Sueann Wells

1) Tell us a bit about the pieces you have in Motherly Musings. What was the inspiration for your work, and do you have any comments or thoughts about your featured work that you would like to share with readers?

I have suffered a total of three miscarriages, all between six and seven weeks along, thank God. One Week expresses a tiny fraction of the emotion associated with miscarriage. It is one of the most heart-wrenching experiences a mom can experience but thank God I’ve had three successful pregnancies. I know so many fine women who have tried much, much harder to conceive, and I by no means claim to equal such trauma. But One Week is my personal reflection on my experience with the loss. So many women have suffered in such a way, and yet it is often a taboo topic in conversation. May all women seek solace in the fact that they are not by a long shot alone in their loss.

I have many times noted that my eldest daughter is maturing into an incredible young woman, ready for the future. Thunderstorm Reflections is absolutely a nonfiction piece I wrote the very-tired morning after a night with my daughter sleeping in my bed most of the night, for better or worse. Sometimes I lose my perspective that she is now only 4 (at the time of TR’s writing, she was only 2-1/2), as she seems beyond her years until she crumbles. I hope I can continue to pick her up until she learns to pick herself up.

Sleepless Nights … Again – Ugh, I would love to skip writing about this piece now that we decided to have a third child and anticipate similar, even compounded challenges in the next few months, but I’ll say here that I write in times of greatest stress, and I hope to make at least a slightly easier transition to baby-in-home in oh my gosh less than two weeks! And – as we found with the second child’s arrival, children grow so incredibly quickly, and it really is only the first few months that are especially challenging on a sleep-deprived momma or dad – at least in the baby stage way.

Farewell to Breasts expresses my reflection on the bittersweet end of an era with my second, and what I thought would be my last, child. As life-adjusting (we did not supplement or even use bottles for pumped milk, so personal time was very much centered around each child’s nursing schedule) as breastfeeding can be, and as tough as it is to reconcile sometimes, it really was a worthwhile experience for me and my children. It was our ‘alone time’ even if we were by no means alone. And it was my reflective time, especially with my second. I thank the Lord I have been given the opportunity to have a third child, and I look forward to a similarly positive nursing experience.

My eldest child is quite an active daredevil, who often tests her physical capabilities, and I just smile and nod when parents with boys comment on the incredible difference between boys and girls activity-wise. I know my girls are just as … creative, I’ll say, with running around imaginative play, rough-housing together, getting dirty in and outside our home, exploring all the wonders, good and bad, of the world. My First Heart Attack gives voice to a situation that reminded me that my daughters will all grow from getting back up and trying again when something brings them down. Mind you, of course I don’t want them to bonk their noggins to learn such lessons, but I am inspired whenever I see them bounce back from adversity with such vigor.


2) How long have you been writing and how did you get started?

I have been writing for as long as I can possibly remember. I found solace in my own daily stresses when I could write in my personal journals, which I think are essential for any preteen, teenager, and young adult especially. I wrote my first poem, which I can recite most of to this day (how sad is that?!) at eight, and went from there. Journalistic pursuits got my writing out to the community in my hometown of Canandaigua, but newspapers’ workings drove my career into education instead. The rest has been history – BA in English, secondary education certification, secondary teaching; MSEd in English Education, a few years of adjunct teaching at the first- / second-year college level; all amidst writing personal and professional pieces.

Right now, I’m in a literary lull, but I argue that that is merely because my other life elements are so strong right now. Looking at my friends and colleagues who have complete families who are entering school, I know my muse and the corresponding time to write what she has to share will easily return when I have a few more moments to spare.

3) In general, the pieces that appear in Motherly Musings are about parenting, mothers, or children. Does this theme permeate your other writing? What other themes and ideas influence your work?

My writing generally focuses on motherhood; it is after all my 24/7 job. I write what I know, and I know what I live. I also write about the glories in nature, reveling in the tiny toads we see as the girls and I traverse forest trails, the signs of an incoming storm written on the wind and clouds.

4) Are you working on any other writing projects at the moment?

I maintain journals for each of my daughters, and am currently editing a collection of naturalist cinquains. Maybe someday y’all will find the collection published; if not, I love rereading these poems with each passing season. I am also the newsletter editor for my local MOMS Club chapter.

5) What is your greatest challenge as writer?

I am so incredibly not a public speaker, and find that my greatest challenge is self-promoting my works. If anyone wants to be my spokesperson in publicizing this book, please feel free! Thanks to Christine and Jerri for their continued support in this regard.

6) What are you reading right now?

Oh my gosh, I wish I could say I was reading anything other, but the dozens of picture books I read every day with my girls, in addition to What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and the newspaper round out my regular reading. I have LOVED reading all the contributors’ pieces to Motherly Musings, and I regularly check out parent-based blogs, but I must say those perusals are more for information than for amusement. 

7) Any final thoughts, advice, or comments you'd like to leave our readers with?

I hope all readers take a few minutes out of their busy days to explore the diverse works within this volume. I hope all readers find inspiration in a piece or two that strikes them wherever they are. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who read Motherly Musings. Thanks for the support of your favorite writers, and thanks for your time reading this incredibly long interview!

And finally, though yes, I’ll be busy at home with a new baby within the next couple of weeks, I look forward to any comments readers leave about these works on this website or send to my email address. Please feel free to write me at motherhood2009@yahoo.com if you have any thoughts to share, events to propose for our ranks, or to order copies of Motherly Musings. I have my postal materials on hand, so I will be able to respond quickly to requests for copies, even while my personal life is upended. 

Please continue to spread the word about this volume, and let’s spread the phenomenal voices featured within its pages.

As a final, final note, I do have a fundraiser proposal for any school or community group that may be interested. Just shoot me an email if you’d like more information on that.

May the mother muse inspire you all!


2 comments:

Bill said...

Just wondering how "labor day" went for you - any labor yet?? Best of luck!!

Bill said...

(comment above actually sent by Susan Baruch)