• Alejandro Garcia Rojas

    Photographer
    <p>I am a photographer with a main interest in wildlife and travel photography, but I also enjoy everything else about photography. I am always in search of capturing a special moment of any type of animals, including bipeds. I spent some time in a war zone several years ago and that changed my life. Now I just enjoy everything, every day.</p>

  • Alex Weinshilboum

    <p>I love to play call of duty and talk about major problems in our society. I got my first job this summer working for a social media company (Yoursphere) and I’m one of the most liberal teenagers you will ever meet. I want to be heard when I write. I hope to have some kind of effect on society’s viewpoints because who better to listen to than a sophomore in high school! So if you’re interested, as my dad would say, “Swipe right and read my shit.”</p>

  • Amanda Roberts

    Columnist
    <p>In 2010, my dream of teaching in China came true when my husband and I accepted teaching positions in rural Hunan, China. Life in a foreign country hasn’t always been easy, but it gave me a wealth of information and experiences to write about. My column, “Two Americans in China,” gives readers an inside look at life in the Middle Kingdom.</p>

  • Amy Ferris

    Blogger
    <p>I live in Northeast Pennsylvania with my oh so patient & kind husband Ken. I am an author, screenwriter, playright and editor. My memoir, “Marrying George Clooney, Confessions From A Midlife Crisis” is Off-Broadway bound, CAP21 Theater is developing and producing for a fall/winter/spring run. Broadway can’t be that far behind. My blog continues in the same vein as my book — to support and encourage women to fulfill their greatness: to be bold, audacious, extraordinary and beautiful. I am co-editor of “The Shame Prom,” along with fellow iPinion contributor Hollye Dexter, and editor of “Shades of Blue — Writers on Suicide, Depression and Feeling Blue,” which was released in September 2015.</p>

  • Ann Evans

    Columnist and Author
    <p>I am a leader in the sustainable agriculture movement, promoting organic food and healthy eating through my work with government, school districts and nonprofit organizations. I hold a degree in Consumer Food Science from UC Davis, co-founded a regional food system in Yolo County, as well as the Davis Food Co-op and Davis Farmers Market. I have written many articles advocating a deeper appreciation for locally produced food. My food/agricultural marketing firm, Evans & Brennan, produced the award-winning “Davis Farmers Market Cookbook” and “Cooking with California Food for K-12 Food Service.” I live in Davis, California, with my husband, six chickens and several thousand bees.</p>

  • Archives

    <p>Collections of work by previous iPinion contributors. Columns, photos, videos, vlogs and blogs!</p>

  • Beth Bornstein Dunnington

    Blogger
    <p>I’m an East Coast writer/editor, performer/director, living in Hawaii. I lead “The Big Island Writers’ Workshop,” where we gather to “mine for stories.” For many years, I wrote scripts for animated TV series, including Doug, Jem and the Holograms, Transformers, My Little Pony, and Batman. I was part of the Emmy Award-winning team of writers on Spielberg’s Tiny Tunes. Recent projects: the independent film, The Road To Q’ero:, a Journey Home, writing/performing in the theater/dance piece, Que Sueñes Con Las Angelitas, which toured Hawaii and performed at Lincoln Center. My work can be seen in a number of anthologies, and I’m co-editing the anthology, “The Call To The Big Island,” to be published in February.</p>

  • Brad Friedman

    Blogger
    <p>I am an L.A.-based investigative journalist/blogger, political commentator, broadcaster, author, Commonweal Institute Fellow and publisher/executive editor of The BRAD BLOG (http://www.Bradblog.com). I am a regular contributor to Salon, National Memo, The Progressive Truthout and Trial Lawyer Magazine, and have written for Mother Jones, The Guardian in the UK, Slate, Huffington Post, Editor & Publisher, ComputerWorld, Columbus Free Press, and many others. On radio, I am the regular fill-in host for the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show, and am the producer/co-host of the “Green News Report.” I am a 2010 Project Censored award winner, and am the co-founder of the non-partisan government corruption watchdog and election integrity organization VelvetRevolution.us.</p>

  • Carolyn Wyler

    Columnist
    <p>I am an empty nester mother of four boys, step mom to three girls and two boys, grandmother to eight and a full time Registered nurse. Although I am somewhat shy in nature, I often turn to my left side of my brain to express what I can’t always verbalize and to escape from the stresses of reality. From painting, decorating cakes or writing, I like to create images or ideas that are a bit outside of the box. I am attracted to the weird, the crazy, colorful and unusual ( which is probably why her number one love and most important thing in her life is her family).</p>

