Almost exactly six years ago, an online magazine gave me the opportunity to join their team. I still remember the cover letter I sent to the managing editor, although the particulars have melted away like many memories do. “What I lack in experience, I more than make up for in enthusiasm,” I said. Or something like that. And the ladies of Literary Mama must have believed me, for they asked me to join as a profiles editor. Two years later, I became part of the senior editor staff, and almost three years later, that senior staff ushered the magazine onto a new pathway: the magazine is now a 501(c) 3 organization.
The changes are exciting, but the one person I would like to tell about them can no longer understand the words I speak. My mom, an avid reader, won’t comprehend when I say that the magazine’s status is a forward step in our history. Because, as many of you know, my mom has Alzheimer’s disease, and she’s already at the point that her speech is garbled, and her comprehension—well, it’s very difficult to know what she’s understanding, if anything at all.
And I wish she could understand what I’m saying, because, I found out in the last couple of years that mom had aspirations of being a writer. She never told our family, but she kept a letter that must have meant something to her—a letter from a college instructor that ended with the following words: “You are a writer.”
Every writer wants to hear those words, and my mother, at one point in her life, did. She had the kind words of a writing instructor and the support of two classmates. But she didn’t have the confidence, means, or knowledge of what to do with her writing. And so, her stories have disintegrated along with her mind.
My goal as a writer and editor is to be the best I can be, but I also want to encourage people like my mother to have the confidence to send their work and find a home for their stories. I want to make sure that writers like my mom see their dreams come to fruition. And I want to make sure that mother voices are heard.
Literary Mama is and always has been a place where mothers can become the writers they want to be. Consider skipping that Starbucks latte this morning and giving a few dollars. You never know exactly who you might be helping.
(To see the entire Giving Tuesday newsletter at Literary Mama, please go to this link. It includes a button to donate to LM via PayPal.)
Image of hands holding a candle by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay.com.
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