Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day 12 Blog-off: Kate Hopper

Today’s Generous Soul is Kate Hopper. So today’s post is about her.

The first time I met Kate I was taking her to get a new vibrator.

Here’s another way to say it: Kate was on a book tour for her fab new book Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers and her publisher had arranged a book signing at Good Vibrations in San Francisco as part of the event series “Mommy’s Playdate.”

Good Vibrations, in case you don’t know, is a store in San Francisco that sells machinery for lady parts. For some bizarre reason, the toys that are marketed to ladies are exactly the same shade of pink as the toys that are marketed to four-year-old girls, which means that the inside of a Good Vibrations store looks remarkably like the Barbie aisle at Target. No shades of gray anywhere.

I played chauffeur for Kate because kind-hearted-moms don’t let kind-hearted-out-of-towner-moms drive into the city from the East Bay during rush hour. Besides, I had never been to Good Vibrations before (and it’s none of your business why or why not) and I have to say, I was a little bit curious.

“Bring your family to my house and my husband will feed them,” I told her.  “And then we’ll go drink wine and look at vibrators!” Well, maybe I didn't say exactly that.

Kate read and answered questions, signed some books, entered a ticket in the Mommy’s Playdate raffle, and won a vibrator. I won a tea set billed as “Naught-tea,” with pictures of men and women in Victorian dress. The pictures are supposed to provocative, but I swear it just looks like they are sipping tea to me. Perhaps this was considered scandalous in the Victorian era? I wouldn’t know—I’m not much of a history buff.

Yesterday’s post was a writing tip from Kate from August when she was our featured speaker for Write On, Mamas. (“You don’t have to write everyday to be a writer! That’s ridiculous!” she told us to the relief of the group. ) I’ve been thinking a lot about my writing routine lately and while I manage to do something writing-related everyday (even if it is just notes in my head while I’m folding laundry), it seems disorganized and haphazard—very similar to the way I knit scarves, come to think of it.

I’ve also been thinking about what Kate said at the Mommy’s Playdate as she diverted our attention from hot pink playthings to her work.

“This is about writing down our stories. About self-expression and self-exploration and knowing that our stories matter.”

This is what I chant to myself on the days when I do get a chance to sit down and write, even if the thoughts seem scattered and my paragraphs are clunky and bulky.

“Our stories matter.”

(Kate's memoir about her daughter's premature birth will be published in Fall 2013. Woo-hoo! Go Kate! Can't wait to see you in February for the Motherhood & Words retreat!)

I almost forgot this part! I’m blogging everyday as part of a blog-a-thon for the Write On, Mamas. We’re raising money for to self-publish our anthology. We were doing great out of the gate, but our contributions are lagging. We’ve got 26 days to go and lots of perks for donors. You can contribute here. And if you do, I’ll write a “Generous Soul” post about you!

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