The Story Economy Blog

If You Give a Dog a Donut, Retold After a 2023 Vision Board Party


If you choose VARIETY for your 2023 word, the year will ask you what you mean.

You’ll tell it that your list includes things like having your tarot cards read, breaking out of your homebody ruts, and trying weight training.

But talking about fate, being homebound, and having sore arms will make the year think about Covid, and that you haven’t had it yet.

So it will give you Covid. And though will you feel like shit that’s been heated up in the microwave, you will be very grateful to science for vaccines. This will make you think about stories you should write about science.

But the year will say, You already write about science, bitch! You need variety!

This will make the year look out to the street and see your car and decide that an Uber Eats driver delivering to your neighbor should hit your car and abscond, leaving a large dent in your door, making it impossible to open.

You will spend an entire day looking for the Uber Eats driver (which your neighbor graciously helps you do). But it makes it hard to meet your deadlines, and the year will say, See, you’re welcome!

You will finally go back to your computer to finish your work, and this will make the year think you need more distractions.

So it will convince your 14-year-old son to be obsessed with buying magnets and lifting heavy things with magnets all over your house. And it will make sure your 12-year-old daughter has the maximum amount of friendship drama brewing, which involves needing advice right this second, Mom where are you, answer me right now?!!!!!

You will say, Why with these children? And the year will say, because you said Yes to More.

You will tell the year you were thinking about adventure when you put that on your vision board.

Adventure will make the year think about mud, because lots of adventures happen in mud, so it will arrange for snow and rain and ice one day, followed by a 60-degree sunny day, so everyone can enjoy the adventure in your muddy backyard, even the cat, who—because you said Yes to More—now goes outside with a harness and a leash.

The cat will meow at the door to go out and you will hear the clink of magnet on metal and the dramatic FaceTime call from the other room, and think you could use a change of pace right about now.

But chances are, if the year spies you saying that, it will ask if what you really mean is VARIETY.

So you say, Never you mind, hide your vision board in the closet, and cuddle with your muddy-pawed cat, who winks at the year because it turns out she’s a furry shithead who was playing the long game all along. Not unlike that donut dog. But not so desperate.



[If you don’t know the children’s book, If You Give a Dog A Donut, watch this 3-minute “read aloud” video!]


What I’ve Been Writing Lately

My two favorite pieces of the year so far are both about travel.

I learned so much interviewing travel influencer Cory Lee, who writes about how to navigate travel when you’re a wheelchair user. I was honored he let me tell his story and share tips, in this piece for Good Rx, called Can You Travel the World in a Wheelchair? Try These Tips for Making Any Destination Accessible.

I also got the chance to write about my trip to Iceland—specifically, what I learned from this place with the wrong name. Read Iceland to Go, my January column for Cincinnati magazine.


Favorite Book of the Year So Far

I love a good historical novel that tries to reimagine people and stories we think we know. That’s why I LOVED Hester, by Laurie Lico Albanese.

She describes it as a prequel to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. If you were forced to read this book in high school, treat yourself to Hester! (Also, if you love to embroider the way I do, this book will be an extra-double treat.)

I listened to the book, and the narrator was fantastic. Her Scottish accent made the story come to life!


(Note that this post contains affiliate links.)

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