Week 1. - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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Mothers' Writing Group > Week 1.
kavamamakava's Avatar kavamamakava 04:06 AM 10-08-2004
Originally Posted by LaLa
I have a question about rights. I hope this doesn't sound too ... bad, but I like to write articles or poetry for publication and I am wondering if what is posted here is still the full ownership of the person who wrote it or if it somehow transfers ownership to the group and or MDC? That may sound silly, but I am thinking this would be good inspiration for me for future articles and I'd like to be free to take what I write for this to adapt into other works.

What are your thoughts on that?
Great question! The way I understand it is that it's considered published by MDC but you are the author and therefore still have the rights to your own works. I guess MDC could possibly use your posted writings in another place at mothering.com since by posting, you gave consent for them to publish it here. But in absence of any contract, I don't think they have exclusive rights to publishing your work which prohibits you from publishing it elsewhere.
I hope someone corrects me if I'm wrong

Calm's Avatar Calm 07:59 AM 10-08-2004
*gazing at the pen beside the keyboard, burning inside at how much she has to say....picking up the pen, twirling it a few times.....putting the pen back on the desk....stroking keys with fingertips, lovingly....a knowing smile smearing her face....she types her post, now, here, and it says...

Hell yeah I wanna write! Count me in.

*Closes the MDC window, stands and brushes the keyboard with her palm...exits the study with the sudden and warming realization that the writer within still breathes.*
coleslaw's Avatar coleslaw 11:29 AM 10-08-2004
I'm in!! I've been wanting to get into writing but needed this push. Thanks!
loving-my-babies's Avatar loving-my-babies 11:45 AM 10-08-2004
Originally Posted by Calm
*gazing at the pen beside the keyboard, burning inside at how much she has to say....picking up the pen, twirling it a few times.....putting the pen back on the desk....stroking keys with fingertips, lovingly....a knowing smile smearing her face....she types her post, now, here, and it says...

Hell yeah I wanna write! Count me in.

*Closes the MDC window, stands and brushes the keyboard with her palm...exits the study with the sudden and warming realization that the writer within still breathes.*
you're good! if this is the kind of thing we're supposed to write, I am so lost! but I will give it a try...
Red's Avatar Red 12:59 PM 10-08-2004
Ok, so here goes, this is my post for the week. Please feel free to critize(oh how DO you spell that?) it! I'm looking to improve and want to know how. I can take it, I swear.

Oh, and I wasn't sure if we were allowed to polish things up, or if we were supposed to just type what we'd written, so this is just as I'd written it.

Two o'clock in the morning
Two o'clock in the morning. The babies are crying. It's colic, a food allergy, I think. But I can't figure out to what. We haven't been to bed yet.

This is an every night event. They begin to fuss about 11. By 11:30 they're miserable. My husband offers to stay up with them. To rock them and walk them and sing to them and try to ease their discomfort. But what would I do then? Put a pillow over my head to block out my babies cries and go to sleep? I would know they were crying, even if I was successful at blocking out the noise.

Better to be here, on the couch, rocking them, singing to them, letting them know that I could never sleep while they hurt.

I have done this before. Eleven years before. When their oldest sister had the same discomfort. She could only be soothed by being walked, and so I'd walk and count each round trip of the apartment. Maybe after 100 times she'll sleep, I'd say. Maybe after 500, I'd pray.

With two babies, I can't walk. My arms would fall off! So we rock and sing, sing and rock, from 11 to 3 each night. Well, from 11 to 2. From 2 to 3 we rock and we cry. From sheer exhaustion. After a few weeks I know when it's 2am, becaue I begin to cry, like the chimes on my mothers' grandfather clock, right on time.

And then they nurse again. And as quickly as it came on, it stops. They sleep.

I climb, drag, myself upstairs, a sleeping babe heavy in each arm. I ease each of them down, to the mattress beside me and sink wearily into bed. To SLEEP.

Ok, so I had to edit a little bit. It's darn near impossible to put in parts that you NEED to change.

