Tuesday, October 14, 2008

ABC news - video clip from the Baltimore Book Festival

Thanks to Kate at AK Press, I was finally able to get my hands on the ABC news video clip wherein my book is featured in a rather funny way by 'Maria in the Mix'. Watch it & maybe it'll crack you up, too! Just click on the title above & it will take you to the ABC news page, wait for it to load, then scroll down to the very bottom right corner and then click on Maria in the Mix: Bookfest. Total time for the clip is about 2 and a half minutes. The funny part is at the end, around the 2 minute mark.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Baltimore Book Festival!

I'm headed out tomorrow, sans kids & permanent sweetheart. 3 nights in a city where two dear girlfriends live, one of them being China, with whom I will fully enjoy a rare weekend and again, share the mic with our books. If you're around, please do come on down!

From the Radical Book Pavilion at the 2008 Baltimore Book Festival schedlue of speakers: (Click on the title above, or paste this link into your browser - redemmas.org/bookfair/)

Check out the entire roster! (Looks like the place to be for me.)

3pm: China Martens (The Future Generation, Atomic Books) and Jessica Mills (My Mother Wears Combat Boots, AK Press) on alternative parenting

Social justice movements often challenge us to create personal and social change but often provide no support for parents, mothers especially, who try to do so. Let's learn how to work together in new ways. By valuing the involvement/work of parents and caretakers; and including the voices/needs of children we form a more vibrant culture of resistance as we work towards a more equitable future. Jessica Mills and China Martens read from their latest books, and facilitate a discussion on social justice and community support for families. Parents, non-parents, and children are all welcome, and encouraged to attend! Coloring book zines and crayons will be handed out! More info: My Mother Wears Combat Boots | The Future Generation

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Brain, Child Magazine article

Check out this essay "Rock Steady" by Lindsay Maines wherein she talks about 3 different rocker mama books, one of them being mine :) For more from Lindsay, she blogs at rockandrollmama.com

And oh yeah, just to clarify a few inaccuracies in the essay:
1) I had Emma-Joy when I was 2 weeks shy of my 30th birthday, not at age 28.
2) I am not the singer for Citizen Fish; I play tenor sax.
3) We didn't move TO Florida. Rather, we moved from Gainesville to Hollywood, both in Florida, but separated by 329 miles.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Thanks, Boing Boing!

Cory Doctorow did me right with this review of my book:


Now the comments section is another story. I may go on and on another time about what my thoughts and feelings were while reading through them, but in a nutshell: it made me feel vulnerable, exposed, and wondering how so many perfect strangers who haven't read word one of my book could be so misinformed, mean and defensive. Hmmm...
I will say thank you to those who have read my book and responded accordingly, Thank You! And a huge Thank You to Cory, too! You rock :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Last call for Submissions - My Baby Rides the Short Bus

The deadline for general submissions to My Baby Rides the Short Bus was July 1, 2008. We are really pleased with the strong and thought-provoking essays we have received and look forward to publishing an amazing anthology. To fill some holes we see, we will still be accepting a small number of submissions on the topics listed below. We are particularly interested in receiving submissions from dads, young parents, older parents and/or people of color. Also, we have a disproportionately high number of essays about autism, and while we will definitely consider more of those, we'd like to see contributions for parents dealing with other disabilities.

*Working outside of the system--creating alternatives
*Living in an intentional community with a special needs kid
*Homeschooling or unschooling with special needs
*Alternative treatments
*Out of home placements
*Kids growing older
*Disability activism
*Influence of parenting a child with disabilities on intimate parental relationships/relationships with other family members

Please email shortbusbook@yahoo.com to discuss a deadline. Submission guidelines are available at www.shortbusbook.blogspot.com.

Sign the Petition to Protect Homebirths

Now is the time to support homebirths and professional midwives.
Sign this petition to tell your representatives that you want to be in control of how and where you give birth.
Click on the title of this post to link to the petition website:


Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Wild Family Book and Music Tour - in Florida June 5 - 14

Heads up!

We are headed to Florida for some family tour fun action!
Samantha Jones and I are getting in the van with our kids and with a papa friend named Neil and his kids, too.

I'm doing the book readings / discussion part of the tour.
Samantha is taking care of the music part. Check her tunes out here: myspace.com/cassettesongs
Papa Neil will be kid wrangling.
Maybe my big girl will be doing her jump rope routine, a Double-dutch freak out!

Here's where we will be:
June 5 - Gainesville (2nd Street Bakery)
June 6 - Pensacola (End of the Line Cafe)
June 7 - St. Augustine (Freedom Manor)
June 11 - Lake Worth (Les Beans)
June 12 - Hollywood (South Florida Women's Health Center)
June 14 - Orlando

Then on June 15, I'll be doing an author event at the Alachua County Library in downtown Gainesville at 2 pm!

Then on June 18, I'm off to the West Coast to meet up with Citizen Fish...

A no sleep summer by all counts!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Book event at Monkeywrench Books in Austin, Texas

My upcoming weekend trip to Austin for Chaos in Tejas* couldn't be all pleasure ... well, sure it could have been, but I thought I'd just make the MOST of my time away from home minus the family ...
So I contacted the nice folks at Monkeywrench Books & they were more than welcoming to my asking to come there to do a book reading event.
If you too will be raging at Chaos or if you live in Austin, come on down!
Saturday, May 17
3 pm
Monkeywrench Books
110 E. North Loop Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78751

*3 nights of the most exciting punk bands and friends coming from all over the map. Can you say Los Crudos reunion show?!?!?!!?? I've had flutterbies in me tummy for weeks!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

In 1870, social activist Julia Ward Howe authored the "Mother's Day Proclamation" and in 1872, organized a day for mothers dedicated to peace, a sort of Mother's Day intended as a call to unite women against war. This is the kind of Mother's day I think to celebrate. Not the one I see advertised today hawking $39.99 vases of pesticide sprayed roses.

More than anything today, I wanted to participate in Mother's Day at a speak out or other political action, like the one in New York City - A Mother's Day action against police violence where 50 mothers wearing bloodstained shirts held a vigil and press conference outside of Governor David Patterson's Manhattan office calling on the Governor to STOP THE BLOODSHED AT THE HANDS OF NYPD and also also calling for an end to the NYPD abuse of mothers who fight to get justice for their children.

But where I live, there was nothing but the 34th annual Mother's Day symphony held at the zoo and special Mother's Day brunches to be eaten at select restaurants.

I was happy when fellow rad mama Vikki Law asked if I'd read over and give feedback on the essay she is working on concerning "how the first battered women's shelters in the U.S. had a more radical feminist analysis about the reasons for battering and how capitalism and patriarchy needed to be dismantled and encouraged women to think in broader terms about these issues. And how the first shelters were in individual activists' homes because, at the time, there WASN'T a safe place for the average American abused wife/girlfriend to turn to and there wasn't any institution dealing with the issue."

When I'd finished and sent it back, I thanked Vikki for giving it to me to give feedback on. She made my Mother's Day! Really. Doing this editorial work for her made me feel worthwhile in my political urges to contribute in some way.

Now it's time to give my own mama a call...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Breastfeeding Promotion Act

A Call for Action from MomsRising.org -----

Just a couple of months ago, a mother was kicked out of a museum in New York for breastfeeding, a perfectly legal act in that state. [1] Mothers continue to suffer discrimination and humiliation for breastfeeding, even though doctors recommend breastfeeding for all infants. Clearly we need Congress to pass the Breastfeeding Promotion Act (H.R. 2236) now--before more mothers are stigmatized and humiliated for breastfeeding.

But this Act is currently stalled in Congress, and isn’t going to move forward without increased citizen pressure. You can supply that pressure.

CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSPERSON NOW: http://www.momsrising.org/CosponsorBreastfeedingAct

(And forward this email to friends now so they can take action too. All of our voices are needed to get the Breastfeeding Promotion Act moving forward).

MomsRising members have successfully raised awareness about the need to protect the rights of breastfeeding mothers in the past and can do it again. Last year, MomsRising members and other activists changed Delta Airlines corporate policies when a mother was kicked off a flight for breastfeeding.

We can harness this same power to push through the Breastfeeding Promotion Act, but we need your help contacting Congress. Let's support mothers who are nurturing and caring for the next generation of Americans. Those nursing babies may not be able to vote, but their mothers can!

Forward this email so your friends and family can contact their representatives too. It’s going to take all of our voices, and then some to get this legislation moving forward. We need tens of thousands of messages to go to Congress supporting breastfeeding.

Here's that link again in case you need it: http://www.momsrising.org/CosponsorBreastfeedingAct

Thank you!

[1] http://wnyt.com/article/stories/S352021.shtml?cat=10114

P.S. THE LOWDOWN ON THE BREASTFEEDING PROMOTION ACT: Representative Carolyn Maloney's Breastfeeding Promotion Act (H.R. 2236) would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to protect breastfeeding by new mothers by providing tax credits to employers who provide a place to breastfeed and/or provide breast pumps. This makes it a lot easier for women who want to give their babies breastmilk and keep their jobs. As you may know, 82% of American women become mothers by the time they are forty-four years old, so this issue is critically important to a large portion of our nation. To read the bill, visit The Library of Congress Website

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Who Gives a Shit About Kids and Cursing?

Seems the "cursing" chapter of my book is one that a lot of people want to talk about.

This week, a freelance journalist & mum to a 2 month old baby (Lesley Carlin McElhattan) asked to interview me for an article she's hoping to publish in Cookie Magazine on the topic of kids and cursing. She'll let me know when the article comes out & I'll be sure to post it here.

And my mom, who just returned from a family gathering, said my great aunt Mollie has been taking my book "as gospel." When the cursing chapter came up during dinner one night, her oldest son remarked to her, "Don't worry mom, you don't have to start cursing now!"

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

2 Interviews - one for listening, one to read.

For listening:

When I was on my mini-book-tour in February, Matthew Rothschild, editor of The Progressive Magazine invited me in to their studio in Madison, WI to do an interview with him for The Progressive Radio Show. He was super kind, smart and skillfully steered me back when I'd ramble. It's 28 minutes long. It aired on 3/31/2008 on their syndicated show, to about 40 (NPR-affiliate?) stations around the US. It's archived here: http://www.progressive.org/radioweekly

For reading:

Interview on Mamaphonic.com by China Martens

China, author of The Future Generation: The Zine-Book for Subculture Parents, Kids & Others, and I took forever to get this interview finished, but we're both happy & satisfied with how it turned out. Last month, she and I met for the first time face-to-face after years of correspondence and supporting each other's projects. It was an amazing time we had. (I'll put pix up soon, just as soon as I figure out how.) Go here for the interview: http://www.mamaphonic.com/node/1780

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Birth Activism

Since my recent visit to the Bay Area, where I heard more than a couple folks refer to midwifery care being available only to "rich hippies," my brain has been swirling around the idea of needing to do more birth activism - not only specifically engaging in the fight for universal legality and licensure of midwifery (as it is now, it is legal/licenced in some states, alegal/unlicenced in others and in some, outright illegal), but also fighting for the midwifery model of care to be paid for by Medicaid - so all women can have true freedom of choice in their care regardless of where they live or what their insurance/lack thereof status is.
What do you think about that? I am interested in finding out if there is already an organization dedicated to this work so I can join them.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

My Baby Rides the Short Bus - Call for Submissions!

Call for submissions: My Baby Rides the Short Bus – an upcoming anthology to be published by PM Press (Winter, 2009)

We are seeking submissions from a diverse group of parents raising special needs kids who feel marginalized by their subculture status (economics, lifestyle, orientation, religion/atheism) and underrepresented in print.

Got tips on how to stay sane during the IEP process when you don’t believe in the system to begin with? Felt you had to hide you radical political books while the Early Intervention Folks come over? Found yourself stuck a mainstream world of special needs parenting that you don’t fit into?

Submit your stories to a upcoming anthology that features writing from parents in the know about what it's like to raise "special needs" kids -- with no sugar coating or the 'you will dream new dreams' kind of crap we're subjected to by mainstream media. Unfortunately we can’t pay, but all contributors will receive two copies of the book.

Topics we would like to see covered include (but are not limited to):
Experiences with helpful or clueless doctors
· How not to leave your politics at the door and still work the system
· Care providers and how they help us (when they show up)
Community support or lack thereof
· The asinine things people say you
Challenging people’s assumptions
Keeping yourself sane while caring for your kid’s needs
· The politics of inclusion
Fighting city hall/demanding more access & services
Kids with special needs growing older
Alternatives to group homes and institutions
· Politics behind professional care-giving
Alterative treatments: the good, the bad, or the rip-off

*Also, we’re seeking suggestions for good resources/services state-by-state or on the national level.
Please send those to the email listed below.

Send 2,000 to 5,000 word submissions by May 15th 2008 or questions to: shortbusbook@yahoo.com Essays must be typed, double-spaced, and paginated. Please include your address, phone number, email address, and a short bio on the last page.

Editors: Yantra Bertelli, Jennifer Silverman and Sarah Talbot, who are parents of “special needs” kids.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Human Cheese (video on youtube)

This is freakin' hilarious for several reasons, but for two personal reasons in particular:

1) It speaks loud and clear to a little breastmilk story I relate in Chapter 17 about making White Russians.

2) On my recent "mini-book-reading-tour" in Milwaukee without baby Maya-Rae (who just turned 2 last Sunday!), I had some surplus milk to get rid of. On my way to "pump and dump," Robert stopped me. He was baking bread and thought it would be a waste for me to dump my liquid gold, so he replaced the 1/2 cup of soy milk that his recipe called for with, you guessed it, the 1/2 cup of my breastmilk I was about to pour down his kitchen sink. Later, we all agreed it was "The Breast Bread Ever!" Yummy, yum, yum!

Anyway, watch this video & I challenge you not to be able to crack the hell up!

From the Mothering Magazine website:
Human Cheese
While a quick Google search yields plenty of legitimate recipes for foods made with breastmilk, this video is a tongue-in-cheek spoof: "human cheese" is presented as a safe, trustworthy alternative to bovine dairy products. It's funny and got us curious—if you've actually cooked with breastmilk, send your recipes to recipes@mothering.com.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Midwest Mini Book tour!

Hoo yeah!
This'll be a first.
I mean, I'm quite comfortable playing music in front of strangers, hiding behind my saxophone amid a band of more interesting others. But me all alone, reading from the book I wrote?
It's causing a bit of anxiety for sure.
A few more experienced friends have offered their 2 cents to "practice, practice, practice." But it just feels silly ... stop watch in hand, it feels like I'm talking to myself, looking out at an imaginary group of folks while reading aloud something I wrote myself. It's ridiculous because I should know these words I wrote & be able to read them, ahem, perform them, with little effort, but WRONG! I'm not even in front of anyone & my throat is already dry and my hands sweaty.
Anyhow, I'd love for you to come hear me read. I'm counting on my ears turning red at least twice.

Here's the line up:

Saturday, February 16 - Chicago - Quimby's at 7 p.m.
Sunday, February 17 - Madison - A Room Of One's Own at 2 p.m.
Monday, February 18 - Milwaukee - Broad Vocabulary at 6 p.m.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fellow Ak-ista says...

"I'm reading your book now and it's great. I wish I had read it five years ago when my kid was born, but even now, you are full of words of wisdom and grace - congratulations on a marvellous book."
-Ramor Ryan
author of Clandestines: The Pirate Journals of an Irish Exile (AK Press 2006)

From the AK Press website (akpress.org) -
Ramor Ryan's pirate journals read like Che's Motorcycle Diaries infused with Hunter S. Thompson's wit and flair for the impossible. A shrewd political thinker and philosopher, with a knack for ingratiating himself into the thick of precarious situations, Ryan has been there and lived to tell about it.

As much an adventure story as an unofficial chronicle of modern global resistance movements, Clandestines spirits the reader into subterranean locales, carefully weaving the narrative through illicit encounters and public bacchanals. From the teeming squats of Berlin, to intrigue in the Zapatista Autonomous Zone, a Croatian Rainbow Gathering on the heels of the G8 protests in Genoa, mutiny on the high seas, the Quixotic ambitions of a Kurdish guerilla camp, the contradictions of Cuba, and the neo-liberal nightmare of post-war(s) Central America we see everywhere a world in flux, struggling to be reborn.

Ramor Ryan is a rebellious rover and Irish exile who makes his home between New York City and Chiapas.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Review at About.com

Here's a link to the review at About.com
It only got 4 out of 5 stars, but I still think it's flattering & kind :)