More intimidating…empty bed or empty screen?

The longer you wait the harder it gets. Literally and figuratively. The expectations rise, as do the sexpectations.


It has been seven days since I produced any fresh new text. And three days since I have produced any fresh new sex. Both of these counts are significantly longer than average.

With each hour that passes I become more tense, and it becomes more difficult to produce anything.  Somehow the quickie, usually a low barrier for entry feels insufficient. The post most be meaningful and humorous. The acrobatics in bed numerous. This is tiring. Even to type about. In both areas performance anxiety creeps in where it rarely rears its head.

The solution to both problems is the same.

Forget the intricate weave of insight and intercourse. Let go of lingerie and lyrics. Ignore the verse and vigor. Lower that bar down to the floor.

Step 1. Write a shitty blog post.

Step 2. Have some crummy sex.

It is likely that one of these activities will exceed my expectations. At this point all signs say it will be the sex.

Get write to it. And right on it.

Taste the Rainbow.

The last time I saw in technicolor was when I went to music camp. I have always perceived notes as colors, when they are sharp they vibrate, flat they dim, and just right they make a rainbow. Sadly this doesn’t translate to being able to produce beautiful music. Once I gave up my instrument the world went back to shades of grey.

Chatting with a friend whose life is music I learned that color associations with words, letter and notes have a name…and a Wikipedia page. Synesthesia fascinates me, perhaps because I have the most mild useless form of it. Whether you see the letter A as red, or the note C as brown or simply see color in the sky we all have strong associations with color.

Pinterest board covers. Yellow of the rainbowI have always loved yellow. I like it bold, yet without the tinge of orange that you find on a school bus. It wakes me up more than coffee, makes me want to walk through front doors and generally move forward. It demands my attention and I give it. Back before I learned that I could only have Pinterest Boards that promote my blog-Blech- I had a board called “yellow not so mellow” I looked at it almost every afternoon at 2. Now I use Pinterest as a tool, not a toy so you only see yellow on my board covers.

Indigo is part of the rainbow coatMy cousin is obsessed with Indigo. He likes the process by which it is made, but even more he likes the layers of depth that he sees. He wears a cape-like lab coat thing that would make me look like an oompa loopa. Each morning he arrives with the tail swinging and takes his seat to write about imaginary lands. Stuck as I am in the personal narrative I simply see it as blue. To Jasper it is a manifestation of all possibilities in a single color.

My older son like the monochrome look. He pairs blue on blue green on green, you understand. What he can’t see is shades of color so even though it is impossible he has actually made blue clash. One day he hurried into the room holding my laptop, his face as red as his T shirt and short. “My mind is BLOWN.” He tells me. Or screams at me. When he turned the screen to me to reveal youtube I expected to be lulled to sleep by a video of a pre-teen opening a pack of Pokemon cards. Instead he showed me this. He watched it again and looked up at me. Did you have ANY idea that we respond to color that way? Why yes. Yes I did. But it was thrilling to watch him learn. Sitting on my blue comforter looking at his red outfit I felt an excited contentment the red and blue of those emotions swirling together into a sort of purple. The colors are still in there. Instead of music I see them in the moods of my boys. Whether sharp or flat they light up my life.

Comment Chameleon

AND it’s green for Saint Patricks day.

Here is the secret no one tells you about blogging. Logo, platform, hosting, brilliance, spelling…those are just the beginning. Writing? That is only the FREAKING middle. Getting your words out on the page doesn’t help you get the word out. You know what does? Reading. Commenting. Sharing. Reading. Sharing. Commenting. E. T. C. It can be tedious. It is certainly time consuming. But every once in a while it is terrific.

I’ve gathered a few of the comments I have left on other blogs this week. Some of these blogs are award winning, some are just beginning…but all of them either made me laugh or think or both. Go ahead…click some links. Thats how we get the word out about getting the words out.

Lee Gaitan ARP: Did I just read that you put shoulder pads on the positive list for the ’80s? Let me put on my mirrored florescent sunglasses and take a closer look.

ARP: If I invite my son to hang out with me and he says “in ten minutes” and forgets he finds me an hour later weeping. I am not the one weeping. He is. He can’t believe he forgot me. I try to soothe him but he is horrified with himself. Somehow he still feels love is fragile. Love isn’t fragile. In response to this post on Skinny and Single.

ARP: I love the idea of pro bono cosmetology. Maybe the practitioners can collect donations to save the yellow spotted ants.  In response to this post on Skipah’s Realm.

ARP: There is no script for mental illness. A life and a mind can’t simply follow a script. In response to this post on The Plagued Parent.

ARP: I think maybe you just blew your cleaning wad too early. In response to this post on established1975. As a bonus follow Sarah on Twitter. She is wicked funny.

ARP: I used to lament that as we got older there were fewer doors to walk through…at least compared to our 20s when everything was flung open wide and inviting. Now I appreciate the streamlined hallway with fewer distractions and more time to spend in each room inside. In response to this post on The Qwiet Muse.

ARP: What DOESN”T hold me back. I am a home-body. As I get older I get more afraid of heights, enclosed spaces, crowds, strong odors, and the unknown. In response to this post by Elena Peterson on Making Midlife Matter.

ARP: I like to have a $10 sandwich card in my wallet. In response to this post on Considerings.

ARP: Me: Your back hair looks like it is straps to a back pack. S: Well I do need to be able to carry stuff around in it. Me: I wish I could have some of your back hair for me thinning head hair. In response to this post on Boomer Haiku.

ARP: I think I might just hunker down with my kids… In response to this post on Living The Dream.

ARP: At some point this jewish mom had to deal not only with Santa and the Easter Bunny but also a creepy small green man who gets into mischief in our home. In response to this post on Thirsty Daddy.

ARP: I am writing a book called SLUT: Spit AND Swallow… In response to this post at Angrivated Mom.

I should probably get back to that book…the last comment I left reminded me that it existed. See the value of commenting?




Make your blog go viral – 12 tools for the lazy blogger

I have never had a post go viral. So the first thing you can do as a lazy blogger is stop reading right now. Still, I have been blogging seriously for a year and have tripled my readership. I have regular gigs writing outside of my blog and make enough cash to offset all of the services that you see below. Particularly the free services.

  1. Headline analyzer
    I still haven’t nailed the headline

    Co Schedule Headline Analyzer.  I love puns. I love obscure shadowy references. But I also love traffic and shares. The tool I use to make sure my posts (for the most part) are optimized for clicks is Co-Schedule Headline analyzer. I enter my rough headline and scroll down for analysis. In a glance I know the type of headline I have chosen, the mix of words- power/emotion/ etc. It takes trial and error to improve my grade but in three or four minutes (faster than a Yugo) I can go from the red to the green. I have never scored 100. A girl can dream. Co-Schedule Headline Analyzer.

  2. Unsplash writer search
    Unsplash writer search

    Unsplash. I share this with a heavy heart. It is sort of like when you have an incredible baby sitter that makes your kids as happy as you about date night and you give his name to a friend. It is hard to share. I use Unsplash to illustrate almost every post I write. I’m sure they say it more poetically but I’ll sum it up as a simple site full of free high def images. You can use them anywhere for any reason without attribution. A few weeks ago I was generous enough to share this site with a small group of writers and one of those bitches talented ladies used some of my favorite images. I’m sure I will be just as understanding with all of you. Unsplash

  3. Buffer dashboard
    Look at all of those profiles in one place!

    Buffer.  I broke up with Hootsuite about a year ago. My relationship with Buffer has much less angst. It allows me to post to one or all of my profiles. It has an advance scheduler that I can view by the day or week or month. If I want to change the time it is drag and drop (so good, so easy.) Or I can allow Buffer to send out those things when they can get the most love. I can analyze the stats of my posts and simply click “re-buffer” to send things out again. If I want I can a/b test by changing up the call to action in the headline. It is a breeze. The only downside is that I have to have twitter going to read incoming tweets (unlike Hootsuite which has incoming streams as well as outgoing). I can’t imagine participating in social media without it. Wasn’t there some sort of headache remedy called “bufferine”? That can’t be a coincidence. Buffer.

