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Showing posts from 2011

Bernie Fine and Jerry Sandusky: Let's Never Shut Up About This Again

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This year marked 25 years since I was raped. I've never been quiet about it because it never occurred to me that I should feel embarrassed. After all, I was 10, and I was asleep in bed when a serial rapist kidnapped me from my bedroom... not a lot there that I need to feel responsible for. I'm sorry that any rape survivor feels any different, because regardless of circumstances, you are not responsible or to blame for what happened to you, either. No matter what. My rapist is up for parole right now. I've already given my victim impact statement to the parole board and I'm just waiting for an answer. If he gets out of prison, my life will be very different, and you may not see me here anymore. That's because our justice system and our community is really, really screwed up with regard to sex crimes. First off, there is no reason on the planet for a serial rapist ever to get out of prison. Now make it a serial rapist who also raped children, and I don't underst

10 Simple Steps for the Newly-Single Mom

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I want to tell you the secrets I've learned, because it's taken me almost 4 years to get here and I don't want to keep this stuff to myself anymore. It's valuable stuff. Life-changing, to be sure, but not in the ways you might think. When you first start out as a single mom, no matter who did the leaving, you think: This sucks. And you're right and wrong. Parts of it are going to suck, but parts of it are going to be so good that they'll cancel out the sucking. So let me tell you the important bits: 1. You don't need a new man to replace the old one. Some newly-single moms think, "OMG! I can't do this alone! I'd better grab me a replacement man, pronto!" and others think, "I'm never getting married again as long as I live." Somewhere in between, the right answer probably exists. I can tell you that jumping into a new relationship right away will rob you of your chance to find the real goodies hidden in single motherhood

Dear New Writer (Who Probably Googled 'Book Publishers for New Authors' to Get Here)

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This just landed in my inbox, and I'm going to publish it here because I get a variation of this letter at least once a month. It's starting to make me a little loopy. Dear Jenna, I've completed my first manuscript a few months ago and have since received 7 acceptance letters, however 5 are from "self-publishing" companies. One from PA and one from Dorrance. PA has already sent me a sample contract and an Aug. 1st deadline but after reading your comments, now I more confused then ever. Bottom line, I have no funds for Publishing law firms nor Self-Publishing companies. I'm looking for the name of a legit company that can help me without costing an arm and a leg. Okay, new writers, this one's for you. Let's dissect what's wrong with this question: He says has received 7 acceptance letters, but five are from "self-publishing companies." (Which are not actually "acceptances," but rather sales pitches.) Our first dilemma is

In Search of Zzzzs: A Review of the Tempflow Mattress

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Like most people, I lead a very busy life. Sleep is a precious commodity that I don't get enough of on a regular basis. I could tell you all my reasons, but I bet you have your own. So when it comes to sleep, I want to make the most of every minute of it-- and that starts with having a comfortable bed and pillow. My parents bought me a new mattress for Christmas in 2009. It was a fancy pillowtop one from Sleepy's, fairly high end. I liked it in the store, but when it came to actually sleep on it at home, I woke up with a stiff neck the first morning. I thought that maybe I just needed to get used to it, so I gave it some time... but it just wasn't comfortable for me. I was planning on returning it, but then my daughter crawled into bed with me one night and had an accident. My waterproof mattress pad had melted in spots in the dryer, so it failed me. Big stain. There went my ability to return the mattress. I was seriously bummed. What I'd wanted, but was afraid to t

Publishing and Me, and the Great Freakout of 2010

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When I started writing, older writers would often say things like, "The publishing world has changed! It's not like it was when I was starting." I'd wonder what publishing was like for them; they painted utopian pictures of editors who spent lots of time nurturing writers who showed promise but didn't have professional polish. They described bookstores giving "fringe" authors a chance, and not giving up on authors whose first books didn't sell well. They described publishing as a kind, gentle world where promotion was left up to the publishers and writers had nothing to do but work on their craft. I don't know how much of that was factual and how much was romanticized. My guess is about 50/50. It's true that when I began writing professionally in 1997, the publishing world had become more competitive, more prone to the chain bookstores' "bestseller" mentality (leaving less space on shelves for books with smaller audiences, rega

Normalizing The Insanity

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First, thanks to CSNStores.com, where you can get anything from a dollhouse to an Eames lounge chair , for inviting me to do another review-- which is coming up soon. But I have something else I wanted to talk about first. Or rather, that I don't want to talk about first. Namely, I don't want to talk about Charlie Sheen. And so I'm blogging about it. I realize the irony of this... I stopped caring about Charlie Sheen at precisely the moment he held a knife to his wife's throat and threatened to kill her. A guy who does that should not have a TV show. A guy who does that should not have the world record for the quickest rise to 1 million Twitter followers. But people love crazy. We love to watch people go off the rails. I'm not sure exactly why, and I'm sure not above it all-- despite that I have no sympathy or positive feelings for Sheen, I've watched the interviews, too. (At least, parts of them, until I got frustrated enough to stop.) I want more atte

To My Daughter on her Birthday Eve

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My sweet Sarina, tomorrow you will turn 4. I know you've been afraid of turning 4 because-- as you put it-- "my whole life will change." But I want you to know that that's not always a bad thing. When you were born, my whole life changed, and I could spend forever telling you how grateful I am for that. I had heard about this magical moment from some women, but things very rarely happened for me in those fairytale ways... people said things like, "You'll never know how much love you can feel until you look at your baby for the first time," or "It's the greatest joy you'll ever have!" and I only half-believed them. I mean, I really did want a baby more than anything, but I still thought they might be exaggerating this supposedly magical, indescribable, otherworldly love. They weren't. When I first laid eyes on you, I cried. I said, "She's perfect!" and I meant it. And I still do. You, my mess-making, candy-sneaking,

iTriage App for SmartPhones

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*This is a sponsored post through Mom Bloggers Club.* I don't do sponsored posts unless I think the info is genuinely useful, and in this case, I do... iTriage is a free medical reference application for Smartphones (iPhone, Android, iPod Touch, and Palm, and coming soon to Blackberry). Here's what it offers: ■ Information on more than 300 symptoms, 1000 diseases, and 350 medical procedures ■ A nationwide directory of hospitals, urgent cares, retail clinics, pharmacies, and physicians ■ Turn-by-turn facility directions from GPS, IP address, or zip code locations ■ Nurse advice lines ■ Detailed quality reports from HealthGrades on hospitals and physicians ■ Help negotiating medical bills ■ Emergency Room wait times for hospitals in select parts of the country I just downloaded it from the Android Market (fast, no problem) and found the app to be simple to use and full of helpful information all in one place. Were I actually away from home and needing medical care, I think t