Category Archives: Writer life

Waffles with Writers–Betsy Kerekes style!

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Author Mike Allegra, featured last week here, is kindly hosting me on his blog this week. Check it out!

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Hi, Betsy! Come on in. Pull up a chair. How do you like your waffles?

Thanks, Mike! I’m so honored to be here. As to my waffles, normally I just have syrup, but since this is a special occasion, I say go all out: gimme some whipped cream, blueberries and strawberries. I feel like living large today.

Then live large you shall. How did you get started in the advice book business? Was there an epiphany, an aha moment when you thought, “Hey, this stuff I’m doing might help others?”

There kind of was. I remember lying in bed one night running through a potential scenario with my kids, advising them how to handle whatever situation had befallen them, as I tended to do whilst trying to fall asleep, and I thought, these situations may never happen, but I should still write this stuff down.

And then I never did. Read the rest of this entry

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Did I mention *I* have a new book out too?

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In the book launch furor for my beloved blog buddies, (Oooh, BBB!) it occurred to me that I might as well mention that my third book hit shelves last week. BEHOLD:

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Amazon and Barnes and Noble will get the book in about a month, but the publisher has it now.

Here are a few excerpts:

It helps knowing that I’m not the only parent who messes up. I saw a picture of a t-shirt tag that bore the instructions: “Remove child before washing.” I mean, if that has to be stated for some parents, I can’t be doing too badly.
Some days your children are just going to be fussy, like they’re taking turns or have it scheduled on a secret calendar. Keeping a sense of humor helps. Once I asked a friend how her kids were. She responded: “For sale.”
Though I’m no athlete, it doesn’t stop my friends who wake up at 5:30 to run, from trying to convince me to join them. There must be something to it, though, as they seem very happy. Also insane, but crazy people do tend to laugh a lot, so it’s hard to tell the difference. My workout comes from lifting the baby on my legs while I lie on the floor. He cracks up and that makes me crack up too — until he drools into my mouth.
Any brand of silliness is bound to earn you points with your kids. My mom would often say, “You in the pink dress.” No one was wearing a dress. Or pink.
Buy it for the parents in your life, or for yourself if you enjoy a good laugh, and let’s be honest: Who doesn’t?
BBBs: I didn’t organize a Blog Hop because I’m not as cool as you. If anyone would like to do a shout out, I certainly won’t stop you. Feel free to copy what you like from this post, or ask me for more if you just can’t get enough of all this.

The best part of being Mom is…

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When the kids eat m&m’s, I make them give me all the ones with my initial on them.

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My blog presence lately has been scattershot at best. Deadline this, deadline that. Too little time to keep up, sadly. :/ But on the plus side to all this work… Read the rest of this entry

New book! Of sorts.

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101 Tips for a Happier Marriage just came out in Korean! It’s quite pretty, and it even comes with a little purple bookmark. (That makes three foreign translations, y’all!)

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On a related note, my five-day series of TV shows aired Read the rest of this entry

Action! (TV Debut part 2)

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Can this count as action? Since I wasn’t able to take pictures of the actual filming, for obvious reasons, here’s an “action” shot of me getting my nose powdered by the floor manager. He doesn’t look like the type to apply make-up, does he? He gave the host the wrap-up sign and ran a camera, or was it just the teleprompter? I also saw him washing our mugs later. A versatile guy! And a total sweetheart. His accent was as Southern as they come. I commented that he must be local. He said, “I was born six miles from here,” in his fantastic drawl.

It was fun watching the teleprompter scroll while the host read from it and the operator  sped it up or slowed it down according to her pace. Neat to see one in action. I also walked by the sound room. I didn’t take a picture because I was sure the flash would bounce off the glass, but it was accurate to all sound rooms you’ve seen in the movies. Also, being back stage was a hoot: roaming through the wooden sets on wheels, ready to take to the studio when their program time came. Wild!

The floor manager gave us the low-down. It would be casual, just sitting and having a conversation, he said. Through my moderated hyperventilating I asked how much editing they do. He said, “We don’t really, not unless there’s a major flub.” “So, I can’t just look at you and say, ‘Can we edit that part out?'” “No,” he said. Bummer.

So we sat on yellow couches and were filmed talking about 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage and 101 Tips for Marrying the Right Person. The baby in my belly was introduced to the world by the host. “Hi, Joseph,” she said and actually waved to him. (The poor kid’s been on TV before he’s even been born. No pressure.) It will be fun, and frightening, to watch the shows when they air sometime in the fall. We did our quick wardrobe changes between programs and said stuff on the next episode like, “So when we were talking yesterday…” What a riot.

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Here I am getting mic’d up, as they say, by a young man who was surprisingly comfortable handling women’s clothing. For each shoot he had to drop the mic down the back of the host’s dress. I saw him hold it in his hands for a minute beforehand to warm it up. What a sweetie! He was very good at what he does, making sure the cord wasn’t showing, etc.

At the end of each program, the floor manager announced, “And we’re clear.” I saw the credits scroll on the tv with the closing song playing over a backdrop. But after one of the episodes, he didn’t say “We’re clear.” I was about to pull off my microphone but looked up to see our faces still on the screen. “We’re still on,” I muttered. The three of us looked at each other. “What should we do?” I said. “I know, let’s pretend like someone said something funny.” And the host and I did an arms-in-the-air fake laugh that will, no doubt, look exactly like people doing fake laughs when they know they’re still being filmed. I’m eager to see how that turns out! Ha!

When the final program was over, we rushed to our guest house to pack up and be ready for our ride back to the airport. I was sad we ran out before saying a proper goodbye to our host. Turns out, she met us at the van. She said her crew enjoyed the program and thought we were funny. Then she said it was a big deal for them to say anything because they’re so jaded from seeing so many of these day in and day out. They normally don’t comment at all. That was the best compliment.

When my colleague left me in the Houston airport, I was jealous that she’d be home soon, but I still had about five hours before I’d be back in my own bed, around midnight. That’s when the fatigue finally hit, but, despite that and other discomforts on the way home, I knew they were hardly worth mentioning since there’d been more than enough blessings to make up for it. And I had so much fun. It was a great experience. Maybe next time (if there’s ever a next time) I won’t be so nervous!

P.S. Since I’m clearly such an exciting person, you can’t get enough of me, I’m trying to get better about marketing, and if you’re on Facebook, please like my parenting is funny page. I would appreciate it! 🙂

Lights, camera…

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Here’s some of them. Thank goodness none came loose! And that I didn’t consider that possibility until after the fact!

Although I was, on the whole, very satisfied with this trip, it wasn’t without its slight hiccups, starting with arriving at the airport around 9:30 at night and having NO driver waiting to pick us up. Also, culture shock: stepping out of the airport and being enveloped by second-hand smoke. It was unavoidable, with still smoldering cigarettes in ash trays every several feet. I’ve taken for granted CA’s smoking laws. And me being pregnant. But aside from that, my colleague got on her phone and found our driver who arrived about 20 minutes later while the airport kept thinning out more and more, leaving us the last poor schleps waiting to be picked up. At least the temperature was fine.

When our driver arrived and opened the back of the van, I rolled my suitcase up and hefted it into the trunk, not seeing him make an immediate move to do so. Then my co-author rolled hers up to his feet and stepped back to let him take care of it. I was like, “Oh, I guess that’s what experienced travelers do–let the driver do the heavy lifting. I’m a total newbie.” I was hoping there’d be a man with a cap and uniform of some sort waiting in the terminal holding a sign with my last name on it–How cool would that be?! I would’ve totally gotten a picture with him, but no. Maybe next time. 🙂 Read the rest of this entry