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Back from the brain dead

photo(65)Lemme get this out of the way:

It’s been–gasp!–over a year since I last posted, despite supportive reader/friends and editors and agents making careful and polite inquiries as to why the radio silence.

Things like, “Are you OK?” and “Um, how’s the book promotion going?” “Did the TV show ever happen?” And oh, and “WTF, Stephanie? You are squandering an audience that many authors would kill for by not keeping your brand alive!”

Yes, well. Short answer: divorce, divorce, divorce, and all the tentacles of stress and uncertainty that wrap themselves around you when your life, your children’s lives, your finances and your sense of self are radically upended in a short period of time.

Never mind that it was the right thing. Never mind that it’s what had to happen. Remember tether ball, from summer camp? I felt like the ball, smacked and kicked this way and that, all day every day, and unable to bounce away to deflate in safety.

Obviously, when you the human being are also “your brand,” it’s hard to write funny.


Three years after my split (which happened right when the book came out), and one year after the JOD arrived in the mail, my girls and I are good, and their dad and I are doing what we always did best–loving them, denying them cell phones, and making sure they’re appropriately insane 5th graders who sometimes eat green vegetables and empty their pockets of lip gloss before they put their jeans in the laundry.

In other news, My Formerly Hot Life has once again been optioned, this time by Lions Gate, who brought you Mad Men and Nashville and Orange is the New Black and lots of other freakin’ amazing shows. These people know what they’re doing. Very very beginning stages, so nothing to report other than that, but please cross everything that can be crossed.

And I’m percolating another book.

So bear with me, and if you’re still with me, send up a flare!

With love, Steph




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A little pixie dust from the UK blog fairies

How flattering to randomly out of nowhere to be named one of UK Channel 4’s 4 Beauty Best Health Blogs! Below is the little blurby they wrote about Formerly Hot, but please click here to see the other sites that were mentioned–some really good ones. Oy. There goes another afternoon I coulda shoulda woulda been working. But hey!

Formerly Hot
For age defiers

Formerly Hot (opens in a new window)
American writer and pundit Stephanie Dolgoff’s blog is a hilarious commentary on how society sees you as old – just because you’re not 21. It’s also a poignant reflection on ageing, and she sensitively observes everything from her body, her looks, the way she acts and the way people act towards her. Fascinating and insightful.

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Off topic

A little piece I did for HuffPo…

When Kids Come Second

My husband and I have split up, and although it was my decision to leave and it remains the right one, it sucks. We were married almost 10 years and have two daughters, so it was a hideous outcome to arrive at after trying so hard not to. Divorce was the less sucky of the two sucky options I saw before me, but that fact doesn’t mitigate the suckitude one iota.

That divorce is hard is not news. It’s like when people say marriage is hard. It’s obvious, a tremendous understatement, and yet when it comes out of someone’s mouth, everyone clucks and nods in empathy and truly seems to know exactly what the speaker means, even though they were told nothing. It’s so outrageously, undeniably true and universal that it requires no explanation, no elaboration, for people to instantly relate and silently run their minds over their current apparently intractable struggle. When you’re going through a life changing personal matter that you’d rather not discuss, lazy, somewhat cliched distillations like that can come in mighty handy. “Divorce is hard” is my go-to summary when well-meaning people ask me how things are going and I sense that they don’t want more than a fleeting peek into my emotional life.


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Well, this doesn’t suck!


From Deadline Hollywood, the announcement that ABC is, in fact, hopefully developing MFHL into a sitcom. There was also a blurb in the Hollywood Reporter. “In development” means, well, folks are psyched on it and maybe there will be a pilot to look at. Fingers crossed, but very, very cool! The husband-and-wife writing team who are cranking away, Jon Hoberg and Kat Likkel, and the director set to work on it, Julie Anne Robinson, so thoroughly get the poignant plight of the Formerly that I feel confident that we’ll be well represented.

So I need a favor.

When I was undergoing IVF, some 9 years ago, I pulled out all the stops to make sure those hard-won embryo blobs stayed up in my uterus where they had been so carefully placed by a team of reproductive medical professionals, implanted, and grew to be the sweet, funny, eye-rolling and Wii obsessed little girls who are right now sleeping on IKEA beds in the next room.

