Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
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Columns
Do children need to face stress and hardship to develop resilience? In other words, do you have to test the system, does suffering (a little) really build character? More to the immediate point, is sending an apprehensive child to camp at the age of six "good for him?"
Rock Me Gently by Katherine Barrett

Our preschooler waves a hand-size U.S. flag to amuse our baby as I change a diaper. To the flag-waver, this flag means Mommy's birthplace and the country where Grandma and Grandpa live, and the nation on one of her passports, but not her native land.
Flags by Avery Fischer Udagawa

In June of this past year, my husband was in and out of the hospital three times for complications from a heart procedure. I was, at the same time, taking care of our daughter, teaching a summer class, and writing a novel. I did it. I did it all. I kept going. And then a few weeks later, a pain emerged.
My New Year's Resolution: Belly Time by Cassie Steele Promo and its accompanying Reader Response

For over a year now I've been working on a book about my family, particularly my sister, Angie, who was six years older than me. So, it's the double lives of memoir writers that especially interest me these days -- the unique balancing act of residing in our pasts while at the same time trying to stay completely present in our own unfolding lives.
My Double Life by Ona Gritz

Creative Nonfiction
The mighty elms in our city elicit in me an aching tenderness, as though they are fragile elderly--I love them, I want to protect them. So when the cathedral of a tree across our street got belted with orange spray-paint, I joined Gwyn in hugging it.
Dutch Elm by Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew

In that moment, I felt suddenly that the calendar had been a terrible idea. My son had memories now, desires he could articulate and act upon.
Calendar by Sarah Baughman

Fiction
And instantly I want to speak to your mother. To tell her how peaceful you look, and how your face seems dream-like and content, as though you'd known you'd done the right thing. Just as suddenly I want to grab you and shake you and scream at you for what you'd just done to her.
Your Mother's Boy by Kathi Hansen

I knew the firemen would be up. It's the kind of frigid, unfriendly midnight when most people are under covers, conked out. Not at the firehouse though, where they're always on duty, where they've been trained to be prepared for anything.
The Drop by Joan Pedzich

Literary Reflections
My children changed so fast I could hear time whistle as it flew past me, and I was desperate to remember the small details. In the process of writing them down, I realized that other, subconscious instincts had propelled me to the page: in the act of recording small memories, I unearthed the meaning of these small fragments of my life. My writing actually excavated, polished, enhanced my understanding of my life.
My Subject Chose Me by Lindsey Mead

Poetry
In the grayest month of the year, lake-fog
curdled between whitepine stands, grouse burrowed
in lacy snow-caves, I let the bird from
its cage, unshackled the houseplants,
Persephone, Marooned in the Underworld by Sara Quinn Rivara

"Dump," Z. says as he pours
water out of the bucket at the children's museum
or out of the bowl in the bath
Joy Empties, Refills by Ann Tweedy

My son at three crouches
on the ground, his face leaned in
close, inspecting a line of ants.
Stomp by Carrie

I'll still dance,
the way we would have in pyjamas
late on a sticky summer morning
The Thought of You by Jaime Shields

Our bloodlines winding back, then lost.
We harbor bad genes from great-great-greats,
our son unlucky except he's doing well.
Waiting Area, Children's Hospital, Boston by Karen Skolfield

Profiles
When Nina Sankovitch lost her older sister Anne-Marie to cancer, her life went into a tailspin. Three years later, Sankovitch's grief and pain were as acute as ever. That's when she turned to books.
An Interview with Nina Sankovitch by Lisa Moskowitz Sadikman

Irene Stanley, a conservative wife and mother of two, faces a parent's worst nightmare: her son, Shep, is murdered. Irene struggles for many years with her son's death and the protracted death sentence of his murderer until she decides she must forgive both the criminal and the crime.
An Interview with Naseem Rakha by Katherine J. Barrett

Reviews
Turkish author Elif Shafak long espoused the motto: "dreams first, family later... maybe." Her memoir traces her fraught journey from writer to mother to mother-writer.
Finding Yourselves by Jessica DeVoe Riley

Every day for one year, Nina Sankovitch read an entire book and posted a review on her website -- all while raising four boys. As a mother of just two children, a mother who struggled to find time to read this one book, I was curious to know how Sankovitch did it.
Love and Literature by Susan Barr-Toman

Food stories can be aspirational; they can tell of a cuisine, culture, or community. They might be about sourcing ingredients, a family dinner, a dessert. Sometimes they're prescriptive; other times, they offer a vicarious thrill. But the best food stories, as writers like M.F.K. Fisher proved decades ago, aren't just about food. Instead, they tell us something about ourselves and the world we live in.
Tales of Food and Family by Lisa Catherine Harper


The Literary Mama Blog Editor searches for mama-centric news you can use — including information about publishing opportunities and literacy efforts; essays and writing prompts that motivate and inspire; and announcements about events, classes, and workshops. The current blog editors are Laura Roberts and Rudri Patel; read their bios here and here.


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