Host, Noelle Sterne:
Hello, everyone. I am happy to be here this afternoon at Firedoglake with other women writers who have published pieces in the second book in the Reflections From Women series. This book is titled The Moment I Knew: Reflections from Women on Life’s Defining Moments, published by Sugati Publications and edited by the tireless and talented Terri Spahr Nelson, founder and publisher.
The theme of the book, reflected in the title, is that significant moments each of us has experienced that have changed us in some way and that we will never forget and may go back to reflect on.
The six other authors with us today who have contributed to The Moment I Knew (alphabetically speaking) represent a range of perspectives, talents, and writing styles, as reflected in their essays. With us are Donna Donabella, Kathleen Eaton, Kim Evans, Lisa Ford, Beth Myers, and Cyndi Pauwels. Two authors, Donna and Beth, are with us only for the first hour. And our publisher, editor, and all-around driving force, Terri Spahr Nelson, is here as well. Welcome and thank you for participating.
Today, two days after an auspicious day, August 26, which is Women’s Equality Day, our topic is writing—and fittingly and specifically, women writing. You will hear from our authors on their writing, their processes, their experiences on acceptance in The Moment I Knew, and other related issues they may wish to address.
We know, of course, of Virginia Woolf’s famous and seminal essay that may be as well a command for women writers, “A Room of One’s Own.” We may know too of Anne Tyler wrestling with writing time and time to have snow tires mounted. And Jacquelyn Mitchard’s resentment at grinding out bestsellers while her husband took over the domestic duties and played with the kids in the park. She admitted that she sorely missed her children and that “this role-reversal junk isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”
Do these women’s experiences, struggles, and guilts echo our own? Are they typical of women writers today? What questions do our guests and the audience have that can help us arrive at answers, and more writing? A few we might consider:
How difficult is it for women to write today?
Has it gotten easier or harder in contrast with former generations/decades?
How do we manage to write with all the roles we feel we must play?
Once we’ve achieved a “room of our own”—physically or mentally—what’s the process like for us? How hard is it to “shut the door”?
With these questions in mind, and others that audience members may think of, each of our authors today will introduce herself and her essay or poem by title and a brief summary. Readers may want to make a note of specific titles and subjects they would like to know more about as we go on.
But first, let’s hear from our energetic, wonderful editor, Terri Spahr Nelson. She will tell us a little about the book and the Reflections From Women project.