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About Charlotte Donlon

Charlotte lives in Birmingham, Alabama, right by the train tracks that cut through the city. She's married to Tim, and they have a daughter, Riley, and a son, Brady. She's earning an MFA in creative writing from Seattle Pacific University and she does freelance writing and copywriting. You can find her online at www.charlottedonlon.com and on Twitter at @charlottedonlon.

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Author Archive
    
    "Mockingbird Turns 10" Interviews: Bryan Jarrell

    “Mockingbird Turns 10” Interviews: Bryan Jarrell

    This is the ninth and final installment in a series of interviews with myself and various writers and members of the Mockingbird community. These posts will explore some aspects of each individual’s personal story and some aspects of Mockingbird’s larger story and ministry as we celebrate its 10th Anniversary. Additional interviews in this series can be found here.

    Charlotte Donlon: How did you first find out about Mockingbird?

    Bryan Jarrell: I wasn’t there at the beginning, but I think I heard about it within its first year or so. I was an undergrad at the time and had just come out of my…

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    "Mockingbird Turns 10" Interviews: Melina Smith

    “Mockingbird Turns 10” Interviews: Melina Smith

    This is the eighth installment in a series of interviews with myself and various writers and members of the Mockingbird community. These posts will explore some aspects of each individual’s personal story and some aspects of Mockingbird’s larger story and ministry as we celebrate its 10th Anniversary. Additional interviews in this series can be found here.

    Charlotte Donlon: How did you find out about Mockingbird?

    Melina Smith: I know about Mockingbird because our church, Calvary St. George’s in New York City, has been connected to Mockingbird from the beginning. When Dave Zahl moved to New York several years ago, he and my husband,…

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    Music, Truth, and David Zahl’s A Mess of Help: From the Crucified Soul of Rock N’ Roll

    Music, Truth, and David Zahl’s A Mess of Help: From the Crucified Soul of Rock N’ Roll

    Last week I was revising an essay that’s in my thesis for my MFA in creative writing. It’s about music and memory, and I write about how music roots us to past, present, and future versions of ourselves. While I was revising that piece, my soon-to-be-15-year-old daughter asked me to review one of her essays. It was also about music and memory. It was about other things, too (essays are usually about other things besides the obvious things), but it was a sort of exploration of different seasons of her life and music was the vehicle that carried me through…

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    "Mockingbird Turns 10" Interviews: Aaron Zimmerman

    “Mockingbird Turns 10” Interviews: Aaron Zimmerman

    This is the seventh installment in a series of interviews with myself and various writers and members of the Mockingbird community. These posts will explore some aspects of each individual’s personal story and some aspects of Mockingbird’s larger story and ministry as we celebrate its 10th Anniversary. Additional interviews in this series can be found here.

    Charlotte Donlon: How did you find out about Mockingbird?

    Aaron Zimmerman: Well, it was started around 2007 as a tiny blog by some friends of mine. I knew all of them from seminary and they asked me to be a writer for the website.

    CD: How has the…

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    Stories of Grace and Ethan Richardson's This American Gospel

    Stories of Grace and Ethan Richardson’s This American Gospel

    In an article from The Atlantic, Cody C. Delistraty writes about the psychological comforts of storytelling. He writes, “Stories can be a way for humans to feel that we have control over the world. They allow people to see patterns where there is chaos, meaning where there is randomness.” He also says stories can impact and form our emotional lives. Storytelling pulls back the curtain on others’ minds so we can see how people operate and think. This process can validate and challenge our own beliefs. Another reason we tell stories is that we all want to be a part…

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    Reading to Big Kids, Making Connections, and The Very Persistent Pirate