  • Cathy Speck

    Columnist
    <p>Along with Linda Duval, we were known and loved as the singing duo DuvalSpeck in the Davis, California area, until I developed ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), and could no longer sing. Unable to express myself in song, I now expresses myself in words and take delight in “gallows humor.” I am dedicated to raising awareness about ALS and raising funds for research. I was diagnosed with rare genetic ALS in 2009. My family has the SOD1 genetic mutation and I have lost four family members to ALS. ALS affects an estimated 350,000 people worldwide. Most patients die within two to five years after diagnosis. There is no cure.</p>

  • Christy Sillman

    Columnist
    <p>Having been born with complex congenital heart defects, I wasn’t sure what I’d be able to accomplish in my predictedly short life. Today, in my mid-30’s and with an adjusted life expectancy into my 80’s, I’m a mother, a wife, an accomplished masters prepared nurse, and an advocate for patients living congenital heart disease. I enjoy hiking, crochet, binge watching TV, drawing, painting and coloring. Ultimately, I’m a story teller, and I hope you enjoy my personal thoughts, quirky tales and unique perspective on life.</p>

  • Crystal Apilado

    Blogger
    <p>I am the social media expert for I-5 Publishing. I have been writing pet articles since 2006, contributing to CatChannel.com, BirdChannel.com, BIRD TALK, Birds USA, SmallAnimalChannel.com, Ferrets USA, Critters USA and Rabbits USA. My cat blog, “Apologies to My Cat Because I Had Kids,” is a spin-off of my original CatChannel blog “Cats in the Family.” (http://www.catchannel.com/cat-blog/crystal-apilado/default.aspx). I studied journalism and sociology at the University of LaVerne and Western Michigan University. I live in the Sacramento area with my cats, Stitch and Gordita, two daughters and three stepsons. When I’m not researching social networking trends or trying to keep up with Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm, I enjoy reading, writing, cooking and perfecting my cheesecake recipe.</p>

  • Dave Van Manen

    Columnist
    <p>My wife, Helene, and I left New York City in 1976 for Beulah, Colorado, and sang our way into many hearts as The Van Manens (www.thevanmanens.com). I transitioned out of the music business and into the not-for-profit world in 2000, founding the Mountain Park Environmental Center (www.hikeandlearn.org), where I am affectionately known as Ranger Dave. I am a musician, naturalist, not-for-profit consultant, backpacker and educator. I backpacked the 486-mile Colorado Trail, authored a field guide on southern Colorado plants, and love leading “full moon music hikes.” I can be found sauntering, exploring or writing along the trails of Pueblo Mountain Park, the 611-acre mountain park just outside my door.</p>

  • David Lacy

    C.O.O., Columnist and Co-Editor
    <p>I began writing for The Davis Enterprise in 1995. My weekly column, “Growing Younger,” began in 1999, and won first place in the California Newspaper Publisher’s Association’s Better Newspapers Contest in 2003. I have a BA in English from UC Davis with highest honors and an M.A. in English from UC Irvine. I am a college professor in northern California. I am iPinion’s co-founder and serve as C.O.O. I am also a contributor to Elite Daily and PoliticusUSA. I live in the Sacramento area with my wife and two dogs.</p>

  • David Weinshilboum

    Columnist
    <p>Hi there. I’m David Weinshilboum, a 44-year-old father of two boys. If you’re reading this, you are either 1) drunk 2) procrastinating 3) curious or 4) my mother. I teach composition, creative writing, linguistics, grammar and literature at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento. I want to be vital; I’d like to create some palpable form of gravity with my actions, ink and voice; I wanna make the world wobble. Anyhow, if you chose the penultimate answer in the aforementioned list, swipe right and read some of my shit.</p>

  • Debra DeAngelo

    CEO, Columnist and Co-Editor
    <p>I am a tree-huggin’, whale lovin’, goddess worshippin’, cat-centric mostly liberal columnist/writer, and the managing editor at the Winters Express (McNaughton Newspapers). I am the co-founder, co-editor and CEO for iPinion Syndicate, and have multiple awards for column writing from the National Newspaper Association and the California Newspaper Publishers Association. (They make the best trivets!) I also write about Napa Valley wine tasting adventures via Highway 128 (Eastern Gateway to the Napa Valley), and enjoy yoga, drumming, Afro-Celt music and people with inquisitive minds. I’m working on my first novel, and dream of bearing David Duchovny’s love child.</p>

  • Donald Sanders

    Columnist
    <p>My people come from Tennessee, some Southerners, and some Yankees. I’m a student of ancestry and have traced my ancestors as far back as Jamestown in 1610. Unfortunately I found out he was a cannibal. I come from a long line of disabled veterans so I had to follow suit. I live in Winters, California, where I write a column for the local newspaper, the Winters Express. I am married to Therese; we have three children and two grandchildren. I have a very large brain.</p>

