Who says what?

Novelist, mother, minister, and yoga teacher muses on books, babies, motherhood, and what matters with reverent humor.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween

I decided, considering the state of the nation, that for Halloween I would dress as a pig--you know, a swine.

But I couldn't make a costume in time. So I decided to try being a neurotic, paranoid person who's obsessed with the media swine-flu blitz.

That way, I get to wear my own clothes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Feminist Poop

Here is another excellent review--and a book giveaway--for THIS LITTLE MOMMY STAYED HOME. Enter to win a copy for yourself or a friend.

You may also be interested in reading this reviewer's fantastic blog, thefeministbreeder. She's fascinating and an excellent writer, and who can resist a title like that?

If you think feminism has nothing to do with poop, you may be right. But while the internet is busy with good reviews of my book, I am busy cleaning poop. Specifically, diarrhea, yesterday, off the rug in my daughter's room. Please don't ask. But from this lowly work, great things can come?


Friday, October 23, 2009

Blogs of Substance

I've started blogging at a big Massachusetts website, masslive, for something called the Parenting Project.

You can now read my blogs of substance there.

Start here.

This blog will continue to lack substance.

But then, probably, it will be much more enjoyable.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I was just interviewed on Parenting Radio Unplugged, a totally awesome radio--both live and ready for you to download--out in Oregon, that's building a virtual parent network, is a huge resource for parents, and is run by two awesome and funny people, Laura and Todd Mansfield.

You must listen.

It's an excellent, interesting conversation where I spout off about the book (a nice excerpt from it), my thoughts on motherhood, and how I didn't have any romance in the first nine months after my son's birth--except with him. Not only that, I think you'll find much worth listening to if you browse the archives.

For the record, I had to step in at the last moment when Dr. Oz couldn't make it.

Hmmm. Filling in for Dr. Oz. Are you listening Oprah?

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Beat Goes On

Here's a fantastic review my book got on a blogspot site--except that link won't work, though God knows I tried to make it happen. You will need to manually type in (or cut and paste) bookjunkie79.blogspot.com and then scroll down to see my book.

Unfortunately, I can't open the site. Because my computer had some kind of techno-PMS over the past weekend and gave up on life altogether. Now, it doesn't know how to open pictures and videos and fancy things like word documents. The thing's a Luddite, like me. Neither the computer nor I like technology. Of course, that's a really bad quality for a computer to have, but nevermind. None of us is perfect.

Life marches on, regardless of my ability to communicate with other bloggers. If you can open this woman's site, please thank her for me. She adored the book and so, therefore, I adore her.

And speaking of adorable things, aren't your children priceless in their Halloween costumes? If you submit your photos to the bizymoms.com Halloween contest you can win my book! That's right. A free, autographed copy of my outstanding novel THIS LITTLE MOMMY STAYED HOME could be delivered to your doorstep and all you have to do is send in a photo of your beloved kid.

I'm off tomorrow to another book club event. If you can get your book club together to read my book, I might just show up. You have to be in walking or driving distance. OR, I can make a virtual trip. I've got Skype, you know, so don't feel disappointed. This famous novelist will come to your meeting and talk about the little-known advantages of sleep-deprivation, like novel writing. Think of how popular you'll be!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Want some good listening?

THIS LITTLE MOMMY STAYED HOME has been featured on the very cool bizymoms.com.
You can listen to the podcast interview here.

I go on about motherhood as a calling, how to get published, and how to write a book with a baby underfoot and another on the way. Talk about content!

Let me know what you think. No, really, I mean it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe

Ever just long for the old days of child rearing?

Whip them and put them to bed?

Modern parenting is soooo involved. You've got to get attached and then get them unattached and keep them happy and make sure they become responsible, green, compassionate, world-enhancing little creatures.

And to think there was a time when pregnant women smoked and drank whiskey without a thought!

Or course, the world is being run by those children now....

I know an old woman who had five children. (But didn't live in a shoe.) I asked her how she did it. "In those days? In those days we didn't have all this stuff you do. If they cried, I'd say, 'I'll give you something to cry about.'"

Oh, for simpler times.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

An Academic Oversight

Believe me when I say that I know as well as most, if not better, that motherhood can be dull, tedious, repetitive, draining, and insular. That despite all of that, it is also fascinating, deeply meaningful, educational, and fun, is nothing short of miracle. How many things can you think of that would fall into both of those camps? Filing? Boring, not ever deeply meaningful. Teaching? Deeply meaningful not really insular. Slaying dragons? Repetitive maybe but never dull.

If you're waiting for a point, I have one.

My Alma mater, a prestigious woman's college (you won't have to search far to know which one), has not gone to the trouble of including me in their "recently published" list in their alum magazine. Of course, I am told that my itsy-bitsy three line listing could not make it in due to space. That may be true.

Or it may not be. Correct me if I'm wrong, but generally, no one takes chick lit seriously. (A serous mistake.) And funny, fast fiction about motherhood? Well, why would they write on that when they've got half of their graduates saving orphans and stopping wars. Giving a new mother a few hours of hilarious pleasure and a reason to get through her day without throwing her infant into the dishwasher? Who has space for that?

