Tattered Rag Magazine

Posts tagged jen kirkman
September 1, 2015
jenkirkman : 
 Hey everyone! My second book comes out April 2016 BUT it’s available 
for pre-order now! If you pre-order it, it usually doesn’t charge you 
until it ships but you’ll be sending a message to the little elves that 
make books that they better start stapling due to high demand! 
  Available NOW at the following places.  
  Amazon:  http://bit.ly/otherliesamazon  
  B&N:  http://bit.ly/otherliesbn  
  BAM:  http://bit.ly/otherliesbam  
  Indiebound:  http://bit.ly/otherliesindie  
  Kobo:  http://bit.ly/otherlieskobo   
  Kindle:  http://bit.ly/otherlieskindle  
  iBooks:  http://bit.ly/otherliesibks
Source: Jen Kirkman

Hey everyone! My second book comes out April 2016 BUT it’s available for pre-order now! If you pre-order it, it usually doesn’t charge you until it ships but you’ll be sending a message to the little elves that make books that they better start stapling due to high demand!

Available NOW at the following places.
July 31, 2015

Playbook For A Childfree Life

i can barely take care of myself by Jen Kirkman is more than just a hilarious series of stories about a young woman’s life being center stage in the limelight of critique and ridicule about her personal decision of not wanting to bring a child on board her already frenzied train to the free-spirited, strangely cool island of Quirksville. Instead, it’s also kind of like a how-to, didactic playbook manifesto for navigating through a life filled with inconsiderate prejudices from persuasive cavilers.

“Most people who don’t want kids also don’t want to be cornered by strangers at parties who launch an informal investigation into our psyches and backgrounds and decision-making capabilities.” - Jen Kirkman.

“It’s time for the bullying from breeders to stop.” - Jen Kirkman.

Between the pages, Kirkman repeatedly reassures and explains how she does not dislike or, dare I say, hate children or the people that want to have them or even her friends, for that matter, that have or want to have them. She points out that, obviously, ones friendships and interests’ do change a little from how you spend your time and money when you have a child, but it should not change your attitude of respect and common decency towards others!

As you grow up, you begin to realize that the peer pressure in high school wasn’t actually all that bad after all.

“This is the real reason lots of people end up changing their minds and having kids. They don’t want to lose their friends. It’s just like drugs. Peer pressure eventually gets to everyone.” - Jen Kirkman.

However, baby, a child, another human being with a heart should not, under any circumstances, give parents the right to become some kind of rude, elite force; an army of ‘spawnists’ who can’t seem to respect others’ personal choices to not want to multiply their genes. I know how to multiply my jeans just fine, thank you.

“Childfree by choice is the new gay. We’re the new disenfranchised group. People think we’re irresponsible, immoral sluts and that our lifestyle is up for debate.” - Jen Kirkman.

True. Babies and children can be cute little blessings (most of the time). But this doesn’t mean that everyone on earth is cut from the same bib cloth. (no pun intended…well, maybe just a little) Not everyone is cut out or even wants to handle that kind of responsibility of caring for another tiny human being’s every desire and demand. Not everyone follows the same generic recipe for life. Some people find it much more fun to concoct their own original recipe.

“It also takes a lot of strength and dedication to carve out a life that doesn’t seem normal to anyone else.” - Jen Kirkman.

For some of us, it’s hard enough making it on our own; surviving the best we can to make sure we alone get the proper amount of food, sleep, exercise, respect and love to and from others, showering and staying potty-trained. How then should we be expected to be responsible for a little ankle-biter when some of us are already daunted by the task of being responsible for just ourselves?

For more information about Jen Kirkman, go to her website at jenkirkman.com or follow her on twitter: @JenKirkman & instagram @JenKirkman. Everything you need and could ever want to know can be found there. If it’s not there, then you were not meant to know about it…yet.

i can barely take care of myself is available in hardcover, paperback, electronic copy and audiobook (which is read by Jen herself).

Download & listen to her podcast “I Seem Fun: The Diary of Jen Kirkman Podcast” on Itunes, Soundcloud & Libsyn
December 7, 2014

The Night I Met Jen & Kurt

The night before April 25, 2014, I dreamt that I had met two super fun people and we became the best of friends. 

