OK, I can almost hear you wondering.
What? She’s gone and wrote a book and didn’t tell us about it?
Rest easy, dear reader. When and if I write a book you’ll surely know six months in advance!
However, I am participating in an upcoming book tour in our fair peninsula in a few weeks, believe it or not. Let me share the exciting details.
Any of you know or remember my blogging buddy, Suzi Banks Baum? She wrote a guest post here back in 2011 called Meet Suzi: The compass of her soul points north.
Later, she asked me to contribute to an anthology called: An Anthology of Babes: 36 Women Give Motherhood a Voice. Suzi edited the book and it hit the shelves in 2013.
What’s the heart and soul of this book, you ask? Three dozen women share their journeys of motherhood and creativity through the words and paragraphs and illustrations of this small collection of stories. I am slowly re-reading the stories in this book and marveling about our journey through Life and how we ofttimes struggle to retain our creative connection while changing diapers, carpooling, driving kids to basketball practice, negotiating teenage boundary disputes.
How DO we do it? I am not sure I did it well. My writing fell off the cliff at the end of the earth for many years. I scribbled in journals while the kids napped and penned middle-aged angst and delight while peering through the windows as the adventurers built forts and squealed in mud puddles and dashed inside with swarms of mosquitoes.
How does a woman negotiate the wilderness of nurturing other hearts while scoring up her own? How does she navigate through the streams of loneliness which flow even while she’s wild with joy over pigtails and frogs and painted hand prints that say “I love you” in preschool?
I remember hikes up and down the road to neighbor’s houses, sipping steaming coffee while the kids munched Oreos, desperate for adult companionship. I remember feeling bereft of poetry, disappearing from myself into the eyes of my delightful troopers, wondering what became of the girl who typed stories on her red manual typewriter, a dreamer with wings in the clouds, toes barely touching the ground?
In those mothering years, those giving years, I did find ways to nurture the spirit. I traveled hither and yon gleaning spiritual tidbits like Hansel and Gretel’s breadcrumbs, attempting to remember the way home to myself. Periodically, with Barry’s blessing, I left the fold to nurture the heart with what it needed. I sweat in Native American lodges, whispering prayers. I dug in archeological digs. Vision quested. Attended Wilderness Survival camps.
Refused to let the inner spirit shrivel. Fed it love, adventure, inquiry, strawberries and eventually blogging.
This book which Suzi so lovingly crafted can encourage mothers (and fathers) everywhere to find that balance between nurturing self and others. To follow threads of creativity in the spirit as well as knitting scarves at home for the babes.
Thirty six of us shared our voices, our hopes, our dreams, our challenges. Thirty six of us valued creativity enough to keep it alive as a legacy for ourselves and future generations. We’ve found our voice, somehow, miraculously, and it shines forth in this anthology.
So what about the book tour?
United by our love of the Upper Peninsula, three of us will be reading excerpts from the anthology: myself, Suzi Banks Baum of Laundry Line Divine and Monica Devine from Between Two Rivers. Plus–an added pleasure–composer/singer Terri Bocklund who will perform some of her Lake Superior songs. (She sent me her delightful CD recently Of Lake and Isle with songs inspired during her Artist-in-Residence stint at Isle Royale in 2011.)
Here’s the schedule, for those of you near enough to attend:
Thursday, August 14, 6:30 p.m., Escanaba Public Library
Friday, August 15, 2:00 p.m., Peter White Public Library, Marquette
Saturday, August 16, 6:30 p.m., Joy Yoga Center, Ishpeming
All talks are free and open to the public. The Giving Motherhood a Voice Facebook page will contain ongoing updates.
Here’s something else exciting: Northern Michigan University Public Radio plans to interview us about the event. How cool is that?
I am so anticipating this tour. To do something completely new. To talk about the gifts and challenges of motherhood and creativity. To meet and connect with women who want to share their stories. To listen to the waves of Lake Superior lap against the shore in the background. To support one another. To sing a song of daisies and white clover and infinite possibilities. To sing very loudly, finding our precious voices.
P.S. If you’re tantalized and want to buy the book, here’s a handy link: http://www.thebookloft.com/book/9780988904101
You are such a poet!
This is way cool! How fun for you and every other woman involved in this project. Neato!
Kathy, I’m so happy and excited for you! The tour sounds like such a wonderful and enriching experience and I’m looking forward to hearing about it when you return!
Congratulations! This sounds very exciting. Given enough time ( your bad) I might have flown up to hear and to wear my new red hat! Seriously, sounds like a great weekend for you and the others as well as the audience.
Awesome! This is brilliant, what a thoughtful initiative! Let us know your experience thereafter..
