Typical Individuality

Or How Diversity Unites Us

Lizz Schumer

Lizz Schumer
Buffalo, New York, USA
August 13
writer, editor, reporter, photographer, propagator and patron of the arts: all.
Author of "Buffalo Steel" (Black Rose Writing 2013), I'm the editor of a small newspaper in upstate New York, hold an MFA in creative writing from Goddard College. I also freelance for several publications, both print and online.


Lizz Schumer's Links

OCTOBER 29, 2013 10:28AM

Stop racing to the top

“I can’t take it anymore,” she said, as matter-of-factly as she had ordered a lentil burger just minutes before. Her hand wrapped around her diet coke with lemon like the proclamation was just another mundane part of our conversation, just another cog in the machine of our workadayRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 9, 2013 1:27PM

Balancing act: disability and illness in literature

 A selection of Lurlene McDaniel books

Remember Lurlene McDaniel? When I was in elementary and middle school, I couldn’t get enough of her books. For those who missed this 90s pre-teen phenomenon, McDaniel specialized in what the Daily Mail has recently dubbed  “sick lit,” , books a/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 22, 2013 4:10PM

Studies of the edges of things or who we are together

brace yourself 

I’m thinking about the ways in which we protect ourselves. Against each other. Against ourselves. There’s a paper taped to my bulletin board that reads, “what are we bracing from?” Another says, “studies of the edges of things.”

My handwriting has ch… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 1, 2012 4:11PM

More than sadness: the depression problem

I wish they would stop calling depression a mental illness. Because when I’m depressed, my mind is the last to go. I find it first in my body. On that morning when depression first descends,… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 11, 2012 12:08AM

Suicide: why we need to talk about it

I want to talk about suicide because hardly anyone does. Suicide is the whisper that goes around the room at funeral parlors like a virus spread from handshake to handshake. It’s He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named. It’s the deep, dark secret that hides in the family skeleton closet and the silence… Read full post »

 "I don't understand how girls could let that happen to them. What makes a person stay with someone who hurts them?" My boyfriend, my kind, beautifully gentle boyfriend twined his fingers in mine. I sipped my glass of wine and stared into the bonfire flames. I wondered what he'd say if… Read full post »

I turned 25 today. At 3:03 a.m., to be precise. I was not awake for it, just like the first time. I sleep through important events with bemusing frequency. Every year, I look at the photographs of myself, shortly after my birth.  Hoping to find some relationship between my current… Read full post »

A new online literary and arts journal released its first issue this week. Limn Literary & Arts Journal  is a project to support new and emerging artists and to bridge the gap between art and assistance. Limn is well poised to become a major player in disability arts assistance and… Read full post »

Domestic Handbook cover 

I didn’t read Domestication Handbook.  I devoured it. Or, it devoured me. Or, I stopped thinking about the distinction as I fell into author Kristen Stone’s unique way with language that begs investigation, mastication and complete, total attention. 

There are boo… Read full post »


As I drive North, the color fades away.

 Past the expanses of lush green lawn, punctuated only by two-car garages, two-story colonials, two kids and a dog, all of them shut tight against the interloping world. Their sprinklers lazily fanning their corporate-constructed gardens a… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 13, 2012 2:52PM

The bumper sticker slapped 'cross the world

 that which does not unite us, divides us.

I think it was the bumper sticker that did it.

 My parents have always been Republicans. Well, technically, my mom was a registered Democrat up until a few years ago, which she maintains to this day was a mistake of her wayward youth. Kind of like tie dye and that afro… Read full post »

 Can you find the ghost-girl in this picture? She's grown more solid since.


Erin hated me because my first name was the same as her middle name. To a kidnergartener, stealing someone's name is among the utmost transgressions. At five years old, a name is the closest thing any of us had to an identity, and I had hijacked half of… Read full post »

APRIL 26, 2012 9:03AM

Summer lovin' in song

I miss our tender moments. Remember the concert where you draped yourself over my shoulders and fell there, like dead weight against the dove-curve where my neck meets my back? You were heavy and real against me and the smell of your hair engulfed my nostrils. It was unpleasant to everyone… Read full post »

APRIL 19, 2012 4:41PM

How to lose someone

Stop seeing his eyes in other people's faces. When you pass someone on the sidewalk, don't let your chest throb with recognition. Don't stare for a few seconds longer than necessary, remembering how you used to swim grateful laps in depths so much like those that are achingly familiar. 

 Wh… Read full post »


I spend more time thinking about writing than actually writing. The thought of producing words, of stringing them together into phrases, then sentences, maybe, paralyzes my fingers, a shot of Novocain in each knuckle, hunched like little old men over the keys. Arthritic shoulders. Just… Read full post »


Ok, I admit it. Last night, when I was supposed to be diving brain-first into Terry Tempest Williams' "Refuge," I read the "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins  instead. And as much as it pains my pretentious literature nerd soul to jump on the bandwagon, I'm hooked. 

My edi… Read full post »

MARCH 21, 2012 8:33PM

Beauty is a Verb: a gushing review


I'm reading a poetry anthology called Beauty is a Verb: the New Poetry of Disability, edited by Jennifer Bartlett, Shelia Black and Michael Northen and I want to literally devour it.  I want to break its spine and tear its pages out, one by one, stuff them in my mouth/… Read full post »



To thine own self be true.


Above all else, be kind.


Can we be both? Should we? And just how far does "kind" extend?


I've been thinking a lot lately about the treatment of the scenes and, by association, the characters who appear in my… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 6, 2012 8:52PM

Mine is clouds: Brautigan and writing

Richard Brautigan 

Sometimes, something as small as a paperback from a friend can change your life. But, like most improbable cliches, the timing has to be right for that to happen. You have to be in a certain state of mind: optimistic, maybe. Or overtired. You also have to be in the… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 22, 2012 9:13PM

Show and Tell: Our Social Media Problem


Back in elementary school, we had a thing called Show and Tell. I'm sure some of you remember. The idea was, each kid brought in her most treasured possession, something particularly gross, exciting, sparkly, shiny, whatever, and showed it off to one-up the next kid. If you didn't have… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 7, 2012 7:49PM

Generation F**ked Over

Image credit to Obama.net 

If the economy was a joke in 2009, freshly-minted college grads were the punchline.

 December 2008: the economy is tanking, and it's tanking hard. Unemployment is skyrocketing, moms are competing with their teens who are elbowing their retired grandmas out of the way, all because m… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 3, 2012 8:25PM

Last night, I dreamt of dancing

I close my eyes and I am a dancer

all pin-tight turns like curls I used to twirl in my hair

when I wanted to look like Somebody.


Box steps liberate me

one-two-one-two out of the limitations my life has placed on me

and motionless

I'm free.


Last night,… Read full post »

You know what bothers me most about the LeRoy high school "mass hysteria" case that's receiving so much media attention right now? The fact that the parents are refusing to allow their children to seek treatment because, apparently, they don't like the diagnosis. 


The neurologists at the… Read full post »

JANUARY 27, 2012 2:07PM

The endless romance of email

you've got mail


I love getting emails.


I know this is the age of text messages and facebook and social media and email is like, sooooo five seconds ago, but is there anything as exciting as looking at your phone and seeing that little red star that means "someone wants to… Read full post »

words, words, words. 

Sometimes I write feverishly.

The words spread through my veins like wildfire and burst out my fingers, burning burning burning through my thoughts until the only relief is dipping them in ink, shaking them across a keyboard. Letters, then words, then sentences that become stories appe… Read full post »