This brings tears to my eyes. So many years of exhaustion, fighting for balance in communities of need as corporations do whatever they want. Exhaustion. Hope. This is the wisdom of a writer!

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A simple system for self-identifying our stance+situation.

Infographic designed by Kristen Caven, ©2020 CC0

“I’d invite you in for a minute but..

(lengthy explanation of who I’ve seen and what I don’t know).”

“I’d like to hang out but…

(lengthy explanation of who I’ve seen and what I don’t know).”

“I’d give you a hug but…”

The long explanations and hyper-vigilance are getting stressful. Almost as stressful as self-isolation. With the holidays around the corner, I was wondering why there isn’t an easier way to communicate our level of virus-avoidance. I searched and searched for a self-assessment tool and couldn’t find one, so I made one. …

My Niece’s Bat Mizvah drash sheds light on the “Me Too” Movement.

Watching my niece read her sermon, I had to keep the tissues handy watching my niece own this piece of cultural history.

Hi, I’m Alexa.

Today I get to talk about one of the most interesting parts of the whole Torah because it mentions the rape of Dinah, which is a very significant event. Another important thing happens in the Torah this week, which is that Jacob wrestles with a divine being and is renamed Israel. I have always been very passionate about feminism and have felt very…

Dinah of Genesis finally gets to say, “Me, Too.”

I am not a Jew, but I feel so fortunate that my brother chose to become one when he took his first wife. (Sounds so biblical, doesn’t it?) Through him, I learned so much about Judaism that none of my Jewish friends had never told me. Like this: it’s not a secret society. Judaism is the world oldest book club! They are the original word nerds.

Judaism is the world oldest book club.

The first time I attended a friend’s son’s Bar Mizvah, and witnessed the reverence with which this community…

Tech talk for time travelers—conservation for preservationists

As Climate Change goes from An Inconvenient Truth to Something We Can’t Ignore to The Way We’ll Have To Live The Rest Of Our Lives, I’m ready to normalize conversation about it and bring action into every part of my life.

As a lover of historic recreation events, I often find myself time-traveling back to the Jazz Age, when all was excitement about a new era of speed and energy and productivity, though the present was desperate and depressed. This year there were climate protests, and I didn’t want to take a day off. Because the present is desperate and…

I am a cartoon logo

To be a successful writer (or artist, or anything that involves money, relationship, or consistency), we are now supposed to think of ourselves as a brand.

For years I have helped other artists and creatives to try to craft their image, but I can’t seem to do it for myself. And the poet and the activist in me wonders if that kind of thinking is part of the problem… Corporations are now people — and people have to think of themselves as corporations.

I am a human being.

I have struggles and stories and questions and dreams. I have a busy mind, I have products…

Could this be the word we have been looking for?

There is a moment in my graphic novella, The Reason She Left, where the questioning protagonist brings a conversation about epistemology to a standstill.

from The Reason She Left by Kristen Baumgardner Caven

The characters are talking about how the suffix “-ism” is used to classify a thought system, like like optimism or pessimism, sadism or masochism, nihilism, realism…and if words like racism, sexism, classism and ageism are used to identify mindsets and philosophies, then why doesn’t anyone ever use the word “rapism?”

It’s a bit of a brain-breaker. Kind of an awful idea, an awful word.

If ‘isms’ (per their dictionary definition) are suffixes that make nouns of…

Kristen Caven’s speech to awardees on Oakland’s Zorgos Day, October 15th.

Mayoral proclamation for “Zorgos Day”

On his first day of sixth grade, my son was pushed, kicked, threatened, and chased. Being the shortest kid and wearing glasses is the classic recipe for being a target — even if you’re not also the racial minority. On the last day of sixth grade, a kid he didn’t know crossed the street, but not to say hi. He said “I don’t like white people,” and slapped my son in the face. Over the next few years he was stalked, peeped, threatened a lot more, solicited for sex…

Mayor Libby Schaff proclaimed October 15th “Zorgos Day” in Oakland, recognizing our work giving 3000 copies away to teach parents about ACEs, bullying dynamics, and positive parenting. Our goal was to help parents build connection and support in changing negative patterns.

Zorgos is the superpower that prevents bullying. Inspired by the esperanto word for “I will take care.”

To celebrate “Zorgos Day,” we will be honoring community leaders who are creating positive change, with an awards dinner at The Bellevue Club.

Burton’s destruction of Alice in Wonderland could have been easily fixed.

Love Tim Burton. Love Johnny Depp. Love Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway. LOVE Disney!

But as it turns out, I love Lewis Carroll even more.

I couldn’t have been more excited to see Burton’s interpretation of Alice in Wonderland. I couldn’t wait to see what sense he would make of the caucus race, the caterpillar, the enigmatic oysters, the meandering logic of Alice’s dream.

But it was no dream he re-created. It was an adventure! It was a re-invention of this favorite tale through his own ego. Imaginitve…

Kristen Caven

Creative innovator, energy upshifter, literary instigator, visionary. Also likes shoes. My books are at

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