Here is the World.

"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid."
— Frederick Buechner

Hi! I'm a writer and this is my tumblr. I post lots of things about representation and diversity and writing and art. There are also cute animals, nerdly things and dragons on occasion.

I am just learning about trigger warnings and tagging, so please be careful, especially when browsing the terrible tag. I’m going to try and do better about that going forward, but I post anything that needs more/better tags, please let me know. I want this to be a safe space. :)

There will occasionally be personal things, like links to my blog or book news, but mostly it’s just me reblogging other people’s smart thoughts and giggling at hobbit gifs.
Recent Tweets @MiriamForster
Who I Follow




Save the viking goats!!!

Johanna Thorvaldsdóttir’s Icelandic goat farm (Háafell) is facing foreclosure in September, resulting in the entire goat flock being butchered - unless enough funds are raised to save it!

There are less than 820 Icelandic goats in the entire world - they are an endangered species. Almost half of them will be lost if this farm is not saved. I visited Háafell 2 years ago and every goat I draw is rooted in this place. Any little bit helps :)

If anyone I know eats any of these goats, we’re not friends anymore.

I gave $$ to save these goats because I have a goat thing. It’d be cool if you had a goat thing too, and a few bucks to spare.


(via pollyq)

small things to do that make your mind feel clearer

  • close all your internet tabs except the one you’re using
  • delete all your text messages
  • delete negative people from social networks
  • throw some things away. just throw them away
  • tidy your desk. make a blank surface
  • drink 3 glasses of water
  • open the curtains
  • wash your face and brush your teeth

(via renardcapricieux)



BLESS MARVEL, they’ve officially released this in HD

I think most everyone on my dash could use happy dancing Groot today <3

Everyone needs a baby dancing Groot on their dash. 

(via missterlovett)


Badass women of the future:

  1. Malavath Poorna, the youngest person ever to reach Mount Everest’s summit at the age of 13 years, 11 months
  2. Ann Makosinksi, Canadian inventor of a flashlight powered strictly by body heat at age 16

  3. Mo’Ne Davis, first girl to throw a Little League World Series shutout in history, with fastballs reaching speeds of up to 70mph, at age 13

  4. Alia Sabur, youngest university professor in the world, appointed to Konkuk University in South Korea at age 18

  5. Asia Newson, owning and operating a candle sales business alongside her father, is Detroit’s youngest entrepreneur at age 10

(via thewintersoldierhasproblems)


When the unrest in Ferguson erupted, my husband made an observation that broke my heart: “The kids were supposed to start school today.”

For me, the perfume of synthetic fibers and freshly sharpened pencils always signals the start of a new school year, and it makes me ecstatic. As a child, the ritual began with a trip to the uniform store. My older sister and I trekked onto Clark Street via a city bus. Each year, we found ourselves before the counters of what had to be the world’s largest purveyor of Catholic school uniforms. “St. Margaret Mary, please,” we would say. The elderly salesman would fetch my mostly polyester wardrobe for the upcoming school year—a plaid jumper, pleated skirts, Peter Pan-collared blouse, acrylic cardigans—carefully folded in individual plastic bags.

I loved the preparations for the first day of school so much that I became a college professor. I’ve spent most of my 34 Augusts anticipating a school year.

From the beginning of the situation in Ferguson, news reports alerted the public that Michael Brown was to start college soon. Before surveillance videos and photographs of protestors with their hands up were available, people saw a stoic Brown in a bright orange, probably acetate graduation gown. He will not have a first day ever again. And for the children of Ferguson, who have yet to have their first day, they may remember the smell of death, the odor of tear gas, the stench of an American tragedy.

In this kind of situation, people all say, what can I do? I have few talents in a crisis, but I do know I’m pretty good at teaching, and I knew Ferguson would be a challenge for teachers: When schools opened across the country, how were they going to talk about what happened? My idea was simple, but has resonated across the country: Reach out to the educators who use Twitter. Ask them to commit to talking about Ferguson on the first day of classes. Suggest a book, an article, a film, a song, a piece of artwork, or an assignment that speaks to some aspect of Ferguson. Use the hashtag: #FergusonSyllabus.