  • Eric Granof

    Columnist
    <p>I am vice president of Corporate Communications at AIA, and managing director/chief marketing officer at ExpertBail Network. As VP of Corporate Communications for AIA, I manage all marketing and communications initiatives. I also run ExpertBail, AIA’s nationally-branded network of bail agents. Prior to AIA, I was president of THUNDER FACTORY, a leading integrated marketing firm based in San Francisco. In over 23 years of marketing, I have worked with many global brands including Microsoft, Nissan, HP, Apple and Caesars Palace. I earned my B.A. at UC Santa Barbara and my M.B.A at UC Irvine. I have spoken at several American Marketing Association Meetings, as well as co-authored strategic marketing articles.</p>

  • Gabriel Cross

    Columnist
    <p>I am a cannabis entrepreneur in Portland, Oregon. After working in the sustainable building arena for a decade, I chose to dive into a new field and apply my understanding of systems and sustainability to help shape the new cannabis industry as a sustainable and equitable one. I have been a freelance writer and blogger sporadically throughout my career in an effort to support progressive and sustainable causes.</p>

  • Gary Huerta

    Columnist
    <p>I have been writing weekly op-ed columns since 2009. I’ve also written three books. My latest novel, “DIVORCE – A Survival Guide For Men,” is based on my own vast experience navigating the rough, dysfunctional waters of divorce. My first mainstream novel, “The Cliche (and other short stories for the American attention span),” is a humorously dark look at one man’s desire to find happiness out of the rubble of his crumbling marriage, failed career and side job as a pot farmer. My first children’s book, “The Christmas Takeover,” explains how Santa Claus came into existence during a time when Christmas was run by Corporate America. It too is available on Amazon.com. I also teach “Introduction to Copywriting” at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.</p>

  • Georgeanne Brennan

    Columnist and Author
    <p>I am a James Beard award-winning cookbook author and journalist with a MA in history from UC San Diego. I have a background in history, food and agriculture, having co-founded an imported seed business, culinary vacation schools in both France and California, worked in the produce business in Salinas, California, and raised goats and made goat’s milk cheese in Provence, where I still have a home. My work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Gourmet, Food and Wine, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere. Most recently, I founded “La Vie Rustic: Sustainable Living in the French Style,” an online store for garden, kitchen, barnyard and fields, a la Francaise: www.georgeannebrennan.com and www.lavierustic.com</p>

  • Gretchen Rollins

    Cartoonist
    <p>Once upon a time, I earned a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Instead of continuing in the fine arts, I entered the world of Madison Avenue, winning awards for national print and television advertising campaigns. After dedicating more than eight years of my life promoting the goods and services of others, I relocated to Southern California to rebalance my priorities and pursue my passion for painting again. The transition to a comic strip was natural — my paintings are graphic in nature, reference costal topography and cropping, and employ text as a conceptual component. With all my years of design, all I needed was inspiration and the right collaborator, which my years on both agency and client side have manifested.</p>

  • Guest Contributors

    <p>Columns, blogs, photos, videos and more! Check out the work of some of the people who drop by iPinion from time to time to share their views!</p>

  • Hannah Kozak

    Photographer and Blogger
    <p>Born and raised in Los Angeles, I picked up a Kodak Brownie camera at age 10 and began exploring my fascination with photojournalism. Working as a stuntwoman in the film industry for more than 20 years allowed me to capture candid, behind-the-scenes pictures that penetrated the illusion of Hollywood magic. In my extensive travels, I capture images of faraway lands and the innocence and truth in children’s faces. My black and white nudes of women are a visceral experience… a soul to soul connection. Black and white is an immediately abstract medium that is removed from reality by its very nature. I have a B.A. in Spanish and an M.A. in psychology.</p>

  • Hannah Sullivan

    Columnist
    <p>I am just your somewhat average 20-something, dog-loving ChapStick addict living in Rhode Island. After years of deliberation and hard work, I am finally in the home stretch of getting my English degree. When I’m not procrastinating or attending $2 taco night, you can find me writing columns and watching Doctor Who. Hoarding graphic novels, finding the perfect pineapple salsa and winged eye liner are my passions in life. All of my inspiration comes directly from any and all dysfunctions in my life so, it is safe to assume I will never run out of things to write about.</p>

