Tag Archives: announcements

We interrupt this hiatus to tell you about my new book

Hey all – I am interrupting your hiatus to tell you about something super important to me:
I published a book! After 10 years of research, writing, scrapping and rewriting, my book Divorcing a Real Witch is now available to the general public.

Divorcing a Real Witch – by Diana Rajchel

If you have ever experienced divorce – or were puzzled by Gwyneth Paltrow’s “conscious uncoupling” then you may find in this book some helpful explanations and shared experiences. Handparting is a Wiccan ritual that predates that new age term; even some Christian churches have end of vows ceremonies. Each one serves a specific emotional purpose. This is about using these rituals – and sharing experiences – as a way to take care of yourself during the weird, awkward time that is post-divorce.

I’ve had massive support along the way from Pagans and people from other religious groups and non-religious groups – I probably won’t heal the world but at least I did something.

If you want your very own copy, you can get it at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. You can also march into your favorite indie store and ask them pretty please to order it. It’s available at all major book distributors.

If you’re dying to read it but don’t want to freak out your spouse or grandparent, you can also get it on Kindle or Nook!

I am also doing some events related to the book – you can see more at DivorcingaRealWitch.com.

Fat Chic is on hiatus

Greetings Fat Chic readers!

Fat Chic is going on hiatus indefinitely. I will, for the time being, leave up the blog so you may search it. I may even on some long weekend change the format to its earlier search-friendly version.

I have always been open that Fat Chic was a topic of passion for me but my career is elsewhere. Then Fat Chic went and almost became a career on me, before I was ready for it. Before I was even mentally prepared to think of myself as a hobbyist blogger. I come from the last of the old-school journalism community and while I adapted to the technology of the switch well enough, I can’t say I’m ever going to be 100% comfortable by the way business drives content – even businesses I genuinely like and recommend.

I am, however, leaving room for possibility on this. Perhaps one of my select, trusted guest posters will become impassioned. Perhaps I’ll get an offer I would genuinely consider.

For now, I leave you with Fat Chic Clothing Search. and best wishes.  While I’ve been far more reticent than most fashion or fatshion bloggers I have truly enjoyed the people I’ve met and the people I’ve helped as the result of starting the blog.

It has taken me a decade to learn and appreciate the wisdom of Diane von Furstenberg: “Women are strong. We can do it all. But not always at the same time.”

Right now, there is another part of my all that must be doing.

Happy new year to all!

diana rajchel 2013

Actually, take it personally

diana rajchel 2013
me, enjoying some jasmine tea at Verdant Teahouse in Minneapolis

Fat Chic has stayed in a locked pattern pretty much since its inception. It rests somewhere between the personal and the topical, leaning in with the occasional picture here and then veering out so far that readers sometimes mistake it for a commercial blog. The truth is that it falls somewhere in the in-between. I’m a writer. It started in 2007 as a sideline with no financial intention; like most bloggers I just wanted to share something. In my case, I noticed a whole lot more clothing shops specializing in plus size clothing appearing online. This gave me a way to point out what I found.

It almost immediately became more complex as my other values began weaving between my finds, the demands of marketers (but oddly, not my audience) and sometimes flat out conflicting with my values. Yes, I’m a feminist – but why does that mean I can’t enjoy style? Yes, I prefer reduced consumerism but given my maligned niche, body and at-times person sometimes conscious consumption is the only way to take power. The price of research is awareness. The price of awareness is conflict. It may be slave labor that sewed my favorite jeans, that happened to be the only ones I could afford this year after my whole having to buy a house and a car in the same year.

Today I attended the Minnesota Bloggers Conference. What spoke to me the most? The Minneapolite food blogger who wrote about her heart-centered approach to writing. How she ignored SEO, analytics and all that stuff in favor of writing authentically.

It sounded really good.

In the “How to Make Money Blogging” breakout session I had an epiphany:  I don’t really care about making money from blogging.

In truth, I never have. Sure, money’s nice but my earning attempts are motivated by guilt, not passion.

That’s no place to blog from, ever.