From a children’s book about living with someone with PTSD to maps of St. Louis’s school-desegregation struggles to J. Cole’s “Be Free,” the Ferguson archive was tweeted, re-tweeted, mentioned, and favorited thousands of times. A small community has formed; the fabric of this group is woven across disciplines and cultural climates. Some of us will talk about Ferguson forcefully, others gingerly, but from preschool classrooms to postdoctoral seminars, Ferguson is on the syllabus.

The following list was compiled by a community of teachers, academics, community leaders, and parents to teach about some aspect of the national crisis in Ferguson, Missouri. This is a snapshot of the recommendations that has been edited. The contributions continue on Twitter.

Teaching About Race and Ferguson

The Danger of a Single Story” 
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, TedTalk 

“A Talk to Teachers,” in The Price of the Ticket, Collected Non-Fiction 1948-1985 
James Baldwin

Constructing a Conversation on Race” 
Charles M. Blow, New York Times

Ferguson Killing Inspires Young Black Activists” 
Frederica Boswell, NPR 

On Recognizing My White Privilege as a Parent in the Face of Ferguson
Elizabeth Broadbent, xoJane

5 Ways to Teach Michael Brown and Ferguson in the New School Year” Christopher Emdin, blog

Kathee Godfrey, blog

Teaching About Ferguson” 
Julian Hipkins, Teaching for Change

#FergusonSyllabus: The #FergusonFiasco and Teaching African American Theology” 
Andre E. Johnson, blog

What Do We Teach When Kids Are Dying? #MichaelBrown
Chris Lehman, blog 

What White Children Need to Know About Race
Ali Michad and Eleonora Bartoli,

Between the By-Road & the Main Road: Curated Bibliography on Whiteness, Silence & Teaching
Mary Ann Reilly, blog

Reading Ferguson: books on race, police, protest and U.S. history” 
Hector Tobar, Los Angeles Times

Educators Use Twitter To Teach About Ferguson, Build Syllabuses
Erica Smith, “St. Louis on the Air,” St. Louis Public Radio

Healing Days: A Guide For Kids Who Have Experienced Trauma
Susan Straus

12 Things White People Can Do Now because Ferguson” 
Janee Woods, Quartz


African-American History/Civil Rights in the United States

SNCC Women, Denim and the Politics of Dress
Tansha Ford, Journal of Southern History

100 Years of Lynchings
Ralph Ginzburg

Anthony Grooms

African-American Identity in the Gilded Age
The Library of Congress

Stalking the Angel of Death: The Lynching Calendar

The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Alex Haley

Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America
Melissa Harris-Perry

Black Power
Speech delivered by C.L.R. James, 1967 

How the Children of Birmingham Changed the Civil-Rights Movement
Lottie L. Joiner, The Daily Beast

Black Liberation in the Midwest: The Struggle in St. Louis, Missouri, 1964-1970
Kenneth Jolly

Letter from a Birmingham Jail
Martin Luther King, Jr.

On Ferguson, Missouri: History, Protest, and ‘Respectability’
Clarence Lang, Labor and Working Class History Association blog

March: Book One
John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell

Learning from the 60s
An address by Audre Lorde, 1982

At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance—A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power 
Danielle L. McGuire

”’We have to make them feel us’: Open Letters and Black Mothers’ Grief”
Emily Owens, African American Intellectual History blog

Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic VisionBarbara Ransby

Family Properties: Race, Real Estate, and the Exploitation of Black Urban America
Beryl Satter

The Red Record
Ida B. Wells

The Miseducation of The Negro
Carter G. Woodson

Native Son
Richard Wright

Children’s Books

Noughts & Crosses
Malorie Blackman

Smoky Night
Eve Bunting and David Diaz 

What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black?
Margaret Burroughs 

