Other Mothers – Chapter 1 – My Story – Part 2

Chapter 1 – My Story (Part 2)
I am the other mother.
(Read Part 1 here.)

I am the other mother.

For years, I have been trying to come up with a word to define, to label my situation so others would understand but I have not come up with anything. Many people want to tell me I am the stepmom. This bugs me for many reasons: First, I am not the stepmom, their dad’s wife is. I don’t think of myself as the stepmom because I have to deal with the stepmom, the one who has influence over the father’s decisions. Second, stepmom has a negative connotation and I don’t want to be labeled as something negative. Lastly, when I am introduced as the stepmom people automatically assume I am married to the dad, I am not. I realize I am obsessing over this label issue but it really has been a struggle for me.

Sometimes I try to identify with being a stepmom and do things like read Stepmom Magazine. The first line of the article I read today started with “Women who are in love with men who have children…” I didn’t finish reading the article. Although, I do like this quote, “It is imperative that we undergo a cultural shift that creates a new standard for stepmothers, ONE THAT IS LESS INFLUENCED BY DISNEY INSPIRED EVIL STEPMOTHER MYTHS and more reflective of the fantastic, loving women who are willing to … step into a ready made family with the man she loves.” (2013 Stepmom Magazine, November)

Being in a same-sex relationship in the 1990’s and early 2000’s and living in San Francisco placed us in the center of the marriage equality movement. We were always “out” about our relationship because we believed as parents, it was important to be honest and tell the truth. How could we raise children to be honest, proud human beings if we would have lied about our relationship to society? I understand in the past and in other places outside of San Francisco it can still be very dangerous to be out of the closet but here in San Francisco the main risk of being out of the closet is other people’s judgments, ignorant and hurtful remarks. You learn to grow a thick skin and a sense of humor.

When Gavin Newsome first allowed same-sex couples to get married in San Francisco our friends were calling us and pressuring us to go down to city hall to get married. We were completely overwhelmed with parenting, working full time and dealing with the family drama that often comes with divorced families. We didn’t have the time or the energy to be the leaders of the marriage equality movement. We were just trying to get through each day. I thank the many gay couples who were there, lining up at city hall making a statement. We did finally end up getting married, the weekend before Obama was elected President for his first term. Like Ellen, I didn’t have any intention of being a gay activist. However, being out since the 90s and being gay made me an activist by default. It also turned me into a teacher. I’ve learned over the years that being out and being honest has opened the minds and hearts of a lot of people who thought being gay was wrong, a sin or something disgusting. I remember when I decided to come out to the virtual community in 2006. I was in a small online business networking group. The group consisted of women from all over the US and a few from other countries.

There was a ‘getting to know you’ thread where we all shared about our personal lives. Things like our age, our marital status, how many kids we had, where we lived, etc. Many of the women in this group were proud Christians. You know the kind of Christians who bring up the words Jesus or the Lord randomly in conversations that have nothing to do with what you were talking about. Those type of Christians, the kind living in the south who had never met a gay person before. To say the least I was pretty much terrified when I saw that getting to know you thread. It flashed through my mind that I could ignore the thread but that would have stood out because there were less than 50 people in the group. I could have left the group. I could have answered the questions in a roundabout way. My heart started racing. It was going to be my first time coming out online. I typed up my answers: 3 kids, live in California, blah blah blah, when I got to the married question I put something like my partner is a woman and we have been together for X number of years. My hands literally trembled as I hit send. I even cried a few tears because I loved this group of women and I was afraid I was going to lose them. But what happened next was astounding, women started sending me private messages telling me they thought I was brave, saying they had never met a gay person but always wanted to, said their parents hated gay people but they didn’t, others told me about their sisters, brothers, cousins and even moms that were gay. What I realized is that what people really want is honesty. They want to be real. They want to feel connected. They want to be accepted. By me sharing my story, it opened a crack for them to share theirs. It was amazing. It was also very healing for me. I got to know some very conservative, Christian women that were more accepting and loving than some of my so called liberal friends. It blew my stereotypes to bits and opened my guarded heart to Christians again. I had been so deeply hurt by Christians in my family and society who had said hurtful things that I had built a wall around my heart and decided all Christians were bad. It wasn’t until I met these amazing women that I had a change of heart. I will forever be grateful to that small online networking group that was around for less than two years.

Intro and Table of Contents
Chapter 1 – My Story Part 1


Other Mothers – Chapter 1 – My Story

Chapter 1 – My Story (Part 1)
The answers to all those questions many of you wonder about.
(Read Intro here)

“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.” – Mark Twain

Answering the question: Do you have kids? Has always been a bit challenging for me. Yes, I have kids but my story is complicated.

Yes, I have kids but my story is complicated.

I am a lesbian other mother. I raised three wonderful kids whom I did not birth. My partner/wife, Celia is the birth mom. I inherited the kids when I moved in with her. I was 25, the kids were 5, 3 and 2. Our relationship was a bit of a scandal, there’s even a book written about it: The Sum of our Days by Isabel Allende. Isabel is our kid’s grandmother, on their father’s side.Sometimes I sit back and wonder how I ended up in this unique, non-traditional family unit. It is amazing how choices you make when you are in your 20’s can significantly affect the rest of your life and so many other people’s lives as well. I was all over the place in my 20’s. I went from being on a fairly traditional path to a very non-traditional one. I was a

Sometimes I sit back and wonder how I ended up in this unique, non-traditional family unit. It is amazing how choices you make when you are in your 20’s can significantly affect the rest of your life and so many other people’s lives as well. I was all over the place in my 20’s. I went from being on a fairly traditional path to a very non-traditional one. I was a 23 year old, recent college graduate, engaged to a man, and was planning a traditional wedding that was going to happen in the beautiful Napa Valley. He was going to be a writer; I was going to be a social worker working with teenage runaways. We had discussed adopting underprivileged children, sometime in the future.

After we graduated from college we moved from Orange County (my home town) to Marin County (his home town). I had always dreamed of moving to the San Francisco Bay Area. We moved here right around the same time his step-brother and sister-in-law moved here from Venezuela. Since we didn’t know any other young couples around here we spent a lot of time with them. His sister-in-law, Celia and I become close friends. She was busy caring for and having babies. I loved babies so I spent a lot of time helping with the kids. After living with my fiancé for a few months, I started to realize marrying him was not the right thing for me. I called off the wedding and moved out. Celia and I stayed close friends. She and her husband even helped me out when I first left the relationship. In exchange for child care, they let me stay at their house for a while so I could get back on my feet financially. Celia’s husband often worked late so Celia and I spent a lot of time together in the afternoons and evenings caring for the children. We became even closer friends. After about 3 months, I moved out of their house and in with roommates. Celia and I missed each other terribly. We still saw each other regularly because we were both working for her mother-in-law (my ex-almost-mother-in-law to be). I was working there on top of my

After living with my fiancé for a few months, I started to realize marrying him was not the right thing for me. I called off the wedding and moved out. Celia and I stayed close friends. She and her husband even helped me out when I first left the relationship. In exchange for child care, they let me stay at their house for a while so I could get back on my feet financially. Celia’s husband often worked late so Celia and I spent a lot of time together in the afternoons and evenings caring for the children. We became even closer friends. After about 3 months, I moved out of their house and in with roommates. Celia and I missed each other terribly. We still saw each other regularly because we were both working for her mother-in-law (my ex-almost-mother-in-law to be). I was working there on top of my

After about 3 months, I moved out of their house and in with roommates. Celia and I missed each other terribly. We still saw each other regularly because we were both working for her mother-in-law (my ex-almost-mother-in-law to be). I was working there on top of my full-time preschool teaching job to make ends meet. One night we planned a girl’s night out with some other friends. We went bar hopping in San Francisco and drank a little too much. Celia called her husband, who was home with the kids and said she was going to spend the night at my house in San Francisco because she shouldn’t be driving home, he said of course. That is the night we realized we were in love. Nothing happened, we were just joking around as young women often do and kissed each other. After that kiss… our lives were changed forever. It was mutual and it was confusing. Neither of us had ever been with women before, she was married and I used to be engaged to her husband’s step-brother, and we were both working for her mother-in-law. It was a mess. We decided it, whatever it was could not happen but then the following week being away from each other was so painful we got physically ill (the power of young love).  We told Celia’s husband and his whole extended Latino family what was happening. We also told my ex. Celia’s husband took it better than my ex, he had to, kids were involved. The 3 of us went to counseling together, the 2 of them went to marriage counseling, I went to counseling, Celia went to counseling, the whole extended Latino family went to counseling, the kids went to counseling, my ex went to counseling, a lot of therapists got rich that year. Celia and her husband decided to get separated, Celia and I decided to stay together. It was a complicated, painful way to start a relationship.

