Motherhood & Words

A few weeks ago, Lisen Stromberg honored me with a blog award, the Liebster. Lisen writes the blog An Angel of PrismWork, and I’m grateful to her for her moving prose. When you have a chance, please read this powerful piece about her son.

So, to accept the Liebster Award, I have to do three things: First, I have to answer the 5 questions posed by Lisen. Then, I have to nominate 5 blogs I really like for the award, and those 5 blogs should have under 200 followers. (I’m not sure I know how many followers each of my nominees has, so I’m disregarding that piece.) Finally, I have to pose 5 questions for my nominees to answer.

Here are my answers to the five questions Lisen posed:

1.  That perfect place. Describe it in all its glory and you in it.

My mom’s cabin in Northern Minnesota. I grew up there in the summers, and when the sun is glinting off the lake, it’s one of my favorites places in the world. But it’s also a fabulous retreat in the winter. We were up there last weekend with friends, and there is nothing like clipping on my cross country skis and heading off into the woods. The trees hung heavy with snow as we glided among dark pines and naked aspen. It’s so quiet that you can hear the snow fall, the air filled with an electric fizz of colliding snowflakes.


2.   Share, if you will, that one regret because we all have at least one if we are honest with ourselves.

There are a few things I regret, especially situations when my initial inaction created stress and financial burden later on. But even in those cases, I learned so much through the struggle that I’m not sure I can call them true regrets.


3.     Share a poem that inspires you and tell us why.

I just received a stunning poem in the mail from a friend whose son died last year.  It’s “Kindness” by Naomi Shihab Nye, and each time I read it I get chills.  You can read it here at the Writer’s Almanac. It’s such a beautiful poem, a reminder to not take anything for granted, to open myself again and again to compassion, to embrace empathy.


4.     What one thing are you especially proud that you did last year?

Published my first book! (And sold my second!) I guess that’s two, but what the heck.


5.     We all have hero, who is yours?

I know this sounds cheesy, but my husband, D, is my hero. He is the most resilient person I know, continually striving to be the best he can be without ever becoming arrogant or superior.  I could go on and on, but I’ll leave it at that so I don’t embarrass him.


The five blogs I chose for the next round of Liebster Awards are:

  • Mama Sweat by Kara Douglass Thom – Kara writes about writing, fitness, and motherhood.
  • Only You by Cecilia writes about parenthood, writing, and finding one’s voice.
  • Remains of the Day by Andrea Lani, who writes about writing, arts, and family. She can craft anything!
  • Angie Mizzell, who writes about freeing yourself and finding the path that feels true to you.
  • Bumbles and Light by Rebecca, who is a photographer and writer documenting her expat life as a mother and artist in Chicago.

And here are my five questions for them:

1)    What is one thing you’d like to accomplish (professionally or personally) in the next year?

2)    Who is the one person who has had an important influence on you? Describe.

3)    What essay or poem or short story do you return to again and again? Why?

4)    In what ways has parenthood shifted your perspective on some aspect (you chose) of your life?

5)    Describe your ideal day.

Check them out!



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I have been teaching creative writing for almost twenty years. Reading about other women’s lives and experiences has expanded my world. To be able to walk in someone else’s shoes, whether it’s for a moment or an hour or a few days, is an incredible gift, providing me with insight into the human experience. It takes courage to write your truths, especially if it doesn’t seem as though anyone cares, as though anyone is listening. Let me tell you: your stories matter, I’m listening, and I’m here to help you find the heart of those truths, to get them down on the page, to craft them, and to send them out into the world. Together, we will change the world, one story at a time.


  1. Rebecca on February 15, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Great answers, and thanks for nominating me! I’m going to have to think long and hard about those questions…

    • Kate on February 23, 2013 at 11:58 am

      Can’t wait to read your answers, Rebecca!

  2. Marilyn Bousquin on February 15, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Lovely, Kate! Congratulations. Can’t wait to read your picks! All best, M

  3. Sue LeBreton on February 15, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Kate, congratulations. I look forward to reading your suggested blogs because you always suggest great writers & great writing!

    • Kate on February 23, 2013 at 11:58 am

      Thank you, Sue and Marilyn!

  4. Angie Mizzell on February 18, 2013 at 11:18 am

    “Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
    you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.”

    I really understand this… and did not have words for it until now.

    Kate, what a surprise and honor to be recognized by you… a writer, mom and woman I respect so much! Finding your post, “When the waiting pays off” did wonders for me and came at the exact right time. I’m so glad our paths crossed when they did. I look forward to answering your questions (and loved reading the responses to yours!) and spreading some more blog love around!

  5. Mommyproof on February 19, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Just discovered your blog — love this! I, too, am a (newish) mother and writer. Excited to check out the blogs you name in this post. xox

    • Kate on February 23, 2013 at 11:59 am

      Welcome, Mommyproof! I look forward to checking out your blog, as well!

  6. Cecilia on March 18, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Oh Kate, I can’t believe I just read my name here! And I am so late! Thank you so much for thinking of me. I am honored and I look forward to reflecting on those five questions you asked.

    I miss you!!!


    • Cecilia on March 18, 2013 at 7:21 pm

      And I can’t thank you enough for all the support you have given me over the years for my writing…I am still writing today thanks to you. Thank you so much for everything.