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Let's Panic: The Book!

Order your copy today!

How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

Home - Middle Row

Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 


Just a small block. Nothing to worry about. Probably. 

Hello, would you like to hear what's going on in my head?

I'm determined to complete the latest draft of my novel but now, whoops, I've decided that it no longer makes sense. Oops, whoops, oh well. Who told me I could write a thing? Not going to give up, though, so I noodle around in chapters and make little stabby motions at the keyboard while my stomach hurts. And then I flee in terror, tumbling down a Pinterest-hole for hours. This isn't the most efficient way to make progress, turns out.

Other productivity methods that have failed me: drinking too much coffee, eating whatever's around, hyperventilating, Googling successful friends, angry showering (careful with that loofah, kids!), irritating the cat, yelling at stuff, cleaning everything.

I may be a-quiver with self-loathing, but on the plus side, our apartment is extraordinarily clean. I dusted the ceiling. Do you need someone to dust your ceilings? Just say the word.

I'm sure this will pass. Right? Right. As the goats would say, "Bwaaa. Aaaagh. Muaoaoaaaa. Ehhhhhhhhhhhch."



We were having a bad day.

Brooklyn was a snowy wonderland, and we were inside, getting mad at each other. Nothing worked right. The place was a mess. We should clean more, we should be more organized, but there's never enough time. We were in each other's way, because there's not enough space, never enough space, and we yelled. Then we hugged and apologized and then discussed our rational and well-thought-out points which devolved into more yelling, and then a second round of hugs (shoved together by Henry, who had really had enough of our behavior). We retreated to our corners. We pledged to be better in the future.

Outside the sky was turning bright, and there was all this snow, crying out to us, SLED ON ME. Now. Jerks. It was time to cheer up. Because: snow! Last year it never snowed, after all, and the sled sat in our upstairs hallway, whimpering softly to itself. Personally I loathe sledding, but the men in my family want nothing more than to hurtle down slopes, and I like to watch them and wring my hands.

We layered up and trudged outside, where the fun times could be had. Only, Henry's boots were bothering him. We're a few blocks to the park, but every few feet we had to stop so Henry could examine and adjust his boots. He was pretty grouchy about it. He kept taking them off. We were losing our patience. Everything, I thought, is terrible. We are incapable of joy. Around us all the happy families were passing us on their way to the park or back from the park, laughing, holding their sleds, probably going home to whip up artisanal hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows.

One block, two blocks. The wind was gusting in our faces. The seventh time Henry stopped to adjust his socks I wondered why we bothered going out, ever. Why everything had to be so fucking hard. I sighed heavily and Scott cursed under his breath and Henry was, I am sure, heartily sick of both of us.

Finally we got to the park, where everyone in the universe already was, and all having a delightful time. No one seemed to mind that they were sharing a relatively small hill in the park with everyone else in the universe. People were crashing into each other, sledding into each other, squealing and cheering. I stood up there, watching them all, wondering how they stood it.

There ensued some complicated sledding adventures. Complicated because there was too much humanity present on the hill to actually sled, and also the boots. THE BOOTS. By the time we left I was sure I had gone terribly wrong, not just in one area of my life, but every single one of them. Henry insisted he could barely walk, and he was being pretty dramatic about it, and I thought, this is because of the morning we had. Because I lost my shit and yelled loudly enough for the neighbors to wonder about me. I have literally hobbled my son.

When we got home I took a close look at his boots. Turned out they were TINY. Because the last time we needed snow boots it was 2010. They were at least two sizes too small. We didn't hobble our child emotionally. WE HOBBLED HIM WITH SMALL BOOTS.

Then we ordered him a pair of new boots, put on a movie, drank hot cocoa, and had a perfectly lovely day.

It occurred to me later on, Small Boots is every imaginary problem I torture myself with. Every dilemma I'm sure is insoluble, but could be fixed, if I dedicate some energy to focusing on solutions instead of the problem. And really, we have no big problems. We need a few feet more space, a few hours in the week. Boots can be purchased; time can be found; a few household-management changes can keep us from blowing up after a stressful week. It's all Small Boots. I'm no life coach, and I promise not to make this my catchphrase, but you have to admit, it has a ring to it.


The Obvious Game

Today's the publication date for my friend Rita Arens' young-adult novel, The Obvious Game. It is a good book that you should and will read!

The Obvious Game centers around 15-year-old Diana Keller, who's having a tough time, to say the least. Her mom is battling cancer, and Diana's dealing with quite a body image problem, which nosedives straight into an eating disorder. Plus, you know, she's a teenager, and it doesn't get much worse than that.

I'm in mid-reading, myself, and I'm enthralled. Me, a full-fledged adult! So don't think you have to be one of those teens to enjoy this. (Although I'm sure the teenager in your life will love it, as well.)

Rita worked hard to get her book published. Here she is on overcoming rejection.

At some point, I realized I wanted this book more than I cared how embarrassed I had to be to get it published. I think that’s what gets things done. In my heart of hearts, I know that for every writer who just knew the right people and was so amazingly talented and writing the right thing at just the right moment, there are hundreds of thousands who are just like me, for whom every victory is hard won.

I love how refreshingly open Rita is about the process/psychic ordeal for a first-time novelist. Hooray for perseverance!

Would you like a copy of your own? Rita has graciously offered to give away one copy (with a signed bookplate) to a lucky winner. I require a comment with your most awkward teenage moment (or just *an* awkward moment, if there are too many to choose from) and I shall choose the winner by next Thursday, February 14th. 


Important thoughts about my hair 

As you all know, because you follow everything I say and do and think, I've been growing out my short hair. I've long been a fan of short hair, and in fact have had short hair for most of my life. Every now and then, though, I overdo it and get some kind of super-pixie and am promptly freaked out by how much of my face you can see. And so I attempt to grow it out.

Such was the case with this cut, which was this short mostly so we could cut off all the dyed hair. Also, I can't believe this was two years ago. Hair grows slowly. On the other hand this seems like a week ago. Time in a bottle, etc.

Less gray than I thought it would be

All I could think after this cut was NOWHERE TO HIDE. Also, OH MY GOD MY FOREHEAD. Let's be honest: I have a long face. I need, at the very least, more bangs than this. I spent a good month after this tugging at my bangs, as if that would cause them to grow faster.

So! Growing out the hair, and I've reached the length wherein I am wondering Why The Hell Does a Person Do This? The hair, she is all over. I have a LOT of hair, and I'm overdue for a trim. It feels wild and unruly. I am used to tame, not to mention ruly. I was just complaining to someone (my postal worker?) about how ungodly long it is, and then I was compelled to take a picture to complain to the Internet, and this is what I got.


Okay, never mind.

Is it possible to have Hair Dysmorphia? I really did think it was pretty long before I took this. It seems I have a way to go until it's legitimately long or even not-short. And so, I shall hang in there, my friends. I am a model of courage and perseverance.

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