Tresha  Faye Haefner shares with us a poem about her childhood in paradise California. We talk about the wants and rebellion of youth and how when you’re a kid with the security of a loving family, you don’t have the life experience to appreciate just how lucky you are.

She also shares how one should listen to a poem.

Several of our brilliant guests came to us through Tresha - Alexis Rhone Fancher (Cruel Choices ep 6) Elya Braden (How to Be a Bad Mother ep 8) , and Kelly Grace Thomas (How the Body is Passed Down ep 9)

Tresha Faye Haefner is a writer, editor, workshop-facilitator, and founder of The Poetry Salon, Los Angeles where she uses her rich knowledge to guide other writers into accessing their authentic, creative voice. She spent ten years teaching English, Social Studies and Creative Writing in private schools, before receiving an M.A. Degree in Humanistic Psychology, with a specialization in creativity studies, from Saybrook University. She has been an active member and teacher at California Poets in the Schools, helped to curate the CPITS Anthology of Lesson Plans, Poetry Crossing, and has been a grant recipient through the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Artist-In-Residence program.

Outside traditional academy instruction, Tresha has learned at the feet of established, innovative poets such as Kim Addonizio, Sally Ashton, Ellen Bass, Gabrielle Calvacoressi, Brendan Constantine, Matthew Dickman, Jack Grapes, Suzanne Lummis, Eloise Klein Healy, Naomi Shihab-Nye, and founder of the Poetry Depths Mystery School, Kim Rosen. Her own work has been published in several journals, including BloodLotus, The Cincinnati Review Fourth River, Hunger Mountain, Pirene’s Fountain, Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner, and Rattle. She is the recipient of the 2011 Robert and Adele Schiff Poetry Prize, a 2015 Pushcart nominee, and author of the chapbook Take This Longing from Finishing Line Press. She continues to read widely, attend regular readings and workshops, and learn from every poet she meets.

Currently Tresha lives in Los Angeles, where she is founder of The Poetry Salon, a thriving artistic community that all levels of expertise, who can choose between one-day writing workshops, online e-classes and in-depth advanced core classes. Participants showcase their work four times a year at cumulative class readings, and those women and men have gone on to publish award-winning, cutting-edge work and even teach creative writing classes of their very own.

All of her offerings are on her website www.thepoetrysalon.com where you can subscribe to the blog and other announcements with the button at the bottom of the home page. There's also our just-released e-course How to Think Like a Poet

 

We’re telling stories 

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, we share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us. 

Follow us on social media or on our website

What's more important-- saying I love you or showing it through our actions?

In this episode we take a look at that. 

We're telling stories and having meaningful conversations about whatever they bring up.

Our guest is Katie Manglis. After her mother died when she was just a baby, her grandmother, Yiayia, stepped in to fill the void.

Katie Manglis grew up in Cyprus in the 1970s and 80s and dreamed of becoming a paleontologist and discovering new dinosaurs. Instead, she ended up working in marketing, consulting and Wall Street and has been living in New York City for the past 26 years. She is the mother of two boys who both got to meet and swim with Yiayia.

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, we share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

Follow us on social media or on our website

It's Pride Month and we had to re release this episode! A father discovering the mother within. Dan Bucatinsky reads this hilarious excerpt his memoir "DOES THIS BABY MAKE ME LOOK STRAIGHT?"

Dan Bucatinsky is an actor, writer, producer and author. You recognize him from a million things like Second Act, The Post and Under the Tuscan Sun, but Dan is probably best known for his role as James Novak in Scandal. And you'll be able to see him on his new show this fall (2019) in ABC's The Baker & The Beauty.

We know you will enjoy Dan as much as we did. Listen as he reads from chapter 1 - Wake Up and Smell The Fingers, and then our conversation about parenting and facing all the uncertainties we all face.

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you haven't thought of. Each show we share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. Some are famous. Some not at all. But every one of them have incredible tales to tell. Find more about us at Insta @ifitsnot1thingitsyourmother and facebook.com/ifitsnot1thingitsyourmother and twitter @IfNot1Thing

When a mother's reaction is disappointing, is not the support you were needing or hoping for, remember to keep  a window open in your relationship because, one day she may just surprise you.

We’re telling stories

Rich Valenza is our guest today. He is the Founder and CEO of RaiseAChild,a national nonprofit organization building loving families for foster children®.

RaiseAChild recruits, educates, and nurtures supportive relationships equally with all prospective foster and adoptive parents while partnering with agencies to improve the process of advancing the nations 437,000 foster children to safe, loving and permanent homes. In its six-year history, RaiseAChild has engaged more than 8,500 prospective parents across the country.

