As I embraced a lovely moment of creativity with my family, a deep empathy bubbled up from my stomach as I thought: Emily Rapp will never have a moment like this with her son. She will never build stages and act out plays with him because he won’t live to be three.
The role of food in family life varies from house to house and day to day. We might whip up a grilled cheese to get the kids from soccer to violin lessons. We might spend Sunday morning baking German pancakes. Or we might, once a year, spend three days layering traditional cassoulet. Food nourishes our bodies, links us to each other, and binds us inextricably to the planet. But food also serves a more figurative role—sustenance through hard times, a key to our past, an expression of all that is vital.
There is no hard-and-fast word limit for “flash” prose but 500-1000 words is a good general guideline. So for busy moms like me, moms who struggle to find time to write, the flash genre should be perfect. Less writing time, fewer words, shorter pieces, right? Not necessarily.
Chapbooks likely originated in the 19th century when street peddlers sold brief collections of folktales, songs, political or religious tracts, and poetry. The chapbooks we know today are short collections of poems, usually 40 pages or less and most often by a single author. These books range from self-published, handcrafted zines to fully produced, widely distributed books. Emerging poets issue chapbooks rather than full collections to give readers a sampling of their work. Established poets sometimes create chapbooks to focus narrowly on a specific subject or theme. Recently, three new chapbooks on the mother-child bond crossed our desks at Literary Mama.
Love Song’s lifeblood comes from the tenacious humor Dumesnil infuses into her story, such as the comic details of having to remove sperm from a nitrogen tank while trying to maintain a romantic atmosphere. She is at her best in small moments when she drifts toward poetry, a land where she clearly feels comfortable: “Then we stepped off the curb into the parking lot, falling once again into the great unknown.” A perfect blend of the worldly and the sublime, just like parenting itself.