May is motherhood memoir month


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May is a Mother of a Month

17 years ago today, at age 47 1/2, I gave birth to my third daughter, our six child.somewhere along the line we realized May 1 is my 1/2 birthday (and Nov. 1, my whole birthday, is Arielle’s 1/2 birthday). This is a child who loves to celebrate, and a child we love celebrating. at the wedding reception for Marie & Jerome in Burgundy France, 2023 Today, after birthday dinner and opening gifts, including 9 sketchbooks because she loves to draw and ran out of sketchbooks last week, she reviewed her life in pictures on my phone. She commented on our many trips together- Iceland, England, Germany last year, France several times… so many good times together, but all too soon it will be time for her to leave home. 17 begins a countdown to adulthood, graduation and college, and/or possibly marriage. Her sister, our middle daughter, is getting married at…

May (MaMoMeMo) is Here

Are you ready to write, even just 5-10 minutes exploring your story in May? If so, bookmark this site and subscribe to my newsletter… which I admit I’ve never actually sent out. I write my blog posts (here and more regularly on Ekphrastic Mama but I don’t bother with emails. Some of you have asked me about this… I’m working up to it, is my best answer. I’m still figuring out the public side of writing. Mostly, writing is private, something I do when I’m alone, although I do write in groups and with partners, which I find drives my writing forward in surprising ways, but more about that later… I find memoir a bit unwieldy- it tends to run off in directions I didn’t think I was going. Sometimes I have to stop and ask, what is the story that wants to be written? However, during May…

Dented Love’s Saluted Image

“In my unresisting picture, all love seen All said is dented love’s saluted image” This line from beat poet, Bernadette Mayer, calls out to me from her book, Midwinter Day, written on the shortest day of the year; a mother with two small children wrote an entire book in one day. Cataloging every thought, every image and scene, beginning with waking from a dream, flitting from one moment to the next, as a mother’s life does, yet still missing many it is an epic memoir/poem streamed from what might be her subconscious. But what is dented love’s saluted image? What can it be, but motherhood? My mother, my daughters, my self This image, my mother, my three daughters, each born in different decades, and myself, calls me out too. So today, I’m putting them together. A line-up. Almost 10 years ago, before I left California, I asked my mother and…

Untangling the Mess

First drafts are messy. We’ve all heard that, but I always think no draft can be as messy as mine. Given enough time, I will restart and restate parts of the story, losing track of what I already wrote. I’ll rethink it until the story swirls around and leaves my head spinning. Finally I have to print it and cross out areas, bracket and draw arrows to new places, cut and paste, with scissors and tape, old school. Actually, I start with my journal, so lots of scratching there too. I wonder how it will ever come together. But if I stay with it, like the bucking horses my mother used to put me on, it finally calms down and becomes something cohesive and wonderful- a great ride, a story readers can inhabit. I live for that. Believe in it. Believing keeps me going. Writing is an act of faith.…

Where You Begin

May is Motherhood Memoir Month–You don’t have to be a mother to write motherhood: it’s where you begin. You had a mother, or someone who gave birth to you (or are you an alien?)… Write about that. Ideas for getting started: Download your thoughts onto paper or a screen- Ask yourself a question or simply record a thought you have on motherhood, mothering or being a daughter, or child of your mother. Or the absence of a mother. Or abandonment. Or Joy- what is the best memory you have of or with her? Or the earliest? Any or all of these can take you to a place where your story starts, or continues. Enjoy.

How This Began

I’ve done NaNoWriMo for several years- I was introduced to it by my sons in their early teens, both of whom finished novels- quite inspiring. I was in grad school then, and had a toddler, the youngest of our six kids. I wanted to write a novel but didn’t feel like it was feasible. The irony of getting a Masters in writing while watching my young teen sons each write a novel was not lost on me. I did NaNoWriMo for several years, but instead of writing novels I was really writing memoir. And then it occurred to me that memoir, especially memoir that focuses on the stories around motherhood, where we begin- even if we’re not mothers- is where I wanted to head. So hear it is: MAMOMEMO- May is Motherhood Memoir Month. Last May (2017) was a crazy month– we put our house up for sale to move…