Motherhood & Words

giving our stories a voice – day 9

Thank you so much to Rachel Turiel of 6512 and Growing for hosting day 9 of the Use Your Words virtual book tour. I first discovered her blog after we both posted as part of the March of Dimes’ Fight for Preemies fall campaign, and I felt an immediate affinity with Rachel as a fellow preemie mom.

Please check out her lovely post about Use Your Words and why she writes through motherhood. A teaser:

Giving my stories a voice frees me from being buried by them, helps me to unravel deeper meanings, and allows me to press pause on the fast-moving train that is our lives.

Rachel is smart and talented (and in more ways than you can imagine: she grows things, butchers things, and climbs things, to name a few). And I love what Rachel says about why she blogs:

This is why. My friend Amy, also a mother, made the observation that in pre-child life when an intense period of time occurred (travels, beginnings, a slice of life so poignant you could eat it), there was inevitably an end to that period, after which reflection and insight came rushing in like a toddler who’s just discovered running. In parenting there is no end (we hope most fervently), just more, of everything. Those fleeting gems like how at 4 years old Col called robins “red belly breast birds” (you’d think “robin” would be simpler) or how Rose at 2 explained that she can’t see out the tall window because she’s “too big” will collapse under the scaffolding of tomorrow’s story titled: how Col wore three dresses and ran around the garden begging to pull carrots. So, my efforts to slow the fast moving train long enough to see precisely how the morning sun glints off the sooty smokestack, is this blog.

Being able to share our stories helps free me from being buried by them, and reminds me that although it sometimes feels like life (and the chaos of children) is happening to me, really it’s just life happening.

This is the story of how Col and Rose kept me and Dan from climbing Sheep Mountain, but instead showed us the meadow voles scurrying around our campsite.

Please stop over to 6512 and Growing and leave a comment (or write a 600-word essay) for your chance to win a copy of the book and be entered into the contest for grand prize.


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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 @ altared spaces on May 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    I found you at 6512. Thanks for telling us about your book there. I took a look at Literary Mama and entered the contest to win your book. Hopefully I’ll even have time to write an essay before the deadline! Thanks for the opportunity.

    • Kate on May 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Rebecca. Happy to know about your wonderful blog, and I look forward to reading your essay!!