Motherhood & Words

The night before the launch of Ready for Air, I drove downtown Minneapolis and parked along 2nd Street. Then I texted Angie Mizzell saying, “I’m here!” A few minutes later she was in the lobby of her hotel and we were hugging.

We had never met in person, yet she had flown across the country to be at my book launch. When she initially mentioned her plan to me last summer, I was like, “You’re crazy! You don’t even know me!” But that wasn’t exactly true. We had begun emailing last October when one of my blog posts hit a chord with her. Then we worked together on her wonderful memoir manuscript. More emails and phone calls, and more blog posts that gave us windows into each other’s lives, and well, we actually did know each other. (Which doesn’t make it any less impressive that she flew across the country to celebrate with me.)

That night before the launch, Angie and I sat across from each other and clicked our glasses together, shared a meal and talked and talked. We talked writing and blogging and family and religion even. We celebrated more on Thursday night. Then on Friday she was back on a plane to South Carolina. But somehow that doesn’t feel so far away anymore.

Angie writes about following your dreams, about taking risks, about saying yes and meaning it. I’m so happy to be over at Angie’s blog today as part of the book tour. She interviewed me on Skype a couple of weeks ago, so go listen to that–not to see me and my wet hair, mind you, but to “meet” Angie and hear her wonderful accent. (Also, you will see why she was a natural on television.)

And I’m humbled by her words about Ready for Air:

This theme—living the questions, the uncomfortable, scary, lonely not knowing—carries the book. Ready for Air takes us into the depths of uncertainty clouding Kate’s first year of motherhood and Stella’s first year of life.

Ready for Air does what all the good stories do: It takes you there, and it makes you care.

Thank you, Angie, for your bravery and strength, your generosity and warmth, and for your story, which will be out in the world before too long. I know that.

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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. Sue on October 24, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Outside the book, I see another theme here Kate, those of us who meet you on line, want to meet you in person and feel that real connection when we do. I hope you appreciate what a gift it is you give of yourself so freely with your students and seemingly, most who cross your path. I look forward to “meeting” Angie.

    • Kate on October 24, 2013 at 9:50 am

      Oh Sue, thank you! But what a gift for me to get to meet so many amazing and talented women. (And then hound them to come to more of my retreats!)

  2. Andrea on October 24, 2013 at 9:57 am

    You’re a natural on TV too, Kate! How great to hear you talk about your books and motherhood literature.

    • Kate on October 24, 2013 at 9:59 am

      Oh Andrea, thank you. I actually cannot watch myself on TV because it makes me too nervous (and critical). I guess it the visual version of my crossing out words in finished, printed book (which I’ve been doing)!

  3. Angie Mizzell on October 24, 2013 at 10:07 am

    You were amazing in that interview (which is also the way you are in person) and Sue really says it all: “those of us who meet you on line, want to meet you in person and feel that real connection when we do. I hope you appreciate what a gift it is you give of yourself so freely with your students and seemingly, most who cross your path.”

    And the book stands alone, in it’s own awesomeness. I’m honored to be a part of this blog book tour, Kate, and to share the opportunity with excellent company.

    • Kate on October 24, 2013 at 10:10 am

      Shucks, Angie. Thank you!!!

  4. Rob Leahy on October 31, 2013 at 6:38 am

    What a nice sentiment! I too know Angie well and have watched her come to the place she is today. I have heard of you, from her, and know how important your mentoring has been to get her where she is today. You have captured her well in your words. We both care for her and I know we will both continue to be there if ever she needs us. And, I wish you continued success with your book!

    • Kate on October 31, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      Oh thank you so much, Rob! I love hearing from Angie’s friends. She is such an amazing person, isn’t she?