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Marissa Flaxbart
Going to the movies and writing are my two favorite pastimes. Watching TV is up there, too. I also love sitting someplace for hours having a long conversation. Preferably Europe.
Interests: comedy, movies, writing, books, singing, performing
Recent Activity
Marissa interviews her guest Adaora about what it was like reading about the Wakefields et al from across the continents. Together, they consider: Is Enugu the Sweet Valley of Nigeria? Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Sweet Valley Diaries
“Is Dad having an affair with his female coworker? She’s an attractive woman, right? So…probably.” - Every Wakefield Child Marissa and her guests Kat and Selah vent about this and other Book 1 B-Stories. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Sweet Valley Diaries
Host Marissa Flaxbart takes guests Selah Kahrmann and Kat Hazelton down the Sweet Valley rabbit hole as they discuss the very first book in the Sweet Valley High series. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Sweet Valley Diaries
The latest phase of my Sweet Valley Obsession is the most fun one yet. Making the podcast is such a delight, and I hope you'll help me out by listening, subscribing, and spreading the word! Just like this site, we read the books with a mix of reverence and disdain,... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Sweet Valley Diaries
Sweet Valley's two biggest players (Jessica Wakefield and Bruce Patman) are burning hot and heavy for each other, and the fire is only 37% contained. Be careful out there, kids! Marissa is joined by media scholar Caitlin McCann to give this serious matter the academic consideration it so richly deserves. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Sweet Valley Diaries
Merry Christmas Eve Eve Eve! I've got a new podcast episode for you! What did you get me? What's that? You subscribed to the Sweet Valley Diaries Podcast? How did you know!? I'm particularly proud of this week's episode, in which filmmaker and friend Adaora Nwandu and I go deep... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2017 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Just a quick update to share some particularly precious links: you can now subscribe to the Sweet Valley Diaries Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music, and more! Click and subscribe to get the latest episodes -- there will be new episodes weekly for 20 weeks! I don't think... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2017 at Sweet Valley Diaries
What a day. Not even 10:00 AM, and already I found out that I won an eBay auction for the Sweet Valley High board game. Oh, and I released the first episodes of the podcast I've been working on for months! It will be a few days before the show... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2017 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Yesterday I took a step that has been months in the making: I announced a start date for my new podcast. In less than a week, on December 7, the first of 10 initial episodes (and 10 shorter bonus episodes)... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
Sweet Valley High. It's been an interest bordering on an obsession, and getting dangerously reminiscent of an "area of expertise" in the years since this blog was born. But I've developed a side passion: podcasts. Like my love of SVH, my podcast passion has been a long time in the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2017 at Sweet Valley Diaries
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I pulled into my parking spot at 5:30 last night with one item on my to-do list: I had to make a pie. I've made countless pies in the past, so I knew the steps required: throw together a quick... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
​ Yesterday my dad flew home to Chicago after a long weekend trip to visit me and read books in the sunshine. While we Angelenos proclaimed the 60-70 degree temps "so fall" and "officially sweater weather," Dad smirked at all... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
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A while back, I stumbled across a single, incomplete sentence I’d written in a journal. It was a thought I’d hoped to incorporate into an essay I never got around to completing. I’d written, “the kind of person who puts... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
Yesterday, the North Michigan Avenue Apple Store closed. The massive, domineering, four-story building at the corner of Michigan and Huron was one of the first flagship stores in Apple Retail. It was two blocks away from the condo I shared... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
Every Tuesday night for nearly a year, a small group of friends and I had played bar trivia at one of West Hollywood’s oldest, smelliest bars. On an average night, the skimpily-clad waitresses at this dank, storied hell-hole might serve... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
This past Monday, on a whim, I checked out the audiobook of Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. It was a dangerous whim. The book, which had been on my radar... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
I wrote and originally posted the below on December 14, 2012, after reading the news of the Sandy Hook massacre. It's nearly five years later, and damn it, what's different? Well, I no longer get my news from Facebook. And... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
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For mom's birthday you went to Echo Park and brought along one of her favorite snacks (Snyder's Honey Mustard Pretzel Pieces) and Hope Edelman's MOTHERLESS DAUGHTERS; the latter had been sitting on your shelf, barely touched, for about 10 years.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
Yesterday I was telling my friend Sam a story about the first feature screenplay I ever wrote. At some point in the conversation it be are clear that he assumed I was talking about a script I wrote ages ago,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
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I made this sign at the office because our orchids keep dying prematurely from (well-intentioned) watering by the building maintenance. It 's funny situation – we never see the waterers, and we haven't asked them to water the plants, so... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
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The big trip to England seemed as good a time as any to break out my long-neglected “nice” camera. It’s this beautiful, expensive piece of equipment that, much like my state-of-the-art video camera that only shoots SD, was outpaced by... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
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A while back, I wrote about the age-old concept of florilegia. I’ve continued my practice of plucking favorite lines as I read, and today I came across one (in Brené Brown’s Rising Strong, which I’m alternating with Northanger Abbey) that... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
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Are you expecting people to read your mind? Let me put that another way: Am I expecting people to read my mind? It happens all the time. I'll be sad that so-and-so made other plans for the weekend, because didn't... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
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I was driving down Silver Lake Blvd. toward three quick errands I would knock out bam bam bam so I could get to the next thing. But then I saw the reservoir, and I pulled over. I found a pen... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
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n my second childhood home – the one I know best, where we moved after leaving the city apartment that's probably much smaller than I recall – we had a huge yard. In the back of the house, there was a fenced in portion of the yard where the dogs ran around, and that was where Mom's garden was. Accordingly, it was also where you could fine Dad's compost heap. Separated from the garden by a chickenwire fence was this huge pile of rich, decaying soil and he had to stand in it and turn it with a gardening shovel. It was hard, dirty work and I never really understood why he went to the trouble. Our garden looked great. The landscaping he'd done looked great. We didn't need more dirt, did we? When I sat down today, I wasn't planning to write about compost. I was planning to write about writer-painter Maira Kalman, who is my newfound philosophical soul mate and creative...muse? No. Mentor? Can someone be a mentor without knowing you or talking to you? Let's go with "hero." I listened to her interview on Krista Tippett's resplendent On Being and hearing her snapped me right out of my last-day-before-Monday funk. It wasn't that what she was saying moved me or soothed me, exactly. it was that everything she seemed to say about her outlook on storytelling, humanity, the world around us, and creativity was so precisely in tune with my deepest held feelings on those most-mattering of all matters Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2017 at Popular Sentiment