It was one of those moments that is hard to describe. An email arrived in my inbox in December 2018 from Felicity Landa and Colleen Kearney Rich, then fiction editors at Literary Mama, about the acceptance of my flash fiction. Oh, the joy! An acceptance does that every time to a writer. What’s more, Literary Mama has been a lit mag I’ve wanted my work to appear in. The title of the magazine defines my life.
Writing and being a mother seem like personal experiences, but both take you beyond yourself. Both connect you to others in a way only a collective emotion can do. Every piece I read in Literary Mama confirms this and enriches my life.
As a little girl, I’d run to the kitchen to my always-cooking mother and narrate a story I came up with, not yet penciled in my ruled notebook. Encouraged by my mother (and after having written it in the notebook, by my father who loved the English language as much as I do), I continued to write.
Then, life challenges (marriage, work, health issues) enclosed my writing life in parentheses.
But not motherhood. Many of the stories I’ve written stem from the meaning I’ve found in motherhood.
And my child has been an inspiration for my writing life. As a little boy, he shared my love for writing, stunning me with his perfect sentences for his English homework. As a teenager, he bought me books on writing for my birthday and Mother’s Day. My now-adult son encourages me to write when he sees me pushing to the “back burner” what brings me joy and fulfillment. Dealing with multiple health conditions, I tend to give in to the resistance to writing.
Coming back to December 2018, communicating with Colleen on the minor edits to my story (edits suggested by Senior Editor, Libby Maxey) breathed life into me, an experience quite different from the one at my day job, which left me with no time or energy to write. And not writing is suffocating.
Motherhood and writing are the very essence of my being. The two things that fulfill me like nothing else can. The two things that have taught me more than I could’ve imagined. The two things in which I’ve found the purpose of my life.
Having my work appear in Literary Mama has been a rewarding experience. I celebrate the 20th anniversary of Literary Mama with all the editors, the contributors, and others who make this wonderful lit mag what it is: a gift for mothers who are writers and readers.