Perhaps it’s self-indulgent to exist on this other, fantasy plane for a few hours each day. But it’s also necessary for my mental health to remember and envision a world where toddlers chase frogs and preschoolers snack on violets and the breath of other humans isn’t potentially deadly. I hope that, in the same way, the stories and poems in this issue of Literary Mama give you a few moments of respite from the world as it is.
Years from now, they won’t be talking about the sparkling speeches or the stuffiness of the arena, the inadequate sound system or the teacher who just couldn’t hold it together. Instead, they’ll mention face masks, virtual classrooms, first responders, and armed protests as well as flutters of anxiety, moments of ennui, and stretches of discontent.
What I love about all the pieces in this issue is that these writers don’t just tell scary stories; they show us how characters weather the storms, how people cope with loss, and how mothers move through pain and come out the other side stronger and more powerful. It’s times like these when we need great writers and great writing to inspire us. And I believe you will find both here.
I’m shy of resolutions and their self-defeating magnitude, but with each new year, I return to this quiet intention: to read more books. For most mothers, that’s not as simple as it sounds. Work and family and community involvement take up so much of my time that I can only justify entertainment if I’m being somehow productive at the same time: watching Call the Midwife while I fold laundry, listening to The Splendid Table while I cook, enjoying familiar music while I prepare an editor’s letter
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