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Robin’s Book, the Huffington Post, and a Poem

Dear Readers:

I am pleased to announce I’ll be doing a few pieces for Huffington Post Divorce over the next several weeks and/or months.

While I’ve been admonished by a good friend to steer clear of providing free content, I’ve decided to just submit a few to generate more heat in anticipation of my book drop.  You do know I’m writing a book, I hope.  If not, please hit yourself over the head with a frozen baguette and promise to be more observant and supportive in the future.

Robin Wrote a Book: World Rejoices!

Divorce by Design: How to Split Without Losing Your Kids, Your Money and Your Mind looks at divorce in a step-by-step manner while injecting humor into a topic that has historically caused so many people so much pain.

My book shows the reader an alternative path to an amicable divorce while identifying specific pitfalls to avoid.  Divorce by Design will blow open the locked and guarded doors of the Divorce Industrial Complex and illustrate to readers how the system and many of its participants lead divorcing people directly into the divorce sausage mill.


Focusing largely on the concepts of personal responsibility and moving past the pain of divorce, this book will be an invaluable tool for those considering or going through the breakup of a marriage.

Sample Chapters include:

  • The Pit bull Lawyer: Why Hiring an Attack Dog for Counsel Puts You, Your Kids and Your Future at Risk.
  • Managing Lawyers and the Dirty Secrets of the Divorce Counsel Trade: How to Keep Your Attorney in Line and Ensure You Aren’t Getting Screwed by Sketchy Billing Practices.
  • The Top Five Ways to Screw Up Your Kids.
  • Co-Parenting Done Right.
  • Moving On: Living an Independent, Productive and Happy Life After Divorce.

The Huffington Post

As I mentioned above, I’ve been asked to contribute to Huffington Post Divorce, which is weird because I hardly ever write about that subject.

I was contacted prior to Thanksgiving for a quote on why I am grateful for my ex.  You can read that here: Why I’m Grateful for the Canary in a Coal Mine.

I’ve identified several several topics for future columns but if there is anything you’d like to see covered, please leave a comment here or email me at  I’m open to any suggestions as long as they are on point, original, and you are willing to let me steal credit for the idea in exchange for a cookie.

I make spectacular cookies, so this is a very good deal for you.

A Poem: “Ode to the Pencil”

Like Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich, I am a strong proponent of child labor.  We can’t just let those little fuckers sit around and not earn their keep, right?

(Click here to read more on that subject: Gingrich, Trump Team Up to Put Poor Children to Work.)

As I grapple with the HuffPo piece, more edits on the book, and a desperate need to spend 30 minutes tending to long-neglected unplucked eyebrows, I confess today is a day I’ll use my 14-year-old son as my personal labor force.

I also happen to be very proud of the kid, who wrote this poem at the dining room table recently as I sat nearby.  As I was watching him at his craft, I found myself biting my tongue.  I wanted to offer him advice on word choice, cadence, and style.

He didn’t need them.  And when he finished it and read it out loud, I was so moved that for once in my life, I was speechless.

Don’t worry, that wore off quickly.

So here is Jake’s poem about writing, the power (both good and bad) of words, and the importance of renewal.

Or maybe it’s just about a pencil.

Regardless, I got me some child labor content today.  Since I am a mandatory reporter, I suppose I should report myself to our Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries.  Sigh.


Ode to the Pencil
By Jake Gortmaker

Shining bright,
A brilliant shade of gold,
A luminous star,
Against the dull background of life.

glorious illustrator
of loquacious words
that leap off the page,
like animated frogs
off a lily pad.

Pointed, sharp,
as the snow-capped mountains of
as the towering Seattle Space Needle,
(pride of Washington).

And as your tip is sharp,
So are the words that are constructed
from it:

The hand that holds you,
conforms around you,
is but a middleman
for you
to manifest yourself on the page

And you are not worn down by life
the pain,
the sorrow,
the ill fates of others.
you are worn down by only yourself,
spilling your words onto the canvas
just to realize that you have become
until you are replenished by the
soft cranking
of you inside your partner:
the blade that renews you.

With just one
fell swoop,
you can transition from a creator
to a desolator,
from one that gives life
and substance to words,
to one that obliterates them,
and leaves nothing but the discarded
shards of rubber
to be swept subtly off the page
by an angry hand.


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Lance Brown

    I know you’ve made your decision but I’m going to share this article with you anyway. Wil Wheaton wrote one of the best rebuttals I’ve seenfor the “Submit free content in order to get exposure” play that HuffPost uses.

  2. Karen Hosman

    Jake, excellent poem. I will never look at my number 3 the same way. Thanks to your awesome mom for sharing, easy to see that the gift of creativity and literary ability sits in the family’s genes.

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