I married the love of my life, but it’s no fairy tale.

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I met my husband when I was fourteen years old, and he was nineteen. He was British, beautiful, an artist, and I was just a delinquent Texan goth gal with a teenage crush. Of course it was the accent. Of course nothing ever happened, because I was a kid and he was a decent guy. He moved back to London when I was sixteen, and I didn’t see him again until I was almost twenty. And when we did meet up again, we fell deeply, madly in love almost instantly.

At the time, I was a freewheeling lass with lovers…

…wasn’t even about a real person.

Photo by TimMarshall on Unsplash

I’ll never forget the day I heard the best love song ever written. I was driving down the country road leading to my farm, the radio in my vintage Mercedes Benz on an unknown station–it had been on the fritz, and I was just happy it was functioning at all.

The song begins with a mellow guitar riff, nothing special. And then the vocalist comes in with that sort of contemporary trick where I’m pretty sure it’s a guy singing but his voice is super girly and all soft edges. I’m tuning it out…

Don’t read the comments section, and if you do, don’t take the bait.

There you are, furiously typing a clever, well-thought-out response to some bigoted jerkface you’ve stumbled across spewing nastiness online. Chances are, you’re in the comments section of an article that seemed like a cut-and-dried piece to you. Let’s say, a local news article about a cyclist riding home late at night who was run over by a driver who fled the scene. Seems pretty straightforward: this person was the victim of a senseless crime, right? Wrong.

Enter the comments section.

Abandon all hope (of decency or logic) ye who enter here…

Kate Williams on Unsplash @kmw152

Choosing the best object for daily reminders of your life slipping away.

@curtismacnewton on Unsplash

After twenty agonizing minutes, my online shopping cart is still empty. Despite a family-wide promise to ditch Amazon in general and Prime in particular, I was recently tricked into paying for Prime.

Living in very rural France, Amazon sings a siren song, promising all the things you have no idea where to find–– delivered right to your doorstep. It is very difficult to resist, but as a family we have been strong. However, every once in a while we succumb.

I wanted ecologically-friendly dental floss, and Amazon delivered…

When your new home is an ocean away from your old one, holidays are hard.

Jakob Owens @jakobowens1 on Unsplash

Unlike many Americans, I never imagined myself living the good life in France. No, if I am perfectly honest, all of my living in Europe fantasies were centered around la dolce vita in Italy–my paternal motherland and the adopted home of my closest friend. Bonus points for a language similar enough to Spanish–my second language–to be decipherable and effortlessly pronounceable. …

Thank you for making me feel seen, heard, and less alone in this struggle.

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When I say that I wish my mom friends had been more honest with me about motherhood, I feel at least some responsibility for not having asked or listened enough. I mean, I actually remember feeling a pang of envy towards the first stay-at-home mom I knew, imagining her days filled with reading books and persuing personal interests and hobbies.

What a fool I was.

I ran a small, organic farm complete with dairy goats that needed to be milked twice a day and upwards of…

I made $35,000 in my first year as a freelance writer, and you can too.

Genessa Panainte on Unsplash

Like many closeted writers, I spent years furtively sketching plotlines, writing poetry, and vomiting up ranty essays in journals, odd hidden computer files, and in the margins of the notebooks where I handwrote meeting minutes at my soul-sucking day job.

The coded message in each of these expressions was the deep, secret desire to make a living doing what I loved: writing.

From childhood, my writing was praised by friends and family. …

If not, then why the man-shaped hole in the memoir canon?

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When women hit 40, something amazing happens: women around you begin to reveal their closeted desire to write a memoir. Some of them are already writing them; others still coaxing the courage to conjure the ghosts from deep within. But they all want to write their story.

I have many questions about why women who have had successful careers, families, and trajectories with no relationship to professional writing suddenly want to spill their blood across the page, memoir-style.

My first question is, naturally, "Is everyone's life interesting enough to…

Francesca Singer

Freelance Writer. Feminist former farmer. American immigrant in France. Dangling in the middle of the endless tug of war between tragedy and comedy.

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