I'll be away til Tuesday, and I'm already jonesin'. I can't wait to read what everyone else has written! Start postin'.
L.J.'s Avatar L.J. 02:45 PM 10-08-2004
I'm in!

I'll be back to post my first piece of writing later!
BostonMama17's Avatar BostonMama17 02:54 PM 10-08-2004
hey Tanya--these threads will be pretty cumbersome to read after a few pages. Should we post writing assignments in a separate thread from comments/discussion? Just a thought.

Here's my first 5-minute free write. Interesting what comes up when you don't fight it.


I remember…….

Nursing my son in the waiting room while my mother’s fate was decided by strangers. I held his small body against mine as we sank into the cool leather couch. I remember thinking how much nicer the waiting rooms are in the hospice ward. Real living rooms with throw pillows in coordinated fabrics, area rugs, and mood lighting. Like they expected us to be here for a while. Like they wanted it to feel like home. But outside, beyond the heavy double doors, gurneys creaked, meal carts jangled, and families paced while nurses chatted gaily about their weekend plans. I remember there were books on the shelves with broken spines. Who had had the head and heart space to read? And fanned out neatly on the table were pamphlets about death and dying. I read volumes on birth. How could death be edited down to five or six bullet points?
LaLa's Avatar LaLa 03:58 PM 10-08-2004
This ends abruptly, but it was a first attempt...-----------------------------------------------------------

I remember…

A landslide of moments

Two mothers
Two fathers
Convoluted fears

My sisters
My brothers
Our bond and our breach

I remember so many glimpses of laughs
Out of reach

My grandma
Her passing
My guilt overbearing

A house
Like a ghost
Frozen moments- Dream sharing

I remember the child
So shy
So alone

Screaming inside me
Reaching for an unknown

Overpowering good
Always remembering
Wondering if I should.
Autumn Breeze's Avatar Autumn Breeze 04:48 PM 10-08-2004
SOunds neat, I'll give it a try, not sure if I will post (like really join in) but I'll try to do the writing on my 'free time'
mystic~mama's Avatar mystic~mama 05:21 PM 10-08-2004
I would Love to be a part of this!!
Calm's Avatar Calm 06:29 PM 10-08-2004
Red, I felt like you. Reading that, it was like we melded and you knew exactly how I've felt.

Bostonmama, I want to read more, it makes me wonder what happens next, and that's a good thing!

LaLa - Far out! You did that in five minutes? "Our bond and our breach" - love that.

Man, you guys are a tough act to follow, but I shall come back with screwed up notes and give it a go. I want to be able to comment on the writing, but I guess we'll all have to make it short, hey? Once the pages start filling. Oh this is going to be fun...amazing....and very interesting.
LaLa's Avatar LaLa 07:07 PM 10-08-2004
I am uncertain about what all we do in this post too...like I was waiting to comment on what people wrote cause I wasn't sure if it all went in this one thread?

Maybe comments will be another thread? Not sure ?
But, yes, that was 5 minutes. It was my second attempt. The first time I was just writing, but then I started over in poem. Things flow better for me in poem so I will likely write that way often here.

OhMel's Avatar OhMel 11:12 PM 10-08-2004
Motherhood started me writing little droplets of prose after seven years of corporate life. I'm hoping this will encourage me to once again find the joy that writing once gave me.

erikanorth's Avatar erikanorth 12:03 AM 10-09-2004
So thankful to have found this.....dh and I have been talking about how I have to start writing again... I look forward to reading the writings of others and to stretching myself not only in the writing, but also to make time for it....
L.J.'s Avatar L.J. 12:27 AM 10-09-2004
The first time.....
I realized that this new precious life was totally in my care I felt panic. I had the help and experience of my mother for one week. Then the companionship of my husband for a week and despite the fact that we were both new at this, at least there was someone else there to consult. But here I was, week 3, standing at the door, babe in arms, watching my husband walk down the sidewalk, get into his van & drive away to work.

