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

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About a year ago, I joined a structured, instructor-led exercise class. Until then, I had considered exercise more a social activity than an important component of a healthy lifestyle. My body, however, didn't agree.

The class I found that fit me best—Transform—is a combination of pilates and yoga that promises a "mind/body experience unlike any you've seen before." True to its description, this class has challenged me. I'm sure the instructor appreciates my effort with the Triangle and Side Angle poses, but neither are pleasing to watch. On the other hand, I know I'm making progress with both the Plank and Tree poses. I'm still not nearly as balanced or strong as I should be, but I'm improving. I'm standing taller. I'm happier. And, I miss the hour-long workout when I'm unable to attend.

I'm the first to credit the instructor for her patience in working with me, but the real key to my (perceived) success is the simple fact that I added the word "Transform" to my calendar. Every week, those nine letters encourage, challenge, and keep me humble.

The same could be said about reading and writing. Do these activities fill specific slots on your calendar? Have you participated in NaNoWriMo? Accepted a 30 Day Journal Challenge? Responded to a writing prompt? Submitted your work for possible publication? Are you reading selections from a genre you're not as familiar with or that are written by someone who has a different face or story than you? Are you thinking about what you read and write, contemplating what is unwritten as well as what's printed on the page?

None of this is easy. But if we're not sweating, if we don't have sore muscles, and if we're not a bit uncomfortable at times, we're not stretching to the fullest. On behalf of our editorial staff, let me say Kudos!, Good Job!, Don't give up!, You can do it!, and Thank you for exercising with us.

Welcome to our November issue.


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


The Sound of a Calling: Finding My Voice by Julianne Palumbo

Dark Water by Jennifer Jameslyn
Outside/In by Kristen Moraine

Pruning by Anna Jordan
Paper Bouquets by Monique Hayes

Literary Reflections
Ned the Noodle-Eating Knight and Other Tales by Josie Glausiusz
Essential Reading: Food compiled by Nerys Copelovitz

Each of His Cries Is a Different Color by Jennifer Davis Michael
Grandmommy by Deborah Kolb
To the Woman Who Stopped Her Car to Scream at Me at the Bus Stop by Deborah Staunton
The Echo by Sam Payne
Stray by Heidi Lynn Nilsson

A Conversation with Jessica Carew Kraft By Natalie Tomlin
A Conversation with Anna Lefler by Teri Rizvi

A Review of Hagar Poems by MRB Chelko
Mamas Still Doing It: A Review of If Mom's Happy: Stories of Erotic Mothers by Sandra L. Faulkner

Photos by Jennifer DeVille Catalano, Phyllis Higgerson, Nancy Noble, Gayla Ross, 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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Heather Vrattos is pursuing an interest in photography by taking courses at the International Center of Photography. She is the mother of three boys, and lives in New York City.

Keep encouraging the transformation!
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