Such a Pretty Fat

Jen Lancaster's 5 Do's and a Do-Over

We're pinching ourselves. Jen Lancaster on our site twice? In three months? WTF?

Last time Jen was here--celebrating CLIND's 3rd birthday and sharing the 5 things she'd tell her teen self--our website LITERALLY crashed (the most exciting thing to happen to us in a long time!) because y'all flooded it with over 600 comments about how much you CRUSH on her and LOVE her books.

Well, we're prepared (and weirdly excited) that it may happen again. Because she's baaaaack and of course giving away 5 copies of her latest- and if you ask us her funniest (we're Gen X'ers, it was a no-brainer)- Jeneration X and sharing her 5 Do's and a Do-Over, which, of course, are perfection. Check out #4- so amazing and makes us love her even more.

So leave a comment to be entered to win!  We'll choose FIVE winners on Sunday May 13th after 6pm PST.  Good luck!

But first, here's the scoop on Jeneration X: One Reluctant Adult's Attempt to Unarrest Her Arrested Development; Or, Why It's Never Too Late for Her Dumb Ass to Learn Why Froot Loops Are Not for Dinner: In Such a Pretty Fat, Jen Lancaster learned how to come to terms with her body. In My Fair Lazy, she expanded her mind. Now the New York Times bestselling author gives herself—and her generation—a kick in the X, by facing her greatest challenge to date: acting her age.

Jen is finally ready to put away childish things (except her Barbie Styling Head, of course) and embrace the investment-making, mortgage-carrying, life-insurance-having adult she’s become. From getting a mammogram to volunteering at a halfway house, she tackles the grown-up activities she’s resisted for years, and with each rite of passage she completes, she’ll uncover a valuable—and probably humiliating—life lesson that will ease her path to full-fledged, if reluctant, adulthood.


Greetings from the Jeneration X World (okay, National) Tour!  I'm delighted to be here at Chick Lit Is Not Dead again and so pleased to share this latest round of Dos and a Do-Over. Thanks, ladies - you rock!

Although I'm fairly prolific in telling people what they should and should not do, it's nice when my advice is actually solicited instead of, um... offered anyway. (Read: communicated from the front seat of my car by way of the horn and an obscene finger gesture.)  But seriously, if some kid feels it's imperative to post on Facebook while driving and thus endanger my life over a scintillating missive regarding her great distaste for Mondays, then it's MY job to set her straight.

Not just for me, though.

For the future of America.

The topic of the way things ought to be has been weighing heavily on my mind ever since I began writing Jeneration X, a guide to helping reluctant adults everywhere grow up!  (I realize it's difficult to take the great leap to maturity, but I've done all the hard work for you.)  This book is a bit of a throwback to my early work, meaning I've gotten a little too nice in my past few memoirs. But fear not... the bitch from Bitter is back!

And with that being said, here we go!

1. DO stop flying by the seat of your pants.  For the longest time, I let important things like writing a will fall by the wayside.  I didn't want to have to face the idea of my own mortality so I evaded the whole process.  In my head, I equivocated "no will" with "no untimely demise."  But after one particularly turbulent cross-country flight, it occurred to me that I needed more than a cocktail napkin declaring "I leave everything to my pit bull Maisy" if things suddenly went awry.  Didn't want to do one, but I did it anyway.  Now I'm not prematurely aging from the stress of having so many loose ends, which, clearly, is a priority.

2. DO believe you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, but not in that "I've had zero formal training, yet I'm shocked I didn't make it to Hollywood on American Idol" way.  Dream big, but understand that success doesn't happen by accident.  Put in the effort to cultivate your talent and then you'll be unstoppable.

3. DO your homework when it comes to your bottom line.  Now's the time to take advantage of those lower interest rates, boring though the process may seem.  A quick caveat here - try not to get so wrapped up watching an internet girl-fight before you leave that you barely have enough time to get dressed and, thus, end up throwing on a bra that's too tight and spend the whole refinancing meeting quietly moaning about the shackles binding your chest.  And then also remember that the bank's reflective windows mean you can't see in, but they can see out.  So, when you remove your bra all Flashdance-style in the parking lot, you will have an unintended audience.  I realize this is a very specific example, but trust me when I say the new bank will not be impressed with applicants who strip in the parking lot.

4. DO spread the love.  Over the years, I've learned that my favorite people are other authors.  You'd think that we'd all be ultra-competitive with one another so I was pleasantly surprised at what a supportive sisterhood I've found in wonderful writers like Caprice Crane, Karyn Bosnak, Stacey Ballis, Quinn Cummings, Sarah Pekkanen, Jennifer Weiner, Emily Giffin, Allison Winn Scotch, Jane Green, and Beth Harbison (and many, many others.) Writing isn't Highlander in that there can be only one.  And this year, at Jen Weiner's suggestion, we're making it our job to champion up and coming authors because it's tough sledding out there for the new gals and we want to do what we can to help them reach larger audiences.

5. DO live in the moment.  I got my start as a writer when I was laid off ten years ago.  In that time while I was searching for a job, I never once just enjoyed the moment.  Granted it's hard to unclench when the wolves are at the door, but I feel like if I'd ever stopped for one second and thought, "For the next couple of hours, I should quit worrying and just appreciate that I don't have eleven bosses telling me what to do," then I probably would have been a lot less intense in my job interviews.  In retrospect, I am very happy with how it all turned out, but I wish I could have cut myself a small break now and again.

