Photo of a mother and very young son (9 months) at the piano together. Her hair is sandy brown, pulled back, with strands falling across her face and down toward the piano. Her son’s eyes bulge out as he grasps for the instrument. One of her hands holds him. The other touches the keys. Both of the baby’s hands are on the white keys.
Photo of a mother and very young son (9 months) at the piano together. Her hair is sandy brown, pulled back, with strands falling across her face and down toward the piano. Her son’s eyes bulge out as he grasps for the instrument. One of her hands holds him. The other touches the keys. Both of the baby’s hands are on the white keys.
Photo Credit: Joan Wilson. Photo is of me at the piano with my oldest son, 9 months old at the time.

Like many of us during the pandemic, the extra time at home shifted my attention. I found myself sitting down at the piano more and more often in comparison to before.

At first, it was all Scott Joplin, his lesser known rags, not Maple Leaf or The Entertainer (the notorious ice cream truck tune). My initial response to the pandemic was to make my house sound like a carnival, a show, a celebration to counter the uncertainty and anxiety that left me panicked and struggling to breathe after my first masked outing to the grocery store, some two weeks into…


A Short Film and a Meditation on Time

Poster Image for The Quintet of Sunset

Like others that I’ve spoken with, my experience of time during pandemic is disjointed. It has become hard to track. Before, time was a rigid thing with neat boxes to measure it by: school drop-off, yoga class, soccer practice, my teaching commitments, work meetings, doctor’s appointments, etc. Now, time has no form, no clear function: I find it expansive one day, precise and fleeting the next. Things are beginning to reopen right now, to pulse closer to “normal” or the new normal, whatever that means. Still, time remains allusive and interesting to me.

Too often, I find myself asking. “What…


Independent Bookstores To Love

Image of books with text overlayed: Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day
Image of books with text overlayed: Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day

Let’s celebrate Independent Bookstore Day with a favorites list! I’m sharing my favorites and the favorites of some of my favorite people and other writers. This list features loads of bookstores in Los Angeles, so if you are in L.A. or heading there soon, this list has you covered. We’ve got suggestions in other areas as well, including Vancouver, the U.K. and more. Most indie bookstores ship anywhere, so support your local independent bookstore or order from any of these! Also, please add YOUR favorite independent bookstore in the comments. Let’s spread the love!


*This story originally appeared on the B*tch Flicks site in 2016. The site is no longer active, but I have a soft spot for this piece and decided to re-share it here, with a few updates. Many of our friends working for criminal justice reform are using this film as an educational tool. If you would like a free screener, email jennifer (at) thinktenmediagroup.com.

As a woman and a filmmaker, I asked myself many times why my short film, THE wHOLE, focused on a man in an almost exclusively male milieu. …


Image of the entrance to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, snow blankets the ground
Image of the entrance to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, snow blankets the ground
Auschwitz

Because of April
Boscoe doesn’t eat fish
And Freddy teaches peace to others,
Traveled to Bangui to assist with food relief
And once walked through the Kigali Genocide Memorial
With individuals who murdered 80 of his family members

Because of April
Romeo shook hands with the devil
And still can’t shake off his shadow
And my park guide in Rwanda speaks the 41 languages of Uganda
But does not have a single blood relative

Because of April
I travel the world seeking answers to questions no one should have to ask

11 million in Europe
1 million in Africa
3 million in…


Bright abstract art with wide brush strokes and some splatters. Various shades of blue dominate. Some splatters look like purple-silver glitter. There are other colors as well: bright yellow, red, light green, and a few strokes of white around the edges.
Bright abstract art with wide brush strokes and some splatters. Various shades of blue dominate. Some splatters look like purple-silver glitter. There are other colors as well: bright yellow, red, light green, and a few strokes of white around the edges.
Hive Mind by Katherine Lockett-Clark. Find her work on Facebook, Instagram or here.

Recently, the New York Times asked creative people 7 questions about the first year of the pandemic. When I first saw this, I thought about answering the same questions on my medium page. Then, I forgot. Recently, Roxane Gay answered these questions on her substack (which I love, subscribe!) and it reminded me that I wanted to do this too. Here goes.

What’s one thing you made this year?

We baked a lot this year. Sometimes, just me, learning to make bread and English muffins. Sometimes, me and the kids: cake, cookies. Oh and donuts! We stretched outside of our…


Choose to Challenge — Celebrate & Take Action

Image courtesy of Pixabay

When I reignited this medium page last Fall, I led with a piece on the reality that women’s bodies, even in 2020, remained a battlefield. Still among the most popular pieces on my page, A Dark Legacy was written in response to forced hysterectomies at ICE detention facilities in the United States, but also referenced the historical reality

“that women’s bodies have always, and often, been treated like a battlefield, a territory to control in a grasp for power.”

Those words remain all too true, as I was reminded recently in various…


In Praise of Books for World Book Day

Photo Credit: Min An via Pexels

I only brought one book. I should have brought two or four or twenty or five thousand, even more. Maybe then, it would have been enough. The books towering above me, creating a pathway to the sky, for an ant, anyway. I would never climb the tower of books, never desecrate them in this way — not even the “bad” ones.

Perhaps, I could play Jenga. Carefully pulling out one book and then another until the tower came tumbling down, burying me in a pile of books. …


Loss and Life Boats

An image of a lake at dusk with a green island forest visible in the distance.
An image of a lake at dusk with a green island forest visible in the distance.
Dusk in Kibuye; the view from our plastic, white table; Rwanda 2018

Eve sat at the table next to mine, only 3 to 5 feet separating us. The white, circular plastic tables and matching chairs could have been anywhere in the world, just as Eve and I could have been. She, Dutch by nationality. Me, American. Both of us, alone, in Kibuye, Rwanda. Each pulled to this place for our own reasons. The beauty of Lake Kivu stretched before us at dusk. A beer on each of our tables. French fries, on mine. I think. I can’t recall that detail, but I do remember the look in Eve’s eyes. …


Parenting in a Pandemic

Image credit: Taryn Elliott, pexels.com

I fill the tub, making the water as hot as I can stand it. I slide in and my ice cold feet burn from the contrast. It hurts at first, but I continue. I submerge everything except pointy knees, chin, lips, nose, eyes, forehead, hair. I slide my hands into the hot water last. My right hand, so dry from the New Mexico wind that the skin is cracked, causes me to wince as the hot water attacks the broken places. …

Indie Jen Fischer

Co-Founder, Think Ten Media Group. Mom. Coffee Lover. Currently writing #TheLeeches (novel series) and researching education in post-genocide societies

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