Earlier this year, I read about a call by the Memoir Project (a part of the Indiana Writers Center) for original essays, poems, and artwork from mothers who have children with special needs. They wanted to hear it all--the nitty gritty so to speak and they wanted to publish everything in an anthology. At first I thought, well, I've never done that before and I'm not sure that my writing is up to par, so anything I would submit would probably be rejected. I saved the website with the information, but didn't think much of it.
Then the deadline to submit was upon me in April and I figured I'd give it a shot. I wrote about Owen and what a joy he is to me and the hubs, but I also wrote about how sometimes things just suck. I think this is true whether your kid has a disability, complex medical needs, or not. I wrote about my worries, my fears, and eventually my hopes. It wasn't long, it wasn't earth shattering, but it felt good.
I submitted it and went on with life. Imagine my surprise when I get an email that says my essay has been selected for publication in an anthology. So I go about creating a short bio, finding a good pic of Owen and I, proofing my essay, and sending electronic links to my email and blog. Then I read the bios of the other writers involved in the anthology and my socks are blown off. These people are fabulous--they do awesome stuff and they write, photograph, and create art for reals. I have NO idea why in the world they picked my writing to go into the project; they must have had a couple pages left to fill.
I am so excited for the anthology, "Monday Coffee and Other Stories of Mothering Children with Special Needs" to be out; it's at the publishing office right now. You can however check out the writer bios by going here. The anthology will be available on Amazon, Google Books, and directly through the Indiana Writers Center. The IWC has its own publishing initiative called InWords, which features IWC original works. They are pushing for an October 1 release date if all goes well (and if everyone involved turns in their contracts on time!). My personal copy should be in the mail once it's hot off the presses.
I am writing other pieces for some other publications, but I really don't expect lightning to strike twice. I like the subject matter--Owen!--but I'm not a wizard with words, so I doubt this is "taking me places". But then again, who knows?!