March 19, 2008

Double Lives Goes Live

All moms have their conception stories.

So how did Double Lives come about?

Well, a couple of months after my daughter was born, I thirsted after writing that included us, that charted the experience of the writing mother/ mothering writer in language that was descriptive, not judgmental. Having come from a line of women whose creativity was either diverted or stifled by the demands of husbands and children and/or the simple facts of staying alive, I felt I was entering dangerous yet exciting territory. Would I, too, succumb to the stresses? Who could I journey with? Enter Fiona and Shannon, friends and writers who became mothers shortly before I did. We tossed around crazy ideas, like putting together an anthology of essays that addressed this experience. Like giddy primaparas in our first trimesters, little did we know how challenging and enlightening the process of bringing that book to life would eventually become.

And now here she is: Double Lives: Writers on Mothering, red and shiny as a fresh placenta. And like any collaborative project, she has an extensive community behind her: 25 brilliant contributors, an exacting and supportive publisher, numerous devoted editors and publicists, plus friends and family. Paralleling my journey into writing motherhood, these past three years have seen Double Lives take shape.

Oh, and yesterday I began a poem about my daughter.

Three and a half years after she was born, I still struggle to find words to describe her and the impact she has had on my life. It’s always been that way for me. Writing about what is closest, and especially what is dearest, challenges me in ways I only partly understand. Yet becoming a mother has changed my brain forever.

Check this blog for news and updates as Double Lives moves out into the world.

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