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363rd Friday Blog Roundup

So… I got a bit of exciting news while we were down at Disney World.  My publisher is going ahead with the creation of an audiobook version of Life from Scratch.  It will be on sale this winter — around December or January.  So if you’ve ever wanted to sit in a car or Metro on your way to work and listen to Rachel and Gael having sex… this is your chance.  And no, I won’t be the one reading it.  They have a professional audiobooker (what is someone called who reads for audiobooks?) working on it.

I am pretty damn excited.  And it’s all the more reason to write this Roundup quickly and get back to finishing up the sequel.


We’re up to 86 on the Creme de la Creme list as of writing this, and again, the posts are amazing this year.  I know I say that every year, but if every blog is like a menu, you’re going to find dishes you love and dishes that fall flat and dishes that simply aren’t to your liking.  But the Creme de la Creme is like a food fair, where every restaurant has put forth their best dish, so it’s freakin’ delicious.  It’s good writing, emotional moments, and deep ideas all boiled down into a single list where you know that every post is going to grab you somewhat, even if it’s just to marvel at the commonality of our thoughts.


Speaking of the Creme de la Creme list, here’s your first chance to be moved into a great slot on the list.  I will be choosing one participant from the November IComLeavWe list to be moved into the 6th slot on the list (so you’re close to the top and get more eyes on your post).  I will be using the random number generator when the list closes for the month on the 21st, so there’s nothing more to do on your end except…  IComLeavWe.  It’s a win-win: commit to commenting daily on other people’s blogs for a week (and spread some love around) and possibly win a great spot on the Creme de la Creme list.

The winner will either be moved into that position if they’ve already submitted their post, or that slot will be held for them until they’re ready to choose what they want to submit.

The November IComLeavWe list opens this weekend on Saturday.


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week as well as the week before.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

Too Many Fish to Fry has a post about a moment when she was the mother she needed to be, swatting away the wasps, and it’s a peek into all the times you had no idea your parents were creating a safe space for you without your knowledge.  I love this part: “Because parenting is so subtle and mysterious and confrontational and mind-numbing. Clear-cut victories are rare. And fleeting. I think all parents chase various monsters with rubber swords. The vast majority of us are incredibly fortunate that our monsters are small, relatively (hopefully) easy to slay.”  Isn’t that gorgeous?

Gemini Girl’s post about names got me thinking.  She talks about a study that looks at how our names affect our employment status, and goes on to admit to why she gave her girls slightly unusual names — names that weren’t as unusual as Apple but certainly less common than Jennifer.  She cringes at the end: “I just hope that they grow up and tell me that they do love their names and that they were happy I named them something that was a bit unconventional.  And if they don’t – well…there’s always the Social Security Office.”  Go tell her if you like your name.

Dead Cow Girl has a post about how IVF has changed her body.  It is possibly the only post you will read today that mentions balls in a vice numerous times and she means balls in an actual vice.  I love reading this point-of-view, of how infertility (and treatments) affects her sexual work.  Okay, and I loved this: “While you see the wrinkles and the dimples (the fat kind, not the sexy butt cheek ones) and the pimples and few extra pounds, most men don’t see past the naughty little knickers. You open the door wearing something naughty and all they know is that you have Intentions and that they are lucky enough to be the recipient of those Intentions. They see the perfection that is you.”  It’s hard to feel sexy during treatments; it’s good to take advice from someone who is professionally sexy.

I love Write Mind Open Heart’s follow up to her two posts about discussing adoption with her son.  And while she points out that she isn’t superhuman, I would tend to disagree.  It’s seven points of excellent advice to keep in mind about adoption discussions.

Lastly, the Stork Drop Zone has a post about surrogacy; about becoming a parent and still being infertile, and how she doesn’t know her place on the spectrum yet.  She’s not pregnant, but she’s having a baby.  But she doesn’t necessarily fit in with people still in the trenches since she’s on her way out.  She writes, “I’m not at all embarrassed that we’ve had to go an untraditional route to have our baby, but it can be very difficult emotionally. It’s hard to go register for baby gear when you’re the only mom-to-be there without a baby bump. things like that kind of make me feel like an imposter at times.”  It’s a lovely post about the offshoots of surrogacy.

The roundup to the Roundup: My book (Life from Scratch) is coming out in an audiobook version this winter.  The Creme de la Creme is trucking along (please keep helping to spread the word).  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between October 21st and October 28th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.


1 JustHeather { 10.28.11 at 8:25 am }

You “took” the blog I was going share this week at The Stork Drop Zone. That same sentence you quoted is what got me too. Such a candid post.

2 HereWeGoAJen { 10.28.11 at 9:13 am }

I love that you are getting an audiobook! I will have to buy it to listen to in my car.

3 cattiz j { 10.28.11 at 9:21 am }

Congrats on the audiobook being made! Great stuff.

4 tash { 10.28.11 at 11:52 am }

Congrats on the audio book, Mel! That’s all shades of awesome!

