Tag Archives: blogging

A Major Award

I have to admit that lately I haven’t been feeling that confident. But then one morning I looked at the number of staplers on my desk at work—two—and thought, “Abby, you lucky bastard. You’ve really made something of yourself.”

So with that said, I decided to think of other things that should earn A Major Award. Congrats to you!

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Not only remembering to put your reusable grocery bag in your car, but remembering to actually bring it in with you before you’re checking out in the store.

Spelling “definitely,” “vacuum” or “conscientious” right on the first try.

Actually using the OveGlove on your hand instead of grabbing the hot pan with the hand not wearing the OveGlove.

Making a list before going to the store and remembering to take it with you instead of coming home to be reminded about what you forgot to buy.

Realizing you’re out of toilet paper but finding you stocked an extra roll in the cabinet next to the toilet.

Getting less than 15 tissues out on the first pull from a new box of Kleenex.

Perfectly timing use of the automatic soap dispenser instead of putting your hand under there, waiting, pulling hand away and then having soap shoot out onto the counter.

Pumping gas and stopping on the exact dollar amount instead of spending an extra $10 trying to get it to stop on an even dollar amount.

Remembering the names of your neighbors and not just the names of your neighbors’ dogs.

Unpeeling a banana and getting all those stringy things off in the process (bonus points if you can rip a banana off the bunch without feeling like you’re ripping it away from its family, creating an orphan banana, of sorts.)

Dropping a piece of buttered/cheesy/messy toast and for once, not having the buttered/cheesy/messy side hit the carpet.

Not saying what you’re thinking out loud two seconds after your brain says, “Don’t say that out loud.”

Remembering to take out both trash and recycle on the same day.

Catching something as it falls off the table without knocking something else off the table.

Putting away the clean laundry on the same day it was washed.

When someone tells you, “Great question!” actually hearing their answer because you’re not busy congratulating yourself for asking such a great question.

And of course, for commenting below on what you deserve A Major Award for today.

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Rach from “RachRiot” Has Issues

Do you hate bras? Cooking fancy meals? People with no sense of humor? Then this Friday’s blogger sharing their issues—Rachael of RachRiot—is your new best friend/wine-drinking sister wife of sorts.

If you’re on Facebook, you need to join the tens of thousands who “like” her page so you can participate in not just her witty updates, but also:

White Trash Wednesday: A day in which Rach asks, “How often have you been whipping up a canned meat masterpiece and thought to yourself, ‘Golly, I just wish I could keep my sauce and meat from mingling!’ Well, aim that sack o’ sauce right here- wait, what? Um…because it’s WHITE TRASH WEDNESDAY!! Tear off that apron and join me for a cocktail and confess your latest “white trash” creation.”

Yes, that’s exactly what it sounds like. But seeing as I’m a vegan not interested in mystery meat creations, I choose to participate in:

The Sunday Saggeth: A day in which Rach encourages people to ditch the over –the-shoulder-boulder-holder and join her floppy flock: “It is our high holy day, it is THE SAGGETH. Let us honor this day and do what is right and just- keep yourself unburdened by bras as I have commanded. I raise my hands skyward as my breasts hang floorward. Shout freedom! Free at last!”

Preach it, woman. So without further ado—or a bra—I present Rachael.

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Name: Rachael Hebert Pavlik

Blog: Rach Riot

Where, what and why do you write?

I write humor, and according to my mother I’m very, very talented and have such a pretty face. I’m coming to you now from my secret lair, which looks a lot like my dining room table. Why do I write? Because my therapist is no longer returning my emails.

Along with my blog, I’ve written for Houston Family Magazine, Aiming Low, List Of The Day blog and also co-authored the best-selling anthology, “I Just Want To Pee Alone.”

First thing you think of when you wake up in the morning.

F#ck you, daylight.

What’s the one “issue” or frustration annoying you the most right now?

Right now? These underwear I have on. I won’t even call them “panties” because that connotes something sexy, and these draws are somewhere above my belly button, right around my rib cage. Sounds comfy (and sexy) but it’s not. It’s annoying. Maybe because I’m also wearing low-rise jeans. It’s a good look. Did I say sexy?

Three websites you visit every day.

Facebook, my blog (to see if magic literary fairies have written a blog for me as I slept — it could happen) and then, um…I usually Google something unspeakable. If anything ever happens to me, please erase my history and burn my laptop before the police come, OK? Thanks.

