Linda Sharps


I live in Eugene, Oregon with my husband and our sons Riley (8) and Dylan (6). Prior to 2010 I spent many years as a software marketer, these days I work from home as a freelance writer. I enjoy high-quality ballpoint pens, exercise-induced endorphins, dark TV dramas, and things that smell like coconut.

Sipping on:

Sugar-Free Red Bull (mmm, chemical-y)

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    What are some of the most powerful, enduring life lessons you remember from the Julia Roberts movie Pretty Woman? Let’s see ... johns are always going to be super-hot silver foxes who are insanely rich so prostitution is a totally viable career choice, shopkeepers should never make assumptions about how much money you have (“Big mistake. Big. Huge.”), and if you’re a high school student wearing jeggings, you’re a dirty whore.

    Hang on, that third one doesn’t seem quite right. Regardless, this is basically the message a North Dakota assistant high school principal sent students recently after forcing kids to watch Pretty Woman as an example of why they shouldn’t wear leggings, jeggings, or tight jeans.

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    Do you remember Yoselyn Ortega, the New York nanny who was charged with stabbing two small children to death? Yeah, it’s kind of hard to forget a horrific headline-grabbing story like that. Ortega allegedly killed 6-year-old Lucia Krim and 2-year-old Leo Krim last October while their mother was out picking up her third child from a swimming lesson, and last I heard, she was being found mentally fit to stand trial when a judge ruled that jailhouse phone calls proved she wasn’t too delusional to understand her case.

    As if the Krim family hasn’t already been through enough, the New York Post reports that mom Marina Krim is being traumatized by seeing Ortega’s lookalike sister on a daily basis. In a truly unfortunate twist, Yoselyn Ortega’s sister Celia now babysits a schoolmate of the Krims’ only surviving daughter.

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    When my kids were younger, I remember thinking how much easier things would be when they got past the baby/toddler stage. Now that they are 9 and 6, I'm greatly relieved to have made it through the years of sleep deprivation, tantrums, and potty training -- but while the physical job of caring for them has eased, I'm discovering that our lives are actually growing more hectic day by day.

    I've always said that babies should come with their own "It gets better" campaign, but in terms of creating scheduling headaches and the sensation of being overwhelmed at all times, it turns out that kids only get worse as they get older. Hello, I feel like I should have been warned about this! The system's broken! I mean, come on, I'm getting older too! Yeats must have been thinking about motherhood when he wrote, "Turning and turning in the widening gyre; (...) Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."

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    If you type “black eyed children” into Google’s search, you get over 500,000 results. Black-eyed children, according to Wikipedia, are a paranormal phenomenon that started becoming prevalent in pop culture during the 1990s. Black-eyed children look anywhere from 7 to 16 years in age, with eyes that are solid black from iris to pupil. These children “seem to give off an eerie aura of menace merely by their very presence,” and according to one paranormal investigator, one of these creatures has recently reappeared in Staffordshire, England.

    Of course, once you read the term paranormal investigator, you have to take this story with a grain of salt, but Lee Brickley says descriptions of this girl are identical to the firsthand accounts that circulated 30 years ago. Not only that, but there’s something different about this particular ghost that has him dishing out the following advice for anyone who sees her: start running while you still can.

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    While we count down the days until the Walking Dead season 5 premiere — just two weeks away! — let us turn our attention to the upcoming spinoff show for a moment. I know, you totally forgot there was going to be a spinoff show, didn’t you? I did too, I’ve been so focused on what our current survivors are going to get up to when the premiere airs, it slipped my mind there’s going to be a whole new cast of characters to obsess over.

    TV Line has revealed who we can expect to see when the new show lurches to life, although no official casting announcements have been made yet. If you like to speculate over character descriptions, check out this latest scoop, which frankly has me more than a little worried that the Walking Dead offshoot is going to be annoying as HELL.

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