I never had aspirations to be a writer, And yet, I have had the wonderful opportunity to put these projects out into the world. At the moment I'm working on my first movie script, plus there a few more book ideas in planning stages.
FLOW: the Cultural Story of Menstruation tells you where it’s at about menstruation: what it is, what we’ve been told and how we’ve been sold, and what we should definitely know. It’s the most natural of cycles with the most unnatural of histories. It’s a funny, fascinating, and occasionally scary story of big business, advertising, feminism, gender roles, medicine, religion, world culture, and above all, good manners . . . in which every single female, young or old, will recognize her story. Click here to read more/buy.
And click here to read some great shout-outs along with how FLOW came to be.
As for my other projects . . . whenever I’d be in a funky store and find some book I had to pick up, had to glance through, had to have, it was by Chronicle Books. Eight projects later, I’m thrilled to have a bookshelf full of ideas that came to fruition—from pop culture visual histories (you can see me in all my prom glory on page 13 of Prom Night) to labor support to expressing gratitude in sticky and creative ways.
Don't Just Stand There: How to Be Helpful, Clued-In, Supportive, Engaged, Meaningful,
and Relevant in the Delivery Room
When I picked up the first set of photos after the birth of my first child, I was shocked (SHOCKED) to find my husband spent the final moments of delivery photographing everything in intimate detail. I had no idea—the entire experience had been out-of-control and chaotic. He said he felt so helpless that taking pictures was the only thing he could do. The next time around, I was determined that neither of us should repeat that experience and made him a tip book, filled with things to do, say, ask, and suggest to help both of us. It also had plenty of what not to-dos (like invite his mother into the delivery room). Years later I told my editor about our personal guide and she jumped on the idea of turning it into a book, with my husband’s insight, to help more families have a more positive birth experience.
Click here to read more/buy.
City Walks with Kids: New York
Chronicle has a very successful City Walks line for grownups—they asked me to write the first deck for kids. I had from the end of October to early February to come up with, write, research and organize 50 adventures for kids. Less than halfway through the projects, my kids begged me not to take them on any more excursions. We had so much to see in so little time, our marathon weekends were exhausting. Since the project came out though, we’ve had plenty of time to explore the amazing places I wrote about. Dave Needham’s illustrations are utterly fantastic. I’m delighted to have such remarkable images illustrating my words. Click here to read more/buy.
Hey Thanks: Thank You Note Kit for Kids
A resourceful mom I know has a fabulous system: an envelope filled with markers, stickers, and cards—all the supplies to make thank you notes whenever needed. And that all-in-one idea inspired Hey Thanks! The illustrated cards and stickers, by Catalina Estrada, are fanciful and quirky—the set comes with those, envelopes, and a how-to primer on how to write thank you notes plus tips for parents on how to get your kids to write thank you notes, which is usually the hardest part. Click here to read more/buy.
Stewardess: Come Fly with Me!
When I put the word out that I was looking for vintage Stewardess memorabilia, amazing women from across the country (a big shout-out to those from National Airlines) shared their scrapbooks, training manuals, photos and memories. The go-go boots, hot pants, and seven-course dinners are sadly a thing of the past.
Cool thing to look for: Under the dusk jacket, the book case is imprinted with a vibrant TWA menu from the 70s, featuring a jet flying through a cornucopia of fruits, cheeses and more. And: Stewardess was on Entertainment Weekly’s Must Have List. Click here to read more/buy.
Beauty Queen: Here She Comes!
The folks at Miss America generously opened their archives and I spent two days in Atlantic City sifting through files of “Formalwear from the 40s” and “60s swimsuits.” The most fascinating photo I found was from the talent portion of the show—a contestant rigged up a platform and harness so she could tap dance upsidedown. She didn’t win. But, you can learn to walk and wave and pivot like a Beauty Queen in Beauty Queen. Click here to read more/buy.
Prom Night: The Best Night of Your Life!
I was sure this book would be a breeze to put together—I’d just put the word out and tons of prom photos would come flooding in. Nope. Turns out that many/most people I know didn’t go to their proms, or just said that, not wanting to share their pictures with the world at large. And then there’s my friend Heather’s mom who said: “Oh honey, I threw those pictures out years ago. You looked so awful.” So I googled prom and every year starting in 1930 and found people from all over the world, who bravely and graciously sent me their photos to put include in Prom Night. And: Prom Night was on Entertainment Weekly’s Must Have List. Click here to read more/buy.
Cheerleader: Ready? Okay!
Never having been a cheerleader (I was on my high school’s kick line for 3 weeks), I came away with a new and improved attitude about this enthusiastic bunch who work their butts off to promote spirit and unity. Cool fact: the first cheerleaders were college boys. Being a cheerleader, otherwise known as rooter king, was a coveted position of honor awarded only to the most popular boys.
Personal note: when my daughter was a baby I didn’t know any traditional lullabies. To calm her down, I’d do the “1, 2 tell me who are you . . . the BEARS” cheer from the Brady Bunch. It always worked. Click here to read more/buy.
Awfully Wedded: Tales of Disaster from the Big Day
St. Martin’s Press
My favorite story was at a wedding my mom attended. A fight broke out between a groomsman and the husband of the bridesmaid he was flirting with. The knock out punch knocked out the bride’s elderly aunt.
Tales from the Prom
St. Martin’s Press
This was, by far, the most inappropriate book I’ve written. Daniel Mailliard and I updated retro prom themes we found in a 1950s magazine into proms more appropriate for the present. We wonder if anyone actually read the book, because we brutally skewered just about everyone but no one ever mentioned it.
Chunks: A Barfology
St. Martin’s Press
OK, maybe this was the most inappropriate book I’ve written. Certainly the one that embarrassed my mother the most. When working at HarperCollins Kevin Leslie and I put together a questionnaire asking for people’s most outrageous vomit stories. They were fabulous in their gross-ness. We put together a proposal, found an agent and that’s how Chunks came to be. For awhile I was a staple of morning drive-time radio shows—people would call in to tell me their favorite tales of tossing.