Call for Submissions: I Am Subject/ Women Writers

Are You the Subject of Your Own Life?

Here’s an interesting writing project that a friend alerted me to: #IAmSubject

The Call for Submissions from published author Diane DeBella is seeking essays up to 1250 words for an Anthology.

Women often lose their sense of self to external roles, expectations, and objectifications.

Many times, we don’t even realize that we are no longer the subject of our own lives.

Yet if we begin to strip away all of the external layers—those that define us by the roles we play—what would be left? Who would we be?

Who are you?

I invite you to share your own #iamsubject story, a powerful moment when you reclaimed your self as subject of your own life.

Get all the details at one of the hyperlinks above or here: http://www.iamsubject.com/women-writers/the-iamsubject-project/

I’m going to participate in this.

Identity is certainly something I struggle with–how do I define myself outside my roles as mother, wife, daughter, sister, employee? Who am I if not the sum of my hobbies, chores, education, and career?

Who am I at the core?

Is that even knowable without regard to our relationships with others? How do we define ourselves if not by finding out where our similarities and differences are with others? Why is that sometimes I meet someone and we resonate like guitar chords and I feel able to be my full, funny, vibrant self? And with others, I just feel flat and cold and unable to connect? Why can’t I be the real ME at all times? Is anybody?

Where do YOU begin and others end?

Mannequins in Easter clothers

Who Are You?

So This Just Happened: Messy, Beautiful Warriors

Kylie:

I had some technical difficulties posting this last week. WordPress, when are you going to fix that Save Draft-Publish bug?

Originally posted on The Life of Kylie:

So This Just Happened

Mother’s Dream Quilt+Momastery=CarryOnWarrior!

I MADE THAT QUILT!

I don’t use ALL-CAPS for just anything, so you can trust that I’m excited. And overwhelmed. Pretty much my normal state but enhanced.

What’s this all about?

That lovely brutiful, messy warrior-mama is Glennon Melton, of Momastery. She is standing next to my friend and colleague C, who lives in the state where I grew up.

The state I lived in during the Before Time–before my dad died. When I was happy, and life was magical, and possibilities were endless.

It’s a Mother’s Dream Quilt, and I made it for C to take to Glennon at Glennon’s book-signing. It made it on time–despite my fumbling on a Saturday morning at the post office, which somehow always mystifies me. Which envelope? Which label? Where do I put them? These things confuse me.

It made it on time, despite my desperate attempts to hide the…

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So This Just Happened: Messy, Beautiful Warriors

So This Just Happened

Mother’s Dream Quilt+Momastery=CarryOnWarrior!

I MADE THAT QUILT!

I don’t use ALL-CAPS for just anything, so you can trust that I’m excited. And overwhelmed. Pretty much my normal state but enhanced.

What’s this all about?

That lovely brutiful, messy warrior-mama is Glennon Melton, of Momastery. She is standing next to my friend and colleague C, who lives in the state where I grew up.

The state I lived in during the Before Time–before my dad died. When I was happy, and life was magical, and possibilities were endless.

It’s a Mother’s Dream Quilt, and I made it for C to take to Glennon at Glennon’s book-signing. It made it on time–despite my fumbling on a Saturday morning at the post office, which somehow always mystifies me. Which envelope? Which label? Where do I put them? These things confuse me.

It made it on time, despite my desperate attempts to hide the tiny–but crucial–missing 1/4 inch seam allowance on the outside that resulted from my miscalculations when I resized the pattern to accommodate the (faded) Moms Demand Action logo from my t-shirt.

Carry On Warrior: thoughts on life unarmed

Carry On Warrior: thoughts on life unarmed

It made it on time despite the pain in my neck and shoulder and tingling that goes all the way down to my left thumb and wrist whenever I type or sew or try to do anything, like, you know, sleep.

It made it. I made it. I made it despite all the self-doubts and pain and self-criticism as I made mistakes and covered them, thinking all the while, if anybody will understand that, it’s Glennon. Glennon gets that life is brutiful–beautiful and brutal. (She likes to play Fictionary!)

She is part of the reason that I started blogging, to make sense out of my life, to feel connected and not so lonely.

And now Glennon has this quilt that I made of fabric from my daughter’s nursery–my daughter who misses the grandfather she will never know–carried to her by new friend that I feel so lucky to have met because the events at Sandy Hook brought so many Warrior Mamas out of the woodwork to come together and say “enough!” and make our country safer. And now we support and nourish each other as we make our communities safer for our children and grandchildren.

And I am in tears from the beauty and sadness and vulnerability and strength of it all.

Maybe she’ll join us? Maybe you will too?

 

Momastery | Messy Beautiful Warrior Project

I haven’t written a lot this year. But Glennon at Momastery is going to make me get back to my blog at some point this week: Momastery | Messy Beautiful Warrior Project Instructions.

Messy, Beautiful Warriors

Messy, Beautiful Warriors

Join in!

Character Assassination Carousel: The Whacked Out Story of Babar

Kylie:

In which Babar gets what he so clearly deserves: a ride on the Character Assassination Carousel with Alice.