Seriously, I'm angry, but in a really happy sort of way. (Yes, it's possible.) Because I feel like the truth that gets revealed in their "oversight" or general neglect of my publication fortifies my purpose. Did I write a novel for the academics to ponder? For the award committees to select? Or did I write a novel for the mothers, to reflect their experience, with honesty and humor, because humor is nothing short of salvation when you're working on no sleep. Never mind wars in other countries, I'm hoping for peace in the homeland.

It does bother me. And it bothers me that only few in the "press" have got my little book. The reviewer I feel who got it most? A Man. In this interview, he gathered together the whole of my work in the world, as a minister, a mother, a yoga teacher, and a novelist. Why does a minister start her novel with an in-depth investigation of the post-partum vagina? Why does a feminist write about staying-home?

Whether they like it or not (that school of mine), the reality in my book is one that most mothers have lived. In the acute, intense, and nothing-else-like-it period after the birth of the first child, nothing tethers you to the ground, not your degree in ancient history, not your Prada handbag, not your working spouse, not your working self. Is this a reality anybody takes seriously for its profoundly transformative powers?

I, for one, do.

And since when does being funny mean you can't make a point? It may be the only time we get a point, when we're laughing with recognition.

So please, though we are the silent, boring, and tedious majority, put a mother on the cover of your alum magazine. Someone out there will be interested.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Anti-Blogger Gets Mean

Oh, how the world of non-communicative, virtual communications gets my panties in a bundle.

If raising children is real, immediate, a truly felt, lived, intimate, and responsive reality, everything else is so, well, fake.

Like I had a fake conversation with a (supposedly) real person at amazon.com. Did you know you could call these people? And listen to them read scripts and put you on hold for hours, all so you can send them your money? Yes, well, if you're interested in wasting some time, you can do just that.

And, for heaven's sake, stop inviting me to join a "social networking" site and invite me over for dinner. I don't want 100 friends who don't know anything about me, or conversely know everything about me but don't know me at all.

It's a vast soul-less mecca out there, and yet, perversely, it's all we have sometimes. We're so rushed we can't make time for friends, because we have to spend all our time on the unfriendly computer with its wild deceptions.

What can I say? If I filled this site with lots of naked pictures of myself doing raunchy things, I would be so popular. But just writing about motherhood? I say, if sex is original (which it's not), than so is motherhood. And it's live and vital and rich, whereas virtual coitus, not so much.

Wouldn't it be nice if, when you called some place, any place, there were a real voice on the other side?

Hey, I've got my daughter hugging trees. You can't hug your monitor. Go ahead. Try it. I dare you.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Jane Austen Rules

I've got another GCC novelist "visiting" today. Marilyn Brant's debut novel has just come out. Since I've just had my first novel released, I know what an exciting, hair-raising time it is. Not that this lady needs my help. Kelly Moran of Bookpleasures wrote, "This was a truly, irrevocably inspiring novel." Could praise get much better than that? Marilyn is also a mother. Which makes her very cool indeed to me. See below for all the great stuff she has to say about motherhood and writing.

The book: ACCORDING TO JANE. Another wonderful cover.

And the interview:
Tell us about your latest release and the inspiration behind it.
My debut novel, According to Jane, is the story of a modern woman who--for almost two decades--has the ghost of Jane Austen in her head giving her dating advice. I first read Pride & Prejudice as a high-school freshman. Like my heroine Ellie, I raced through the novel way ahead of the reading assignments. I loved both the story and Austen’s writing style immediately. Her books changed the way I perceived the behavior of everyone around me, and I spent the rest of freshman year trying to figure out which Austen character each of my friends and family members most resembled! Also like Ellie, I had a few (okay, a lot) of less-than-wonderful boyfriends, and I would have loved to have been given romantic advice from the author I most respected and the one who’d written one of my all-time favorite love stories.

How do you balance your mothering and your writing?
This is an ever-evolving challenge. As my son has gotten older, he's been able to do many simple things independently that I'd had to help him with a few years ago (i.e., pour a bowl of cereal for himself, get dressed on his own, etc.), but he now needs to go to new activities like cross-country practice or swimming lessons or youth-group services that he wouldn't have attended previously. I need to shift the way I do my work to accommodate his schedule--sometimes editing in the car while waiting for him, often just putting off my tasks until he's asleep or occupied doing something of his own at home.

How do mothers show up in the novel?
My heroine's mother is very much a tangential character in the story. Since I parallel Austen's Pride and Prejudice to some extent, my heroine's mom has a touch of the rather frivolous "Mrs. Bennet" about her (the mother of P&P's leading lady, who was an insatiable in her pursuit of suitors for her daughters). In my second novel (due out in October 2010), all three of the main characters are moms, and the act of motherhood plays a far greater role in that story.
Has being a mother changed how you write?
LOL--being a mother has changed how I do everything, Sam! I became a writer largely *because* I became a mom. I felt it was critical for me to pursue my passions as a parent and to set an example of doing this for my child. I didn't want--not even for one moment--to have my son feel I was living my life through him. More specific to writing itself, I feel so much compassion for the mothers in my books! For the choices moms have to make, the time and energy motherhood requires, the tremendous love we feel for these beautiful little beings... Being a mother has been the best part of my life and, also, the biggest growth experience (*grin*).
(I, for one, no nothing of growth experiences. Actually, motherhood has helped me to grow into a much bigger person. Around.)
Marilyn's book is out today, hot off the presses. Can't wait to read it. You can find out all about her at: http://www.marilynbrant.com.