    Reading to Big Kids, Making Connections, and The Very Persistent Pirate

    Some of my most cherished memories of my kids’ younger years are connected to our children’s books. We read to our kids multiple times every day with The Carrot Seed, Caps for Sale, If You Give a Pig a Pancake, Curious George, and Olivia topping our list of favorites. When they got a little older, we added books like Sylvester and the Magic Pebble and The Velveteen Rabbit. Once our kids started reading, they chose chapter books—Amelia Bedelia, The Boxcar Children, Ramona, and more. My kids loved to read and constantly consumed books like athletes consume water after a grueling…

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    "Mockingbird Turns 10" Interviews: Charlotte Getz

    “Mockingbird Turns 10” Interviews: Charlotte Getz

    This is the sixth installment in a series of monthly-ish interviews between myself and various writers and members of the Mockingbird community. These posts will explore some aspects of each individual’s personal story and some aspects of Mockingbird’s larger story and ministry as we celebrate its 10th Anniversary. Additional interviews in this series can be found here.

    Charlotte Donlon: How did you find out about Mockingbird?

    Charlotte Getz: I have known about Mockingbird since its beginning. I grew up in Birmingham and went to the Advent (Cathedral Church of the Advent) there. Paul Zahl was my minister so I knew the Zahl family…

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    Seeking Freedom from Dieting and Body Shame: Part Three

    Seeking Freedom from Dieting and Body Shame: Part Three

    One of the comments from this recent article in the New York Times Magazine on diet culture in America says:

    As humans I think we are all seeking something more. We all want to be better, and to be different. Some days we love ourselves. Some days we don’t. This Feature went way beyond weight for me, it spoke about the common constant striving of humanity and about shared desires and secrets….of our anxieties, our struggles, our sadness, and our love and hopes.

    There is so much awareness in the words above. We all spend so much time and energy to be…

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    "Mockingbird Turns 10" Interviews: Ethan Richardson

    “Mockingbird Turns 10” Interviews: Ethan Richardson

    This is the fifth installment in a series of monthly-ish interviews between myself and various writers and members of the Mockingbird community. These posts will explore some aspects of each individual’s personal story and some aspects of Mockingbird’s larger story and ministry as we celebrate its 10th Anniversary. Additional interviews in this series can be found here.

    Charlotte Donlon: How did you connect with Mockingbird?

    Ethan Richardson: I got connected pretty early on. I’ve been on staff for six years now. Before that I did a Teach for America placement in New Orleans after I graduated from college. I was having a tough…

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    Seeking Freedom from Dieting and Body Shame: Part Two

    Seeking Freedom from Dieting and Body Shame: Part Two

    I’m sitting at Barnes and Noble at The Summit shopping center in Birmingham while my daughter is watching Wonder Woman with a friend at the movie theater here. I thought about going home and coming back later to pick her up when the movie is over, but I chose alone time with my computer and a cup of mediocre decaf instead. The traffic on Highway 280 is especially bad this time of day. And time by myself is always a good option.

    There are three (maybe) college students—a young woman and two young men—at the table across from me talking about…

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    An Ode to Print: The Mockingbird Magazine

    An Ode to Print: The Mockingbird Magazine

    A quick Google search will show that researchers have studied and continue to study the differences that exist between print and digital reading experiences. There are pros and cons of both mediums, and it looks like neither format will disappear anytime soon.

    I love the physicality of real paper and definitely connect with Ferris Jabr’s words here from a 2013 Scientific American article “The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens”:

    In most cases, paper books have more obvious topography than onscreen text. An open paperback presents a reader with two clearly defined domains—the left and right…

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    Seeking Freedom from Dieting and Body Shame: Part One

    Seeking Freedom from Dieting and Body Shame: Part One

    During the first call with my new health coach, she told me to stop weighing myself. I agreed to cease this action and hid our scale next to my hair dryer and a pack of cotton balls in a bathroom cabinet. That lasted three days. The scale is now back on the black-and-white ceramic tile floor beside my bathtub, and I step on it every morning after I wake up. Some days I weigh myself multiple times. Don’t tell my health coach.

    I have operated with a diet mentality for thirty years. As a serious classical ballet dancer during my teens,…

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