I am published!

I am published!

Today I reached a milestone in a writer’s life…to get published.  Along the journey to have one’s book published by a traditional publishing house, one is encouraged to publish a piece of writing on the local and national level.  This summer, I have been attending Menlo Park Presbyterian Women’s Writing Haven, a group of women of faith who write to prompts. It has been an exciting journey for me to see my writing expand and to get encouraging feedback by others in the group.

Today at our last session, we ate a smorgasbord of bundt cakes, homemade quiche and strawberries dipped in yogurt and shared our lives and news. At the end of the meeting, our leader Sally, presented each of us with a beautiful bound book entitled “Summer Potpourri:  A Miscellaneous Anthology” which included pieces of writing we had all submitted.  We sat around reading our stories, following along with our minds and hearts, laughing and delighted at our accomplishments. So with joy in my heart, I can now say I am published at the local level.  Amen. (And i can’t wait to share it with my writers critique group tonight!)

I would like to share a short story I wrote on my Mother which is included in the book, written in response to a prompt on a ‘favorite memory of your mother”.  I sent it to my mom for Mother’s Day and I know it brought joy to her heart.  I hope it brings joy to your heart as well.

Seamstress.  Baker. Hand holder. Comforter.  These are the images of my mother.

My mother was often overwhelmed with four daughters.  She was a traditional mom, staying home with her children until my youngest sister was in First Grade.  I would come home from school and find he sitting at the kitchen table with sunlight streaming in from the window in a perfectly quiet house.

My mother loved to sew and taught all of us girls to sew on the old fashioned treadle machine..  I remember the rhythmic sound of the peddle going faster and faster as my feet pumped it.  She made all our costumes for Halloween and plays.
Saturdays would find us in the kitchen learning to bake her famous lasagna.  Layers of noodles. sauce, cheese, ricotta, filled my memory as I repeated noodles, sauce, cheese, ricotta cheese, until the pan was full.

Bead baking day was my favorite.  She would set the ball of dough to rise in the laundry room on the washer, the smell of yeast permeating the air. I loved to sneak into the room to  punch the ball down, causing my fist to make an imprint in the soft dough.
Chocolate chip cookies were my favorite dessert and I can still hear her scolding voice saying,  “Who is in the cookie dough?” as we snuck dough from the metal bowl in the refrigerator, the covering plate clanging against it, giving us away.

Best was my mother’s shoulder to cry on as boyfriends stood me up, friends betrayed me and sisters were mean to me.

My Mother.  My Friend.  My first love.