I am Rosa Parks
Brad Meltzer

Ruth & the Green Book
Calvin Ramsey

Tar Beach
Faith Ringgold

As Fast As Words Could Fly
Pamela Tuck

The Skin You Live in
Michael Tyler

The Other Side
Jacqueline Woodson

Shining Star
Paula Yoo

Community Organizing, Leadership, Activism

Fighting Police Abuse: A Community Action Manual
American Civil Liberties Union

When the Boss Feels Inadequate: Power, Incompetence, and Aggression
Nathanael J. Fast and Serena Chen, Psychological Science 

From Eric Holder: A Message to the People of Ferguson
Eric Holder, St. Louis Post Dispatch 

“The Mindless Menace of Violence”
Robert F. Kennedy

“The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action”
Audre Lorde

Radical Equations: Civil Rights from Mississippi to the Algebra Project
Bob Moses and Charlie Cobb

Thinking in an Emergency
Elaine Scarry

Educational Issues

U.S. Schools: Desegregation court cases and school demographic data
Brown University

Race and the Ferguson-Florissant School District
Shaun R. Harper and Charlee Davis, III, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education

See Unending Struggle: The Long Road to an Equal Education in St. Louis,Gerald W. Heaney and Susan Uchitelle

Self-Segregation: Why It’s So Hard for Whites to Understand Ferguson
Robert P. Jones, The Atlantic

Reflections on Ferguson — What does education mean in a world like this? ” Daniel Katz, blog

Michael Brown’s High School Is An Example Of The Major Inequalities In Education
Rebecca Klein, Huffington Post

Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools
Jonathan Kozol

Stepping over the Color Line: African-American Students in White Suburban Schools
Amy Stuart Wells and Robert L. Crane


“Banished: How Whites Drove Blacks Out of Town in America” (2006)

“Chicago 10” (2007)

“Do the Right Thing” (1989)

“Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1985” (1990)

“Little Rock Central High School: 50 Years Later” (2007)

“The Pruitt Igoe Myth” (2011)

“Freedom Summer” (2014)

Media Studies and Journalism

In Ferguson, Photographs as Powerful Agents, Smartphone cameras are the ‘weapon of choice’ for many protestors
Maurice Berger, New York Times

Unethical journalism can make Ferguson more dangerous
Malcolm Harris, Al-Jazeera America

I will not be returning to Ferguson
Ryan L. Shuessler Blog

White Victims, Black Villains: Gender, Race, and Crime News
Carol A. Stabile

Embarrassed to Photograph Ferguson
VDC Photo Blog


“Be Free”
J. Cole

“Black Rage”
Lauren Hill

“Mississippi Goddam”
Nina Simone

Other Educational Hashtags on Twitter






Personal Reflections

Dear White Mom
Keesha Beckford, blog

Men Without a Country: Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, My Father and Me” Arthur Chu, The Daily Beast

Black Body: Rereading James Baldwin’s “Stranger in the Village”
Teju Cole, New Yorker

Blue on black violence and original crime: a view from Oakland, California” Brad Erickson,

The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race
Kareem Abdul Jabar, Time

How Does it Feel to be a Problem?
Relando Thompkins, blog

Different Rules Apply 
Matt Zoller Seitz,


Gwendolyn Brooks

“If There Be Sorrow”
Mari Evans

“I, Too, Sing America”
Langston Hughes

“If We Must Die”
Claude McKay

“The Still Voice of Harlem”
Conrad Kent Rivers

“Not an elegy for Mike Brown”
Danez Smith

“See the Heart”
Jean Toomer

“Horses Make a Landscape More Beautiful”
Alice Walker


The Rise of The Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces
Radley Balko

Database: How many grenade launchers did Michigan police departments receive?”
Detroit Free Press staff

In Ferguson, cops hand out three warrants per household every year
Kevin Drum, Mother Jones 

The Ferguson Shooting and the Science of Race and Guns
Erika Eichelberger, Mother Jones 

The Surprising History and Science of Tear Gas
Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic 

Black in Blue: African-American Police Officers and Racism
James Loewen

To What End?
Michael Maderino Blog

Police Brutality: An Anthology
Jill Nelson

The Etiquette of Police Brutality: An Autopsy
Rion Amilcar Scott,

Race and Violence in in America

The Properties of Violence: Claims to Ownership in Representations of Lynching
Sandy Alexandre

The Fire Next Time
James Baldwin

Exploring Unintentional Racism: The Case of Tim Hanks
Robert W. Grossman and Thomas E. Ford, Science Cases

The History of White People
Nell Irwin Painter

Black Riot
Raven Rakia, The New Inquiry

Heart of Whiteness
Tobias Wolff, The New Yorker

(via pollyq)




Post racial Amerikkka

I’m so disgusted.

