Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, nonfiction, Spotlight, women on August 9, 2015

Banner Platespinner Chronicles


The Plate Spinner Chronicles
An Assignment: Romance Nonfiction Collection
Author – Barbara Valentin
Gemma Halliday Publishing
108 pages/Non-fiction/Mom Humor

What working parent hasn’t considered delivering a performance review to their child prior to granting a salary, er, allowance increase?

The Plate Spinner Chronicles: A Working Mother’s Epic Adventure is a hybrid memoir/how-to guide that is stuffed with multi-tasking advice and relevant, but nostalgic anecdotes, all written in the wry tone of a harried working mother who’d rather laugh than cry over the length of her to-do list.

This book is a compilation of The Plate Spinner columns which originally ran in the Chicago Tribune.


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Despite our superhero aura, we working parents are mere mortals. Still, if I had to choose one superpower, I’d pick the ability to be in two places at once. Between job schedules, errands, and familial obligations, my life would be so much easier if only I could somehow physically co-locate myself.

But, until some evil genius develops this ability, I’ll have to keep relying on Plan B—granting my child permission to drive. Despite watching a large chunk of my hard-earned paycheck go towards financing my auto insurance rep’s vacation to Hawaii, having an additional driver in the house has proven to be an indispensable tool in my plate-spinning arsenal.

While ushering my two older boys into the licensed population, I rode shotgun on my fair share of white-knuckled excursions. When my life was not flashing before my eyes, I managed to jot down the following pointers.

About the Author

barbara valentinBarb is a freelance writer, over-scheduled parent, and connoisseur of fine chocolate. A second-generation journalist, her work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune and its affiliates. The exploits of her five boys provided fodder for her column, The Plate Spinner Chronicles, a long-running feature in the Chicago Tribune, which snagged her a runner-up spot in an Erma Bombeck Humor Contest. A member of RWA’s Windy City chapter, she still dreams of the day when her to-do list includes “Send NY Times book critic thank you note” and “Accept Godiva’s request to be a taste-tester.”

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