Is misery epidemic? Or is it just on the internet? These Scary Mommy confessions are…illuminating. Some are funny, but they are mostly just sad. I can’t believe how many people hate themselves. There is a lot to love about the internet, but its dark side is very very dark. Facebook, Yahoo groups and Twitter are all dangerously disconnected from reality. (Blogs, too. I’m not exempting myself.) Things said in print, without the benefit of body language or voice to diminish the effect of harsh words, can cause real pain. Without the benefit of a real conversation, one is left to stew over the meaning of a Facebook message or thoughtless digital comment.

I love reading about other people’s lives. I want to know what it’s like to live in Brooklyn, or to be single in Texas. If someone is struggling to change their life, and is willing to chronicle that effort, I’d like to read about that, too. If it doesn’t interest or benefit me, that’s fine: I don’t have to participate. I offer you, the reader, the same out. You don’t have to be here. If tales of motherhood bother you, too bad. I’m a mom. Being a parent changes you in a permanent way; there is just no shrugging it off. It is simply what I am most focused on now, and I won’t apologize for writing about it here.

Also, I am hearby giving myself permission to skip a day of blogging here and there. Sometimes I just can’t think of anything I want to share. I decided to participate in the Post a Day challenge as motivation to write every day. Well, it’s working. But sometimes writing fiction, albeit bad fiction, is all I can accomplish in a day. My brain turns to jelly.

Book Review

I am thisclose to finishing An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England, by Brock Clarke. I think it is best described as a literary mystery. Despite the fact that I majored in English, I have never liked the kind of plot and character dissection that goes on in English classes. I am persisting in these poorly written reviews in an effort to develop the proper fiction vocabulary and critical thought processes. Bear with me. The main character, Sam Pulsifer, is a well-intentioned bumbling idiot. You can’t help but like Sam, despite the fact that he accidentally burned down the historic Emily Dickinson House, killing two people in the process. The novel chronicles his attempts, long after he is released from prison, to find out who is burning down other writers’ homes. It is drily comedic in its portrayal of Sam’s slow introspection. I especially appreciate the spare use of language (not Carver spare.) It is recommended.

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