I stood there thinking, "who the hell thinks I can be responsible for this precious life?" "I'm not old enough, I'm not mature enough, experienced enough......I'M NOT READY!" "How can they think I'll be okay with this child? How will I know what to do? I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!"

And then some time passed. And we actually made it through the morning. Soon we were both sleeping. I found a way to eat some lunch. I found a way to go to the bathroom. I didn't attempt a shower, but hey, one step at a time.

Before I knew it the afternoon was creeping along & we were nearing the end of "daddy's work day."

Maybe I CAN do this. The child's been alone with me for several hours now & we're both.......OKAY! Maybe I can really be a mom. Maybe I can listen & learn my baby's cues. Maybe I'll get this figured out yet. Hey, I may even figure out how to go shopping with this kid!!!! WHOA! WAIT a minute! Let's not get too crazy just yet! We've barely managed a full day at home. Okay, admittedly, it's probably only been 5 hours alone. But it's a step. It's progress. We're doing it. I'm doing it. It's real. I'm a Mom!
Calm's Avatar Calm 12:55 AM 10-09-2004
First assignment -

I remember me. I had wondered if I had given me away, shelved me, or simply lost me, but I recall I existed – somewhere in time. Often, like a mirror, I see me in her eyes – is it my reflection, or an image of me that she wears? Mini me. Sometimes, as she wraps her arms around me, she disappears. Have I lost her too? Or have we become one? Then, there are the moments. Those moments when I recognize that I was lost all along - until her. As we gaze at each other I realize that I am not lost. I am found.
And I am home.
loving-my-babies's Avatar loving-my-babies 12:56 AM 10-09-2004
I wrote a lot today. I just need the guts to post it... :LOL
SPOTTO's Avatar SPOTTO 01:19 AM 10-09-2004
Wow. This really hit home with me and brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for writing this and sharing.

Originally Posted by Calm
First assignment -

I remember me. I had wondered if I had given me away, shelved me, or simply lost me, but I recall I existed – somewhere in time. Often, like a mirror, I see me in her eyes – is it my reflection, or an image of me that she wears? Mini me. Sometimes, as she wraps her arms around me, she disappears. Have I lost her too? Or have we become one? Then, there are the moments. Those moments when I recognize that I was lost all along - until her. As we gaze at each other I realize that I am not lost. I am found.
And I am home.

loving-my-babies's Avatar loving-my-babies 01:38 AM 10-09-2004
ok, here I go :

The first time... I felt in control, was a powerful moment. I have struggled all my life with control, boundaries and fear. For the first time in my life, my choices are the ones that count. I, am the one that decides. Growing up repressed and scared, I felt like I never had a choice. The pain never showed until now, that slowly I have started letting go of the hurt and anger, now that I am in full control of my life. I am now, living that hurt and fear, lack of control, because I was not allowed to do so in my childhood years. Now that I have unraveled that part of me, it comes out naturally. I do not want to see it sometimes, I am afraid of the feelings that will come out, I fear I will see something that will hurt and bring back memories I do not want to relive. But I feel it’s necessary and if it didn’t come out naturally, I don’t know, if I would gave the guts to bring it out myself.
As I search for my repressed feelings of fear and pain, I also search for forgiveness in me, to forgive those who made me feel scared. Who hurt me because they were angry, and they were not capable of controlling that anger. But it is hard. It’s harder than I thought it would be, and this is why I promise to always parent consciously. I promise to think about everything I do, why I do it, and never, ever, look down on my children and forget they are people who will grow into adults, who will look back and judge me, for altering their lives, changing their lives, influencing their lives, like I look back and judge those who hurt me.
isosmom's Avatar isosmom 02:00 AM 10-09-2004
Jumping in here.......I'm off to write
isosmom's Avatar isosmom 02:17 AM 10-09-2004
Alright here I go...
I remember seeing that red line or was it blue on the test. How could it possibly have turned that quickly? When was I going to tell Gavin? He was downstairs right now but in the middle of work. We had plans that night. Going into the city. How do I explain to Debbie I won't be drinking? What is Gavin going to say? We are barely a couple. We're supposed to moving back east in a few months. Well I've known my decision long before now. I love this baby already. Can't beleive I just had my last cigarette and beer outside. But we knew this was coming didn't we? I finally caved in, told him I loved him and this baby was conceived, maybe even that very night. Oh don't worry I don't want to be married. Do I tell him now? Do I wait? I think I've gotta tell him. Call him upstairs let him know that I'd love for him to come along for the ride.
BostonMama17's Avatar BostonMama17 09:52 AM 10-09-2004
The day my baby was born, my mother lay dying in a hospital bed 1500 miles away. As I rolled onto all fours, howling in active labor, nurses turned my mother on her side to change her sweat-soaked gown. And as my breasts grew full and hard with milk, she lost hers, one by one. This is the story that wants to be told. I can’t stop it. Believe me, I’ve tried.

