In Which I Remember That I Was Supposed to Be Writing a Novel

My final Semi-Charmed Life column.

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I’ve been writing this column for a little more than a year now. In an early installment, I explained how I ended up carrying an illegal substance onto school grounds. From there, I sparred with Pepco, warded off advances from a “relationship banker,” discovered Goji berries in Whole Foods, mocked a resident of Virginia, and failed at gardening, among other pursuits.

And then Anthony Weiner dropped trou, and there was nothing more to say. Just kidding!

I always have more to say—to the eternal regret of my family—but not enough time to say it. Which is why I’m taking a hiatus. Or not really a hiatus. In other words, this is my last installment of Semi-Charmed Life for the foreseeable future. I’ve enjoyed writing this column, especially as it has given me a plausible excuse for not being further along in writing my book. I will go back to work on that, my primary project, as soon as tomorrow. I just have a few other things I need to get done first…

Because I think it’s important for my kids to know that their mom is not a “quitter,” I was prepared to explain to them why I made this decision. When I told my 13-year-old I wouldn’t be writing the column anymore, he said, “Thank God!”

When I told my 10-year-old, he said, “Do you want to go see the Transformers movie in 3D? It was really good. Except the hero had a different girlfriend in this movie, which doesn’t make any sense! If your girlfriend helped you conquer villains and save the world in two movies, why would you break up with her?”

I said, “Good point. But I think the actress got another job, so they had to hire a different actress for this movie.”

“Oh!” he said.

When I told my husband I was stopping the column, he said, “Yes, dear.” Which is the best response a husband can give about pretty much anything.

So, as it turned out, I didn’t have to explain it to anyone! Except you. And now I have.

Meanwhile, when the mood hits me, I may occasionally blog under the Semi-Charmed Life title, and when I do, it will appear on my Curiouswriter blog, along with my posts about books, creative process, and other topics, i.e., whatever I feel like talking about.

Of course, I will still be living the “semi-charmed life,” here in Bethesda, so you may even encounter me in “meatspace,” which sounds too strange to contemplate, as if I’ll be sitting in Quartermaine’s chatting with a raw steak. In particular, you may run into me near the Clayboy cart with one of my children, where I’ll be saying, “Next time ask me for a shave ice BEFORE I buy you a donut.”

In that situation, feel free to say hello. Or, run the other way, whichever seems prudent.

And, as always, thank you for reading.

For more from Paula Whyman, check out her blog at, and her parody site For news and updates on all of her projects, you can follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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