No. 14: What Not to Write in Your College Essay


Early admissions applications are due next month so high school seniors all over the country are writing their college essays. My niece is working on hers and that got me thinking about the college essay I wrote 33 years ago. / Mine was a puffed up version of winning a cross-country race. The essay highlighted my most prominent personality trait — my ego. The good news: It charmed the admissions officers at the University of Pennsylvania. The bad news: It was full of shit.

WHAT ARE THESE NUMBER ESSAYS ABOUT?


I’m a slow writer. I want to write better. I want to write faster. And like Marianne Williamson says, I have one last chance to get it right. Because there’s no time like the present; because turning 50 is better than the alternative; and because you only live once, I’m going for it. This year, the year I turned 50, I’m going to write 50 essays in 50 weeks. (Gives me two weeks off.) TO READ THEM ALL, FOLLOW ME [...]

No. 9: Controlled Burn


Last Saturday I went to a conference for artists and entrepreneurs. During one of the sessions, a panelist talked about his struggle with anger. He said, “Some days I feel like I’m spewing fire and I wonder if I’m burning myself the most.” / There was a collective moan from the audience, a group of like-minded progressives. No one needed to explain what everyone might be angry about. / Someone from the audience said, “We need to do a controlled burn. [...]

No. 7: Hypocritical, Self-Riteous Closet Case


Two years ago, when our daughter, Tashi, was 12, the whole family was invited to a Bat Mitzvah at the synagogue where she went to elementary school. She was in 7th grade at that point, but all her former classmates would be there, which sent Tashi into a panic. She had trouble falling asleep the night before. She didn’t say why, but I knew. Tashi has two moms.  

No. 6: Full Circle


I’ve known the necklace my entire life. My mom wore it always. It’s a simple gold chain with two old-fashioned figures hanging from a horizontal bar. One is a boy in a top hat; the other is a girl in pigtails. My dad bought the necklace after I was born, in 1968. The kids on the necklace represented my brother and me.)  

No. 2: Bribery a Parenting Tactic


I have a friend who used M&Ms for potty training. I didn’t have to do that. At two, my daughter, Tashi, watched a little girl at daycare use a potty and that was that. / From the day she was born until she became a teenager, Tashi was a pleaser. I’d say, “Do your homework.” And even though homework involved sharpening pencils and then losing them and then handstands between every vocabulary word, Tashi did what she was told. / Now, Tashi’s [...]

No. 1: Happy Birthday


I’m a slow writer. I want to write better. I want to write faster. And like Marianne Williamson says, I have one last chance to get it right. Because there’s no time like the present; because turning 50 is better than the alternative; and because you only live once, I’m going for it. This year, the year I turned 50, I’m going to write 50 essays in 50 weeks. (Gives me two weeks off.) One down. 

So Much Fun Teaching


I taught a class at CreativeLive.com. It was so much fun. They flew me out to Seattle, picked me up in a car, put me in a hotel. I had my own stylist! Hair and makeup! When one of the PAs asked me what kind of milk I wanted in my coffee, I totally blushed. The class was another thing. I tried hard on this and I think I nailed it. This is everything I know about how to tell a [...]

It’s Been So LONG


I always forget to update this blog and so, so much has changed. A year ago, I retired from Lip Service. It’s been a mix of emotions, I’m proud of my decision to move on. Lip Service was my identity for nine years, but I was ready. Now Lip Service is carrying on with the help of the Miami Book Fair. So it’s in good hands. As for me, I’m the host and teacher of the podcast Writing Class Radio. Click [...]

I’m the Star of Strangers Podcast


The creator of The Moth Radio Hour, Lea Thau, created a podcast that’s just as good as The Moth.  She interviewed me and turned my life story into something interesting. She’s showing the changes in families in the U.S. in the last twenty years.  And she made me sound smart and funny.  This woman’s a skilled storyteller.  Also, the podcast is really well produced. Click here on Strangers to listen. Here’s a picture of me getting pregnant.  I’m lucky, most [...]