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

No Offense Intended, but I will be Strong

strength

strength (Photo credit: S.H.CHOW)

I have been thinking a lot about ideas for my next blog post. Funny how things fall right into your lap.

This past week has been full. I’ve been editing the book, A Girl from the Hill . After my friend Lisa took the time to edit and proof the manuscript, my mother-in-law has kindly taken a second pass for me. Since I’m self publishing I’m not getting any formal editorial services. But with Lisa and Judy I have more than enough expertise and experience, not to mention heart, to get this book ready. I will sit with my mother tomorrow, hopefully, and start selecting pictures. Then we’re done. Fini.

I have been working on this book nearly every day for the past two years. It started out as a rough idea, and became a journey. I got to have some meaningful conversations with my mother, my sisters, my family. I learned a lot about my mother’s life, things I was too young for, or not even born for, for that matter. I learned how much we are alike, and realized how much I do love her, and myself.

A Girl From the Hill is my first public writing experience. It’s taken me my entire life to get enough confidence and strength to do this.  Saying its a labor of love sounds trite, but all my love for my family and the journeys we’ve all taken is woven into this work.

Writing has provided me with a safe haven from the stress of my daily grind, from a world where I don’t always fit in. I’m like my mom, Auntie Phil, Auntie Alice, and my grandmother Maria. I want people’s happiness more than a person should sometimes. I’m a people pleaser. But I am trying, harder each day, to please myself first. It goes against my grain, but if I don’t do it I’ll get eaten alive, I’m sure of it.

You may notice that some of my posts, my excerpts from the book, are no longer posted. Please know that it’s not because I want people to buy the book when it comes out. While I’d love everyone to buy it in tribute to my mother, a money-making venture this is not. But because I don’t want to offend anyone mentioned in my book, and on this site, I’m taking down any potentially offending words.  And I also must consider editing the book further, so that no feelings are slighted.

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Families to be Thankful for

English: This is a 1910 postcard image of Prud...

English: This is a 1910 postcard image of Prudence Island, Rhode Island. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

http://www.italianamericanwriter.com/2012/11/22/my-italo-turkey-day-3/#comment-2665

I love this story written by Dr. Ed Iannuccilli.  It captures what it feels like to be an Italian American on Thanksgiving.  It most likely speaks to all of us who have relatives that came here in search of something better and are so very thankful for what they have received.

Today I am home with my daughter, she is sick, and my husband is making the annual trek to Prudence Island to be with his family.  My very caring parents-in-law offered to stay with Julia so I could go, but I can’t have a good time anywhere if I know she is home sweating out a fever.

I am thankful that I have two sets of family traditions- the Testa/Fiore’s and the Mitchell/Naughton’s.   Both sets of families are full of laughter and love, along with the usual ‘unfun’ and difficult times that we all face.  But I wouldn’t chose to be part of any different families.  I am home with both.

Jeremy please be sure to bring us back some turkey.  Mom, save me a little stuffing.

Love to All

PattyTM