New Holiday: December 26th is National Moms' Day Off

Hey! I made up a new holiday and I’d like to invite all of you to celebrate with me!Here’s a little poem to tell you all about it: THE BEST DAY OF THE YEARYou’ve cooked, you’ve cleaned,you’ve plotted, you’ve schemedto make the holiday bright.Now … you’re tired.Up to your elbows you’re mired...more

My Super Weird Obsession That is Coming to a Sad End

SeaWorld's Tilikum is dying. I'm not sure how to feel about it.This post is weird and embarrassing. But so be it.My brain does this thing where every now and then it gets stuck on something. Usually it’s something random that has nothing to do with my life. But next I thing I know, I suddenly go all Civil War Re-enactory on it and I  find myself researching it obsessively....more

Hope Springs Eternal -- And Also, Out of My Neighbors' Yard

Ever notice how water generally has little regard for the plans of people?The creek that carves a gash across our property clearly has no concern that it doesn't belong in the middle of a suburban yard. The chasm it creates is deep and unruly, making any hope of achieving a regular-looking lawn impossible.But the creek just goes about its business, shooting a casual "eff you" to the deliberate landscaping of the neighboring homes as it winds its way into the woods....more

Why Getting Paid with Stuff (Instead of Money) is Like Having a One-Night Stand

Bloggers: Don't trick yourselves into thinking companies value you if they're paying you in merchI have a friend who makes stuff happen. She's been interviewed on TV at least a gajillion times in the three years that I've known her. One of her pieces for Huffington Post has been on shared on Facebook 58,933 times. (When I said "gajillion" I was exxagerating....more

Best Gift Idea for a 7 Year-Old Boy (Or Any Kid Who Loves Minecraft)

I never write product posts. I don't have that sorta blog. So you're probably expecting me to be snarky or something here. But surprise! I just have to share this with you because the holiday season is coming up and you probably need present ideas that don't suck. Ohmygoodgawd do I hate buying something for my kids and then tossing it out a year later after it's been played with twice. ...more

Building Rituals: The Dilbert Guide to Managing Life

Every day when I make a cup of tea in the microwave I think of my Aunt Klara.While staying at her house in New Hampshire years ago, I dropped a tea bag into a cup of water and put it in the microwave. "No!" she (very nearly) shrieked. "You have to microwave the water without the tea bag!" And then she said why ... and I think it was something to do with the microwave making my teabag radioactive or something like that. I can't quite remember....more

Remarrying and Blending Families After Divorce

The early days of the "blended family" projectSunday morning Benjamin came padding into my room -- make that "our" room -- around 7. "Mom," he said. "I was looking out my window and I saw a ... wait, what are those birds that are all red?"My brain attempted to swim up through the Jell-O of sleep and break the surface of consciousness. "A cardinal," I said."Cardinal," Joe mumbled, about one syllable behind me."Well I saw a baby one of those fall out of a tree," Benjamin continued."What?"...more

My BIG PROBLEM with the Blogher Conference

Quiz question: How do you know you're moving in a week?Answer: You find yourself sitting on a lawn chair in your living room, drinking wine out of a coffee mug.That was me at the end of last week. Today I'm sitting at my cluttery desk -- one of the few areas that remains unboxed -- and mentally finishing packing while simultaneously working....more

Do you stink at asking for money for your writing?

Do you love the idea of getting paid for your writing but can’t figure out how to set your rates? Do you suspect that you’re being underpaid? (Spoiler alert: You probably are!)I have soooo been there. But then I got over it and learned how to confidently ask for the cash that I deserve.Let me show you how....more

Anatomy of a Pitch Letter: How I Get Meetings With Potential Blogging Clients

Here’s exactly what to do to get companies to take you seriously as a freelance writer ...more