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It Soared — Submit YOUR Story

by heathers on January 27, 2015

Gift 14 stacyStacy Lindsly was a member of a 2014 Listen To Your Mother cast. She is a high school English teacher, a mom, a grandmom, a stepmom and a wonderful storyteller. Watch her story HERE.

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. I remember writing little stories even as a young child. I kept journals all through my teenage years. I dabbled a little with poetry during my hippie revivalist phase. And I went to writing workshops as a teacher in Tennessee. But, I’d never taken it very seriously. I’d never really done anything with the art that I was so in love with. My stories were just there. So, when Listen To Your Mother’s casting call popped up on my Facebook newsfeed, I didn’t really give it much thought. I probably scrolled right past it! Then it popped up again…and again…and again!! I finally took a minute late one night to check it out. There wasn’t any long list of required accomplishments or expectations of being a blogger with a million followers. Just one basic requirement – write about motherhood. That’s it??? I can do that!! I’m a mom, a stepmom, a grandmom, I have a mom, and a grandmom. Ok…. So I wrote something. Just something that came into my head. At first I thought it was a silly, ridiculous take on motherhood.   I couldn’t imagine that what I wrote was what they were looking for. So, I followed the link to the previous year’s shows. Oh!!!!! I was amazed! I spent the next two hours watching clips of all different kinds of people reading their stories about motherhood. And, yes, some of them were like mine! I laughed, and I cried. I cried a lot, actually. The stories were raw, and sometimes heartbreaking. But, just in time I was rescued by a hilarious story about someone else’s mother. It reinforced my thoughts about submitting. So, I got off the page, went to my email, and I pushed “send”.

I really didn’t think about it much after that. It was enough that I had sent it out to the organizers. I had breathed the first breath of life into my story. It was okay if it never went any further. But , then, I got an email inviting me to schedule an audition. What???!!! Oh, my goodness, someone liked my story? Then I started doubting myself. Writing it is one thing…reading it aloud to strangers is a whole other deal! I procrastinated for a few days, but then I thought “what the heck? I only have my pride to lose.” So I scheduled.

The plan was to go spend the evening in Oklahoma City with my kids, kind of a mini vaycay. We would stay the night in a hotel and find a cool place for dinner in Bricktown. And as a side note, I would squeeze in my audition. I figured that way I wouldn’t feel like the whole day had been wasted if I didn’t make it. While I was waiting for my turn, I heard a roar of laughter come from the audition room. I told my daughter, “well, I bet she gets chosen.” Turns out, I was right. And it turns out that even if I hadn’t been chosen for the show, it would not have been a waste! Sure, I was nervous, but the administration was so nice, and the environment was so friendly that I was ok. I’m not gonna lie….I cried while I read my story. Maybe even a couple of times. And I stumbled over some words, and I lost my place when my tears clouded my eyes. But it was an amazing experience.   For some reason, reading my story for them gave it legs. It ran around and it lived. I felt kind of liberated! They hugged me, and I left to enjoy my day. Later that night, I got a call. I was in!! So, I danced a happy little dance, right there in that hotel room!

The next few weeks were busy with meeting new friends, reworking my story, and practicing. I even made an appearance on the local news! It seemed that all of my feelings of insecurity and negative body image that I had carried for years just kind of took a back seat. I was owning this ride!!!  But the day of the show it suddenly hit me….I was getting ready to read my story in front of hundreds of strangers!! What had I done? My nerves were crazy!! I peed a lot. I broke out into a crazy sweat, and stood in the walk in freezer to cool down. Twice. True story. Then one of my fellow cast members loaned me her red lipstick to wear. Yikes!! RED?? My mouth will look huge and my fine lines will bleed red lipstick! But I looked in the mirror and I put it on. Then I walked on stage with my newest best friends , and I read my story in front of hundreds of strangers.

And, for some reason, my story flew. It grew wings, and it soared.

Write YOUR story. Submission information is HERE.

