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Ali Smith and the final day of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers

Squeeze time here.

Ali Smith’s raw, elegant photographs illustrate her raw and elegant blog post today in the ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes’ blog series.

The drawing for the ‘The Homemade Pantry’ and all the other goodies is tonight.
I have had absolutely no new subscribers on this site, so maybe there is something wrong with the subscription thingy.
Current subscribers and all the participants in the blog series are eligible to win.

Until then, I am off to the Gala for the Festival.
After I finish arguing with my kids.

All is fair in love and war,
but not necessarily in mothering,


Following My Favorites

The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.

Carl Jung said this and I concur.


Friday is a hooooooover of a day for me.
I spend the morning with my collage coven in a studio class at IS-183.

Then, I attended the spring assembly at my daughter’s school where I heard her class offer a moving recitation dedicated to W.E.B. deBois, who was born here in our town and only in my daughter’s lifetime, she is 14, has this town claimed this fame.
deBois, the father of the civil rights movement, grew up ‘along the golden river’ that wends through my town. Our familiarity with deBois has grown due the powerful work of Rachel Fletcher, who with others, has stirred our town to mature enough to claim deBois as an important inhabitant. The Housatonic captures us all with it’s shimmering light. Stories and art abound about that river.

But, like the river, I drift.

I am following what I love today and that is art, my kids and writing. After posting this, I will find my husband, for whom I have been saving this Friday evening, as a way to end a busy week. A glass of wine and him. I am so happy to be able to walk this journey with my husband.

I am very excited about today’s guest blogger, Kathy Drue. She is my long lost sister by another mother. Close readers of the Laundry Line will recall Kathy and I have done a few play dates with art here on the Line. And, one of my favorite blogs of all time was a guest post I did on her site.

Today, I give you Kathy, in all her splendor. Do comment on her page here. And, consider subscribing to this website so you can participate in the drawing I am hosting here tomorrow. ( new cookbook, rice pudding recipe, letterpress art and more!)

Tomorrow is when you will be gifted with the next exciting blogger, Ali Smith, author of Momma Love. I posted a video by Ali 2 years ago, as part of my Mamafesto. I have since met and talked with her at the Museum of Motherhood in Manhattan. Momma Love, indeed.

Kathy and Ali represent a spectrum of my fascination with mothering. Kathy, deep in the woods of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Ali, nestled in the East Village of Manhattan, both endeavor to live their lives as creative women who mother, who work, who seek to weave these realities together through their expression. Please welcome them warmly to the Laundry Line. I adore them both.

Someday, I would LOVE to toss a big party for the Laundry Line and have you all there, toasting each other, supping on bedtime snacks and telling tales. The long line of guest bloggers on ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes’ keeps getting longer. I hope you are enjoying this blog series and my posts. Your comments, emails and letters mean so much to me. It is my gift to get to share them with you.

All my love,

Poetry at PRESS: Sweet Moon Visions

The Super Moon rising in Middlefield 3/19/11

Creativity as a woman and as a mother comes from being willing to make the connection…and keep it. Susan Heffron Hajec

The Poetry of PRESS

We are on the verge of National Poetry Month.
I know, you were thinking I was about to write National Poultry Month. That is in September. Of course.

Tonight you can warm the cockles of your chilly March heart and wander in to PRESS to take in another event that is part of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers. This evening Melanie Mowinski is hosting a reading of poetry by a group of Northern Berkshire County poets and an opening of art work including poems by writers of the Festival set in letterpress and art work created in the Found and Letterpress Collage workshop I took there last Saturday. Here is a slideshow of that workshop.

Today’s new blog post is by Susan Heffron Hajec, an author and poet I met through Jan Phillips and IWWG. Her poetry and writing read like prayers, whispered or spoken, Susan craves and creates connections.

Every single morning I read Rumi.
His poetry is part of my morning meditation practice.
My friend Maria Sirois posted this poem this week, by Hafiz, another Sufi Mystic poet.
I leave it here with you, as a prayer for today.


Admit something:
everyone you see, you say to them, “Love me.”
Of course you do not do this out loud,
otherwise someone would call the cops.
Still, though, think about this,
this great pull in us to connect.
Why not become the one who lives
with a full moon in each eye
that is always saying, with that sweet moon vision,
what every other eye in this world is dying to see?


