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Baltimore's Scary Mommy debuts scary new book

The Baltimore Sun

When I wrote about Jill Smokler last year for The Sun, I said she might be Baltimore's biggest unknown celebrity.

Then I pointed out her online following stats -- on Twitter, nearly 155,000 people followed her, more, by far, than Baltimore's mayor, Maryland's governor, chef Duff Goldman and the Ravens' Ray Lewis - together.

She's added to her flock since then. By nearly 100,000 people.

And it's only going to grow because she's about to release her first book.

"Confessions of a Scary Mommy," goes on sale today. Published by Gallery Books, the hardcover will sell for $15.

Chapters include "Yes, You'll [bleep] on the Delivery Table," "I Like You Best... Today," "I Hate Other People's Kids (Not Yours, Of Course)" and "The Xanax Approach to Parenting."

That first chapter? It includes the real swear word, not a "bleep." Scary Mommy is no stranger to four-letter words. And that's just part of why people love her.

Smokler is a 34-year-old former graphic designer living in Mount Washington with her husband Jeff and three kids, Lily, Ben and Evan. They're the recurring characters of Scary Mommy and fittingly, Smokler dedicates the book to them.

With the tag line "an honest look at motherhood," "Scary Mommy" represents a hyper-realistic take on parenting, a portrayal in which the children don't always behave, the laundry might pile up, and when frustrated, the mommies and daddies just might curse.

Smokler has written about hating her children's names, packing uninspired school lunches and spending a beach vacation fruitlessly trying to shoot a mantel-worthy picture of the three kids, only to realize that in the best shot Evan had no pants on.

The book builds on that.

"It's my hope that this book will act in much the same way my blog does," she writes in the foreword. "While you may not be able to comment on posts the way you would online, the book may inspire you to connect with people -- to talk about some of the funny stuff and the hard stuff -- in ways you might not have before."

Scary Mommy is launching a book tour this week that includes a number of local stops:

April 5: Port Discovery, 35 Market Place, Baltimore, 1 to 4 p.m.

April 17: Alonso’s Restaurant for the Jewish Community Center of Baltimore,
413-415 W. Cold Spring Lane, 5:30 to 7 p.m.

April 18: Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, 6125 Montrose Road, Rockville, 7:30 p.m.


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