Motherhood & Words

I have been meaning to announce the winner of the 5th annual Motherhood & Words Haiku contest for a week now. Life has been, um, hectic. The days following my return from NY (which was fabulous, by the way) were filled with many loads of laundry because our washing machine broke a couple of weeks ago, and we finally had the new one delivered on Thursday. (The delivery guys almost left without bringing it in, though, because they couldn’t get the old one up the stairs. I said, “It got down there somehow, so it’s going to get up somehow.” They weren’t amused. Thankfully, my step-dad came over and pried the baseboards off the wall, and they were able to squeeze the old one out and the new one in.)

Then my little Zoe broke her arm (again)!! This is the second time she’s broken an arm in less than three months. Different arm, but a more serious break necessitating surgery. I was at work when my mom called to say she had fallen off the slide and that her arm didn’t look quite right. Of course that was the first day I had biked to work, so my boss had to drive me home to get my car. Then I raced to the park, where I found Zoe white as a sheet, her broken arm hanging by her side. The poor kid was in shock. I drove her to the hospital, where she eventually had two pins placed in her elbow. Jeez. She’ll have more x-rays and a hard cast put on tomorrow. New rule in our family: No climbing up slides.

So, those are my excuses. Now on to the contest. This year, it was judged by my own dear mother, Nancy, and my lovely sister-in-law, Anne. Thank you, Mom and Anne!

The two runners-up are:

My own lovely sister: Rachel writes, “…a toddler’s mispronunciation of a local state park”:

An Outing to Remember

Bike ride adventure Yeah!!!

Fart Smelly here we come!!!

Um….it’s Fort Snelling

And the wonderful Jenn:

“where did the clouds go?

the moon ate them, she answered

they’re in his tummy”

And the winner is:

Kara Thom!!

Watery footprints.

Blinking mud flocked eyelashes.

“I’m soaking dirty.”

Kara already has a copy of Use Your Words, so she generously suggested that I donate her winning copy to Faith’s Lodge. Thank you, Kara! And thanks to everyone who submitted haiku this year. You rock, always.

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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. Kara Thom on June 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    I’m so so so honored. Can’t believe I won out over “Fart Smelly.”

  2. Mary Sterns on June 13, 2012 at 9:03 am

    I really enjoyed reading all of them and over the past weekend I shared with my mom about the “Fart Smelly” one as I can just hear a child saying this! Congrats to the winner!!