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CityLit Starts New Year with Inaugural Scribente Maternum
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CityLit Starts New Year with Inaugural Scribente Maternum

Hello CityLit Peeps,

CityLit starts the new year with the inaugural Scribente Maternum: Write Like a Mother, a virtual writer’s retreat. Yea, we’re fancy but at its roots, those words simply mean mothers who write, and we invite you to join us to make that happen.

This pandemic has proven the one major group feeling every bit of the isolation, workflow, home flow, school flow is women. We learned last year a staggering 5,000,000 women left the workforce to take on the challenges of matters at home, virtual learning for the kids, and everything it takes to manage a household when everyone is home. Need we mention some of us, too, are on major overload navigating the racial dynamics plaguing this country, and the inequities and violence perpetrated against people of color. It’s a mess to sort out but for the month of February we encourage you to hold onto the good, cuz good is coming.  

Enter Scribente Maternum: Write Like a Mother, a virtual writer’s retreat for anyone in that maternal role who needs time to reflect and embrace their creativity as a writer, and their motherhood, since – yes, they can exist in the same space. I know some of you are thinking if I don’t have time to write why would I have time for this? Because when you see who’s coming and what’s happening, you’ll want to gift this lil gem to yourself. Better yet, get the fam to chip in and make this happen for you because you’ve been working double-time for er’body else, it’s time to flex and claim time to get you back on that writing tip. Two and a half hours is time you deserve to kick back in your own bubble, ignore the children, the dogs, the cries for something to eat or something to do. This is your ticket to a healthier you. When mommy’s happy, every dang body is happy. Fight me.

First, the facts: Every Saturday in February for 2 1/2 hours of your time, (noon – 2:30 pm EST) you’re invited to join us to meditate, to move your body, to engage in small and large groups to build community with mothers from across the country who long for the same thing you do, and to build something in you that won’t want to leave after February. 

It’s not a workshop. Not a critique group. Not a place to showcase fancy degrees and publications. Truth be told, none of that matters when all you’re trying to do is claim space to feel like a writer again. In this retreat, we’ve brought in some remarkable speakers, Maria Broom to inspire you to move and meditate; Rebecca Walker to speak about race, writing memoirs and her emotional and intellectual transformation to motherhood; M. M. De Voe, founder of Pen Parentis, to engage you in a creativity spa; Karen Houppert who will tell us how to manage the notion of collective care in our everyday. Heard enough. 

Folks, please don’t think of this as a sales pitch. Real talk, I am a mother who writes (Grandmother, too.) When my daughter and twin boys were young I fought to keep one foot planted in the literary world. The war on motherhood was real and not pretty but it grew me in both ways, as writer and as mom. We want that for you. My kids are now in their twenties, and all home because of the pandemic. UmmHmm. Ya’ feel me. My mother was known to say “When your kids are young, they’re around your feet. As they grow older, they’re around your heart. 

CityLit knows these are some anxious times for many. Why not make change happen today when you have a circle of mothers championing you to do that work of preparing, setting up for a time well spent. Mothering is more than a notion these days. Saturdays for 2 1/2 hours you get to claim the writer in you.

Yes, it costs, and CityLit events are usually free but we want you there. If you need help making it happen, let us know. This is the first one out of the blocks, and we are all ears about the next steps. 

More than anything, you know that story is in you. We know you may need a little help getting it out. We encourage you to join us in the many ways you can get that writing done and just what writing can look like, and trust the idea of a circle of women behind you. We got you. 

CityLit is partnering with organizations across the country, Midwest Writing & Editing, Better Smarter Stronger, and Elizabeth Doerr, who call this the Radical Act of Self-Care through writing. Time to get on board and write like the mother you are and the mother you can be.

Carla Du Pree
Executive Director

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6

Sitting with the Grief and Hope of this Moment
Speaker: Maria Broom

We will sit with the feelings and emotions that this unique moment in history brings up. We will explore both the needs we each have personally, as well the needs of our communities. This day will also lay a foundation to tap into our maternal superpowers through writing and creativity. We will leave our time together ready to take care of ourselves and eager to take care of the collective.

Questions we'll explore through this session:

  • How did we get here?
  • What do I need from this moment? 
  • What does my community and the world need from me at this moment? 
  • Where do we go from here?

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13

Taking Care of Ourselves: The Oxygen Mask
Speaker: M. M. De Voe

In the spirit of the airplane oxygen mask in which we're reminded to mask up before assisting others, this session is designed to provide a centering opportunity to create a space for us to tend to ourselves so that we can more effectively turn the care outwards. We'll begin with self-care from the lens of activism and inclusion to ensure that roots of our self-care create a better world for everyone.

The session will provide practical tools for daily centering and mindfulness to create the mental space for all that is on our plates: writing, parenting, activism. Facilitators will lead us through a real-time mindfulness practice and connect that to how we can foster that in the day-to-day. 

What we'll explore through this session:

  • Mindfulness and its connection to collective care
  • Practical ways to create space for creativity in our busy lives
  • Goals to create space for self-care and mindfulness in our daily lives

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20

Taking Care of the World
Speaker:
Rebecca Walker

We have focused on personal centering practice, and today we will work to take that care outwards. We will explore what we care most about in our homes, our communities, and our world and we will tap into our own connectedness to the world outside ourselves.  

What we'll explore through this session:

  • The issues, the people, and the communities we care about
  • The work that we want to do to create a better place for everyone
  • The connections we need to make to do that work

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27

Cultivating Collective Care Every Day
Speaker: Karen Houppert

We have focused on personal centering practice, and today we will work to take that care outwards. We will explore what we care most about in our homes, our communities, and our world and we will tap into our own connectedness to the world outside ourselves.  

What we'll explore through this session:

  • The issues, the people, and the communities we care about
  • The work that we want to do to create a better place for everyone
  • The connections we need to make to do that work

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