Friday Lunch Blog

Dig in every month as our Lunch Ticket staff brings you thought-provoking personal essays and nonfiction stories in our Friday Lunch 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 second Friday of the month. 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!

Cottonbro Studio robot and human hand touching fingers

Banking on the Billionaires

Kait Leonard
The Singulartarian Mind-Uploaders might be onto something. Their name says it all: We will defy death by uploading our thought…
Boots and photograph negatives

Creative Nonfiction: From Category Label Dumpster to Instruction Manual for Art

Indu Subaiya
Growing up in the 80s and 90s, the term “creative nonfiction” hadn’t yet assembled itself into a term, or at…
Robert Kirwin library, shelves of books

My Infinite Library

Robert Kirwin
The first book I remember enjoying was Nose Is Not Toes by Glenn Doman. I didn’t know it at the…
Three crumpled up yellow pieces of paper with some visible but illegible writing, in a waste basket.

I’m Not Overreacting, I’m Over-Feeling!

Kait Leonard
I’d received a rejection letter just minutes earlier. This demonstrated that I was an utter failure and needed to move…
Ashley Russ Headshot

A bird’s-eye view: Taking a sabbatical to prioritize myself

Ashley Russ
I’ve been prioritizing myself, something I’ve been unsuccessful at in the past. I am a survivor of sexual assault (SA)…
Photo of Meghan McGuire

The Enduring Haunting of a Failed Driver’s Test(s)

Meghan McGuire
The greatest shame of my young life was the first time I failed my driver’s test. I had never failed…
christmas tree camo

Glitch Wisdom

KJ McCoy
Being misgendered at random hasn’t always been a magical experience. Years, community, and devotion to self-discovery and personal development have…

Lessons on Getting Paid: My First Year as a Freelance Writer

EJ Saunders
The first time I was paid for my writing, I pinned the pay stub to my corkboard. This March marked…
Tuxedo Cat sitting on a black and white quilt with sunlight through blinds.

How to Kill a Cat, or How to Prepare for CATastrophe

Meghan McGuire
I have killed my cat a hundred times. In my head. Please don’t call PETA. Let me be clear. I…
Night sky with stars

The Night I Want to Remember

Sanaz Tamjidi
I don’t remember that night. The sky could have been filled with stars, creating constellations that those before us spent…

From Paper to the Page

Annie Bartos
I wanted my brain to remember what it was like to begin a new piece of writing from scratch. From…
A Single Cupcake with Vanilla FRosting and a one lit blue candle

Confessions of a Birthday Person

Meghan McGuire
I’m a birthday person, and I am so sorry about it. Yes, I know. I know. I declare November my…
Simpson point at low tide at sunset with a man in the distance

A Lesson in Magic from the Maine Coast

Meghan McGuire
If you sing to periwinkles, it coaxes them out of their shell. I don’t know if this is actually true.…
"Am I a Writer?" text

Am I a Writer?

Sanaz Tamjidi
I envy people who can go to sleep by midnight. Who can get under their warm covers and feel their…
ER sexual assault nurse exam

What Happened

Amanda Woodard
[Content warning: sexual assault] How strange to be an adult this time around, to have the vocabulary to describe what…

Where Are You From?

Majella Pinto
Like the salmon, who start their home in freshwater and migrate to the ocean then return home to spawn and…
Mom's Graduation Photo

The Old Folks’ Home

Karen Gaul Schulman
No matter how smart or self-sufficient you are, the day may come when someone else takes care of you. Someone…
Peace sign made from the lyrics to "Imagine"

Peace, Love, and a lot of Loud Rock & Roll

Sunee Lyn Foley
Born in May 1967, pre-  “Summer of Love,” I am the child of quintessential hippies. My mother taught me everything…
Jazmine Cooper, Author Headshot

Crosses to Pentacles

Jazmine Cooper
 No one wakes up one day and says, “I want to be a witch.” Except for me. I had been…

Table to Trash

Franz Franta
Like a Tibetan sand painting, I created hundreds of bite-sized works of art that lasted as long as a server…
Hands holding wedding ring


Gillian Shure
November 2020. I’m forty-one and my daughter is thirteen months. When breastfeeding, I feel my breasts to see which has…

Diagnosed at Sixty – My ADHD Journey

Kait Leonard
My doctor wore the expression of someone with a problem to solve. And he was looking at me. I froze,…
Popular characters from Marvel vs. Capcom 2

Why Video Game Preservation Matters

Nicholas Galvez
It's easier now than ever to play and get into video games, but as we become more comfortable with digitization,…
White Iceberg roses with green foliage

Sarees in America

Majella Pinto
“No one wears sarees in America,” my husband who was on an H1 visa in the United States said when…
Rebecca and Sunee Foley January 2022

Millennial Binge

Sunee Lyn Foley
My daughter, Rebecca—from mannerisms and facial expressions, to likes and dislikes—is a mini me, except for the fact that she…
Photo of graduates

Degrees of Communication

Amanda Woodard
For the first time in six years, I invited my mom to sleep under the same roof with me. I…
Beatrix, 2, Palm Springs

A Woman’s Place

Gillian Shure
Not having child care sucks. I had child care. I had a miraculous saint of a woman who knew baby…
Kait Leonard and instructor Ashley Perretta

FOMO’s Big Sibling ⸺ Senior FOMO

Kait Leonard
Team tryouts this week. If you want to perform at Camp Hollywood, show up at the studio on Monday. This…
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,…
City scape of downtown Los Angeles at sunset

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.…
People holding up their graduation caps in the air

The Epiphany

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

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

A.D. Russ
I hit a writing wall. I could construct a narrative and cast characters, but I didn't enjoy the sentences I…
Earphones resting on a page on musical notes

The Feeling

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

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…
Wood table with a blank page,pen and a cup of black coffee on top

Writing in Conversation

Shannon C.F. Rogers
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 from Wylie High School, Headshot

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 I 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 Hall
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 Hall
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…