  4. Blogging Anarchy facebook group
    Good tagline, right?

    Blogging Facebook Groups. There are 100s of groups. Maybe even thousands. At their worst they are time sucks. Frankly even at their best they take time. Some allow you to pimp your channels without real engagement, some have strict guidelines, some have bloggers with such specific niches it feels like an onion article, and some are a series of sales pitches. Yet there are a few special group that boost your traffic and build your relationships. My top three blogging facebook groups are. Blog Share Learn– BSL is robust and interactive with daily threads to share your own posts and additional opportunities to support your social media following. Bloppy Bloggers– BB is slightly quirky and always interactive with a small but super engaged group (and often humorous) writers. Blogging Anarchy– the name says it all. Do whatever you want. Post, don’t post. Share, don’t share. Comment, don’t comment. Despite (because of?) this attitude I have made some friends and followers from this new group of writers.

  5. Pinterest pin making service
    Look at those low low prices

    Pinterest Pin service. I found Katie in two (maybe even three?) of the above FB groups. She always had the best looking pins for pinterest and the traffic to match. Luckily for me (and you) she realized the rest of us needed her. For a super low price she will make you pins. I have opted for even more of her help and she re-organized my boards and even does some of my pinning for me using analytics to post to great group boards. My inbound clicks from Pinterest have gone from 2 a day to 65 a day. The best part is these readers have a 20% bounce rate. That is incredibly low. The pins have enough content to have interested them…so when they click to read more they actually want to read more. Additionally Pinterest, unlike other social media platforms is not time sensitive. Pins pay off long after they have been posted. Check out her services here.

  6. Beyond Your Blog logo
    You can’t quite see how much vital information is represented by this logo.

    Beyond Your Blog. This is the website that inspired me get my writing published outside of my blog. BYB has podcasts with editors from pretty much every publication you can think of explaining what they are looking for in a submission. BYB posts links to paid and free opportunities and has huge free lists of sites that accept syndicated content. All of these are arranged by topic area. Add to this anthologies and regular success stories and you have a place of inspiration and information. I can’t think of another site that combines all of the tools to make your words leap from your blog to the world wide web.   Start Here.

  7. Ad block stats
    9,000 clicks I didn’t have to make.

    Adblock. This chrome extension doesn’t actually help me get clicks on my blog. But it does keep me from throwing my laptop across the room from dealing with incessant pop ups so that allows me to continue writing. Which then allows me to continue posting. Which drives traffic to my site. Look at the 9,000+ clicks I didn’t have to make in the 3 weeks I have had Adblock installed. That probably equates to 100 eye rolls, 90 deep sighs, 10 screams of outrage, and at least 20 minutes of my life that I didn’t waste.

  8. Click to Tweet. Honestly this has probably brought me 28 clicks in the three months I have been using it. However it is a way to break of a block of text (which is always a good thing with you lazy readers) that might serve a function. [Tweet theme=”basic-white”]Click to Tweet: It takes about two seconds to add a tweet box and makes me feel like a pro. [/Tweet]
  9. Askimet stats
    I could watch Fletch. With commercials.

    Askimet. There was a time when I didn’t reply to comments on my blog. I know. I know. Blogging etiquette 101. The reason? The viagra ads. Its not that I don’t espouse a healthy sex life because I DO.  It’s just that the comments got lost in a sea of little blue pills. Or some less appropriate analogy. Askiment is a Word Press Plug in that seems to love viagra. It gobbles up all of those spam comments itself. Askimet.