Originally posted on aliceatwonderland:

A while back, I read Kylie’s parody of Good Dog, Carl , the story of an irresponsible woman who leaves her infant with a dog babysitter.  She made this parody for something called The Character Assassination Carousel, created by Nicole of Nicole Leigh Shaw, Tyop Artist .  Like me, Nicole liked reading to her kids but often found some of the stories, shall we say, disturbing.  So she made fun of them, and her kid laughed, and she was encouraged.  It’s like she’s my long lost twin or something.  Anyway, when I saw we got to skewer these classic literary characters, I was all up in that!  I’m proud to contribute my bit today.

CAC button 2013

Last week featured Amy of My Real Life with a post assassinating the book Bert and the Missing Mop Mix-Up.  Yes, this is a story with stick-up-the-bum Bert from Sesame Street, costarring a mop.  Like…

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Ask The Question You Don’t Want To Ask

Kylie:

This spoke to me. I have so many questions just waiting to be asked, and so many answers waiting to be given.

Originally posted on Lark & Bloom:

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Benguiat Caslon

We all have questions that we should have asked years ago. Questions to colleagues, friends, family, strangers sitting next to us on subways and even ourselves. Our fear of what the answer may be kept us from engaging. Not only the answer, but what it may require of us.

I should have asked the question years ago. I wondered, implied and then ignored. And yet the question loomed for years unasked – floating like this cloud of possibility.

It was these very possibilities I was afraid of. What if the question leads to a revelation and the revelation leads to something I’m not prepared to handle.

My friend had a rough childhood – parts of it were common knowledge. The divorce, the financial challenges, the things that couldn’t be hidden or concealed. And yet, I always thought that maybe there was more. Suggestions of darker things popped up…

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Serena’s Call

She just stood there.

Staring at me with her amber eyes. No expression. No words. Not a single twitch of muscle. Those eyes drew me in–so beautiful. Calm. Serene.

The harried waiter had brought us our salad, but what we were really anticipating was the pizza. “Wood-Fired Pizza. The Best in Town,” proclaimed the sandwich board on the sidewalk. We’d been lucky to get a table. Their “sidewalk seating” was eight or 10 tables, mostly on the street.

We’d gotten there early enough to swap our quaint, yet entirely uncomfortable wooden chairs for comfy plastic ones from another table.  But by the time the pizza came, the sidewalk was packed. Tourists hovered, unsecretly plotting to combine tables the second they were vacated. A three-generation family was already securing tables and chairs; one of the moms, together with her bespectacled son, claimed squatters’ rights at the tiny table behind us.

Unfazed by the commotion swirling about her, she gazed at me, unblinking, unflinching, not even tilting her head to watch the pizza move from the plates to our mouths. She was the embodiment of need—need without shame.

She was obviously a nursing mother. A mother myself, I could see the signs.

After some mild debate with my husband about the “right thing to do,” I offered her some bread with a generous dollop of the creamy salad dressing. She ducked her head, sniffed, and then the bread was gone.

I gave her the second piece.

Behind me, the little bespectacled boy–maybe eight–reached out to her too, gave her a pat. Startled by his lack of fear, I turned and offered his mother some hand sanitizer as she quietly admonished him about getting his hands dirty before dinner.

It was a moment of pure trust. I wouldn’t have let my children touch her.

A bother to the tourists, she’d been shooed away by the waiter a few times, only to return to our oasis of kindness. How else was she to feed herself, her children?

She must have had a litter of puppies hidden somewhere, waiting for her to come back, no human to take care of them except for the less-jaded tourists.

We finished our dinner and walked back up the sandy street to our hotel, the night air enveloping us with its perfect imperceptibility. Womblike.

“I want to bring her home,” I sighed, half-seriously.

“Really?” My husband raised his eyebrows. “It’s nice to see you so being so compassionate.”

I’m sure my jaw dropped as I asked, “You don’t think I’m compassionate?”

“Well, I guess you’re just so stressed at home, with all the kids, the work…it’s good to see you being soft.”

“Yeah, I guess. I’m going to miss this place.”

On the last night, we sought out a beachfront bar, “inventor” of the mojito, hoping to watch one last sunset over the ocean.

Our feet in the sand, we sipped our mojitos—no different from those at home—and suddenly there she was.

The golden pit-pull scampered around the tables, then scurried back out the gateway before the staff could kick her out.

“No, that’s not her. She’s shorter, thinner. She’s nursing too, but she’s not so swollen. Maybe they’re sisters. I wish we could do something about all these dogs.”

Feeling defeated, I sent my husband to fetch the cocktail menu.

“I want something special…hmmm…here we go: the Sayulita Sunset.” 

After all, that was exactly what we’d been seeking: one last, glowing sunset; but all we’d found was the gradual fading of light to dark behind the hills encircling the bay.

Facts About Street Dogs in Mexico

Save a Mexican Mutt

Help Save the Street Dogs of Cancun, Mexico: Tracey Buyce Photography

A good song to listen to now: Wisconsin, by Canadian band Whitehorse: