I just realized that I’ve neglected to write blog posts when new creative nonfiction at Literary Mama is published. My bad! It is such a great privilege to read these submissions, select them, work with these authors, and I am so pleased to show them off.
Recently we had to fill out some sort of questionnaire that asked what our acceptance rate is, and we estimated it around 10%. I didn’t realize we were that selective, but as it turns out, I think we are. Out of every ten submissions, I’d say we probably send six back straight away. Of the four remaining, we hem and haw and deliberate. If all three CNF editors agree, we send it on to the two senior editors for approval. Probably one out of the four passes muster of all five editors and ends up being published. That is quite the gauntlet.
So congratulations and brava! to the three CNF writers for January:
Sasha Hom offers up this excerpt from her essay, “Unassisted,” in One Big Happy Family: 18 Writers Talk About Polyamory, Open Adoption, Mixed Marriage, Househusbandry, Single Motherhood and Other Realities of Truly Modern Love.
Twenty-nine years old, jobless, pregnant, sprawled across pillows on the floor of my midwife’s houseboat, I felt it was important to tell my midwife about my dreams of flight, of soaring. I always landed, I told her. Sometimes with a thud, my limbs jerking as I awoke, or gracefully on two feet. Then I’d rise up, dragging my wings, and walk slowly into wakefulness.
Allison Shores, in “The Loss of Meaningful Things,” wrote a poignant piece about her daughter, adopted from Guatemala, who carries nightmares within her.
Whenever she saw a police officer, she shouted “Policia!” She locked her arms in machine gun position and shook them while she clenched her teeth, “Chee, chee, chee, chee!”
More than once, she tied up the baby doll with string, then sauntered across the room to apply pretend eye shadow with her finger tips and primp her hair. She ordered me to be the baby and to cry. Sometimes the police would come, sirens screeching from her mouth, taking away the mommy while she directed me, the baby, to scream.
And finally, I loved Andrea Askowitz’s “Nanny” because it cracked me up.
When I was approaching 35, I decided to have a child on my own. I was single and also a lesbian. I thought that if I didn’t act, I might lose the chance.
I got myself inseminated and then one day I woke up fat and alone. Next I was alone with a newborn. My mom, who lived 3,000 miles away, came to help. She hired a cleaning lady. Deniz, a Turkish Muslim who barely spoke English, came over with a bucket and a mop.