What’s an unusual talent and/or accomplishment you could never put on a resume?

The uncanny ability to offend large groups of people with a single sentence. My best work is usually on a speaker phone while your kids listen in.

(Editor’s note: If my internal dialogue was on speaker phone, I would be totally screwed.)

Favorite place to be?

George Clooney’s summer villa on Lake Como, Italy

(Editor’s note again: See you there! We can plane pool, which is like car pooling but in a plane, obviously.)

If you could rule the land for one day, what laws would you create and enforce?

I would do away with all restraining orders, because George Clooney is an overreactive paranoid freak sometimes. He’s so silly!

What TV show would you want to appear on?

Graham Norton or Drunk History, because duh. I’d also like to be one of Oprah’s gurus on Super Soul Sunday. Also duh.

Best and worst things I could find in your refrigerator right now?

Hmmm…I have an impressive collection of pepper jellies, some of them botulism flavor. The best? Booze, of course.

What question do you wish I had asked you and what would be your reply?

You didn’t ask anything about my boobs and I don’t feel they get the attention they deserve! Jeeze. They are real and they’re spectacular. Thanks for asking!

(Final editor’s note: I purposely didn’t ask about your boobs because you have boobs and I don’t and that’s probably why I have issues so THANKS FOR BRINGING THAT UP.)


At any rate, be sure to check her out and show her some love—or some wine. I think she’s partial to the latter.

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Jen from “People I Want to Punch In the Throat” Has Issues & a Giveaway

It’s Friday! Another blogger is sharing their issues! Exclamation points!

Today it’s Jen from “People I Want to Punch In the Throat,” and given the name of her blog, it’s natural to assume she has issues.

If you’ve ever heard of the Elf on the Shelf, you’ve heard of Jen. If you’ve ever heard of “I Just Want to Be Alone—and if you read this blog, I’ve shoved it down your throat because I was ridiculously honored to be included—you’ve heard of Jen.

I could sit here and ramble about all her other books—including two new ones that are dropping this September and then in fall of 2015—but I’ll let you figure that out on your own because this post is already long and there’s a giveaway at the end.

Free stuff! Exclamation point!

So without further ado, here’s Jen.

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Name: Jen Mann

Blog: People I Want to Punch in the Throat

Where, what, and why do you write?

I write everywhere. I’ve been known to write in my car on the pickup line at school, I write in my bed, I write in my office. You name it, I’ve probably written there. I like to write on a laptop, so I’m always hauling a laptop around with me. A notebook and pen would be too simple for me. I much prefer to sit poolside with a hot piece of machinery on my lap. Plus, then people will stop and say, “Are you a writer?”

Why do I write? That one’s easy. I write so that I don’t kill. I write to vent my spleen. If I don’t write it down then I might literally explode. A wise blogger (whose name I can’t remember) once said, “If I don’t write it on my blog, then did it really happen?” When you have that kind of ego, then you have to be a writer. Plus, I’m not cut out for manual labor, so this writing thing needs to work for me.

(Editor’s note: Since she can’t remember the name of the blogger but appreciated the advice, let’s just pretend it was me. Moving on…)

First thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?

I need a nap.

What’s the one “issue” or frustration annoying you the most right now?

Anything and everything back to school. We’re starting our second week of school and it’s been a nightmare. Everyone is exhausted, and my kids are crying every morning because they don’t want to get up. They whine that school is hard this year. Ha. You should see fourth grade spelling words: Art. Give me a break, Gomer.

We’re having a tough time getting back into the routine of checking homework, packing ah-may-zing fun and healthy lunches, finding clean clothes to wear each day and shelling out hundreds of dollars for new clothes, markers and glue sticks (NOT the purple ones!!), PTO membership and renting violins. Yes, I rented a violin this year. I am looking forward to the practices because I like to hear the sound of dying cats.

Three websites you visit every day?

Huffington Post, Jezebel and The Onion.

(Editor’s note: By “Huffington Post” of “The Onion” I’m sure she meant Abby Has Issues. Carry on.)

What’s an unusual talent and/or accomplishment you could never put on a resume?

I can change a diaper using one hand while holding onto a squirmy toddler with the other.

Favorite place to be?

In my bed. Don’t get excited, Hubs. I like to be there alone. Sleeping.

If you could rule the land for one day, what laws would you create and enforce?

Citizens may key any car that isn’t parked properly between the lines.

What TV show would you want to appear on?

Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I’ve been watching this show since the beginning and I dream of one day sitting across the table from Jon. I’ll be so star-struck though so the interview will go terribly because I’ll just keep giggling uncontrollably and saying stuff like, “Oh my God, it’s you.”

Best and worst things I could find in your refrigerator right now?

Best would be leftover burrito from lunch. Worst would be leftover burrito from six months ago.

What question do you wish I had asked you and what would be your reply?

Where can I buy your new book, Jen? Amazon, of course!


And because she’s a giver, we’re also giving away one copy of “I Just Want to Be Alone” today to a random person who comments on this post answering the question below. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents with a sense of humor and a random winner will be drawn on Tuesday morning and notified via email.

Even if you have a copy of the book, play along. You don’t want to get on her bad side.

Who do you want to punch in the throat?

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Practical Classes for Writers

It’s back to school time for most people, and while I value my college education, I can’t help but feel that the writing curriculum they provided didn’t necessarily prepare me for the real world.

Of course I took the basics for academic, creative and professional writing, but technical skills aside, they failed to address the more “realistic” aspects of being a writer.

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So with that said, I have proposed a few more practical classes that all aspiring writers should be required to take.

Textual Dysfunction

This introductory prerequisite will tackle the perennial problem of writer’s block and the five stages every writer will go through. Along with preparing the student for the emotional trauma of textual dysfunction, several creative writing exercises will be performed in an effort to facilitate creative expression — including how to explain to friends and family that your blog/novel is not based on them, even though it probably is.

Emotional Exfoliation

Learn to brush off those who don’t realize your obvious genius and hope your skin grows back thicker, because whether you’re a creative writer, a technical writer or a blogger (extra credit if you’re a blogger), you will get rejected many more times than not. Participants will learn to go from query and submission to dealing with the “nice no,” the “hell no” and the “what the hell do they know?” of rejection.

However, everyone is also asked to gather up their rejection letters to use for decoupaging a complimentary flask as part of art therapy offered as a follow-up course.

Narcissism in the Age of the Internet

Attendees will be given the tools needed to make their tweets fake trophy-worthy, their Facebook updates ring with confidence/insecurity and their selfies flattering in the light of the bathroom. They will also be given tips on how to buy fans/followers and Photoshop their profile pictures to an almost unrecognizable image.

Workspace Feng Shui

It’s important that writers create a comfortable environment when waiting for inspiration to hit. Learn to prioritize these tasks, such as what size Post-Its to write your to-do list on, where that plant looks best, color organization of pens, snack drawer replenishment and paperclip sculpture and art.

Professional Courtesy

Often writers are tasked with working in an office setting. In this course, students will learn the basics to avoid creating a hostile work environment, such as: never “replying all” to an email, both changing and replacing the paper towel roll and trash bag in the office kitchen and washing dirty dishes instead of placing them NEXT to the sink in hopes the imaginary maid will do it.

In addition, flashcards will be created with phrases like, “Weekend was great!” “Weather is wonderful!” “Can’t believe it’s Monday!” in an effort to cut down on generic coworker chit-chat.

Typo Trauma 101*

Play it off as funny? Run away and start a new life? Learn how to deal with the angst of finding a typo more than .5 seconds after something has been posted or published somewhere you can’t go back and edit.

*The support group will meet immediately after this session. Carbs will be provided.


Seeing as most writers are introverted attention hounds who just want to be left alone, graduation ceremonies would be held online where participants could submit their best work for a round of social media “likes” from the comfort of their couch.

Now that’s a class I could go for.

Here’s your homework: What class would you add to the list for your job?

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Deva from “My Life Suckers” Has Issues

First of all, thanks to everyone who had nice and encouraging things to say about my last post and the Zazzle store on Facebook (and in the imagined conversations I had with you in my head.)

I’ll remind you every once in awhile when I add new things, but I won’t be annoying because a) that’s annoying and b) I’ll probably forget. But I didn’t forget today is Friday, which means another blogger is sharing their issues.

Today we have none other than Internet video star Deva Dalporto from MyLifeSuckers, and by “Internet video star” I don’t mean in the Kardashian way.

No, while she’s too humble to brag about it, I will tell you she is the force behind the viral videos parodying songs like, “Let It Go” from “Frozen” and “Fancy” from Iggy Izalea, among others.

She’s pretty much a rock star.

I tried to get her to make a video of her replies to a polka medley or two, but no luck, so we’ll just have to settle for text. With that said, let’s roll out the barrel with Deva!

