Editor | Nonfiction Author | Leading Voice on the Childfree Choice

Author Francine Russo on Siblings Caring for Aging Parents

Author Francine Russo on Siblings Caring for Aging Parents

Staying on the theme of one’s later years –

During the last year of journalist and author Francine Russo‘s diabetic mother’s life, her aging husband and youngest daughter took care of her. Francine’s sister never asked her to do anything, and she didn’t volunteer. She got the dig from her sister — “You’re not around.”  Read more…

Getting Beyond Pronatalist Thinking in Our Later Years

Getting Beyond Pronatalist Thinking in Our Later Years

In this Huffington Post piece, “Who Will Care for Us – the Aging, Childless and Single Population?” aging advocate Carol Marak writes, “Since adult children are the lifeblood of elder care, and I don’t have a child, it’s a concern for me.” Her comment brought to mind the pronatalist assumption I discuss in The Baby Matrix: “My children will be there for me when I am old.” How true is it?  Read more…

Critical Yet Invisible: On the Book, Picking Up

Critical Yet Invisible: On the Book, Picking Up

It takes many very important systems to make cities run. But of all of them, what system does anthropologist Robin Nagle say is the most important labor force in service to cities? Those who pick up our trash.

In her book, Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks with the Sanitation Workers of New York City author Robin Nagle helps us learn why this is the case – in spades. But Nagle goes deeper; she delves into why the “first line of defense in any city’s ability to ensure the basic health and well-being of its citizenry is so unseen,” and why people want it this way. She asks, how can sanitation workers play such a critical role in a city’s well-being but people treat them “as if they cease to exist?” Read more…

International Childfree Day, Three Years Running

International Childfree Day, Three Years Running

Last weekend on August 1st marked the third year of celebrating International Childfree Day and awarding the Childfree Man and Woman of the Year. How did it start? While running my blog, La Vie Childfree (which now lives here) , learning of an organization called the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood inspired the idea.

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The Art of Essay Writing: Q&A With Meghan Daum

The Art of Essay Writing: Q&A With Meghan Daum

I recently had the pleasure of asking essayist Meghan Daum about the art of essay writing. Meghan is the author of four books, most recently the original essay collection, The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion. She is also the editor of a collection of essays, Selfish, Shallow & Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not To Have Kids. Her other books include the essay collection My Misspent Youth, the novel The Quality of Life Report, and Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House, a memoir. Here’s the Q&A: Read more…

A Key Phase in Manuscript Refinement: Beta Readers

A Key Phase in Manuscript Refinement: Beta Readers

You have finished your draft manuscript, worked with an editor on developmental and line edits, and hired a proofreader who has done one round of proof. You’re feeling great about your book, and thinking you’re done, right? If you’re smart about making sure your book is the best it can be, you have at least two steps to go. What is an important next step in the development of your book? Beta readers. Read more…