Wednesday, May 7, 2014


                                         THE AUTHORS OF MOMOIRS

Just in time for Mother's Day, four women from Fairfield County have produced a book of vignettes about mothers and daughters: "MoMoirs."  These memoirs have been penned with  affection and angst by Gayle Gleckler, an advertising maven, Eileen Grace,  a multimedia artist doing everything from crayons to clay, Linda Howard Urbach, a novelist who wrote about Madame Bovary's daughter and now about Sarah Bernhardt's hairdresser and Lisa Maxwell, an eclectic gal who juggles her roles as a jazz singer, teacher, advertising art director and mom.

These multi-talented women have been meeting and writing for several years, encouraging and supportive of each other's literary contributions.  Their stories about motherhood cover a plethora of topics, a tribute to the women who raised them and a shout out to the children they have reared.  The Fairfield Public Library has provided space for these ladies to create.

In "MoMoirs: I'll give You Something to Cry about!," you will discover how Gayle Gleckler learned lessons about bees, bubbles and wearing underwear.  She also found out that loving someone won't keep them from leaving you and that sensible Buster Brown school shoes aren't anywhere near as wonderful as three inch high turquoise snakeskin slingbacks.  Gayle uncovered this shoe fact at six years of age and confirmed it many times over as an adult.  She can also leach you how to make a floral lei as well as how to adjust to life, as an adopted child, with a procession of father figures going through a revolving door.  She'll also demonstrate how gracefully and graciously to become a new mom with Lamaze classes, an epidural and a big bag of LifeSavers.

Eileen Grace will skip through her childhood with a mom who was a postmistress and reveal a series of unhappy, lonely days at a school run by nuns and her accidents and illnesses.   She balances the score with a family who made dish washing a fun singing game that ended with wet washcloth fights.  Her tomboy antics and love of climbing trees gave her single mom many a scare, causing her to cry out "I Can't Look" on numerous occasions.  The youngest of five, Eileen values her grandmother's rocking chair with it welcoming arms as one of her most treasured possessions.  She found writing "MoMoirs" an amazing experience because she is an artist, not a writer.

For Linda Howard Urbach, she uses a wry sense of humor to describe her relationships with her mother Pearl and with her daughter Charlotte. She encouraged the other women in the group to write, write, write and took them along the path from polished to published, all without judgment or criticism.  Her mom who made a career out of sewing clothes for her, clothes of pink velvet and corduroy that Linda wouldn't wear but kept in her closet long after her mother died, fills many stories.  Tales of her own relationship with her teenage daughter pursue her fears of Charlotte smoking, tattoos, tongue piercings, drugs, boys and getting a driver's license and the thankful fact that few of those worries came true. Be sure to ask her how she and Charlotte ended up with matching tattoos.

Go barefoot through lazy summer days in Nantucket with Lisa Maxwell as her signature sign of childhood rebellion.  Ironically, she grew up to become a woman who craves high, high heels in high fashion styles.  She learned how to sew at her mother's knee and tells a poignant story about Mr. Yarn Man, a yarn doll who was tied to her mom's favorite sewing scissors.  Follow as Lisa confesses the pea-pee incident, learning resourcefulness at her dad's insistence and fearing his criticism, how to avoid church services and being confirmed and the best places to find sea glass treasures at the beach with mom.

All these honest, funny and heartbreaking tales are available.  Contact or  Books in black and white are $10 and ones in color are $20.

They describe their stories as "literary apron strings,"  Tie one on and enjoy!

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