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Marissa Flaxbart
Writer, artist, brainstormer, podcaster, culture enthusiast, compassion advocate.
Recent Activity
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I wanted to write down this memory, and this is the form in which it came out. When I write about my mother, I tend to write about the loss of her (I have a lot to say on the... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2020 at Marissa Flaxbart
The world is in quarantine. The podcast is on hiatus. But promises were made. Now, one woman must take on the personalities of two California teens in crisis...but not the California teens you're thinking of. In this world, Valley is the rival high school. Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2020 at Sweet Valley Diaries
At last, a Very Special Episode Lessons literature/life taught Marissa and guests Anjali and Greg Kasunich this week: Don’t do cocaine Don’t gossip As a society, let’s take a guilt Pprsche. Check rich people’s mailboxes for car keys. Seriously, don’t even think about going near anyone who knows about cocaine... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2020 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Last week, one of my two roommates had a birthday. In any other year, Kat would have arranged for a picnic outing in Malibu or a chicken parm dinner at Little Dom’s, maybe. But this is 2020, and we live... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2020 at Marissa Flaxbart
hot-looking bods and big-ass houses Guest Megan Collier has probing questions, and Marissa has probing answers. With so much deep thought about the mechanics of Sweet Valley, this episode is a veritable "Sweet Valley University!" Err, no, that's already a thing. A veritable "Sweet Valley College!" Shit. No. "Sweet Valley... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2020 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Kirk is a jerk. Neil is for real. Not sure which Book 39 the rest of you read, but Marissa and her guest, Megan Collier, read the version where Penny Ayala has a crush on Elizabeth, Neil Freemount (FREEMOUNT!) has eyes for Kirk Anderson, and Jessica and Lila both learn... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2020 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Senior Year is a whole other series Nora and Marissa talk about studying abroad, just to drive the gravity of Liz's mistake home. Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2020 at Sweet Valley Diaries
//senior year doesn't exist// Elizabeth Wakefield has the opportunity of a lifetime on her hands: get out of Sweet Valley and see the world (specifically, Interlochen, Switzerland). Obviously, she must be stopped. The only way out of Sweet Valley is if your parents move to Vermont, or in a body... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2020 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Mind your betters Meridith and Marissa discuss the parallels between the Sweet Valley of RUMORS and the worlds of Jane Austen and Regency Romance. Somehow, the obvious comparisons to Emma go unmentioned. Also, serious question: Why didn't Mrs. Reister just tell everyone she was a widow? Research discoveries: The Debutante... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2020 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Giving new meaning to the word "upperclassman" Susan Stewart is somebody, but is she *a* somebody, or is she a nobody? Nobody knows. Until somebody shows up and shows everybody who’s anybody what it really means to be somebody. Meridith Halsey is our guest. Murphy Brown and Dan Quayle This... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2020 at Sweet Valley Diaries
We are what we read... What is a social enterprise? What if your host had an older sister who was bad at humanities? Who is the bigger asshole in LAST CHANCE, Peter or Jessica? Though it may be hard to believe, answers to these questions AND MORE await when Marissa... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2020 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Stay in school, kids. Did you hear that Johanna Porter is coming back to Sweet Valley High? Oh, you didn’t even hear that she’d dropped out? Or that she even existed? Well it’s a good thing Sweet Valley Diaries is here to help you get a clue. In this episode,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2020 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Growing up, my most important toys were my dolls. We talked constantly, but none of them made a sound. When I think of the recorded sounds of my early childhood, it's all on cassette: my beloved Teddy Ruxpin, my children's... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2020 at Marissa Flaxbart
Just a few short days in advance of my Sweet Valley Diaries Podcast's 2nd Anniversary (the Cotton Anniversary, in case you're picking out a gift), the Season Four premiere is now live and streaming on all your favorite platforms. Or,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2020 at Marissa Flaxbart
Bookish Boy, Boyish Book Literally the only podcast where a serious commentary on football (erm, soccer) journalism blends seamlessly into a discussion of fictional teen Elizabeth Wakefield's Eyes and Ears column. Further reading: Is Cutco an MLM? "Deviance in Sports" Starts in Youth Rush Hour Crush Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2020 at Sweet Valley Diaries
"This incident serves as a plot device to illustrate Aaron’s short temper." Marissa is joined by her friend, geography scholar and fellow University of Chicago alumnus Sam Brandt, for history's most erudite discussion of fictional teen Aaron Dallas and his soccer/divorce-related emotional problems. But more importantly: this is the Tofu-Glo... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2020 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Not even as good as Romeo & Two Juliets Elizabeth Schmidt returns to think about high school romance, FORBIDDEN LOVE's lessons for star-crossed teens, and Marissa's lifelong romantic angst. Plus, listener emails and snarky book reviews! Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2020 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Romeo & Juliet & Mr. Jaworski You've barely heard of Maria Santelli and you've got no idea who Michael Harris is. All you need to know is this: they are in love, it's a secret, it's as romantic as all hell, everybody in their high school is talking about it,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2020 at Sweet Valley Diaries
But look: it's not that bad! umbers (exclamation, slang): "Oooh man, you're in trouble!" Used colloquially in Albuquerque, NM and environs, primarily between children, or adults who are being ironic Marissa and her cousins, Meghan and Corrie, consider their girlhood tactics for avoiding getting caught making mistakes. Hope our parents... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2020 at Sweet Valley Diaries
"Hang on with all you've got." It's a full-on first-cousin extravaganza! Marissa is joined by her real-life cousins Meghan Shattuck and Corrie Borgman to chat about fictional cousins Dana Larson (lead singer of The Droids!) and new-in-town Sally Larson, recently rescued from foster care a brief 13 years after entering... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2020 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Fashion style change times In the spirit of THE NEW JESSICA, Marissa and local fashion icon Caitlin McCann reminisce about pushing wardrobe boundaries in high school and feeling at home in Los Angeles. Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2020 at Sweet Valley Diaries
*Not in any way improved Guest reader Caitlin McCann is back, and a lot has happened since she watched Jessica snag (and be snagged by) Bruce in Book 3: PLAYING WITH FIRE. This time, Jessica dyes her hair black and pretends to be a Francophile. Meanwhile Elizabeth imagines she’s in... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2019 at Sweet Valley Diaries
If he can’t tell which twin you are, he’s probably not The One. Tim Redmond (the new voice of Jeffrey French) is back to talk twins, reminisce about juvenile fiction, and reveal relevant secrets about his past. Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2019 at Sweet Valley Diaries
With a name like Jeffrey French, what teen girl could resist? SEASON 4 PREMIERE! The podcast is still here! Unfortunately so is Jeffrey French. Or, wait...is Jeffrey French actually kind of a catch? Marissa comes to terms with her raging case of First Romantic Coupling Loyalty Syndrome (FRCLS) while guest... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2019 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Frankie means business! Jessica and Elizabeth are live-in babysitters, living a 90-minute drive from home. But don’t worry, they still manage to make it a thrilling soap-operatic adventure, replete with double-identities, murders, and deadly rainstorms. Frank Bednarz, Esq. joins Marissa to marvel at this book and congratulate it on its... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2019 at Sweet Valley Diaries