Motherhood & Words

monday morning & two interviews

The weekend was lovely and bursting with family. Stella rocked the 5K (she finished 15th in the female 14-and-under category), and though it was freezing (poor Zoe was weeping), we all had fun. (Or at least we all had fun after coffees and hot chocolates were consumed and we were out of the cold.) The two Thanksgiving dinners were a little rough on my “I just finished a cleanse” digestive system, but I persevered, and even ate a little pie after the second dinner. We had more family time on Friday, and then on Saturday, Donny and the girls and I drove up to Park Rapids, where I signed books and acted as a guest bookseller at Beagle Books as part of Small Business Saturday and the Indies First Campaign. We had a quiet night at my mom’s cabin, just the four of us, and then headed back home yesterday so we could cook and get the house in order for my mom’s birthday dinner last night (hello, 70!).

It was all wonderful, but I have to say that after a long, busy weekend, I long for Monday morning.

So this morning after the girls raced down the block so they didn’t miss the bus, and after Donny headed out the door, I opened all the curtains, carried the orchids to the sink to water them, two by two, and started my pot of decaf brewing. And I could feel myself let go of the tension, of the stress of knowing how many undone things are on my to-do list. Then I sat down in my tiny office, turned on my desk lamp, and opened my laptop, feeling so much more relaxed just being in that quiet space that’s all my own. There is lots of work, as always: author interviews, essays I need to edit, prep for a talk/reading I’m giving tomorrow night (and for which I’m quite nervous). But I know the work will get done. It always does. And once I have practiced my talk and the sections of the book I’m planning to read tomorrow, I’m sure my anxiety will dissolve (or at least that’s the hope). Then I’ll head to the gym for a swim before I have to pick up the girls at the bus stop. And the rhythm of the week will settle in.

Oh, and I also wanted to share links to these two interviews. Last Wednesday I was a guest on Wisconsin Public Radio. (My first public radio interview!) Judith Siers-Poisson was fabulous, and there were some really amazing callers. Click here to listen to that.

The other great news is that Ready for Air is Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine‘s book club pick for December. There is a nice little review in the print version of the magazine, and you can read my interview with them here.

Thank you, as always, for stopping by. And I’d love to know: How do you settle back into your rhythm after a long weekend? What helps you get back to the mental space you need to feel content and get your work done?



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 LeBreton on December 2, 2013 at 11:41 am

    I am so happy Ready for Air is the book club pick for that magazine. The more people that read it, the better.
    I related to your settling in description of your morning. I have had some time to edit but now heading out to my job. But even short moments of writing helps ground me for the day ahead. Enjoy the talk. I look forward to listening to the radio show.

    • Kate on December 2, 2013 at 11:43 am

      Thank you, Sue! And that’s exactly it, isn’t it. Even those short bursts of writing help ground us. I’m glad you had that time today!

  2. Autumn on December 2, 2013 at 11:59 am

    So happy you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Ours was busy, but filled with a lot of family and friends visiting.

    As for getting back into the rhythm after a long weekend, I am taking my time with the cleaning up, clearing out, and reorganizing. Lydia and I will take our long walk this afternoon before picking up Cassius then Mariah from their respective schools.

    I’ve been sitting on a blog post about Lydia’s 3rd birthday and plan to finish that later tonight. But, my biggest priority of the day is in the kitchen. I need to cook something different now that we’ve finally eaten all of Thursday’s leftovers and turkey noodle soup!

    • Kate on December 2, 2013 at 12:02 pm

      I love that, Autumn. The cleaning and clearing out is so important, isn’t it? And a long walk–perfect! Have a wonderful day of re-setting!

  3. Sara on December 2, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    That’s great about Pregnancy and Newborn magazine picking your book! I love to hear support for harder pregnancy and birth stories.

    I haven’t quite got into my rhythm yet this week. In fact, I almost forgot to send in a report I have to do every Monday. But I came home Friday night (instead of Saturday afternoon) and over the weekend managed to clean up and organize most of the lingering chaos from the conversion of office to play room that happened in August. I think there’s something to that thing about cluttered space and cluttered mind.

    • Kate on December 2, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      Thank you, Sara!

      Office to play room conversation sounds chaotic. But I’m glad you were able to get most of it organized. Donny and I need a weekend in our basement, organizing and shredding and generally cleaning up. I just don’t know when that weekend is going to materialize!

  4. Barb Buckner Suarez on December 2, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Kate: UGH! My rhythm has been off since the long Veteran’s Day weekend. We hosted 20 people for Thanksgiving and my MIL was here for over a week. Today was heaven to me (am I terrible to say that?) I am one of the most social people of all time, but I was longing for a quiet and empty house so that I could just sit my bum down in the chair and WRITE. Task accomplished – I was able to spend about 4 hours in my little office getting to know my book draft again and I even wrote a little something new in one of the chapters. I’m hoping this means I’m back in the saddle again – until Winter Break, that is! :O) Great news about Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine – Congratulations!

    • Kate on December 3, 2013 at 7:50 am

      It’s not at all terrible to say that, Barb! I’m a social person, too, but I still need that down time–just me, just my work. Fabulous that you were able to dive in and reacquaint yourself with your book AND do a little new writing. You’re back!

  5. Andrea on December 3, 2013 at 9:33 am

    I’m making this my mantra: “The work will get done. It always does.” I’m trying not to get frantic, with lots of end-of-graduating-semester things to get done, plus the holidays, plus some neverending cold/flu thing that’s making me too tired to pull late nights/early mornings. The work will get done. It always does.

    • Kate on December 3, 2013 at 9:45 am

      Oh I’m sorry you’ve been sick, Andrea. It’s so hard to get everything done when you’re feeling under the weather. But you will get it all done. I know it. And then you will be finished with your MFA!! Whoop!