Motherhood & Words

I finally feel like I can breathe again since finishing my manuscript. I hadn’t realized how much energy that last push had taken. In the last two weeks I knew I needed to turn my attention back to the work I had ignored in May, but I just couldn’t do it. I kept sneaking back to bed whenever possible and falling sound asleep. But today I woke up and stretched and thought, oh, I feel like myself again. Let’s hope it sticks.
And I’m excited to report that my fall Mother Words class at the Loft will be a ten-week class on Tuesday mornings, 10 am – noon, Sept 26 – Dec 5 (no class Nov 22).
Mother Words
Whether you are a new mom or a veteran, whether you gave birth to or adopted your child, in this 10-week class you’ll learn how to take birth and motherhood stories and turn them into art. Weekly lectures, reading assignments and writing exercises will focus on telling details, character development, emotional distance, strengthening your reflective voice, and revision. You can expect to generate a number of short creative nonfiction pieces and one long piece. You will receive feedback from your peers and from me in workshops.
I’ll let you know when registration is open. 

I’ll also be teaching Blogging: A Tool for Writers at the Loft on Saturday, October 29, 9 am – noon. More details on that workshop forthcoming.
Also, mark your calendar’s for the 5th annual Mother Words reading at the Loft on Thursday, October 13th. I will be joined by the amazing writers Jill Christman and Sonya Huber! I can’t wait. 
And as I’m thinking about teaching again, I want to share a couple of recent publications by former students. The multi-talented Andrea Lani has a wonderful review of Cassie Premo Steele’s Shamrock and Lotus and Kristina Riggle’s The Life You’ve Imagined over at Literary Mama. And Stacy Chase’s essay, “Exiled,” is now in Hyperlexia Journal. Stacy started writing this essay a few years ago in my Mother Words class, and I’m so proud of her for getting it out into the world. Congratulations to both Andrea and Stacy!

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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. unfinishedportraitofsam on June 17, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    stoked that Jill Christman will be joining you. she's an amazing writer. i never had her in class, but she teaches at my undergraduate university, and i've loved listening to her read. wish i lived closer so i could join you for readings and class. good luck with the upcoming teaching stint!
    -Sarah M-S

  2. Barbara Watson on June 18, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Everything you wrote about in this post is exciting! Feeling like yourself, finishing the manuscript, teaching at the Loft, published work of former students. Wonderful. And I'm sure you needed those weeks of extra sleep.