The Mom Writes Podcast-logo

The Mom Writes Podcast

Podcasts >

More Information


United States








Episode 72: It's In The Details

The show notes get a giant TK this week! TK is writer shorthand for “to come.” And this week it’s podcaster shorthand for “Melanie was out of town!” Check back in later for more details. Or just hit play and listen for yourself. You should probably just hit play… In the meantime, I did promise in the intro a link to the revision class that starts December 8th. And here it is!


Episode 71: Story Begets Story

In this episode This week, Abby's thankful for a lot of things - a sound editor getting the episodes done every week, the fact that Mel writes the show notes (hi guys! WHEN I REMEMBER TO DO IT, which is most of the time but not all the time!), thankful to eek out time to write - and thankful for solid advice from Jennie on how to split up her story into one, two, three books? It's not the first time she's encountered these questions, and it won't be the last - but she's getting...


Episode 70: (Un)stuck in the Middle with You

Mel and Abby are smack dab in the middle of the stories, and today Mel and Jennie talk about "public service announcements" in your story - not a good thing, even if you're writing nonfiction. The good news is, it's a high level problem - it means you know what your story is, and now you're working on the nuances of how to tell it. In the middle of your story you need decisions and consequences and action at every turn - don't let your character stop idly for a smoothie (or whatever)...


Episode 69: Writing Sex Scenes with Michelle Hazen

Welcome to the most appropriately numbered episode ever… Book coach and romance writer Michelle Hazen joins hosts Abby Mathew and Melanie Parish for a primer on writing sex scenes. Join them as they take questions from the audience and talk all about doing it on the page.


Episode 68: Let's Talk About Sex, Baby

Welcome to our Halloween episode, regarding one of the scariest things for two awkward 30-something moms - WRITING SEX SCENES. Abby and Mel talk about the horrifically sexy things Abby learned while thumbing though a confiscated high school freshman's notebook ("Erotic pen pals, oh no!") and what is common/expected in modern YA regarding sex. We agree that the comfort level with bodies and sex with the YA crowd is way higher now than we we were young, or when Abby was teaching high school...


Episode 67: Author Intrusion and Time Looping

In this episode Author intrusion and time looping… and middle school kissing! Abby had a hell of a few weeks, putting her house on the market. She basically sucked all the fun out of her family in preparation to sell their home, and she wouldn’t even let anyone sit on their bed. The house must not look lived in! The result was not only a major dose of #adulting in real life, but also #adultvoice in her middle grades novel. Some of it was easy to fix. As Jennie points out, often times...


Episode 66: An Interview with Mae Respicio

Today MomWrites welcomes the long-awaited Mae Respicio, author of The House That Lou Built. We've been referencing Mae since day one here on the podcast because Jennie's so fond of telling us how Mae literally sometimes wrote her book in 5 minute increments (which is AMAZING and what every parent writer wants to hear!). Mae's found that her writing practice changes with how her parenting changes. When her kids were little, the only time she could find to write was when everyone else was...


Episode 65: YA and the Khaki Pants Man

In this episode: Today on Mom Writes, Mel gets to be the sacrificial rabbit again when she learns that a mere 4 complimentary lines about a secondary character turns him from a nice guy into a love interest. Whoa. How did that happen? According to Jennie, when you spend a long time (even four lines!) describing the way someone looks, that's what stands out to the reader - and the reader's brain says "That's what I need to remember about this! Look at those khaki pants and messy curls and...


Episode 63: An Interview with Beth Ricanati

(You can find a copy of Jennie’s book, the Writer’s Guide to Agony and Defeat, at the bottom of this page!) In this episode: Joining Jennie Nash and Abby Mathews today is Beth Ricanati, MD, author of the recently released Braided: A Journey of a Thousand Challahs. Beth's book is a memoir/self-help mashup centering around a path to wellness. We talk about Beth's experiences in being a mom, doctor, and advocate of women's wellness and fully realizing the role of challah in transforming her...


Episode 62: I Knew I Had It In Me, I Just Had To Lay It Down

In this episode: How are writers like Olympic athletes? They make great stories! They make great comebacks! When we recorded this episode, the winter olympics were on TV, and both Jennie and Mel were obsessed. (Abby, eh, not so much.) But this week Mel relates to Shaun White, the American Olympic snowboarder. Not because she dazzled us with some sweet moves on her board, but because she recovered from illness and poor performance by making a comeback. Shaun White almost QUIT after a...