Falling in love with my sister-in-law-to-be, realizing I was a lesbian, and being partially responsible for the breakup of a marriage and family was not fun. I am not sure what was more difficult, going through the drama of the divorce, coming out of the closet, the gossip, being in an interracial/cultural lesbian relationship with the two of us coming from different socio-economic classes or inheriting three very young children at the age of 25 when I was a preschool teacher, or all of the judgment, rejection, avoidance and abandonment from my friends and some of our family members, on top of serious financial struggles – do you know how much money preschool teachers were paid in the 90s? Not a living wage! Maybe it was just all those elements combined. Those were extremely challenging and emotional times. One benefit I did get from all the challenges was to learn I was a strong person. After I recovered from the pain, it was freeing to know I could be myself and rely on myself. I also did not want to teach the kids shame, so I stood proud. I was able to hold my head up high and look people straight in the eyes including our ex-mother-in-law who was successful, powerful and influential and who was not very happy with me for calling off my engagement to her stepson and being involved in the breaking up her son’s marriage.

People don’t understand; you don’t just come out of the closet once. You have to keep coming out again and again every single time you meet a new person. I came out of the closet before Ellen DeGenerous came out on national TV. In 1997, Ellen was the first TV star to come out in public and it was a huge deal! Ellen a famous, lovable person lost work for about three years because of her coming out, so you can imagine being an out parent in the 90s wasn’t exactly carefree and hip. And Laura Dern who starred in Ellen’s coming out show did not get another job for a year and a half just because she was on the “coming out” episode of the Ellen show. I recently watched the episode in 1997 when Ellen came out on the Oprah show. She was scared. She was brave. I came out before then, it was not easy.

Being 25, in the middle of a scandalous family drama and a lesbian made explaining my motherhood complicated, to say the least. I was buried in shame and guilt.

Some might say if I would have just done what I was supposed to do: married a man, had children with him and stayed married, my life would have been a lot easier. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work in should haves and supposed tos. Life is messy. It is challenging to navigate your way through a life of labels and boxes especially when your situation doesn’t fit in any of them.

I am not my kid’s stepmom; their stepmom is married to their dad. I am not the mom, their mom birthed them.

So what am I? I am the other mother.

I am the other mother.


Intro and Table of Contents
Chapter 1 – My Story Part 2



Other Mothers – Introduction

I have decided to dust off the book I wrote a few years ago and publish it here on this blog. One post at a time, I will release a new section or chapter of the book. The book has been sitting on the shelf for more than 2 years now. It required edits and I just don’t have it in me to do any more edits or rewrites. Instead, I am going to release it here in its raw form because maybe there is someone out there who will benefit from reading it. Here goes…

Other Mothers – Introduction

“In terms of shame triggers for women, motherhood is a close second (after how we look). And bonus! You don’t have to be a mother to experience mother shame. Society views womanhood and motherhood as inextricably bound; therefore our value as women is often determined by where we are in relation to our roles as mothers or potential mothers. Women are constantly asked why they haven’t married or, if they’re married, why they haven’t had children.” – Brene Brown, Daring Greatly, P.86

 Preface: “Not the Real Mom”

I am an other mother. I raised three children, but I did not birth any of them. I inherited them when I was 24 years old and fell in love with their mother. This was in 1995 when being a gay parent was still a bit shocking and considered socially unacceptable. I was young and naïve and thought love was all it took to raise a happy, healthy family. At the time, I did not realize what an important role societal norms and pressure played and how they added complications to an already challenging life responsibility; being a mother.

A few weeks before Mother’s Day 2012 when my youngest was 18 and about to graduate from high school I wrote the following blog post:

Mother’s Day is coming up. This is a tough one for me. Not as a daughter but as a mother. It is a day that I am reminded of how society often disregards the other mothers of the world. I am one of those other mothers.

The number one question every woman is asked is, “Do you have children?” You might think this is a simple yes or no answer; it is not. Many women “have” children but did not actually “have” them. It is a complicated question to answer. Some women struggle with how much of an answer to give, I know I did.

I raised 3 children. I changed their diapers, wiped their snotty noses, made their lunches, consoled their hurt feelings, drove the carpool, gave up my own dream of going to graduate school, stayed home from work with sick kids, lost my hair during their teenage years and many nights of sleep. I laughed, cried, enjoyed, loved and hated parenting. But, when someone asks me if I have children and I say yes, I feel like I am not telling the whole truth. I do have children, I have 3 but I did not birth these children, my partner did and we have raised them together with her ex-husband and his wife. If I tell people the whole story their response is often “oh, you are not the real mom.” Being labeled “not the real mom” made it so I was not allowed to ever complain about parenting or my kids because if I did other mothers would say, “it is different when it is your kid, or you wouldn’t understand since they are not actually your kids”.