And finally...

DO NOT hire the cheapest accountant you can find.  Believe me when I say this is the most expensive lesson I ever learned. Ditto for doctors and lawyers.  These are instances where credentials far outweigh savings.

So... that's it!  Again, ladies, thanks so much for having me and don't forget, it's never too late to unarrest your arrested development.  I know I've crossed over to the dark side of adulthood, but it's clean and nice over here and we never run out of toilet paper...

Thank YOU, Jen!



To find out more about Jen Lancaster, check out her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Jen Lancaster's 5 Things I'd Tell the Teen Me

Happy 3rd Birthday to our perfect baby, Chick Lit Is Not Dead. Thank you for never keeping us up all night, never having a diaper blow out, for never going through those terrible twos--and most importantly, for never talking back! We love you. In the last three years, we've hosted over 150 authors, launched five features (number six revealed today!) and written two (almost three) books.

But today it's all about the number ONE.

One majuhly talented and funny as hell author who's on our site to help us celebrate...

You know that feeling when you see a young guy that's so hot you don't care that you're openly salivating like a cougar in heat?

Or when you bite into that rich, chocolate dessert that's so good you don't care that it's going straight to your ass?

Or when you cry just a little when Phillip Phillips makes it into American Idol's top 24. (Okay, maybe that's just Lisa.)


That's how we felt when this author not only said YES to our invitation to help us celebrate, but to launch our latest feature: 5 Things I'd Tell the Teen Me.

Jen. Effing. Lancaster

Need we say more?

Oh and just for shits and giggles, we also asked if she'd give away FIVE copies of her fabulous novel, If You Were Here (out in paperback March 6th). She said yes to that too. Y'all can thank us later. Just leave a comment and you'll be entered to win one of five copies. We'll randomly select the winners after 6pm PST on Sunday, March 4.

So we're not going to make you wait any longer because we're not dumb asses. We know you want to find out what Jen Lancaster has to say.


First, happy anniversary! Cheers to three great years of bringing chick lit authors and readers together!

I’m really excited to share the advice I’d give to a teenage me. This topic is at the very front of my mind as I’m in the middle of writing a novel called Here I Go Again which takes an in-depth look at the origin of high school mean girls. The central theme is how decisions we make in the past can impact us for years to come. (I realize this sounds uber-serious, so please note there’s also a time travel element and a tribute to David Coverdale of Whitesnake.)

Anyway, if I could offer a seventeen year old Jeni five bits of advice, I’d say the following:

1. Stop calling yourself “Jeni” and dotting the “i” with a sunflower. You sound like an asshole.

2. Okay, the first suggestion is pretty specific, so I’ll do six instead. Ahem, here goes… everyone is currently going through something. Yeah, maybe you know some girls who seem to have their shit together more than you. Maybe they’re thinner and more popular, maybe they’re dating the guy you wish you were with, maybe they have a designer bag for which you’d kill. Don’t waste your time envying them because you have no idea what happens behind the closed doors of their life. All is not what it seems. Maybe the skinny chick has an eating disorder. Maybe the girl with the hot boyfriend puts up with his abuse. Maybe the one with an awesome bag would rather have nothing if it meant her divorcing parents weren’t engaged in a possession-based arms race. Don’t let yourself be distracted by what anyone else has or what you believe you lack. You just worry about you. The grass is rarely greener.

3. Don’t be so wrapped up in looking cool. Follow the Tao of Snookie on Jersey Shore when she says, “You do you and I’ll do me.” (I assume this is more of a “to thine own self be true” aphorism and not something sexual.) (At least I hope.) Be who you want to be, not who everyone peer-pressures you to be. Individuality is cool. Following the pack for the sake of belonging isn’t.

4. You’re not fat. Seriously, you’ll never have the metabolism of a seventeen year old again. Appreciate what you have now, because trust me, your ass will never be this high again.

5. If you believe high school is the best time of your life, then you’re doing it wrong. “It gets better” should ring true for almost everyone. If it doesn’t resonate with you, then you’re probably your high school’s version of Regina George. Fix that shit immediately or you’re going to be the gal who peaked at seventeen and who everyone shuns at the reunion.

6. The harder you work now, the easier it will be when you get older. I coasted through high school, doing what was expected and not a lick more. Then in college, I did even less. Sure, eventually everything worked out for me, but not without having to move some major boulders in my thirties. I wish that I’d possessed awareness that my path would have been so much smoother if I’d buckled down when I was building a foundation.

Now if only I could travel back in time and tell my high school self these things…

Anyway, happy anniversary, thanks for having me, and rock on!

Thanks, Jen!


Liz & Lisa

If you're not already, you should be following Jen Lancaster's hilarious and refreshingly honest blog, Jennsylvania. And be on the look out for her upcoming book, Jeneration X: One Reluctant Adult's Attempt to Unarrest Her Arrested Development; Or, Why It's Never Too Late for Her Dumb Ass to Learn Why Froot Loops Are Not for Dinner.