I have always been headstrong and independent. As a child, I set up shop in my parents’ converted basement with an old adding machine on a wobbly card table. I sold used books, costume jewelry, old 8-track tapes and 45s that I carefully packed in re-folded paper bags. I learned very young the value of things and how to part with them. I don’t remember what I did with the profits, if I made any. I probably went to the movies or the roller rink or the arcade. It didn’t really matter. With my own means, I could go anywhere.

By sixteen, I had earned enough for a car. I scoured the bulletin boards at the grocery store. I searched the ads in those free flyers piled at the door of the 7-11. Finally, I found her. 1968 Volkswagen Karmen Ghia, rebuilt engine, runs good, $1500 OBO. It wasn’t exactly a room of one’s own, but it was a start. I named her Lola and filled the trunk with treasures of my girlhood: beach blankets, hair spray, backup pairs of sunglasses and high heels, a library of mixed tapes to suit any mood. I filled the rest with dreams of moving North where brick sidewalks carried stylish, fast-talking people to and from exciting, artistic places. Racing home one night well after curfew, I turned up Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” and imagined myself speeding right past my exit.

A year later, when the thick envelope from Columbia arrived, my mother knew what it meant. Without asking whether I’d accepted their offer, she took me shopping for the requisite dorm room attire—extra long sheets, halogen reading lamp, and a shower caddy full of plastic containers for all of my secret toiletries. “You’ll need a winter coat and some sturdy boots,” she announced one morning over breakfast. “You don’t know what it’s like to live through a Northern winter.” She said it in a way that suggested I’d live to regret my choice, and her tone betrayed a mixture of genuine concern and mother-knows-best smugness. That first winter was the coldest New York had seen in years. But I never let on how I missed the balmy ocean breeze or the scent of limes outside my bedroom window. I just padded my tuition bill now and then to order long underwear from L.L Bean.

Now I live among the bricks and stones of my teenage fantasies. The walls of my trendy, urban condo are lined with books. My husband and I attend parties with creative and interesting people. We’ve had season tickets to the symphony, rented houses on Martha’s Vineyard, and celebrated birthdays in some of the city’s finest restaurants. My mother came to visit once, the year we got married. She was in remission at the time, but in the wedding photos she looks nervous, distracted. In one photograph, a group of women attempt to attach a boutonniere to her dress. My mother looks fearful, even angry as the pins approach her prosthetic breast. I wonder if she’s afraid they’ll uncover her dark, hidden truth. Of all the photos from that day, it’s the one of her I like the most and the least.

When I found out I was pregnant, I knew I’d have a natural, midwife-assisted birth without medical intervention. My mother tried to be supportive, in her way. She told me that I didn’t have to be a martyr, that it was okay to accept help from others. In her mind, she was giving me a way out. But to me, childbirth was just another long ride in a fast car to a place I’d never been before. And I couldn’t wait to get there.

The moment I realized I was in labor, I gathered up all the tools I had accumulated—wristwatch, journal, relaxation tapes, essential oils—and sat quietly on the couch for 12 hours, watching the light move across the room as the sun rose and set around me. I didn’t think to call my mother. Not to ask for any words of wisdom or advice. Not to let her know that good news would be coming soon. I just drove right on through, past the exit for home. My son was born at 6:21 am, under the sign of cancer.