  • Heather Alani

    Columnist
    <p>I was born in Greenwich, Connecticut, and raised in the little state of Rhode Island. I study psychology/mental health at Southern New Hampshire University. I am a creative, passionate artist and writer, and am an active humanitarian, seeking to help forge effective change when issues take form in my heart. I look forward to one day being able to use my voice to create a ripple of positive motion. I enjoy writing in many genres and am in the process of finishing my first screenplay. I love watching my words take form, painting them colorfully on paper, like the paint-stained brush to my canvas.</p>

  • Hollye Dexter

    Blogger
    <p>I am a freelance writer, blogger and author of the memoir “Only Good Things,” and co-editor of “The Shame Prom” along with fellow iPinion contributor Amy Ferris. I am also a singer/songwriter with four albums out. I founded two nonprofit organizations, and run intergenerational arts programs for senior citizens and teenagers in the foster care system. In 2007, I received the Agape Spirit award from Dr. Michael Beckwith (from “The Secret”) for my work with at-risk youth. I live in Los Angeles with my husband and three children.</p>


  • Ivan Villa

    Photographer
    <p>My Name Is Ivan Villa, I’m a Photographer and Graphic Designer from Sacramento CA. I specialize in creative photography & design for business. Most of my work is intended to create specific feelings for the viewer. I have worked with many companies from different industries in directing and creating visual work for advertising and promotions.<br /> Over the years I have spent a lot of my time diversifying my skill set. I take on projects not just with a creative point of view, but factor in brand, target audience, and other factors that create an effective campaign I believe in teaching as I work, most of my clients walk away with a better knowledge creating effective work.</p>

  • Jason Mankey

    Columnist
    <p>I am a Pagan editor, writer, blogger, author and lecturer. When not banging away on my keyboard, I can be found speaking at numerous Pagan festivals across North America, usually about Pagan topics, and sometimes about my favorite band, Led Zeppelin. A longtime Michigan resident, I now reside in Northern California with my wife, and play shepherd to two small cats.</p>

  • Jenna Stone

    Columnist
    <p>I would say that I am most proud of my birth. Sure “ordinary” people are born every day – but my mother, a direct descendent of Pocahontas, gave birth to me on International Ninja Day. (Cue epic intro music.)<br /> I am a warrior. This is my birthright. I am also a Fulbright Scholar, former high school teacher, motivational writer/speaker, and have led an award-winning march in DC to rally for the sarcasm mark to be adopted as formal punctuation. I currently reside in Arizona with the Good King Stone.</p>

  • Jesse Loren

    Columnist
    <p>I am a writer, micro farmer and recently retired after 17 years of public school teaching. I am co-editor of “Bombshells: War Stories and Poems by Women on the Homefront” (2007) and “Mourning Sickness” (2008), and author of “Screamin’ Meme” (2009). I am a graduate of UC Irvine and also earned my MFA from the University of New Orleans just before Katrina struck. I am currently running an Airbnb in Pismo Beach and I live in Northern California.</p>

  • Jo Hatcher

    Columnist
    <p>Knowing at an early age that I wanted to see the world, I left Georgia at the age of 23. I have lived in Alaska, Vanuatu and California, and work on military installations around the world, which opened the door for travel throughout Japan, Germany, England, Switzerland, Italy, France, Bali, Guam, Hawaii and Alaska. A Marriage & Family Therapist and a Master Certified Retreat Coach, I lead retreats for busy women who want to rebalance their lives. I am married to Thomas Roberts, a psychotherapist and professional photographer. Our two sons serve in the US Marine Corps. I love dancing and yoga, and can frequently be found standing on my head.</p>

  • John Wood

    Columnist
    <p>I was born in Hyannis, Massachusetts, a small town on Cape Cod known for a famous President. Born into a military family, I grew up in Cape Cod, Biloxi, Mississippi; Madrid, Spain; and Sacramento, California. After graduating from a Carmichael-area high school, I moved around, living in Hawaii, Reno, St. Louis and rural Southern Illinois. Professionally, my life was focused on sales until my health was challenged by cancer in 2005. Surviving cancer was easier than trying to keep a job as a “survivor.” Since 2008, I have focused my professional life on web design and digital content management. I live in Carmichael with my wife of three years and Zen The Puppy Dog.</p>

  • Judith Newton

    Columnist
    <p>I’m a Professor Emerita at UC Davis, where I directed the Women and Gender Studies Program and the Consortium for Women and Research. My memoir, “Tasting Home: Coming of Age in the Kitchen,” was published in March of 2013 by She Writes Press and has won twelve independent press awards. I’m working on a feminist mystery entitled “Oink!” and, in my academic days, I published five works of nonfiction on nineteenth century women writers, feminist criticism, women in history, and mens’ movements. I live in the Bay Area and cook for non-profit benefits and for family and friends.</p>

