Archive for July 2007

July Literary Reflections: This Is Where You Write

This month at Literary Mama, Jennifer Ruden’s essay about her writing home:

When I moved to Oregon to attend graduate school, I managed to blow most of my savings just getting from Baltimore to Eugene; the trip, if I recall correctly, involved a lot of national forests and a lot of beer. By the time I arrived in Oregon, I could barely pay rent. Like most graduate students, I found some place cheap, bought all my furniture used, and ate a lot of Top Ramen. I did manage to luxuriate in one purchase: A desk. After all, I took writing pretty seriously in those days.

The one I chose was enormous, a Mack truck of a desk with a marble slab on the top, filing cabinets, drawers, the whole enchilada. If this desk had a voice, it would have been a deep baritone like James Earl Jones and would have said, “This is where you write. You hear?” And of course, I listened.

Head over to Literary Mama to read more about Jennifer’s desk and where she writes now that she’s a mother.

Inspired? Check out our writing prompt and send us a piece about your own writing space! Responses received by July 15th will get personal feedback from Literary Reflections editorial assistant, Kathy Moran.

You Can Call Me…

When Ben was about three, he started calling me Caroline. It didn’t bother me, really, and particularly since we were in the midst of a move, and he was about to become a big brother, I wasn’t going to quibble over it. Sometimes he called me Mama, sometimes he called me Caroline; I always answered.

“Caroline” has come and gone the past couple years, with no discernible pattern, though he definitely uses it more than Mama these days. Lately he’s started to call Tony (up till now always Dada) by his first name, too.

Now Eli’s gotten into the act, alternating his regular Dada with a new and emphatic “Da-deee” and calling me what he can manage of my first name: “Kay-rah” (sounds like a radio station, doesn’t it? “You’re listening to K-Rah: All Mama, All the Time…”) Maybe replacing Da-dee with To-neee is next?

This may seem very 70s and very California of us, that we let our kids use our first names, but it doesn’t really feel like that to me. This is far from how Tony and I were raised, far from what I expected of our family life, but turns out to be one of those surprises that I’m just fine with. I love my kids to call me Mama, but they say my first name with love, too, and that’s all that really matters to me.