Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
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A guest post to motivate, encourage, and inspire...


A Room of My Own

I am obsessed with place. As the daughter of Cuban refugees, I ingested this obsession in my mother’s milk. My family was not terribly prone to nostalgia, but as I grew up in Miami amid the hum of stories of life in an island homeland 90 miles away, I could not escape the feeling that I was in the wrong place. Although I was planted and blossoming in this country still foreign to my parents and grandparents, their voices convinced me that my roots must certainly be in Cuba. My gaze, Janus-like, was always simultaneously looking forward and looking back.

Photo by Jena Schwartz

Photo by Jen

My obsession with place informs the subject of many of my poems, but only lately have I realized that it also informs my writing process. I started writing when my daughters were in 5th and 6th grade, when so much of my time was spent buckled in my car driving them to and from the constellation of places in their lives, or parked and waiting for them to emerge from school or practices or friends’ houses. I kept a small journal in the space between the driver and passenger seat, so that no matter where I found myself I could gather scraps of images or thoughts to develop once I found myself in the right place for writing. I didn’t feel like a real poet because I thought I was writing in the wrong place.

Now my oldest daughter is a freshman in college and her sister will follow in August. With tentative but real joy, I have been slowly converting a room in my house into that inviolable room of my own that Virginia Woolf imagined for us all, surrounding myself with inspiration for creativity – my favorite poets, ancestral photos and letters, a family tree, treasured objects, and colors in shades of ocean blue. The trouble I am finding is that I cannot write there - at least not yet. My inspiration, when it comes, still arrives when I am on the road.  I seem to be most present to my inner and outer world when I am on pilgrimage.

So I let go, for now, embracing my truth that as the daughter of refugees, I am rooted in my displacement.


Join our After Page One series. We’re looking for 300 to 500-word guest posts that motivate, inspire, and encourage other mama-writers, and we’d love to feature YOUR thoughts about getting started, getting back to a writing project, integrating writing with motherhood, reading, or having a positive attitude. The list is endless, but here are some questions that might help you get started. We’ll publish a short bio so readers can learn more about you and your projects.

Rosie Prohias Driscoll is a Cuban-American educator and poet. A former high school English teacher, she currently directs the Teen Faith Formation Program at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Alexandria, VA, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and two greyhounds. Her poems have appeared in the Acentos Review, the Mas Tequila Review, Pilgrimage Magazine, Blue Lyra Review, and Saw Palm: Florida Literature and Art.

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How interesting! Inspiration strikes wherever it will, not necessarily where and when you want it to.
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