Tag Archives: writing

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.

writing

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?

Like the blog? Buy the books!

zazzle

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!

devadalportoletitgo

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?

Like the blog? Buy the books!

zazzle

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.)

book promo 2

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.”

Like the blog? Buy the books!

P.S. If you don’t want to miss anything, be sure to subscribe here on the blog and/or follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

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.

kid

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.

Like the blog?Buy the books!

zazzle

P.S. If you don’t want to miss anything, be sure to subscribe here on the blog and/or follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

 

Kim from “Let Me Start By Saying” Has Issues

It’s Friday, so that means another blogger is spilling their issues.

Considering she has a massively popular Facebook page and writes everywhere from NickMom to The Huffington Post, you’ve probably seen her before. However, you’ve never seen her HERE, promising fruit, so buckle up and get to know Kim.

kim-headshot-2

Name: Kim Bongiorno

Blog: Let Me Start By Saying

Where, what and why do you write?

I write in a hermetically-sealed Lady Cave I created in my home. It is basically a cube of notebooks, old books, writing books, one zillion pens and pencils and scraps of paper I jot ideas on and toss in there whenever I pass by.

Unlike some organized people (what an adorable concept!), I don’t have a rhyme or reason to my writing. I’ve written a complete Young Adult novel and a partial Women’s fiction one. My normal schtick is humor–mostly parenting–but I kind of just do whatever comes to mind. It’s fun listening to all the voices in my head. Luckily I have a very calm-looking face, or else I’d have been locked up a long time ago. I don’t think I have any other choice than to be a writer.

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

Cripes on a cracker someone get me coffee RIGHT NOW.

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

The lack of soundproof walls in my home. I really need to work on that. Or for school to start sooner than later. Once of those things.

Three websites you visit every day.

1. Facebook, to see what’s going on in the world and hopefully read a new dirty joke that will make me laugh first thing in the morning.

2. IMDB, for my goal in life is to have as much useless Real Life information as possible stored in this little golden head of mine.

3. PicMonkey, where I make useful graphics for my blog or social media, as well as stupid memes I only share with friends because wasting time is why the Internet was created.

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

I can wiggle my eyes and do the splits. At the same time.

Favorite place to be?

At home on the couch in my office reading a real, physical book in the middle of the day during a quiet moment when my kids are out of earshot and hopefully not bleeding from the head.

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

Free weekly massages and monthly pedicures for everyone, always. And capes would totally come back in fashion (I would wear a sparkly silver one–like, really bedazzled).

What TV show would you want to appear on?

I have a 3-way tie for SNL, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers–but mostly because I want to hang out in the writer’s room. I’d do whatever they told me to do on the show, itself, to make this happen. Seriously, anything.

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

Best is cookie dough. I can make magic if I have ready-made sugar cookie dough on hand. Worst is the petrified once-was-foodstuffs that are rolling around in the three drawers. It scares me too much to actually clean it. Please stop making me think about it.

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

What will you do when you’re a multi-millionaire author of a slew of best-selling novels? I’ll buy a compound somewhere really quiet with a book store on one end and massive spa on the other end where all my friends can come and write, relax and laugh together whenever they need a break. Oh! And we’d have stand-up comics appear every night to keep us entertained. And the menu would be the same as The Cheesecake Factory’s. That is a MUST.

And yes, there will be lots of fresh avocados to entice you to join me.


She knows me so well! Now go click her links and get to know her better, but not in that creepy “wiggle the eyebrows while you say that”-type way. She is a married woman. But regardless, there will be cookies.

Like the blog? Buy the books!

P.S. If you don’t want to miss anything, be sure to subscribe here on the blog and/or follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Words to Your Mother Giveaway!

It has been brought to my attention—by myself—that it’s been quite some time since I’ve given something away, other than all of the content you read on this blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Oh! And the food I put out for the birds and bastard woodland creatures in my yard. Now that I think about it, I’m freaking Mother Teresa! Give me ALL the Nobel Peace Prizes!

Anyway, with Mother’s Day just around the corner and WordPress telling me this is my 500th post, it seemed like a great time to do just that.

So without further ado, I present to you the “Words to Your Mother” book giveaway full of cool stuff you should want. (Because I do, but I’m giving the good stuff to you. You. Are. Welcome.)

giveaway

I Just Want to Be Alone

One signed copy—by me—of this collection of humorous essays from 37 of the most Super Cool Lady Writers you’ll find on the Web who let me join in for some reason. Even my 65-year-old uncle loved it. It rocks.