  10. Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 4.01.31 PMSumome. Even though it looks like Sue me  Sumome is a free and super simple email subscriber plug in. You can customize the pop up to be more pretty and less annoying than most. I don’t sell anything so my subscriber list is worth $0 and 0 cents. Those of you who do though are supposed to value each email address at $1. I think I read once. Just ignore that last bit. Even though giving me your email doesn’t give me any actual cash it does send my posts to your inbox. Almost all of my subscribers read my posts. If I ever did sell anything stats say about 1% of them would buy it. So lets build our lists. Sumome.
  11. Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 4.18.21 PMMail Chimp. Sumome needs a friend. Its best friend happens to be a chimp. A mail chimp. This email tool is free (for most of us) and super easy to use. Plus you can look at a cute chimp logo. Mail Chimp. He is so little but so happy and see his hat? He will deliver your electronic letters for you.
  12. Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 4.23.45 PMTrello. Trello is a super flexible easy to use system for lists, assignments and more. I found Trello back when I was developing apps with a team (a cheap team) and we could watch each other accomplish what we needed to move a project forward. We could also watch each other forget steps and ignore the worst bits of the project. Used alone it is a way to track post ideas, add details and access all of the above from anywhere. Trello.

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 2.21.05 PMTo reward those of you who made it all the way down here I will share my happy ending.

I now have a post that has gone viral. And no, it is not this one…yet.  This pin has sent me over 250,000 readers in a month.In fact I am such a basic user that I was never able to track down who to thank for all of that traffic. Scroll back on up to #5 above and for $5 you can be a lazy pinner with pins poised to go viral.

The headline analyzer told me it was a good headline. And I listened. I would not say that it is the best image I have on my author board. That thing is filled with bras and kittens. Yet somehow this is the one that took off.  Those are the sort of results that this lazy blogger loves.

Want to read more about boosting blog traffic? Here is a cheap book.



The perils of a life without night vision.

Driving at night- nightblindnessI’m reading advice on writing and life by Anne Lamott. She writes the way I do, surrounded by her idiosyncrasies and mental oddities who at first try to keep quiet and then get restless and angry and fill her mind with their own mishegoss. I should probably say that I write like she does, as she is a renowned and well paid author, but first and forever I am me so forever I will put myself first. At least on the page.

In any case she is sharing everything she has ever learned about writing in her book bird by bird (lowercase hers…or her cover designer) and I am reading the first bit of it. I stop after just a chapter and a half because this is what I can handle, and also, I think, what she would want. She describes a one inch by one inch picture frame that she keeps on her desk to remind her that each novel is written scene by scene and sentence by sentence. It reminds me of the architectural drawing class that I took in rural Vermont surrounded by the smell of wood being worked and rich and root vegetarian cuisine. I wasn’t there long enough to have to cook or clean, just imagine that I might be the sort of person who could learn permaculture or making my own wooden canoe. The fact that I was in the same dorm room as the person that I imagined I might be added a sort of circular logic that made things feel both as small as the one inch picture frame and also unimaginably large.

The next morning when we got back to drawing the instructors told us that everything was easier to draw in a frame and had us actually create frames with special cardboard and exacto blades and I only cut myself once. Inside the frame we made a grid of string, making even the part of the world we had chosen to see smaller still. Only when things were the size of a matchbook could we draw them. It did make it much easier to draw. But I found it made it harder to see.

What I was missing was that I didn’t have to stop at one frame, if I had just gone on to the next and the one after that I would be continuing to see things, the one frame would just be part of the story, like cells of animation, to turn a frame into an entire movie.

Right after I have finished thinking about the way I will animate life through a series of frames I am deflated when I remember that I dislike animation. I haven’t seen frozen, and suffer through other disney classics. I know that means I don’t have a heart, yet somehow blood still moves through my body.

The very next paragraph leaves me hopeful as Anne Lamott offers what she says is “right up there with the best advice about writing, or life, (she has) ever heard.” It is from EL Doctorow who says that writing is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” I feel a little thrilled by this. I don’t need to be an animator or even watch cartoons to understand this comforting thought. We don’t need to see it all to live it. We don’t need know our ending to write it. For a moment I feel liberated as, I expect, both authors intended.

Then I remember.

I don’t drive at night.

I have to find another metaphor for this universal and universally difficult idea of taking one step at a time. Before you even suggest it…I don’t eat elephant.

What is your 1×1 picture frame? How do you keep from getting ahead of yourself?

