Minimal Monday

A lot has been happening since the release of my new book

I read a few excerpts of my book at the International Conference on Shared Parenting. Afterwards, both at the conference and then upon returning home, I was interviewed for podcasts, including the new I’m Her Mother: An Exploration of Parental Alienation (available on Spotify).

My presentation from the conference was translated into Greek to be shared on I cannot say for sure if it is already up on their site or not, because it’s all Greek to me.

I found out my book will be featured in an upcoming issue of Contemporary Family Magazine.

In other creative news, I am beginning to take notes on my next book idea. It is too soon to share the details though.

I am reading Someday Is Today: 22 Simple, Actionable Ways to Propel Your Creative Life by Matthew Dicks, and I love it. I met Matthew once at a MOTH live storytelling event in Boston. He is a teacher, storyteller, writer and productivity expert. His level of creative productivity is ridiculous, but I can almost guarantee that reading his book will make any creative person want to strive to waste less precious time, myself included.

Happy Monday!

Minimal Monday

A belated Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!

I have the great privilege of being the mother to three wonderful adult daughters. I share a little bit about those years in my first book, The Uncluttered Mother Motherhood has been my greatest joy and endeavor in life. No matter what else I may fail or succeed at, it will pale in comparison to the value I have put on raising and loving human beings.

Two of my daughters are (fabulous!) mothers themselves now, while they simultaneously juggle artistic and career endeavors. Having more little children to love and watch grow fills my heart to overflowing. They are each precious, unique individuals who have come here to fulfill their own destinies, to follow their curiosities, to hopefully become more and more of themselves.

Caregivers are crucial in this whole process of unfolding a human being, this metamorphosis. And treating children like complete human beings, validating their feelings and experiences, shaping their habits (because habits make up a life), guiding and loving them, is no small task. It’s huge.

So my wish is that rather than just giving lip service to mothers on Mother’s Day about how much we value that role, society supports mothers with action.

What would that look like?

It would look like less pressure on young woman to treat motherhood like some little side gig while they are fulfilling their other roles, especially in the workplace.

It would look like longer maternity leave, and better and more affordable childcare.

It would look like more extensive follow-up for the physical and mental well-being of the moms- not just the infants- postpartum.

And it would look like longer paternity leave and more support for dads who are trying to be involved fathers, or equal participants in the massive job of child-rearing.

It would look like treating early childhood like the crucial and sacred stage of life that it is instead of some stage to pass through to get the “important ones”.

It would look like protecting children from trauma.


Before I go, I want to give a special shout-out to alienated moms, the mothers who were unjustifiably cut out of their child’s life after divorce. Because of my own experience of being alienated from my loving mother when I was four years old, I have come to know many alienated parents, and have heard too many heart wrenching stories. For any of you reading this, I see you, I honor you, and my greatest hope for you is that your children make their way back home to you.

Minimal Monday

Someone asked me if I was nervous about speaking at this year’s International Conference on Shared Parenting in Athens, Greece. My answer is no, I am not nervous about my presentation. I will be speaking on behalf of children who have been alienated from a beloved parent after a divorce and I am honored to do so. I am passionate about doing so.

It is everything else surrounding this speaking opportunity that I am less comfortable with. The packing a week’s worth of clothes into a small enough suitcase that can be considered a “carry-on”. Crossing time zones and getting off the plane only to use some other mode of transportation to get the hotel when my body wants to be in a deep sleep. Three days of mingling and of not wanting to miss any of the others’ presentations while simultaneously feeling the drain of so many people.

Yes, the anticipation of all the details surrounding the trip is far more nerve-racking to me than the actual presentation.

Give this introvert a microphone and a chance to speak up for kids, and I am all in. If I am going to travel, I prefer travel with a purpose. I’m truly grateful to be able to go. And my husband, who knows his way around Athens from his airline pilot days, will travel with me. We will enjoy some quiet dinners and city sights, and even explore an island or two. I’m looking forward to that as well. And when it’s over, I will be clicking my heels like Dorothy. For me, there’s no place like home.

Minimal Monday

In another month or so, I will be getting my manuscript back from the publisher and will have a week to make the requested changes. During that week, I imagine myself hiding away in order to fully concentrate on the revisions. That act of complete focus on one project is a luxury and a gift in modern times. I somehow feel both intimidated by the task and elated at the thought of it. Do you know what I mean?

