When the unexpected happens, the effects go on and on like RIPPLES in the water. The uncertainty, doubt and fear can make us question what we thought we knew and who we are. Whether from the personal or the political, we want to read what RIPPLES have stirred in you.
My essay, Sewing Lessons, is about childbirth during times of uncertainty and fear for the future and how hand sewing an impractical layette for my unborn child with lessons learned from my maternal grandmother (also Dorothy) proved empowering, a form of tactile meditation with tangible results when all else felt anything but.
Minerva Rising is accepting submissions on the theme of "Roots, Wings and Everything in Between," through January 1, 2018.
"I didn’t become a mother by design. I have the inefficacy of olive oil as a spermicide to thank for starting me on the journey. My first husband had decided the cream for my diaphragm was toxic to more than sperm, and that olive oil ought to be an equally effective substitute. I was skeptical, but I didn’t argue. In the five years since we’d met as idealistic college students, I’d determined life was easier, or at least less quarrelsome, when I went along.
One excursion with the olive oil and I was pregnant with my first child."
Opening paragraph, Sewing Lessons, Minerva Rising, November 2017
"I sat across from him at the small table, nibbled an apple wedge, set it down and reached for my sewing basket. I found my place, the side seam of a tiny shirt. I poked a needle though the cloth at evenly spaced intervals, determined to replicate the appearance of machine stitching, a skill acquired from my maternal grandmother. I had purchased yards of delicate, cotton batiste and snowy flannel at the fabric store on Main Street. Making the baby’s wardrobe by hand, adding to steadily growing piles of cloth diapers, flannel blankets, shirts and gowns edged with flowered ribbon—pale yellow, lavender and green—quieted the anxious voices in my head.
I am also very excited about my (first!) Pushcart nomination, for Tiny Dancer, speculative fiction published in the online journal Chrome Baby this past August. Tiny Dancer is also my first published science fiction(ish) short story.
"Polly huddled in the bathroom stall. Homogenized music echoed off the beige tile. Something about a tiny dancer. She pictured a music box ballerina released from her trap, stiffly spinning. Polly assumed the discs embedded in the ceiling were cameras. The black button eyes were everywhere. Her pee wouldn’t come. She’d been naive to think Dr. Lockhart would remove her wrist monitor. Stupid not to expect repercussions."