Top Six Ways We Annoy Ourselves and How to Change

  1. We care about whether or not we have clickable headlines. See above.  The mantra for building a following seems to start with great content, move on to clickable headlines and finish with sharable graphics. For years I have focused on the content. Every once in a while I put up a shitty list (ahem) and those get shared. Yet the posts where I leave a little bit of myself on the page are beloved only by my mother.
  2. We let our vegetables rot in the fridge. Even the local, organic, expensive life changing vegetables become black sludge if we ignore them long enough. I’ve found an easy fix for this. Next time you pull out the dripping bag stay with it over the sink, give yourself a soothing “aged organics” spa treatment by rubbing the slime on your hands. Lean in and inhale deeply for a slow count of three. Then exhale. Next time you will get those veggies into the compost before they rot. Or perhaps not bring them home at all. That would be the most efficient choice.
  3. We yell at our children to stop yelling. The volume in the house is increasing. Sometimes with excitement but more often of course they are fighting over screen time. Or seating. Or who owns the green pen. Or really anything at all. For a while we can breathe through the noise. Until finally the only thing left to do is to scream as loudly as they are. What do we scream? “STOP SCREAMING.” Now that is an effective message. Almost as useful as telling someone who is anxious to “relaaaaax.” How not to yell? Leave the house. Kick them out of the house. Get really really good headphones. Which you can buy easily. Isn’t paying for a solution better than thinking of one yourself?
  4. We ruin perfectly good words. I think of Pop Warner and that horrible catchy cheer “Be aggressive B-E aggressive.” Be Authentic. B-E authentic. Authenticity isn’t a writing style. It isn’t something we need cheerleading to find. Except in advertising where we might replace lies with truths (Volvos- they are boxy but they are good) we already are authentic. We are already ourselves. We can’t be anyone else. That is authentic. Also annoying… modifying unique (the most unique) it is binary. One of a kind or not. Using notorious as a synonym for famous. Other than the Notorious BIG people who are notorious have done something BAD. Authenticity requires nothing new. Unique stands alone. Notorious is being famous for being bad, not bad ass. [Tweet theme=”basic-white”]Notorious is being famous for being bad, not bad ass.[/Tweet]
  5. We do stuff that is bad for us, and avoid stuff that is good for us. Things we do do: inhale Lays potato chips, play candy crush, watch the Bachelorette, gossip, and covet Teslas.  Things we don’t do: go running, eat our veggies, meditate, read the canon, watch silent films, feel grateful for what we have. The fix? A desert island with native Kale and the complete set of these.
  6. We start theoretically short correspondence by telling everyone how short the correspondence will be. “Just a quick note to say…” As the reader of the “quick” note I shouldn’t know how to decrease the word count before I have gotten to the content. To fix this don’t write that.

You might not appreciate the post, but at least appreciate that I left off the animated gifs. I hear they increase traffic as well. But I have to stay authentic.

View post on

Darth Vader shares the screen with Grumpy Cat
“Most shared image on the internet”

Ten things I learned on my week off

What do you get when you combine a minor (don’t tell Steve) surgery, a pinched nerve, and a sick kid? Two working adult arms and zero adult working days. Sometimes a week away from life can teach us some very important things.

