Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Editor’s Letter, November 2014

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November Leaves by Maria Scala

November Leaves by Maria Scala

The first snow of the season fell this week from where I write this letter in Toronto, Canada. A few golden leaves still cling to the maples, and many more blanket the frosty ground, so it feels like that odd in-between season—Not-Quite-Winter-Not-Quite-Fall. On school-day mornings I bundle my kids in their winter coats, hats, and mittens, yet, by afternoon pick-up, both are shrugging off their jackets, unzipped. Driving home, with the sun in my eyes, I am grateful for the last waning days of fall, while anticipating the inevitable changes Mother Nature has in store.

Likewise, the November issue of Literary Mama is filled with writing that reminds us to take stock of all that we have and value, while acknowledging the many challenges we encounter as mothers.

In Columns, B.L. Pike writes about "Losing Touch" with her adult adopted son, yet is hopeful her birthday wish reaches him; Dear Marjo suggests the compassionate route for an experienced mom in "On Judgy Moms and Plugged-in Kids"; Cassie Premo Steele challenges her students to explore the "The Deeper Stuff of Poetry" in Class 2 of Birthing the Mother Writer; Katherine J. Barrett reflects on the button-pushing question What's for dinner? and offers her own solution in "All Together Now"; and Beth Malone, in spite of herself, tries to keep Mother Nature at arms-length in "Invasion."

In Creative Nonfiction, Jennifer Berney ponders her family's decision to lead a simpler, more nature-focused life in the mountains, and wonders if she is just "Flirting with Wilderness."

In Fiction, we have Victoria Fish's "What Would Tami Do?", a deftly-handled story of parenting teens, managing illness, and dealing with marital tension—told against the backdrop of the Friday Night Lights TV series.

In Literary Reflections, there's an "Essential Reading" list from our editors and columnists on Thankfulness. We are grateful for these books because they offer perspective, hope, and understanding.

Poetry offers various takes on gratitude: "Everything Is Possible" by Jenn Monroe; "Psychology of a Daughter" by Monica Rose Burchfield; "Nesting Dolls" by Carly Berg; "Two poems" by Nicole Callihan; "The Beautiful Unnamed" by Kathleen Dale; and "In Parentheses" by Cheryl Wilder.

In Profiles, Lisa Lynne Lewis has "A Conversation with Elizabeth McCracken," in which McCracken talks about shifting between genres, being a "garbage disposal writer," and the importance of privacy while generating new work.

In Reviews, Christina Gombar writes about one mother's eye-opening experience with adoption in "Russian Roulette: A Review of When Rain Hurts: An Adoptive Mother’s Journey with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome."

And be sure to visit our Blog, always replete with up-to-date information on Calls for Submissions, as well as guest posts for our After Page One, For Your Journal, and Op-Ed series.

Wherever in the world you may be, and whatever the season, I hope you enjoy our November issue. We love receiving your comments, and hope you'll share all this good writing with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.



Maria Scala lives with her family in Toronto, where she works as a freelance writer and editor. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in Sweet Lemons 2: International Writings with a Sicilian Accent, Descant, The Mom Egg, Literary Mama, PoetryReviews, and Exploring Voice: Italian Canadian Female Writers. Maria holds an MPub from Simon Fraser University. She is a former columns editor, senior editor, and editor-in-chief for Literary Mama.

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