Episode 61: Letting Go

In this episode Jennie celebrates her youngest getting a job, Mel tries to save Abby's life, and Abby was in the throes of mold investigation (and letting go of a garage full of art supplies) this week on Mom Writes! (And also some writing stuff.) Abby decided that by letting go of her old art stuff she was able to accept that she's still creative, but a different way. It's okay to move on and release tools of creativity that you're not using - it doesn't mean that you don't have new...


Episode 60: Moving and Sequels and Middle School Kissing

To iron or not to iron, that is the question. This week we talk about ironing. Well, it's just one of the many things we talked about. When we batch recorded this set of episodes last winter, Melanie and Abby were both sick. We sent Mel to urgent care, then soldiered on and recorded this episode without her. (Thankfully she listened to us and went to the doctor, because as it turned out, she had a bad case of the flu.) Of course, Skype was also sick, and it totally froze on us while...


Episode 59: Just Blow Something Up...

In this episode: [NSFK—the end of this episode is Not Suitable for Kids. Abby swears and we don’t edit it out, plus we mention dildos about 16 times, so put on your headphones as we enter chit chat territory at the end!] Both Mel and Abby are sick. But Mel wins. She has the flu and shows up anyway because she is convinced that part of her self-care is talking about her edits. She tried extra hard this week to make up for her “bad edits” last time. Jennie’s comments last time were along...


Episode 58: Luke Reynolds, MG Writer & (God Bless Him) Former Middle School Teacher

This morning we interview Luke Reynolds, author of The Looney Experiment (Blink), Surviving Middle School: Navigating the Halls, Riding the Social Roller Coaster, and Unmasking the Real You, and most recently Fantastic Failures: True Stories of People Who Changed the World by Falling Down First, which comes out Sept 11! We talk about how Luke was inspired to write Fantastic Failures through personal experience via his career in teaching middle grades and junior high students. So many...


Episode 57: Writing & Super Zoloft

In This Episode: Mel got some feedback that was not very positive, but she wasn’t surprised by it. She had a rough stretch in her personal life (hard, not-exactly-podcast-material-kinda-stuff), but she forced herself to finish her pages. When she got her edits back, she admits that it hurt. It felt like she had really screwed up in her writing. Mel says, “It just brought to light how distracted I had been. I was distracted from my story. I wasn’t really connected to it. I was trying to...


Episode 56: A Writer's Brain

In this episode: Melanie's 8-hour writing playlist“”The GoldbergsThe GoldbergsFerris Bueller's Day OffWonder“”


Episode 55: Ending Chapters & Doing Some Research

In this episode: All writers struggle with something. That something may change every time you sit down to write, but Abby has pretty consistently struggled with how to end her chapters. Jennie gives Abby some story-specific advice about how to end her latest submission. In this episode, Abby also does a little research. Let’s face it, Abby’s research is way more boring than Mel’s. Abby didn’t get to go to a gun range and learn to shoot. Abby didn’t take her car to an ill-frequented gravel...


Episode 54: Author Accelerator Book Coach Julie Artz on MG vs YA

In this episode: In this episode of MomWrites we talk with Julie Artz, novelist and author of blogs at Terminal Verbosity, The Winged Pen, and From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle-Grade Authors, on Twitter, or on Facebook. Julie has also been a PitchWars middle grades mentor, and is active in the leadership of her regional SCBWI. One of our friends in a writers group asks Julie: How do you tell if your book falls into middle grades territory or YA territory? Can you write about a first kiss...


Episode 53: Writer Friends and Written Cliches

In Today's Episode: Finding good writer friends can be hard. And once you throw your work into the mix, things can go bad. Fast. Abby and Mel talk about how they used a FB writers group (Writer Moms, Inc.) to find ladies who give them what they really need from writer friends— emotional support. (Hi there, Joy Rancatore and Mea Smith, we're looking at you!) Also, Melanie finds herself trapped in an embarrassing situation. She finds herself describing one of her characters as if she were...


Episode 52: What's the Worst That Could Happen?

In this episode: What's the worst that can happen if you don't sit down and write? Well, your book never gets finished. Book coach Jennie Nash and Melanie Parish talk about fear as it relates to getting words on the page. Book coaching is partly about craft but just as equally-- if not more so-- about support. Great words are the end result of an emotional process that takes two people - the writers, and the readers. The book coach stands in for the reader and can give you the "you can do...