This month, our authors are taking punches, tasting blood, running faster, and remembering feeling cast aside. Also: cats and babies. To submit a first line, email

Free of Malice by Liz Lazarus

“Run. Run faster.”

Becoming Enough by Amanda Johnson

“Some of my earliest memories are of feeling left out, cast aside, unwanted.”

Olivia and the Mush by Marie Lopez

“Do you know the two cats that live in the little blue house on Walnut Lane?”

When Postpartum Packs a Punch by Kristina Cowan

“First I had a baby. Then I felt crazy.”

Working World Mentor by Robert Jastremski

“Too bad we only live once.”

Everywhere That Tommy Goes by Howard K. Pollack

“I don’t know how many punches I’ve taken, but the metallic taste of warm blood is overwhelming.”