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It's frightening to be poor. It's much more frightening when you have a family with five young children. My husband's mental illness had exacerbated into schizophrenia. He'd applied for Social Security Disability, which was then -- as now -- slow at being approved. We had to accept welfare from the New York City Department...

Sometimes when I get an idea for a story I do this thing called clustering. I write down my main topic in the center of a yellow legal pad and go from there. Today's word is CRACK.
 
I am lying in my bed, head propped up on several small pillows. I shake my pen epileptically so the blue ink will continue to flow...

At 19, I read Adrienne Rich as she struggled to put into words the isolation and terror of being the solo parent of small children all day. I saw her essays as the record of a historical moment, the cusp of change between an era of rigid gender roles and frustrated housewives, and my own time of working mothers and...

At 9:00pm on a Friday, I was busy trying to get my monkeys (Satchel, age 4 and Jiro, age 2) in bed so I could sneak out and interview Kate Crowder, the lead singer of my new favorite band, Two Way Radio (formerly known as Walkie Talkie and briefly as Side Walk Talk). At 9:25pm, I said goodbye to my husband and drove down the...

I recently met yet another woman who from afar seemed like your ordinary, well-adjusted, middle class mother of two. Because our kids go to the same elementary school, after dropping them off, we started chatting. She told me she had just finished writing a book about her life. She giggled and confessed, "I was a slut!" I...

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