These comments from others often shut me down, hurt me and made me wonder if it was okay to say, yes I have kids. These comments also isolated me from the “Mom’s club” I wanted and needed so badly to be in. The Mom’s club is any group of moms that becomes friends because of their kids, moms at the park, moms who have kids in the same class, etc. They hang out together while their kids are doing activities and provide support to each other, share their trials and tribulations of raising kids and learn from each other. I felt so alone as a mother. I felt ashamed wondering what the other mothers thought of me. I was young, I was a lesbian and I was the cause for my partner’s (the real mother) divorce. Looking back now that my kids are young adults I realize those worries of what the other mothers thought of me were all created in my own head. I never even gave a chance to those other mothers to get to know me. The few that I did allow in throughout the parenting years are some of my best friends now.

I wish I wouldn’t have wasted so much of my mommy years wondering if I was good enough and realized that the fact that I was raising someone else’s kids was BETTER than good enough. I was sacrificing and doing things for those little snotty nosed people that usually only a “real” mother would do. I should NOT have been ashamed, I should have been celebrated. But a mother’s job doesn’t usually come with a lot of praise, I understand this.

The more I have talked with women, the more I have learned that this feeling like an ”other mother” is a common feeling. Even the traditional type of mom often feels like she doesn’t fit in; she’s too young, too old, too fat, too poor, not cool enough, works, doesn’t work, whatever it is, she feels she doesn’t fit in and she isolates herself from the other mothers.

Being in my position, the other mom, not the “REAL” mom and not even the stepmom pretty much makes me the invisible mom when it comes to acknowledgment from society and community support.

I imagine there are all sorts of women who could identify with being an other mother: lesbian moms, stepmoms, adoptive moms, foster moms, divorced moms, single moms, teen moms, immigrant moms, aunts, grandmas and other relatives raising children that are not their own, moms whose husbands are in prison or the military, women who chose not to be moms or were not able to be and fathers who have taken on the more traditional mommy role. I’m sure there are other ‘other mother’s who I have failed to mention here as well.

This blog post inspired the book you are reading now. I was so moved by the responses I received to that blog post. There are 50 comments on that post alone, many discussions around what it means to be a real mom, an other mother, a step-mom or not a mom on my social media pages and multiple women sent me private emails wanting to share their mom story with me.I learned the feeling is the same even when the situation is extremely different. A Christian mom on the East Coast who adopted a special needs child knew exactly how I felt as a lesbian other mother on the West Coast. She sent me this in an email: “I hear all the time that I am not the “real” mother, very frustrating and hurtful. I thought I was the only one who experienced this.”

I knew writing this book was something I had to do. So many women were able to relate to feeling like an “other mother”. I seem to have tapped into a common feeling of isolation and hurt. This common thread of feeling lonely, isolated and different may actually be something that brings us all together. Writing this book while history is being made with President Obama speaking out in favor of marriage equality is a wonderful thing. I feel we are at a tipping point in society where love and acceptance are winning out over judgment, exclusion, and discrimination.

Sometimes I wonder why there is so much societal pressure to have kids. Is it because misery loves company? Sure children are wonderful but they are also a pain in the ass! Get a group of moms together who have teenagers or older children, give them a few drinks and if they feel safe they will most likely admit to you in a guilty hushed way that if they knew how hard it was to be a parent they might not have had children. They always back this up saying they adore their children. Of course, they adore their children but do they adore the children they never had?

This book is not a celebration of the bliss of motherhood; that would be fiction. This book is about building a connection between all women and mothers.

Chapter 1: Other Mothers 

 Part 1: The answers to all those questions many of you wonder about.

Part 2: I am the Other Mother.


No Word For Me

Today I googled the definition of the word stepmother.

Here is the result:stepmom definitionstepmother: noun. a woman who is married to one’s father after the divorce of one’s parents or the death of one’s mother.

The reason I was googling the word stepmother is because I have been stuck with my writing in trying to find a word for my kind of motherhood. I realized, if I can’t even put a name to my role in this family, how can I expect society to understand.

What one word would you use to define my role?

I also googled lesbian stepmother and I am not even going to tell you what the results were. Let’s just say they were similar to the inappropriate comments dads at our kid’s school used to whisper in to my ears.

