#AskAwayFriday With Katie Sluiter

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I’m joining Katie of Sluiter Nation today for #AskAwayFriday! Below are the questions Katie gave me, and I’m answering them for all of you today. Be sure to head over to her place to read her answers to MY (burning) questions! If you’re new to #AskAwayFriday, check out the hostesses’ blogs: The Bold Fab Mom & The Real Housewife of Caroline County. And read more about #AskAwayFriday here.

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1. Your “About Me” section on your blog says you’re writing a book. Fiction or non and what’s it about? Okay, so here’s the thing: there is no book. Yet. But there will be  one someday. Our miracle baby sorta threw a wrench in the writing gears. And the blogging gears. The now miracle toddler also has some delays that can make life a little more, erm, difficult sometimes. The book will likely be memoir/non-fiction, which means no one will bother reading it.

2. You are very open about your religious beliefs. Do you have any traditions with your family that were passed down and that you hope your children will continue when they are grown? I didn’t grow up with much religion at all, really. I’m Jewish by birth, but I’ve sought out my own Jewish life and heritage by choice. The traditions we have are pretty loose now, especially with the girls still being so young; I hope that as they get older we can plant more seeds and create special memories. I love lighting the menorah with them at Hanukkah and saying the prayers. We haven’t been great about Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath, which starts every Friday at sundown and ends on Saturday at sundown), but I’d like to get back to baking my own challah on Fridays. And then using it for French toast on Saturday mornings! Now that’s a tradition I can get behind!

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3. You write fiction that feels SO real…how do you find inspiration for your characters? It’s funny that you say that since I dabble in fiction so rarely. I’ve only ever written flash fiction, and it’s usually inspired by a prompt. My characters typically have bits and pieces of all sorts of people I’ve encountered, and some I haven’t yet. The idea of trying to write a longer piece of fiction scares the crap out of me. I just…don’t know what the characters would do. But I suppose they can’t DO anything if I don’t…write that far.

4. As a mom of all daughters, what do you hope to teach them about becoming women someday? I am still learning as I go, but for right now, my goal is to teach them to love themselves and their bodies. I don’t want them to grow up with self loathing. I don’t want them to pick and choose parts of themselves to hate or obsess over. I want them to feel and know that they’re beautiful and smart and funny and kind and creative. I make sure that, as their mother, they don’t hear or see me putting myself down. They learn from watching me, so I keep negative things to myself. It’s my hope that they’ll never know about my self esteem issues; or perhaps I’ll conquer my demons before they’re old enough to handle a frank conversation about all of it.

5. Which of your personality traits do you see the most in each daughter? My oldest is instinctively a good speller, it just comes very naturally to her as it did and does to me. My middle girl is on the shy side, quiet, introspective. That’s also me. And the jury’s still out on my youngest, but… she’s averse to loud noises, she loves anything crunchy, and she  appreciates a good long afternoon nap. Those are all pretty much me (I never nap, but I often wish I could!).

6. Which of your husband’s traits do you see the most in each girl? I’m so grateful that my husband has instilled in our girls an appreciation of and a love for athletics (I’m not a sports fan and I haven’t got a clue about the rules). He teaches them spontaneity when I’m one who prefers (and thrives upon) a routine.  They are more laid back and relaxed because they’re his daughters, and I’m so happy about that.

7. Your work with The Gay Dad Project has given you opportunities to meet lots of people. What has been your favorite experience so far? It’s so hard to choose just one! I really enjoyed our time at the inaugural Salon LGBTQ conference Deb Rox put on in Atlanta last fall. And then we spent a week in San Francisco during Pride. We  interviewed and talked with other “kids” who have had a parent come out of the closet. It was eye opening and amazing and overwhelming all at once.

8. What is the best advice anyone has ever given you? Don’t take yourself too seriously. Be your own best advocate. Do your homework. Sleep on it. Drink your milk. Write.

9. What books have impacted your life? Too many to name, but I’ll try: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath; A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith; She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb; The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak; The Awakening by Kate Chopin; The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger; Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume; Deenie by Judy Blume; Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl; The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini; and most recently, Heidi Cave’s Fancy Feet and  A Lady in France by Jennie Goutet.

10. What do you like best about yourself? I like my hair. I love experimenting with length and styles and color (pink and red of late). And I have pretty good nails.

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  • http://www.mommy-miracles.com Laura

    “Write”. That is such simple and perfect advice. :)

    These are so great, Erin. Loved getting to know each of these parts of you a little more! xo

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Yes, and it’s advice I need to take MYSELF. Seriously. Kind of the same way you do… I just don’t know how to get back to that place. Except I have to just make the promise and do it. Put pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard for a set time frame/period every day. I’m afraid, I guess. Of what? I don’t really know. Ugh.

  • Pingback: Erin Asks Away! | Sluiter Nation

  • Katie

    I LOVE your answers! Especially the ones about your girls. What a great mother you are, friend. And I like your hair too.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thanks so much for doing this with me!! I am so behind that I’m only just now about to go read your post. Don’t hate me?? xoxo

  • Kim@Co-Pilot Mom

    It is awesome to see you and Katie together! I love that advice you were given. “Sleep on it” is one of my personal favourites – things always look different after a good night’s sleep. :)

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Yes, it’s so true. Now, if I could just work on getting the sleep part of it?? It might be more helpful. Ha!!!

