All posts by laurisburns

Writer, traveler, cook, photographer, graphic designer, depending on the day of the week and my mood at the moment.

Mind Control

Brain-washing, the Ugly American, Sushi, Growing Up & Out of Ego-Mania. And more, but that’s for another day.

Don’t Mess with My History

Do we really need to remove the monuments honoring confederate “heroes?” Or do we need to use them to illuminate our history as it actually was, in a search for truth and understanding of our real past? President Trump has claimed that removing these statues represents the changing of history. […]

Writing & Passion

I am probably passionate about too many different things. It often feels like my brain is composed of a large bag of marbles, and someone has dropped them on a hard surface, causing all of them to pop, jump and scatter about, making it tough to focus on any one particular topic. I truly admire people who are so passionate about one particular subject that they zone in on it to the exclusion of everything else…

Writers’ Solitude

Have you ever had the opportunity to experience total solitude for a week? Time to focus on your writing and exist in a world where it’s not even necessary to block the rest of the world out because for that chunk of time, the rest of the world doesn’t exist in your life? I had this experience for the first time recently when I attended a retreat at the Ricardo Palma House…

Poverty in America

Having grown up being taught about the “American Dream,” it’s hard to wrap my arms around the reality of 41 million people living in poverty in my country. This UN observer, having investigated other countries in the past, now visits communities in the US where people have no income, no access to bathrooms, no place to sleep and no hope.

The UN’s Philip Alston’s “fact-finding mission into the richest nation the world has ever known has led him to investigate the tragedy at its core: the 41 million people who officially live in poverty.”

“My role is to hold governments to account,” he said. “If the US administration doesn’t want to talk about the right to housing, healthcare or food, then there are still basic human rights standards that have to be met. It’s my job to point that out.”

The Observer – Writing in Progress

“You took the bus? Weren’t you the only non-native person riding?” Isabel is shocked to learn that the observer rides busses. The look of concern, if not outright horror, on her face makes it clear that this is one thing about the city which she has never learned. “I could have sent my driver for you. Weren’t you afraid of being robbed?” Robbed. On a crowded bus. It could happen, she thinks, remembering the young man who insisted on vacating his seat for her. The man jumping on and off busses all day to earn enough cash to survive. The old lady bending with the weight of her huge shopping bags as she climbed the steps to board. It could happen…

Stories Remembered

My New England stories are based on my memories of growing up in a small New England town. The stories, and the memories, are so much a part of me that I don’t always know which parts are something I experienced and which parts live in the imagination of my […]