So, there I was sitting at the end of the bar writing and sipping my glass of wine when this guy steps inside, walks over and takes a seat at the bar, only four seats across from me. From the moment he walked in, I couldn’t peel my eyes off of him. I rubbed my eyes and pinched myself…hard. I had seen him before, but only in pictures. Never had I been this close to Kurt Cobain before. I checked my pulse. Yep, still beating. Okay. I just couldn’t believe that this guy was actually sitting in front of me. How was any of this possible? You see, because he’s been dead for twenty years. (I was only seven when he had died. So, the only memories I have are photos and the sound of his voice from recordings. I swear. It was like looking into the face of a ghost. I rubbed my eyes once more. No…maybe once more after that. I had to be sure I wasn’t dreaming. (Which I was, but not in the dream) I wasn’t drunk. I knew that. I had only taken a few sips of my wine. He ordered a beer and barely lifted his head to look at anyone. He looked as if he were deep in thought. As if he were troubled over some majour life decision. He looked as if he were carrying the sins of the whole world on his shoulders. I’m not saying he was Jesus or anything. I’m just saying that’s how he kind of looked.

(By the way, in the dream, Kurt is NOT 47; he’s 27. But this is also not set in some alternate universe where he would’ve died 20 days earlier. Stay with me. It’s a crazy story that shifts between several complex and parallel time-lapsing universes.)

After looking around to see if anyone else had noticed him, I got up, walked over to the stool next to him and sat down. 

“Hi”, I said. 

He briefly looked up and nodded. “Hey”, he acknowledged. 

“Look, this may sound a little crazy, but you are who I think you are, eh? It’s just…you look soooo much like a friend of mine.” I lied…a little. I never actually knew him personally. I was only seven when he died. He just really felt like a close friend. Like if I were born twenty years earlier and went to the same high school, we’d be hanging out behind the bleachers by now…writing stories and poetry. 

He grinned and leaned over almost whispering in my ear, “My name’s Kurt, what’s yours?

I smiled and answered, "Abigail.”

“I’m trying to stay low tonight for my friend, Jen, he continued. It’s her night. You think you could keep this just between us?”

Resting my hand on top of his and staring straight into those perfect blue irises, I whispered, “Absolutely, you can trust me.”

We sat in silence for a bit (more like shock and awe on my part) just sipping our beverages. Then, Kurt broke the beautiful silence and asked, “What were you scribbling earlier?

I didn’t think he noticed me sitting in the corner all alone staring at the wall above the bartender’s head. “Oh, nothing. Just some rough poetry and stories.” 

“Cool. (brief pause) Can I read some of ‘em?”

“Um…yeah…sure.” I slid my sketchbook over. 

As he read the rough lines and sketches, I saw him start to smile. Woah, Kurt Cobain likes my work! I made him smile. Probably not as much as his friend, Jen, can. But I still made him smile! When he was finished reading, he slid my sketchbook back and said, “Daaamn, these are really good. So poetically raw.”


“You should get them published.”

“I would love to, but I just haven’t found anyone yet who wants to publish them.”

“I know a guy who works for City Lights Books in San Fran. I’ll talk to him; see if I can get you a meeting with him to talk out logistics.”

“Thanks! That would be fantastic. City Lights is one of my favorites! 

“No problem.”

By now it was about five minutes to showtime. “Um, I don’t want to seem too forward or anything, but you mind if I join you for the show?” I asked. 

“Not at all. I’m just gonna sit over there in the front corner on the floor just off stage right,” he said as we both stood up and made our way over to our seats. 

As we sat down, I asked, “So, how long have you known Jen?”

“Oh…for about four years now. We were playing a show in Boston. She and a couple of her friends had hung around backstage after the show. Earlier, they had slid a cassette of their band across the stage with a note attached to it in hopes we’d find it (which we did). It ended up sliding all the way under Grohl’s drums. We took some snapshots, signed some merch. and discussed the potential of their raucous sound. Then, we ended up hanging out again a couple months later in Los Angeles when they stopped by the studio to record another demo that we were producing for them. We remained really close over the years. We’d make surprise visits to each others’ shows; teasing each other and kidding around.   

(So, in the dream, according to Kurt, they’ve known each other only four years. According to Jen, they’ve been friends for 20 years. Just another weird parallel universe dimension thing.) 

- Two hours of awesomeness later -

“You want to come hang out backstage awhile with Jen and me; drink some wine and chill?”

“Sure. That seems fun.” 

I followed, as we walked across the stage and disappeared behind the curtain. 

“Hey, great show tonight, girl!”, as he walks over to give Jen a hug and kiss. 

“Thanks! Thanks for coming and having a fucking awesome time! (brief pause) Hey buddy, you gonna introduce me to your new friend or what?”

“Sorry. This is Abigail. We actually just met tonight before the show.”