Suburban Haiku

One autographed hardcover edition of Suburban Haiku: Poetic Dispatches From Behind the Picket Fence by Peyton Price. One mom’s journey toward suburban assimilation, told in hilarious cringe-worthy haiku. In addition, you will also receive one Suburban Haiku book club tote bag, perfect for hauling your swag all over the neighborhood (or hiding wine. Whatever. I don’t judge.) 

Something Smells Like Pee: And Other Classy Observations

Humorist/writer Blythe Jewell explores things, life, whatnot through the prism of humor, poetry and illustration. This collection of more than 60 titles includes brilliant pieces like “Hair in My Ass Crack,” “Shut the F*&! Up About Twilight,” “Leave the F*&%$! Cat Alone” and many more.

Mommy Had a Little Flask

One copy of the hilarious sequel to “This Little Piggy Went to the Liquor Store,” the bestselling “momoir” from A.K. Turner. From preschoolers blurting obscenities in public places to living with her in-laws in Mexico, “Mommy Had a Little Flask” delivers a delightfully raw and honest account of family life in Turner’s latest laugh-out-loud confessional.

Part of My World: Short Stories

In this collection of 21 short stories from the fabulous Kim Bongiorno, you will meet a troubled teenager, fallen princess, reunited lovers, creatures from afar and more. Funny, sexy, macabre, and heart wrenching, there’s something for everyone woven into these tales.

At Least My Belly Hides My Cankles: Mostly True Tales of An Impending Miracle

From the moment her positive test result is revealed in a fog of canine flatulence to the day she’s gently hoisted onto the delivery table by a front-end loader, writer/humorist Paige Kellerman guides you through her pregnancy with twins, careful to only hold one of your hands in case you need to cover your eyes with the other.

Nurse Mommy Laughs

Stacey Hatton from Nurse Mommy Laughs,will make you snort and giggle this Mother’s Day with the book, “I Just Want to Pee Alone,” a classic coffee mug to celebrate your Okay-ness and a Sir Perky (Curly Boner) Corkscrew—a trifecta of fun! 

Don’t Lick the Minivan

As a woman used to traveling and living the high life in Bangkok, Leanne Shirtliffe becomes pregnant with twins in Asia’s sin city and finds herself dodging deep-fried bug cuisine and nurses who cover newborn bassinets with plastic wrap. Then she and her husband move home to North American suburbia, where they face hilarious new challenges, such as the funeral she officiated for Stripper Barbie.

Abby Still Has Issues

And to put the cherry on top of this swagaholic sundae, I will also add a signed copy of “Abby Still Has Issues.” This means I have to sign TWO things. Sigh…what I do for you people.  


To qualify: You must be able to read, or know someone who is willing to read, to you, and live in the United States.

Required: There are three ways to enter, so you have three ways to win! First, leave a comment on this post—bad/good advice from a mom, the worst gift ever given/received, why I’m not Mother Teresa, etc.

Second, “like” the Facebook pages of any or all of the above contributors and then leave a comment telling me that you’ve done that (links are included in the descriptions above. One entry no matter how many pages you “like.” )

Finally, share this post via any social media channel you choose—or run around the neighborhood wearing a sandwich board, for all that I care—and leave a comment telling me that you’ve done that.

And if you do run around the neighborhood wearing a sandwich board, please send pictures.

The Winner will be chosen at random and notified via email after the giveaway closes at midnight on Monday, May 5.  And if you don’t win this giveaway, go to Amazon, buy these books, review them and send me a thank you in the form of cash donations.

Good luck!

Measuring Up

I’ve been doing this blogging thing for a few years now, which means I occasionally give people the impression that I might know what I’m doing.

Once in awhile I’ll receive an email asking me for blogging tips or tricks to be successful, at which point I spit out my tea in surprise and make sure that the email was actually intended for me.

The fact of the matter is, I don’t really have any clue, mostly because I don’t know what “successful” really means.

measuringup

Whenever I see things that other people are doing—publishing books, appearing on the Huffington Post, getting a lot of comments, etc.—I admit that I get jealous and then sometimes a bit insecure, which is stupid considering that I’ve published books and have appeared on the Huffington Post.

But when I do something, I often dismiss it as “no big deal” in comparison to what everyone else is doing. It’s easy to fall into this trap because we keep coming up with new things to measure—Twitter followers, Facebook fans, Pinterest pins, etc.—even though those really don’t have a lot to do with how much impact you actually have or if what you do is actually decent.

After all, you can’t tell if a book is any good by the number of words it contains, even though that’s easily measured.

The fact is that now that everyone can write, publish, etc. there is a lot of noise and poorly written stuff cluttering up the Internet. Some of it “goes viral” and leaves you staring at the computer and wondering, “Why not me? Weren’t those last couple status updates or tweets funny or clever enough? Why aren’t there more comments on my last post?”