Thank you Maria. Thank you Susan. Thank you Rumi. Thank you Hafiz. Thank you Melanie. Thank you Seth, with whom I took that moon photo and whose birthday it is today.
I’d like to have a picnic with all of you someday.

Love, S

PS You know if you have a big white blank there in the middle of this post where it should have a slideshow, just refresh this page by clicking on the arrow in your navigation bar. So easy. I did not learn that til last week sometime. xooxox

PPS Tomorrow’s guest blogger is Kathy Drue. Saturday is Ali Smith. You will love their views on mothering and creativity. xooxoxo S

Favorite Frame #10 by Michelle Gillett here on the Laundry Line- and she brought snacks!

Michelle Gillett, our poet in the house of ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes’, won the first copy of Alana Chernila’s new cookbook The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making. Here is the first report from her kitchen. More on this week’s drawing below.

We all win sometimes. I hit the jackpot twice when I got to read an essay about mothering at the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers’ event, “Out of the Mouths of Babes.” Not only did I get to read about running a marathon (okay, a half marathon) with my daughter, but I got the added bonus of reading with five wonderful writers. The energy and pleasure of the evening—reading to a receptive and attentive audience, listening to my colleagues’ stories, engaging in a lively discussion about creativity and mothering– made it memorable.

And THEN I won one of the event’s raffle prizes: a copy of Alana Chernila’s about-to-be published cookbook, “The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying & Start Making.” (Clarkson Potter)

I didn’t leaf through its pages noting what I would or would not be likely to cook as I usually do with cookbooks; instead, I read the stories about food and family that precede each recipe section and found them to be as nourishing as the recipes and advice offered in the book’s pages. Then I looked at the photographs and reminisced about my two daughters when they were same ages as Alana’s girls.

I looked at the photographs some more, read some more. I was as hooked as I am when I read a really good novel. But I thought I should honor the book’s intention and try out a recipe. Since I always make a snack for the writing workshop I teach, I studied the possibilities for baked goods and found a recipe that sounded uncomplicated yet likely to satisfy my students’ hunger after a lengthy discussion of “the unreliable narrator.” (It’s one thing to be an unreliable narrator, but quite another to be an unreliable baker.) I decided to make “Car Snack 2: The Sweet Bar, because I happened to have all the necessary ingredients in my cupboards including Lyle’s Golden Syrup. They were easy to make and delicious.

In the essay my students read in the workshop this week, “The Truthless Narrator,” the author Judy Doegnes writes, “…in the end our unstable world doesn’t topple the unreliable narrator but shores him up.” After our break for tea and coffee and snacks, I encouraged them to try creating their own unreliable narrators which they did with great success no doubt because they were shored up by Alana’s Sweet Bars.

Thank you Suzi and Alana for rewarding me with so much enriching and enduring sweetness!

Thank you Michelle!

Snack bars! Potato Chips? Butter? Alana offers a story for them all along with the warmest of invitations to her table, where, if you are lucky, Joey and the girls will share a jar of homemade pickles they just cracked open.
Would you love to win this book or one of the recipes of our bedtime snacks? Or, a piece of my art work, a letterpress print with a quote from my ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes’ program?
To register you must be a subscriber to this site already or become one by simply filling out the box in the upper right hand corner of this page. You will be joining my mailing list, which will deliver to you a discreet note every time I put up a new post and a very occasional announcement of Laundry Line Divine events.

One upcoming event is my appearance in Pittsfield at the Alchemy Initiative on April 28 for a day-long FeMail workshop with my collaborator Karen Arp-Sandel. Details here.
Another is my appearance in the WAM (Women’s Action Movement) theatre 24 Hour Theatre Project on April 14th. Details here.
And lastly, Michelle Gillett is leading a Memoir workshop with another of my She-ros, Marion Roach Smith, on April 20 &21, 2012 at the Stockbridge Library. Details here.

But first! Wait! There is more fun with the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers first. Saturday the Gala closing of the Festival at The Mount. I will be there, grinning from ear to ear, celebrating this wonderful Festival and all it has created here in the Berkshires and the ripples that flow out from this beautiful place.

I cannot leave without telling you about another mother author who shared her journey with her adult son, this time in Manhattan. Linda Wisniewski came to ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes’ blog series through Face Book and I could not be happier. Please read her post here.

The growing list of women offering their insights in to their mothering through the lens of creativity fills me with glee. Thank you authors and readers for joining this discussion.

Be the Ripple, right?
xoxox Love,

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