  • Julie Parker

    Columnist
    <p>Three decades as a paralegal was enough for me, so I switched my career focus to help people and organizations tell their stories. I spent a few years as a contributing newspaper writer for the Messenger Publishing Group, and currently enjoy my roles as personal historian (YouAreAClassic.com), podcaster (ConversationAccessories.com and MetaphysicalTalk.com), and healer (StraightforwardHealing.com).</p>

  • Kaila Charice

    Columnist
    <p>I aspired to become a model/actress at 16, when I signed a two-year contract with LA Models. My parents stressed the importance of education, and with a strong interest in forensics, so I decided to attend college after high school and freelance model when the opportunity presents itself. I am a recent graduate of CSU Long Beach, where I earned my BS in criminal justice (elective studies on forensics), and a certificate in high-tech crime and identity theft. In December 2013, I signed with various agencies commercially, theatrically and for print. Though still interested in criminal justice, I am currently focusing on my entertainment career. I share my stories about working and dating in the entertainment industry.</p>

  • Kami McBride

    Columnist
    <p>I am the author of “The Herbal Kitchen.” I have developed and taught herbal curriculum for the Masters program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and at the UC San Francisco School of Nursing. For more than 25 years, I have been teaching people to grow and use herbs in their daily lives for everyday common ailments. I teach hands-on herbal programs focused on sustainable wellness practices and revitalizing our relationship with the plant world. My popular course, “Cultivating the Herbal Medicine Woman Within,” is an experiential herbal studies program that empowers people to use herbal medicine in their daily lives. I can be reached at www.livingawareness.com</p>

  • Kate Laddish

    Columnist
    <p>There are undoubtedly more direct routes to being involved in music then studying geology, environmental planning and science education and having previous professional incarnations as a geology professor, editor and ranger in Yellowstone, but none so guaranteed to result in towering stacks of books, rocks and CDs and instrument cases vying for closet space with old Smokey Bear flat-hats. I primarily write concert previews, CD reviews and feature stories for iPinion. I also write for the Winters Express and Davis Enterprise, do stage lighting, play fiddle and guitar with the Putah Creek Crawdads, and rhapsodize about geologic processes with little warning.</p>

  • Kathie Yount

    <p>In 2010, I was living an ordinary life as a retired English teacher and antiques shop co-owner. All that changed on February 16 when my son took his life in San Francisco. I had been expecting grandchildren, but I got “suicide baiting” instead, which is how my son died — publicly and irrationally in front of 1,000 people, including those who were openly provoking his death by taunting him and yelling “JUMP!” I write to raise awareness about the psychological anomaly of suicide baiting and to lobby for better police training in their interactions with the despondent at the suicide attempt scene.</p>

  • Kathleen Brotherton

    Columnist/Youth Editor
    <p>I reside in the lovely town of Greenwich, Connecticut, nestled along the eastern seaboard. I am the mom to three children, Brittany, Joseph and Jordan, who are respectively eight years spaced makes for a life rich in adventure. This year, the addition of Kali Bey brought the blessing of becoming an “Amma”. Young adult issues are my great passion, and this passion led me to spearhead the “Young Columnists” section of iPinion, which gives young people a forum to speak their voice. I am also passionate about fiction writing. In 2015, two of my short stories were published in anthologies. As a writer, I wear many hats: columnist, author, blogger and photographer. Bring on the next project, as I’m always looking for something to help create!</p>

  • Kathy Keatley Garvey

    Photographer
    <p>I am a national award-winning writer, editor, journalist and photographer living in Solano County, California. I am a communications specialist for the Department of Entomology at UC Davis, and a former newspaper editor and photography teacher. I write a daily weeknight blog, “Bug Squad,” published on the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) website. I’ve written thousands of news stories, feature stories and columns, a book on aquatic pests, and even a melodrama. I’m engrossed in insect photography, especially honey bees. My photo of a bee stinging an arm was named one of Huffington Post’s most amazing photos of 2012 — “the sting felt around the world.”</p>

  • Katrina Rasbold

    Columnist
    <p>I am a wife, mother of six grown-ups, and have been an online journalist since 1998. My husband, Eric, and I own the Botánica de La Reina in Roseville, California, specializing in hand-made magical products. I have authored more than 30 fiction and non-fiction books, including topics such as the magic in food, candle and soap making, and the movement of natural energy. I am passionate about human connection to the Divine and my Ph.D is in religion with studies in Psychology. I am a professional life coach, tarot reader and licensed minister. In 1997, Eric and I founded a spiritual tradition called CUSP, focusing on the use of the ancient agricultural year to create positive life change.</p>