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Name: Deva Dalporto

Blog: MyLifeSuckers

Where, what and why do you write?

I write and make videos about my crazy life-sucking life as a mom. If I didn’t write about it, I would curl up in a ball and cry. And that would be pathetic.

When my kids aren’t home, I write at my kitchen counter because it’s close to the teapot. And I love tea. Like love, love tea. I probably should have been British. When my kids are home, I try to hide in my bedroom and work, but they always find me.

First thing you think of when you wake up in the morning.

Five freakin’ fifty???? The kids couldn’t have let me sleep until six? It’s inhuman to wake someone up before six.

What’s the one “issue” or frustration annoying you the most right now?

My adult acne. I mean REALLY! God must hate me. He couldn’t have given me a break between acne and wrinkles? Just a few Neutrogena-fresh years?

Three websites you visit every day.

Facebook. Er, Facebook. And, um, Facebook.

What’s an unusual talent and/or accomplishment you could never put on a resume?

I load a mean dishwasher. I’m very proud of my dishwasher loading skills. I can fit in an amazing amount of stuff without anything touching. It really is a marvel.

And I’m very critical of other people’s dishwasher loading skills. Like when someone takes up the whole bottom row with a big bowl, I just shake my head and wonder WHY??? WTF is wrong with people? You can’t take up valuable real estate that should be reserved for plates with ONE bowl. I mean, do you KNOW how many plates you can get into the space that one big bowl takes up? Sheesh.

Favorite place to be?

In bed. Except I’m an insomniac so it’s kind of a torturous relationship. I hate being in bed when I can’t sleep and my mind is running a million miles an hour reminding me that I’M GOING TO DIE some day. Good times. But besides the insomnia part, I love being in bed.

If you could rule the land for one day, what laws would you create and enforce?

I would get rid of Standard Time and keep us on Daylight Savings Time. Standard Time is the devil. Who wants it to get dark at 4 pm? And adjusting to time changes with kids is hell on earth. Really, time changes need to go.

What TV show would you want to appear on?

Project Runway, except I can’t sew. I really just want to hang out with Tim Gunn and have him tell me to, “Make it work.”

Best and worst things I could find in your refrigerator right now?

Best is my Humbolt Fog Goat Cheese. I have been dairy-free for six years and the doctor just gave me the all-clear for goat cheese, so I’ve been indulging in a hunk per night. That’s OK, right?

Worst thing in my fridge would have to be that disgustingly moldy container of yogurt that I keep forgetting to throw out. But I just tell myself I’m educating the kids about fungi. They don’t get enough science in school these days so I’m just doing my part.

What question do you wish I had asked you and what would be your reply?

When is the last time you showered, Deva? Why, do I smell? I smell, don’t I? UGH. Oh, to answer your (my) question—I have no idea. Showering is a luxury I rarely afford myself these days.


Stink aside, go check her out after you share one of your issues: What’s the worst thing I could find in your fridge right now?

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Paige Kellerman Has Issues

Today is Friday, which means another blogger will be sharing their issues, although I don’t know how she has time seeing as she has 4-year-old twins and a 2 year old.

(If you will recall, I can barely maintain my garden/horticultural hospice.)

She also has a best-selling book, “At Least My Belly Hides My Cankles,” and is working on the next one while still blogging, parenting and mixing the perfect Gin and tonic (presumably for her and not the children.)

Since she found a few minutes to class up this joint, I now present Paige Kellerman (who I can guarantee is much more attractive than the lame graphic I attempted to make.)

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Name: Paige Kellerman

Blog: There’s More Where That Came From

Where, what and why do you write?

I write humor that’s sometimes mistaken for writing that’s not funny. I work mostly in a notebook on my couch, but occasionally I’ll pretend to work on the computer and be on Pinterest instead. This is probably why most people refer to me as “The Next Great American Author No One Will Ever Hear Of.” My reasons for writing have always been pretty deep, mainly fame, fortune and being able to afford a personal chef so I don’t have to cook for my family one day.

First thing you think of when you wake up in the morning:

Who’s breathing on me?

What’s the one “issue” or frustration annoying you the most right now?

Right now, it’s probably the baby climbing in the tub and turning it on while I’m trying to leave your readers with something worthwhile.

Nope, never mind. He was actually throwing the entire new bottle of body wash in the toilet. I’ll be heading to the grocery store after this.

