By Kate Hopper
Viva Editions, $16.95, 229 pages
“Use your words!” Most parents utilize this phrase to encourage toddlers when they transition from baby talk to using words and sentences. Kate Hopper, author, professor and editor, uses the phrase to challenge mothers in her book Use Your Words: A Writing Guide For Mothers.
Hopper’s book is organized into 14 chapters, each focusing on a step of the process. Creative writing, voice, humor, nonfiction and structure are just some of the topics covered. Each chapter builds on the one before. Finally, the chapters include writing assignments, activities and prompts to help moms get started and get the creative juices flowing. Hopper’s words are very motivating and inspiring. It is like you are taking a class from her in person! One real treat is coming across the “mother/writing” of other authors, like the poem by Linda Lee Crosfield about the day her son left for college. The short stories, poems and essays scattered throughout are very refreshing, even if the subject matter is occasionally sad.
Moms! If you are up for the challenge of writing and you want to memorialize the moments of motherhood, this is the book for you. Let Kate Hopper be your guide through this journey.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin