Listen To Your Mother NWAI collect words. My office, desk, bulletin boards, shelves, and notebooks are stuffed with lines from my favorite books, poems, and movies. My own words have been piling up over the years, and I have stacks of notebooks and computer files full of bits and pieces and outlines for books. Launching my blog in 2010, though, is what made me start really looking at my creative nonfiction writing in more formal pieces. I thought I was going to write about lots and lots of things, but the topic I keep coming back to are the stories about my son and this remarkable experience we call “motherhood.”

Apparently a few other women before me have had the same experience, but they were more creative than I am and came up with this idea to celebrate motherhood in all its glories and horrors. Listen To Your Mother started several years ago in Madison, Wisconsin and has since spread nationwide. This year LTYM found its way to Northwest Arkansas. The show’s founders describe it as a “live production that features live readings by local writers on the beauty, the beast, and the barely-rested of motherhood, in celebration of Mother’s Day.” It was “born of the creative work of mothers who publish on-line ” and each of the local “productions is directed, produced, and performed by local communities, for local communities.”

Okay, whatever. That was the official spiel. Here’s what I actually want to say about this: EEEEEKKKK!!!!! I got picked to be in the cast for this show! I get to read my own writing to a real audience. I made the judges laugh right out of the gate. Consider this my blogging Sally Fields’ moment, “You like me. You really like me!” Fourteen of us will be reading, laughing, and crying our way through our stories. Then it will be on YouTube. The actual performance in Fayetteville, Arkansas will be Sunday, April 29th at 2:00 pm in the Walton Arts Center’s Starr Theater. If you’re in the neighborhood, get tickets now before they sell out!

I’m only worried about three things: will my neck completely blotch out because of the lights and my nerves? What is appropriate dress for this sort of thing? And if I wear really great shoes will I trip and fall on my face in front of everybody? I don’t worry about my words or my performance. That I know how to do.

The other really fun thing about all of this is meeting new writers, finding new stories, making new friends, and just getting to tell a story while making a new one. Or to put it another way, I get to collect a whole bunch of words!

The cast is a pretty amazing bunch of people. We need to be reading the works of these great voices. Each author is linked to her blog or her Facebook or Twitter profile. Check them out!

Cast of Listen To Your Mother Northwest Arkansas 2012:

Shannon Magsam
Jasmine Brown
Kerri Case
Heather Davis
Lela Davidson
Jill Van Trease
Angie Albright
Kyran Pittman
Gwen Rockwood
Stephanie McCratic
Jocelyn Morelli
Misti Pryor
Shannon Hahn
Kelly Zega

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