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In the beginning, there was a severe case of writer's block and a weakness for purchasing domain names.  And it was good... except for the wallet.

Next came an idea:  why not launch an accessible, e-community center of sorts dedicated to mamas in and around Austin -- for those who are hungry to connect, learn and commiserate. 

But why stop there?  Why not ice the cake with rich, quirky, soulful images by Austin artist Sarah Higdon?  And why not support our creative community by featuring local essays, fiction and poetry, and guarantee that the work will be absent of the absolute crap and treacle sometimes shoveled to mamas via the "big box" glossies -- those who would have us believe that a woman's brain is delivered attached to the placenta?  And why not spotlight some neighborhood mama-heroes and the work they do while we're at it?  Sounds good, eh?  We thought so, too.

What's evolved is the award-winning  AustinMama.com -- a long overdue, one-of-a-kind, cyber-haven tailored especially for Austin's thinking mothers; a place to talk freely, be challenged, trusted, validated and respected for the gifts we mamas give so abundantly, and recognized for the hard work we do every day.

Take a look around and let us know if you want to be involved.  We are always looking for ways to expand and support Austin's independent businesses and flava.

AustinMama.com has partnered with the Coo de Tot Coalition -- a local vendor alliance producing some of the hippest kid and mama clothing, accessories and products in Austin -- further extending our intense dedication to building a strong, women-supporting-women community.  The outcome is the Coo de Tot Marketplace at AustinMama.com

Katey Gilligan
Marketplace Coordinator
Katey is an entrepreneur and mama with a decidedly intense, women- centric, philanthropic vision. She brings her mission and extensive retail acumen to us via a unique collabor- ation between AustinMama.com and the Coo de Tot Coalition, a growing alliance of vendors founded by Gilligan.  Inspired by years of work abroad, and even more so by becoming a mother, Katey's vision of empowering women through commerce, support and connection is deeply woven into her various projects -- from her own local business, GaGa Garage (specializing in designer infant apparel and accessories), to the founding of Entrepreneuse (a support and networking organization for Austin's women-owned businesses), to the creation of the Coo de Tot Coalition, to fair-trade and worldwide import projects in the works. As the Marketplace Coordinator, Katey is directly involved in the design, direction and growth of the marketplace. For more information on the marketplace or becoming a vendor, contact her at:
katey @ austinmama.com


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Kim Lane
Founder / Editor
Lane began her writing career (back when the Internet was a couple of strings and cans) as a columnist on the ground floor staff of Oxygen Media's Moms Online website. She's done time as a managing editor for a dotbomb, a commentator for National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" and a contributor to Mothering magazine, Pregnancy magazine, Salon.com and others.  Her work was recently included in Salon.com's second Mothers Who Think anthology entitled 
Life As We Know It
.  A member of the Writers' League of Texas, the National Writers Union and a founding member of the Austin Writergrrls, Kim lives with her husband Ben and kids, Greyson, Ella and Gabriel. Email her at:
kim @ austinmama.com 

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AustinMama.com Columnists and Feature Writers

Robin Bradford
Motherload
Bradford is an award-winning short story writer and essayist with work appearing most recently in Brain, Child, Glimmer Train, Quarterly West and Boston Review.  She is also a past recipient of the Dobie Paisano grant.

Amy Silverman
Bad Mom
Silverman lives in Tempe, Arizona with her husband Ray Stern and daughters Annabelle and Sophie. When she's not wiping noses and butts at home, she's associate editor of New Times, the alt weekly in Phoenix, where she also spends a lot of time wiping noses and butts -- and editing. She's a contributor to KJZZ, the Phoenix NPR affiliate, and although having kids has pretty much limited her traveling to San Diego and Disneyland, she's been writing quite a bit lately for The New York Times travel section. Amy's proud to say she's been published by both Playboy and Fit Pregnancy, and that John McCain once yelled, "Can't you shut your daughter up?" at her father in the Senate dining room, to which her father responded that that was impossible. Amy likes to balance her motherfucker persona at the alt weekly by co-teaching the Mothers Who Write workshop, which focuses on memoir/fiction and poetry for mothers of all ages and writing experiences.

Adrienne Martini
Shaken and Stirred
Martini has been a theatre technician, apprentice massage therapist, bookstore bookkeeper, and a pizza joint waitress. Eventually, someone started paying her for her words and an editorial mercenary was born. She has written theatre reviews and features for the Austin Chronicle, blurbs about tofurkey and bottled water for Cooking Light and a piece about knitting summer camp for Interweave Knits. During the day, she fields freelance gigs and is gainfully employed as an editor at Metro Pulse, Knoxville, Tennessee's weekly voice. At all hours, she is mom to Maddy and wife to Scott. 

