Who says what?

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

Friday, July 29, 2011

I realize that, on the surface, it appears that I haven't been blogging. But, actually, I have. I write a little blog post in my head every day. And when the technology finally catches up with my post-post-post modern methods, you will be able to read them.

In the meantime, in case anyone wonders what I've been doing all these months, I want to share the pile of books I have on my nightstand. This is, of course, not what I have been doing with my time (I wish). But I thought, hey! that's a big pile of books, maybe I can blog about them....


No time to write...I have too much to read!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Come to The Writer's Life

I will be speaking, along with my New York Times Bestselling mother, Nancy Thayer, and author Brian Leaf at my children's preschool fundraising event.

Get your tickets now!

The Writer's Life: Writing for Love, Writing for Money

EVENT DATE: June 2, 2011 7:00 pm at the First Congregational Church, Amherst, in the dining room.

An author panel exploring the passion behind publication as well as the practical aspects. Featuring New York Times Bestselling author Nancy Thayer, a true career novelist, whose 21st novel will be published this June. Joining her will be Brian Leaf, the author of ten non-fiction books, whose work has been widely featured in the media. Samantha Wilde, whose debut novel was published in 2009, will round out the panel as she speaks about the experience of being a new writer, landing a two-book deal, and writing women's fiction in a competitive market.

EVENT COST: Tickets are $10 in advance and $10 at the door. For tickets please email info@springstreetpreschool.org, sam@samanthawilde.com, or ziomekgardens@gmail.com. Or call 256-8442.

All proceeds go to benefit Spring Street Preschool, a private, not for profit, preschool located in the heart of downtown Amherst. With a history of 53 years in Amherst, Spring Street Preschool offers a play-filled, nurturing environment with an innovative, unique child-lead program of social, academic, artistic and spiritual inquiry.

There will be refreshments for sale, a book raffle, question and answer time, and opportunity for book signing.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Civilize Your Feet

I have discovered that I am not a natural blogger. Not because I don't like to write or lack the discipline of regular posting, but because blogging doesn't DO anything for me. It doesn't feel rewarding in and of itself. In fact, sometimes it leaves me a tad bit lonely.... I never have been keen on the cyber world of anonymity.

So if you want to find me when you can't find me here, visit my website or my ministry blog which shares a heart practice, or the women writers blog that I write for every two months.

In the mean time, some treasures from my life:
My son as he got his feet onto his scooter: "Let me just get my feet civilized."
and while he spoke with his sister.
"If you don't say something, I can't hear you."

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dreaming of Writing?

Check out this writing contest WITH publication in an anthology for the winners. I will be a part of it and you can too! We're looking for women writers, published and unpublished. It's a wonderful opportunity to call up the muse, get some words on paper, and maybe hold a book in your hands with your story inside.

It's a great moment to see yourself in print. Why I remember when a box of my first novel showed up on the doorstep. My son raced to the enormous package certain it was for him, ripped it open and gazed sadly down at the books. "Mama wrote this!" I picked one up. "I wrote this! This is my novel." "Go be a fire engine," he commanded me, walking away, completely unimpressed. I'm thinking this anthology will have a much more appreciative audience. Or, at the very least, an audience out of diapers.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Joan Crawford

I am beginning to understand where Mommie Dearest was coming from.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Get me Amish

We had a fantastic family trip down to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where I got to enjoy a dinner at an Old Order Amish's family home, and a buggy ride (among many, many other delights).

For the longest time I've been moved and fascinated by the Amish. My recent trip only solidified my sense of envy for a life lived so integrated and so knitted into the land, the family, the seasons.

As a modern, liberal, suburban mother, the world of community open to me exists largey now, as it never has before, in cyberspace. That's a lonely place for me, as is sitting alone writing on a computer. I like people in the flesh, community with a group I can see and touch, meaning gathered from more than a few lines.

The Amish aren't perfect, but we have an emptiness that they simply don't know of. "Love your neighbor as yourself," is not an abstraction to them, it's not a $5 check to your favorite charity, or an occasional wave to the guy down the road whose name you don't know.

Call me old fashioned, but my soul hungers for that kind of community. Even among my community of wonderful friends, each woman is so busy, so consumed by her own work and world, that little is left for us to share with one another. It is hard for me to believe that this is the way we were meant to live.

So get me Amish. I'll take the head-covering and the ugly black sneakers. Shame they won't take me, which is another wonderful quality they possess as a group: they don't convert or evangelize. Got to love those people who love the way they live and don't force you to join. But if I'll have them and they won't have me, where does that leave me? Trotting down route 9 with my own horse and buggy? How to be more Amish in the modern world is now the topic on our famiy table. We will take into consideration all suggestions....

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snowy Abundance

Our walkway.

Our deck!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Meditation on Abundance

With the phenomenal snow we've been having, our walkway is little more than a tunnel to creep through on our way to snowblow the driveway or sled down our backyard hill.

It has its pros and cons--though for the children it is pure delight. I've been sitting looking out the window at the mounds of white thinking about abundance, the infinity of snowflakes that make up the feet of snow we now have, an impossibility of counting or even conceiving.

When I first became pregnant with my third child, a number of people (including friends) were amazed. "Three!" they'd say, as though I had announced my twentieth pregnancy.

