Defender of Justice y’all

NC Momsrising was one of two grassroots organizations honored at the North Carolina Justice Center’s 16th annual Defenders of Justice (DOJ) awards.

North Carolina Justice






Defender of Justice?  Phone booth? Cape?  We do have matching shirts.


The official definition, however:

Defenders of Justice (DOJ) Awards are given by the Justice Center to honor individuals or organizations who are making significant contributions in the following areas: Litigation; Research and Policy Development; Public Policy Advocacy and Grassroots Empowerment/Community Capacity Building.


Maintaining a forward momentum for social change feels like pushing a very large boulder up an even larger mountain.  Nationally, American citizens struggle through congressional battles that fall along party lines with most of the shrapnel hitting everywhere but DC.  The addition of localized political wars serve to further disenfranchise state citizens.

North Carolina’s “In The Name of Regression” legislative practices makes it difficult to maintain my citizen due diligence.  You see, it hurts my logic receptors to hear how the state doesn’t have any money to increase teacher pay followed by a bill that suggests we should scrap the Common Core curriculum and, you know, write our own!  The 400 million dollars worth of federal grant money we might lose?   Well.     

Or the entirety of the Duke Coal Ash thing

As I said, being an advocate can feel demoralizing.  Or hearing an elected official (hiya, Thom Goolsby) demonstrate their professionalism by referring to participants in constitutionally-protected free speech as “morons” and “loonies”.

It’s enough to make a girl want to check out of the political game entirely, choosing instead to stay home watching baby hedgehog videos.

Then you go to something like this; you sit in a room full of NC citizens that continue to check in– loudly– every day. I found myself remembering how I felt after marching at HKonJ.  Listening to how these groups started, not with million dollar political fundraisers, but seeded at kitchen table conversations, or behind fast food counters; concerned voters that continue to push back against policies that roll NC backward.

At some point during the ceremony I got something in my eye.  A piece of dust, or a microscopic knife-wielding GOP ninja–  something.   Whatever the object, it was small enough that the ophthalmologist didn’t find it the next morning.  Yet despite that, this tiny bit of dust (or ninja) managed to shallowly scrape most of my right cornea. No pain medicine available beyond standard ibuprofen and the advice to “keep my eye closed as much as possible”.  After a couple of days of eye-patched insanity, forcing me to reschedule most of my plans for the week,  the wound healing progressed from generalized pain to the itch of a thousand mosquito bites.

True healing involves an exponential increase in overall discomfort.

What I relearned from the unlikely source of my scratched cornea is that sometimes the tiniest presence can be strong enough to ruin an entire agenda.

NC social advocates aren’t exactly tiny, and their collective eyes remain focused on healing.

Read about goal of momsrising, and consider joining the national movement.   Or, if you are NC local– consider joining with us, here.

If you’d like to see more pictures of other Defender’s of Justice, please check out the North Carolina Justice Center’s photo stream of the event.

No, Really

You searched my name on that rusty, trusty google and landed here. Only to realize that here seems to lack the full bodied flavor you might have expected.

Did you know about that trend where parents park their little precious’s names for the future. Well. I can’t have some future theoretical Stephanie taking my name before she can even say her own.


So yes, the pickings here are meager. But if you go over here you can read all about me,  and from there you can click through to my favorite posts.

In the meantime– and if you check this before the May– you can see me LIVE at the Listen To Your Mother: Raleigh-Durham Show.

Ready, Set, Write

Writing. Authors, when they arrange mental pictures and dialogue just so into a story, perform a version of voodoo magic.

But when do you call yourself a writer without worrying about the High Rise of the Shocked Eyebrows response? Or, more importantly, why do I care about the height of another person’s eyebrows?

Merriam Webster defines writer as:

one that writes

Merriam Webster goes on to define author as:

1 a : one that originates or creates.

I’m even published in a book.


Okay, I was 11 years old and my story lives with several others in a Woodmen of America book. Still counts.

I’ve been testing it out; calling myself a writer around newish people, when appropriate in conversation using phrases such as, “I had my headphones in so I could write, and completely missed the thunderstorm.”

My observations, all eyebrows remained stable.

As of last night, the First Novel word count hovers near 5k.
I am not attempting to write; I am writing. I am a writer.

Take that, eyebrows.

There’s a Story Here

Fat Mum Slim’s September Photo a Day Challenge, Day 12: Together led me to a whole new domain name and writing space.

Of course there’s a back story– silly!

Alright, so yesterday on Scattermom–my ADHD/mom/parenting blog— because I like to spread myself all over the place like cream cheese… mmmm, cream cheeseI mentioned having thoughts about September 11th. I meant to start writing that last night, but I got distracted by Ari Shapiro’s Pledge of Allegiance quandary. I just wrote about the pledge of allegiance, and then to have a similar thing show up on NPR? Cool.

I do have thoughts on 9/11, but first I wanted to find the version from 2002.

Those written thoughts weren’t in this box with my other scraps of paper– that would have been too easy, and I do enjoy a challenge. Nor did I find them in the drawer with my old journals, or in the filing cabinet with my old english papers.

But in each of those places I found stuff, and when I put it all in a pile together it looked like:

A journal/diary/poem book from 1990 filled with the type of horrific prose that can only be written, or appreciated, by a 14 year old girl. I titled a poem — wince — Frenz.

Humility is best delivered by your past self.

A journal from 1996 and 1998 filled with pages detailing two-week cycles love and hate. How many times (36) can a girl fall in love?

Another one from 2003 where I actually wrote:

I’ve been reading my old words since late afternoon. I wrote good stories– that had nothing to do with children, marriage, or creative uses for cardboard.

That stuff I want branded with — and credited to– my real name.