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Marissa Flaxbart
Writer, artist, brainstormer, podcaster, culture enthusiast, compassion advocate.
Recent Activity
Or, "the four dumb-luckiest teens in California somehow manage to pull off history's least considered rescue mission!" WITH JACK & TANNER FROM BABY-SITTERS CLUB CLUB! Is Mitch Denson a certified snack or an entire dish? What on earth is a “burn of the week?” Who is Regina? Answers to all... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Sweet Valley Diaries
What is the sound of one band rocking? Dan Gaspari returns to discuss the band that rocks Sweet Valley High. What do they sound like? What will happen if they date each other? Who are they? How many band names can we remember? Answers to all this and more await!... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2019 at Sweet Valley Diaries
You can run, but you can't hide...from the wrath of KAREN! Grandma and Grandpa Wakefield are in town and poor Alice has NOWHERE TO RUN from her attention-hogging, out-of-state in-laws! Oh wait, that's the b-story. This book's title refers to Droids drummer Emily Mayer and her family problems, which Elizabeth... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2019 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Jessica, Winston, and Jessica's Imagination. How's that for a bizarre love triangle? Guest Katie LaDue returns to finally reveal the secret Jessica B-Plot that had her scheming to go to a dance with Winston Egbert. What possible explanation could there be for such a happenstance??? Listen and learn the truth. Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2019 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Thanks to Betsy Martin, my eggs are cold. Steven is in a love triangle with Cara and a ghost. Elizabeth is hoping to replace Todd with a doppelgänger. Jessica is trying to get Winston to take her to The Caravan. In short, all three of the Wakefield siblings are back... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2019 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Marissa and songstress Jocelyn Scofield discuss the story of Jocelyn's ode to all the former Rick Andovers out there, her song "Bad Boy in High School." Spoiler alert: they're probably NOT the best years of your life. Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2019 at Sweet Valley Diaries
This might be a back-door pilot to a new podcast about people you knew and/or dated in college. Are Steven, Enid, and everyone else in Sweet Valley right about long-distance being a bad idea? Do these rules only apply to 16-year-olds? What is a "hometown honey?" Mary Kate Wiles and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2019 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Then again, if you DON'T say it, maybe Vermont will cease to exist. Is it possible to hang a black veil over a podcast episode description? No? Damn. Mary Kate Wiles comforts Marissa in her time of crisis. Because...TODD!!! TOOODDDDD!!!! Music in this episode: ELEGIAC SYMPHONY by Dee Yan-Key Fonte... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2019 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Marissa and Russ Nickel consider the morality of staging an elaborate lie to trick a friend into becoming less of a total sad sack. Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2019 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Marissa brings back newly-minted Bill Chase/Dee Dee Gordon expert Russ Nickel, and the results may surprise you: realistic and relatable depiction of romantic problems? Healthy lessons for young readers? This isn't the Sweet Valley High I fell in love with... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2019 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Season 3 Premiere! Marissa and songstress Jocelyn Scofield investigate Jessica Wakefield’s first emo phase, poor parenting in Sweet Valley, and that one time Elizabeth served Ricky Capaldo some deeply scalding tea. Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2019 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Sweet Valley Diaries is a year old! Happy Anniversary, podcast! What a first year. For listening, for telling friends, for rating and reviewing, and to those who participated and helped and advised and supported: THANK YOU. Because of you, there is more to come. Now have a ton of fun... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
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I have a way with children. By which I mean, there is a way in which I am with them, and that way rarely wavers regardless of age or intelligence or even how well I know them: I pay attention... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2018 at Marissa Flaxbart
Enid's superpower is denial. Popular fiction podcast (and soon to be YA series!) The Bright Sessions might just be the opposite of Sweet Valley High. Creator Lauren Shippen and Marissa speculate on what would happen if the two universes collided (hint: DRAMA!). This is the Season Two Finale! Make sure... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Mayday! Mayday! This is not a test! A TEENAGER IS FLYING THE PLANE!! What’s worse: your boyfriend cheating on you; your boyfriend crashing the plane he’s flying you in; everyone agreeing that your cheating boyfriend should stay with you because you’ll never walk again without his love; you convincing yourself... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
🎶 Imagine all the people, looking like your crush 🎶 Mark Sullivan sits down at the microphone and before Marissa can even hit record, Pandora’s Podcasting Box cracks open. For a few minutes, this Sweet Valley High podcast becomes a movie podcast, a history podcast, a theater podcast, a politics-of-representation... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Jessica and Lila are in love...ahh, if only that were the end of the sentence. Frenemies Lila and Jessica think they're duking it out over a secret scion, romantically masquerading as a construction worker. Marissa and her guest, actor Mark Sullivan, walk you through it all, from the poolside objectification... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Talking about it is vulgar though... Bruce is a changed man. Jessica is certifiable. Caitlin is Francine’s Mary Sue. Only one question remains: Who are the Vanderhorns??? CJ Hoke is back again to delve in to these and other DRAMATICALLY PRESSING ISSUES!!! *** Notes: All joking aside, the symptoms of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Isn’t it exciting when rich kids fall in love? Regina Morrow and Bruce Patman, in love? But…that would only work if Bruce had a total pod-person level personality shift! Marissa and her guest, CJ Hoke, discuss Bruce Patman’s pod-person level personality shift and (because this is a 33-year-old work of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Alternate title: "Ned Wakefield's Bok Choy Allergy" Marissa and guest Jeremy talk about the diverse lessons of LOVE LETTERS, from "be yourself," to "once you have a boyfriend everything will be okay," to "San Francisco is a cesspool." To top it off, Marissa reads a love letter of her own...kind... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
The George Glassification of Caroline Pearce... My Dearest Caroline, Oh to love so, be so loved, yet so mistaken! What had I on earth to do With the slothful, with the mawkish, the unmanly? Like the aimless, helpless, hopeless, did I drivel —Being—who? Your fake boyfriend, that's who! Maybe don't... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Regina's secret is about to be front page news. No, not the open secret that she's deaf. The other one. Guest Mike Yarksy returns for a little bit of sensitive discussion of how we portray disability...and a little bit of ragging on Lila's stupid flat face. Stay tuned till the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Roger Barrett is SO last week. The new hotness is Roger PATMAN. Fate has forced Roger Barrett to trade his mother's life for a fancy new last name, a fancy new mansion, and a fancy pile of money. Meanwhile, his girlfriend (frizzy haired Olivia Davidson) is feeling SO NOT money,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
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For the 20th anniversary of my mother's untimely death, I wrote this story, my first on the Medium.com platform. Click to read. Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2018 at Marissa Flaxbart