5 April { 10.28.11 at 12:22 pm }

As someone who’s afraid to reach out to individuals and instead just throws it all out there and hopes for a response, Rachel’s post about self-validation really struck a chord with me.

6 twangy { 10.28.11 at 1:45 pm }

Wonderful news on the book, which is on my wishlist, for sure. With Habibi! Ah, many riches await me.

7 Eggs In A Row { 10.28.11 at 2:19 pm }

1. Thanks April! You are too sweet. And always reach out.
2. Congrats Mel!!!!

8 Justine { 10.28.11 at 4:15 pm }

Woot! Cheering for your audiobook-to-be! 🙂

9 jjiraffe { 10.28.11 at 5:01 pm }

Thanks for the shout-out 🙂 I’d like to share a post in return that broke my heart and also made me think: http://bodegabliss.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/on-giving-up/#entry

Congrats on the audiobook! I imagine it being read by Mila Kunis (who is Rachel in my head). And yay on the sequel 🙂 I seriously cannot wait to read what happens next…

10 Lori Lavender Luz { 10.28.11 at 5:59 pm }

So squeeingly happy for your audio book! I heard your voice when I read the book so I think YOU should be the audiobooker, not matter what THEY say. I just can’t conjure up another person’s voice.

OK, maybe Rachel from Glee (Lea Michele). But maybe that’s just the Rachel thing.

I like this post from Kathy about being mindful of how you spend each moment of the day. Do you spend it on what’s important to you? http://chicagobensons.blogspot.com/2011/10/perfect-moment-monday-spending.html

11 Baby Smiling In Back Seat { 10.28.11 at 9:24 pm }

Congrats on the audiobook!

12 Hope { 10.29.11 at 1:07 am }

I’m so glad that an audio version of Life from Scratch is coming out, since that is pretty much the only way I “read” books! I’ll be looking for it! 😉

13 Hope { 10.29.11 at 11:31 am }

Lisa at the Pursuit of Pregnancy has a very poignant post about RPL and grief. It’s short, but vivid.


14 Bionic Baby Mama { 10.30.11 at 10:49 am }

congratulations on the audiobook! that is so cool!

this week was an “when it rains it pours” blog week for me: either of these posts would easily have been the best i’d read in weeks (months?), and here they were both in one week!

this one, from breaking into blossom, should be required reading for anyone getting involved in third party reproduction or adoption — hell, anyone trying to be any kind of parent. it’s a gorgeous, deep meditation (prompted by this great series from regular midwesterners: http://regularmidwesterners.com/2011/10/18/question-3-in-series-on-gender-parenting-and-being-gay/ ) on how the vulnerabilities of non-normative family building keeps us mindful that our children (no matter how they come to us) do not fully belong to us. it’s hard to choose a favorite line, but i’ll settle on this bit: “We aren’t at liberty to ignore the fact that none of us ever “wholly possess[es]” his or her children. They are shared, as, I would argue, all children are shared. They are not our sovereign territory. And we know it before we even lay eyes on them.” http://breakingintoblossom.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/vulnerability/

this one from in loco parentis also makes my all-star team: http://inlocoparentis.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/same-as-it-ever-was/#comment-926 this post is about the dangerous territory surrounding parenting “standards” and letting how well we cleave to a particular set of rules define how good we are at being parents — and people. that’s not a very good encapsulation; you should read it. ” I have nothing but respect for people who want to feed their kids organic and locally grown food and who pick books over TV. These are my values as well. What I don’t like is when people – for whatever reason – go out of their way to make other people feel inferior. When someone makes a not-so-subtle dig about the fact that my son carries around a Big Bird toy (because she’d never let her child watch TV), she’s trying to make me feel bad – period. For what it’s worth, I personally think what she’s teaching her kid about how people should be treated is way worse than what my kid is learning from Big Bird. ” http://inlocoparentis.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/same-as-it-ever-was/#comment-926

15 Elizabeth { 10.31.11 at 7:17 am }

Yay on the audiobook!

Second Helpings: Pam at Bloodsigns has a gorgeous poem here:
about her young daughter playing with milkweed fluff. The line that made me tear up: “heartbroken but for the hope of you.”

16 Dead Cow Girl { 10.31.11 at 9:22 am }

Thank you for the shout out!! I’m always so amazed when I find out that someone actually reads my blog.

And wow! Congratulations on the audiobook!! I can’t wait to listen to it next time I’m driving to Disneyland!

17 Erin { 11.02.11 at 11:04 am }

OMG! I have to confess I didn’t know you wrote Life From Scratch! I just read the Gael/Rachel sex scene at the gym and am eagerly anticipating reading some more when I get my paid work done. I am really, really enjoying the book – I love the little mentions of blogs I read and knew it had to have been written by a blogger.

Congratulations on the audiobook! 🙂

18 loribeth { 11.03.11 at 9:59 am }

Squeaking in under the wire here! ; ) Both Josh & Brooke — both beautiful writers themselves — picked up on an amazing piece about infant loss last week, written by Laura Schubert in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Josh’s post:

Brooke’s post:

Laura Schubert’s article:

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