She couldn’t seriously consider moving there if the coffee was garbage.

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Photo Courtesy of Leszekglasner

There were few things more alluring than a warm cup of coffee in the fall when the air turned cool and the leaves turned to fiery colors. She usually insisted that coffee was a year-round delight since she was admittedly rather obsessed with the proper preparation of espresso-based drinks. As they walked into the cafe, the smell of freshly-roasted coffee beans hit her instantaneously.

“This place looks nice,” her partner said.

“It does,” she admitted.

She eyed the menu of the coffee shop, feeling deeply apprehensive. She didn’t like the town her partner of five years wanted to move to. It might sound like a ridiculous reason to dislike a town, but it was altogether too nice. It was so very nice that all of the apartments were as egregiously overpriced as the coffee menu. …


Stop and ask yourself. What kind of self-care are you doing?

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Photo Courtesy of Lenaivanova2311

The University of North Carolina did a five-year study that revealed only 6.6% of Americans 25 and older engaged in health-related self-care each day. Different studies get different results, but I do think this is a common thing. I didn’t decide to practice self-care because I thought it might improve my mood day to day or because I had a small problem.

I started practicing self-care because I was in such a bad place, I felt like I had no other choice.

I didn’t think self-care would be a meaningful intervention. I thought so many of the things we call self-care were silly. For example, breathing exercises. I truly believed breathing exercises wouldn’t help me through day-to-day difficult situations.

It really did take me years, but it’s amazing how much breathing exercises can make a difference in stressful situations. I really didn’t think it was possible for a long time. I didn’t really try to do breathing exercises properly until I started doing yoga. It’s amazing how something as simple as breathing in and exhaling slower than you inhaled can be soothing. …


2020 just can’t stop kicking people while we’re down.

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Photo Courtesy of KrakenImages

I wish I was just writing clickbait nonsense right now. But alas, every word is true, I really did get a concussion for Christmas. The worst part is that this was my gift to me. It was entirely my fault.

T’was four days before Christmas and all through the apartment…

Not a creature was stirring, but a human sure was.

I opened the very sturdy metal and glass medicine cabinet over my bathroom sink to put a few odds and ends away. I left it open and starting pouring some drain unclogger down the drain. These were all perfectly normal tasks. I was doing them quickly since that’s typically how I clean or tidy up. …


My goal was to say something meaningful with as few words as possible.

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Image by Author

I wanted to emphasize the importance of mindfulness in this visual story. Like many pessimistic skeptics drinking coffee and scowling at news headlines, I didn’t put a lot of weight in mindfulness when people first started talking about it. I thought it sounded nice, but I didn’t think there was any way it could apply to me and my busy life of being a full-time student and working full-time.

Mindfulness seems like something lofty and difficult to practice. …


How can you make it a little easier to integrate self-care into your life?

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Illustration Courtesy of VectorMine

There was something that left me feeling a little disenchanted with the kind of writing that I writing lately. It felt aimless. It felt disjointed and it felt like I was just rehashing familiar topics in slightly different ways. That’s precisely why I wanted to try and address self-care a little differently with my poetry.

In a writing workshop with NYT bestseller Rupi Kaur, one of the prompts was to write from the perspective of different body parts. I love to step out of my usual narrative voice and give life to something that usually can’t speak for itself. …


In the realm of digital media, the art of the novel has become stagnant.

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Image by Author

My life as a writer and my life as a reader has largely been wrought with frustration.

As a writer, it’s incredibly hard for me to earn any money with fiction. The big five dominate the print publishing field. They’re locked away in an ivory tower, leaving authors to either spend years trying to find an agent or pitch their stories to small publishers that may never lead to earning a dime.

As a reader, it’s hard to find ample reading material without breaking the bank or filling my small one-bedroom apartment with bookcases. As much as I love physical books, ebooks are more practical. …


We’re envisioning a nirvana for fiction writers and readers, but paradise isn’t built overnight.

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Illustration Courtesy of VectorMine

Amid our lofty ideas of making a difference in the literary community, we need to look at the hard and fast issues that come along with trying to build a new platform. We are in the ideation and prototyping stage, but we envision Fiction Stop as a home for weekly serialized fiction.

We are conducting extensive market research and design research to ensure we find a good place in the competitive digital content market. …


Our core idea has survived customer interviews thus far, but there are different paths we can take in feature prioritization.

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Photo Courtesy of MinDof

Fiction Stop will be a home for weekly serialized fiction. Readers can subscribe for unlimited access to novels for a low monthly price. We will serve readers while supporting authors by allowing them to monetize their stories based on readership.

Currently, readers on a budget have to wade through saturated platforms like FictionPress or WattPad if they want to have affordable access to fiction. Even paid services like Kindle Unlimited have very little quality gatekeeping. We will scout talented authors and guide them through the editing process. We will gradually publish their chapters to increase reader engagement and help them monetize their stories. …


Interactive storytelling can take many forms—and it might just make you get off the sofa.

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Photo Courtesy of Nnudoo

I’m becoming progressively more obsessed with exploring different forms of storytelling. I’m admittedly a bit of an outcast in the literary fiction community since I am so intrigued by these unconventional models. I’m curious about the potential of things like interactive storytelling and the model of serialized fiction.

To culminate on a semester’s worth of coding study, I want to write a piece of flash fiction that would be advanced by the user taking on certain poses and motions. …


This time, I got my Arduino talking to another device.

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Photo Courtesy of Alona

Part of me still expects something to go catastrophically wrong each time I pick up my Arduino. But so far, luckily, I haven’t shocked myself or caused any fires, even when I dangled the poor thing over boiling water. I did manage to fry an Arduino, but that’s a story for another day.

When diving into this project, I started out with the most unnecessary step.

Choosing thematically appropriate wire colors.

All the productivity gurus will tell you to do the most important thing first.

I did not. I picked pretty wires first.

On the plus side, I’m getting a good sense of the basic necessities of writing up buttons and LEDs, so this part wasn’t too time-consuming. I did get a little tripped up and confused about which resistor I needed to use to make the button work, but I realized my mistake without blowing anything up—always a victory. …

About

Leigh Fisher

Writer and poet from Neptune. Instructional designer in NYC. Grad student at @NYUTandon studying Integrated Digital Media.

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