A bond between a mother and child is sacred. For centuries we have seen depictions of the close and intimate relationship shared between a mother and child. One of the oldest stories about motherhood that always comes to my mind is the Judgement of Solomon.
When I think of my mother, I instantly feel warm inside… safe. I know that if no one on this earth has my back she does, a comfort is there. There are moments shared between her and me that even if explained using plain English still wouldn’t convey to the average person the depth of our bond.
Moms are special gifts from God.
Children rarely realize just how special moms are until they become adults, that’s when we humanize them and gain a deeper understanding of all it took for them to raise us.
Thirteen Black women writers came together to do just that… honor their mothers. Mama Stories: Gifts From Our Mothers is a collection written from a daughter’s point of view. Each story is filled with joy, laughter, pain, and strength.
I spoke with Tiffany G., one of the co-authors of the book to discuss her story, “My Girl,” and what led her to join this dynamic team of women writers.
SGBC: Tell me a little about yourself, how long have you been writing and what made you want to push your pen to publish?
Tiffany G: Born and raised in North Carolina. I’ve been writing ever since I was allowed to keep a journal–so since I was twelve years old. I graduated from North Carolina A&T–Aggie Pride! After graduating, I moved to Charlotte.
I decided to get more serious about my writing and applied to get my MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University. What pushed my pen to publish? I was always told your gifts do not belong to you, so whether it’s my personal blog, hosting a social write-in, or co-authoring a book sharing my gift to inspire others has been my push to publish and I’m just getting started.
SGBC: Mama Stories: Gifts From Our Mothers is an anthology featuring you and 12 other Black women writers, how did you all come together?
Tiffany G: We all came together by our wonderful editor, Angela Haigler, who also has a story in the book.
I met Angela years prior working for the same organization. Fast forward, a few years later we met again at a writing club meeting and she reached out to me about the opportunity to be a part of the anthology.
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SGBC: Your story in the book is dedicated to your mother, what was the process like writing about your mother and what do you hope readers will gain after reading your story?
Tiffany G: Before we started, I knew this would be an emotional experience from the topic alone. Once we started with the workshops and digging deep, I could not stop crying–I kept a box of tissues nearby.
Writing about her simple gift of the word no, along with her words of encouragement over the years, was overwhelmingly vulnerable for me. After reading my story, I hope readers have the courage to live the life they want. I hope they swerve past all the expectations of society when it comes to marriage and children and anything else they aren’t quite ready for or even want.
SGBC: They say hindsight is 20/20 vision, looking back what can you appreciate about your mother as an adult, that you took for granted as a child?
Tiffany G: I’m appreciative of her telling me no. My mom was strict growing up and all my friends knew it too. Looking back, it’s funny how everything seemed so important, so urgent as an adolescent.
I know now that I didn’t miss out on anything. Again, there is no need to rush through life; everything will happen right when it’s supposed to.
SGBC: Thinking back, who was the first person to tell you that you were a good writer?
Tiffany G: Oh, wow. Maybe my creative writing professor in undergrad. I was still quite rusty with my work, but I think she saw something I was too insecure to see until many many years later. I’m thankful for her.
SGBC: If you could advise an aspiring writer or a writer who is still working on their WIP (work in progress) what would it be?
Tiffany G: The process is long and grueling and lonely (sometimes), but well worth every moment in the end. Keep writing and know when to let go.