Motherhood & Words

Perhaps you noticed that I didn’t post about too many books or essays this fall. I was just in over my head and apparently incapable of digesting anything literary after the girls were in bed. But I’m happy to report that I’m reading again—finally—and I have a ton of exciting books to post about in the coming weeks. My wonderful and talented friend, Alex Lemon, just published his first memoir, Happy, which I will hopefully get to soon. I just read Kao Kalia Yang’s amazing memoir, The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir, which details Yang’s family’s escape from Laos and eventual arrival in the United States after the end of the Vietnam War. Over the holidays I read two very interesting anthologies, Who’s Your Mama? and Unbuttoned, which I reviewed for Literary Mama. (I’ll let you know when the review is up at LM.) And I’m currently finishing Hope Edelman’s lovely memoir, The Possibility of Everything. So, I have lots to write about.

I’m also beginning to gear up for my winter/spring classes and my end-of-February Mother Words Retreat. There are still a few spots in my next online Mother Words class, which begins February 10th. You can read more about that on my website, or contact me with questions.

I’m teaching a two-hour mini-workshop, Mother Memoir, at Mother’s Day, Inc. in Chanhassen, Minnesota, on Saturday, January 23rd, 10:30-12:30. You can register for that here.

I’m also teaching an 8-week Introduction to Creative Nonfiction course at the Loft, beginning February 4th, which you can register for here.

And there are still a few available spots for my Mother Words Retreat at Faith’s Lodge, February 26-28. More information on that here.

I feel energized (still tired, but energized) for the first time in a long time. And it’s nice to remember that the more I read, the more I want to read.


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. Elizabeth on January 12, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Wow! You do feel energized! I wish I lived closer and could come to one of your workshops!

  2. magpiedays on January 12, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Is that Hope Edelman who wrote Motherless Daughters? That book was so important to me after I lost my mother – and I still turn to it sometimes all these years later. If you have time for a review of The Possibility of Everything I'm looking forward to hearing about it.

  3. Mary on January 13, 2010 at 12:16 am

    I really really don't know how you do all that…and so WELL. Looking forward to hearing more about all those interesting books!

  4. Mummy mania on January 13, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    really looking forward to reading your reviews, espeically of The Possibility of Everything. Well done for getting energised – what's the secret??!

  5. kate hopper on January 13, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    I wish you could, too, Elizabeth. But I'm convinced we'll meet in person some day!

    Magpiedays, that IS the same Hope Edelman. And I'm definitely planning on reviewing the book here.

    Mary, thank you, though of course I don't always feel like I'm doing well on ANY of it!

    Mummy mania, I'm not sure what the secret is, but I'm going to guess that it has something to do with me finally finishing a few things that had been on my plate for a long time, and it probably has a lot to do with the extra work time I now have. (And also the fact that I'm not teaching right now.) I love that I can focus on work for long stretches of time.

  6. cath c on January 13, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    your last line is my favorite, and a great reminder! thank you.

  7. Cecilia on January 20, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    This is also my year "to read" and I love memoirs also. I am so looking forward to taking your class and getting to know you!