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GIFTSuzanne      Suzanne Kelley was an inaugural member of the Listen To Your Mother Show in Oklahoma City in 2013. (Watch her story HERE.) She writes about whatever catches her fancy from food to God and all the in between. She loves a good joke and laughs at herself all the time. She reads everything. listens to anything, and loves life. Read her blog at Red Dirt Sweetie.

I started out by submitting a story to Listen To Your Mother and auditioning,  which I thought might be  like being naked in Jr High at the PSAT. But I walked in and saw these three hopeful faces looking back at me and knew I was in a safe place and that story just poured out like a fountain.

When I got the call that I was going to be part of this show I went right to You Tube and watched some of the past show videos. I knew then that this was going to be so much more than just sharing the talking stick.
We all met  on a beautiful Sunday and we all shared our “Mother” stories with each other.  I laughed til my face hurt and my ribs were sore. I clutched the ladies hand sitting next to me and snot sobbed into about ten Kleenex. It was a glorious thing as I watched heads nod, “Yes me too” and the recognition of that experience and feeling that flickered across our faces. We were all bonded in the moment and ready to sally forth into the great unknown following behind Julie, Misti, and Heather and then all of a sudden it was showtime day and out we went.
There on the stage I heard each person as if listening to it brand new.  Happy -Sappy-Crazy stories. And I cried and laughed all over again except this time I was crying and laughing with all those people out in the audience.  And I was in love. With these brave,  flawed,  imperfect amazing humans and these stories and Listen To Your Mother.  And the people  from the audience who came up after wards who said to us again and again “I thought I was the only one but now I know I’m not.”
“We need to be willing to be uncomfortable, to be flawed, to be imperfect, to own our voices.”
Kerry Washington
Lift your voice, tell your story, the heart you change may be your own….
Write your story–submission information is HERE.
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#LTYM #OKC Local Cause: Reach Out And Read Oklahoma

January 19, 2015

The Oklahoma City Team are all voracious readers–and we read anything we can get our hands on. This probably stems from having a plethora of books at our disposal from a very young age. In conjunction with the national Listen To Your Mother book, we felt like our partnership with Reach Out And Read Oklahoma was a natural fit. Reach Out And Read Oklahoma is fairly new to our neck of the woods, but their mission is not new to the Oklahoma City Team or the Listen To Your Mother show as well: Reach Out And Read Oklahoma–where great stories begin. In Oklahoma, Reach Out and Read has 41 clinic locations with 26,803 children served, and 39,336 books distributed annually. Reach Out and Read prepares America’s youngest children to succeed in school and in life by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read. In addition to at least show […]

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Why Everyone Should Audition For #LTYM #OKC

January 14, 2015

Stephanie Clinton was a member of the #LTYM #OKC 2014 cast. (Watch her story here.) She is a writer, wife, avid avoider of housework, and mother of two boys.  She loves their hugs and kisses but not so much their snotty noses.  You can find more about Stephanie on her blog Hugs, Kisses and Snot  where she writes about parenting, life and humor.  Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.      Listen To Your Mother–Oklahoma City found it’s way to me life most things; through Facebook.  An acquaintance (who would become a good friend thanks to LTYM) posted about auditioning about 10 times a day. She had me convinced that it was the best thing since the invention of marshmallows so I knew I have to give it a go.  I sent in my piece and didn’t give it a second thought because I knew I wouldn’t get a response.  I was sure that what […]

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#LTYM #OKC welcomes returning sponsors!

January 12, 2015

We are able to produce a quality, lovely show due in part to great sponsors who also believe like we do: Oklahoma has wonderful stores to tell about motherhood. This year, we are thrilled to welcome back sponsors who believe in this show so whole-heartedly, that they not only sponsor us, but they are involved with us. Back as our official photographer for the second year is national award-winning Sheradee Hurst Photography. Sheradee was in our first #LTYM #OKC cast in 2013 and is proud to lend her support again for our 2015 show.   Little Big Films is back again as our sponsor and official show videographer. Amy Herrington is a member of the first #LTYM #OKC show in 2013 and has been involved with the show in a passionate way ever since. Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma have partnered with Listen To Your Mother–Oklahoma City since the very first producer meeting. […]

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