 

         In establishing RaiseAChild, Rich has drawn on more than 25 years’ success in marketing and development for broadcast media and nonprofit organizations. He has used his expertise in working with leading national and international corporations to form strategic partnerships with community service agencies, national and regional LGBTQ organizations, and businesses to build RaiseAChild’s strength and influence. Rich serves as a member of the Adoption Exchange Association’s Board of Directors.

 

 

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, we share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

 

Follow us on social media or on our website

We learn so much from our children. In this episode, Gina Piccalo reads from her not yet published memoir. When you had a troubled childhood and your daughter wants you to tell her bedtime stories from that time, how do you play it? 

In this touching story, Gina talks about the gift of seeing her story through her daughter's eyes, and the healing that has since taken place with her relationship with her own mother.

Gina Piccalo spent a decade on staff at the Los Angeles Times covering Hollywood. Her work has also appeared in Emmy Magazine, The Daily Beast, Los Angeles Magazine and The Atlanta Journal Constitution. In 2017, she completed her memoir, "The Mother Ache." Now a counseling astrologer based in Nashville with her daughter and husband, she can be reached at GinaPiccaloAstrology.com.

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, we share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

Being a mother is an attitude, not Biology. That is our tagline and that's what this entire episode is about. 

SHARI WALKER is a former foster youth who entered the foster care system at age fourteen. She talks about different mothering she received from her birth mom (Bio Mom) and "the first person who wasn't being paid to be with her" (her Heart Mom) after she aged out of the foster care system.

Shari graduated from California State University Northridge, where she majored in African American Studies with an emphasis on Social Science. She is in currently obtaining her Master of Social Work at the USC and continues to write and produce theater and poetry that brings awareness surrounding the transitional experiences after leaving foster care. Shari is currently a part of an ensemble theater performance directed by Kathleen Rubin called "It's Just My Life" where she was able to write "Heart Mom, Bio Mom" during the creative writing workshops. Her one-woman show production to bring awarenesses about youth transitioning out of care entitled Sugar-Free: Foster Care Cognitive Dissonance was selected to receive one of the 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival scholarships. 

Shari Walker is a renowned keynote speaker and spoken word artist within LA County and currently sits on the Leadership Corp for both The National Foster Youth Institute (NFYI) Homeless Action Committee, steered by board member and U.S. Representative Karen Bass, and the Alumni Empowerment Council, steered by members The United Friends of The Children.

Shari hopes to combine her personal experience and current academia to create social change by spreading awareness through the creative arts for disconnected and transition age foster youth who are exiting care. 

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, we share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us. 

Follow us on social media or on our website

 

Operating in this world with what others may think of as challenges - being black, a little person, gay, and Christian, Clay Rivers reminds us that we all have challenges that we are walking around with. Some people’s challenges are more hidden. Clay wears his out loud.
 
I can do it myself! The way he entered into this world was a perfect match for the mother he was born to. She knew that faith, self respect, respect of others and taking personal responsibility was key to fully becoming who you were intended to be. Today’s story is about how the death of Princess Diana reinforced the gratitude he had for his own mother.
 
Clay Rivers is a writer who writes about the intersection of race, equality, faith and entertainment. His writing credits include most notably The New York Times, the popular Medium publications Crossin(G)enres and The Mission. Clay is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Our Human Family, the new Medium publication that takes a look at racism through the lenses of equality, faith, and the shared humanity of all people.
 
Clay Rivers has penned three nonfiction books: 
Walking Tall: A Memoir About the Upside of Small and Other Stuff
The Raindancer: Finding Joy in the Storm, and 
3 Things I Know: Facing and Embracing Life’s Challenges
Each takes a different look—first, second, and third person points of view—at how to effectively mine the best from life’s most trying circumstances. 
 
Clay Lives in Orlando and is almost always up for a cappuccino. Or a Manhattan.
 
 
Facebook author page: http://facebook.com

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, we share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

Follow us on social media or on our website

Jack Grapes, renowned Los Angeles writing teacher and award-winning poet read a poem in episode 25 that he wrote 50 years ago, after the death of his mother. This week in the rest of our conversation, he discusses how to write from an authentic deep place inside. And we talk about turning our pain into art. There are two beautiful excerpts from poets (and previous guests) Alexis Rhone Fancher (episode 6) and Chanel Brenner (episode 21). 

Jack Grapes, is a poet, playwright, actor, teacher and founding editor of the literary journal ONTHEBUS. He is the author of 13 books of poetry and numerous other works, and co-wrote and starred in the award-winning play Circle of Will. Over the last 40 years, he has taught thousands of poets and writers (based on his books Method Writing and Advanced Method Writing), and taught poetry in over 100 Los Angeles schools. A native of New Orleans, Jack holds a BA and an MFA from Tulane University.

