I married a man whose Hindu father grew up in the rural north of India and whose Jewish mother grew up in the Bronx.
There's a nastiness to conversations about U.S. education reform, which are characterized by the kind of stark taking-of-sides that's usually reserved for debates over guns or abortion rights.
As more and more minority groups fill our nation's classrooms, what can we do to even the separate-but-forever-unequal playing field? Now that's a question many very smart people have spent decades trying to answer.
I was a campaign widow.
A big reason I'd spent my career as a writer and not a public speaker is that I am a person who refines my worldview in a silent room, waiting for my thoughts to arrange themselves on the screen before me.
Grit can't be measured on pop quizzes, but it can often predict long-term success more than mere intelligence.
I have one idea of how to get more Democratic women to polling stations: Stand up for them.
You have to follow that next step.
Becoming a tutor was among the many attractive post-collegiate side careers I failed to pursue while devoting the bulk of my days to writing fiction.
In my career as a writer, I preferred to avoid current events: I wrote young adult novels and book reviews and lifestyle journalism about health and parenting and other such evergreens.
If we all band together against extremism and spend a few minutes a day using tools that have been proven to work, we can make a big difference in defending those values we share as Americans.
The only lottery I've ever won was a $100 scratch-off card at age 16, and the 7-Eleven clerk who sold it to me said I was too young to claim my winnings.
Wishy-washy equivocations - and not just on abortion, but on immigration, on civil rights, on income inequality - weaken all of us.
With our growing attachment to the online universe comes a refined ability to keep tabs on several things at once, to watch stories unfold on parallel planes.
As President Trump quickly moved to limit immigration, civil rights, and environmental protections, I felt fear for my young children, and guilt, too - as if I'd somehow betrayed the unspoken contract all parents make to give our children a better life than ourselves.
In middle school, I had a teacher who regularly reminded students of the Monday night Young Life meetings he sponsored; on Tuesdays, he'd spend the first few minutes of class palling around with the chosen ones about all the fun and fellowship they'd experienced together.
I've always wanted to walk the whole of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, which winds 184.5 miles from Georgetown to Cumberland, Maryland.
My husband and I were married in May 2007 on a sprawling rent-a-ranch in the Texas Hill Country. On the drive from Houston, we'd stopped off for our marriage license in the former produce aisle of a Winn Dixie-turned-courthouse in San Marcos and from there drove off the grid.
Campaign widowhood totally suited me, and I soon began to suspect that our setup beat the bill-paying and bickering of an actual marriage.
I've basically worked as a journalist and a writer.