What a wonderful way to celebrate nurturing babies, and nurturing your own soul. If I lived nearby, I would definitely attend! And I agree, while I was in the throes of early motherhood, I could barely brush my teeth, much less write a paragraph. I’d like to buy this book and share it with my daughter, who is in the midst of nurturing her own three little ones.
Ohhhhh Kathy, this makes my stomach jumpy with excitement. I love your portraits of the book- gorgeous images to match the beauty within. Thank you for sharing the news with your readers. The meeting place that is Lake Superior Spirit sparkles with your words. xo S
This sounds wonderful! What a treat- for you, and for all who are able to attend! If I could get away…if I could only get away…I would go to Ishpeming to see you. Best wishes, Kathy!
Wow, what an exciting “new” adventure!
Hey … you met my “new” blogging challenge and did not tell me … guess you just did.
Sounds like great fun! It also sounds like good company. Hope you enjoy the ride!
Good for you! What an exciting adventure and opportunity! And PLEASE let me know when you write that book. I’ve penned two so far but no luck with finding an agent. But the process is the journey itself and very fulfilling. :)))
Love, love, love this post. Shine on brightly, dear friend from the UP! I so wish I could attend one of your talks, where you read from the book; I shall be there in spirit!
How exciting for you! I love this post. Absolutely and positively. Love it. I wish I could be there for the tour and listen to the readings and the music. Consider me there in spirit. Congratulations! 🙂
Holeeeeee Cow! That’s so doggon cool, it’s GLACIAL! My hat is off to YOU and the rest of the women who shared of themselves in AN ANTHOLOGY OF BABES.
Ok now I’m all bummed out because I live to far south to attend one of the readings! But there is something you wrote that struck me – that you found a way to nurture your creativity (spirit/soul/whatever you want to call it) while being a mother. I think the most “soull-feeding” part of my life was when my child was right there. I think I was born to be her mother, and I have to look for a way to feed my soul again now that she’s on her way. Does that make sense? Sometimes I think that my soul is so inextricably linked with hers that I can never “be” without her. I know, I’m pitiful!! xo
Congratulations Kathy!!! I am so excited for you! This would be a wonderful event to attend and an even more inspiring book to read. I wish I could purchase a copy ❤
Oh wow. How exciting. Any chance there’s a link somewhere to the radio interview ?
I keep reading waiting for a blinding response from the inside of my head. Alas, all I can manage is that I am very glad if you feel uplifted by this experience, I hope that you will like the company and enjoy the outings and experiences connected with it. I wonder how you really feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel about it all!
My inner chatter about it this morning has clacked upon enoughness. If I had a published thing or a sold image or a photo show would i be a grown up then, would I be enough? Would the day feel any different? The leaves are quivering on the bottom limb of the flowering sand cherry. The fear and apprehension of expressing myself seems soooo just me only never anyone else ever IN THE WORLDS!
Good energy and happy wishes for the coming tour experience!
Sounds like a great experience. How wonderful for you – an adventure for sure.
Your blog post hits home, as it often does. I love how you said you fed your spirit strawberries!
How marvellous. I wish I was close so that I could hear you on your tour.
This all sounds wonderful, Kathy! Will Partners Book Distributing be carrying the book? HAVE FUN!!!
That book sounds so good. Motherhood, as much as we all love it and anticipate it, is really a time when we kinda put ourselves on the back burner and simmer till the wee ones grow up (simmer meant in a positive way). I’m almost to the other side of raising kids and I’m finally able to see a much clearer journey ahead of me. Good luck with your readings, sounds like a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.
I’m so glad that you did not let your desire to write wither on the vines.
First this blog writing is brilliant ! The word story captures the essence of your desire to be creative while being a mother so beautifully. I can only imagine your journey than for we get to be on the path with you now!
Congratulations to you, and all of you on this venture! It sounds exciting. Looking forward to “hearing” more of your process!
(Hey that is my Birthday weekend)
Thank you for all your comments and congratulations and happy energy! Happy to be helping birth Suzi’s book. 🙂
Oooooo how cool is that! Enjoy!
Kathy, You’ll be book-touring in that beautiful area and meeting many kindred spirits. What could be better? Can’t wait to read about it on the blog.
Lovely post! Have a wonderful time with your book tour! I already bought the book (a couple months ago), because I’m also a fan of Suzi Banks Baum, but I haven’t read it yet. I’ll confess, I’ve become Kindle-addicted; however, I’ll take the book out of the slush pile as soon as I’m done with this comment! 😉 I wish I were going to be in Michigan this summer; this will be the first year in about eight that I haven’t spent time on my sister’s wilderness property in the upper part of the LP.