Recently, while I was scrolling through one of my social media feeds, my daughter looked over my shoulder and asked, "What's that about?" She was pointing to the now iconic pencil drawing by Lucille Clerc, and which honors the victims of the devastating Charlie Hebdo attack that occurred earlier this month. After I explained that it was about what happened in Paris, and uttered a few words about freedom of expression, and carrying on, despite the circumstances, she remained riveted by the image, finally stating, in the way of so many nine-year-olds,"That's. So. Cool." But mixed in with that awe, I detected a note of sadness. As Lucille Clerc wrote on her site, "I will never be pleased that this image exists. The only thing I can be happy about is the fact that this image has linked people around a message of hope and peace."
Months ago, in planning our January issue of Literary Mama, the theme of renewal, and wishes, in particular, immediately sprung to mind. Our hope is that the many voices of motherhood continue to be heard. This month our writers share their wishes, and what matters to them.
In Columns, Cassie Premo Steele urges those taking part in her third class, "The Arc/Ark of Narrative," to "find the desire"; in "A Crocodilian Resolution," Beth Malone resolves to transcend all the chatter of parental judgment; B.L. Pike's son Tony offers the poignant lesson that every "Life Matters"; and Katherine J. Barrett, just like her mother before her, transforms the "Bones" of last year into something new and nourishing.
In Fiction, there's "Boxcar" by Courtney Elizabeth Mauk, a haunting story of a mother of triplets who seeks freedom and peace in unexpected ways.
Literary Reflections brings us Hannah Vanderpool's essay, "Making Life," about reawakening her writer self; as well as an Essential Reading List on "Wishing," in which our editors and columnists recommend books to inspire and motivate.
Poetry explores "beginnings"–of the universe, children, guilt, grace, and breath—with "Their Infinite Questions" by Elisabeth Sharp McKetta; "Keeping Company with the Figment of Blue" by Kathleen Dale; "Rocks" by our own reviews editor Camille-Yvette Welsch; "When my four-year-old asks mama will me and Opal die one day" by Christina Parker; and "Two poems by Nicole Callihan."
Katherine D. Stutzman's "Nesting Instincts: A Review of Molly Sutton Kiefer's Nestuary" is an insightful look at Sutton Kiefer's work.
And be sure to visit our Blog for up-to-date information on Calls for Submissions, guest posts for our After Page One, For Your Journal, and Op-Ed series, as well as Announcements.
We are always grateful for your comments, and hope you can share all this good writing with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.
Wishing you a peaceful start to the new year,