Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
From the Editor, April 2017

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Photo by Megan Devine. See more of Megan's work at

I was struck by the innocence one of our readers captured in this photo and what it said to me about exploring the unknown, peering into darkness, and greeting adventure.

I grew up on a farm and remember vividly the intense odors of dust and bird droppings that greeted me when I entered our barn or one of the many sheds my dad used to store machinery and straw bales. The dust triggered a series of sneezes that sounded twice as loud as normal and which, in turn, startled and sent into motion any birds or small creatures whose peace I had interrupted. It was best to let the flurry subside before I stepped farther into the building, but the haze of activity only added to the intrigue of what I imagined I might discover.

There were also spaces I was more hesitant to enter. There, light had difficulty finding its way into the building and the darkness made me a bit apprehensive. I had to decide if the prospect of what I might discover was worth the discomfort of the unknown.

When I was at my bravest and when I waited long enough for my eyes to adjust to the low light, I uncovered feathers, egg shells, and old pieces of metal that I carefully stored in shoeboxes in my playhouse. Stumbling across a mama cat's hiding place for her newborn kittens—the main purpose of most of my explorations—drew me into those dark recesses again and again. A little more courageous each time, yet respectful of the treasure I'd actually discovered.

I suspect you, too, have had to decide whether or not to enter the haze or to let your eyes adjust to the darkness, and I hope you'll find a treasure or two on our pages that you'll want to save, to share, and to return to. Thanks for joining us on this adventure where mothering and writing intersect.

Welcome to our April issue!

Karna Converse

P.S. Stay connected between monthly issues by subscribing to our blog or by following us on social media. See you there!

Heartsong: What Love Is by Kate Ristau

The Support Group by Kristen LeClerc

Letting Loose the Reins by Marlene Olin

Literary Reflections
My Family's Stories by Lisa Witz
Keeping a Writer's House with The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes By Angela Berkley
Essential Reading: Novellas, Chapbooks, and Short Story Collections compiled by Abigail Lalonde

Writing in the Kiss-and-Ride Line by Rosa Prohias Driscoll
The Chronicles (of A Violence Foretold) by Hope Wabuke
This Word by Michelle Lee
No by Lisa Rhoades
Goodnight Moon Sonnet by Libby Kurz

A Profile of Laura Sims by Claudia F. Savage

A Review of Tasty Other by Juli Anna Herndon
A Review of Spells for Victory and Courage by Jamie Sumner

Photos by Megan Devine and Heather Vrattos

Karna Converse is a freelance writer who’s written everything from technical documentation and price proposals to newsletter articles, devotionals, personal profiles and essays. Her essays have been published in a variety of regional and national publications, including The Christian Science Monitor, Notre Dame Magazine, the Cup of Comfort and Chicken Soup anthologies, Our Iowa, and on Iowa Public Radio. She and her husband are parents to three young adults. Karna is a former blog editor, senior editor, managing editor, and editor-in-chief of Literary Mama.

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Megan is a mother, early childhood educator, and lifelong learner. She lives with her husband, James, and four young children. Together they tend to a flock of chickens, two hives of bees, a fuzzy lop rabbit and an unruly White German Shepherd on the edge of the wilderness in Northeast Minnesota. Megan teaches kindergarten and writes a monthly school-age column for Minnesota Parent Magazine and blogs weekly for; she is also a contributor to Taproot Magazine.

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