My son’s cello teacher is dying. This is the third time she’s had cancer, so this week is my son’s last lesson with her. He has grown to love her. He cried during a lesson a few weeks ago and she said, “It’s okay. Everyone dies. Now let’s work on Saint-Saens. You need it for the master class.” Read more

I saw a graph about when anyone is most likely to have a birthday. My mom and ex-husband and now-husband all have a birthday in the first week of April. This is statistically unlikely and it makes me think there is something I should know about astrology. Read more

I arrive in San Francisco and it takes me fifteen minutes in Melissa’s apartment for her to start crying about that she is not married. “I don’t want to have kids alone. I’m not doing that,” she says. Read more

I read that in Silicon Valley there’s a twelve-month waiting list to be a summer volunteer at the local hospitals. Because all the kids who want to go into STEM careers in their over-funded overachiever Silicon Valley schools are trying to stand out as great candidates for college by working with doctors and scientists. Read more

Now that Sheryl Sandberg is a single mom, she has announced, in a post on Facebook, that it’s understandable that single moms do not Lean In.

I am infuriated. Read more

At age ten the Farmer was doing chores before and after school and most of the weekend. This was normal for his family. It’s what his parents did and what their parents did. Read more

Here is some feedback from other people who have taken writing courses with me:

Penelope is absolutely brilliant at cutting through the bullshit.  – Cheryl C.

Your writing course is a way better crash course than anything I got in college.  – Caitlin

As a writer, you’d think I’d just write my own testimonials, but the research that shows people instinctively know a fake testimonial. I’m not sure how, but part of being a good writer is knowing your limits. That’ll be in the course. Read more