The deafening silence can cause you to doubt yourself and wonder where you went wrong.

This, my flustered friends, is where it can be tempting to jump on the bandwagon and do what seems to be working for everyone else. That’s why it often seems like there aren’t many new ideas — simply new people regurgitating the same things people have said in the past and being praised for reinventing a wheel that’s been rolling for years.

But this just in: If you’re doing what you want to do—not what you think you should do—you’re doing everything right.

It’s unrealistic to assume that whatever you’ve made—art, writing, cooking—is something that everyone everywhere should embrace. And even though it’s hard to stop measuring things that are measurable, the best things don’t measure well by conventional means.

The most popular isn’t necessarily the “best,” and personally I don’t want to mirror what’s around me, especially if it’s mediocre.

So even though I still stress over the silence that I often hear, I’ve come to learn that everyone is different. I write because I love it (most days) and while I’m willing to work hard, I’m not willing to change who I am just to please the masses.

I would like to think that walking away from those that don’t get it unlocks my ability to do different things, to create whatever it is without worrying what somebody thinks.

I guess that’s what I call success.

Like the blog? Buy the books!

Hashing it out with Hashtags

When people hear I’m an editor, the first thing they often assume is that I’m the grammar police.

I am not.

However, I do love language and a little part of my soul dies every time I see it abused. And unfortunately, that happens every time I go on the Internet and am inundated with strings of acronyms and hashtags instead of actual sentences.

Now let’s get something straight.

I like Twitter. I like texting in small doses. I like Facebook updates that don’t involve a laundry list of your accomplishments, ailments or actual laundry list. But to each their own, I get it.

What I don’t get is how it’s now acceptable to stop actually using full words and stringing them together in these things that we call “sentences” to complete thoughts and instead abbreviating them to an acronym or hashtag.

Instead of writing something excitedly, people now lazily throw in #excited. They go with  #missingyou instead of writing “I miss you.”  And instead of adding a caption to the photo of their completely ordinary breakfast, you get 12 hashtags that make absolutely no sense and just look ridiculous–#breakfast #eggporn #toast #breakthefast #truth #food #idontevenknowwhatimdoinganymore #hashbrowns

Really? It’s come to that?

I’ve heard the excuse that it’s faster, but if you type “UR” instead of “you’re” and then add extra “Os” to indicate “UR SOOO happy it’s Friday,” I think that you’re blowing your cover—or that you don’t know which “you’re” you should use.

Simply #WTF

That combination hashtag/acronym above is my attempt at a segue into texting/online abbreviations, such as the ever-popular “LOL” that most often serves as a convenient way to end a boring electronic conversation.

Half the time these things make no sense — no one is literally rolling on the floor laughing their ass off (ROFLMAO), and if they are, they had best log off and seek immediate medical attention — and the other half of the time I have no idea what they mean because THEY AREN’T ACTUALLY WORDS.

So because I’m annoyed and am looking to change my world in some way—the rest of the world is up to you guys—I have proposed some more practical meanings to common acronyms that make more sense to me.

ROFLMAO: Ready? Okay. First Let’s Make Acronyms Original

WTF: Where’s The Food?

STFU: Scanning Twitter for Unfollowers

GI: Google It

IRL: I’m Relaxing. Leave.

RMBI: Read My Blog Instead

OMG: Overused Minced Garlic

BFF: Boobs Falling Flat

CRGOYDF: Conversation Required. Get Off Your Damn Phone

TTYL: Tea Trumps Your Latte

SMH: Swiffering My House

NIWYM: No Idea What You Mean

IMHO: I’m Making Hummus, Okay?

FML: Feeling Mighty Lazy

FWIW: Frequent Whining. I’m Writing.

ASAP: Attention! Send Abby Pesto

LOL: Laundry. Overflowing Laundry

BRB: Busy Reading Books

YJMTUYW: You Just Made That Up You Weirdo

snowdeck

FTW: F*@$ This Winter

Like the blog? Buy the books!

Any suggestions you would add to the list?

Pulling Back the Curtain

I had two different posts written—a semi-funny one I’ll put up next (when there are more than five people on the Internet) and one of those personal ones that leaves me twitchy with my finger on the “delete” button—but I trashed the serious one.

Then I started to wonder why, if that’s how I was feeling, I wanted to push it away.

Part of it is that I like to keep things light here, another part is that some things are best kept offline, but yet another part is that it might change how you look at me. It’s easy to make fun of myself about certain things, but it’s not easy to truly make myself vulnerable. And so I often slightly hide the truth, internalize any issues and avoid feeling anything slightly uncomfortable.

How’s that working out for me, eh?

