Motherhood & Words


There is nothing like reading for 125 people you love. Nothing.

Twenty minutes before each reading I’ve done over the years, I think, okay, this is it, no one is going to come. (And I actually have done a reading in a bookstore where no one came until the bookseller strong-armed a few shoppers. It ended up working out, but that’s another story.) Last night I had that familiar moment of panic, and then I went to the restroom to put on some lipstick, and when I came out, suddenly there were a gazillion people–people I love, people who have supported me for years, people whom I’ve supported. My first Motherhood & Words students brought me flowers. Another former student brought chocolate. Someone else brought more flowers. (Who did that? Tell me! They were just there at the end of the night!) Three of my oldest, closest friends flew from across the country to be there. My new friend, Angie Mizzell, whom I’d never met in person, flew from South Carolina. Love, people. Love.

The launch was tremendous. My lovely editor introduced me with a heartfelt speech. I read. The audience asked smart and interesting questions. My friend Mike spoke the kindest words about me, about my work, about perseverance. And this somehow turned into a standing ovation. For real.

This morning as I relive the night, my eyes keep filling with tears.

But the love keeps coming, because today my blog book tour kicks off at Vikki Reich’s Up Popped a Fox. I met Vikki last winter when I auditioned for the cast of Listen to Your Mother – Twin Cities. And I liked her immediately. She’s funny and warm, and did I say funny? Seriously, she had me at the dance of the peeps. Peeps, people. I love it. I love them.

Please visit Vikki’s blog and read her thoughts about Ready for Air, which made me tear up all over again. Thank you, Vikki, for your words and for your incredible writing. (Someday before too long, Vikki will finish her collection of essays, it will be acquired by some smart editor, and then I will interview her here at Motherhood & Words. So stay tuned for that!) Thank you, Vikki, for reading and posting and kicking this shindig off!

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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. Vikki on October 4, 2013 at 9:25 am

    I was so sad to miss the launch last night but I was in a school gym listening to my son and his classmates give a presentation on their school trip.

    Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of this. Reading your words was a pleasure.

    • Kate on October 4, 2013 at 10:49 am

      Now that sounds almost as fun, Vikki!! And really, thank YOU!!

  2. Sue on October 4, 2013 at 10:15 am

    It sounds like it was magical and deservedly so. Way to go.

    • Kate on October 4, 2013 at 10:49 am

      It WAS magical. Thank you so much, Sue!

  3. Janine Kovac on October 4, 2013 at 11:22 am

    OH! I bet it was tremendous! I was tearing up just reading this! How absolutely lovely. Congratulations!!!! Love the rock star marquee announcement of the reading!

    • Kate on October 7, 2013 at 9:13 am

      I wish you could have been there, too, Janine. But I can’t wait to see you in, like, a week! Cannot wait!

  4. tracy@sellabitmum on October 4, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    I was so sad to miss it last night. I had to be a dance mom instead – which did NOT include wine or readings or the best bars ever. Which really sucked. Congrats my friend! xoxo

    • Kate on October 7, 2013 at 9:17 am

      Oh I wish you could have been there, Tracy. And I wish I could have cheered you on on Sunday! I can’t wait to read about it. And no wine or bars or readings. That does suck, even if little kids dancing rocks.

  5. Marilyn on October 4, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Damn, woman. How blessed is this world to have both you AND your book in it. Thank you with my biggest heart for writing your story and getting it out into the world. You’ve awakened more of us than you will ever know. Such a beautiful thing. Love love love. M

    • Kate on October 7, 2013 at 9:17 am

      Oh Marilyn, love. Thank you so much!! And right back at you!

  6. Cecilia on October 5, 2013 at 9:42 am

    That is so amazing, Kate. I could feel the excitement and overwhelming love through your words. How I wish I could have attended.

    What is your blog book tour? I was thinking about writing about your book on my blog later this month. I hope the timing works!

  7. Angie Mizzell on October 7, 2013 at 4:34 am

    It was such a gift to myself to be there! It was amazing to hear you reading those passages. Thank you for not giving up on this book. xo

    • Kate on October 7, 2013 at 9:20 am

      Thank you, my dear, for trekking all the way to MN to celebrate with me! Amazing!

  8. MLP on October 7, 2013 at 6:50 am

    What a triumph! Congrats.

    At my first book event, it was pouring rain, and I remember thinking, “NO ONE is going to come out for this in this weather.” I thought I was going to have to pay people on the street to come in. Then people started showing up… including friends from TEXAS… and this was an event in North Carolina.

    I love that copies are being given to NICUs. What a wonderful thing to do for people who need to read your writing right at that particular moment in their lives.

    Great work.

    • Kate on October 7, 2013 at 9:12 am

      Exactly, ML. I thought, what can I do to lure the people in? But then they–and some–showed up. Thank you for stopping by. I look forward to following your blog!

  9. Emily Hedges on October 7, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Kate, I am so happy about your wildly successful launch. Kara told me what a love-fest it was, and that you mentioned me. I think you are too, too kind. We both know you did all the work. I also considered flying in, but actually my step-daughter and grandson (I know, I’m too young, right) flew in to see us instead. I was thinking of you, though, and appreciating all the heart and soul that went into this moment. Congrats!

    • Kate on October 7, 2013 at 9:21 am

      Oh Emily, you’re the best. And you’re brilliant, which makes me so happy because I know you’ll think of everything! xoxo

  10. Sunny on October 8, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Congratulations! I am so sorry I missed it. I have been a fan of your writing, teaching, and Motherwords readings for years! You are such an inspiration to other female, mothers who write. Ok that doesn’t sound the best, but you know what I mean. ; ). I will have to get a copy of your book and an autograph the next time I see you. I am so happy for you! What an awesome accomplishment and milestone! Sending lots of love!


    • Kate on October 9, 2013 at 10:31 am

      Oh Sunny! There you are! Thank you so much for your kind words. And I’m so glad I now have proper contact info for you! I look forward to being in touch!