What Doesn’t Kill You

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Check out Rebecca’s short fiction “Thunderstruck” featured in the Young Adult anthology What Doesn’t Kill You

What Doesn’t Kill You: An Anthology of YA Short Fiction features two-time National Book Award Finalist Eliot Schrefer among a group of two-dozen distinguished writers from all over the United States and Canada who claim to have survived the harrowing passage of their teenage years — but sometimes just barely! They hope these stories will help you survive, too — since they know being a teenager often feels like an impossible task, like it’s trying to kill you for no apparent reason.

The characters in these pages have gone through some stuff — and are still going through some stuff as their stories unfold . . .

They’ve been tricked out of money, given up their innocence before realizing what might be lost, and even ended up accidentally traveling through time with the Devil. They’ve thought they’d killed people — and even actually done it. They’ve come out, struggled with eating disorders and OCD, and even had to take on parenting responsibilities all by themselves.

If you’ve ever felt like the world’s out to get you, then this book’s for you.

“Not to be missed, What Doesn’t Kill You will have you laughing, crying, sighing, and thinking about all the hard but important stuff that makes you who you are when you’re growing up — and keeping an eye on some amazing debut YA authors.”

– Donna Freitas, author of The Healer and The Possibilities of Sainthood


Pay The Women

It’s no secret that the US Women’s National Team is the best soccer team in the world. They’re taking home gold at the World Cup for the fourth time, and have broken multiple records along the way. It’s also no secret that they, just like most women, are underpaid. 

Case in point; FIFA’s prize money for the 2018 men’s World Cup was $400 million. The prize money for the 2019 women’s World Cup was only $30 million. That means the women’s winning team receives a maximum of $200,000 (for each player) in prize money. The men? $1,114,429 each. Infuriating, right?

But FIFA isn’t the only culprit of gender-based pay discrimination. The US Soccer Federation also seems to treat the women’s side unfairly. If both teams competed in and won 20 friendlies (non-tournament games) each in a year, the women’s players would earn a between $99,000 and $4,950 per game, while the men would earn an average of $263,320 or $13,166 per game.  

And before anyone asks, the question ‘is the women’s team as profitable?’ is just laughable. Yes, it is. The WNT have proven that their games have more viewers, their merch outsells the men’s, and they win more games. They also win more championships, currently holding four World Cup stars, four Olympic gold medals and eight CONCACAF championships. 

The Wall Street Journal reported, using the USSF’s financial statements, that between 2016 and 2018, the women’s games have raised approximately $50.8 million in revenue, compared with the $49.9 million for men. 

The WNT have made it known, in so many words, that they’re pissed about the gap. In 2012 they requested equal pay, and the USSF responded by offering compensation only if the women won games against FIFA-ranked top ten teams. That means the USSF would not have paid them for losing games, tying games or winning against teams ranked lower than ten. 

In March, twenty-eight members of the world champion United States women’s soccer team took another step towards pay equality and filed a gender discrimination lawsuit, citing their numerous wins and equal work as some of the many examples for why they deserve to get paid equally. They’re currently awaiting mediation, hoping to solve the issue soon after coming home from their second consecutive World Cup win. 

The unwillingness of FIFA and federations like USSF to pay women equally reveal a problem that extends deeper than just in soccer. Women have been, historically, treated as lesser than their male counterparts. But just because that’s how the world has previously acted towards women, doesn’t mean that’s how it should continue to act towards women. That change can start now, it can start here. 

At this point, any response from the USSF that isn’t a pay raise (equal to or greater than that of the men’s teams pay) could only be a decision made out of good old-fashioned sexism. There are no more excuses. To advance the sport, to advance women’s rights, it’s only acceptable to start paying these women the wages which they have proven, time and time again, that they have earned. 


Originally published on Action Sports and News

Women’s National Team Triumphant

The USA dominated the Netherlands in the final match of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, beating the Netherlands 2-0 to bring home their fourth overall World Cup trophy and second consecutive World Cup trophy. 


As reigning champions, the USA faced heavy scrutiny at all stages of the tournament. Their celebrations were deemed excessive, their wins called undeserved, and their opinions premature. They even managed to gain the attention of the President. But on the day of the final, none of the criticism mattered and the USWNT continued to walk the walk. 


The first half of the match, despite the US having possession 60% of the time, was scoreless, leaving the sellout crowd of 57,900 fans anxious and ready for action. A head-to-head collision late in the first half took out Georgia native and right-back Kelley O’Hara, replaced by veteran Ali Krieger. 


Relief came in the second half, after a high kick from Dutch defender Stefanie van der Gragt drew a penalty kick. Co-captain Megan Rapinoe stepped up to take the PK, finally putting the US ahead. Rapinoe’s goal broke a World Cup record as she became the oldest player (34 years and two days) to score in a World Cup final, breaking her teammate Carli Lloyd’s previous record set in 2015.


The atmosphere of the game changed completely after that, with the US pounding shots right after left until Rose Lavelle managed to bypass two defenders and slip the ball in the lower-right corner for the final goal of the match. 


The team was awarded their medals and World Cup trophy shortly after the game concluded, with Rapinoe earning the Golden Boot, Alex Morgan the Silver Boot and Lavelle earning the Bronze Ball. 


The city of New York is holding a victory parade for the USWNT on Wednesday, July 10, at 9:30 a.m. ET.


For more professional soccer and more action from your favorite players, follow the National Women’s Soccer League.


Utah Royals: Christen Press, Kelley O’Hara and Becky Sauerbrunn.

Portland Thorns: Adrianna Franch, Lindsey Horan, Tobin Heath and Emily Sonnett.  

Seattle Reign: Megan Rapinoe and Allie Long. 

Orlando Pride: Alex Morgan, Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris.  

Sky Blue: Carli Lloyd.

North Carolina Courage: Abby Dahlkemper, Crystal Dunn, Samantha Mewis and Jessica McDonald.  

Chicago Red Stars: Alyssa Naeher, Julie Ertz, Tierna Davidson and Morgan Brian.  

Washington Spirit: Mallory Pugh and Rose Lavelle.