So I decided to write about that because I think we all use this trick from time to time, telling people what we think they want to hear, maybe saying we’re “fine” when in fact we’re a little bit (or a lot) less.

I admit it’s not always easy to do. There are times I feel like not sharing more crap gives off the air that I’m always okay. Since part of me wants to believe that that’s true, it feels like this act never stops.

Keep smiling, keep the messy stuff all to yourself.

But there are times this seemingly harmless omission starts to eat away at me, and it’s those times I wonder how many other people write posts they don’t publish, delete all the stuff that might blur up the lines between how they are and how they wish they could be.

We all know why we do this, of course.

We’ve heard the importance to put on a brave face, project unicorns and glitter and “fake it ‘til you make it!” I’m sure that works for some people, but for everyone out there who’s struggling, watching others do only that just adds to their feeling of inadequacy and self-doubt. For many, watching others just hurts and adds to the need to hide out.

Of course we can’t change what other people do or how others perceive us. The crafting of a perfect persona is part of our culture now — online and off — whether we like it or not (and I choose the latter.) I know I have to balance between honesty and oversharing, between personal and professional.

Because regardless of whether it’s honest or not, what you put out there is you—for better or worse.

But it’s unrealistic to think you can be happy all of the time. That would be weird and unnatural, like how people’s faces vibrate when they try and hold in a yawn. (Just let it go, people.)

And even though many of us have good lives and good opportunities, normal life isn’t easy for anyone—even those without depression or “issues” they face.

But I can tell you that if you decide to share a bit of the muck, to let the curtains peek open a crack when you crave the light most, the people you need in your life won’t reject you. They support. They entertain. They listen. They can talk you off the ledge that you’re on, knowing they’ve stood there before.

It’s more about trusting yourself.

So I’m still not sure that I’ll publish that “serious” post, but it’s not because I’m ashamed. I just have other, funnier things that I want to share. But I know that when the time feels right, I’ll pull back the curtain again.

Like the blog? Buy the books!

A Humble Holiday Letter

Seasons Greetings!

Can you believe it’s already the holiday season again? This year’s perfectly delightful note is being sent on paper I made myself (check out my store on Etsy!) to tell you what we have been up to (in case you don’t follow my Top 100 mommy blog.)

The hubs got another promotion that we’re all just thrilled about. It means longer hours, but that’s okay seeing as we haven’t been sleeping in the same bed for the past few months, anyway. But we still see each other in our weekly therapy sessions—it’s so important to make time for a date night!

Earlier this year Alexander won the Local County Quiz Bowl for Gifted and Talented Blond Children, and he also volunteers to teach multiplication to less fortunate kids who have to shop at The Target and similar shops. We’re so proud that he gives back.

It’s been a little bit rougher with big sister Alexandra this year, but great news! She was finally paroled from juvenile detention last month. Although she remains on house arrest, having her at home has really helped us bond (no pun intended.)

Dr. Phil recommends doing activities together, so we’ve created several decorative adornments for the house tether she wears on her ankle. They’re really quite lovely!

Anywho, it snowed last week, so I got up early and made a sled with my trusty glue gun and old barn wood. While the glue set and the homemade bread was rising, I churned the butter, cured the bacon and squeezed the oranges for the 20 guests we had over for our annual 7-course brunch.

(Secret time! I didn’t have time to blow glass for new glasses and goblets, so I used the ones I had on hand.) 

The hubs was able to pull himself away from work, Alexander serenaded the guests on a violin he whittled himself and of course Alexandra wasn’t going anywhere, so it was really a delightful way to spend the afternoon. We were all just really tickled!

Well, I must run. I need to soak the herbs for my homemade deodorant before a mani/pedi with the gals. Busy, busy, busy!

We hope all is well on your end!

Happy Holidays!

Pollyanna


Dear Polly:

I’m writing this on the back of an old grocery list, so pay no attention to the tea and hummus stains. I just got home from a full day of work and am cleaning up cat puke again, but least the carpets get cleaned!

I haven’t received a promotion, but I did dream of work last night before going into the office this morning, so I suppose you could say I’m still living the dream! To be honest, I’m not that impressed.

Still no husband over here either, but a 93-year-old man at the old people’s home called me “Sir,” so it’s not like I don’t have options. Maybe I should pretty up my own feet, but it’s been so long since my last pedicure that the salon girl would probably recommend amputation instead. I just wear socks.

Sorry to here about the incident with Alexandra, but when life knocks you down to your knees, remember you’re in the perfect position to look under the couch for dropped snacks!

Speaking of which, the smoke alarm is going off, so that means my dinner is done.

Talk to you later! 

Abby

Need a holiday gift? Buy the books!