About Publishing About Writing Human Read Alle's work The Glam

New flash nonfiction: “Dispatch from a Pandemic.”

Half empty? Half full?

Accepted last Thursday, published yesterday. Dispatch from a Pandemic: Seattle. Three hundred and forty words of questionable joy running in the excellent Another Chicago Magazine.

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Goals for 2019

Alle’s commercial goals for2019

Last year, I joined a number of Facebook groups starring real, publishing writers. Many were focused on commercial publications than literary, especially high-level publications such as The New York Times and The Washington Post.

I queried a few placed. Crickets. I elected to finish out 2018 per my goals – literary publications – and to start factoring in the commercial media in 2019.

First step: identify dream publications. Step Two: approach.

  • The New York Times: queried 3/17 with travel article culled from my recent Asia trip.
  • The Washington Post: Queried the Parenting section on 3/17 with a short humor essay regarding my less-than-nurturing behavior during the death of my daughter’s Guinea pigs (scuttling, gnawing creatures). Was rejected 3/19.
  • Huffington Post: Submitted the Guinea pig tale: “A Good Mama and a Decent Human Being.”
  • The Cut: A section in New York Magazine (NOT The New Yorker), very “hip.” Formerly interested only in essays, they announced on 3/18 that they now take fiction. On 3/18, sent flash fiction featuring sharks, rats, bad stew, and nunchucks. Only from my wickedly feminist imagination could this story spring.
  • Catapult: features long-form memoir (maybe 5,000 words). I have nothing for them, right now.
  • Longreads: ditto for their requirements, and ditto for my stock.
  • LitHub: Strikes a nice balance between literary and commercial. Submitted an essay, “Mouthy Ugly Genius.”
About Parenting How I Got That Story Human Read Alle's work The Glam

Rounding Down “Round Down”

jmwwI began “Round Down” at least a hundred years ago – okay, probably fifteen years ago – in a Hugo House class taught by Brangien Davis on writing humor. I hoped it would be a funny little piece about cheating in eighth grade. I titled it “The Rhenquist ‘B’ Incident.”

No one wanted it. No one gave me any feed back. It was “Dear Writer: NO” the whole way. I found the first traction with it when I began to go deeper, when I found the bravery to explore the weight that a family legacy of cheating had on me.

“Round Down” as it stands now visited the submission boxes of 24 magazine since I began tracking submission and rejections, three years ago. I have no idea how many rejections it faced when the sad sucker was in the form of “The Rhenquist ‘B’ Incident.”

Thanks so much to Jen at jmww for recognizing my brilliance.



About Parenting Human

“Why Have Kids”: New book by Jessica Valenti of “Feministing”

Are babies cool?

I heard her not ten minutes ago on the NPR affiliate, KUOW Seattle. I agreed with her on so many things. Get the book.

However, in discussing a recent survey showing that parents are slightly less happy that those who do not have children, she and host Ross Reynolds left out what is usually left out these conversations, that which is the focus of this here blog:

When people have children, men and women alike are triggered around everything that did and/or did not happen to them as children.

Every parent’s greatest fear is that anything that happened to them as a child will happen to their child. This is the primary reason the first years of new parenthood are so difficult. To new parents: it really does get better.

One’s psychological improvement is not a reason to bring a child into the world. Life will present you with more than enough reasons to navel- or mind-gaze, depending on your world view. But children are one sure way to do it.

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Kids, weight, and eating disorders.

Needs sandwich.

I’ve been reading posts from moms who are worried that their kids might gain weight. The links are too numerous to list. Just Google “Alle needs to save everyone.” A telling example comes from a parent who posted that she worries more about her child getting fat than having an eating disorder.

To which I say sadly, your child already has an eating disorder.

As concerned parents have most likely discovered, lecturing children about food groups and healthy fats, putting them on diets has no power. According to Dr. Donna Bevan-Lee of The Legacy Center, neither will saving your own treats after they have gone to bed. Instead, she suggests:

Eat this, my child. E-he-he-he-he!

  • Sit down with your child and a plentiful bowl of whatever you have discovered hidden away in their room.
  • Ask them to help themselves.
  • Sit with them and chat while they eat.
  • Do your level best not to make judgmental faces nor to eyeball what they consume. (Side note: I was once on a binge at party. Stationed by the seven-layer dip, I scooped chip after loaded chip, stopping only when a friend literally grabbed my hand with a “Stop!” Try not to do that to your child.)
  • Repeat process, day after day, until your child says, “No thanks,” and happily trots off to play.
  • Join in the snack.

And there’s the rub. Most people argue with me about the health and viability of the process, but only at the final bullet point do they flat out balk or glaze over and change the subject. I find it so much easier to worry about my children’s food and fat than about my own eating, not eating, carb counting and burning off of each extra bite. Such might the case with another blogger, who posted that she tenses up every time her children ask for ice cream.

This is a healthy weight. Why do I think she needs to drop ten around the gut?

Some conventional wisdom:

  • Most bulimics are average weight or ten to 15 pounds heavier than they feel is ideal.
  • Unless you are also bingeing and purging, being ten to 15 pounds over your self-imposed ideal weight presents no real health risk.
  • Most women who “look great” over-exercise, vomit, use laxatives, and/or undereat.
  • A person need not be technically anorexic to be undereating.
  • Your body doesn’t know the difference between purposeful starvation and regular ol’ starving to death.
  • Starving people aren’t generally kind to their children.
  • Addiction is not necessarily linear.

Unless she is 22, she is too thin. Why do I think she looks great?

Think of the number of people you know with alcoholic parents who never touch a drink. Funny, though; they seem overly wrapped up in work. They also might spend way more than they earn, they might always end up with “the wrong guy,” or wonder aloud, “Why are all the good guys taken?” This is called addiction.

They might be fat, yet their partner is in excellent shape, and possibly always yammering about every carb that goes into everybody else’s mouths. They might be thin- to normal-weighted, but their parents are fat. Their kids are fat.

This is called passing it on to your kids.