  1. Oxycodone makes you itchy. If you ever want to see your husband act like an ape just slip him an opiate. It’s pretty funny. It was a live action version of The Itchy and Scratchy Show. Which was even more funny because he had a Simpsons marathon on in the background as he itched and scratched.
  2. I really shouldn’t drive at night. I have been avoiding driving at night for years. Every once in a while I wonder if I have possibly exaggerated my status as a safety hazard. There are times when I allow a preference to become a rule, and it seemed possible that this was one of them. After Steve’s surgery we drove home. I mean I drove home. He lolled next to me itching himself with his good hand and offered turn by turn directions in the style of Garmin, or her cousin Siri. He didn’t once have to recalculate. Despite the impeccable performance of the half human half ape beside me I barely got us home alive. It was like this. Stay between the lines. Just look down at the lines and keep the car between then. Thats it…see the lines. What’s that? Car. Just look at the lines. Car. So many other cars. Wait thats a tree not a car. Thats why it is moving so slowly. Don’t look back at the tree, look down at the line. See the lines. Stay between them. Car. Another car. Tree? No car. All of this is to say I can see almost nothing at night. Cars have lights and are moving. Trees (except those festive ones) don’t have lights and are still. Both can kill you when you are driving as poorly as I do at night. So we will be ubering after the next surgery.
  3. I haven’t hosted the worst 9 year old sleepover. The kid returned with a big smile and a bruised thumb with a not long for this earth nail, a bloody foot and skinned elbow. When I asked him how the sleepover had gone he gave a huge grin. GREAT! He told me showing off his battle scars. “This one is from airhockey, this one is from the treadmill, and this one is from getting the orange off of the fan.” Excuse me? Although we all know the incredible injury risks of air hockey it was the orange fan part that confused me. “Well, it was after we got busted for 12:30 pitch black hide and go seek…then we were hungry so we snuck one at a time to get oranges. Then after we peeled them we needed to break them into section so we threw them at the fan.” “Hm.” I responded. “It didn’t even make a mess.” “Hm.” I responded again. “Ok, so a little mess…and one of my pieces ended in the bottom of the earth.” “Hm.” (Its all purpose people) ” You know so I didn’t want to leave it to rot so I climbed on the top bunk and fished it out of the bottom of the earth. I had turned off the fan light but (name redacted) thought I needed light so he turned it on and then I got a little hurt.” “Hm. Hm. Hm.”
  4. A tired kid speaks the truth. So the next morning (AKA today…Monday…school day) things weren’t so GREAT. He overslept. “Why didn’t you waaaaaake me?” “Hm.” “My thumb hurts.” “Aw.” (Sometimes I mix it up.) “I can’t put my sock on.” “Hm.” Then just shuddering weeping sobs as he limped around the house in one shoe using one hand to gather his things. As the sobbing crested and his face was red and slick with tears I decided to speak more than a syllable. “What is it you need sweetie?” “I don’t know what I need.” He wailed back at me. Isn’t that a truth we can all relate to. “Hm.” I said letting his soggy self melt into my arms.
  5. I can’t write 12 articles a week and like my life or my writing. I don’t think I need to elaborate. But I will. In this week of pain and illness and itchiness I still felt better than trying to squeeze out 1600 words a day. Hm.
  6. I totally dread sneezing. I know you all know how I pee when I sneeze, which has led to me avoiding fabric seats outside of my own home, and screaming out with full lung power to try to vent another way. Since the pinched nerve I have a new problem…each sneeze send an electrical current of pain from neck to finger tip. Which adds injury to insult. You might find me sitting in my own pee, holding my arm, and rocking while humming tunelessly. For a few moments I would be better off in the psych ward.
  7. There are people that don’t like clogs. There are people that don’t like clogs! Take a minute and let that sink in.  I rarely use exclamation points. But listen: there are people that don’t like clogs?!?! A Facebook friend had this as her recent status:

“No matter how many years I live on this Earth I will never get used to seeing people wearing clogs. Exceptions made for medical professionals and Dutch farmers.”

  1. 7b(this is not number one…this is what happens after a quote imbedded in a list when you don’t really know how to work wordpress) In my opinion there are two women on earth that shouldn’t wear clogs…Venus Williams and Alison Janney. The rest of us should learn from the hardest working people on earth….servers and health care personnel. Clogs are the best. They give you height, posture and comfort. You may say they are not stylish, but what is more stylish than being able to stay on your feet without shifting from side to side and counting the minutes until you can get home to take off your shoes? Clog up people. Love your feet.
  2. You need to have strong hands for socks. I know. That sentence doesn’t make sense. I am with you. I used to think getting a tantruming two year old into a snow suit was the worst secondary dressing I could do. Wrong. Putting on my Steve’s socks is the worst. [Tweet theme=”basic-white”]My husband’s socks are tighter than a virgin’s vagina.[/Tweet] I stretched them as far as I could and still couldn’t get them over his instep. He was so surprised. “I never realized my hands were so much stronger than yours.” Obviously he has never struggled to open a jar that he used his vise like grip to close. But second, why would you need strong hands for socks. I get my socks on every day without raising my heartrate. Its not as though they puddle around my ankles like a magnum condom on a minor penis…they stay up. So somehow I have learned that I need strong hands for socks. Or that Steve has strange socks.
  3. Never have a bartender at a party. We went to a lovely holiday party.  The food was great, the company stellar. The host balanced keeping the lights dimmed and the tables bussed with actually visiting with her guests. She was poised and welcoming. Not so the aproned woman who stood behind the bar. She mixed specialty cocktails and poured wine with something between a grimace and a growl. At the beginning of a party it feels posh and polished to have a professional. By the end there is a long line of semi drunk guests getting under her skin while they wait for drinks and forget what they wanted. One of the benefits of house parties is being able to mix your own drink. Make it a double in half the time of the pro. I have made this mistake muself
  4. I can’t work the numbered lists on WordPress. See 1b/7b for example.