Fat Chic was never meant to be a career. That I was discovered and almost immediately encouraged to make it so has always bothered me. I have a passion for it, but not a monogamous passion. (I really like to get around, and by that I mean intellectually.) It is actually one of those weird blocks I threw up to get in the way of my real career.

As back-asswards as it seems, I’m making the choice to genuinely commit to my plan A career, the one I’ve assiduously avoided by haring off with one sideline after another. Fat Chic won’t disappear – but it’s going to change from the barrage of clothing pictures you’re likely used to. Sure, fashion should be for when I’m young and cute and my other writing for when I’m old enough to be taken seriously. Switching courses like this just as I hit middle age is pure folly. Whatever.

It’s working for Advanced Style. I’ll make a shrine and thank her when I can still come back to the commercial approach to Fat Chic at the end of middle age. In the meantime, I’m making some changes to be true to my own heart.

First, Fat Chic is going to be more personal. I’ll be taking pictures of myself, writing about my day to day, posting whatever pictures and posts my lovely contributing writers want to do. The Plus Size News Roundup will be part of the bimonthly newsletter (which yes, I will start doing actually bimonthly.)  Every so often a wild hare may take me. Second, it’s going to be hopefully a little more heart-centered. I’m going to write about stuff I care about. There will be more Di Being Fat and less plus size industry. This might mean less frequent posts. This might mean the occasional sponsored post. I’m going to go over my policies and make some decisions in that respect.

I hope you guys are OK with that. Because that’s where we’re headed.

Big Fat Flea Graphic

New Yorkers! Big Fat Flea Happening on June 9

What: Big Fat Flea (flea market)

When: June 9th 10:30 am – 6pm

Where: NYU Law School, 40 Washington Sq South

Get more info at Big Fat Flea.com and at Big Fat Flea on Facebook.

Send me pics of your finds there at Fat Chic flickr!

Meanwhile, I’m going to sit here in Minnesota and wish I could get out there to shop!


Fat Chic – in your In box!

Inbox (Photo credit: Nils Geylen)

For those of you who prefer to follow blogs via email, good news! Fat Chic is now available by email. Once a week you’ll receive an email of this week’s postings to the blog. It’s free, and you can unsubscribe at any time!

You can also, of course, subscribe to our at the moment infrequent sales roundup.

A Sunday evening blog from Di

A few housekeeping notes for my lovely devoted readers out there:
first, I have not abandoned you, nor given up on plus size fashion, nor suddenly joined the ranks of the body hating. I still love Fat Chic, especially as it absolutely validates the time I spend combing over every aspect of fashion I can. I’ve just dialed it down for awhile.

As many of you know, I am NOT a career blogger. Right now, my real career- as a freelance writer – is demanding lots of attention. Please do not construe this to mean I do not think blogging is a career. It damn well is, and one that takes a lot of hard work. Glen at FullFigure Plus and Marie Denee at the Curvy Fashionista are the strongest examples I can think of for what’s really involved in making plus blogging a career (a LOT of work, mostly self-funded travel, and eatsleepbreathe fashion, brands, relationships), not to mention folks like Moe at BellaOnline, or Meilieli about About.com, and full service lifestyle outfits like MadisonPlus and VenusDiva.

What I am saying is that blogging at this point in my life is still not my career, although I’m beyond delighted to see that Fat Chic is considered up there with the best of the best. I love to write. It’s much closer to my truest voice than anything I speak is.

Fashion is one of about two billion interests I have (only a slight exaggeration.) This summer alone I’ve tried my hand at crochet with plastic bags, learning origami, a jewelery making project and art journalling. I’m no dilettante – Fat Chic’s been around since 2007, so this isn’t just a flash in the pan – I simply work hard to make sure I am constantly learning, so I have more to learn as a whole person.

While this temporarily gets you only minimal Fat Chic, it also means that when I come back, I continue to think expansively with new ideas and angles as a result of the strange things I do to my own brain when folding squares of paper to make them into little owls. The more I do this now, the more I can continue to make Fat Chic a bit different from the other plus size blogs out there, making your experience reading those blogs and Fat Chic that much richer.

