Author: Molly Pennington

How to Keep your Dream Home Spotless

I live in a house that is booby-trapped with stickiness. And I’m a neat freak at heart. When my house is clean I feel a crisp sense of well-being. Which means I’m truly peaceful for maybe 30 seconds twice a year. Still, I long for the clarity, for the joy, when everything is in its proper…

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How to Send Your First Born Son Off to College

Give him this: On women: 1.  Months of charged flirtation are way more pleasurable than one-night stands or random hook-ups. Flirt your heart out. But be wary of kissing. Most especially be wary of drunken kissing (because of where it leads.) Not that you’ll ever be drunk. 2.  Girls care about sex and intimacy. I’m…

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How Your Child Self Knew That You Were a Writer

1) When you stole those books. Your first grade reader, “Janet and Mark,” and then later, your aunt’s thesaurus. 2) When you questioned the A’s you always got in English: “How could my writing really be that good? What’s wrong with this teacher?” 3) When writing notes to your classmates was a literary event mandating…

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An Open Letter (and Apology) to Whites from a Black Man

I’m publishing the letter below that was written by my black husband. (It originally appeared on his Facebook page in November 2014.)   To my White Friends and Acquaintances, I owe you an apology. I know that some of you think that the decision in Ferguson, to not indict the accused officer, was an instance of “justice.”…

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How to Get Pulled Over

No one likes to get pulled over. But if that fate should befall you the best case scenario is to make off without a ticket. I am one of those lucky people who has never been issued a citation, despite having broken driving laws repeatedly. On accident, of course. I have been pulled over for…

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How To Quit Your Job

When I walked out of the Cathedral of Learning for what I thought was the final time, I burst into tears. It was late April so even though I walked out into sun, the air still had that nip of new spring. That teasing feel–like it could recede at any moment. The tulips were out.…

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How to Have an “Invincible” Winter

Albert Camus claimed that he held within him an “invincible summer,” one that kept him warm during life’s inevitable winters.  K.D. Lang titled an album of pleasant tunes “Invincible Summer,” and she glows goldenrod rays on the CD’s cover. And the Beatles crooned about the “long, cold, lonely winter,” and the sun that was coming…

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How It Happens

I started wanting to be writer around the same time that I started loving books. I didn’t recognize that writer-feeling at the time. I thought it was just the way reading feels. There’s pleasure, but also yearning. I wasn’t just reading, I was dismantling, studying, trying to figure out how it’s done. And also, cultivating…

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How to Start

“Let’s start at the very beginning. It’s a very good place to start.” I’ve been wanting to write a memoir about my father’s suicide since 2009.  But, like everyone, I’ve had millions of other things to do instead. If you are a writer then you know about what Sylvia Plath called, “the sense of nothing…

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