bardsley cover“Come on in, sit down. Can I get you a cup of coffee?” I could almost hear Anne Bardsley saying that to me as I read her new book, How I Earned My Wrinkles: Musings on Marriage, Motherhood, and Menopause. In fact, I could swear midway through I could hear her offering to pour me a glass of wine, as well.

Anne explains in the Introduction the source of the many tales she tells about–well, marriage, motherhood, and menopause. She is an inveterate note taker:

I have a library of journals where I jotted down memories and snippets of conversations I wanted to remember. Actually, I’m not really that organized. They aren’t so much journals on a shelf as they are a collection of paper napkins, matchbook covers, and restaurant menus stuffed in a drawer with my scribbled notes and tidbits of memories. Sometimes an idea will come to me and I’ll write it on the back of a supermarket or bank receipt. I now have a vast collection!

Take your choice of tales to read–from”A Weighted Matter,” a discussion of the wisdom of vaginal weight lifting, to “Oh, Those Seven Pounds,” about her granddaughter’s birth, to “Two Old Gals Gone Wild,” which tells of the Virgin Islands getaway she took with her oldest friend. There are over fifty (!) chapters to choose from, on every topic imaginable in the world of a midlife woman.

I read my copy on Kindle, but you can buy How I Earned My Wrinkles in paperback as well. If you’re an Erma Bombeck fan, you’ll certainly recognize Anne Bardsley as a kindred soul.


JG artThe website is up–have you seen it? I mean, really seen it. As in, went to the Nav Bar and clicked on the each of the headings there? The first ones are static pages, but the last one–Writing and Writing About Writing–is the home of my  traditional, typical and, yes, unadulterated blog. I’m having fun designing the site, creating it as a place to talk about things related to writing. Yesterday I started a new list on the sidebar: This Writer’s Bookshelf. I’ll put there the books that have meant a lot to me over the years as well as those I’m just finding now. If you’ve got suggestions, let me know!

Today I changed my Twitter handle from @MidLifeBloggers to @Jane_Gassner. And I’m feeling my way through creating a social media campaign. My goals–to move my loyal and long-time MidLifeBloggers readers to JaneGassner(dot)com where I hope we’ll be joined by writers of all ages.

Today I also started This Writer’s Truth…basically I cracked open the file box I’ve been keeping throughout my career of things I’ve thought, felt, done, and read, that relate specifically or tangentially to all things writing.

The more I think of doing on this new site, the more ideas come to me. Go, me!




JG artI’ve been a professional writer for almost forty years and in that time, my work has become scattered all over. Some of my earliest pieces are radio news stories, which exist, if at all, on rickety tape cassettes that I’ve carried with me over the years. My feature magazine articles are in the archives of publications, some no longer publishing, and on tear sheets that I’ve also carried with me  over the years. When I added teaching writing and editing to my resume, of course I kept records of those experiences too: syllabi, lesson plans, rosters. After I got my first PC in the mid-’80s, I was keeping what amounted to two set of books–downloads of all my work on floppy disks as well as the hard copies. Considering the fate of floppy disks, I was prescient, if not a bit compulsive about “keeping a record”.

I’m not sure to what end I intended that record–posterity? future biographers? insurance against dementia? I do know, however, that it gives me all the material I might need to create an eponymous web site. When I bought the url JaneGassner(dot)com, I had some vague inkling that someday I would use it, but how or why weren’t part the equation at all.

Someday, however, has become today and as such, both the how and the why are very much in the foreground. The least of these reasons is to create a single place where the best, if not the bulk, of my writing can be found. That’s what you’ll find in Writing & Writing About Writing: my pre- and post-computer era journalism as well the best of and That too will be the place on the site where I blog, especially about all things Writing.

WriteRight Tutoring is where you go if you need a writing tutor to get you (or your kids) through the rigors of college composition courses, research papers and graduate-level academic writing.

The Writer’s Whisperer is for writers of all genres and experience looking for an expert to coach, console, motivate, educate and in all ways help them realize their potential as writers.

You’ll find all of that, plus contact information at Jane  I hope you’ll visit.



Part II of my new venture; Part I to follow:
writeright button 1

You’re a newly minted high school graduate or a mature student going back to get your degree. Either way, what makes you nervous about your college days ahead is the idea of all that writing you’re going to have to do.

I can help:

I’m an experienced writing teacher at the college level with advanced degrees in English. That means I’m fluent in English-speak, so I can translate your history prof’s instructions about required papers and demystify all of your college composition writing classes.

  • I can help you with a little–say, copy edit your final draft
  • Or I can help you with the wholeshebang–from brainstorming a topic to developing the final version of your written paper.
  • I can help you with just one paper in one class
  • Or I can guide you through an entire course.

What I won’t do is write the paper for you…
What I will do is teach you essay-writing strategies that will serve you through your entire academic career and beyond.

I charge $45 an hour and I’m available in the Los Angeles area or via video chat. See my full resume at LinkedIn or contact me at byjane(at)gmail(dot)com.


Randi Zuckerberg, 2013 Randi Zuckerberg, 2013


I’m reading Randi Zuckerberg’s book, Dot Complicated: Untangling Our Wired Lives. I got a copy at a pre-reading cocktail thingie for bloggers when she spoke at Barnes & Noble in The Grove in LA.

I liked her. She was eminently approachable and really, the whole event felt like we were all girlfriends together. To put it as our Jewish grandmothers might have said: What’s not to like?

Her book is eminently approachable as well. Dot Complicated lays out Zuckerberg’s personal experience, warts and all, with social media from the days even before she joined her brother (what was his name again?) at that new startup of his, Facebook. I’m still reading it….slowly and with post-its at hand because there are some parts that spoke directly to me.

Like the one above, which exactly describes my need to always find the fallow land to work, as opposed to tilling in the same fields with everyone else. The new project that Randi’s been shaping is Zuckerberg Media, which includes among other things an online community called, yes, Dot Complicated.

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