In the meantime, each week I will share one the blurbs I’ve received for my memoir, YOU-KNOW-WHO. Here’s the first one:

Family custody stories invariably focus on the dramas surrounding real-time battles over children, the tug-of-war syndrome. But what of the long-term effects? And how those effects shape those same children long into adulthood? In YOU-KNOW-WHO, Dana Laquidara chronicles a different kind of trauma, the time-released microbursts that continue to resonate not for years but for decades. The author’s mother was exiled from her life when she was just four years old (and the child’s life was “cleaved into before and after,” as Laquidara so searingly writes), long before academic and legal studies into Parental Alienation had gained traction. It has taken the author a lifetime to process, to understand, to heal. Her journey is one that she recounts with skill and compassion and boundless love.

–William J. McGee, author of HALF THE CHILD, a novel about child custody and abduction

Minimal Monday

I’ve been collecting blurbs for my upcoming memoir. In addition, one writer pulled out some lines from my book that he liked a lot. I am sharing these lines below.

• I’ve become the best-behaved little girl, but my hair is still unruly.

• She will tuck our mother back into the past, not worthy of any more effort, and I will do the same.

• Once Catholics, we had stopped going to church several years ago, jumped right off the moving sidewalk of sacraments before her Confirmation.

• I can feel her regret that is so vast it could swallow her; I think her grief might turn her to particles, to the dust in the desert she lives in.

• In this moment, the art is everything.

Happy Monday and Happy Creating!

Minimal Monday

It is just over three months away from the publication date of my upcoming book, You-Know-Who: An Alienated Daughter’s Memoir.

Here are just a few things that are happening in preparation for that:

* I have begun to ask for comments on my book to use for back cover blurbs, press releases and my webpage.

* Awaiting the digital galley of my book and will soon be rereading it to look for any edits the publisher or I may have missed.

* Planning my trip to Athens, Greece where I will speak at the International Conference on Shared Parenting, an event very relevant to the topic of my memoir.

I have worked on my memoir for so long that you’d think I’d be ready to have it out in the world by now. And I am, sort of. But there are moments when I feel like I need another year, another decade, a lifetime. There are some things we have to do before we feel ready, because feeling completely ready may never come.

Happy Monday!

Minimal Monday

I was away last week, meeting my brand new grandson. My middle daughter had a beautiful baby boy and I am in love. After eight days spent with their family, it was difficult to leave. My arms ache to hold him again already; I miss our quiet morning snuggles when I would let his parents sleep a bit. I miss my daughter. I find myself longing for the simplicity of older times, when families almost always lived very close. But I encouraged all three of my daughters to follow their dreams, and this daughter’s dreams have taken her out of state for now, a nine hours drive away.

About halfway along our route to meet our new grandson, my husband and I stopped overnight in the Finger Lakes of New York. We stayed in a castle-like hotel, a quirky old place with giant doors and high ceilings and a spiral staircase leading down to the bathroom, a room with no door.

I was nearly asleep at 11p.m. when my cell phone rang. It was a call from a private number. Typically, I would ignore a call like this, but because my daughter was still in the hospital, I quickly decided it was best to take the call just in case…

An eerie, raspy voice on the other end said, “This is your mother”.

I hung up.

I would certainly chalk this up to a wrong number or a prank call. And normally, I would have at least responded with “You have the wrong number” before hanging up.

But I am in the process of having my memoir published – my memoir that is about my alienation from my now dead mother. So I was a little spooked.

Life is spooky sometimes. My childhood was spooky. When your loving mother disappears without a trace, it’s weird, confusing, scary. When something so enormous happens, so life-altering, you may even spend a good part of your life seeking answers, or writing about it.

And much of your life may still be beautiful, with love and purpose and work; perhaps with children and grandchildren of your own and getting to witness the unfolding of their own precious lives; with sunshine and boat rides and birthday cakes and long walks and long hugs; with meaningful conversation and special dinners and tears and stressors and pure joy. All of that and so much more.

But through all of it, something will keep calling you back to the seeking and the writing and the Truth. For me, that something is my mother.

“This is your mother”, said the voice on the phone.

And so it is.

Memoir Excerpt

I told a story at a Boston Moth live storytelling event and after taking first place, I went on to perform it at the Moth GrandSlam the following year. It is the story of reconnecting with my alienated mother, and is now an excerpt of my memoir-in-progress:

Parental Alienation is a form of pathology in which one parent alienates the child from the other parent, typically after a divorce. I have been writing and speaking on this topic as a way to spread awareness and education and to be a voice for the alienated child.