It happens to be V-Day for the A to Z Blog Challenge, which I did not officially participate in except for carrying the letter E for a tiny stretch of the blogging relay on behalf of my writing group, the Write On Mamas. Unofficially, I cheated, and wrote a single blog post with just a lazy line or two for each letter of the alphabet to help kick-off our new anthology, Mamas Write: 29 tales of Truth, Wit, and Grit. WOM co-founder Janine’s initial entry for the official blog was “A is for Anthology.” You can read what she had to say then here, and what another WOM co-founder, Claire Hennessey, has to say today, in “V is for Victory.” (You can also read all the other letters in between on WOM’s blog.)
Victory because we had our first Book Launch event last night at Diesel Bookstore in Oakland, and it was a blast! The place was crammed with people who laughed and cried through the excerpts we read. The overflow crowd gobbled up the books almost as fast as the chocolate-zucchini bread from Bittersweet Cafe, the same treat that over the last few months had fueled the creative juices of our editing team, Janine, Mary, and Joanne. (Chocolate Muse, anyone?)
Just as all our children were once gleams in our eyes, so the anthology was once a gleam in Janine’s eye. Two years ago, when she threw out the idea of the Write On Mamas’ publishing an anthology, I thought, “Yeah, right, this will never happen.” The initial working title was “Writing Our Motherhood, Mothering Our Writing,” which none of us really understood. But wanting to be a team player and also to fake my way into productivity, I signed on, submitting a somewhat shitty essay before moving on to other projects. Why invest in something that was going nowhere?
The great thing about the Write On Mamas, besides the wonderfully talented, competent, and supportive mothers (and one dad) who constitute it, is that nobody else thinks that way. Or possibly everybody does when staring at the blank screen or page in isolation. But the alchemy of the collective transforms inertia and demoralization into something altogether different. It’s easier to be there for others than it is for yourself, and MUCH easier to be there for others when others are there for you. As the saying goes, many hands make light work (even though a small WOM core did the bulk of the heavy lifting). The Goddesses of WOM would not accept why bother, would not accept shitty. They kept at it, coaxing, inspiring, never guilt-tripping anyone through two years of submissions, rewrites, fundraising, professional editing, PR campaigns. And they did all this while also coaxing, inspiring, and never guilt-tripping their own children!
It really does take a village, particularly one blessed with kick-ass village leaders. I am so grateful to be a part of the WOM village.
Check out WOM’s website for more book launch events and a whole lot more. Maybe you even want to join our village. And if you can’t find Mamas Write at your friendly neighborhood bookstore, you can always do the Amazon thing. Thanks!