Review: Dinosaurs by Lydia Millet

By Lip Kee from Singapore, Republic of Singapore – Gambel’s quail (Callipepla gambelii), CC BY-SA 2.0,

Though it took me weeks to read Dinosaurs by Lydia Millet, when I could squeak in a few minutes here and there – I was pulled into the world of the lead character, Gil and his earnest quest to be helpful, to be present, to protect people and animals, to encourage comradery, to care for nature. Millet accomplished a slim novel of hope and humanity and not one word of it was sappy, sentimental, or forced.

In real life, I wish I knew more men like Gil.


So no book is perfect and I have a few things that are still irking me. One in particular is the set-up of Gil being incredibly wealthy, a small balance to the tremendous loss of his parents at a very young age. We get to see Gil without any ties to capitalism that interfere with his connection to people, the earth, and animals. If that was the point – how capitalism interferes – I’m stuck on what besides wealth that is created within capitalism can give us this open path to connection? This is literally making my brain hurt.

Always ending with a compliment – I stood up and cheered when Gil began to see the flaws in his ex – finally! It was necessary for him to ever move on. It almost took me by surprise – Gil had me convinced that she was everything and he screwed up. Oh, Millet! You brilliant writer!

Until next time!



Parental Material | Crystal Gross

My First Published Story. Thank you, Isele Magazine!

Isele Magazine

Trying to get pregnant was a full-time fucking job. Of all the useless and weird shit humans have done, we hadn’t figured out a way for women to knock ourselves up. It infuriated me that science hadn’t gotten with the program and checked off this minor issue on the gay agenda. Sure, there were some interesting schools of thought along with the women’s separatist movement in the 1960s and 70s. I totally get why women would abandon mainstream society to go live in a commune in a hidden holler somewhere. Sounded nice and could work with a broader queer lens in place for my generation.

In the meantime, I held tight to a long-standing fantasy that somewhere out there through space and time lived a brilliant, lesbian scientist who spent day and night in her very fly lab working towards our radical liberation from the y chromosome in human reproduction…

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Writing with ADHD

It’s no picnic to organize, edit, and make a freaking narrative arc. Toss in my beautiful, neurodivergent brain and I’m struggling to finish anything. My writing is in 10 different notebooks at any time. I have texts, emails, notes on post-its, scribbles and scrawls on junk mail.

Close to a year ago I began working with an ADHD coach. As with most things that require a certain amount of growth, it was emotional. It was therapy. We dug deep into my lifetime of frustrations. Completely baffled by my inability to get my shit together.

Turns out – my shit is together. For the most part. I’m glad I did the work. Get yourself a coach! I’m a fan.

If you could have a coach help you with anything – what would you ask them to help you with?

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Where do you get your ideas?

Ideas often come in line at the grocery.

Today during lunch, my mother-in-love asked me where I get my ideas for stories. Where do they come from? I was giving her the synopsis of my current short story in progress. I’m sensitive to feedback. But she responded positively and asked me the question that’s been rolling around in my head all day.

The answer is – it depends. This story started growing in my mind back in October of 2022. A person asking for money at the corner of Orleans and Claiborne caught my attention – especially his sign. From there I envisioned myself talking to him about it, asking him why he chose his specific solicitation message – the “ask” if you will.

From there my mind replaced my own image with someone else. A younger woman, earnest and interested in people and the environment. For weeks I imagined her moving about her day and one day, I had her drive to work because she now had a job. Once she was in an office, the story really took off.

Inspiration is a favorite topic of mine. I like to think about it, process ways unique to me and hear from others. So tell me – How did you get the idea for your last story, essay, poem, etc?

Share the wealth. Where do you get your ideas?

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