Three websites you visit every day:

Sadly, and without fail, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook.

What’s an unusual talent and/or accomplishment you could never put on a resume?

I went to an entrepreneurial camp when I was a senior in high school. I rode on a bus to Iowa where I learned how to make a business plan and open up a nightclub. I found that business plan in a box the other day. Every floor of the club was supposedly going to be made of glass and not result in some sort of tragedy. I think the point here is that I can make a really shoddy business plan.

Favorite place to be?

Home. I love to travel, but I’m happiest on my couch, reading and drinking.

If you could rule the land for one day, what laws would you create and enforce?

That’s a tough one. I think there should be something governing how long someone can wait for your parking spot. It takes me an hour to get three kids buckled in their car seats. I’m sorry, anonymous person idling in your Hummer.

What TV show would you want to appear on?

Hands down, Conan. I’ve wanted to meet him since I was a kid. If I ever make it on there, I’m giving you a shout out.

Best and worst things I could find in your refrigerator right now?

There’s wine and a bowl of strawberries I got all domesticated and cut up the other day. There’s also a Tupperware of baked ziti I wouldn’t open if I were you.

What question do you wish I had asked you and what would be your reply?

I wish you’d asked me how renovations on the house are going. Because I would’ve said, “They’re going really great, Abby. I just painted our crappy backsplash and now it looks a little less crappy. I’m really proud of that. Thanks for asking.”

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How Being a Writer is Like Being a Parent

It’s no secret that the extent of my maternal skills is having a garden, and seeing as how I’m already tired of taking care of it after two months, I know that I’ll never have kids.

But most people I know do have kids, so it’s not like I’m a stranger to the toils and troubles that most parents face. Given what they say on a regular basis, I realized that being a writer isn’t all that different from being a parent at times.

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Deadlines are Seen as Suggestions

Writer: I send out an email that the deadline for copy is Sept. 1, and more often than not I’ll get an email Sept. 1 that says, “When is the deadline? Can I send it to you next week?”

Parent: Stating that bedtime is at 8 p.m. more often than not means negotiations start at 7:59 with, “What time is it? Can I just go to bed when I’m tired…three hours from now?”

Going Viral

Writer: This can be a good thing because something you wrote was seen by thousands of people on the Internet. On the other hand, it can also mean some of those people make it their mission to be crappy and (try to) make your life miserable.

Parent: Going “viral” means someone is sick and things literally get crappy, making your life miserable.

Everyone Gives You Advice

Writer: One “expert” says the best way to write is to research and plan it all out, while another “expert” says to just start writing and let inspiration guide you.

Parent: One “expert” says to plan out your child’s every movement, while another “expert” says to just let them be kids and make sure that they don’t maim themselves.

Note: Either way, someone will tell you you’re doing it wrong.

You Brag

Writer: After working hard on something you’re proud of, it’s natural to want to share it will ALL the land because everyone should love it as much as you do. However, everyone will not love it as much as you do, and at times you’re rather annoying.

Parent: After your kid does something no one has EVER done before—like started school, ate a snack or said something cute—it’s natural to want to share it with ALL the land because everyone should love your kid as much as you do. However, everyone will not love your child as much as you do, and at times you’re rather annoying.

Sleep is Never the Same

Writer: You lie awake in the middle of the night, worried that you will NEVER be creative again, or conversely, because you had a great idea that you absolutely had to write down.

Parent: You lie awake in the middle of the night, either worried about your offspring or because of your offspring waking you up to get them a glass of water they will forget that wanted a mere two minutes later.

Grammar Police

Writer: While you hate to perpetuate a stereotype, you at least mentally correct the grammar of those you’re around and people who know “there,” “their” and “they’re” get metaphorical gold stars every day.

Parent: No sweetheart, every time someone says, “I could care less” when they mean, “I couldn’t care less,” Santa Claus steals from cute kittens.

You Need Thick Skin

Writer: You’re rejected more often than not, and thick skin is required (as are soft pillows for when you bang your head on your desk in despair, hypothetically speaking.)

Parent: Kids hold nothing back. If you’re ugly or smell, they’ll tell you you’re ugly and smell. There’s nowhere to hide.


In both instances, there is often whining and wine, a sense that you’re usually underappreciated and that what you say is completely ignored most of the time.

But at the end of the day, you would do it all over again because the joys infinitely outweigh the pains. And if even one person loves what you create—even if that one person is only you—it makes it all worthwhile.

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