by Dawn Yun
I was so looking forward this morning to our pedicures, manicures and shopping with Liz's mother from Long Island. They are the characters from my novel. I was also planning where we would go to lunch. Thai was sounding yummy. But I've been on a sushi binge lately. It's better than Cheetos, unless they're the smooth kind. I don't like the crunchy ones. Too much bite. Now, if you're talking the new Stephen Colbert Ben & Jerry's with caramel and chocolate covered ice cream cone bits swirled in a vanilla bean ice cream -- I can be persuaded.
But I food stray. I see someone running by outside and know that today I will probably not have enough time to work out. Too much to do and a play date with four children at my house today. Parenting girlfriends do operate on a quid pro quo basis. It's only fair.
I've commandeered our kitchen table so I can write and stare out at Mt. Tam on our right and the people walking or running by -- which I should be doing --- to my left. Both are vicarious.
Spread across the table is The Writing Mamas Salon member's monologues, except my own, which I have yet to compose.
I need to put the 20 Mama Monologues in an order that refects LOL next to funny, touching, thoughtful, hysterical, good point, right on, mama! sad, and funny. Then a 10 minute -- that always stretches to 15 minutes-- break and then the second half. No piece is longer than four minutes, some as short as two. I've media trained most all members or gone over them on the phone so theatrics will likely be involved with each performance.
Seeing a writer you know on stage reading is always a blast. Knowing that they sat in the quiet sanctity of their rooms, but now appear before you to read what was in their heads is one of life's joys.
But when I see writers really emoting while reading, putting themselves into their pieces so you feel that you are actually in that place with them as they read-- that's when you have really gone places. Even if it's for only a few minutes, reader and audience have taken a journey together.
After the break, wine, wine, wine, The Mama Monologues we'll begin part two with similar rhythms and flow, touching on subjects of the heart and the soul that every mother experiences. Children can give you such unbelievable love that at times you will look at them and think: I cannot believe that this little person is really all mine.
Other times, they will do something that they know they should not do and you will think: They are not mine. Someone, take them back.
Not that we ever would. Still, once in a while, we think like that.
The blogs and essays that The Writing Mamas will read Friday, tomorrow night, at Book Passage from 7-9 p.m., as well as some that we have already read at The Marsh Theatre in San Francisco in February with our special guest, Jacquelyn Mitchard, will go into a book that we are writing called: The Mama Monologues: What We Read, Say Think, and Wish We Could Say About Motherhood. Jackie has offered to write the forward.
We will also have A Mothers' Night Out Spoken Word Event in the fall in San Francisco. All monies, like our Friday night one, will be donated. The fall's will go to a charity called Little Wishes. It grants modest wishes to chronically ill and critically ill children in hospitals in San Francisco. Salon member Tina Bournazos, who sits on its board, made that suggestion. It is a wonderful one.
Next year, The Writing Mamas will sponsor a Writing Mamas Night Out Evening for charities that will take place across the country. There will be readings at schools, PTAs, charity organizations and elsewhere, anywhere; in major cities and in small towns; and at the exact same time, authors, celebrities and musicians, working folk, Writing Mamas and Writing Papas will read their essays and blogs about being parents. It will be a powerful, amazing, giving back event.
But for now, there are tomorrow's Mama's Monologues to complete.
I'm still awaiting bios from everyone that I can read before they speak. Short introductions. And I still must write and practice mine. The Faux Parent concept my daughter, Mimi, did not get, which is good. She found the idea of a monologue about my oversized breasts hysterical. But, then, she likes to wear my bras on her head. Hmm. Something for my essay?
I'm way too old to be embarrassed about anything anymore. That's one of the larger gifts, unlike wrinkles and gray hairs, of aging and of being a mother.
By Dawn Yun
The Writing Mamas Salon