  • Kelvin Wade

    Columnist
    <p>I’m a 40-something Northern California freelance writer who has been writing an opinion column for the Fairfield Daily Republic for more than 20 years. My first Daily Republic column, written while in junior high, ran from 1979-80. I’ve also produced newsletters, flyers and other publications for numerous associations from Roseville to Pacific Grove, California. My first two short story ebooks, “Morsels: Twisted Tales of Life and Death” (Vol. 1 and 2), are available online. I was a founder of the Bay Area Survivors of Suicide following my brother’s suicide. I’m devoted to my significantly better-half, Cathi, and our two lovely pooches.</p>

  • Kim Orendor

    Columnist
    <p>Before throwing away nearly 20 years in journalism to follow my dream and live in L.A., I was an award-winning writer/editor for The Davis Enterprise. I started as a sports reporter in 1994 and became the paper’s first female sports editor in 2002. I left the paper in 2004, wrote for African-American Expressions greeting cards, taught in China for five years and then returned to The Enterprise in 2011 for a three-year stint as an associate editor. I now reside in Los Angeles, where I work part-time and live the dream full-time.</p>

  • Laura Walker

    Columnist
    <p>I’ve loved words ever since I read 103 books in Miss Vopelensky’s first-grade class in Racine, Wisconsin. In my early 20s, I flew a typewriter around Europe as a proud member of Uncle Sam’s Air Force, fell head over heels for England and became a full-fledged Anglophile years before “Downton Abbey.” Breast cancer at age 35 compelled me to follow my writing dreams, which resulted in becoming the award-winning author of 17 books, including “Thanks for the Mammogram!” “Mentalpause” and “Reconstructing Natalie.” A former newspaper reporter and columnist with a degree in journalism, I’m hoping to find a publishing home for my funny, sort-of spiritual memoir, “Deep Down I’m Really Superficial” before I start collecting Social Security.</p>

  • Lori Landau

    Columnist
    <p>A writer, artist and photographer, my work explores the intimate connection between meditative and creative states. As a certified yoga and meditation teacher, I am deeply inspired by the Buddhist concept of interconnectedness. A spiritual nomad at heart, my work symbolizes my exploration of sacred mystery. My articles and poetry have been published in a wide range of magazines, books and blogs. I am a visual artist, and my work has been exhibited in several group and solo shows. My concept-driven, interdisciplinary art spans a range of mediums, including photography, drawing and painting. I use my art and words as a platform to raise consciousness about both global and meta issues.</p>

  • Mardith Louisell

    Columnist and Fiction Writer
    <p>I write short stories with crazy neurotic narrators and even shorter short stories with slightly less crazy narrators. I grew up on Lake Superior in Northern Minnesota. My fiction, essays and memoirs can be found most recently in Hospital Drive, Solstice Literary Magazine (“Had They Learned about Jayne Mansfield?”, a favorite title), South Loop Review and Redwood Coast Review, and in the anthologies “Travelers’ Tale Best Travel Writing 2012,” “Italy, A Love Story,” “The House on Via Gombito Street,” and “Best American Erotica.” I take pictures of ears and fields, love Monteverdi, Van Morrison and cycling in San Francisco, where I work part-time in child welfare. “Beside Myself,” a book of flash fiction, is my current project.</p>

  • Marie Forster

    <p>I hail from the biggest little state, Rhode Island. What some have describe as “loveable curmudgeon,” my observations and ramblings have amused those around me for years (at least that’s what I tell myself). In 2013, I started my blog to share my crankiness with the masses. When I’m not writing or ranting about hipsters, you can find me on stage, performing standup in the Southern New England area. Or, eating pizza.</p>

  • Marla Pugh

    Columnist
    <p>An award-winning reporter and editor, I helped start several publications including a monthly business journal near Seattle, Washington and a weekly alternative newspaper in Santa Maria, California. I was editor for New Times in San Luis Obispo, California, and for The Daily Republic in Fairfield, California, where I also started writing a weekly humor column. After 12 years in journalism, I changed courses and pursued a career in corporate communications. Currently working in communications in the pharmaceutical industry, I live in the Silicon Valley. My passion for health and fitness is equaled only by my passion for shoes and tequila. I am also the author of “Junk to Gold,” the true story of Willis Johnson, founder of Copart.</p>

  • Matthew Najmowicz

    Columnist
    <p>I was raised in Providence, Rhode Island, and yet I carry the soul of Detroit, Michigan…my birthplace. Being a Millennial, I am trying to swim the currents of the ocean of life: trying to ride the rising tides while not being pulled down by the undertow. I aspire to write and in that writing I wish to entertain, enlighten, and make someone emote the secret and hidden that lies inside the limbic system. I promise to be funny, smart, eccentric, unintelligible, arrogant, angry, sexy, creative, and a jerk all at the same time. The tides are rolling in, let us go in for a swim.</p>

