An Invitation

bench

My divorce was brutal. Not because my divorce in particular was so hard; but because divorce in general is a massive clusterfuck.

Divorce and its aftermath have made this space incredibly quiet. Writing has always been my way of gaining clarity and direction. So not writing about it has been stifling. I have an abundance of stories to tell about this experience. However, when you’re living through something rarely talked about and deeply personal, it feels like a huge risk to say the things in public.

I’m fortunate enough to have a wonderful group of women online who are single mothers by divorce; and have provided me with a heart-centered space to talk about this journey. They offer me sisterhood. They are part of the story I tell myself about this experience. These women, and a handful of IRL friends, have been my sounding board.

What I’ve lacked, though, is the space to listen to me. I need to spend more time on the story I tell myself about divorce and single motherhood. In the beginning, with legal proceedings on the horizon, I wasn’t sure what was fair game to share and what wasn’t. Then when all was said and done, I didn’t know how to start writing without pointing fingers. I had to get over some emotional hurdles to get to a place where the story would be entirely my own. And so, here I am.

I’m taking back this space. Too few heart-centered words are written about divorce and single motherhood. Yes, divorce is brutal but what comes after can be as beautiful as I make it. The story I tell myself, the story I write heals the wounds and helps me face the light.

I don’t want to do it alone. Sisterhood and storytelling are powerful medicine. So this is an invitation to join me once a week to be inspired by writing prompts on divorce and single motherhood.

Every Tuesday I’ll share my own post and include a writing prompt for the following week. At the bottom of each post you can link up to your blog post.
Topics will range from the serious to the silly because it’s a roller coaster ride, right?

For November, because of #NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), I’m listing all four writing prompts today in case there are folks out there who are planning out their posts for the month.

11/8 – How do you spend your time while your kids are away? Some moms struggle with being away from their kids, while others relish in the time off. How do you deal with those feelings? How has it changed over time? Go into as much or as little detail as you want.

11/15 – Write an honest dating profile. You don’t ever have to use it but write down what you’re really looking for in a partner. Mine may just include a spooning partner for the winter months.

11/22 – In the spirit of the season, what are the lessons you’re most grateful for from your divorce?

11/29 – It takes a village, right? Have you found your people, online or IRL? How have you built a community of support for yourself? Or are you trying to figure that out?

Get writing!

NaBloPoMo November 2016

Welcome, Scary Mommy Readers!

If you’re arrived here via Scary Mommy today you’ve been kind enough to read my guest post there today on the power of rituals in a family’s life. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I started blogging 6 years ago as many mothers do – as a brain dump to all the ideas, emotions, and confusion of early motherhood. It has evolved since into so much more. What started as a place to essentially talk to myself has turned into the pursuit of childhood dreams to write for a living. Having Jill feature me today is a small success on that journey. So trulymadlydeeply, thank you for giving my words on her blog some eyeballs!

ME ON ME

The basics – Carla, Jersey girl, book/blog/article/magazine/I’ll-read-anythingworm, movie addict, musically still living in the 80s/90s, kinda crunchy, ocean craver, winter averse, lover of sweaters, Dirty Dancing groupie, woo-woo believer in all things energyspiritvibe-y, somewhat introverted ENFP.

MY WRITING

I write here at All of Me Now kinda, sorta regularly which means I regularly post randomly. I write about mamahood, womanhood and this writing bug I’ve got. Sometimes the fever strikes me and I bust out with several posts in a week, other times it’s slow moving. I post when the inspiration strikes because once I hit publish it’s there forever and if I keel over and the last thing I write EVER is out there in the world forEVER then I want it to be meaningful and not just a filler. So, stop by, it’ll be my best effort. I write about mamahood, womanhood, and this writing bug I’ve got. I’m also a Huffington Post parent blogger where, like here, I only post when my heart’s all in.

For a tasty taste of my writing, click here, here, here and here for a few favorites. 

ON SCARY MOMMY

I met Jill for the first time while she was on tour for her first book. She floored me with her amazing curls (ringlets, people, grown-woman-no-frizz-bouncy-goddamn ringlets), honesty and willingness to share so much with a group of strangers. I left that encounter inspired to take my writing to the next level. Jill was gracious enough to share her personal journey from blogger to published author and it was the kind of hard work true story I needed to keep on keeping on. This summer I got to meet up with Jill again while she was in my neck of the woods. She shot the shit with myself and a small group of bloggers over coffee. Another no bullshit, inspiring chat about writing and blogging. Lady knows her shizzle. All this to say, keep reading Scary Mommy. She’s sincere in everything she does – real, all in, no bull. 

Gracias, people of the internet, for visiting my humble abode. You’re always welcome here.

Breakfast & Birds

As young girl coming of age, I spent hours, sometimes days, writing poetry. I filled journal upon journal, wide-ruled loose leaf page after wide-ruled loose leaf page with the angst, dreams, heartbreak, hopes and desires of a teenage girl. It was like finding my voice for the first time. I wrote all throughout high school but once I got to college the words didn’t come as easily. Perhaps it had something to do with living more out loud than before, finally quenching my own thirst just by living that I didn’t need writing to help me experience it.

Motherhood did something to let the words flow again. It’s been a lucid dream ever since but poetry is the beast that eludes me. Sometimes, though, it tiptoes up behind me and taps me on the shoulder. And there’s poetry.

breastfeeding poem

hummingbird poem

Poetry often feels like prayer* to me. I can’t tell if it’s crap or not but I feel a lightness afterwards, a sigh to the universe.

Tell me. Do you write poetry? Do you have a favorite poem?

*I refer here to the prayers of my youth whose lines are engraved in my brain from many years in Catholic schools. Prayer has since morphed into something much more sacred and manifests itself in many, many ways. Amen.

So We Beat On

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

I fell in love with The Great Gatsby in high school. It swept me up and away. I read the last line over and over to myself, a perfect one line poem. It even became the quote I chose to immortalize beneath my senior picture in my yearbook. Tonight, I went to see Baz Lurhmann’s movie version; hearing those words again brought me right back to my teenage self and the twirling-with-arms-wide-open satisfaction of finishing a good book.

This Leonardo DiCaprio version disappointed (Leo, himself, did not). It wasn’t awful but for the first time in a long while I went in ready to, dare I say, compare a book to it’s film incarnation. And perhaps more so, compare Baz Lurhmann to Baz Lurhmann. In the same way Gatbsy left me clamouring for more, Lurhmann’s Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge ignited me. They were visionary and bold and good Lord they provided the best damn sensory overload ever. I walked in to Gatsby expecting the same and got none of that.

Instead…

The story needed more room to breathe, more freedom. It felt too tight, contrived, close up.I realize the latter might very well be a deliberate tactic meant to emphasize the story, to evoke the emotional state of being part of the plot. However, while manipulation exists in the story, it’s not what stayed with me. It did a drive by on many of the themes which made the book a defining part of my literary history.

Book to movie – good not great. Movie to movies – hugely disappointing. Movie as a stand alone – good, see it on DVD. You thought maybe I’d go into the themes and all that jazz? Nope. But these words were swirling in my head as the movie came to a close. And what’s a blog good for if not setting words free?

And what is all this movie review business? A return to writing really. Funny the things that stir words to the surface.