Ramshackle Glam (Tumblr)

Apr 07

I love my upper-ear piercing. It’s also annoying. 

I love my upper-ear piercing. It’s also annoying

Apr 03

How To Write A Book (Or, More Accurately: How I Wrote A Book)

How To Write A Book (Or, More Accurately: How I Wrote A Book)

You know how I already had one big project due in August (baby)?
Now there are two.

You know how I already had one big project due in August (baby)?

Now there are two.

Apr 02

One especially interesting aspect of this whole book-writing process has been how many tiny things there are to learn. There are big questions, of course – like how to write a book proposal at all, or how to get it into the right hands once it’s written – but there have also been a million smaller ones that I never anticipated. (I was nervous about all of them, just so we’re clear; Ye Olde Type A tendencies have been out in full force for the past several months.)
As an example, I didn’t know whether I should be sending my editor chapters as I finished them, or whether that was annoying and I should just send her the whole thing when I was done (the latter was preferable, as it turned out – at least for my editor). I didn’t know whether it would be helpful if I bounced ideas back and forth directly with the illustrator so that other people didn’t have to act as a go-between (apparently that’s a big “no”: it’s the art director’s job to liaise between the author and the illustrator).
Basically, I didn’t want to be a pain in the ass. At all.

Yet another example of Small Thing That I Did Not Know: what to do when I walk into a bookstore and see my book. Obviously I’m excited about it…but do the employees have first-time authors running into their stores all day long, all freaking out and do-you-want-me-to-sign-this-for-you and annoying? I had no idea, and so I asked.
As it turns out, B&N employees are really nice to people who are just excited about seeing their books on the shelves. I think authors do come in and ask about their own works with semi-frequency, so it’s not like, you know, they get a parade thrown for them or anything…but it doesn’t happen so often that it’s irritating. Basically, you just tell them you’re you, they bring you a few copies of your book, you sign them, they put little “Autographed Copy” stickers on the front cover (apparently those stickers help book sales, which is nice for everyone), and you go on your way.
Or, if you’re me, you take a surreptitious photo of the “New In Paperbacks” table, feel like a dork, and slink out the door.
So here’s a question for you: I have found this process very, very interesting from top to bottom. Writing the proposal, writing the book itself…it was exciting and exhilarating and scary and really new to me, and so I’m planning a post talking about what, exactly, it was like. I know this isn’t a topic relevant to everyone’s interests, but if it is I’d really like to be as helpful as possible, so please let me know if there’s anything specific you have questions about.

One especially interesting aspect of this whole book-writing process has been how many tiny things there are to learn. There are big questions, of course – like how to write a book proposal at all, or how to get it into the right hands once it’s written – but there have also been a million smaller ones that I never anticipated. (I was nervous about all of them, just so we’re clear; Ye Olde Type A tendencies have been out in full force for the past several months.)

As an example, I didn’t know whether I should be sending my editor chapters as I finished them, or whether that was annoying and I should just send her the whole thing when I was done (the latter was preferable, as it turned out – at least for my editor). I didn’t know whether it would be helpful if I bounced ideas back and forth directly with the illustrator so that other people didn’t have to act as a go-between (apparently that’s a big “no”: it’s the art director’s job to liaise between the author and the illustrator).

Basically, I didn’t want to be a pain in the ass. At all.

Yet another example of Small Thing That I Did Not Know: what to do when I walk into a bookstore and see my book. Obviously I’m excited about it…but do the employees have first-time authors running into their stores all day long, all freaking out and do-you-want-me-to-sign-this-for-you and annoying? I had no idea, and so I asked.

As it turns out, B&N employees are really nice to people who are just excited about seeing their books on the shelves. I think authors do come in and ask about their own works with semi-frequency, so it’s not like, you know, they get a parade thrown for them or anything…but it doesn’t happen so often that it’s irritating. Basically, you just tell them you’re you, they bring you a few copies of your book, you sign them, they put little “Autographed Copy” stickers on the front cover (apparently those stickers help book sales, which is nice for everyone), and you go on your way.

Or, if you’re me, you take a surreptitious photo of the “New In Paperbacks” table, feel like a dork, and slink out the door.

So here’s a question for you: I have found this process very, very interesting from top to bottom. Writing the proposal, writing the book itself…it was exciting and exhilarating and scary and really new to me, and so I’m planning a post talking about what, exactly, it was like. I know this isn’t a topic relevant to everyone’s interests, but if it is I’d really like to be as helpful as possible, so please let me know if there’s anything specific you have questions about.

Apr 01

My Website Was Stolen By A Hacker. And I Got It Back.

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For several days last week, RamshackleGlam.com – the domain name that I have owned and operated since March of 2010 – did not belong to me, but rather to a man who goes by the name “bahbouh” on an auction website called Flippa.com, and who was attempting to sell off the site to the highest bidder (with a “Buy It Now” price of $30,000.00). He promised the winner my traffic, my files, and my data, and suggested that I was available “for hire” to continue writing posts (alternatively, he was willing to provide the winner with “high-quality articles” and “SEO advice” to maintain the site’s traffic post-sale).