But its not about race you guys.

(via missterlovett)





Within three days of becoming engaged, I had already been told that I shouldn’t wear my glasses, because they’re not bridal. I was told my cane wasn’t bridal. I was told my eye… was not bridal. And I realized that if I was going to be “bridal” in their eyes, I was going to have to change who I am. I am proudly disabled.

This photo is giving me LIFE

Here’s the link to the original post at Offbeat Bride (as the source link doesn’t seem to be working) 


Aids aren’t “bridal”? Absolutely fuck wedding culture. 

(via ivylaughed)


Minutes before he was shot by a police officer, Michael Brown robbed a convenience store and roughed up the manager.

The store owners said they did not report a robbery and that a customer in the store made the call via their attorney. Further, a longer version of the video shows that Brown did…





Okay, Tumblr, let’s make this go viral. You all know that representation in the media is desperately needed, and this game is delivering what many of the big-name games haven’t. Pumpkin Online is made by a development team headed by an African-American woman and they’re aiming to make this game as inclusive and friendly as possible. This is a farming/romance sim mixed up with an adventure MMORPG and made incredibly diverse.

You want to play a non-binary character? You got it! You want a range of races in your NPC neighbors? Done! Clothing choices and body features not restricted by gender? It’s in there! Relationships in no way affected by gender or lack of gender? Yes, that too!

Let’s get this thing going viral and help promote the Kickstarter (link in the article) so that everyone gets the chance to play the character they want to play. Reblog buttons, do your thing!


Havest Moon-esque MMO where you can be any gender (or lack thereof) or race and the game doesn’t turn your f/f relationship into a bullshit “friendship” instead of a marriage?




(via pollyq)

Don’t get too high and mighty, ladies. Don’t step out of line. Don’t do anything to upset or disappoint men who feel entitled to your time, bodies, affection or attention. Your bared body can always be used as a weapon against you. You bared body can always be used to shame and humiliate you. Your bared body is at once desired and loathed.

This is what we must remember. Women cannot be sexual in certain ways without consequence. Women cannot pose nude or provocatively, whether for a lover or themselves, without consequence. We are never allowed to forget how the rules are different girls. I suppose we should be grateful for this latest reminder.



Greek vase text posts

hey ritterlied

(via knottahooker)




In July I shared a story of an incident in which my city’s police stormed a man’s house looking for drugs in the middle of the night and executed his two (understandably startled) dogs. One of the dogs was shot to death while fleeing in fear, and as I noted then, this isn’t an isolated incident. Just a few years ago, the Saint Paul Police killed another family dog…and forced handcuffed children to sit next to its bleeding corpse. The kicker? The raid wasn’t even in the right house!

Now, a new report has surfaced of SPPD brutality. This time, a young father named Chris Lollie was arrested while waiting to pick up his kids from school. The charges wereTrespassing, Disorderly Conduct, and Obstructing Legal Process,” and police claimed he refused to leave an area reserved for employees of the bank building he was in. However, not only were there no signs indicating that the location was private, but Lollie wasn’t even in the bank proper; he was in the skyway.

(For those who aren’t familiar with the skyway system, it’s a thing we have in St. Paul, Minneapolis, and some other Minnesota cities. Basically, it gets hella cold here in the winter, so they built enclosed sidewalks, or skyways, one or two stories up. In the downtown areas, the skyways form a whole second network of pedestrian roads, and once you get inside your office building—or whichever building is closest to your parking garage or bus stop or whatever—you can use them to move from building to building to get around the whole downtown area. It’s an easy way to go to lunch or meetings without having the snot in your nostrils freeze. I mention all that to say: Skyways are public spaces. You do not have to be an employee in the buildings they connect to use them. Lollie was not trespassing.)

