Another day, another listicle. Anybody who’s followed me for very long knows that I suck at them — and also following directions. However, since some of you were kind enough to tag me on this 40 thing, I felt I owed at least some kind of version. So, here we go: my favorite 40 on Medium!
Let’s start with the tireless anti-racism warriors: Sam McKenzie Jr., Marley K., Ezinne Ukoha, and Interculturalisticman. All four of these people put out more words on an average day, than I can manage most months. They are super helpful in educating us clueless white people about race issues in America and beyond, and even willing to provide additional input to those who ask respectfully. In particular, my sister Marley brings an incredible level of love and passion; Ezinne is 300% honest about the good, the bad and the ugly; Interculturalisticman provides a sociological and statistical perspective (also gorgeous pix of Jamaican food ;-); and Sam has an awesome way with words and people. Thank you — you are all wonderful!
When it comes to LGBTQ issues, there is perhaps no better advocate on this entire earth than James Finn. He is definitely someone you want on your side. And to truly understand on a heart-felt, visceral level the trials of being transsexual in our culture, look no further than BFoundAPen — required reading.
The kindest person on this entire earth has to be Ré Harris. She is kind, she is sweet, she is sensitive, she is supportive (need I also add a highly skilled writer?)…seriously, if you don’t love Ré there is probably something wrong with you.
Now here’s a category that could only be one person: dog loving Canadian EMT and all-around super-amazing person. This is alto, of course. I could go on for awhile (and have), but I’ll just say I love you here!
Roy and Jack Herlocker (along with his lovely wife Deb!) are some of the funniest guys I know anywhere. Jack and Deb make everybody wish they were married (or at least married to Jack and Deb). And Roy is just plain crazy…I would probably cry all the time if he stopped writing here.
“Music lover and YouTube surfer”? That has to be Eric Griggs! Eric, you are a category unto yourself, giving me a whole new level of respect for the depth and breadth of information and entertainment out there.
People have called me a “Renaissance woman” a few times in my life, and I always took it as a great compliment (although jack of all trades might have been more apt). Anyway, I have to give that honor to Tre L. Loadholt and Kay Bolden here. There is no subject they can’t cover well…they can write essays, fiction and poetry…they make you laugh and cry — sometimes in the same sentence!
Poetry…ah, poetry. I gave up writing poetry 30-some years ago, because it just seemed like a lost art form — till I found all of these diamonds on Medium. Not surprisingly, there are several people in this category but they’re each wildly talented and unique. There is nothing in this world that anna breslin can’t turn into a great poem. Indira Reddy and Elizabeth offer fresh perspectives and have an incredible way with words. Wild Flower…ah, Wild Flower…like an arrow straight to my heart. Asel is the youngest here and is a youthful voice with an old soul. Jorge Q doesn’t just provide a Latinx world view, he is crazily creative. Joel Leon. writes long prose poetry pieces so phenomenal I just hold my breath. And D Abboh? You literally own the sun and the moon!
Some of you know that I’m an editor at the Haiku Hub. There’s something about the challenge of 5/7/5 that compels this normally verbose girl. But two who nail it? Tracy Aston, queen of the 5-syllable word (complete with Oh Wow images), and Jackie Ann, who provides beautiful twists on seemingly simple subjects.
There’s something truly special about people who can distill a deep thought into a one-line poem (and prompt). When I write them, I often need the 30-word limit (and I’m probably the reason they added a limit :-D). Yet Kathy Jacobs and Tasneem Kagalwalla can often create a world or a mood in a dozen words or less.
Here’s something funny you might not know: I came to Medium just to write fiction (and no, you have never seen a single piece of my fiction here!). Strangely enough, I don’t often end up even reading the fiction; but when I see Stephen M. Tomic, I click. Also? Travelogues!
When it comes to food, I go to Epicurious.com — or click on The Solitary Cook, of course. She is definitely in a category of her own on Medium, but a damn good one! You won’t regret making her recipes.
Although most people come to Medium for the words, Crooked Little Flower inspires me day in and day out with her beautiful images, words, and incandescent love of life. Not just an artist — such an incredible human being!
A surprising place I found myself editing on Medium is Snapshots. Although I don’t have a ton of talent in this area, I do recognize and appreciate it in others. Two I love? Dennett has a wide variety of lovely images, but her water fowl images in particular are stunning. And Erik Smith, a long hauler from The Netherlands, takes us along on his road trips across Europe — gorgeous!
Speaking of editors, I have a few of these who are close to my heart, as well. Anyone who’s done it (and a number of you do — thanks!), know that it’s more work than it looks like and is often thankless (again, thank you!). Several who have done it for a very long time, with skill, enthusiasm and high standards? Slk., Terijo, and Meg. I bow down.
Switching gears a bit… Voted most likely to replace Garrison Keillor in the hearts and minds of America — now there’s a title! I’ll bet a number of you guessed Gail Boenning right away, though. Although seriously, Garrison doesn’t hold a candle to Gail.
All-around Medium friend…hmm. Honestly that could be any number of people here, but I have to give props to Harper Thorpe, kurt gasbarra, and Adam, Diabetic Cyborg. They’re very different from each other, but is there anyone reading this who hasn’t appreciated their huge hearts and steadfast support? I thought not.
Ooh, here’s a fun category for this atheist-verging-on-agnostic (or maybe it’s agnostic-verging-on-atheist?): “Most likely to make me a believer.” Clay Rivers is just a divine human being who makes God very accessible. David Montgomery is an Anglican priest who exudes grace and integrity (and yet is wickedly funny at times!). Jack Preston King absolutely fascinates with his thoughtful pieces on spirituality.
No list would be complete without the most important people on Medium: readers! Almost everyone I’ve named above is also a reader (I do prefer interaction), but there are some readers who rarely write new pieces of their own — focusing more on supporting others and providing feedback. Some of my long-time faves are Charlotte Franklin, Susan Christiana, Patricia Naomi and Richard Childs.
Last but not least, people I miss the most: walkerjo lee, Jason Stelzner, Shari M, Patsy Starke, Jordan Bray, Alexainie, DHBogucki, and Michael Ramsburg. They are among the first I followed and their absence makes my heart sore. Actually, I am seeing some lovely glimmers from Michael Ramsburg again, and it gives me hope for the others. Pretty please?
There it is, folks — my top 40! Or for those keeping track, 50…60? No actual clue. Clearly a lot of the categories are arbitrary and have tons of overlap (okay, only one dog-loving Canadian EMT). Many great folks are missing, as is often the case; it doesn’t mean I love you less (I did give more weight to those I’ve known longest). Anyway, hopefully I have prepared you for a long, dull night of the Oscars. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. Now go write your own lists of 40!