After bleeding out and nearly dying this summer before fleeing to Nepal to heal, Deborah Copaken liquidated her 401K and bought herself a few months of health insurance and reassessment. Since then, she consulted with Darren Star on a new TV show; co-wrote a TV pilot with former Rolling Stone editor, Will Dana; wrote an Op-Ed for the Washington Post about sexism in the family court system; and created an unexpected viral sensation with this story in Medium. She also completed a sample chapter and proposal for a new memoir, LADYPARTS, which her agent just sent out on Friday, so fingers fucking crossed. She’s been doing a ton of photography as well, shooting photos in Nepal and corporate headshots, party, and author photos in NY, plus installing a 4’ x 5’ blow-up of a Nepal photo into the home of the doctors who helped save her. She’s starting a new photo project called SMILPh’s (Single Mothers I’d Like to Photograph), which you can support here on Patreon, if you so wish. She was just on Good Morning America last week, promoting her most recent book, THE ABC’s OF PARENTHOOD, which she co-authored and co-shot with artist Randy Polumbo.
1. On the nightstand: Love Is A Mixtape, by Rob Sheffield, which I’ve just started and am loving; Poison, by Galt Niederhoffer—lyrical and haunting!—which I’ve almost finished; and like everyone else in the U.S. right now I’m reading Fire And Fury, but it makes me so enraged, I have to read it in tiny bursts.
2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: Shooting photos on my iPhone.
3. Jam of the minute: My friend Tommy Siegel’s band Jukebox The Ghost’s new single, “Everybody’s Lonely,” from their soon-to-be-released new album, OFF TO THE RACES, and recently my kids got into disco, so we’ve been playing a ton of Bee Gees and KC and the Sunshine Band, and, oh and there’s this amazing version of “Sweet Emotion” by Leo Kottke that is guaranteed to make you happy.
4. Thing I miss: My dad. Every single day. Pre-cellphone life. Tri-X.
5. 80’s crush: In the summer of 1983, after I’d been working as a teacher in Japan, I met a boy on a beach in Hawaii. He was 17, I was 17, and we had a weeklong summer romance. As kids do. He told me he’d been in a few films, but I had not seen The Outsiders, in which he played Ponyboy, so I had no idea what that meant until I got back home to Potomac, Maryland and saw him on the cover of Tiger Beat.
6. Current crush: My new beau.
7. Will whine about: Lack of affordable childcare and healthcare, lack of paid maternity leave, lack of paid parental leave, lack of infrastructure for families, sexism, ageism, racism, feminist infighting, corporate greed, the divide between rich and poor, for-profit prisons, the erosion of public discourse, the erosion of reproductive rights, bad science, global warming, the evil NRA, and that pussy-grabbing idiot in the White House.
8. Will wine about: I stopped drinking alcohol in 2014 on a sleep-deprived lark, and that worked, so I’m still doing it.
9. Best thing that happened yesterday: Dinner at John’s Pizza with a friend I hadn’t seen in months who just moved back to New York.
10. Looking forward to: Meeting Sadie, my sister’s family’s new puppy; seeing my friend Caroline Baron and Anthony Weintraub’s new film, Bel Canto; reading my friend Meg Wolitzer’s new novel, The Female Persuasion, and the November elections.