TV writer, producer and author who writes about marriage, dating, sex, beauty, spirituality, Hollywood. Medium-curated. www.pamsuchman.com

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Navigating the Hardest Days Since the Divorce Itself

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Any other divorced parents out there feeling the extra strain of shuttling a kid back and forth during a pandemic?

The varying degrees of vigilance between households requires the negotiation skills of a psych major with a master's in chemistry and a Ph.D. in mathematics.

In addition to easing the painful consequences of divorce, we struggle to appeal to the preferences of a child who’s already experiencing the terror of a deadly virus mixed with the agony of isolation from her peers.

Keeping kids off screens these days is a Herculean task in itself. We feel like bad parents if we let them stay on and like worse parents if we can’t find constant, alternative methods to keep them engaged and happy. …


A ghost, a key, and a creaky bed

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Photo courtesy of author

“Don’t be alarmed if you sense a presence in the room with you,” said the desk clerk as we checked into the Cassadaga Hotel.

For the people of Cassadaga, otherworldly apparitions are business as usual. In this tiny Central Florida town, the deceased are considered long-term residents, living shoulder-to-shoulder with certified psychics and mediums who make up a majority of the population. Cassadaga is known as the Psychic Capital of the World. Visitors arrive seeking answers, healing or a rendezvous with the dearly departed.

My boyfriend, Dane, and I had come for none of those reasons. I’d written a television pilot based on the town, having never been there myself. I heard about the place from my cousin Dave, who told me he’d been crossing the road one day when a resident stopped him with a message from my grandmother. She warned that he needed to check the electrical appliances in his kitchen. Apparently, my grandmother had prevented a kitchen fire from beyond the grave. Dave said he’d seen a brownish stain on his kitchen curtain and hadn’t understood where it came from — until then. …


Here’s Hoping it Comes True

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Hollywood is filled with “almost” stories. Like the movie I almost made with Pierce Brosnan. Or the television concept I sold to one network, only to see it produced by another. I’ve had the great fortune to work on some cool shows, sat shoulder-to-shoulder in an edit bay with Tyra Banks, traveled Australia’s Outback for a Hugh Jackman movie and written voiceover about bodacious burgers for Guy Fieri. But I’ve always imagined making a real difference. Some kind of positive impact, on a global scale. Maybe it’s my Oprah complex.

Now I’m 50. That’s the barrier in my mind whenever I think of all the potential that I’d dreamt up for myself in my twenties, which I’d felt sure I would have fulfilled by my thirties. Lots of fun’s been had along the way: interviewing Kermit the Frog for the BBC, ghost hunting the spirit of Jim Morrison and serving up chocolate-covered crickets at the Mall of America with Bizarre Foods’ Andrew Zimmern. I’ve earned a decent living at a job I’d likely do for free. …

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