Archive | Writing RSS feed for this section

Mickey Mouse and Animal Rights

15 Oct


Hi Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, For the last time, an elephant is not a viable tool! I mean who has that readily accessible? Not to mention the obvious infringement on elephants’ rights to just be elephants and not a tool to help Goofy find his damn shoe.

Awful Things: Babar the Little Elephant

20 Sep

Things I didn’t realize until just now:

Um… Babar and Celeste are cousins. I read this book over and over as a kid. but yesterday, I read it to my son and realized some things about The Story of Babar the Little Elephant. It has a number of weird/awful things happening in it – Babar’s mother gets shot by “vicious hunters,” we see a picture of a bleeding momma elephant, Babar is often grieving and cries when he thinks of her (omg heartbreaking!), he runs away and is taken in by a wealthy old lady who gives him anything he wants, his first order of business upon arriving in town is to cover his naked elephant body in a handsome green suit – but possibly weirdest/most awful of all is that he marries Celeste, his little cousin whom he takes in, buys fancy clothes, and ice cream for after she and her brother run away.

20130913-122918.jpgThis is kind of like my revelation, at age thirty, that Jack Tripper had to pretend to be gay around the Ropers so he could live with Janet and Chrissy. Wait. Right?? That was part if what Three’s Company was about, wasn’t it??

UPDATE: Yes. The internet agrees with me about Janet, Chrissy and Jack’s living arrangement.

Here is Why I Like Necessary Fiction

16 Sep

I’m always lost when it comes to story submis20130912-214818.jpgsions, finding a home for my writing. It’s kind of like trying to find a home for a cat who pees on all my son’s toys because it is clear she dislikes him and hates living with us. (I have one of those by the way, do you want her??)

My stories are like these angry animals that have to leave my house, and if given to the right home, I know, I just know they’ll be sweet and sit on your lap and purr all day long. I read a lot of online literary journals, so choosing one where my work might be a good fit is a little overwhelming. So, I try to do some research.

I read an interview of Necessary Fiction‘s editor Steve Himmer at the blog Six Questions For (an excellent resource for this type of research), and I knew that my work might have a chance finding a home there. Himmer says:

I think of fiction as a way to make sense of how individual lives are woven in larger webs of nature and culture and science and history and everything else…

I think of fiction/living the same way. Writing is my way to make sense of the world.

He goes on to say:

I tend to prefer reflective stories, those that feel like a moment slowed down rather than stories overwhelmed by action. I like a story that asks me to linger and think about something rather than rushing me along.

I like that he says this. It’s a dangerous thing to say since the cardinal rule of fiction is that something must happen, some action, but, I have always been fond of those small, lingering moments in stories.

Additionally, this review of Necessary Fiction was helpful and very accurate!

(And also, now I like Necessary Fiction a little extra, because they accepted this story of mine!)

Possible candidates for Kite Flying Society….

12 Sep

I’m very excited and honored to have my story, Tonight, I Built a Kite up at Necessary Fiction!

Fear and Labor

16 Jan

Here. Omg. This is up! I feel super cool and all embarrassed, and I’m so honored to have my writing up at The Feminist Breeder!

San Francisco seemed as good as any place to pee on a stick. After two weeks of driving cross-country feeling a little off, blaming car sickness and altitude changes for my nausea and exhaustion, it was time for more wine, one last cigarette and the inevitable. (Read more)

An essay about my fear, (terror?) of having a baby and how I transformed into someone I’d never thought I’d be.


Paul Grossmann took this of my gigantic boy belly. He's an awesome photographer you should know.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was scared shitless and was really looking for someone else who was just like me and got through it.

The fact that women do it every day, have multiple children etc. did not matter. I thought my fear was something no one else had or could even understand. What I found was women who were anxiously anticipating the arrivals of their little bundles, not someone who wondered if she could just ask to be knocked out and have them take the baby out. (Although, I was also terrified and mistrusting of hospitals, doctors and bitchy labor and delivery nurses.)

This essay is a small snippet of my entire experience, but a really important snippet. If one other terrified pregnant woman who envisions childbirth as the climax to a bad (good) torture-horror film finds this and is calmed, at least for a moment, I’ll feel pretty good.

Experimenting on my Students: A Cure for my “Cell Phones in the Classroom” Rage

11 Jan

The Phone Stack is a brilliant and fun idea for a group of friends out to dinner, whereby everyone puts his or her phone on the table and whoever goes for it first, pays the check. I LOVE it, because I hate myself when I realize I’m sitting, having a conversation with someone AND checking my emails, in part because, 1. it’s rude, 2. because I wasn’t able to recall the instance I picked up my phone and began checking emails, and 3. because this idea has so many other possibilities for use.

Family dinner for one. However, my son is not even a year old, and while we do all eat dinner together, we are so involved in feeding him and ourselves, that out iPhones stay away. So, I will catalogue this idea for future reference.

