’s office, but I’m an adult. I’ve just quit my job at the school where I started…

Writing in Conversation

contributor
Hearing someone else’s perspective inspired me. That’s what I’d forgotten. It was 2016. I’d lived in New York City for…
Amanda Woodard Wylie High School

Ecstasy Like Fire

Amanda Woodard
My old creative writing teacher leans his squat body against his desk, his girthy thighs splayed across the seat of…
Skies turning green as a tornado approaches- Photo by C. Read

This Isn’t Normal: Climate Change from a Reporter’s Perspective

Loumarie Rodriguez
Thick clouds took over the sky as I raced down windy roads, trying to beat the impending storm. Against the…

The Opposite of Silver Linings: The Big Comeback

Karen Gaul Schulman
This year-long hunker-down reset my rhythms to a slower, less eventful pace. The pandemic gave me an excuse to do…

Compelling Characters – In life and In Stories

Gail Vannelli
What do a Pentecostal minister, a hobbling chicken, and a German immigrant have in common? Me! The minister was my…

The Best Kind of Magic

Bob Kirwin
Books have been some of the best friends I’ve ever had. They’ve kept me company when I was lonely, taken…
A person praying in churchPhoto by Mimi Moromisato

A Man Who Literally Goes to Therapy

Ben Lewellyn-Taylor
A meme started going around this year that hit close to home. It goes like this: “Men will literally ___…
Silhouette of a womanMarc Sendra Martorell/Unsplash

What Will Become of the Millennial Wild Woman?

Franz Franta
I feel I haven’t even made it to adulthood, let alone nearing menopause. My outer woman struggles to have a…

Becoming a Wordplay M.A.S.T.E.R. (Maker of All Sorts of Tomfoolery to Entertain Readers)

Gail Vannelli
Like any young teenager, I was passionate about the things I loved and the things I hated. What I loved…

Being Biracial: The Identity Crisis of Both and Neither

Julz Savard
I have never felt like I belonged to a group of people. As a kid, I spent half my time…

And God Said: “Come as You Are”

Bob Kirwin
What I came to see was that all my prayers are answered. Every time. I don’t always hear it, and…

Hood Century: Using Architecture and Psychogeography for Community Preservation

Franz Franta
Last week I was scrolling through Instagram and saw an image of a boxy apartment building on the corner of…

Never Enough: The Life and Trials of a Perfectionist

Ashley Russ
What I experience goes beyond merely seeking excellence and having high standards. I compare myself to others and become easily…

Pregnancy 101: The Woes, the Rules, and Yes, the Swollen Ankles

Julz Savard
Two blue lines. “Are you sure?” I asked my husband, Tom. One line on the white, plastic stick looked kind…

The Baby Step

Barbara Platts
When I have children, I don’t want to let them down. I also don’t want to let myself down. I’ve…

Divorce and Happy Endings, or “The Great Mulligan”

Karen Gaul Schulman
As someone with decades of professional divorce-related experience, a child of a “broken home,” and a thrice divorced person myself,…
It's Time for Your Dental Exam

It’s Time to Schedule Your Dental Exam

Amanda Woodard
I’m sitting in a stiff blue chair, reclined as if I should be relaxing. I’m scrolling through my phone to…

Close Listening: Paying a Different Attention to Music

Ben Lewellyn-Taylor
My mom gave me my first record player when I was in college. I had been eyeing it for some…

Drowning in Numbers: How I Almost Drowned in the Ocean and Why America Continues to Drown in Covid-19 Cases

Ashley Russ
I hadn’t made it far when I heard a train-sized roar coming from the ocean behind me. I hung from…

Words Can Carry Weight

Natalie Truhan
Do you remember when I called you late one night? I needed someone to confide in and you offered to…

Is It Time to Panic About the Climate Yet?