I took drugs, I got acupuncture, I had giant syringes of syrup-like progesterone shot in the muscle of my ass and “faced the fear in my uterus” with the help of a New Age practitioner. I also enlisted everyone I knew to pray for me, even though I am an atheist, because I read a study about devout Christians in Australia and North America praying for women undergoing IVF in Korea doubling their success rates. I have no idea what worked for me, but something sure did.

Just in case it was the prayer, do me the favor of sending some positive thoughts to whomever you pray about My Formerly Hot Life going to pilot. I’m not asking for twins–just one good go at this thing.

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How cool is this?

coverMy Formerly Hot Life has been out since August, so when stuff like this pops up, it makes me smile and reminds me people are actually reading the thing…very cool.

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Book Group Questions!

coverHi, kids,

Folks have been asking me for book group questions, so I thought I’d toss out a few. If you have good ones that I’m missing, please comment below.

Also, a reminder that I’m happy to Skype into book groups of 6 or more who are reading My Formerly Hot Life and lead the discussion.

1. Have you had a “Formerly” moment? What was the moment you realized that you were no longer exactly young?

2. What are some of the things that you were but are no longer? How many are true losses, and which are you glad to have left behind?

3. What are some of the things you’ve gained over time that you wouldn’t trade?

4. Do you feel a pressure to “embrace your age” now that you’re on the other side of young? Is that a good thing? Or does that place just as much pressure on women as the whole “look/act younger” push?

5. What do you think of the whole “cougar” and MILF trend? Wonderful expression of female sexuality at any age or barfworthy marginalizing of “older” women to fuel some male Hollywood fantasy? Or something in between?

6. The term “Formerly” didn’t sit well with some people, who felt they weren’t “formerly” hot and that was an insult. Do you feel as hot as you used to? Hotter? Equally but differently hot? Has your definition of hot changed over time?

7. Would you swap places with your 20something self? Why or why not?

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Give My Formerly Hot Life, personalized

coverLately I’ve been asked to personalize copies of My Formerly Hot Life for gifts people want to give their friends for the holidays, and of course unless you’re in NYC, it involves a lot of postage and hassle.

So I’m completely copying my friend Gretchen Rubin, who had a fantastic idea: personalized bookplates. Just shoot me an email with all the info–who you are giving the book to, and anything else you’d want me to say–and I’ll send you an autographed, personalized bookplate (or as many as you need) and you can stick it right in yourself. stephanie at stephaniedolgoff dot com.

Have a great holiday!

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Tune in tonight

chitchatcafeawning2I’m going to be on Chit Chat radio tonight at 11, at which time I will be punchy tired and maybe a little drunk from dinner with visiting friends–should be fun. I hope you listen. Click here to do so.

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Let me help raise $ for your kids’ school

p1000385Hey, all,

The tireless woman who is organizing the silent auction for my girls’ woefully underfunded public school asked if I’d donate a signed copy of (my bestselling) book to help raise money, and of course I said yes. I also offered to come and lead a book group discussion if the book group was reading My Formerly Hot Life. It’ll fetch a few bucks for pencils and I know it helps me feel a little less guilty about contributing paper plates and milk rather than a gorgeous spinach pie or homemade dumplings to the Fall Family Celebration, like the other parents. (Those are two incredible moms from my kids’ school–like, bionic in their energies.)

ANYway, I’m happy to do a version of the same for your school auction. If you’ll provide a book or books, I’ll inscribe and will happily pop in to any book group via Skype or in person if you’re nearby. I’m also glad to write up the blurb for the catalog, including all the hubbub surrounding the book and everything else. Just shoot me an email (stephanie at stephaniedolgoff dot com) and we’ll set it up.

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NYC event

imagesHi, kids,

Stop by Peoria Emporium December 4th between 2 and 5, where I’ll be reading and signing books and drinking any of the wine that is left after the mobs swoop through. Seriously, it’ll be a fun time–things degenerate pretty quickly into all of us just hanging out and laughing. Bring friends!

25 East 20th between Park and Broadway in NYC! It’s a really neat shop/art installation. Who knows? You might knock off all your holiday shopping in one day.

I hope to see you there. (That picture has nothing to do with anything so don’t bother trying to figure it out. It’s from this guy’s cool blog. Can you believe he made that costume?)


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