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Jesse writes science and speculative fiction from his residential plant museum in northern California.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a writer, or a painter, or a sketch artist, or even a game designer. A fundamental truth about being a creative person is that at some point you will, 100% guaranteed, look at something you’re creating and hate it.

Here’s something I frequently see in writing communities on Twitter:

Does this ever sound like you?

To add to the misery, you might even share something that you know you should be proud of with a significant other or a friend — knowing, somewhat subconsciously, that they’re not going to hate it, but then assuming…


Is self-publishing for everyone? Probably not, despite the accolades being sung all across the internet in the shadow of a handful of formerly self-published authors. There is an enormous amount of work that goes into a story after it’s been written, so much so that with three self-published books under my belt I can finally breathe a sigh of relief knowing that my goals have been accomplished.

What goals exactly?

I self-published because I wanted to work on becoming a good potential business partner for a literary agent; before I talk with any literary agent, I want to bring to…


From UC Berkeley’s slideshow, showcasing their commitment to parent students.

In a 2013 report for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Nelson, Froehner, and Gault (2013) reported the following about college students in the United States: approximately 25% have at least one dependent child; for both low-income and first-generation students, that percentage jumps up to nearly 33%; of those with children, 49% are first-generation students. Despite all this, federal programs like the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program has issued less grants for programs that target parent students every year since 2012. …


Photo by Hannah Wei on Unsplash

Growing up with an alcoholic mother and an angry father will teach you very quickly to find a way to escape reality. Like most kids before the internet, I gravitated toward books about dragons and space and magic and everything else a boy would be interested in. I didn’t read a lot, though — where my time was mostly spent was in coming up with stories of my own.

Writing has always been a way for me to cope with life’s uncertainties and process how I am feeling. In high school, where the tidal forces of hormones are in full…


Creating the idea for a show or movie starts the honeymoon period of creativity, but it will soon dissipate unless you know how it will end.

The bridge between your premise and your ending is where the bulk of your story will grow. Feed it! (Photo by Cody Hiscox on Unsplash)

Coming up with a premise is half the equation for a good story. The other half is coming up with the ending, and I argue that this needs to happen sooner rather than later because, well, the hardest part of writing your story is coming up with a satisfying ending.

Some people like to classify writers as pantsers and plotters. If you don’t know, pantsers are people who write by the seat of their…


American higher education institutions who process data of students from the EU are scrambling to ensure they’re compliant with the May 25th deadline of the GDPR.

To help, here is a checklist of items you’ll want to follow. This is a good starting point for any institution who is looking for a foundational compliance plan, but does not constitute legal advice or an actual compliance plan. Your individual institutional climate is going to dictate the specifics of how you comply with the GDPR; what I’ve done for you in this article is to give you the what and the why.


I’m actually getting the dishes done, the floors cleaned, and putting in more miles, thanks to the resurgence of audio dramas as accessible and fun entertainment.

My go-to running buddy is the NPR One app on my smartphone. I really enjoy long, slow runs with the folks from Hidden Brain, TED Talks, and Scriptnotes playing in my ear as I tune out my body and just sort of glide along in a state of physical meditation and mental relaxation. …


Grab a piece of paper and pencil, and sketch out a portrait of someone you know from memory. Unless you’ve already been practicing for a dozen years, chances are that portrait is not going to look like the subject you intended it to look like. But does that make the portrait a bad one?

Well, that’s going to depend on who you ask, since criticism* is based on two things: fact, and opinion. People generally aren’t going to be able to differentiate their comments for you up front, so it’s up to you to determine whether you need to take…


Computers compute — they don’t make judgments. That’s one of many sentiments expressed during a recent interview with a financial aid director in the California community college system. I wanted to get a feel for how the adoption of technology helps or hinders people like him and his department, and the 20-year veteran of college financial services shared concerns and recommendations that transcend FA and speak to a greater challenge in higher education.

John* started as a financial aid technician, and over the last 20 years he’s made a name for himself as a pragmatic and efficient Financial Aid Director…


The new Gainful Employment legislation has some colleges nervous about what the Feds will come out with regarding the salaries of their past graduates. While these programs have come under increasingly scrutiny, there has yet to be any formal attention given to liberal arts degrees in the form of measuring goal attainment of degree holders. If we want to measure the success of these programs, surely we wouldn’t use the same method we do for measuring GE programs, right?

I’m worried there will be a push to somehow try to measure whether liberal arts degree holders are employed within their…

Jesse Lawson

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