My words, elsewhere.

Write what you know, right? Thus my most recent post at Get Rich Slowly was called “Prepare to get sick.”

In it I explained how I stay relatively ready year-round for illness or injury, from having basic foods and OTC meds on hand to figuring out a way to telecommute in case of a longish period of immobility. Specifically, I noted that one reason I could have surgery on really short notice was that I already had most of my ducks in a row.

I also got to work in a reference to the exchanging of body fluids. This pained one reader, who left a comment asking if this were truly necessary. My reply: “Yes.” After all, it was Valentine’s Day when I got sick.

read more

Win this book.

Lately it seems that all I publish are giveaways, with relatively little real writing. I blame sudden illness, a new job and some additional freelance opportunities.

Not that I don’t like giving things away. I do. That’s why I have a weekly contest. This week it’s, “Be CentsAble: How to Cut Your Household Budget in Half,” by Chrissy Pate and Kristin McKee

read more

The life I once led.

Eight years ago today I headed west. I had no idea what I might do, no idea that I was about to be reborn. In fact, I couldn’t see any kind of future for myself. The only thing I knew for sure was that the life I’d lived up until that moment was no longer bearable.

I left while my then-husband, also a writer, was covering an event several states away. The day before I’d flattened a rear tire in my Chevy Cavalier to keep him from driving it instead of his own vehicle. (Mine got better mileage.) After getting the tire repaired, I packed what would fit into the little sedan, put Liz Phair’s “The Divorce Song” on the CD player and peeled out.

In less than three days I drove from Chicago to Seattle, a trip made notable by the fact that I somehow managed to get a speeding ticket in Montana.

read more

I had planned to put up a book for this week’s giveaway, but two days of computer glitches have left me unfit for rational thought. I’m so frustrated that I’m ready to fling myself out a window.

Of course, since I live on the first floor it would be a largely ceremonial gesture.

Since I can’t write up an interesting screed about the book, a $20 Amazon gift card it is.

read more

After two full weeks of writing the Frugal Cool site for MSN Money, I’ve learned that a five-times-a-week  deadline can be less intimidating than a once-every-10-days deadline.

I’d been writing a biweekly personal finance column since spring 2009. Initially I thought this would be easier than my previous job at MSN Money, the three-times-a-week Smart Spending blog. It wasn’t.


read more