What She Does: You may have noticed that we've added articles on the art of parenting here at Art Attack, and as anyone who has attempted it can tell you it is indeed an art. One of the best voices out there on the subject is Rachael Pavlik, who blogs at RachRiot.com and recently had an essay, "My Awkward Period," featured in the bestselling anthology of parenting stories, I Just Want to Pee Alone.
Her style is rough and loud, with a focus on humor and a definite potty mouth. What would you expect from a woman who credits passing profanity-laden notes back and forth in Catholic school as the start of her writing career? She dislikes the term "mom-blogger" and takes a more easygoing and slightly scandalous approach to her work, though you can find more family-friendly pieces in the pages of Houston Family Magazine or in morning segments on Fox 26.
It's real, down-and-dirty parenting life that really drives her prose, and her tale of trying to pee, explain away a bloody menstrual pad, and also corral a four-year-old in an Applebee's bathroom all at the same time is a gut-splitting, hilarious piece that is worth the price alone of I Just Want to Pee Alone. Wherever you run across Pavlik's words you will find a headlong hilarious honestly that all parents and otherwise normal people can identify with.
Why She Likes It: "What I like most is making people laugh-- that is my crack. Just being myself and writing in my own voice, telling stories, knowing that people get me, understand me is a great feeling."
What Inspires Her: Pavlik has a few literary influences like David Sedaris, Nora Ephron and our own Houston treasure, Jenny Lawson. She likes to start the mental process of coming up with ideas during the quiet moments right before she wakes up, often jotting down snatches of ideas in a bedside notebook that may or may not take final form as stories. Sometimes they yield gold. Sometimes she looks at "sneezed on the vagina" and wonders what the hell she meant by that.
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If Not Here, Then Where: "I'm originally from Louisiana and still have family and close friends there, so I go back often. I couldn't get any work done there, though- I'd be too busy eating and getting drunk! Not a bad way to pass the time but I would quickly balloon to 300 pounds. I could write anywhere, but I'd love to be near water and I need to be around people I love. Wherever they are is my home."
If Not This, Then What: Assuming that the entirety of the world's occupation options were available to her, Pavlik thinks she'd make a fair concubine for George Clooney. Barring that, she might enjoy teaching people to make chicken pot pies or training them for championship laundry Jenga competitions.
What's Next: " Right now I'm kind of bogged down with getting my kids back in the groove of school, so I'm in full-on Defcon 5 mom mode. Recently, after Fox 26 did a little story on our book and the Houston bloggers that are in it, they contacted us to do a few funny segments for their morning show about how real moms handle certain situations. We have to tone down the profanity for morning TV and are still working out the details. We shall see! I don't really want to be on TV, to be honest. I would also love to publish my own book, but that is probably years away."
More Creatives for 2013 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page). Ana Villaronga-Roman, Katy Contemporary Arts Museum director Erin Wasmund, actor, singer and dancer Karim Al-Zand, composer Jan Burandt, paper conservator for The Menil Collection Deke Anderson, actor Craig Cohen, hockey fan and host of Houston Matters Mauro Luna, Poe-Inspired photographer Trond Saeverud, Galveston Symphony Orchestra music director and conductor Khrystyna Balushka, paper flower child Christina Carfora, visual artist and world traveler Sara Kumar, artistic director for Shunya Theatre Kiki Maroon, burlesque clown Gin Martini, fashion designer Lacey Crawford, painter and sculptor Homer Starkey, novelist Jenn Fox, mixed media Shohei Iwahama, dancer Erica DelGardo, metalsmith Bob Clark, executive director Houston Family Arts Center Kerrelyn Sparks, bestselling romance author Lindsay Halpin, punk rock mad hatter Drake Simpson, actor Shelby Carter, Playboy model turned photographer David Matranga, actor Crystal Belcher, pole dancer Daniel Kramer, photographer Blue 130, pin-up explosion art Nina Godiwalla, author and TED speaker David Wilhem, light painter Tom Abrahams, author and newscaster Browncoat, pin-up pop artist Kris Becker, Nu-Classical composer and pianist Vincent Fink, science fashion Stephanie Saint Sanchez, Senorita Cinema founder Ned Gayle, thrift store painting defacer Sameera Faridi, fashion designer Greg Ruhe, The Human Puppet Sophia L. Torres, founder and co-artistic director of Psophonia Dance Company Maggie Lasher, dance professor and artistic director Jordan Jaffe, founder of Black Lab Theatre Outspoken Bean, performance poet Barry Moore, architect Josh Montoute, mobile gaming specialist Ty Doran, young actor Gwen Zepeda, Houston's first Poet Laureate Joseph Walsh, principal dancer at Houston Ballet Justin Garcia, artist Buck Ross, dilettante and director of Moores Opera Center Patrick Renner, sculptor of the abstract and the esoteric Tomas Glass, abstract artist and True Blood musician Ashley Stoker, painter, photographer and Tumblr muse Amy Llanes, artistic airector of Rednerrus Feil Dance Company Bevin Bering Dubrowski, executive director at the Houston Center for Photography Lydia Hance, founder and director of Frame Dance Productions Piyali Sen Dasgupta, mixed media artist and nature lover Dean James, New York Times bestselling mystery novelist Nicola Parente, abstract painter and photographer Cheryl Schulke, handmade leather pursemaker Anthony Rathbun, Alternative Lifestyle Photographer David Salinas, computer-less analog photographer Danielle Burns, art curator Alicia DiRago, Whimseybox founder Katia Zavistovski, contemporary art curator Ashley Horn, choreographer, filmmaker Amanda Stevens, scary book author Peter Lucas, film and video curator, music lover and self-described culture-slinger Ana MarÃa Otamendi, collaborative pianist and vocal coach Billy D. Washington, comedian Michele Brangwen, choreographer and dancer Kristin Warren, actress and choreographer Kelly Sears, animator and film maker Colton Berry, Bayou City Theatrics' artistic director jhon r. stronks,dance-maker Joe Grisaffi, actor, director, writer, cinematographer