She's singing to herself,
when she realizes I'm looking.
She smiles, shrugs;
I'm doing something, she whispers,
I'm doing something.
Don't stop, I tell her,
. . .
–from "I'm Doing Something" by Zeina Hashem Beck
April is National Poetry Month, so it's fitting to begin my letter with an excerpt from a poem featured in our current issue. Zeina Hashem Beck's "I'm Doing Something" captures the spirit of creativity that pervades this time. Whether embarking on a poem-a-day for thirty days, attending or participating in readings and literary events, adding more poetry books to that reading pile (or any combination of these), April, for many, is synonymous with "getting things done."
At Literary Mama we understand Zeina's urgent message to her daughter, and we stand by that advice: Don't stop creating, or writing, or sharing.
Here's what our tireless contributors have been up to:
In Columns, Cassie Premo Steele shares reader Stephanie Laterza's entertaining story "In Triage," as well as her Five Tips for Creating Effective Dialogue; in "Whoopsie-Baby," Beth Malone ponders the issue of adding another to her brood, or whether she should focus more on her other dream job–that of writer; and Ona Gritz returns with her new column—"Calling Home"—and asks the question: "How much of what we call home has to do with location, and how much is about the people we find there?"
Creative Nonfiction brings us "O" by Jessica Braun—an essay about honoring the varied talents of our children, told from the perspective of someone labelled a "daydreamer" who just couldn't seem to "get a handle on math."
In Fiction, there's "In Her Dreams" by Kristin Doherty, an evocative story of a 92-year-old woman who finds solace in images from her former free-spirited life.
Literary Reflections includes Jennifer Hollis' contemplative essay "Everything Counts," which offers her take on "showing up for the joy and terror of the creative process"; as well as an Essential Reading list "From a Child's Point of View," in which we recommend The Poisonwood Bible; They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky; Room; The Sense of Wonder; and Look Through My Window.
From Poetry there's heartache and the rustle of the winter grass in Danelle Stamps' "Poppy's Daughter, A Eulogy" and "From the cab of the old farm truck on the first day of Spring"; and asymmetrical love and scribbling on post-it notes in Zeina Hashem Beck's "Milk" and "I'm Doing Something."
In Profiles, we have Marianne Lonsdale's conversation with Nayomi Munaweera, in which the two discuss why Munaweera writes, how she creates her novels, and the reaction in South Asia to her first novel Island of a Thousand Mirrors.
From Reviews, there are two thought-provoking entries: Katherine J. Barrett's "From Text to Table: A Review of Books that Cook: The Making of a Literary Meal"; as well as Laurie Jones Neighbors' "The People We Might Have Been: Mary Anna King's Bastards."
And be sure to visit our Blog for up-to-date information on Calls for Submissions; guest posts for our After Page One, Free Write, and Op-Ed series; a Writerly Roundup of articles related to craft and the writing life; Announcements; and a list of National Poetry Month events.
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 momentum,