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 I am so pleased to announce my chapter on energetic practices and tools for pregnancy, child birth and post-postpartum is included in Angels on Earth: Mothering, Religion, and Spirituality.

Angels on Earth book cover

Demeter Press is honored to announce the official publication of Angels on Earth: Mothering, Religion, and Spirituality, edited by Vanessa Reimer (August 2016).  Available at Demeter Press.

This collection brings together scholarly and creative pieces that reveal how the intellectual, emotional, and physical work of mothering is informed by women’s religiosities and spiritualities. Its contributors examine contemporary and historical perspectives on religious and spiritual mothering through interdisciplinary research, feminist life writing, textual analyses, and creative non-fiction work. In contrast to the bulk of feminist scholarship which marginalizes women’s religious and spiritual knowledges, this volume explores how such epistemologies fundamentally shape the lived experiences of diverse mothers across the globe. In emphasizing the empowerment and enrichment that women derive from their religious beliefs and spiritual worldviews,

Angels on Earth invites readers to cultivate a deeper understanding of how mothers are transforming their local communities, religious institutions, and broader spiritual traditions.

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“I read this book in two sittings with building curiosity for what religious and mothering perspectives and experiences the next chapter would reveal. This book is a great addition to the field of mothering and religious studies that I highly recommend for students, scholars, and all children of mothers seeking to understand the complexity and intricacies of mothering with mindfulness and compassion in a religiously diverse world.”

-Barbara Bickel, Director of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies and Associate Professor of Art Education, Southern Illinois University

“There is a delicious irony in the title of this volume, Angels on Earth, as its essays bedevil commonly-held patriarchal assumptions about motherhood, religion and spirituality. Their focus on the ways in which mothering and religiosity/spirituality intersect in real women’s lives opens up promising new avenues of inquiry into women’s active participation in defining themselves and their worlds.”

-Becky R. Lee, Associate Professor, Department of Humanities, York University, and co-editor of Canadian Women Shaping Diasporic Religious Identities

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Modern Muse Spotlight:

MShultz_photo Melissa T. Shultz, a friend and writing colleague of mine, has recently published From Mom to Me Again.  Melissa has written about health and parenting for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Dallas Morning News, Newsweek, Readers’ Digest, The Huffington Post, Next Avenue, Scary Mommy, Babble, and other publications and blogs. She is also an acquisitions editor for Jim Donovan Literary. A native of Washington, D.C., and mother of two sons, she lives in the Dallas area with her husband.  Melissa’s book is available at Amazon.

From Mom to Me Again

 

 


If you haven’t read my debut novel, The Doula, here is a recent testimonial (May 2015).

“Thank you so much for your wonderful novel.  I grabbed it Saturday morning and never put it down for the entire Memorial Day weekend.  Just me on the front porch in my favorite rocker and the Doula.  What a recipe for a perfect holiday treat.  But nothing compares with your ability to take us into the psyche, heart and soul of Caro from her pre-teens to her young adulthood. Her silky blankie beneath her pillow – WOW. At one point my sisters told me that I absolutely had to put down the Doula and come to dinner. “Oh not now, I cried. I can’t leave Caro in her current perilous predicament!” Congratulations, Bridget…that is the ultimate compliment for a storyteller to achieve in my world … I would rather stay with the story than eat – now that’s a fine tale.”

 – Mary Duggan


Don’t miss Bridget Boland’s debut novel The Doula, published by Simon & Schuster September, 2012. Get your copy now on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. Click here for The Doula website.

from The Dallas Morning News:  Bridget Boland’s debut novel, ‘The Doula,’ is compelling, ambitious By KATHRYN LANG Special Contributor Published: 07 September 2012   DALLAS MORNING NEWS Bridget Boland’s compelling debut novel is an ambitious work, brimful of the tumult and uncertainty of human life, from its messy beginnings at birth to its inevitable ending in death. Boland, a former lawyer, is a yoga teacher and “energetic healer.” She’s also a practicing doula, one who witnesses and helps at births, providing emotional and physical support to laboring women and their families. Boland’s specialized legal knowledge, her shamanic wisdom and her sense of the awe and beauty of birth, all lend authenticity to the novel. Told from the point of view of Caro Connors, the narrative begins the summer she’s 12, when her mother miscarries and her brother drowns in Lake Michigan. In her early 30s, she moves from her parents’ home in Chicago to Milwaukee, hoping for a fresh start after she quits nursing school. She becomes a doula, has relationships with two very different men and is caught up in the tragedy surrounding the birth of her best friend’s daughter. Caro’s life pivots on the mirror images of birth and death — her father is an undertaker; she ushers new life into the world. Her tangled relationship with her mother, a leitmotif throughout the novel, has caused much of the dissonance in her life. She’s the “Big Girl” her mother summons while she’s miscarrying, and she becomes her siblings’ caretaker when her mother abdicates her responsibilities. But Caro is stalled in a protracted adolescence, unable to grow up. She seeks out strong women who remind her of her free-spirited great aunt, Ruby, and her best friend’s mother, Marilyn, who had counseled her to follow her convictions. In Milwaukee she finds mentors: Pixie, the hippie midwife commune leader, who exonerates her from feelings of guilt; Deidre, the midwife-owner of a family birthing center; and Annabelle, the malpractice lawyer whose strength and commitment allow Caro to reveal her painful secrets. Boland’s novel teems with issues — family dynamics and dysfunction, low self-esteem, mother-daughter conflict and autonomy, the premature loss of innocence, the corrosive power of keeping secrets, medical establishment procedures vs. natural childbirth, loyalty and infidelity, the liberating power of telling the truth. It’s a testament to her authorial skills that she brings all these into a coherent and satisfying whole. This novel isn’t for the squeamish: amniotic fluid and blood gush forth; babies have umbilical cords in the wrong place; laboring women gasp and grunt. It’s full of birth-related lore — like the fact that squatting allows pressure from the baby’s head to dilate the cervix more quickly. Sometimes Boland is didactic, pushing a little too hard her view that hospitals are for sick people and birth should be a celebration rather than a medical event. Finding fulfillment in helping women through the “fiercest rite of passage,” Caro (like Boland) wants to empower women, giving them choices about where and how to bring their children into the world. Readers who savored the psychological acuity and courtroom drama in Chris Bohjalian’s Midwives, a 1997 New York Times best-seller and Oprah pick, will appreciate the similarities Boland’s novel delivers (pun intended). I confess to some frustration at the book’s end: Several loose ends are left untied. I’m hoping for a sequel.

Kathryn Lang, a former senior editor at SMU Press, is a freelance book reviewer and editor.