The Writer, the Third Child, and Some Things Left Unfinished.

Oct 11, 2014 by

Anime Sketch of Mackenzie and Aurelia 9-2014

My daughters, in manga form.  Copyright M. Dunn, 2014, although I get the sense that protecting my artwork should be the least of my worries.


I plagiarized a book when I was Kindergarten.

I re-drew the illustrations, inserted my own version of the narrative, and assembled the pages for my teacher to review. I was proud. I didn’t have any concept that this was wrong – and at the age of 5, why would I have had any such concept? No one expects a Kindergarten student to be able to compose a short story, let alone understand integrity in authorship as well as copyright issues.

Parenting and Integrity

Oct 3, 2014 by

This is a 15-minute video I shot a while back, intending to use it for a post someday.  Video is tough for me.  I’m a much better writer than I am a speaker.  But on nights like these, it is great to be able to post a video and take a break from writing, as much as I love to write.



In this video, you will hear me blather on about:

— Integrity!

— The role of emotion, versus logic, in most of the decisions we make;

— How two people on opposite ends of an ideological or political spectrum can end up in the same place on an issue;

— How successful women and successful men are viewed differently.

The reference to the GQ magazine cover is from over the summer, August, I think.  So don’t go looking for it on the newsstands right now.

More Thoughts of a Helicopter Mom on the Dangers of Free-Ranging It

Sep 19, 2014 by



A little while ago, I did a post on the free-range versus helicopter parent issue, and my realization, four years into this parenting thing, that I tend a bit toward the latter side.  One of the big issues for me was processing why I feel this way, while also emphasizing that I don’t necessarily have a problem with free-rangers:  I think it’s really just that people like me have a hard time knowing what’s safe and what’s not, or what the relative risks are.  I still hover over my preschooler and toddler, and I know they are too little to play outside without some modicum of adult supervision.  But in two years, when they’re 6 and 4?  How about when they’re 8 and 6?

Sleep Training … for Mom

Sep 5, 2014 by



Life seems to swing wildly between exuberant and hellish for me, with what I’ll refer to as “dead periods” occurring from time to time.  The swings mark my transition from a flow state (in the zone, usually helping a client with something and feeling like I’m winning at the same time) to ground zero (feeling like I got hit by a truck – physically or mentally – and wanting nothing more than to lie in bed all day and watch cat videos on my phone).  The dead periods sometimes occur in between – they’re like meh on top of blah.  And even worse, if I am going through a dead period and am conscious of it, I get into this hopeless place where I feel like I’m going to be stuck in it forever.  Eventually I do pull out of it, but it’s usually because I’m distracted by something shiny (it’s dinner time!  a new client just called!  I’m going to Target!), not because I’m making a conscious effort to pull myself up and out of the abyss.

I’m not a Free-Range Mom, but it’s ok if you are. I think? Landing the Helicopter and surveying the scene.

Aug 22, 2014 by


It’s a nematode? Just keep reading, it’ll make sense later. (image via wikimedia commons)


I think a lot of the judgment issues among parents (and from non-parents toward parents) arises from a fear of the unknown.  This article by famous free-ranger Lenore Skenazy came up on my Facebook newsfeed, and nestled beneath the share I found a host of sympathetic comments.  I read the comments before I read the article.  I wanted to post my comment at that point, but I didn’t want to be one of those Facebook commenters who comment without reading the article in question, so I read the article.  Then I posted my comment.

Page 1 of 2212345...