Brightly: A Website Resource for Parents of Young Readers
Editor’s Letter, May 2015
Writing Prompt: Pictures Speak
Snapshots from AWP 2015
Having written the Senior Mama column here for the past two years, I’ve decided to take advantage of my position as Wise Older Woman to offer some writing encouragement for those of you still in the mama trenches. Well, one bit of encouragement actually.
Just this: Write. Now.
In Class 5 of Birthing the Mother Writer, Cassie invites readers to submit a book review of one of the six nonfiction books she’s suggested, or else one of their own nonfiction picks.
Graham’s tongue has a slight indentation at its tip so that each time it reached for me, wobbling like a fawn, it was as if I were receiving a crudely-drawn valentine.
“Cedar, Allanah is going to be riding the bus with you. How great to have a friend at the bus stop.” I force a smile. Cedar shrugs.
“Dozens and dozens of cords, a room full of carefully engineered machines, a balancing act of medicines, x-rays, echoes, nurses, surgeons. . .and none of it”—she gazed down at Sam—”none of it even comes close to what your umbilical cord did for the last ten months.”
She jumped. “Carla Ann! What are you doing? Can’t you see that I’m thinking?” Yes, I could see that. I thought she should stop thinking. She had a beautiful face when she wasn’t thinking.
At Mother’s Day, we bring our focus to literary examples of motherhood. Join us as we share our favorite, unforgettable mother characters for this month’s Essential Reading theme, “Mother’s Day.”
I sometimes wondered what I was doing. I was straddling two worlds: the one harried and the other calm, the one in the eye wall of a cyclone and the other in its eye.
I saw the best moms of my generation destroyed by Mum-Mums, Ergo’ed up in their lululemons,/ dragging themselves through Starbucks at dawn . . .
(in our small cabin by the bay my mother steeps) / leaves of wild mint / I ride her hip / through my first year
Once the suitcase was empty, / the clasp wouldn’t close again.
she can tie her hair and string up so quickly / faster than most braiders I know/ I want her stories to slip through me that way
Julie Paul is the author of two collections of short fiction, The Jealousy Bone (2008) and The Pull of the Moon (2014). Her recent work has garnered much acclaim and was just named a national bronze medalist in the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards in the category of short story fiction. In a conversation with Profiles editor Christina Consolino, Paul talks about how her writing reflects her life, her transformation as a writer since becoming a mother, and what being a mother means to her.
Cynthia Marie Hoffman’s extraordinary second poetry collection gives voice to a chorus of unusual voices: ectopic twins, a lamb’s wool strap on a gurney, a mother’s liver, a sketch of a homunculus, a male physician who must deliver a dead child. Part spell book, part study in the body and birth, it inhabits a strange landscape of pregnancy, childbirth and obstetrics from medieval midwifery’s superstitious practices to today’s scheduled C-sections.
For Everything There is a Season: A Review of Cassie Premo Steele’s Earth Joy Writing: Creating Harmony Through Journaling and NatureCamille-Yvette Welsch
In many ways, Cassie Premo Steele’s new book recognizes the twin impulses here that many mother-writers share—the need for order and help, and the need to do well and be well. For literary mamas, these needs relate not only to our families but to our creative lives when we see fit to acknowledge them.