Steps In Between

Celaine Charles ~ My journey as a writer ~ Author site:

MOM Excerpts From Book & Brain


Mountains of wisdom

Offered across time

Marginalized until the last light falls

mom dad me passport - Copy

My ultra-hip parents just before we went abroad.


Welcome to a little mixed-up mom-time filled with a poem, a memory, and some excerpts from the stack of books on my nightstand. There’s writing advice too.

Of course, I wrote an acrostic poem about my mom. It’s Mother’s Day. And the older I grow, the more I hear my mother’s voice in the back of my mind. Not only that, but I find myself emulating her at odd times and in trivial tasks.

My mom used to unload the dishwasher every morning before my alarm. I hated waking up to her trying-to-be-quiet clinking of ceramic dishes. As I raised my young family, I never dreamed of unloading the dishwasher while they slept. Now, in my unmentionable older age, I find that I have things to do… things I desire… and sometimes that involves unloading the dishwasher at 5:30 in the morning, before the household awakes. I suppose my trying-to-be-quiet clinking of ceramic dishes doesn’t bother my family too much, because they haven’t offered to take over at a better hour (I say this with love as they truly are a helpful family). I’m really thinking more about my own mom. Maybe she was more than just my “always there for my needs” mom. Maybe she had her own aspirations, too. So, I stand in my PJ’s, coffee brewing, dishes clinking, sharing a silent memory with her (regretful it took me so long to figure out).

I am blessed I can still call her and thank her for the wisdom I can’t seem to turn off in my head. I realize not all of us have our mothers to talk to anymore. My hope for you today is to call your mom if you are able and remind her of a funny memory. And if you can’t, then write one down and send it in a wish or prayer. Perhaps if your relationship is estranged, you can re-write a memory the way you would have liked it to have gone.

Grandma with girls

My grandma with my daughters when they were little.


I also wanted to share my poem published in Dime Show Review in memory of my sweet Grandma:

In honor of such a spectacular day, I thought I would share some excerpts about mothers from a few books currently on my nightstand (and one on my computer as I’m still involved in my re-write).

Commonwealth - Copy (2)

Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett, page 312:

Beverly looked at her daughter and the look on her face was a pure expression of love. “I wanted two girls,” she said. “You and your sister, I wanted exactly what I had. Other people’s children are too hard.”

Language of Flowers - Copy

The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, page 255:

I pulled out the large, flat putty knife I had stuck in the back pocket of my jeans and began to strip the spongy green moss from the trunks of the redwood trees. The moss fell to the ground in long, hairy patches, and I arranged them carefully around the bottom and sides of the basket, making sure the softest and most fragrant pieces would surround her tiny head.

When the basket was completely covered, I put the knife back in my pocket, picked up the baby, who had fallen asleep, and lay her down gently on the blanket of moss.

Maternal Love.

Magnolia - Copy

Magonia, by Maria Dahvana Headley, p.26:

When I was little, I tried to sneak out at night to get my fill of the stars. I had a plan involving bedroom window, drain pipe, up instead of down. My mom busted me as I was dragging the blanket onto the shingles, but she surrendered and took me up at four in the morning, accompanied by all kinds of just-in-case breathing equipment. We looked at the sky together, wrapped in my comforter, with a thermos, a flashlight, and a book of constellations. We just sat there in silence, and periodically, my mom would show me one of the star pictures and explain its meaning.

Bitterblue - Copy

Bitterblue, by Kristin Cashore, p.2-3)

I do another one, 75 into 2850 is 38. Another. 32 into 1600 is 50.

Oh! These are good numbers Mama has chosen. They touch my memory and build a story, for fifty is Father’s age and thirty-two is Mama’s. They’ve been married for fourteen years and I am nine and a half. Mama was a Lienid princess. Father visited the island kingdom of Lienid and chose her when she was only eighteen. He brought her here and she’s never been back. She misses home, her father, her brothers and sisters, her brother Ror the king. She talks sometime of sending me there, where I will be safe, and I cover her mouth and wrap a hand in her scarves and pull myself against her because I will not leave her.

Children-of-Blood-and-Bone-800x1210 - Copy

Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi, p.1:

I try not to think of her.

But when I do, I think of rice.

When Mama was around, the hut always smelled of jollof rice.

I think about the way her dark skin glowed like the summer sun, the way her smile made Baba come alive. The way her white hair fuzzed and coiled, an untamed crown that breathed and thrived.

I hear the myths she would tell me at night.

Seam Keepers book cover

Seam Keepers, by Celaine Charles, p.148:

Ashton imagined her backyard garden overflowing with fragrant leaves in every shade of green. Hues her mother relished at mixing, like a scientist with brushes and trays instead of beakers and microscopes. Green umber and viridian were never true, but the right amount of phthalo blue and hansa yellow curved her mother’s smile. Somewhere between dreaming and consciousness, she realized the colors were calling: time to wake up.

I hope you all enjoy a lovely Mother’s Day, 2018!

Value of a Memory dr suess

Writing Advice:

Write one of your memories into your current work-in-progress. Weave it through so only you know. Then sit back and smile… In this way, you’ve preserved a true piece of your past. Yet, you also have creative freedom to adjust it any which way you like. Don’t spend too much time writing today, though. Call your mother, or aunt, or grandmother, or friend, or co-worker, or maybe even greet a complete stranger. It’s a great day to pass along a random act of kindness.

Image Links: (Dr. Seuss Quote about moment of memory)

The books are all off Amazon, and the rest are mine. 😊

Categories: Thoughts on writing...

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2 replies

  1. This is wonderful! I did not get to spend Mother’s Day with my daughter, so this was especially nice for me today.

    Liked by 1 person

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