Get that to do list out of your head before you go to bed

Get that to do list out of your head, before you go to bed! If you are ever on Twitter late at night you will find out many people suffer from insomnia. One of the causes of insomnia is we have too much to do and can’t seem to shut off our brains at night. We just keep thinking about all the things we have to do.

I wrote a book that can help you get that to do list out of your head, before you go to bed. Actually, a booklet. It is only 10 pages long and can be read in less than 10 minutes!

how to make a to do list

This book is for busy people who are feeling overwhelmed. For people who do not have time to read a long book about time management. This book is for people who need to get stuff done now!

This book is also my first experience in self publishing. Thanks to the help of Amazon I was able to do it! The book is only $3 but if you follow the 7 easy steps to managing and mastering your to do list, it will change you life! You can order the book here or read more about it here.

Tamara HollandI am still working on my BIG book about other mothers but feel I am at a point where I could use some assistance. I have signed up for 2 writing workshops this fall (Michelle Favreault’s Golden Threads: Writing ReTREAT and Eric Maisel’s Deep Writing Workshop). I am selling this booklet to help raise money for the upcoming writing workshops.

Thanks for your support!

*Cool art card in image above was purchased at Two Neat in Mill Valley and
created by local artist Tamara Holland of Bean Up The Nose Art.

Middle School Musings

I saw this on Facebook as I was writing this blog post about middle school.

middle school adviceI recently reunited with a guy I have not seen since 8th grade graduation. Thanks Facebook. Seeing him was great, he was a cool dude then, he is still a cool dude today. And by cool, I don’t mean wearing the ‘in’ clothes or following the latest Top 40 band. When I say ‘cool’ I mean a genuine, authentic, trustworthy, reliable, caring person.

I posted a picture of us on Facebook. Posting this picture brought a flurry of comments and private messages from our old classmates. This triggered an emotion in me that I can’t quite explain: a bit of sadness and nostalgia.

I have lived through middle school 4 times! Once myself, 3 times as a parent. None of those times were easy.

I was not in the popular clique, I was not sporty, I was not the smart kid, I was not the nerd, the slut, the pretty girl, the artist, the singer, or the musician, I was kind of the invisible kid. In fact, when I reunited with my friend Joe he said he barely remembered me, all he could remember was that I was quiet and nice.

I was dealing with things outside of the classroom that didn’t leave me much opportunity to even attempt to keep up with what the ‘cool kids’ were doing.  I had a few friends. I observed the others. Also, my family did not have much money during those years, the years when it was wear the right designer brand or you might as well not even exist years. Does IZOD, Jordache, Calvin Klein, Esprit, Guess, Sergio Valente, or Sassoon ring a bell? Well I didn’t have any of those clothes. I had the latest K-mart special or something my mom had hand-sewn for me (she was a great sewer, I have to say).

Being an outsider, I did a lot of observing. Being a late bloomer, I was also quite clueless (learned a lot from my friend Joe on things that were going on in the class that I had NO idea about).  Oh my! Parents if you have not had ‘The Talk’ with your kids yet and they are already in middle school, the time is now.

I observed the dynamics of the classroom. You know that movie Mean Girls? Well there was definitely some of that happening. Some of those girls were so mean to others. I saw the same things happen when my girls were in middle school. What is it with us girls? It is so sad.

This leaves me wondering what the ramifications are. Are the girls who did mean things even aware now just how hurtful some of their behavior was? Do they realize some things they do or don’t do on Facebook now can still trigger hurt feelings in the kids who were bullied and mistreated?  Did they apologize for their behavior? Do they feel shame? If you were the girl or boy picked on during middle school, would you want an apology now? Would the brat taking ownership for their hurtful behavior be helpful to you right now? Was I one of the mean girls and not even aware of it? I definitely wasn’t an angel.

Looking back, I realize I have struggled with some of the same issues throughout life. The invisibility thing… this whole book I am writing is motivated by me being tired of feeling like the invisible parent. Probably the reason I am so out and about online too… How did middle school affect you?

Told you I was a late bloomer… me and Joe about 30 years ago.

Sally and Joe

We all have big hearts

CartLoveIt is not just mommies who have big hearts, we all have big hearts. Sometimes when parents have their first baby they wonder if they could ever love anything more than they love that little bundle of joy. Then when baby number 2 comes a long they discover their heart grows and makes room to love 2 beings with the same amount of enthusiasm. You could have 10 kids and love them all. The human heart and our capability to love is amazing.

