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GalleyCat Reveals How I Earned 33,000 Reads on Scribd

»Posted on Aug 20, 2010 in BLOG, Publicity, & Interviews | 0 comments

For the full article by Jason Boog, go here.

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The Father’s Day Timepiece

»Posted on Jun 16, 2010 in BLOG, Coping With Loss, Death Of Spouse, DROP DEAD LIFE, Sudden Death | 0 comments

On Father’s Day, I hold the wristwatch—a stainless steel Bell & Ross—and notice the delayed clicks of the white second hand. My thumb moves in circular motions across the waterproof glass. I’m surprised by its weight. Erik, my 29-year-old husband, pleaded with me for this expensive watch, but I said, “You know we can’t afford that right now.” We were saving money to buy our first house in over-priced Marin County, California. “Hyla, he’s going to give it to me for one-third the cost.” Oh, Erik. “Why do I have to be the one who has to say no?” Erik put me in charge of our finances after he’d accepted that his impetuous spending habits weren’t helping us save. We were newly pregnant with our second daughter, and...

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Embracing Children’s Psychotherapy

»Posted on May 31, 2010 in BLOG, DROP DEAD LIFE, Parenting & Loss | 0 comments

  Keira, my five-year-old daughter, whined, “I don’t want to talk to anyone,” from under her purple, fuzzy blanket. She did not want start going to therapy. She had recently returned from school one too many times, saying “nobody likes me,” or “I’m not smart,” or “nobody wants to be my friend.” But that was as far as the conversation ever went. She really didn’t want to talk to anyone. Not even me. I pulled the covers back, exposing her angry, brown eyes. “That’s just it, honey. It isn’t good if you don’t talk about your feelings.” She wrapped her front teeth around the base of her thumb’s cuticle and chewed on the skin. “I don’t have any feelings.” “Honey,...

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Order Up! Single-Parents Dating Online

»Posted on May 15, 2010 in BLOG, Dating For Widows, DROP DEAD LIFE | 0 comments

Match.com. E-Harmony. Yahoo Personals. J-Date. Yup, I signed up for them all. I was a mama on a mission to find love online. More sites, more options. I had tried the club scene. Blaring music. Dim lights. Too much booze. “Nice toes,” one guy had said, looking first at my feet and then straight at my chest. Tall, dressed in black slacks, button-down blue shirt, full head of blonde hair. He certainly was attractive. But way too young and way too interested in my breasts. Tall, dressed in black slacks, button-down blue shirt, full head of blonde hair. He certainly was attractive. But way too young and way too interested in my breasts. “Nice toes?” The white tips of my toenails peeked out from my three-inch-high red, strappy shoes. “You came...

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Defibrillator, Death, and Denial

»Posted on May 8, 2010 in BLOG, DROP DEAD LIFE, Sudden Death | 0 comments

For three hours, the grasshopper-like chirps call out from the defibrillator. Three hours. This entire time, I continue to write sections of my memoir, Drop Dead Life, trying to pretend the beeping isn’t there. If the beeping is there, that means we really own a defibrillator. That means I actually need to be ready to pull out the child-sized paddles and jump-start my daughters’ hearts. It’s been a rough few weeks. We just visited the pediatric cardiologist at the Oakland Children’s Hospital and this was the first year in which my new husband, Evan, and I were completely honest with Tatiana, 8, and Keira, 6, about their chances of inheriting their birth daddy’s genetic heart condition. Fifty percent. Each of the girls has a fifty percent chance of...

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Grieving Daddy’s Death

»Posted on Apr 20, 2010 in BLOG, DROP DEAD LIFE, Parenting & Loss | 0 comments

Tatiana, my eight-year-old daughter, begins to cry. “Mom-my! I’m not talking to you. You are making me so sad.” Her curly blonde hair flies everywhere, as if being blown by a fan. She stomps into the bathroom, slams the door, and locks herself in. All morning, Tatiana has not been listening, and I’m fed up with having to repeat my words six times just to be heard. Deep breath, I tell myself. I call through the bathroom door, “Honey, come out here.” To my surprise, she twists the knob right away, but her sobs continue rising like a helicopter. “Come sit here.” Tatiana curls in my lap, making her lanky body compact. She blows her nose on her orange sunflower dress. “I know we’ve all had colds and that you’ve been...

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