Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood

For the past several months, I’ve been helping my 81-year-old mom sort through family photos. We started with a box of studio portraits taken in the mid- to late-1800s and have made our way through albums of snapshots taken with some of the first Brownie cameras. The images are marked and organized, and now, I understand the gift they represent.

Wish. Kids. Disappear. I said them, words that must have made a quantum leap, their velocity greater than the speed of light until time moved backward, until those words entered the realm of negative time. Who would have thought that the distance from my mouth to God’s ear could only be measured on the subatomic scale? Who would have thought?

Everything on my body had loosened and fallen out of place. My hips still wobbled in their sockets when I walked, and my brain had literally shrunk (or so I’d heard on a radio show). I fiddled with the misshapen bun that flopped on the back of my head. In my round-the-clock effort to feed Connor, washing and sleeping had fallen to the wayside.

My son is asleep in bed, my husband is overseas for work, and I’m taking advantage of the free evening to tidy our walk-in storage cupboard. I’m doing well. I’ve already got a bag of old electricity bills to haul …


She anticipated gazing into their eyes with gratitude and wonder. She certainly didn’t plan on having a child with broken genes that put him beyond hope for a normal life.


You wait until Kindergarten. You hold out hope that his heart will heal until the hope is gone and one hole remains. The blood stretches out his heart, enlarging the chamber, and you know it’s time.

Connor's ravenous mouth attached itself to my bleeding, crusted nipple with an animalistic vigor that took my breath away.


The words sting a place deep inside of me, but they sting only because I know they are true.

Have you ever had a dream that was so awful you cried out loud? Your grief transferred to your waking life and the sounds of your pain woke you up?

We are spending November celebrating some of our genre faves.


On writing retreat, I begin reading Isak Dinesen, trusting in synchronicity to give me something I don't even know I need.


Every night for the next week, with my husband still away, I start to dream as my teenage self.

Tonight I’ll hold you, shivering in your night-dark room, / knowing caged children sleep in foil blankets on cement.


You are made of me. You are dawn / and wind and dirt climbing free / from the earth.


Buzz Aldrin’s first words when / he stepped on the moon / were words we don’t often hear: / Magnificent desolation!


"I’m scared, mom," he whispers. "Don’t fear, my love. / It’s just drowning and night."


Halfway through the pregnancy, a super-blood-moon eclipsed / my Sunday night blues.

Hua discusses the theme of deceit, small-press publication contests, and the risks of writing about cultures other than one's own.


Lisa Doyle discusses her first novel, the inspiration behind the topic of wet nursing, and the importance of having a support network.

In Elizabeth Strout's Amy and Isabelle and My Name is Lucy Barton, the four main characters grapple with the dark side of the past within the framework of the narrative present.