Shame and self-promotion

Self-promotion in the blogosphere is a tricky one. I mean, a personal blog is pretty much by definition self-promotion: hey, look at me, writing a website all about me, with a side of me! You have to have, I suppose, a certain amount of healthy self-regard to put yourself out there to blog at all. Which I suppose I do. Still, I find myself a bit squeamish sometimes when it comes to calling attention to stuff I’ve published or participated in elsewhere. My brain explains gently to me that you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog unless you actually want to — it’s not as though Isaac is holding a Nerf gun to your head or anything (if only because we won’t buy him one). So I’m just going to go out there and suggest that maybe you might be interested in the following:

First, speaking of personal bloggers and self-promotion, I am going to the epicentre of that universe in a scant week and a half: yes, I’ll be at BlogHer 13 in Chicago, and I will be doing a Writing Lab panel with none other than the lovely and talented Deborah from Peaches and Coconuts. Our topic? Excellent question: it is, (ahem) “Finish That Manuscript!”

I proposed this panel way back when because she and I (and Vikki, who has since been diverted to a different panel to talk about storytelling TRAITOR) were both in the throes of completing manuscripts: her a memoir and me a novel (my voice-recognition software just heard “me a novel” as “mean and awful” and now I am trying not to think of that as Freudian). I thought that if we actually put it out there that we were doing a panel on the very subject, we might just finish our goddamn manuscripts. And … I have not. But I am close, so much closer than I was — more than two-thirds of the way through the third draft and it goes fairly quickly and maybe, just maybe, by the time I touch down at O’Hare Airport…. In any case, we’re not there to stand on high and talk about how we write a novel a year or anything. We’ll be there to brainstorm strategies for finishing with anyone who cares to join us at the Writing Lab on Friday, July 26 from 10:30 AM to noon, and again on Saturday the 27th, from 2:30 to 4 PM. Come!

Oh, and the also lovely and talented Mary Bowers (who has a laugh-out-loud funny essay in my anthology, natch) is doing a different Writing Lab panel on memoir. So you are set. SET.

Second, here’s my latest post at Today’, in which I detail our first (yes, first: I will be camping again this summer) camping trip of the season, and what we brought back with us.

Finally, back in May, I went out to Los Angeles to do some work with the parenting website Kids in the House. We shot about a dozen videos on topics ranging from donor parents and queer relationships to sleep and keeping creative as a parent — and those videos, featuring me, are now up on the site.

I will freely admit that I hate watching myself on video. Or maybe hate is too strong a word, but at the very least I dread it and feel kind squeamish when I do it. My brain comes up with all kinds of THOUGHTS: You look weird, you sound weird, wow do you talk a lot with your hands, what’s with those Frances McDormand–like dimples on either side of your mouth (not that Frances McDormand isn’t hot, but maybe that’s a sign that you’re tense…), your hair is flat, and who are you to be an expert on parenting or anything else for that matter. Et cetera. Nice, BRAIN.


But. The truth of the matter is that the KITH people have done a great job at consolidating the work of a lot of parenting experts and have created a really rich source for information on so many different aspects of what it means to have children. The truth of the matter is also that they treated me really well and that I think they maybe made me look and foundhalfway decent (by the way,those are false eyelashes, which I find fascinating), and that I was and am really quite chuffed and pleased to be asked to work with them — and spending some time in Los Angeles was a huge bonus. So go, if you are inclined. Watch. And I will do my best to ignore my brain when it goes all off on its own stuff.

See you in Chicago!