By considering those themes, suddenly my potential audience grew ten-fold and I could not have predicted the types of opportunities and connections that would develop as a result of this slight perspective shift.
My next step was to visualize what I wanted this book to look like.
Expect no money but be diligent about sending pieces out for publication. A piece is not finished until it is off your desk and onto an editor’s desk. Look carefully at your verbs to see if they can be energized. In an interview with environmental reporter Elizabeth Rush, Smarty Pants host Stephanie Bastek asks what the future looks like for America’s coastal residents, especially as climate change contributes to rising sea levels and worsening storm seasons.
The best writers do not write about themselves but about everyone else. Learn to ask a question and then shut your mouth and listen. “The options for the people and animals in these places is stark: retreat or die,” Bastek says.
Maybe it could even inspire others to document and engage with their loved ones and face their fears the way I tried to do.
I knew that a book required important things like time and money, but I could not have imagined exactly how much of both I would need.(I will revisit this later.)I had to figure out if my story really made sense as a book. Was a book the right medium to communicate the content I had?Someone once told me that there are certain projects that may not make sense in a book form, no matter how beautiful or important they may be.Is a question asked of me surprisingly often when I visit schools, which I much enjoy not only as part of my overarching subtle devious plan to get on the good side of the children who will soon run the world, but also for the consistent entertainment of their artlessly honest questions (the best ever: Is that your real nose? Read the Bible once a year or so, ideally the King James, to be reminded that rhythm and cadence are your friends as a writer.), and for the sometimes deeply piercing depth of our conversations; we have suddenly spoken of death and miracles and loss and love, while we were supposed to be talking about writing and literature; and I have wept in front of them, and they have wept in front of me; which seems to me a sweet gift, to be trusted that much. Most religious writing is terrible whereas some spiritual writing is stunning.Each of these fifteen heavyweight writers harmonize to offer a truly profound argument for why words matter, and why unspoken words may matter even more.I am in awe of the talent Filgate has assembled here.The mothers in this collection are terrible, wonderful, flawed, human, tragic, triumphant, complex, simple, baffling, supportive, deranged, heartbreaking, and heartbroken. As a freelance photographer, I often feel like a one-woman show.Mother is a real place where narratives are generated and negated endlessly.This book hums a body—sometimes to home, sometimes to leaving—both saving our lives.”—Lidia Yuknavitch, author of “Fifteen literary luminaries, including Filgate herself, probe how silence is never even remotely golden until it is mined for the haunting truths that lie within our most primal relationships—with our mothers.