  • Maxee Artist

    Fine Artist
    <p>My dramatic colors explode onto my canvasses. For years, I created lovely representational works, but have more recently immersed myself in large scale, strikingly dramatic abstract imagery. My ebullient spirit combines the purely creative abstract process with my intuitive understanding of color and texture, to result in astoundingly powerful artwork. When working on oversized pieces, I can express the inner passions that drive my creative engine. My intense yet at times ethereal color schemes, deep textures and emotive compositions instantly grab the viewer. Originally from New York, I now works out of my Los Angeles studio. My art is owned by collectors nationwide. My admirers often declare my work to be museum quality.</p>

  • Maya Spier Stiles North

    Columnist, Copy Editor
    <p>All my life, I have been seduced by words – their beauty, their power, their ability to transform lives and cultures. Words gave me sanctuary in the worst of times – when I was a street kid, in a juvenile institution, when I got married at 17, had my daughter at 19. They helped me transform experience into what approaches wisdom (as best I can) as I became a writer, a copy editor, an artist and computer programmer. In fact, my words had the power to tick off Bill O’Reilly to the point where he invited me to interview with him on national TV and personally promise me he would get his rabies shot beforehand. For me, being an iPinioneer is the fruition of a life dream and is allowing me to use my words as a force for good, for change, for evolution.</p>

  • Nadia Alexandra

    Columnists
    <p>Raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, I grew up under severe religious and domestic abuse. I broke away from the religion at age 12, and left home at 18 for personal freedom and a career in the creative arts. Now, I strive to help others rise above challenges in their life through writing, comedy, performance and speaking, and share the perspective that our greatest challenges can help us experience life more joyfully than we once thought possible.</p>

  • Pat Rigley

    Columnist
    <p>I’m a longtime graphic designer, a full-time husband, and part-time writer, though I’m doing my utmost to invert the sequence of this list while still preserving the sanctity of the Oxford Comma. I’ve been a monthly columnist for the “Tacoma News” and a twice-time winner of Bob Dunning’s nearly famous, “Replace the Above-Pictured Columnist” contest in the Davis Enterprise. At the moment, my first novel, “The Pitcher Plant,” is torturing various beta readers, as well as myself. Ensconced in the company of my amazing wife, two sons, three daughters and six grandchildren, I still spend most of my day doting over the affections of my faithful sheltie, who through no fault of his own, threatens the rightful inheritance of all the aforementioned.</p>

  • Randy Graham

    Columnist
    <p>I am a noted cook and private chef and have been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for over 40 years. I enjoy cooking for friends and family using ingredients from backyard vegetable and herb gardens. My food is often called “vegetarian comfort food.” I have a series of vegetarian cookbooks that can be found on Amazon.com and my syndicated Chef Randy articles are published in newspapers throughout California. My wife, Robin, and I live in Ojai, California with our dog Willow. Robin and Willow are not vegetarians.</p>

  • Reviving Herstory

    <p>Reviving Herstory with Sivan: reviving and retelling lost women’s stories. Biblical, historical, and otherwise.</p>

  • Shannon Mortenson

    Columnist
    <p>I grew up with a natural talent for writing. It always came easily to me, and it wasn’t until recently that I finally decided to roll with it and see where it takes me. My life is on paper, whether in journals or just random scraps. I’m a free spirit, or, more appropriately, a “fancy tomboy” with a warped attitude and a twisted perspective. A girl of endless peeves, I hate the word “jubilee,” or anyone who says “okie dokie” or “toot-a-loo.” To me, life is not just black and white. I AM the gray area. Join me on my hilarious journey of life, as I see it.</p>

  • Sivan Butler-Rotholz

    Columnist
    <p>Creator of Reviving Herstory and editor of the Saturday Poetry Series on As It Ought To Be, I hold an MFA from Brooklyn College. I teach English, creative writing, and Women’s Biblical Literature in New York City and internationally, and am a published writer, poet, editor, comic artist and attorney emeritus.</p>

  • Stacey Robinson

    Blogger
    <p>I write, mostly to keep my head from exploding. It threatens to do that a lot. My blog is the pixelated version of all the voices in my head. I tend to dive into what connects me to God, my community, my family and my doubt. I do a lot of searching, not as much finding. I’m good with that. I have learned, finally, to live comfortably in the gray. In the meantime, I wrestle with God, and my doubt and my joy. Besides iPinion Syndicate, I write for thesmartly.com and am a regular contributor on the Union for Reform Judaism blogsite. My print publications include “Choreography in Holy Time” Lilith Magazine (Summer, 2013); “The Hope,” Rabbi Menachem Creditor, editor; “In Transit,” Daniel MacFadyen, Editor, Border Town Press; and my first book of essays and poetry, “Dancing in the Palm of God’s Hand: Reflections on meaning, faith and doubt.”</p>

