Running On E — as in Excitement!

Life As Mom Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Winners for the Driving the King book giveaway will be announced Friday. Make sure you get your comments in now. All you have to do to enter this one is share one thing that you’re looking forward to in 2015. So far readers have said everything from date nights to summer!

And speaking of books, I’m so excited — and honored — to have my essay included in this book, Tales from Another Mother Runner: Triumphs, Trials, Tips, and Tricks from the Road, debuting March 3! (Available for pre-order on Amazon now.)

anothermotherrunner

 

It’s the third installment from friends of MMM Dimity McDowell Davis and Sarah Bowen Shea, the talented duo that brought you the popular Run Like a MotherThis time around, the book is a collection of 20 essays from other mother runners from around the U.S. Spoiler alert: The book is going to be so damn rad!

To promote the book, Dimity and Sarah are inviting some of the book contributors to their Another Mother podcast, and I was so pleased to kick things off this week. I had blast with those two ladies, and they asked me to read an excerpt from my essay called “Taking the Title and Running With It.” You can have a listen for yourself. (I join the fun around the 21-minute mark, but do listen to the whole show.)

I’m also happy that DMD and SBS have asked me to join them on one or two stops on their  book tour. Stay tuned for dates and cities!

And let me know what you think of the pod.

P.S. This Carly Simon song is now haunting my daydreams. Big “thanks” to the AMR gals for that one. Hmph.

Eyes Forward for 2015 (plus, a GIVEAWAY!)

Life As Mom Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Happy New Year!

That sound you’re hearing? Oh, nothing. It’s just Cold-Cough-Headache-Chills trying to roll up in here and ruin the party. Jerk. I’ve been ignoring that fool for two days now, and I think I might win this thing. (Just nod and offer me more tea, please.)

Anyway, here we are, friends. It’s 2015. A fresh, new year with a clear path ahead.

ClearPath-NicoleBlades | Ms. Mary Mack

In the past, I’ve tried to come up with my one-word for the year. The word that would help guide my thoughts and intentions. A word that would serve as my theme as I marched into the newness of the year. But 2014 blew through here, nearly taking the door of its hinges as it left. And especially near the end of the year, with the all the heartbreak and cruelty and injustice threatening to gobble us up whole, so many of us felt lost. Felt like we were struggling. Like we were wrestling.

But there were good things too. My healthy family. My new niece. Celebrations. Reunions. Friends. Laughter. Happiness. The Youngster soaking up every bit of joy this curious, spinning world has to offer him. And the utter delight of basking in this kid’s glow.

Torrey-Pines-Beach_NBlades | Ms. Mary Mack

So instead of finding one word for 2015, I think I’m going to just open the blank page of this ever-entertaining book and wait for them to appear, relishing in each one as it comes.

And speaking of books, I think this is a good day for a GIVEAWAY!

Ravi Howard, writer, father, MMM guest contributor, and certified homey, has a new novel out called Driving the King. And today is his pub date. The book is already receiving great reviews, including — sniff — from The New York Times. Very excited for Ravi. That guy deserves all the shine and more.

Now, here’s where you come in. The kind folks at HarperCollins have offered up TWO books for this giveaway. And all you have to do is leave a comment below about one thing you’re looking forward to in 2015. That’s it.

Leave you comment below, and the TWO lucky winners will be announced later this month.

Oh, and stay tuned for more giveaways and book talk this year on MMM. We’re diving in, people. Be ready.

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Be sure to stop by MMM’s Facebook Page and say hey for the New Year.  And “Like” us, if you haven’t already.

Taking a Moment to Breathe It All In … Then Letting It Go

Life As Mom Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Torrey-Pines | Ms. Mary Mack

Here’s wishing you all a safe, healthy and Happy New Year! More goodness, life and light in 2015.

On Wrestling.

Life As Mom, Parental Intel Thursday, December 4, 2014

I’m wrestling.

I’m wrestling with the events of these last two weeks, trying to make them bend towards comprehension and basic sense. And now one man’s last words, said 11 times — I can’t breathe — haunts me. The words,  so apt for how unhinged I feel at this very moment.

RussRowland_Protests

(Photo by Russ Rowland, Radio City Music Hall in NYC, Dec. 3, 2014)

How is it that an un-graining, clear, daytime video of Eric Garner having the life literally choked out of him by a white police officer was not deemed adequate proof that a serious crime was committed? How can a jury see this video, this proof, and still decide that the homicide — as it was ruled by the NYC medical examiner —  was not worthy of formal charges? What did we see that they couldn’t? As the New York Times said in its scathing Op-Ed about the no-indictment decision:

“What is clear is this was vicious policing and an innocent man is dead. ” 

I’m wrestling with outrage and exasperation at the unending disrespect and disregard for Black Lives, trying to force the bitter taste that continues to rise up in my throat back down.  Oscar Grant. Trayvon Martin. Jordan Davis. Michael Brown. Each one, shoved into an early grave. Put down like animals.

How is it that we — Black citizens of this world — are still treated as something less than human? Three-fifths a person, and never anything more. Our young boys are instantly thugs. They are threats. They are dangerous demons and beefy Hulks charging at you. But white teenagers are allowed, almost expected, to act out, mess up, flout authority. The crucial difference is, the white kids are also let off easy and allowed to live to talk about it years or decades later.

CrimingWhileWhite_hashtag

I’m wrestling the overwhelming urge to give up, give in, consider this society a lost cause, forever stalled or — worse — rapidly moving in reverse.

How is it that a rookie police officer shoots and kills — in mere seconds — a 12-year-old black boy wielding what turns out to be a BB gun, but this child’s innocence is shockingly still up for debate? “Why was he playing with a real looking gun,” someone had the audacity to write as a comment on my Facebook page.

This same Cleveland officer’s file from his firearm certification training two years ago was released after the fatal shooting of Tamir Rice. How is that there’s a memo in it saying the officer “seemed not mentally prepared” for the task? And, according to a story on Slate, the officer’s previous boss recommended that he be fired:

“He could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal.” 

I’m wrestling with a potent mix of despair and distress trying to rob me of my fight, pressing down on the cracks in my spirit.

But I know I have to keep wrestling. And I need to win. I need to find my words, my strength, my resolve, because the stakes are too high. Because I’m raising a brown boy in this country. Because, as I’ve said before, this erasure story — the one about the unarmed black boy dusted away like pesky lint — playing out over and again through decades like some hopeless movie trope, only with slightly different details, different faces, families, cities, and courtrooms, it cannot continue.

Because Black Lives are not conditional. We are real. We are whole. We are valuable.

Because Black Lives Matter.

Because I Matter.

Because WE MATTER.

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