News: The piece I wrote for the Water~Stone Review no. 14, "Veteran's Day," bloody and heart-baring as it is, has received a number of accolades. It was named the winner of the 2011 Water~Stone Review Judith Kitchen Creative Nonfiction Prize, was nominated to the Pushcart Prize, and most recently was named one of the "Notable essays" in Best American Essays 2012. It's the centerpiece for a book project examining the experience of a military wife through mythical archetypes. I love the piece desperately, and am so honored that others have loved it too.
More news: I have a new vocation, a new avocation, a dear love finally requited. I am terrified and gobsmacked and heart-beating-buh-bum-buh-bum excited to say that you have funded a Kickstarter campaign to launch a literary magazine for parents. Stealing Time will inspire parents to share and share again. Give, not judgment, not advice, but our stories. Listen not in fear or in competition but in acceptance. Stealing Time is a quarterly journal of quality literary content; fiction, memoir, essay, and poetry; for and by parents. Subscribe to the magazine, make my day.
. . .
It turns out that my 'about me' page was not about me anymore -- more the surface of me, my resume, not me.
With the development of time, the taking on of a husband with a more-dysfunctional-than-average family, the birth of three madly brilliant-and-emotional sons, the ups and downs of juggling these and an intense career, I think of myself with far less bounce.
photo copyright Amy McMullen
What I am is more melancholy than I want to be. The aspirational me is quietly happy, the one that finds magic everyday, who lives through words, photos, food, passions of many kinds. Passions like knitting with my friends, creating community for Portland parents, writing about local foods, keeping chickens, starting quiet revolutions, family bikes.
Through the years of my blog, I have discovered that the reason I blog is to tell the truth, to write my story -- our story -- and offer it to you. I do not blog here to make money, or to support a cause, or to find friends. I blog here for a more thorough examination of a life worth living, a life that is more struggle than I expected but is nonetheless vastly richer, more meaningful, more expansive, more rewarding than I often acknowledge.
I do not have the time it takes to tell every story, and often, I miss the parts that truly matter. But I will come back and find them -- the ones that were meant to be told -- in time. For now, please know that every word I write is offered up to you as a gift, with the hope that exploring my search for peace and hope with my family will reflect that magic in your own life.
Email: I can be reached at mama [at] cafemama [dot] com. While I long to respond to every email I receive, I don't. I can only promise to read every email, and to try.
I am the editor of Stealing Time, a literary magazine for parents. I am writing a book about food. I am trying to reclaim my joy. I am available for speaking engagements and interviews; just send me an email.
If you enjoy the essays here, perhaps you'd enjoy these:
The Good Fight: Can letting our children roughhouse lead to a better democracy? (Oregon Humanities Journal, Summer 2012)
Here, Not There: An Army Wife Looks to the Greeks (Oregon Humanities Journal, Fall/Winter 2009)
Photographic Memory: After Polaroid shut down its instant film factories, a motivated subculture of photographers miraculously revived a beloved brand. (Hemispheres Magazine)
Crazy, Magic, Impossible: Polaroid Film is Back (DailyFinance)
The cult of spring: Perspectives on a mama's need for nature (urbanMamas)
Spare the Rod: Does Punishment in the Public School System Really Work? (Oregon Humanities Journal, Spring 2011)
New York City's Next Big Cottage Industry: Beekeeping (DailyFinance)
Childcare issues are an impossible challenge for Army moms and dads (DailyFinance)
How I launched a successful Kickstarter campaign (Get Rich Slowly)
Nobody has it all: Careers we can believe in (Get Rich Slowly)
Parent groups have a cow over campaign pushing chocolate milk as 'health food' (DailyFinance)
Financial PTSD: Facing your money vulnerabilities (again) (WalletPop)
Inconvenient family living: Reduce your trash (WalletPop)
Twitter and the bloggers killed Gourmet, one editor says. We beg to differ (DailyFinance)