I did call afterwards to tell my mother that she was a grandmother. She had just come out of surgery and her voice was still weak from anesthesia. It was not unlike the other times I’d called late at night to let her know I’d arrived home safely. And though the details of my son’s birth passed through a cloud of morphine, I think she was relieved to hear it.
2rubies's Avatar 2rubies 10:16 AM 10-09-2004
Oh my God, BostonMama. That was incredible.

I hope to pick something to post by tonight.

waterfall's Avatar waterfall 12:08 PM 10-09-2004
This is the first time I have posted anything anywhere, but it is time for me to dive in. I've been working on finding more time to write lately and am so excited about the motivation this writer's group provides. So here goes:

The day my baby came home with us is a day I'll never forget. Finally, after three days in an awful motel and hanging around the hospital as visitors - not quite full fledged parents but sharing with (the birthmother) and hospital staff. Longing to be in control. To just take him and go, go, go, go home. Be free to love him and hold him and not worry about everyone elses reactions and feelings. Constantly on stage performing and keeping up appearances for the endless stream of their visiting friends. But the day we brought him home a dream finally came true. A long drive in traffic on a rainy night listenting to Christmas songs on the radio. Sitting in back with him, touching him, staring at him. Daddy up front driving and asking about him. Amazing. Christmas songs hold new meaning for me now. My angel - the one I adore. Oh come let us adore him. What beauty and peace. Finally, my son is coming home. Finally, I'm a mommy.
galadriel's Avatar galadriel 01:05 PM 10-09-2004
The day my baby was born is a complete blur; I remember drifting in and out of sleep, my husband watching over her in his arms, bringing her to me to nurse and cuddle in between our naps. I remember nursing being the most natural thing in the world, thinking, "I was made for this. What have I been doing all my life?" And looking down at her perfect, porcelain-like face, (I weep to think of it now, pregnant for the second time) thinking "How, how, HOW did I make someone so beautiful???" And wondering, just on the very edges of my mind, in a tickling way that seemed almost inappropriate, wondering, "Maybe, if my daughter is so blindingly beautiful, I am a tiny bit more beautiful myself than I always thought..."

(P.S., that's longhand, no editing, right?)
CookieMonsterMommy's Avatar CookieMonsterMommy 02:57 PM 10-09-2004
5 Minute long handed deal (comments greatly wanted and appreciated). BTW-Spelling is not my strong point--thank god for spell check, which longhand does not offer

Home is a destination that lately seems to elude me. How do you know where your heart is when your heart has been broken into so many pieces?

Home is a place in my dreams, full of happy family, lots of children and warm cookies cooling on the counter. Laughter drowns out all other--don't forget to wipe your feet and leave your stress at the door please.

Home is where I feel safe and warm and loved and that is why I have no home.
SPOTTO's Avatar SPOTTO 03:26 PM 10-09-2004
I have been working on my writing but haven't chosen which one I am going to post yet. I find myself very emotional reading other people's work and realize how difficult this workshop could be. Thank you everyone, for sharing such deep and intimate thoughts, I know it's not always easy.
Turtle Woman's Avatar Turtle Woman 04:54 PM 10-09-2004
I just found this and will post something tonight or tomorrow morning. I assume this is how I join?
rainbowmoon's Avatar rainbowmoon 06:00 PM 10-09-2004
Here's mine

I remember the first time I held my baby in my arms..After a long hard labor and less than ideal birth, finally at last he was safe in my arms! All I could do is stare and laugh and cry all at once. The knowing look he gave me is forever etched upon my heart. Words can't even describe that look. It was as if everything in my world stopped at that moment as I fell hopelessly in love with a part of me & Darren contained in this little tiny soul. It was almost as if we had known each other for lifetimes and there we were together at last. a family.
jennifer williams's Avatar jennifer williams 06:28 PM 10-09-2004
i am brand new here and do not understand where the writing assignment is supposed to be written &/0r sent to? jenniferw.
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