Which leads me to the other news that may interest some of you: in September, I’m going to Paris for a week. While the only two things officially on my schedule are the Louvre and Versailles (which I personally call the Temple of Micromanagement) I am open to any tips of plus size friendly places you can point me to. I’m taking French classes now with my spouse, and I’m also spending 4-5 days a week at the gym so my body can sustain all that walking. I’m hoping the habit continues when I get back. I have some entries for the plus size exercise diary, but mostly it’s about trying not to pass gas when my legs are up in the air during Pilates.

I am still here, darlings. The news roundups will continue, and once I’m done doing what I need to do, you will once again find me putting up “oooh, pretty!” posts with the occasional rant.

If you’d just like to hang out and read my writing in general, you can head over to my writer’s blog. For those who might not know from just Googling me, I’m feminist, Wiccan, and prone to writing “Crackpot theories” posts that posit things like whether the Loch Ness monster enjoys Cambodian food.
Not one of these attributes makes up the whole of who I am, just as my being fat does not define the whole of who I am. Part of that is feeding my need for variety.

So no, you are not abandoned. I am simply working on other things right now. In the meantime, I’m also working out an automated system for maintaining the Catalog, and you’ve always got Fat Chic Clothing Search, best used with Google-fu.

The Fat Chic catalog project

In order to make a more perfect – scratch that… in order to make Fat Chic more usable to all mind maps, I’m starting on a sort of link cataloging project. I’m going to go through Fat Chic’s directory and begin categorizing the links by whatever categories I can brainstorm: country, department store, brand umbrella, and so on. The idea is to make it easier to come to Fat Chic and find what you’re looking for.

There’s no overt financial incentive for me to do this. I’ve decided to drop all but one or two affiliate programs as they make it an outright nightmare to blog authentically. I can blog to sell, which is an understandable practice among other bloggers, or I can blog to share my passion. For me these two things have turned out to be incompatible. So while I do bring in some income through Fat Chic Clothing Search and advertising, and while I’m strict about what I allow in comments, I am doing these use things for you, the reader and user.

No blog will ever be perfect, and I am no perfectionist. But this is one part of a considerable project I am taking on to make plus size shopping easier for all plus women – and hopefully, for myself.

So over the next few weeks you will start seeing “links” posts that just show links of various shops. Comments on these posts will likely be turned off, as they are for catalog purposes only. You will still be free to discuss on other posts under the comment guidelines, no worries!

Update on Fat Chic’s Snark Policy

I have posted my snark policy in the past, but in light of recent communications1 I think it merits an update.
From my policies page:
Snark Policy
I don’t find snark particularly clever. In fact, I think snark is, in most cases, the pasttime of those who simply wish they were clever. What commentary and snark I may have is directed towards clothing and clothing designers, especially those who expect women to wear badges of hatred and half-assed design instead of proper clothing. I however will not engage in snarking of real people, celebrities or otherwise, no matter how horribly they dressed. We all have bad hair and weird boob days, even people who spend their lives in the spotlight.

Summation: I will snark at designs that are just god-awful. I will not snark at anyone who wears them.

  1. commenters, this is not about you []

An upcoming list of reviews from me

Just a quick list, as I have quite a bit to review. I’m wavering between just doing a few short videos or writing it all here. I’m thinking the videos might be faster, except that there are a lot of clothing changes involved and it could easily turn into a tour de closet.

Lane Bryant – sent me a gift card, and I went out to their Roseville, MN strip mall store.
Silhouettes – sent me gorgeous suede shoes and jewelry pieces.
Jen’s Plus – in exchange for advertising, sent me a dress.
Avenue.com – purchased wide width calf boots that actually fit
Fashion Bug – purchased my wedding dress
Marshall’s – sent me a gift card, and their plus size section in Roseville is small but has great picks
Plus Size Plum consignment (local) – did a recent walkthrough; notably next door to a huge thrift shop

I’m getting my collective stuff together this week so bear with me. I have much to blog about!