In the meantime, I am definitely going to try something like this with my students this semester! Their incessant texting under the desk drives me up a wall. I’m a pretty laid back professor, but my uber-rage turns on when I see the glances into the lap and the thumb typing. And, when I call them out, it’s usually like, “Wha?” I have tried a number of things to get them to stop, but it really is a disturbing compulsion. Kids. Seriously! Draw in your notebook! Write a note to your boyfriend! Freakin’ zone out and daydream.


Sometimes I long for simpler times.

So, I think this will be a fun social experiment and maybe they can then police themselves I hate policing when I’m trying to take about story arc and immediacy in storytelling.

But, what should be the penalty for the person/people who go for their phones? It can’t be something that punishes the whole class and it’s got to be something that others would want someone else to have to do. Like picking up the tab at a restaurant. Teachers? Students? What do you think?

Be reasonable! Or don’t. I like ridiculous suggestions, too!

A (totally not serious) Critique of Suess’ Marvin K. Mooney

9 Jan


Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! is not one of Seuss’ best. It’s no The Cat in the Hat, it’s no One Fish, Two Fish, or even Hop on Pop. The basic story is, as the title suggests, a plea for this Marvin K. Mooney character to “please go, now,” yet, it’s never specifically defined where he should go or, perhaps more importantly, why the narrator is so insistant upon him going, thus begging the question, what is the occasion for the telling of this story?

Perhaps Mooney is being asked by the narrator to please go to bed, but it’s not explicit. I think the reader needs to know for sure, ground us in some sort of reality. It would change the whole tone and ultimate conclusion of the story and help define just how we are to feel for both MKM and the narrator. As it is, the narrator’s anger just increases with each suggestion on how exactly MKM could possibly get to where he should go, but this, to me is anger for anger’s sake and snappy writing (which Seuss does a good job at).


It’s not rooted in anything I can understand. Is there some past between the narrator and Mooney that we should be aware of? He has to go. What of it? What’s a stake for Mooney, the narrator if he goes or does not? Would knowing that help round out these characters?

I do enjoy the suggestions the narrator makes for modes of transportation that Mooney may take to “go.” They range from the common, skates, skis, a hat…


To the whimsical. (A Zumble-Zay.)


But, still. This just isn’t doing it for me without knowing more about these characters. Overall, it was a quick read with lots of fun colors and some good potential characters to draw out from the narrative. Additionally, my 8 month old reports that the cover tastes good and is fun to bang with his hands.

Pink Foil lipstick. This reminds me of:

5 Jan

1. 1992. High school drama club cast party for Damn Yankees at Señor Rattlers where we, of course, danced to Rock Lobster and Paradise by the Dashboard Light. Then, we stood in a big circle, swaying and singing That’s What Friends Are For (lame, right?) and drank virgin margaritas. I have videotaped proof of this.

2. Also,same year, working at the Old Salt on the boardwalk in Ocean City and cleaning the scrimshaw pieces and cranberry glass and hosing down the hermit crabs.

3. Also, F.M.’s 17th(?) birthday party, probably ’93. He wore an Emerson, Lake, and Palmer shirt and had a cake and, like, half the party was stoned. There were Doritos and Pepsi.

4. A.E.L., 1992, A.E.L. kept her lipstick in her pocket and applied it often. I kept mine in a bag or a pocket and rarely used it. I have never been one to freshen up my make-up.


Pink Foil Lipstick.

Nipple Confusion is probably goth.

9 Dec

Jason Reitman’s new movie, “Young Adult,” looks great, of course. It is just about everything I like in a movie, (even though it’s written by Diablo Cody… that’s a whole other topic.) But, I like it even more after catching a glimpse of this on the trailer.


OMG! NIPPLE CONFUSION!! Best name for a band ever!

What other breastfeeding/parenting/baby related stuff makes for great band names???

Sleeping With Knives? No.

16 Nov

I saw this on The Today Show and then read this article Milwaukee Runs Provocative Ads to Wake Parents Up to Dangers of Co-Sleeping about this advertisement to warn parents of the dangers of co-sleeping.

Co-Sleeping is NOT (NOT) like a baby sleeping next to a freakin’ meat cleaver.

Yes, there are dangers involved with co-sleeping, just as there are dangers with a child sleeping in the crib. (You need a snug sheet, no drop side crib, no bumpers, no stuffed animals etc…) Read:  Why We Never Ask “Is it Safe for Infants to Sleep Alone?”

Yes, people need to understand and be educated about safe co-sleeping (a world wide practice), and Milwaukee has something of an epidemic apparently, but this kind of shocking image is unnecessarily graphic, inaccurate in its implication, and irresponsible. The image of the baby sleeping on the bed with loose sheets and a mountain of pillows is also incorrect and displaying dangerous co-sleeping. If the goal of this ad is for parents to not share sleep with their infants, this is not the way to do it, because, to look at this one could simply say, “Well, I don’t let my child sleep with a butcher knife, so, therefore, I’m okay!”

It is important to educate and not shock with an image that is not true! For example, a antismoking ad will show a person with a tracheotomy to scare. It may work, because that can actually happen! A baby with a knife, though isn’t true.