What You Can Expect From The StoryMatter Zine/Lauren Oliver's Brain


The StoryMatter's sporadically materializing Zin(e)mail, Thinking Thought Things, is written by Lauren Oliver and is, broadly speaking, about True Things, and Annoying Lies, and open questions for reflection across a variety of topics. Also, of course, it includes creative work and any projects SM is doing that are actually fun and interesting to follow.

Thinking Thought Things may include some mental health advice, but it will only ever tell you the same thing, i.e. that you are okay wherever you are, and so must everyone else be. That is not the same thing as staying where you may be, or using the same tools, if they have outlived their purpose. It is a Radical Permission to live without shame, and to orient toward your own needs, desires, and pain instead of escaping them through any means necessary in order to shackle yourself to some random strangers' ideas of what life should look like, who you should be, and what we are doing here. I don't care if it's your mom harassing you; if she is parroting the values of the past hundred years at you as if they are immortal wisdom, then you are randomly assigning your identity and life choices to some manufacturing titan of nuts-and-washers who died in 1879 of, like, gout. 

That is too random, even for LO. 

Everything else is just part of the ride. So sign up and let me into your inbox. 




1. Things We Should Be Talking About And No One is, Including:

a. How the Pentagon admitted to recovering alien crafts and no one cared

b. How we found an island of real-life ancient hobbits and no one cared except the Tolkein estate, which hilariously and absurdly sued a full-on academic anthropologist for using the word hobbit to advertise his franchise mega-blockbuster LECTURE at a university

c. How literally nothing in history is even vaguely like we were taught and it's annoying 

d. All of the people who were actually full on making history before we decided to leave them out of the textbooks and instead make children memorize the name of g*ddamn Eli Whitney, who invented the f*cking cotton gin, which we full on don't even use anymore. Like so random that I was taught the name of a man who invented a defunct product, and so offensive in the context of an entire world and at least half of the gendered population who were deliberately and systematically actually SCRUBBED from the historical record, i.e. in there originally, then removed. FWIW the first book published in a vernacular language was in the 1400s, written by a man, and about THE TOP 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN IN HISTORY. His follow-up was about the men-folk. 

I don't care who invented the bedpan, either, no offense to pooping in a bowl that doesn't flush. 

e. How we misunderstand the role of myth and magic in the past and it definitely had nothing to do with our ancestors being stupid. Explain to me how the color-changing glass of the ancient Egyptians was created and stop using the pythagorean theorem or pi for calculations and I will grant you ignorance and naivete as an answer. Until then, looks like our modern age and its cancerous worship of paper dollars and the childish belief we could wrangle and harness and subjugate a planetary ecosystem to our will is the one that's intellectually sus. 


g. 97billion things that I learned that are literally nonsensical when you think about them, which we now will, one at a time

2. How to Be Alive And A Human

a. Advice That People Give That Is Stupid And You Should Ignore 

b. Self and Other stuff, i.e. how to not be a narcissist and/or miserable all the time, and how to make boundaries appropriately, even when you are dealing with a narcissist. Basically, the nature of our duties--and our choices--with respect to the shared world. 

c. Wants vs. needs and how we must be careful about stories.

d. Arguing with people, do's and don'ts, and how to engage in a way that actually leads to new perspectives. 

e. How to Logic, and when it matters. Logic is overrated in circumstances when it has no utility--like identifying market opportunities, attempting to understand and respond to other people, or fighting with your friend about their dirtbag boyfriend--and almost never used when it should be, i.e., to identify the invisible stories inside of many of the marketing headlines that masquerade as information, news, and even science. Yes, science. Sorry, "science" is not an actual person, and it is still following the same pattern as always, i.e., that it is wrong about 80 percent of what it believes to be True at any time, despite insisting every time that it has everything figured out and everyone who doesn't believe the random assumptions it makes to explain observable behavior is a slug. And no, I am not talking about coronavirus, or the various campaigns of terror and counter-terror that fractured our country even more significantly than it was fractured previously, clearly motivated by the belief that human beings are universally afflicted with BPD and an inability to think outside of Black & White absolutes, like all good and all bad, when that is instead the domain only of our military propaganda and a subset of fundamentalist preachers.

3. Writing and Creative Stuff

a. Prompts and group challenges, plus advice if I have any!

b. Book recommendations and author highlights, and yes, for sure, we are fully plugging our partners here, because they are amazing, so I don't want to hear any guff when it's your choice to buy the book or not, plus it would be way sh*ttier if we were selling things we'd worked on that we were ashamed to hype to the world. 

c. Flash fiction and original entries from my quasi-historical magic encyclopedia that is going to take me the rest of my life but it is so fun. 

4. Mystery School Type Things 

a. Why the idea of dying is so stupid and obviously wrong 

b. Amazing books and magical wisdom that I studied and can point you toward to learn and understand

c. How my friend Solomon who works for me may actually be a wizard, which used to be a joke, until he accidentally maybe started another universe and proved that we are in an infinite mirror series of realities 

+ announcements, opportunities to collab, new merch ideas for voting, and general love and insanity, in a beautiful mosaic tapestry of complete nuttiness. 



Just like me, and all my favorite people. <3





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