His latest book is LAST OF THE OUTSIDERS Vol.1: Collected Poems 1968-2019        

For more info on Jack and his books check our website

www.ifitsnot1thingitsyourmother.com

Jack lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Lori.

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, we share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

Follow us on social media or on our website

Imagine receiving a letter from your mother a few years after she died. Imagine the letter is blank. That is the story our writer tells us this week. 

Jack Grapes, renowned writing teacher and award-winning poet reads a poem he wrote 50 years ago after the death of his mother. He hadn't read it in decades, and it brought up a lot of unexpected feelings.

Jack Grapes, is a poet, playwright, actor, teacher and founding editor of the literary journal ONTHEBUS. He is the author of 13 books of poetry and numerous other works, and co-wrote and starred in the award-winning play Circle of Will. Over the last 40 years, he has taught thousands of poets and writers (based on his books Method Writing and Advanced Method Writing), and taught poetry in over 100 Los Angeles schools. A native of New Orleans, Jack holds a BA and an MFA from Tulane University.

His latest book is Last of the Outsiders Vol:1. For more info on Jack and his books check our website

www.ifitsnot1thingitsyourmother.com

Jack lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Lori.

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, we share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

 

Follow us on social media or on our website

Life is complicated and communication can often feel like a tightrope walk. Taking your mom off the pedestal you have put her on and seeing her as a human being, flaws and all, is part of growing up. And learning to navigate the ups and downs of all meaningful relationships is one of the things we talk about this week. 

(We also discuss Rosie Waterland's podcast Mum says My Memoir is a Lie - highly recommend!)

EVIE GOLD is a non-fiction essayist whose personal stories focus on love, family, and anecdotes she collects from life and her daily observations. Evie is a graduate of the Writer’s Studio at SFU in Vancouver and is currently working on her first memoir. She and her husband share a nomadic lifestyle and try to move every couple of years, so home is more of a mindset, not a physical space.

Website: www.eviegold.com

Twitter: @eviegold

Instagram: @eviegold 

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, we share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

Follow us on social media or on our website. Links below

 

Imagine being instantly 8 months pregnant. In this adoption story, our guest Ben Barnz reads an excerpt from his book We: an adoption and a memoir.

He shares how he and his husband came to be parents and how the birthmother of his child made them a We.  

Ben Barnz, in addition to being a memoirist, is an independent film and television producer. He frequently collaborates with his husband, filmmaker Daniel Barnz. Together they formed We’re Not Brothers Productions, so named because everyone who doesn’t know them assumes they must be brothers. They are not.

Barnz produced CAKE, starring Jennifer Aniston which premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Barnz’s next film project, I’LL DROP A HOUSE ON YOU, will start production in the fall of 2018, and is the story of Ryan Wash – a young black queer debater who revolutionized the world of debate. Barnz is producing with Plan B and Macro. Barnz is also producing LONESOME TONIGHT about the love affair between Elvis Presley and young Priscilla Beaulieu. He is also producing a one-hour television drama written by his husband and sixteen-year old daughter. The show takes a frank and uncensored look at teenage sexuality and identity, as well as a limited series for NBC .

Barnz's first book is published by Wyatt-McKenzie. WEAn Adoption and A Memoir is about the adoption of his daughter, and the legal (and emotionally fraught) battle that ensued with her birthfather - a battle that began the day after her birth and two days after 9/11. The book interweaves this story with Ben's path to parenthood - beginning with his closeted youth in 1980s New York City, a time when it was statistically more likely he would die from AIDS than become a father. 

Born and raised in New York City, Barnz attended Hampshire College. 

follow him on twitter @WEbyBenBarnz and on insta @benbarnzwe

link to his book is on our website www.ifitsnot1thingitsyourmother.com

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, we share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

 

Follow us on social media or on our website

Here’s a question we are curious about: Do you teach your kids how to party responsibly? Did your mom teach you? Shouldn't we talk about how to parent when it comes to teens’ drinking and drug use? We all know that "just say no" is neither an effective nor a realistic tactic.

Today’s story opens up an honest conversation about drugs, alcohol, teens and our roles as mothers.

Linda Freund shares her day of mushroom trippin' with Bonnie, her mom. And she looks back fondly on the lessons she learned.  

Linda Freund is an aspiring novelist, filmmaker and award-winning multimedia journalist based in Barcelona, Spain. She previously worked as a senior video journalist for The Wall Street Journal.  

website: www.lblakemedia.com 
twitter: @StoryFreund

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, we share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us. 

Follow us on social media or on our website

 *this story was originally pubished on Medium.com

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