Archives for January 2012


Bastard Child

In chapter two of my book Ragdoll Redeemed:Growing Up In The Shadow Of Marilyn Monroe I write about the stain of the title “bastard”. How the dominate culture’s attitude imprinted a type of permanent deformity into the very soul of such children. I know because I was one of those children, as was Marilyn Monroe. “Shameful, embarrassing, defective,” became the standard by which everyone, myself included, measured me. After all didn’t the Bible say, “The bastard shall not enter the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation” (Deuteronomy 23:2)

Young people of today have little if any of the stigma illegitimacy brought to bear upon the shoulders of children born outside of marriage. It was not until the early 70s that a series of Supreme Court verdicts eradicated the common-law disabilities of bastardy. For the most part, the term “illegitimacy” has been replaced by the phrase “born out of wedlock” or not acknowledged at all.


How Is That Love

Recently, my husband and I were talking about aspects of love. What does it actually mean when we say we love someone?

Or more precisely, what does the word not mean. In our conversation, I  referred to the brief marriage of Joe DiMaggio, the great American baseball hero and Marilyn Monroe as an example of what love is not. Why them, you may ask? And how do I know this?

In my soon-to-be-published memoir Ragdoll Redeemed: Growing up in the Shadow of Marilyn Monroe I talk about my marriage to Marilyn Monroe’s step-son, Joe DiMaggio Jr. I talk about what I learned about Marilyn and Joe from conversations with Joe Jr., and from what has been widely reported over the years about their infamous relationship.


Silence may be #1 Killer in Relationships

In my soon to be published memoir, Ragdoll Redeemed:Growing up in the Shadow of Marilyn Monroe, I talk about how protracted silences affected me during my teenage marriage to Marilyn Monroe’s step-son, Joe DiMaggio Jr.

Joey withdrew into silence without notice and sometimes without apparent reason. These silences could last as long as twenty-four hours. So grateful was I when he began speaking to me again that I happily went along with pretending nothing out of the ordinary or hurtful had happened. Never realizing how my silent complicity was contributing to the eventual downfall of my marriage.

Bob & Marlene Neufeld, who based their work on Dr. John Gottman─a leading expert on relationships─offer examples of common silences that occur in relationships.


“My Week with Marilyn”─A Surreal Journey into the Past




“Commitment Trumps Fear” dawn novotny


Hello Dear Readers,

Having kept my initial commitment to post a weekly blog since July 4th, 2011, albeit quite challenging at times, I want to express my gratitude to all of you that have supported me on my “author” journey. I have experienced many surprises and have learned numerous things along the way.

Aside from the basic technical experience gleaned by muddling my way through the maze of social media, I have learned that having a commitment makes you better at whatever endeavor you have chosen to pursue.

For example, when my web master designed my blog site she used the word author Dawn Novotny. The first time I saw those words, author, I panicked. I called her and said, OMG, you have to delete that word. I am NOT an author.


Norma Jeane and Dawn






“It is the lost possibilities of Marilyn Monroe that capture our imaginations. It was the lost Norma Jeane, looking out of Marilyn’s eyes, who capture our hearts.” Gloria Steinem


As an adult, I was blessed, unlike Marilyn, with the opportunity to go to school, to learn about the psychological underpinnings of backgrounds like ours. It helped me to understand my childhood. I learned that in the presence of neglect and absence of consistent parental care, a child learns to depend on themselves even when that self-reliance means guessing or pretending to know how to be and how to perform the most basic of life skills. Numerous studies show that if a child does not successfully negotiate through each developmental stage, they are subject to deep-seated feelings of worthlessness, shame, and mistrust. These types of core feelings often lead to a fundamental desire to disappear which can be played out in more than one suicide attempt. Now it is more understood that early rejections by adults and childhood peers have lasting consequences.


You End Up As You Deserve




You end up as you deserve. In old age you must put up with the face, the health, and the children you have earned. Fay Weldon


The above quote is food for thought for the coming year.

You must constantly take inventory regarding the heartiness of your spiritual, mental, emotional, social, and health cache. For what you do is what you will be. It is up to you to pay attention to the following 5 area of your life.

Spiritual. Take five minutes each morning, light a candle, read something inspiring or reflective. Cite five things that you are grateful for. I promise you, this one action alone will change your life if done with consistency.