  • http://www.thekircorner.com Kir

    can I come over for Saturday French Toast? Also, when I was small I always wanted to be Jewish…so I’d love to bring my Catholic self over to you and talk about traditions and Jewish life (and eat French Toast)

    keep writing the book, I’m going to read it, buy it and give to everyone I know and be really jealous (wink wink)

    many of your favorite books are mine too..and I think everything you’ve done in so many aspects of your life are inspiring and motivational. Thank you for always taking a chance to make us all feel less alone and part of a community of love and support.

    Katie asked you great thoughtful questions. I really liked seeing both of you here together. (2 of my favorites!)

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thanks for stopping by to read. I hope you’re having a lovely birthday, and I really loved your post with all the phenomenal quotes. I’m just sorry I was so late getting you mine.

      And yes, we would LOVE you to come over for challah French toast — ANYTIME! just say the word!! love you!

  • http://www.jenniferpwilliams.com/ Jennifer P. Williams

    Good questions and awesome answers. You know I love the one about what you want to teach your girls.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thank you, Jennifer. I might have to amend some answers after this very long week of no school/snow days. I yelled this morning and it was not good and I felt badly. I apologized. It sucked. I feel rotten. Being a mom is hard work. I’m grateful for friends like you. xo

  • HerStories Project

    I’m so glad you did this, Erin! I loved learning a little more about you and your family :)

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thanks Stephanie & Jessica/HerStories!
      I really need to get back to blogging/writing more regularly. It’s hard juggling everything though. Thanks for stopping by to read & comment! ;-)

  • http://www.about100percent.com/ Andrea

    Erin, I loved getting to know more about you. I love your writing history and the fact that you have a clear idea of what you want to teach your daughters. Your sensitivity, thoughtfulness and depth of character make me want to get to know you more!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      You are so kind to say all of those things. I haven’t been very sensitive with my kids this week. These snow days are killing me. I yelled this morning when I’ve been doing so well at NOT yelling. Are you sure you want to get to know me more?!?! xoxo

  • http://writingwishing.com/ Alison

    Love knowing more about you, Erin. You are amazing!!
    And you do have gorgeous hair.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thank you, Alison. Don’t know how you’re managing to do all this while you’re in France! I loved your flower photos— I wouldn’t have known those tulips were plastic if you hadn’t said so!!! I have France on the brain now and really hope I get to go back someday. xo

  • Tiffany Mrsh Haywood

    So nice to meet you! I think it is amazing that you want to write a book (even if life has place it on delay for a bit) and even getting to know you 10 questions at a time I know that I would want to read… :)

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thank you so much for reading and stopping by! I’m flattered that you already think you’d want to read my book. Now I just have to figure out how to get started writing it! LOL!

  • http://upliftingfamilies.com/ Christy Garrett

    It is nice to meet you as well. That is good that your husband is teaching your daughter’s about sports. It is one thing that I loved growing up and would still be playing if I wasn’t hurt. My favorite sport is soccer.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thanks so much for stopping by to read and comment! I’m so sorry you got hurt and aren’t able to continue playing soccer. My kids have played soccer for a few seasons now, but are taking a break for basketball. They also want to try some piano lessons, so we’re looking into that. ;-)

  • http://genieinablog.com. Leigh Ann

    I love getting this glimpse into your life, Erin. You’re such an amazing writer. I can’t wait until BlogHer!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Leigh Ann,

      You flatter me. I haven’t done much real writing at all lately…I was just telling someone else, um…. Laura O’ Rourke. About how I need to make a commitment to get back to writing. Easier said than done…. I CANNOT WAIT FOR BlogHer!!!! xoxox

  • Lina Dickinson

    Nice to get to know you better :)

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thank you, Lina! hey… putting a bug in your ear. Submissions are open through 2/15 for our KC Listen To Your Mother Show…. if you would like to submit or know anyone else who would want to? here’s the link w/ more information! http://listentoyourmothershow.com/kansascity/2014/01/09/its-submission-time/ You don’t have to be a woman or a mom to submit, you just need a story about motherhood that is about 5 minutes long when read aloud. ;-)

  • Galit Breen

    Such a fun way to learn more about you, E! Love!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thank you, sweet Galit! We’re having a big snow day here in KC — guessing you may be, too? Or maybe later this week? Sending warm cozy thoughts your way!

  • Stacey Gannett

    I love these questions and answers! It is so wonderful to meet you! I have been trying very hard to wipe out the negatives about myself, because I am sadly noticing it a bit in my daughter and never realized what an impact it could have. So I am definitely making a concentrated effort now to correct before it is too late for her. I love the concept of The Gay Dad Project! It is amazing! I am the proud mom of a gay son and would love to see the world views change. Hope you have a great week!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thank you so much Stacey! Isn’t it hard sometimes, being a parent? And noticing things about ourselves that may be affecting our children in a negative way? I’m working on my own stuff too. And I’m also happy to hear that your son has such a wonderfully supportive mom! YOU ROCK!!! ;-) I appreciate your taking the time to visit and comment. Have a wonderful day!

  • http://aladyinfrance.com/ Lady Jennie

    Thank you for the shout out! :-)

    I love your hair any shade. It’s so thick and non-frizzy. It’s great what you want to teach your daughters. I kept thinking to myself as I was reading it, yeah! I need to learn that too! :-)

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thank you, Jennie. I showered & washed my hair yesterday. It was heavenly. I should do it more often. But it’s been so cold and dry here, and my skin and scalp suffer this time of year. So I put it off. I’m not ready for the awful heat, but I’ll take some Spring weather anytime now! xoxo

  • http://www.misselaineouslife.com Elaine A.

    I love your answer to #4. And thanks for the list of books. I’ve read about 6 of them myself and just started The Book Thief. Also? I would like some challah French toast please! :D