I’m so excited to introduce a new feature to the Dishwasher. Every other Thursday I’ll explore the concept of possession with a different blogger. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know so many amazing women in my almost three years of blogging, and I want to share some of them with you.
What drives or possesses these talented women? That’s what the Dishwasher and I would like to know.
What a thrill to have the very talented Norine Dworkin-McDaniel as the first “victim” in this series. Norine is half of the dynamic duo that makes up the super fun site, Science of Parenthood. We met a few months ago in a blogging group for writers and became fast friends. Norine and her partner, Jessica Ziegler, started their site eight months ago. I knew she was the perfect person to kick off this new feature because of her love of what she does and the passion she brings to it. Without further ado, I bring you Norine:
Lets start with the really important questions that I know the dishwasher has: What is the oldest appliance you have in your home now?
Probably the microwave.
Did you buy it or did it come with the house?
It did come with the house. It sits over the stovetop.
Is it a well behaved?
No! I think our microwave is possessed like your dishwasher. It turns on randomly. The light will come on inside it; the motor will start humming. But the heating element won’t be going. Other times, I try to turn it off, and it won’t quit. I have to open and slam the door several times before it will disengage. It’s very temperamental. It’s probably time to get a new microwave. But shhh! I don’t want to say that too loudly. I might piss it off. And then it’ll never work. And I’d miss the popcorn.
Now that the dishwasher is appeased I ‘d like to know, what did you want to be when you were 5?
A writer. I have always wanted to be a writer of some kind. First it was going to be fiction — when I was in first grade, I rewrote fairy tales like Alice in Wonderland to feature me as the main character. Then I was going to be a romance writer a la Danielle Steele — I love a good love story. Then I got into newspaper writing, then magazine writing, then humorous essay writing. And now I write what people consider single panel comic strips, which are then illustrated by my friend/partner Jessica Ziegler.
What does being possessed mean to you?
Being utterly taken over by something outside of yourself. Of course there’s the “dark” side of possession — see Blair, Linda; The Exorcist. But people can do amazing things when they’re “possessed” by something positive.
What possesses you right now?
I have to say that right now, I am utterly possessed by my new blog Science of Parenthood. I’ve always been a workaholic anyway. And with Science of Parenthood, my partner and I are working practically around the clock. I’m on the laptop while having my first cup of coffee in bed and I work straight through the day till I take the laptop or iPhone to bed with me for a last check of how we’re doing on Facebook and Twitter.
Possession … or obsession? It’s hard to tell the difference! But this new venture is the most fun I’ve had working on anything since 2002 when an editor friend of mine hired me to create a bar guide for a men’s magazine. That was a blast. But coming up with the science and math principles to “explain” parenting situations beats that fun by a long shot. Plus, I am learning and relearning science and math principles, so hopefully when my son reaches these concepts in school, I won’t be completely clueless.
Without question, creating the content for Science of Parenthood is tons of fun. It’s fun to research and then give them our signature twist to apply them to those everyday parenting situations we all experience. But I’m also getting quite the education in business stuff these days too. And I find that these days I’m more consumed by the nitty gritty business details of setting up our LLC, making sure we’ve got our business permits to operate, setting up bank accounts and PayPal in preparation for launching our retail store. Truly, I think the only view my 7-year-old has had of me in weeks is over the top of my laptop.
Is this something that has possessed you for under a year or over a year?
I started working on Science of Parenthood in late 2012, without even realizing I was laying the foundation for the blog and our business venture.
It was around the holidays when my son came home from school talking about Newton’s laws of force and motion. He was excitedly telling us at the dinner table that, “an object at rest stays at rest until acted on by an external force.” I thought, That’s funny. It sounds just like my son with the TV or video games. I jotted down, “A child at rest will remain at rest until you unplug the TV or Xbox” and used that as a status update on Facebook. The next day I followed up with Sleep Geometry Theorem: “A child will always sleep perpendicular to whatever adult is in bed next to him.” I continued to add these math and science “observations” until I realized in late December that they would make for a great gift book if I could get some illustrations.
I called my friend Jessica Ziegler, the best illustrator ever, on New Year’s Eve to discuss it. She immediately saw this as much more than a book. Within minutes she’d secured a domain name, Facebook page, Twitter feed, Pinterest board and Google+ page for us. I gave her all of the “observations” I’d written, by that time I had about 60. And she set to work illustrating them. We rolled out on Facebook on January 14. A week later, we unveiled our blog. And here we are, eight months later, getting set to open our online store, which will be stocked with magnets of our most popular illustrations and a 2014 calendar, bumper stickers and more.
Truly, this is the most amazing thing to be “possessed” by!
A huge thank you to Norine for kicking off this new series so wonderfully! Make sure to check out Norine and Jessica’s site, Science of Parenthood and follow them on Facebook, and Twitter