I think we don’t always realize this kind of love is not reserved just for parents loving children. It goes both ways. If you are in a blended family your child or children are capable of loving more than just 1 or 2 parents. If  a stepmom has entered the scene in to your child’s life, your child is capable of opening her heart and adding another mommy, just like you are capable of opening your heart and adding another child to the mix of people you love and call family.

This idea can be very threatening and is often what makes mother’s day a challenging day for children of blended families. Kids may feel that in order to prove their love for their mommy they have to not acknowledge their stepmom. This is hurtful to the stepmom and to the child.

Unfortunately, I have learned this lesson in hindsight. My kids grew up with 3 mothers, their biological mom (my partner), me and their stepom. The kid’s love all of us, just like we love all of them. I don’t love one kid more than an other. Maybe they don’t love one mom more than the other, maybe they do. But who are we to decide who the kids love most? Is it really a competition? I’ve got news for you, there is no prize at the end of parenting for being the best mom or stepmom.

Just because you adore your 15 year old does not mean you do not adore your 4 year old. It works the same with kids and stepparents vs. parents.

After much research for my book I’m beginning to believe that the relationship between a bio (or original) mom and a stepmom may be the hardest relationship out there to navigate. The silly thing is those 2 women love and care about the same exact people.

If you come from a blended family I challenge you this mother’s day to take a step back and try to make room for your kids to express their love to whoever has been blessed enough to find a space in their little (big) hearts.


Mother’s Day: It’s Complicated

Mother's DayMother’s Day is just around the corner. Most of us think of sweet old ladies, flowers and chocolates when it comes to this day. Many also feel guilty for not doing enough or wake up on Mother’s Day and say “OMG I forgot to get my mom a gift!”

Besides the normal thoughts and reactions to Mother’s Day there are a lot of very complicated feelings happening on this day.

This is a day when many women feel left out and unappreciated. Whether they are childless/childfree, stepmoms, lesbian non-bio moms, or any kind of other mother this day can be a sensitive day for them.

Often non-traditional moms go unnoticed on this day. The school may have had the small children make cards for their mom and did not think of making anything for the stepmom or other mom in that child’s life. The child may worry they will hurt their “real” mom’s feelings if they make a card for their stepmom.

Women who were unable to conceive or who had abortions often feel the sting of sadness on this day.

Women who chose not to have children feel judged by others.

Women who lost children feel enormous sadness on Mother’s Day.

This can also be a day of grief for people who have lost their mothers.

Yes, Mother’s Day is a happy day to celebrate and appreciate all those wonderful mothers out there, those women who do so much and often go unnoticed. But, let’s also make it a day to be sensitive to others and maybe start a tradition of reaching out to those other mothers and non-mothers in our lives.

When my neighbor heard about the book I was writing she told me the story of how her mom died when she was 15 and that she never had children. Mother’s Day was always a very difficult day for her but then one day a friend sent her a card on Mother’s Day telling her how much they appreciated her and all the wonderful things she has done. She said that card made her so happy that ever since then she has been sending cards to women on Mother’s Day letting them know how much she appreciates them and all that they have done. Now she loves Mother’s Day and looks forward to it every year. It is no longer a day of dread but rather a day to share appreciation.

I think the story of my neighbor is so beautiful. I challenge you all to pick at least one woman this Mother’s Day to reach out to and send a letter of appreciation to.

What are your Mother’s Day stories?




The image above is a from a page created by me during one of Marilyn LoRusso’s Vision Book Art Workshops.



Stepmom or Step-mom

rely on the kindness of strangerGrammar and language expert friends I need your help!

What is the proper way to write the following titles?

stepmom vs. step-mom

stepdaughter vs. step-daughter

stepson vs. step-son

stepkids vs. step-kids

I am hearing mixed opinions on the word stepmom, many are saying stepmom (without the dash) is okay, but then does that rule apply to all the other step relationships?

Book Blurb

flowersOne of the most important things to have when you are trying to market your business is an elevator speech. An elevator speech is a simple blurb to quickly describe what you do.  Books also need an an elevator speech or book blurb. When someone asks me what my book is about I need to be able to answer them in 30 seconds or less or I risk losing their attention or worse, boring them.

I’m working on my book’s elevator speech. What do you think?

Heart Mothers is a book about women who feel they don’t fit in the “traditional mom” box. They could be single moms, step-moms, lesbian moms, adoptive moms, foster moms, women who chose not to or were not able to have children; the list goes on and on. Basically, I’m writing about the common thread I have found among women feeling like they are an outsider in the mom world.




The image above is a from a page created by me during one of Marilyn LoRusso’s Vision Book Art Workshops.