This is the Weekly(ish), Volume 12! I decided to write this instead of taking a nap. My hope is that it will be worth it for all of us. Fingers cross

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This is the Weekly(ish), Volume 12!

I decided to write this instead of taking a nap. My hope is that it will be worth it for all of us. Fingers crossed!

I've got thoughts on audiobooks, a quick From Both Sides tip in response to an honest-to-goodness reader question, and links. Woot! I'm feeling good about this already.


Now Playing

Just Kids by Patti Smith Smith won the National Book Award for this memoir in 2010. I'm just listening to it now, late to the party, as usual. Here's what I love so far: Smith describes an absolute devotion to creating art, to experimentation, and to risk taking. It's sort of breathtaking. And, the writing is majorly good, ebbing and flowing toward stunning sentences that break the action. She reads the audiobook herself, and I love it.

Just Finished

Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty My love of this author is well-documented. The back end of her latest has lots of moments to love, including the conclusion of a storyline about girlhood-to-adulthood friendship, a connection wrapped up in guilt, obligation, and jealousy. The front half was just too long and tried too hard to foster unnecessary suspense. Another problematic aspect was the Indian accent narrator Caroline Lee adopted for the character of Vid. It grated, and I kept thinking it was patronizing and stereotypical.

Next Up

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead Everyone is talking about this book, especially Oprah. In Vogue, Whitehead says the idea for the book began sixteen years ago: “I was thinking, What if every state that she traveled through was a different state of American possibility, like in Gulliver’s Travels?...White supremacist state? Nat Turner is king in this state? I kept shying away from it. I didn’t think my writing ability was up to it. I felt that the longer I waited, the more I knew about the world, or the more mature I became, the more I could actually do it justice.” The audiobook is narrated by Bahni Turpin, whose voice I've heard in The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis.

Both Sides of the Desk

A friend wrote to me after the last Weekly(ish) asking, "What do I do if my fourth grader has an emotional break-down every time something doesn't go her way at home or with family?"

Lucky for my pal, I learned about this exact scenario from a super great therapist. Now, I'm happy to pass what I know to anyone else who has a kid who tends toward the hysterical. Here goes:

When your kid has a ridiculous reaction to a seemingly mundane event, breathe deeply and ask them to retreat to a quiet place to calm down. Then, when all is settled, say, "You know, I can tell you felt very strongly about X. It seemed to me that you felt [angry, sad, misunderstood, disappointed, etc.]" Wait for confirmation, which might take a long time or several tries.

Then say, "You know, there are lots of ways you can deal with [anger, sadness, misunderstanding, disappointment, etc.] One way is to cry and have a tantrum. That way seems like it's really hard for you. Would you like to work together to figure out some other strategies?"

To be honest, I've had some success and some failure with this technique. A certain young person in my household decided that he did actually prefer to have a full-on breakdown every morning at daycare and pre-k drop off. He even kept it up into Kindergarten. After about 24 months of using this cognitive processing protocol, he finally switched another method: a hug and a clear plan for after school pick up. It sounds good, though, doesn't it? Sometimes it works faster. Give it a try if you feel like it.


That's It!

Wasn't that better then a nap?!

I'm feeling really proud of myself and not like a Lazy, Self-Doubting Procrastinator. So, #winning.

Can I just say that I would love it if you felt like sharing the Weekly(ish) with a pal or your social network? You can just click the cool buttons up top and tell people all about it. That's not required, but it might be fun.

Of course, if you have feedback, I'd love to hear it. AND, if you want your own Weekly(ish) in your email inbox, just