Today Laura introduces us to two of her favorite authors, Ariel Meadow Stallings who published the new, anti-self-help book "From Sh!tshow to Afterglow: Putting Life Back Together When It All Falls Apart," and divorced dad advocate Steve Adams, author of "Now What: A Divorce Dad’s Guide to Parenting Excellence."
Highlights of what is discussed in this episode includes the following:
- Americans relationship with literacy and use the info above and Library Journal article below from earlier this year in your discussion:
- Title: How Serious is America’s Literacy Problem?
- Author: Amy Rea
- Summary: According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), 21% of adults in the United States (about 43 million) fall into the illiterate/functionally illiterate category. Nearly two-thirds of fourth graders read below grade level, and the same number graduate from high school still reading below grade level. This puts the United States well behind several other countries in the world, including Japan, all the Scandinavian countries, Canada, the Republic of Korea, and the UK.
- Ariel’s bio (from her website FindYourAfterGlow.com)
- Got her start in the mid-’90s editing a rave magazine
- How Ariel describes herself (from her website FindYourAfterGlow.com)
- She describes herself as an independent researcher obsessed with business fields like the passion economy, psychological topics like attachment theory and secular mindfulness, and spiritual stuff like the Enneagram.
- Enneagram & Sexuality (from her website FindYourAfterGlow.com)
- I'm bisexual, poly-leaning, and contentedly partnered.
- I'm an “enneatype 3w4” and I’m my own trophy wife.
- Offbeat Empire LLC (from her website FindYourAfterGlow.com)
- She’s dedicated the last 13 years to managing her digital media company, the Offbeat Empire LLC
- Her Seattle-based publishing company produces books and websites to support non-traditional folks going through traditional life transitions.
- Offbeat Bride (from her bio)
- Stalling’s previous book, The Offbeat Bride, inspired a generation of to embrace their individuality when planning their nuptials.
- The Offbeat Bride website has been read by over 50 million couples,.
Questions for Ariel:
- How did your divorce teach you everything you needed to know about surviving 2020? Everything I needed to know about surviving 2020, I learned from surviving my divorce
- How is anxiety like a fossil fuel?
- You call your daily devotional practice "lap dances for god,” and say that burlesque lessons are the best therapy—explain, please…
About Ariel’s Latest Book
- What led to her writing her new book, “From Sh!tshow to Afterglow: Putting Life Back Together When It All Falls Apart” (from her The Guardian, her website FindYourAfterGlow.com & NetGalley here)
- Published July 21, 2020
- Stallings personal sh*tshow was triggered by a medical crisis, divorce, and business setbacks—not a global pandemic.
- Yet the lessons she learned about resilience and rebuilding are relevant to many of us right now.
- By 2016, she started to regain her equilibrium after a massive midlife shitshow – a triple punch of medical crisis, mortality check, and abrupt divorce.
- Her son is 10; he was 5 when her marriage ended.
- Now she is a couple years into a relationship that’s mentioned briefly in the epilogue to her new book. (“a sci-fi writer with a high EQ”)
- Synopsis of the book (from the Seal Press press release):
- In “From Sh!tshow to Afterglow: Putting Life Back Together When It All Falls Apart “(Seal Press, July 21, 2020), Ariel Meadow Stallings combines personal anecdote with expert input to show how a true shitshow—defined by uncontrollable changes in foundational life structures, intense identity shifts, confusion, and often physical symptoms—can clear a space for liberating personal growth.
Laura's book club suggestions also include:
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism - Robin Diangelo
- Rodham - Curtis Sittenfeld
- American Dirt - Jeanine Cummins
- A Long Petal of the Sea - Isabel Allende
- Sex and Vanity - Kevin Kwan
- What Makes a Marriage Last - Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue
About Steve Adams, Author of "Now What? A Divorced Dad’s Guide to Parenting Excellence"
- About Steve (from ButlerBooks.com)
- Steve Adams lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with his dog, Jack, and, as much as possible, with his children, Rachel and Carter.
- Rachel is a nursing student at Western Kentucky University, and Carter is a high school student in Louisville.
- When Steve isn't doing his full-time job, he's a real estate agent.
- But his main occupation, for the past 10 years, has been as a father to his children after his divorce.
About his book Now What? A Divorced Dad’s Guide to Parenting Excellence
- Synopsis of the book (from ButlerBooks.com):
- After the ink dries on the divorce decree, how can fathers remain active and relevant in their kids' lives?
- After his own divorce, author Steve Adams decided he wanted a more meaningful role in the lives of his children.
- His own words about his book:
- “One message I make very clear in the book is this: If you are a newly divorced dad, and think there will not be significant changes in your day to day, you are sadly mistaken.
- “If there is not, you are not all in 110%.”
Questions for Steve about parenting and his book:
- List the key principals for parenting covered in Now What?
- How do kids spell LOVE?
- What happens when we don’t make time for our kids?
- Tips for helping your kids navigate social media?
Contact Information for Ariel Meadow Stallings & Steve Adams:
- IG & Twitter = @OffBeatBride
- IG = @FindYourAfterGlow
- Web = www.OffBeatEmpire.com
- Web = www.FindYourGlow.com
- IG & Twitter = @SteveAdams933
- Web =