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  1. 37. Change Schmange

    I hate change. Hate it.

    Part of the problem is that I’m wildly indecisive and a devout pessimist. I take Murphy’s Law seriously: What can go wrong, must go wrong.

    So, while some people see change as an opportunity for growth and good fortune, I see it as potential disaster waiting to ambush me. Read more →

  2. 38. Potty Mouth

    I was in third grade when I uttered my first curse word.

    I told myself I did it by accident, but really it was in the name of love. Read more →

  3. 39. Faker

    When my grandmother died, I hadn’t spoken to her in over a decade. My mother was her least-favorite child, which made me and my twin sister her least favorite grandchildren. (My younger brother she could forgive for being my mother’s child since he’s a boy.)

    She died recently, less than a year after my mother. We joked that she couldn’t even give my mom a full year’s peace in whatever afterlife there might be. Read more →

  4. 40. A Rose by Any Other Name is a Different Friggin Rose

    Recently, Anna Murray, a good friend and kick-ass writer, wrote a series of posts about women changing their names when they marry. As part of the project, she asked friends to share their reasons for their choices. Anna’s posts are provocative and well-researched. I particularly love the one where she debunks the myth that women have always taken their husbands’ names. I highly recommend reading the whole series in one sitting.

    The project got me thinking about my own choice to keep my surname.

    I never considered changing my last name, especially since I married later in life, in my mid-thirties. By then, I was known in all my social and professional circles as “Colette Sartor.” Any name recognition value I’d built through the years would have gone out the window if I changed my name. And, from what I’ve heard, legally changing names is an administrative nightmare.

    But really, the choice to keep my surname was more personal than that. Read more →

  5. 41. Fighting Words

    I am not the easiest personality. I’m emotional and opinionated. I obsess. I’m the ultimate pessimist. I’m a self-professed, consummate grudge holder.

    But I’m not someone who’s quick to anger–at least, not with anyone outside my family.

    Still, certain topics get a rise out of me. Certain words are fighting words, even when I don’t want them to be. Read more →

  6. 42. Highlights: Writers’ Resources, March 2015

    Every few months, I highlight some of the newest additions to my Writers’ Resources page, where I post links to articles and essays on everything from craft advice to submission and publishing advice to blogging tips.

    This is the first time, however, that, as part of my roundup, I’m writing a eulogy of sorts for a resource that I adored.

    In January, the amazing website, Beyond the Margins, closed its virtual doors. Read more →

  7. 43. My Unexpected Superpower

    The Age of Invisibility is upon me.

    I’ve been dreading it.

    I thought I had time. I thought it would be years before men started walking past me and letting doors slam in my face instead of holding them open for me. Before teenagers nearly mowed me down with their skateboards because they didn’t notice me directly in their paths.

    But I live in Los Angeles. And I don’t do Botox or fillers.

    Apparently, that’s enough in La La Land to launch an older woman into invisibility.

    Read more →

  8. 44. Girly Girl

    I’ve never been much of a girly girl.

    I rarely wear makeup or get my nails done. Most days I forget to brush my hair. Waxing any body part seems like a torture designed for others braver than I am.

    Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate girly things. Like clothes, for instance. I love clothes. Love. Them. Especially when I was a lawyer and had extra cash. Guess where it all went? Not to vacations or nice cars or nice houses.

    I spent my extra cash on clothes. And shoes.

    God, the shoes. Read more →

  9. 45. Family Blood Sports

    I like to think that, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve evolved and learned to take unexpected events in stride. That I no longer adhere to the lesson ingrained in me since childhood about how every crisis, particularly an unexpected one, requires a huge fight.

    But sometimes, despite my best intentions, my early crisis management training creeps up and overwhelms me.

    Take, for instance, this past Super Bowl Sunday. There was no rising above adversity, no gracious laughter in the face of a screw up.

    Instead, there were massive acts of bitchiness. On my part, of course.

    As if there were any question about that. Read more →

  10. 46. Stolen Time: Writing While Financially Challenged

    I write early in the morning. I write late at night. I write in between critiquing papers and preparing lesson plans and helping my son with his homework and feeding the dog and making dinner and critiquing more papers and teaching workshops and attending writers groups and getting the car fixed and the driving my son to school and the dog to the vet and spending quiet time with my husband and kid and visiting relatives and going out to dinner with friends.

    I write whenever I can. I write because I want to write. I write because I have to write. I write. I write. I write.

    That’s what all writers do, isn’t it?

    Yes, but with varying degrees of difficulty, depending on their financial situation. Read more →

  11. 47. Don’t Hide the Crazy

    I started out my dating life as a serial monogamist.

    From my teens until well into my twenties, I held on tight to my relationships, especially the difficult ones. Nothing worth having should be easy to get. I would find the formula to make a difficult relationship work.

    Guess what? No formula. No success. In my late twenties, I gave up on serial monogamy and started dating in earnest for the first time.

    I had no idea what I was doing. Read more →

  12. 48. Your Own Doppelganger

    I’m an identical twin, so you’d think it would be easy for me to tell other twins apart.

    It’s not.

    In fact, sometimes I can’t even tell me and my sister apart. Read more →


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Photos (except blog): Bob Ohanesian & Stephanie Keith.

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