Amy Klipstine
I admit I’m a worrywart. That’s what my mom always said, “We’re a family of worrywarts.” In reality, we’re a…

Bubbie’s Blog – Stardate 2020: Love, Fear and Zombies – Grandmothering in the Time of Corona

Natalie Truhan
When I was a little girl, I climbed into my mother’s bed in the early mornings and snuggled up against…

Taking a Look at the Carnivore in the Mirror

Barbara Platts
I could feel the rubbery, nimble necks of the dead pheasants underneath my fingertips as I carried them to the…

Being There: Education in an Emergency

Ben Lewellyn-Taylor
In my first year of teaching, an entire family came to meet me…

Spinning Spooky Facts Into Fiction

Gail Vannelli
Many years ago, when cops rarely arrested teenagers for trespassing in vacant buildings, I went ghost hunting with my forever…

The CIA Believes in the Paranormal?

Faith Escoe
The government is researching what your fave ‘spiritual guru’ on instagram has been trying to sell you? And the CIA…
Amanda Woodard Personal Essays

Circumference & Circumstance: The Cycle of Food and Insecurity

Amanda Woodard
A few years ago, I worked with a girl who said she ate ramen noodles in college so she didn’t…

On Writing About Death

Amy Klipstine
I’ve been thinking about death a lot lately. Not from a macabre fascination, but more because we’ve been confronted with…

A Message from The Article You Shared on Facebook That Nobody Read

Shannon Rogers
Thanks for posting me. At least you know someone (probably) read the headline. Maybe they even read the first few…
Author's photo: Skyler Fontana

On Becoming Real

Natalie Truhan
Perhaps nothing provides as much fulfillment in life as finding and sustaining a successful love relationship and pursuing what you…

Karens: A Cautionary Tale of How to be a Less Horrifying White Woman in America

Karen Gaul Schulman
My husband called my name. He usually calls me “Honey” or “Baby” or “Hey, You,” but this time, he used…

Pharaoh Tut’s Curse Box Caused 2020?

Faith Escoe
Maybe, it’s human instinct to look for someone or something to blame instead of accepting sometimes bad things just happen.…
White Moderate

Dear White Moderate, Stop Waiting on the World to Change

Amanda Woodard
Dear White Moderate, I grew up well below the poverty line;…

Tick Tock, Tick Tock – Ways to Wind Your Narrative Clock

Gail Vannelli
Eons ago, when I was seven, I pretended to choke to death when my mother lit up a cigarette near…

I Know Alone

Ben Lewellyn-Taylor
In late April, the three sisters who make up HAIM, the L.A. pop…

More than a Wedding Dress

Barbara Platts
The conversation went the same as most of ours do: One of us came at it logically and the other…

On Being Broken

Lisa Croce
When I was eight years old, my mother, Lucille Munera Galvez, died from breast cancer. I was coming back from…

They Hate If You’re Clever and Despise the Fool

Stephanie Teasley
It hit 120℉—122℉ in fact—a few weeks ago in my desert town. The days before and after weren’t much better:…
What a Year of Sobriety Has Taught Me

What a Year of Sobriety Has Taught Me

Amanda Woodard
I’m lounging on my sectional, thumb hovering over the “Deliver” button in Uber Eats. I have Feel Good on the…

The Cancer of Another Nation’s People

Franz Franta
The restaurants are closed, shelves in certain parts of the stores are empty, people seem chaotic and self-motivated, uncertainty looms,…

Life Is Like A Sauna and I’m Sweatin’ Over Here

Lisa Croce
I turned the freakish timing over and over in my mind that night, on the verge of connecting the dots,…

Is There More To Greek Mythology?

Faith Escoe
The women of ancient Greece took this story to heart, they knew that Athena had given power to someone who…

We are _________, hear us ___________!

Shannon Rogers
#weclapbecausewecare. New Yorkers stop and give daily thanks and gratitude for coronavirus frontline workers. In Brooklyn, at 7 pm, my neighbors…

Fathering Along

Michael Sellar
My naïve assumption was the expectation of shaping her personality, igniting her spark. Staring through the bars of her crib…

Permutations of Love: Part II

Louise Rozett
Experiencing personal tragedy against the backdrop of collective tragedy is disorienting. On April 6, I made the terrible decision to…

Postcard From The Pandemic

Stephanie Teasley
All of Adana’s therapists had been interested in her survival although that sentiment was a global curiosity. Survival stories of…

Living Through History

Barbara Platts
There’s a certain weight a person holds when they’ve been part of a monumental moment in history. That weight can…