I realized that it was time to leave the classroom when a lengthy stint on jury duty felt like the highlight of my career.
Hello! Welcome to my About Me page. I guess I’ll start with the fancy stuff. I write about parenting, marriage, culture, and suburban life for The Huffington Post, Cognoscenti, Kveller, Grown & Flown, and other publications. I hold a Doctorate in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and teach writing at Roger Williams University.
So. Here’s a bit of my story. For a long time, I was a middle school English teacher. I loved my students and I loved reading YA literature with them, but I wanted to be a writer really, really badly, so I left teaching to work on a novel.
While I was on jury duty, I came up with an idea for my first novel, which, as you probably know by now, is called Lauren Takes Leave. LTL is centered around 30 and 40-something suburban characters who are in need of vacations from their lives as mothers, wives and teachers. It’s like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, only the adults are the ones cutting school. And the women in my novel tend to lie in a way that is reminiscent of the way the male characters do in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, so I named two of my main characters after Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff, because I’m a literary nerd like that. I self-published the novel in 2012.
I have since penned another work of fiction, and I hope to be able to tell you about very soon, once it’s found a home.
I also write a lot of creative nonfiction. I was a frantic diarist as a child and have always felt better about my life once I’ve taken a look at it on the page. It makes so much more sense when it’s out of my head. Once I started writing about my life and my world in The Scarsdale Inquirer and The Huffington Post, the oddest thing happened. The more specific I became about sharing my own, particular story of self, the more that people – strangers even – related to the material. I write personal and find the universal.
Now that my children are older, I have returned to the classroom to teach freshman composition part-time. I like the balance of teaching while also working on my own creative projects. I can share the joys of the writing life with my students, and model for them what it means to walk around in the world with a story or an essay in your head – to mentally revise as you walk the dog or take a yoga class – but I also know how hard it can be to find just the right words.
Eventually, those words will arrive, I tell my students. And, wow, what a celebration! There’s nothing better than when you say something so clearly, so exactly right, that it surprises even you.
Thanks for visiting with me here.
Meet My Cast of Characters
Witty with the one-liners, cynical at times, artistic and creative, and highly efficient and organized. Brett plays the part of supportive husband and father.
Our 18-year-old son, with longish hair and dimples, loves filmmaking and hates thunderstorms.
15-year-old foil to her older brother, Zoe likes to state things as she sees them. She is often low on patience and high on gummy bears.
This would be my mother, Ronnee, who appears in my articles as a beacon of hope (whether taking care of newborn Andrew or helping us when our basement flooded) as well as spoiler of grandchildren and general entertainer (search the term “tap dancing” on my blog and see what comes up). She was married to my step-father, Howard, who passed away in 2014 but appeared occasionally in articles about family gatherings, such as trips to Nantucket and the American Girl store.
Not mentioned as frequently as my mother, much to his disappointment. My dad is an eye doctor who shares my essays with the entire staff of Montefiore Medical Center as well as with all of his patients, hopefully before dilating their pupils but after taking out their cataracts.
I’ve changed their names, but they know who they are.