Some notes behind some January 2017 bylines

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TheCut.pngNew York Magazine: "Why New Moms Make Bad Friends."
There are lots of stories that pit parents vs. the childfree and this was my attempt to talk about this dynamic through a practical lens. To be honest, I'm a little ambivalent about this piece in that its dateline doesn't quite represent when it was written, but that's the way publishing works oftentimes. I don't even remember what in my life spurred me to write it, but I must have been exhausted and going through something with the boys and/or feeling both guilty and defensive about my recent record as a friend. I submitted the essay in September, I believe, and it didn't get published until January, which is not only a different place in my life but clearly a different place for America. With that said I think it's still a decent essay and I'm very proud to publish in NYMag. I was irritated with myself that I glanced at the comments and I saw some negativity in there along the lines of "Who cares?" My response to people like that is, yeah, fine--but why did you read the piece then? At any rate, I'm a writer and I write things for money and I'm just trying to make a buck while doing my thing. I don't come to your place of work and ask why anyone would care what you do.

CMAG0117_CV1-419345bd.jpegChicago Magazine: "In Praise of Walking (and Witty Women)"

I profiled Chicago writer Kathleen Rooney in anticipation of her new historical novel Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk. Kathleen and I did a panel together some years ago for Northwestern but we're not really in the same circle--she works in academia and is more of what I describe, with a slight tinge of bad-self-esteem, as a "literary person." Anyway, we had a nice time meeting up. I asked her a few non-book and writing questions because I wanted to try my hand at those types of profiles where you talk about actually being with the person you're interviewing, so she indulged me as I asked her about her lipstick and her hair (which is curly and dark but also going gray. Her celebrity doppelganger, I declare, is St. Vincent.) I was mad because I thought it would be clever to go for a walk together (get it?) but it was one of the shittiest days of the year, weather-wise, so that foiled my plans. I made the foiled plans part of the story -- how successfully that worked is somewhat debatable. I really am in love with the photo they ran with the story: Clarissa M. Bonet's photo is gorgeous, appropriate for the story, and a nice departure from the typical author portrait.