About Ellen Painter Dollar

Ellen Painter Dollar is a writer focusing on faith, parenting, family, disability, and ethics. She is the author of No Easy Choice: A Story of Disability, Faith, and Parenthood in an Age of Advanced Reproduction (Westminster John Knox, 2012). Visit her web site at http://ellenpainterdollar.com for more on her writing and speaking, and to sign up for a (very) occasional email newsletter.

These Are My Favorite Memoirs. What Are Yours?

After reading my post on 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Memoir, a colleague asked me to name some of my favorites memoirs/memoirists. Here’s my list. It’s worth noting that few of these writers’ memoirs are about freaky, strange life events. Rather, most of these memoirs are about growing up, having children, being married, working, and [Read More...]

Don’t Sweat the Big Stuff?

A friend recently asked for support and prayers during a particularly stressful time. Her worries would be recognizable to many of us—a too-tight budget, the exhausting juggling act of child care and work, living far from family members who could provide some much-needed daily support, a recent move to a town where they don’t yet [Read More...]

Kids, Kidneys and Other Distractions

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It’s normal for me to be less productive in the final weeks of August, as we try to squeeze all the stuff we planned to do over the summer into the final few days. But I was more sidetracked than usual this August. Besides a calendar dominated by school supply shopping, orthodontist and haircut appointments, and [Read More...]

How Robin Williams’s Suicide is Changing How I Love My Kids

We spend a lot of time and effort in our culture to encourage our kids to find their talents and hone them. This time of year, I’m beginning to piece together the after-school schedule, figuring out how I can get one child from point A to point B and pick up another child from school, [Read More...]

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Memoir

Let’s make one thing clear up front: I am drawing here on my experience as an avid memoir reader, not as a memoir writer. I have one book to my name, and while it is partly a memoir and was well-reviewed, having written one memoir does not make me an expert in writing memoir. But I think [Read More...]

On Episcopalian Rules (or, Why Episcopalians Rule)

Last weekend, my husband and I drove to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, to pick our daughter Leah up from the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) summer course at King’s College. The children’s choir at our Episcopal Church is based on the RSCM model, and every summer several of our choristers head to Pennsylvania and other sites to spend a [Read More...]

“Down the Rabbit Hole” of Chronic Pain

On the Washington Post web site, I came across an edited version of Janice Lynch Schuster’s story about chronic pain and opioid use. (The edited version is here, while the longer, more complete version is here on the HealthAffairs.org web site. I quote here from the original, longer HealthAffairs version.) The basic story is that [Read More...]

The Tenacious Brilliance of a Long Marriage

In recognition of my and Daniel’s 17th wedding anniversary this weekend, I’m reposting this piece, slightly edited, from last year. Daniel and I have a bunch of good wedding ring stories. There’s the story about Daniel going to buy my engagement ring. (Actually, to exchange the ring he bought for his first fiancée for a bigger, nicer [Read More...]


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