What about you? What did you learn this week? Also- what is your position on clogs, bartenders and sleepovers. And are you itchy?


Happy holiday party people!

That might actually be the first exclamation point ever on my blog. I hope you can feel the cheer and good wishes behind it…because my pointer finger and I had a heated debate over whether or not that key actually works.

This is the first year Steve and I have not hosted or co-hosted the big meal, and like my favorite character in Real Genius I am both happy and sad for us. That said there was more time than ever for the pie fecta. Some traditions never die.

I’m not going to post about gratitude or thanksgiving traditions or family here…but I will link to other things I have written in the past three days about those sentiment appropriate topics.

Where my boys tame my mother on a family vacation. via

Where Steve and my mother switch roles in preparation for our gorge fest feast. via The Good Men Project.

Where our sons express gratitude outside of the Thanksgiving table. via The Good Men Project.

Thank you for reading, commenting, and being your imperfect and engaged selves…

Time OutI

I’d like to say that the reason I have slowed down on the blog is because we are on vacation. Which we are. See those birds. They are scurrying along as quickly as their little legs can carry them on Anna Maria Island. We have been busy not being busy at the Ringling Museum, eating ice cream, and having the age old argument- Beach. NO. Pool. NO. How about both. OK.

Instead I have been busy writing…but not really for you guys. Or for me. We can argue (and I might) that any writing is good for me. I can just tell you that this process is causing me lots of angst (thats a low bar) and I wish November wasn’t the month we have taken off of drinking. If you haven’t made your way over I have been a super regular contributor at the Good Men Project. Take a look. Maybe some of them are not as bad as I think they are.

It feels like someone is watching me

In addition to cranking out 7 articles a week I am trying to keep plugging away at my book. It is slow going these days…I’ve got my neck pain and the circular family stomach bug to contend with. More than that I have my family.

My book is primarily about my twenties before I was medicated for mental illness and I acted out my highs and lows every day. I wanted to write about this because I am finally in a place where I am confident that that lifestyle is firmly in my past and I can capture it in narrative form.  Which means both to bring it into the open and to lock it down…in the past on the page.

The working title of the book is Slut: Spit AND swallow…which is descriptive of my actions and also my varied moods.

In part I picked this topic because it is my story alone. Well, except for a few late nights. I have been writing about Steve for Good Men Project almost daily…and although he is an incredibly good sport it is not the topic that either of us want to make up my body of work. I write about my boys for a few other sites. I find myself hiding the screen from them. So I chose a chapter from my past for my long form topic. I figured I wouldn’t be mining my family for material. Just people I have long since lost track of.

[Tweet theme=”basic-white”]But the past and the present inevitably intertwine.[/Tweet] But the past and the present inevitably intertwine. Last night Oliver asked me if I would ever write a book. I told him I hoped so. He gave me a huge and a three dimpled smile and said. “I am so glad to hear that…I can’t wait to read it, and to show it to all of my friends.”

So there it is. It might be my story, but it continues the trouble of inspiration and audience. There always seems to be someone reading, watching and listening. Which is what we want as writers. But there is a downside.

My son will know I was a slut.

OK writers…how do you navigate the fact that your audience may be your subject…or you son?