In October, Cathie reached her 100th Bark, a milestone I’m sure neither of us could have predicted when we volunteered to write for our MFA’s blog a few years ago. For me Bark has been an accountability tool, a community, and also, at times, an escape. As days, then weeks and months passed and I got closer to my own 100th post, I started looking around for ideas — what could I write about to mark the occasion? The pressure was making me sick. One night, I was up late, surfing the internet and I starting reading old posts — then it came to me. As we head into the new year, I thought I’d share with you my favorite Bark posts, the ones that still sit with me in the dark, the ones that made me laugh or cry. I’m really proud to share space with such talented writers. It was hard to choose, but I thought ten was a nice round number. Take a seat, right hear next to me, and let’s go for a ride.
1. Michael Bell Public Space and How to Use It
Featuring Moose the dog, this post by Michael Bell is quietly powerful. The theme in writing that really grabs my attention is vulnerability, and Bell’s here is subtle and endearing. He’d roll his eyes at me.
2. Tim Greenup Claustrophobia: Sleeping on an Amy Cot, Writing Formal Emails
I’d forgotten how funny Tim can be — sardonic, sarcastic, self-deprecating, slapstick and witty all in one paragraph. But again, the vulnerability creeps in beneath the humor, making what seems on the surface to be a complaint about an army cot really the honest exposure of the every writer’s insecurities so compelling.
3. Leyna Krow I do not want you to hit me as hard as you can
It helps to know Leyna to imagine her in a boxing ring, all wonderfully long arms and legs, but even not knowing her I think this post speaks to another writer’s dilemma: taking on experiences for the sake of having something interesting to write about. It’s a road most writers travel, and have to learn to move on. Also, this post contains one of my favorite pictures.
4. Cathie (Smatherton) Johnson Someone to Catch You
This is classic Smathie. When she’s not schooling us on some Hitchcock movie, she’s breaking our hearts with posts that punch straight in the gut.
5. Amaris Ketcham I’m Fantasizing about You
I used to share Friday post days with Amaris, and every week I’d be bowled over by her posts. She takes risks, leaps from the highest ledge, and always executes the swan dive. I considered a post with her photography, but went with this post, because it’s the perfect example of how she takes a risk and pulls it off.
6. Karen Maner The (as if by magic) Masters of Sex
Always well-researched and not afraid to lead you down a rabbit hole, this particular post by Karen on the TV show Master of Sex is probably one of my favorites of all time. After my initial reading, I sent it to two of my girlfriends and we sat together laughing and quoting lines. Her commentary on sex is hilarious and scathing.
7. Asa Maria Bradley Who First Called You Writer?
I enjoy posts that vocalize thoughts I’ve had but been unable to verbalize. This one speaks to the moment when a writer becomes a writer to herself in the eyes of another.
8. Shira Richman Oh, the Places You Won’t Go
Consistently compelling, I looked forward to Shira’s posts each week. This one is set in Germany, involves manners and boundaries and in the end, left me looking over my shoulder.
9. Kristina McDonald The Trouble with Tin Men
Dark and twisty, this awesome post by Kristina is based on the real characters from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
10. Scott Eubanks How to Be An MFA Student
Forever a classic.
If I could go on forever, I would mention this post by Melissa, this post by Jason, and this post by Casey(fitzy) are worth a read, too! What are your favorite posts?