Motherhood & Words

I said I was going to take a two-week break and unplug, and somehow it is four weeks later and I am only now getting around to posting here. Yikes.

The good news is that the break was a real break. I packed up the girls and we flew down to Costa Rica, where we spent a week in San Vicente, the village where I lived in the mid-90s. (It was a decision I made last fall when I was in the thick of my crazy schedule and found out that my host-mother had been diagnosed with stomach cancer. Luckily she’s doing well, and I’m grateful we were able to spend time with her and the rest of my host family.)

It took me a couple of days to settle into the slower rhythm of life in San Vicente, but then I embraced it and I felt better than I had in months. The second week of our trip, Donny flew down and met us and we all went to the beach together. It turns out I love spending my days boogie boarding, taking slow runs along the beach, reading novels in a hammock, drinking mojitos and eating fresh-caught fish. It was a true vacation, one that I clearly needed.



Then we came home and my stress level shot through the roof and my ulcers and gallbladder began their squawking again. Talk about a rocky re-entry. But I’ve finally settled back into the hectic rhythm of our current lives, and I’m trying to make space for writing and reading. This last week I’ve been working on an essay about San Vicente for my Motherhood & Words Reading tomorrow night. It’s been a while since I started a new essay, and it’s been fun to muck around in that discovery phase again. It’s also been a long time since I’ve read aloud a work-(very much)-in-progress. We’ll see how it goes.


If you’re local, I’d love to see you tomorrow night. I’m honored to be reading with two fantastic, talented writers: Kathryn Trueblood and Kao Kalia Yang. Please join us at 7 p.m. at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. There will be a reception following the reading. Bring your friends. Make a night of it!

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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. Laura Nicole Diamond on April 29, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Best wishes for tomorrow’s reading. I would love to be there– maybe next year! Or maybe you should hit the road and come to L.A.? Enjoy!

    — Laura

    • Kate on May 1, 2015 at 8:12 am

      Thank you, Laura! It was a great night. And LA would be great! (Next year I’ll hopefully be there for AWP, so maybe we can meet in person!)

  2. Sara on May 1, 2015 at 8:11 am

    ” It turns out I love spending my days boogie boarding, taking slow runs along the beach, reading novels in a hammock, drinking mojitos and eating fresh-caught fish.”
    Who wouldn’t? I love the sound of a real vacation. I think I’m due for an offline break soon. Is there a recording of the Motherhood & Words reading?

    • Kate on May 1, 2015 at 8:14 am

      Being offline really does change how I move through the day, Sara. Do it!

      And yes, the recording will be posted on Mother’s Day this year! I’ll post a link when it’s live. xo

  3. Sarah on May 1, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    So glad you got a real and wonderful break! Hope peace finds you at home soon too! 🙂

    • Kate on May 4, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      Thank you, Sarah! It will happen, I know it.

  4. cynthia newberry martin on May 1, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    Love the sound of that vacation. Hope to have one just like it in June. Enjoy your reading.

    • Kate on May 4, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      That’s fabulous, Cynthia. It’s so important to have those real breaks.

  5. Wendy on May 7, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Way to go Kate. First for taking the break your body, soul and family needed. And second, for writing, and risking!

    • Kate on May 12, 2015 at 9:02 am

      Thank you, Wendy! xo