We are so happy to announce that long time Brain, Child contributor Tracy Mayor is the winner of our 2015 Writer Hall of Fame award. -Marcelle & Randi
By Aline Weiller
Meet Tracy Mayor—Brain, Child Magazine’s 2015 Writer Hall of Fame Winner. Tracy has contributed essays, humor, and feature articles to Brain, Child for 15 years. In fact, her piece, “When Moms Go Bawd,” which chronicled her inability to stop swearing in front of her kids (especially in Massachusetts traffic), was published in Brain, Child’s inaugural issue in 2000. In her writing, and in real life, this Boston-based mother writer tells it like it is, with humor, finesse and flair.
Tracy’s writing career began with her two boys’ childhoods, 15-plus years back, and continues today. But making room for her writing has always been challenge. At first, the all-consuming caring for young children was the culprit and now, Tracy’s writing competes with a full-time job as a writer/editor, an aging dog, and the continued parenting of a teen and young adult.
“I struggled to find time to write (and read, and exercise, and watch TV with a pint of ice cream in my lap). The bottom line is there are always going to be other demands on your time, very compelling demands; no matter how old your kids are, you still have to make time for what you want to do—and then do it.” Sage advice from an accomplished author, journalist and award-winning essayist (Tracy won an esteemed Pushcart Prize for her Brain, Child essay “Losing My Religion.”)
Talking with her recently, Tracy said, “her favorite Brain, Child piece ever” was “Armageddon Mama: Parenting Toward the Apocalypse,” which was published in March, 2013. It begins with a tale of powerless, post-storm living with a husband, dog, tween and teen then segues into the full-on anxiety-laden parenting in the ’00s, driven by wars, epidemics, recessions and terrorism.
In addition to her work for Brain, Child, Tracy has penned Mommy Prayers (Hyperion, 2010), a humorous manual for new mothers. Tracy’s work has also appeared in The Boston Globe Magazine, Boston Magazine, Child, Self, The New York Times’ Motherlode blog, Rumpus and Salon.
When asked to give advice to new mom writers, Tracy is frank. “Don’t wait ‘until’ something happens—until your baby sleeps through the night, until he’s potty trained or she’s walking; until they’re in pre-school or elementary school or away at camp or driving or off at college.”
Tracy also suggests mastering what she termed “the art of the micro-nap”—where she slept for 10 minutes on her babies’ bedroom floors (without a rug, pillow or blanket), only to catch a second wind, crawl out to her home office, and have “40 or 50 glorious minutes to write!”
“I literally wept when my younger son gave up his afternoon nap. I felt like a piece of my identity had died. One way or another, you can find those little moments,” said Tracy.
She continues to publish in Brain, Child Magazine, to the delight of its subscribers—and worldwide audience alike. Look for her next piece titled, “The Gap Year” out now, in our annual special issue for parents of teens.
When reflecting on her body of work and 15-year relationship with Brain, Child, Tracy fondly cites the unmatched support.
“The editors and the readers have your back. At Brian, Child it’s not about clicks or ads or tweets or any kind of metric; it’s about writing essays and humor and reported stories that connect us as parents and make us feel less alone. I don’t know if Brain, Child made me a better writer or editor so much as it made me a better parent,” said Tracy.
Tracy now holds a full-time job as the Features Editor at Computerworld.com, where she tweets tech topics @CW_Tracy and lifestyle, culture and parenting thoughts and views at @mommyprayers.
Join us in our salute Tracy at Brain, Child’s 15th Anniversary Party on May 21, 2015 in Wilton, Connecticut.
Read more of Tracy’s Work: