Jeffrey, my son, is the reason I have three six-year-olds. He is not one of them. Born prematurely, he did not survive. But what did is my brief memory of him as well as the family my husband and I created after his passing.
I wrote an essay about all of that. A long meandering piece that I submitted to the Write On Mamas anthology Mamas Write. And then I took Kate Hopper’s online writing workshop with other anthology contributors to fine tune our submitted essays. Through one of her exercise prompts, a piece about the night of Jeffrey’s birth and death surfaced and became the work I submitted instead of the lengthy essay I initially wrote.
I had spent a lot of time writing my first piece. But it didn’t flow. It had too many storylines. Kate’s class and the work that resulted from it was an inspiration. I discovered that I write better, or I should say, found the time to write better, with a deadline and some subtle guidance.
Working with the small online group was beneficial; not only was Kate critiquing my writing, seven other writers were as well. Comments were always supportive and constructive and shed a different light on how I might approach my craft. And, I was getting to read and comment on the work of my colleagues, whose writing talents I admire. The fate of that long essay that had too many storylines? I’m working with Kate again, one on one this time, to get it to flow.
Teri Stevens' essay There Was a Before appears in Mamas Write.
J is for Jeffrey
April 11, 2014 By 8 Comments