On Mothers and Birthing Books

 

A woman searches for inspiration, in this 1898...

A woman searches for inspiration, in this 1898 painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reflecting upon a day when we honor our mothers and all they do for us, I have found that other bloggers today have said it well, better than well actually.  Whether your mother is with you or not, it’s all about love, and who we love, and appreciating the power that provides for us, sustains us.  I can’t add much more to that message.

I think you all know by now how I feel about my mother, and I think she finally knows too, which is liberating for me.  It’s no secret how much I appreciate her, on her good days as well as on her not so good days.  She has always given me love when I seem to have both deserved it least and needed it the most.  For that I am grateful.

And I have so many other wonderful mothers in my life.  My mother in law, a true friend, my sisters, my friends, all the women in my life that give until they can’t and then give a little more.  As women we do this, we nourish the souls as well as the bodies of those we love and don’t ever think of payback.  Well we don’t often think of payback anyway.   It’s just what is.  Thank you to all of them.  And as a mother I can tell you there is no better job, no better vocation whether it be by birth, by chance, by friendship.  Even for those who have 4 legged kids – giving of yourself for the well- being of another is a sacred privilege.   I know that when I got that warm sleepy hug this morning from my girl, that’s all the gift I needed. 

So now. as A Girl from the Hill is out in print, I must admit to feeling both elated but also a little let down.  Elated that it’s finished, that I accomplished this and brought it to completion with lots of help of course.  Elated that my mother enjoys it, and that it is a fitting tribute to her.  But let down in that I don’t know what’s next.   Yes the book is sweet, and can be fun and powerful in some ways.  I am proud of this work. But I’m not sure what’s next for me as a writer.  I have been looking for inspiration, and coming up empty.  I know I’ve mentioned writing about my struggles with food, but there is also part of me that wants to develop characters that go beyond this.

I was fortunate this past Saturday to spend a delightful few hours listening to Ann Hood.  Again if you know me you know that she is my writing hero.  She was at the Davisville Free Library in North Kingstown, RI.  For me it was like going to church.  Her words, her creativity, her enthusiasm, her story all inspired me.  Just when I was thinking that maybe I can’t do this, maybe it’s not what I’m meant to do, maybe I am just ordinary – her words lifted me and have given me the confidence to trek on.   To hear someone with such passion for their work and the process, without pretension, truly lifted my spirits. So while I am not totally immersed in that world today, it’s in my future, I am certain.  If you get a chance pick up her new book, The Obituary Writer.  I’m just getting started and it’s wonderful.  She has given birth to so many wonderful stories, this one included. 

So I ready for my next child to come along, and open myself to inspiration.

 With Love and Gratitude – P

More Beautiful Writing from Ann Hood- the Girls

For those of you who didn’t catch Parade Magazine today … http://www.parade.com/news/views/guest/130303-ann-hood-remember-the-girls.htmlgirls

For those of you who know me, you know that Ann Hood has fueled my writing inspiration for the last twenty-five years.  She still does.  She is a best-selling author from Rhode Island, taught at RIC and URI, and I was fortunate enough to take not one but two classes with her as instructor.  She’s phenomenal, and that voice she writes with that seems so easy to read is not so easy to replicate.  Believe me, I’ve tried.Ann is also from Italian American roots, so it’s a pleasure to compare her family’s culture to mine, and those of my friends.  She has a new book that’s just been published, The Obituary Writer, that sounds like a thrilling ride, as her books always are.

It’s the work that matters

Powerball

Powerball (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So sorry I missed my Wednesday post promise! I have been absolutely exhausted lately, probably because I’ve finally come down from my tremendous high after attending Ann Hood’s Jumpstart your Novel weekend.

So I’m thinking a lot about A Girl from the Hill and how cool it will be when it’s finally published. And I’m thinking about Fat School, my new novel that I’ve just started. It’s overwhelming, even though it’s exactly what I want to do with myself, and with my life.

I also have a day job that is very busy, full of stress and interaction and forward movement. It’s not a writing job, although I do a lot of writing all day. Not the kind I like, but it’s helped shape the way I think, the way I interact with others, the way I want to be perceived. Mostly for the better.

Everyone wants to quit their day job, don’t they? Well almost everyone. Some people have jobs that they love, doing what they love. Some even make money at it. Everyone else either wants to hit Powerball and never show up to their day job again, or they want to find that perfect place. The place where their work is appreciated every day. The place where everyone values them for who they are and what they offer. The place where valuable, important contributions are made every day.

These people often end up disappointed. There is no such place.

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Oh What a Weekend!

English: This is a diagram depicting the rise ...

English: This is a diagram depicting the rise of overweight among ages 2-19 in the US. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy Monday Everyone -I know I’ve been off blog for a while. I have been spending the last few weeks getting my manuscript ready for publishing and it’s getting closer. I’m very excited to start the fun an detailed work of making this book real.

I also have been thinking about my next book. I spend an incredible weekend with best selling author Ann Hood and met some really talented, and nice aspiring writers. We met at the secluded Whispering Pines Lodge in West Greenwich, Rhode Island.

Such a beautiful venue and such great conversation and ideas. Everyone was comfortable collaborating, sharing and suppotring each other.I’m happy to say that my next book will be a YA novel where I try to tackle the topic of childhood obesity and its impact on our children and their families. I am petrified, but also very excited.

Tonight I’m watching The Biggest Loser for the very first time. The show is tacking childhood obesity this season. Some very interesting and mind-blowing statistics that were covered according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

17% of kids 2-19 years old are obese.

 60% of children aged 5-10 have at least one heart risk factor.

 Sugar sweetened drinks are the biggest source of added sugar in children’s diets today.

 Over the past three decades the childhood obesity rate in the US has tripled.

75% of parents of obese children think their child is normal or even under wieight.

Pretty staggering.

Enjoy the rest of your week, and I’ll back on Wednesday night with a new post.

Christmas Angels

christmas paint

christmas paint (Photo credit: cassie_bedfordgolf)

Each year, Christmas Spirit enters into my soul and settles, like a cool mist on the hard winter ground. Always a little different, depending on the state of my life. Christmas gives me something every year, but I am only able to accept what I’m ready for in my heart.

I’ve spent many Christmases feeling sorry for myself, alone and pitiful. I used to wonder what my purpose is, am I fulfilling it, am I a success, a failure, how can I improve myself so that I will be happy.
As the years pass, my concerns are more for others than myself. How do I give my family a happy pleasant day, and carry it through the year? Who can I help that needs help? How can I spend my time to make the world a happier, more peaceful place – whether it’s just my little corner of Smithfield, Rhode Island, the nation, the world?

I’ve witnessed many random acts of kindness this past week, more than the obligatory letting cars pull out in front of you at the Mall on Christmas Eve. I believe it’s a result of those horrendous events in Newtown, Connecticut. How many parents are holding their children closer, being a little more patient, living in the moment a little more? I know I am.

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The Family Food Cart

Sausage and Peppers Sandwich

http://www.culinate.com/articles/first_person/sausage_food_cart

Author Ann Hood’s parents’ culinary business venture of the 70’s.  A wonderful read, plus the site’s pretty cool too…