All in Features

Satire is Coming to Save the World: An Interview with Brooke Preston of The Belladonna

Here at Upwrite, we try to be funny sometimes. We are (definitely) funnier when we give care and consideration to our jokes, leaning toward satire that suggests empowerment as it critiques culture. That's why the pieces on The Belladonna Comedy website are our freaking love language. We had an opportunity to speak with one of the four lovely editors of The Belladonna about what makes a strong submission, how to write hopeful jokes, and why all magazines should be Meyers-Briggs type inclusive. Check it out! 

On Hopeful Resistance

Hope is the thing with feathers  
That perches in the soul,  
And sings the tune without the words,  
And never stops at all,  
   
And sweetest in the gale is heard;          
And sore must be the storm  
That could abash the little bird  
That kept so many warm.  

   

I Might Give Satan A Swirly: How to Be The Chance You Want To See In The World

What’s wrong with the world today? Occasionally, if you’re like me, you can’t help but wonder, as Flight of the Conchords did all the way back in 2007. While some issues are timeless, many are particular to this era. A quick check of the internet tells us these problems include, but are not limited to: Millennials (if the writer is a Boomer), Boomers (if the writer is a Millennial), both of those (if the writer is a Gen-Xer), the mainstream media (if you’re reading the President’s tweets), the President (If you’re reading basically anyone else’s tweets), “echo chambers,” the internet itself, and of course, whether or not your favorite food is a sandwich (somehow still a thing).

Hope Starts Here: On Love and Legislation

If you’ve had your head stuck in the sand lately (and perhaps voluntarily), you may have missed a lot of recent happenings in the news. It almost seems as if the world is imploding every single day. People are getting fired, legislation is/is not passing, Russia is involved, everyone is mad at everyone. It’s a hot mess out there, people.

Stay With Your Loneliness: Field Notes on Sobriety

Around a decade ago, a special kind of “bad day” chewed me up and spit me out into a corner to cry. It was a 5% self pity, 95% yes-that-really-happened kind of day. While the events themselves are irrelevant, something changed, particularly my relationship with alcohol and other forms of quick, convenient escape from sadness and pain.

The Life-Giving Fruit of 'Me Too'

Loneliness: the often-ignored, raw feeling in the pit of my stomach; the unreasonable fear when I wake up at 3 o’clock in the morning and my heart beats out a staccato of fear while my night, my day, my life yawns ahead of me, empty and terrifying. Loneliness visits me with tiny needles of disappointment as I scroll through social media and feel left out. It trickles through my brain while I go on with my life and only rarely do I respond with the soul-cry: Please. I don’t want to be alone.

Say No More: Moving Against The Current of PC Culture

It was the morning of November 9, 2016. Like much of America, I couldn’t stop reading and thinking. Despite having gone to bed around 3am, captivated by the television, I had energy to spare. The day became a blur, a constant stream of text messages, email, and links. Everyone, everywhere, seemed to be searching for the answer to the same question: What. Just. Happened? 

Pour Yourself a Think

“Ashly, you need to get out of your head.”

I stared at my therapist like he was speaking Swahili. Out of my head? Where would I be if I wasn’t in my head? Immediately I conjured up an image of going through life like a zombie, with vacant staring eyes, terrible conversation skills, and absurdly slow reactions.  

When the Tree of Knowledge Bears No Fruit: Pursuing a Life Less Clicked-Through

The library at my college was a brick building with plenty of charm on the outside and plenty of sterile metal on the inside. Metal shelves and metal carts held stacks of worn, discolored, plastic-wrapped books. What the library lacked in charm it made up for in knowledge. Walking through row after row of books, the possibility of vast information locked away in each cloth-bound package would press itself upon me as a tangible force. 

They Call It Adulting: Choosing to Bridge the Generation Gap

“I want to beg all you who constitute the ‘older generation’ to overlook our shortcomings and to appreciate our virtues. [...] We hold the infinite possibilities of the myriads of new inventions within our grasp. We are in touch with the whole universe. [...] Instead of helping us work out our problems with constructive, sympathetic thinking and acting, you have muddled them for us more hopelessly with destructive public condemnation and denunciation.”

-Ellen Welles Page

Choosing to Lose: Wendell Berry's Sustainable Activism

One of the defining features of Donald Trump’s rhetoric is its obsession with winning. As Trump made clear on the campaign trail, he subscribes to the (arguably very American) belief that winning brings happiness: “We’re going to win so much, you may even get tired of winning. And you’ll say, ‘Please, please, it’s too much winning, we can’t take it anymore. Mr. President, it’s too much.’ And I’ll say, ‘No it isn’t, we have to keep winning, we have to win more, we’re going to win more.’ We’re going to win so much… You will be so happy.”

An Ultralight Beam: Joy Is the Weapon 2017 Needs

If you want evidence that 2016 was a nightmare for most people, Google the “Me Before vs. Me After 2016” meme. You’ll scroll through countless examples making claims about the quality of life before 2016 and how badly the year marred it. Examples include Carrie from Carrie holding flowers as prom queen on stage vs. Carrie drenched in pig’s blood, and Harry Potter as a fresh young wizard at the beginning of his first Hogwarts semester juxtaposed with an angsty adult Harry staring into the sky, face bloodied to a pulp after receiving a whooping from Voldemort.

A Space Made Holy By Our Hands

It was the Fall of 2012, and I has just moved into my first adult housing situation. The place was quite possibly one gal shy of being considered a brothel, but shacking up with some best friends and sprinkling in some new ones was a welcome salve for the life season I was about to hurl myself into. I learned my first big lesson the minute I unpacked my belongings: there are two kinds of people -- those that decorate, and those that don’t.