There is a sense, at least here in our neck of the woods, that three is a LARGE family (and by local standards, it is). There is much in that to appreciate, a sense of abundance, a plethora of children, a gaggle, a gang, a brood. (Now when people call and leave messages they say: "We hope you and your gang are doing well.) We are nowhere near having a sports team of any kind, and compared to a true large family, ours is indeed small, but I take pride (not insult) in the quality of abundance that comes from having an "extra" child. To have him, in addition to my older two, is to be rich in children.

It is this sense, when I look out at the snow, that in God's creation, in the language of the Divine, the communication of Universal Goodness and Love, no lack exists. To the contrary, there is nothing but plenty--and I do not mean plenty of ill, bad, and trouble. All that we need is given to us, in fact, MORE than we need.

I do not want anything for anyone else save what they want (which is to say I think all people ought to have the size family their heart desires, be it no children, one, two or several). What would be lovely is for each of us to feel the plenty around us, to feel there is as much love available as snow (as sun on a sunny day), that our cup is running over in streams of plenty, that we are knee deep in goodness, that the walkway-- our path in this world--is a tunnel, with God's hands cupped around us, a light ever before us.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Out of Gas

Today, in one of those extraordinary feats of the universe speaking in metaphor, I found myself in a car with no gas. We weren't going anywhere. Then I found myself dialing a cell-phone with no battery. "Low battery-turnning off..." And later, starting up a computer with no charge.

Truly, the only kind of gas we had here today came with this follow up: "Who tooted, Mama? Was that the baby?" Indeed, the vegetarian diet has some benefits, as does an infant sibling, always ready to be blamed for gross behavior (innocently unaware and generally speaking pretty much perpetually full of gas).

The behavior was terrible. I was out of gas, the two exhausted older children wretched and unmoved by my pitiful state as She-Who-Needs-Her-Battery-Charged.

After long naps (and let's be honest, a healthy dose of chocolate), things looked much better. What do people do when children stop napping? What do people do who don't believe in the Great Gifts of the universe delivered so pun-ily through the day?

I am recharging. God is my power source--a truly renewable resource.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mother prejudice?

The life of mothers seems only to be of interest to other mothers. I'm not sure why this should be so, after all, the average person can be extremely interested in the life and work of people very different from oneself. It is my guess, though I could be wrong, that a deep prejudice exists where mothers are concerned, stemming from a thickly erronous understanding of the work of motherhood, leaving mothers to talk (and write and read) among themselves for no one else cares about their sippy cup and cloth diaper debates.

If I can use my own novel as an example (and who could object to that?), THIS LITTLE MOMMY STAYED HOME (title says it all, doesn't it?) was assumed to sell only to other moms and other women--chick lit, mama lit, that sort of thing. What's funny about this categorization is that it doesn't work in the other direction. I'm a woman and a mother and I read books about men and Pakistan and travel and volcanoes and...you get the idea. Why then is the writing about motherhood of no interest to, for example, your average Wall Street banker? For I can say with some certainty that I know many a book group that has read about those guys.

Is it because we (mis)perceive the significance and richness of the motherhood experience? Honestly, I've read books with protagonists I have absolutely nothing in common with--save in the area of emotion. Why isn't this the case for literature about motherhood? Or even talk about moterhood? Either it is true that motherhood is so dull no one can relate unless they are also a mother, OR, motherhood is so unique that no one can relate who isn't a mother.

I am wondering. Why wouldn't a man, a journalist who's traveled the globe, pick up the memoir of a mother when that same mother would read that man's memoir? Has our sexism abated save in the motherland? Or have we as a culture sold the identity/profession/path too short, dumbed it down to its tedious details (the laundry, the snot)?

I would like to know.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Blogging Again as the Anti-Blogger

A good true confession: I don't like blogs. As I'm blogging this, that should say it all.

I don't have anything personal against blogging, I just have a hard time reading things on a screen. If someone wants my attention, I'd prefer a letter. So while I have tried to read other blogs, even a sentence or two may seem too much to keep my focus--though I will sit and read a novel in a day.

Why blog when I am not of that blogging world? When I was the last hold out for an email account among my friends, the last to get a cell phone, when I have still maintained my decision not to facebook/tweeter/get linked in to anyone anywhere in the cyber world?

In part because I have not found, in my feeble fumbling around the web, any place representing the liberal, feminist and devout way of being in the world, and because I began this blog at the publication of my first novel to have a place in the cyber world to "meet" people and so want to continue what I've begun, though change it somewhat to reflect all the various parts of my life: as mother, writer, minister, teacher, yogini, student, believer.

That said, I don't think the web is the place where all the true stuff happens, but a place where it *may* begin. Deep friendship, love, fortefied faith, hope on hopeless days, wisdom, strength for going forward, kindness and joy--they are not here in totality, but like a door opening, may draw us to connect with real people (including ourselves) in real ways. Anonymity, and the crude criticism it allows, have too great a home on the web. I don't think blogs and websites provide a venue for the best of who we are as humans (sometimes missing it by a long shot), but occasionally we do find that we are not alone in this world. And that is a beginning.

And also, so often, we write for no readers, we blog and post and no one notices. But then we write what we need to write for ourselves--and therefore we must be the ones who needed to hear our own message. If a voice crying in the wilderness hears itself, has it been truly heard?

I'm going to have to go with a YES on this one.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

For the new year

This blog is having a metamorphosis. It is currently a work in progress.

Visit my new website: samanthawilde.com in the meantime. Whoohoo.