I learned that my site was stolen on a Saturday. Three days later I had it back, but only after the involvement of fifty or so employees of six different companies, middle-of-the-night conferences with lawyers, FBI intervention, and what amounted to a sting operation that probably should have starred Sandra Bullock instead of…well…me.

Of course I’ve heard of identity theft, and of cyber hacking, but honestly, my attitude towards these things was very much “it could never happen to me.” And even if it did…I didn’t exactly understand why it was such a huge deal. Couldn’t you just explain to people what had happened, prove who you were, and sort it all out? We live in such a highly documented world, it seemed completely impossible to me that someone could actually get away with pretending to be someone else with any real consequences beyond a few phone calls and some irritation.

It’s much, much worse - more threatening, more upsetting, and more difficult (if not impossible) to fix - than I’d ever imagined.

Keep reading…

Mar 31

Weekend Snapshots: Bunnies & Undies Edition

Going to the mall with a toddler is both terrible and extremely fun. It’s terrible when you do things like accidentally stay one iota of a second longer than said toddler wants to walk or be in the stroller (that’s when Dad’s Shoulders – and Grumpy Dad – come into play) and when you announce “Let’s go get an Elsa toy!” only to discover that the Disney store has experienced a catastrophic run on anything and everything Frozen-related, leaving only a sad, sad display consisting of a shirt (size 8) reading “Let It Go” and two Hans dolls. It is wonderful when you happen upon the merry-go-round, which is apparently a sight of incomparable wonder, or when you discover sushi and Coldstone and a movie theater within five feet of each other.

Seeing the Easter Bunny is somewhere in between those two extremes. On the plus side, our son was very excited and happy while waiting on line. On the minus side…

well…

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Perhaps slightly less happy once he actually got within range of what is apparently a very, very scary rabbit.

(This shot doesn’t quite rival the epic-ness that was last year’s, but I have to say: still pretty pleased with it.)

IMG_1784

But really, this was how we spent most of the past couple of days: at home, potty training and staying entertained with Legos.

I’ve been waiting and waiting for “signs” that meant that my son was “ready” to start potty training (they – by which I mean the Internet – say that if a child wakes up with a dry diaper they’re ready, stuff like that)…but you know what ended up happening? Only a couple of the “signs” were there, but one day, in one of those psychic-mom moments that do occasionally happen (albeit less often than you wish that they would)…I just knew he was ready. There was nothing in particular that he did, but something in his general demeanor just shifted, and I woke up on Friday morning and thought: let’s just do this. Today.

Or maybe it was just because I’d gotten a decent night’s sleep, and felt marginally capable of handling what I was certain was about to be a profoundly miserable experience for all involved. Psychic-ness…or sleep. Either way, I decided it was time.

I was terrified of potty-training the way I was terrified of getting rid of my son’s (extremely beloved) pacifier; it just seemed like something that would be hugely upsetting to all involved, take forever, and result in major issues like a massively disrupted sleep schedule or something. But – just like getting rid of the pacifier (day one: kind of horrible; day two: pretty much okay; day three: forgotten entirely) – it was totally fine.

Without going too far into specifics, I basically just bought my son some really cool underpants (cars, monsters, et cetera) and put him in them, and very quickly he realized how uncomfortable it was to not get where he needed to go in time. Lots and lots and lots of positive reinforcement, Pull-Ups for longer out-of-the-house excursions (and for nap time and bedtime) for the time being, and two and a half days (and, yes, a lot of accidents) later: I’d say we’re pretty much there. And it was so much less stressful that I imagined, I can’t even tell you.

Mostly because it is crazy adorable to see your child look that proud of himself.

Those are toddler Air Jordans. I can’t believe we own them, either. (I was personally swayed by the rainbow sparkles on the toes. You can’t really see them in this photo, but trust me: they’re there.)

Those are toddler Air Jordans. I can’t believe we own them, either. (I was personally swayed by the rainbow sparkles on the toes. You can’t really see them in this photo, but trust me: they’re there.)

Mar 28

It’s here!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Giving away signed copies and more fun stuff over on RG.)

It’s here!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Giving away signed copies and more fun stuff over on RG.)

Mar 27

Denim & Supply, $69. Obsessed.

Denim & Supply, $69. Obsessed.

Today on RG: a maybe not-exactly-so-successful look that’s fun anyway. 

Today on RG: a maybe not-exactly-so-successful look that’s fun anyway. 

Mar 26

Favorite (pink) spring makeup finds!

Favorite (pink) spring makeup finds!

What’s On My Vanity?

What’s On My Vanity?

Mar 25

New favorite dress. 

New favorite dress. 

Mar 24

Really, really good lip shade for spring. 

Really, really good lip shade for spring. 

Super-easy vacation hair solution.
(And more music from Kendrick!)

Super-easy vacation hair solution.

(And more music from Kendrick!)