  • Stephen Cooper

    Columnist
    <p>I am a former D.C. and federal public defender, living in Woodland Hills, California. I now write full time and have been published online and in numerous magazines and newspapers both in the U.S. and overseas. I’m working on my first book, among other projects. Follow me on Twitter @SteveCooperEsq.</p>

  • Sunny Schlenger

    Columnist
    <p>I am a professional organizer, author, coach and mentor with over 30 years of experience as a pioneer in my field. I helped launch the “custom-tailored” approach to getting organized in the ’90s in my best-selling book, “How To Be Organized In Spite Of Yourself,” with an approach licensed by Harvard University’s training and development program. I then took the concept of organizing to the next level by integrating it with spirituality. The result, “Organizing For The Spirit,” was published in 2004. I have also been named a “flow master” by Charlene Belitz and Meg Lundstrom, authors of “The Power of Flow.”</p>

  • Terri Connett

    Columnist
    <p>After earning a BA in Advertising from Michigan State, I started out as a copywriter. I loved to write for a living. But as my career advanced, I moved away from it and found myself racing on the hamster wheel to nowhere. I made a life-changing decision to attend the Provence Writers Retreat for Women in 2010. Two years later I went back for Retreat Part Deux. just as corporate America decided to show me the door. It took a while, but I’ve found my retirement rhythm. My literary hero is Molly Ivins. And I’m living happily ever after on the shore of Lake Michigan.</p>

  • Theresa Reichman

    Columnist
    <p>I live in the suburbs of Philadelphia with my husband, two daughters and a son. I am an aspiring author and am currently working on my first novel — a memoir of my time spent in the evangelical church.<br /> I appreciate the simple things in life: wildflowers, sidewalk chalk, watching my kids chase bubbles, red wine and healthy debate. I enjoy creating balance and harmony within my life.<br /> I have found that embracing diversity and self-discovery are key ingredients to happiness. I frequently write about my daily journey to both self-acceptance and acceptance of those around me.</p>

  • Tom McMasters-Stone

    Columnist
    <p>It’s one of the great honors of my life to have been asked to join this august group of people at iPinion. Ostensibly, I cover politics, but I may write about anything. I have written extensively about my struggles with alcohol, which I now know was powered by severe childhood PTSD and a weak enzyme in my brain. Both are being treated successfully, and while constituting a disability, they are no longer disabling. I am happily married to my second wife, Carol, and have four great children. I am a retired firefighter, and I have Associate and Bachelor’s degrees. I am very grateful for the people who take the time to read my columns.</p>

  • Tracey Yokas

    <p>I’m a mom, wife, friend and writer with a passion for connection. I aspire to write my deepest truth so that others will know they are not alone and to eradicate the stigma and ignorance that surround mental illness. I volunteer as a teach for my local NAMI affiliate’s Family To Family class and, in an effort to keep NAMI’s programs free to the public, I’ve bugged enough friends and family to be a top ten individual fundraiser for two years. I hold a BS in Communications from Ohio University and a MS in Counseling Psychology from California Lutheran University. I’m working on my first memoir and live in Southern California with my husband, daughter and two totally awesome cats.</p>

  • Vatrena King

    <p>I was born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia, and graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston before becoming a successful artist in Los Angeles. In the early 2000s, I left the big city to raise my two boys in the tiny town of Winters, California, trading “lights, camera, action” for sheep, goats, chickens.</p>

  • Wonder

    <p>I am Wonder. A walking contradiction, with no end in mind to justify the means. I’m a pain-in-the-ass piece of shit antagonist, occasional stutterer, recovering chronic apologist, and shameless sufferer of being alive. Traveling, couchsurfing, and long road trips down the asphalt ribbon of the great US interstate are my jam. Cinemaphile. Hair dye. Stephen King and cerebral films. I keep a secret blog of self-serving poetry on tumblr, a less secret photojournalism blog on Instagram and a neurotic stream of consciousness on Twitter. I make songs that make people sad and tell bitterly dry self-deprecating jokes in between performing them. 1/4 raptor, 1/2 cat, 1/4 chicken, 100 percent weird, nerdy ’90s-kid woman child. Still in denial over Pluto’s exile from the solar system.</p>

  • Young Columnists

    <p>Young people have opinions too! Here’s a place of their own to tell you all about them!</p>