When Peg Alford Pursell asked me to write some flash focusing on mothers of grown children for a folio she was curating, my first thought was no, I'd never write about that. Then I started a nonfiction flash sequence, which I abandoned, then I wrote three fictional flash after all.
The latest online issue of MOM EGG REVIEW is out with Peg's folio, which includes my flash "Cheated." "Cheated" grew out of my experience of identity theft (twice) and two long days at the Social Security offices in Hayward straightening it out. So I'm pretty confident about the accuracy of the setting details. The characters are imagined.
One of the others, "A Nest, a Rock, a Bird," was accepted by LITERARY MAMA, the first place I sent it. I just saw proofs, so it should be out soon. The third has had one rejection (one of my fears, that I'll be rejected by a writer-editor that I know online and really like—but it wasn't so bad after all). Trying to decide where it will fit before I send it out again.
When Peg asked me to suggest writers, I realized that there aren't many flash writers who are the mothers of grown children (I finally suggested two, and one was Dorothy Rice, whom I didn't know, but whose work I'd just discovered when she liked something of mine on Twitter; love her flash "Home Movies" in the folio). There's not much flash out there about motherhood, much less middle-aged mothers.
Tillie Olsen made a list in Silences of all the successful female authors who'd never married and who'd never had children. They far outnumbered those who had. For women with children, "the circumstances for sustained creation [become] almost impossible," Olsen writes. "In the twenty years I bore and reared my children, usually had to work on a paid job as well, the simplest circumstances for creation did not exist." Maybe that's changed somewhat, but maybe not as much as you'd expect.
The lovely cover art at MER VOX Online Quarterly is from a folio of work by the Bronx artist Manny Vega, who's known for his "Byzantine Hip-Hop" public art projects, particularly mosaics. This one depicts his mother.