(more to the right...)


2001 Penny Van Horn

Marrit Ingman
Mom and Pop Culture
Ingman is a freelance writer, film critic, occasional educator, and constant mother. She is a frequent contributor to the Austin Chronicle, and her writing on popular culture has also appeared in Brain, Child, Fertile Ground, Alternet.org, Clamor, and Venus. Her first book, Inconsolable: How I Threw My Mental Health out with the Diapers, describes her experience with postpartum depression and was published in 2005 by Seal Press.

Spike Gillespie
Spike's Point
Gillespie is the author of All the Wrong Men and One Perfect Boy: A Memoir, the dotnovel thebelljar.net and a collection of essays entitled, Surrender (but don't give yourself away): Old Cars, Found Hope and Other Cheap Tricks. She is a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and her work has appeared in, among other places, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, National
Geographic Traveler
, GQ, Playboy and Elle, and online at Salon, Nerve, Oxygen, Underwire and AustinMama. She is a reformed circus poodle, a retired stripper (Crazy Lady, 1978-81) and mother to three spawn-of-Satan mutts and one freakin' hilarious and very tall boy ("But remember, son, I'll always be wider than you...").  She is currently working on a novel about how utterly fucked-up love can be (How novel indeed...). 

Stephen J. Lyons
Letters from Midlife
Lyons writes articles, reviews, essays, and poems for a variety of national magazines, newspapers, and journals including Northern Lights, Salon, Newsweek, Sierra, USAToday, High Country News, Manoa, Commonweal, The Sun, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Reader, Whole Earth Review, Hope, and The Christian Science Monitor.  He is the author of Landscape of the Heart: Writings on Daughters and Journeys, a single father's memoir.  

Melissa Lipscomb
Domestic Disturbance
Lipscomb lives in Austin with her children, Drew, Franny, Alec and her husband Adam. 

Michael Nabert
Pop Rocks
Nabert is a Canadian writer who loves to talk and sing, and writes mainly about parenting, the art of wooing and paleontology. Widely traveled, with an opinion about everything, his friends often describe him as having "a deplorable excess of character." He is currently stay-at-home dad to Hugh and Keefe. 

Laura Ohata
Mamas We Like
A freelance journalist dedicated to supporting the cultural community of Central Texas, Ohata is a regular contributor at Austin Monthly and Good Life magazines. When she isn't busy with her budding freelance career, she bakes cookies, goes hiking and explores Central Texas with her husband and two sons.
 

Our goal was never to build an exhaustive database of local childrearing information (not that that's a bad thing), but rather to sculpt a virtual salon, a lush mix of useful, time worthy tools like our extremely active and impassioned listserv -- where local mamas exchange a passel of ideas and advice, discuss our community and culture and form friendships -- balanced with eclectic, thought provoking essays, fiction and poetry written primarily by Austin mamas. 

If AustinMama's content isn't necessarily centered around child raising issues and the art of mothering, then why have the site dedicated to mothers?

It's a good question that usually receives this answer: well, why not?  As part of a demographic that is often dismissed and condescended to, we felt ours was a worthy mission -- to stand in the face of those who would have us believe our intellects, interests and passions withered in the shadow of having children.  Unlike some publications targeting mothers, we know real mamas care and talk about more than how to deal with the "terrible twos," how to pick a college and how to drive a partner mad with desire, because we're enmeshed in the community -- we drive the same streets, we live next door, our kids go to school together. 
We hear you.

But wait... isn't the Internet supposed to be dead?

Yeah, RIGHT... shhhhhhh

As a maverick endeavor -- the only site of its kind available for the Austin market -- we are committed to building a venue where local mamas can comfortably and conveniently gather, but also to providing a much-needed voice and spotlight for our varied nurturing community.

We are actively seeking community sponsorships/partnerships and growth opportunities.  Spread the word.  Contact 
kim @ austinmama.com 

Rock on, mamas!

I I I I I I I  

AustinMama operates on a shoestring budget, which is often untied causing us to trip a lot.  Our noses could probably use a good wiping, too.  But we are decent people who will never be too proud to accept charitable donations to our cause.  We promise.

Reproduction of material from this site without written permission is strictly prohibited
Copyright 2001-2007 AustinMama.com
Don't make Dottie mad

Dottie / Sarah Higdon