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.

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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. 

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 *this story was originally pubished on Medium.com

Life is a beautiful thing if you can navigate all the loss. Once your child dies you’re still their mother. In this episode our guest shares the death of her 6 year old son and her journey of navigating that loss.

Chanel Brenner shares how she listened and trusted her inner voice, “You know how to survive the loss of your child. Everyone has their own grief journey.” She reminds us to be respectful of each others grief process. Putting boundaries around grief, helped her marriage survive such loss

Chanel Brenner is the author of Vanilla Milk: a memoir told in poems, (Silver Birch Press, 2014), which was a finalist for the 2016 Independent Book Awards and honorable mention in the 2014 Eric Hoffer awards.  Her poems have appeared in New Ohio Review, Poet Lore, Rattle, Muzzle Magazine, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Spry Literary Journal, Barrow Street, Salamander, Spoon River Poetry Review, Literary Mama, and others. Her poem, “July 28th, 2012” won first prize in The Write Place At the Write Time’s contest, judged by Ellen Bass. In 2018, she was nominated for a Best of the Net.

http://chanelbrenner.com

https://www.amazon.com/Vanilla-Milk-Memoir-Told-Poems/dp/0692267476

http://www.literarymama.com/poetry/archives/2019/03/mother-trucker.html

https://www.facebook.com/chanelbrennerauthor/

https://twitter.com/chanelb2

Grief Haven is an online community for people traveling the path of grief.  

https://griefhaven.org/

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable andsome 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 

I Have Two Times the Love for One Child, by Chanel Brenner

*This poem was first published in Snapdragon, Journal of art and healing in June, 2015

A take on motherhood from a girl who is just entering womanhood. What happens when you are a teen, terrified to leave the nest and go to college? You create your comfort zone, your college family.

Parker Sacavitch is a college freshman at Emerson College in Boston. She's currently studying screenwriting, but she's tried writing everything from angsty poetry to horoscopes and everything in between. Her goal is to one day work in the world of children's animated television. 

You can follow Parker on Instagram is @babyimtheshed and she hosts a radio show on WECB Saturdays from 8-9 eastern time where she reviews movies  

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

The power of letting the ones you love, know what they mean to you is what we are talking about in this episode. Sometimes our children see us as whole humans and not just “Mom”. And that exchange deepens and enriches the relationship.

Dan Moore is a writer based in San Francisco. His work has appeared in many places online. He is also editor of the online magazines P.S. I Love You, The Bold Italic, and Minutes. You can follow him on Twitter @dmowriter and read more of his writing here.  

https://medium.com/@DmoWriter

https://twitter.com/DmoWriter

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’re telling stories

We talk about the sadnesses that can be passed on to our children. Or sadness of our mother's that we sometimes take on as our own. How do we ease a burden and not take it on ourselves? Eternal questions. 

Tanya Davis is a writer, performer, and musician currently based in Montréal, Québec. She has released 4 albums and 2 books of poetry, including an illustrated version of the widely popular videopoem on YouTube, How to be Alone (made in collaboration with Andrea Dorfman). She is past Poet Laureate of Halifax, Nova Scotia where she was also Artist in Residence at Dalhousie University's Faculty of Medicine. She is currently at work on a new collection of poems.

 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 our website www.ifitsnot1thingitsyourmother.com

We’re telling stories 

Jennifer Hamm’s story is about learning to raise the child she was given. Her second son was not like her first. She and her husband needed to figure out how to understand him and how to parent him. Through this process she discovered that his emotional intelligence exceeded his ability to articulate and communicate what he was feeling. She shares how she and her husband had to go to therapy so they could get on the same page to effectively parent this son.

As mothers we tend to pad the corners, we are peacemakers so we find ourselves interpreting our your kids to you husband and your husband to your kids. 

Writer Jennifer Hamm is from Beverly Hills and has lived between LA and London since 1994.  She began writing over 30 years ago in the worlds of film, tv, blogs, travel and now novels.  She is a mother to four boys… and her husband.

www.itsonlyforayear.com is a blog about raising her boys between two countries and all the wonderful chaos that comes with motherhood.

 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’re telling stories 

Debora Perez, shares a sweet story of her mother and a parenting trick she used involving a conch shell. She talks about the memories captured in snapshots of sound. We discuss raising adults, as opposed to raising children. And we take a look at what it is we would like our children to remember us for. 

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’re telling stories

 

Tess Wheeler went to school in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, and read English Literature at the University of York. After working as a financial editor in Hong Kong and London, she eventually surrendered to the pull of the beautiful Northumberland coast and returned home. Tess writes short stories and non-fiction articles for Medium and in 2017 she completed the first draft of her children’s novel, Codename Granbag. Two of her stories are included in anthologies called Starting Out and Fire, available on Amazon, and a compilation of her short fiction is due out before the end of 2018. She is currently finishing a second novel, Darkling Ford.

Tess is married with four children, three of whom have grown up and flown the nest. To fill the void left by diminishing ironing and housework, she is forced to spend her spare time writing, reading, beach-walking and wine-drinking.

 

 https://medium.com/@tesswheeler_22562

 

 

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

 

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