“Hey, fucking loved the show, tonight! You rocked!” I said, as we both gave each other a big hug.

“Thanks, so glad you could come! (pause) Here, sit; chat for a while. Have some wine", Jen insisted. 

“I’d love to, thanks!” I replied.   

“She’s pretty cool, too. And a fuckin’ goddamn great writer. I told her I’m gonna try and see if Kenneth at City Lights can meet with her and discuss publishing details,” Kurt noted.

“Wow! That’s fuckin’ awesome! Can I read some of your stuff?” Jen asked.  

“Sure!” I said, reaching into my bag for my sketchbook. (brief pause, then handing her the sketchbook) “Here ya go, enjoy!”

As Jen perused the pages of rough poetry and stories from my sketchbook, she nodded in approval and then replied, “You’re right, these are fuckin’ fantastic!”

“Told ya,” Kurt chimed in.

“And Kenneth’s really great! He’ll absolutely love these. You shouldn’t have any problem at all getting published. And if he is being an ass, tell him your friend, Jen, says, ‘Hey’ and that if he doesn’t play nice, I’ll come out to his desert house to discuss things further. I don’t give a fuck if he’s still in the middle of remodeling. He will make the time.”

“Thanks!” I said, as the three of us chuckled out loud.

By the end of the night, I knew one thing for sure. I had just met two of the most incredibly fun & like-minded people and immediately we became the best of friends. 


(Ps. In the dream, Jen and I became Kurt’s strength to overcome his addiction to heroine and cocaine. We were like his own personal “sponsors”. We kept him accountable. In the dream, he doesn’t kill himself; he doesn’t die.)

Sometimes I still think to myself that maybe…just maybe…if Kurt really did have Jen and I as best friends, maybe things would have been different. Maybe he wouldn’t have been so addicted to heroine and cocaine. Maybe he wouldn’t have killed himself. Just maybe the scenario could’ve been rewritten, if we both went back in time. 

Now, like I said in the beginning, this is all just a dream. An albeit far-fetching, but super fun and fucking wonderful dream!

December 7, 2014

Printing Mother Teresa

So, back in the early part of January of 2014, I was at work and this lady came in and wanted to make some copies of a few old photos. Included in the bunch was a photo of Mother Teresa. As I’m standing there waiting for these photos to finish scanning, my mind kept meandering back to the article that Jen had read on her podcast, “I Seem Fun: The Diary of Jen Kirkman”, in the episode, “Watch Out for Frauds" >listen from 34:07 – 47:36<

This lady couldn’t decide. She wasn’t quite sure what size photo she wanted (4x6 or 5x7). She wanted to see one of each. She then decided on ten 5x7’s of the Mother Teresa photo. However, the first batch of ten printed out darker than the test one did. (I have no idea why seeing as all of them were being printed from the very same printer) Anyway. So I scanned the image of Mother Teresa again, edited and printed another ten.

As I set aside the pile of “mess ups” to be discarded later, I hear the lady tell me, “I’ll pay for them. Don’t cut them up, she was a saint. That would be a sin.” This is preposterous, I thought to myself. Why would anyone want to pay extra for pictures they didn’t really want just so they wouldn’t be disposed of? But I wasn’t going to argue.

This had topped the cake. Up until this point, I’d been trying so hard to stay professional and fight back any urge of laughing out loud or saying anything sardonic or ironic. The inside of my head, though…was bursting. You see, while I kept recalling the article, I also kept hearing Jen's voice say, “Mother Teresa. What a douche.”

But seriously, Mother Teresa was a saint. True. But, she was just a human saint. She was flawed just like the rest of us and according to the research, apparently hypocritical as well. It’s not like she was holy or some divine, celestial being.

Listen to it here: Watch Out For Frauds
April 27, 2014
jenkirkman : 
 Hello world! Happy Earth Day. In honor of Earth Day - I have a book coming out in paperback (no it’s not made from recycled paper - stop  judging me ) 
 My New York Times Bestseller “I Can Barely Take Care of Myself” is already available in hardcover, audio and Kindle versions.  But today is the PAPERBACK RELEASE! 
 And you can purchase it at any of these fine places. TODAY. 
Source: Jen Kirkman

Hello world! Happy Earth Day. In honor of Earth Day - I have a book coming out in paperback (no it's not made from recycled paper -stop judging me

My New York Times Bestseller "I Can Barely Take Care of Myself" is already available in hardcover, audio and Kindle versions. But today is the PAPERBACK RELEASE!

And you can purchase it at any of these fine places. TODAY.