Michaella A. Thornton

Michaella A. Thornton’s writing has appeared in Creative NonfictionNew South, The Southeast Review, The New Territory Magazine, Midwestern Gothic, and a University of Missouri Press anthology, Words Matter: Writing to Make a Difference (2016). After graduating from the Missouri School of Journalism, Thornton interned with National Public Radio’sWeekend Edition Saturday and the Tucson Weekly. She earned her MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Arizona. In March 2018 she shared her “true, personal story about science” for the St. Louis Public Radio and The Story Collider. 

Posts by Michaella A. Thornton

Navigating Love’s Long Line with Sophfronia Scott

In 2016, I was captivated when Sophfronia Scott read an excerpt from her essay, “Why I Didn’t Go to the Firehouse,” at the River Pretty Writers Retreat in Tecumseh, Missouri. The essay is a meditation about why Scott, when confronted with the news that a deadly shooting had just occurred at her third-grade son’s school, […]

How Writers Write While Raising Human Beings, Part 3

Lifting the veil on how writers write (or take hiatuses from writing) while raising families is important. The false dichotomy that is often presented, especially to women—either write or parent—is a toxic, non-inclusive way of thinking. As the late writer Ursula K. Le Guin put it, “Another thing that I’ve found … [is that] women […]

How Writers Write While Raising Human Beings, Part 2

In the opening of the poem, “Advice to Myself,” award-winning, Native American writer Louise Erdrich reminds anyone who has somehow managed to raise a family, keep a home, and make art to,   “Leave the dishes. Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen […]

Last Meals

As a young girl, I loved to fish, especially with my granddad on the pontoon early in the Missouri summer. We would fish Pomme de Terre Lake around 6 or 6:30 a.m. and angle for crappie, sunfish, and perch until lunch. When we had a “mess of fish,” Granddad’s language, he and grandma would clean […]

How Writers Write While Raising Human Beings, Part 1

“I’m right now in the Dordogne very close to Montaigne’s château and library, and I confess I have found myself thinking of the father of the essay and how decadent it might have been for him to be the father of the essay instead of the caregiver of his daughter, because an essay waits patiently […]

Instagram Museums, the Missouri Edition

Amanda Hess’ September 26 piece for The New York Times was a brilliant and incisive look at how New York’s (and San Francisco’s, to some degree) pop-up-museum scene serves as a great social-media photo backdrop for the younger set. The story embodied American culture’s preeminent desire to capture the perfect evidence of colorful, whimsical, I-am-not-missing-out, […]

Do To-Do Lists Really Work?

This Friday I will venture to a small southern Missouri town (population 586) named Tecumseh, named after the great Shawnee chief and warrior. Almost every spring and fall, since April 2015, I have packed up my compact car and driven to Ozark County for a writing retreat in the woods near the North Fork of […]

The Cold (Ancient) Comfort of Beer

Beer has been in the news a lot lately, and not just because a particular U.S. Supreme Court nominee may have enjoyed a cold one, or a keg or two, in June 1982. Stanford University archaeologists near Haifa, Israel have discovered humans may have first started brewing and drinking beer 13,000 years ago, not 5,000 […]

14 Ways to Let Go

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” —Dalai Lama   This past week has officially been too much. Hearts and minds are weary, and there is a collective need to press the restart button and let go. Remember: Letting go does not equal forgetting. After […]

I Say A Little Prayer

As a survivor of sexual abuse which took part during my high school years, I have dreaded and awaited this Thursday as soon as I knew September 27 would be the day Dr. Christine Blasey Ford would testify. I had just turned 13 years old in October 1991 when I watched the despicable and abusive […]