Mothers and Writing…Milk and Ink.

In Mothers and Writing, Musings, Publishing on July 18, 2010 at 10:37 pm

I don’t know who Jane Friedman was quoting when she said this week that all one needs to be a writer is a “bad mother,” but it made me laugh knowingly. Not because I had a bad mother, nor because I hope to be one, but because there does seem to be a firm link between writers and their mothers, or their own mothering. And it makes sense. Is there a bond more primal than mother and child? (Not discounting fathers here by a long shot). I see it in my adult friends who are grappling with issues about their mothers wondering why they “still” have these needs/longings/frustrations.

Even if you never speak to your mother, or fight with her regularly, it stands to reason that you’d have a spectacularly complex connection to the person whose body you grew inside of, or who raised you, with a promise of unconditional love, even if she did not birth you.

This connection and its very complexity, its beauty and its darkness, is the thesis around a magnificent new project I’m honored to be involved in. Milk & Ink: A Mosaic of Motherhood, is an anthology, the brainchild of Eros-Alegra Clarke, which will be published in December by Outskirts Press and features such a spectacular line-up of mother writers it makes me want to dance: Eros-Alegra Clarke; Tinesha Davis; Tanya Egan Gibson; Kemari Howell; Marilyn Kallet; Rebecca Lawton; Caroline Leavitt; Ellen Meister, Justine Musk; Nina Perez; Jordan E. Rosenfeld; Marge Bloom; Christina Rosalie Sbarro; Tracey Slaughter; Tomi L. Wiley; and Michael Lee West. POW.

All proceeds will be going to Mama Hope, a charity sponsoring women and children in Africa. The charity was founded by Nyla Rodgers, daughter of one of my former writing teachers, Stephanie Moore, who passed away several years ago from cancer, and to whom my book Make a Scene is dedicated.

The writing is stellar and we will be blogging at: Please check us out! Please also “like” our Facebook page and follow us on twitter. More to come!

  1. I am really excited about this, girls.

  2. A wonderful-sounding project, and a lovely, thoughtful post. Especially since I just finished reading your interview with Isabel Allende and was so moved by her honesty and strength in regards to her own daughter and her own role as a mother.

    My own writing has evolved greatly since I’ve become a mother though the relationships between mothers and daughters has long been a pivotal one in my books. My debut in fact is, at its core, the story of a single-mother and her two daughters over the course of 25 years.

    As daughters, as mothers, as sisters and, yes, as writers, I think we can’t help but be constantly and supremely aware of the impact of that relationship.

    • Erika, thanks for stopping by! What’s your novel’s title, and when can we look for it?

      • Jordan, thanks so much for asking. My book is titled LITTLE GALE GUMBO and it’s due out from NAL in summer of 2011.

        I’ll look forward to stopping in again now that I’ve found your blog!

  3. Fantastic, Erika. Sounds like my kind of book. So glad to hear good books are still being published! Any chance of an ARC? I’d be glad to feature you in a guest blog or interview here closer to your pub date!

    • Jordan, that would be fantastic. I promise to keep you posted–especially once I know when the ARCs will be arriving. My sincerest thanks to you!

  4. Uhoh! It is still the wrong link. Here is the correct one:

    I am so, so thrilled with this gathering of voices. POW indeed!

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