Fortunately, Lollie had the presence of mind to capture his interaction with the SPPD on film. Here’s a transcript I’ve made of the first few seconds:

Lollie: So what’s your business with me right now?

Officer: I want to find out who you are, and what the problem was back there…

Lollie: There is no problem—that’s the thing.

Officer: So, talk to me, let me know, and you can be on your way.

Lollie: Let you know…why do I have to let you know who I am? Who I am isn’t the problem.

Officer: Because that’s what police do when they get called.

Lollie: Well, I know my rights, first off. Secondly, I don’t have to let you know who I am if I haven’t broken any laws. Like I told him, I’m going to New Horizons [School] to pick up my kids at 10 o’clock. I was sitting there for ten minutes…

As the officer brushes aside his explanation and continues to illegally demand he identify himself, Lollie cuts to the chase: “The problem is I’m black. That’s the problem. No, it really is, because I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Next, Lollie and the female officer he’s been walking and talking with meet a male officer. When Lollie politely asks the officer not to touch or obstruct him, because he has to go get his kids, the man immediately responds, “Well, you’re going to go to jail then.”

As the police initiate the arrest process—telling him to put his hand behind his back or “otherwise things are going to get ugly"—the camera visuals go black. Lollie continues to be heard pleading, still polite even while he’s assaulted, that he be allowed to go meet his children.

Next, they tase him.

If that’s not enough to convince you that this is gross police misconduct, seriously, take five minutes and watch the video. The calmness of his tone alone should make it obvious that there is no possible argument that the situation merited this kind of police action:

After multiple witnesses verified Lollie’s version of events, prosecutors dropped all charges against him. One woman who is also not an employee at the bank the skyway links noted that she regularly sits during her lunch break exactly where Lollie was sitting, but she has never been harassed by police. However, the SPPD continue to defend their actions.

At The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf points out how simple it would have been for police to resolve this situation without violence and an arrest had they cared to do so:

His story about getting his kids wasn’t merely plausible, given the man’s age and the fact that there was a school right there–it was a story the female police officer shown at the beginning of the video or the male officer shown later could easily confirm. 

Lollie is also absolutely correct that no law required him to show an ID to police officers. As Flex Your Rights explains, “Police can never compel you to identify yourself without reasonable suspicion to believe you’re involved in illegal activity,” and while 24 states have passed “stop and identify” statutes “requiring citizens to reveal their identity when officers have reasonable suspicion to believe criminal activity may be taking place,” Minnesota isn’t one of those states.

The female officer shown in the beginning of the video could easily have de-escalated the encounter by saying, “You’re right, sir, you have every right to refuse to show me identification, and if you’re just picking up your kids I’m so sorry to have bothered you. If you don’t mind, I just want to walk with you to confirm that your story checks out so I can inform the 911 caller of their error. That way we can make sure this never happens again when you’re just here to pick up your kids.”

Or she could’ve said, “Sir, I totally see why this is confusing–a lot of people would think so. Let me try to explain. That totally looks like a public seating area, but it’s actually private. Don’t you think they should have a sign saying so? Calling me may seem like an overreaction, but technically they can ask you to leave. You’re walking away now, so there’s actually no problem as long as you’re not going to go back. Are you? Okay, then we have no problem, have a wonderful day.”  

As Lollie is carried away post-tasing, he can be heard challenging the officers’ “legal” assault: "Who are you? You don’t rule me. I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t hurt anybody. I didn’t touch anybody."

If only the SPPD could honestly say the same.

That video that was being passed around yesterday


(via abstractandbriefchronicles)

News broke yesterday that nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence had been “leaked” online. The truth is they were stolen. They were hacked from her personal technology. They were posted online without her consent. This is a crime. And possibly worst of all, this is something women are supposed to expect… We live in a society where women’s bodies are a commodity to be sold, whether they agree to it or not. And some of the same people who complain about the NSA or Facebook invading their personal privacy will be the same people searching and spreading around these photos.