About Kristine Bruneau

Hi. I'm passionate about writing and inspiring others with storysharing. For more than 20 years, I've made a career from writing and marketing communications. My commentaries, stories, and interviews have appeared in a variety of publications, including "Rochester Magazine," HerRochester.com, "Rochester Democrat and Chronicle," "Rochester Woman Magazine" and "DaKa Magazine." I post fun and insightful lessons to MommyMusingsBlog.com and at Blogs.DemocratAndChronicle.com/Moms. And I'm working on a book inspired by these lessons and their resulting conundrums.

What’s your motherhood story?

roses3We all have a story about motherhood, or our mom, or about being a mom (or dad).

So what happens when you give a mom a microphone?

They bring you on a journey. With that in mind, I signed up to audition for this big, fat, hairy, scary public speaking event called “Listen to Your Mother” (LTYM). Now –  after writing a post about the Fear of Public Speaking – I have to put my money where my mouth is. Or maybe my foot.

Often described as the “Ted Talk of Mothers,” LTYM gives moms a microphone and five minutes to share their story with a live audience, which will be videotaped for LTYM’s YouTube channel. But first, you have to audition for one of about a dozen slots available for the show.

“Cast” chosen by event organizers – Emily Horowitz (Brighton), Corrie Spike Carter (Fairport), Sarah Fitzgibbons (Rochester) and Monica Gebell (Brighton) will perform on Friday, May 8, 7:30 p.m at the Memorial Art Gallery Ballroom.

What started as a little idea to give local writers a chance to share their stories aloud in public by stay-at-home-humorist Ann Imig in 2010 has sparked a movement. From its premiere on Mother’s Day 2010 at The Barrymore Theatre in Madison, Wisconsin, LTYM spans 39 cities nationwide and reaches a global audience. Interested moms like Horowitz, Carter, Fitzgibbons, and Gebell wanted to bring LTYM to Rochester.

I spoke to co-producer Carter who said that the Rochester team’s application didn’t get accepted last year, but they persisted and were put on the proverbial mother talk map in 2015.

“We were shocked and really, really, excited,” says Carter. “We were one of ten new cities picked to stage it.

Carter and the women behind this labor of love not only want another reason to celebrate moms, but also help connect the community with stories.

“Any time you can come together and have a shared experience is a really powerful thing,” says Carter. “You understand each other a little bit more. And I think that’s really important to our community right now. We’re doing this for charities who work with women and children who need extra support.”

Regardless of whether or not I perform in front of others, this will no doubt be a unique and emotional journey. And it’s all about the journey, after all. Isn’t it?

About the show:

+ 90 minute show, no intermission, 3-5 minute piece, 12-13 women and men (yes, men!) read a three to five minute piece

+ Rehearsals are minimum –  table read, walk through and dress rehearsal (dates to be determined)

+ Ticket prices are not set yet, however, at least ten percent of money raised will benefit two local organizations that support women and children, including the Society for the Protection and Care of Children and Parenting Village.

About the audition:

+ Auditions are open to both men and women over the age of 18.

+ Sign up online to audition at http://vols.pt/11gzQA or contacting Monica Gebell at Gebell [dot] Monica [at] gmail [dot] com.

+ For those contacting Monica directly, please include your name, contact number, and availability.

+ Appointments will be first-come/first-serve until all slots are filled.

+ Auditions will be held at Writers & Books, 740 University Ave., Rochester, 14607

+ Audition times: Monday, March 2, from 4:00-8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7, from 8:30-10:30 a.m. And Saturday, March 14, from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.


+ Bring a copy of your piece that will not be returned.

+ Arrive at least 10 minutes before your appointment to fill out an audition form.

Tips for getting ready to audition:

+ Look at the videos posted by other cities for the tone of your piece, or to spark an idea. “Keep in mind those universal things that we all experience and that we can connect with”

+ Practice your piece with confidence. Try to enunciate and project your voice and time yourself. “Five minutes could be really short, or really long.”

+ Be authentic. “Don’t try to be anyone that you’re not. We really want to how you felt in that moment that this motherhood story took place.”

+ Speak in your own voice. “Know that when you step up to audition that you are enough, and your story is enough just as it is.”

For more information about LTYM Rochester, visit their website.

What do you think?

This is my best work today. Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please feel free to share it with your friends or send me a comment. You can also post a comment on my blog or Facebook, or tweet me @kristinebruneau.

Lessons from the Your Turn Challenge

By Arturo de Frias Marques (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

I took on the Your Turn Challenge – a seven day blogging challenge inspired by Seth Godin and his book “What to do when it’s your turn” to get in the habit of blogging everyday, to get better and faster with blogging and connect with others.  I hoped the Your Turn Challenge will remind me to do my best without judging myself, to ship my work without worrying that it’s not good enough because it is my best work today.

Like Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz” my mission was more important than the negative voices in my head. In the end, I willingly poured myself into the most generous, vulnerable work I’m capable of creating right now, in this moment. I put fear of not being good enough aside and hit publish everyday. Here are a few lessons I learned from the #yourturnchallenge experience:

+ Creating a system to blog everyday helps. I set a time limit and tried to reduce the amount spent on blogging each day. One day I did it in ten minutes! I also used free photos from wikimedia commons and copied and pasted the URLs instead of trying to size the photos myself.

+ Focusing my attention on the priority of blogging everyday is important to success.

+ Writing is a habit. Blogging is also a habit. Each habit has their own set of rules to follow.

+ Let go of perfection and embracing the mantra: “Done not perfect.”

+ Accept each blog post as my best work today. I can always go back and be inspired to write something new again.

+ Always log out of WordPress after you moderate a comment. This is to avoid something wacky like a spambot sending 52 emails to a person who commented on one of my posts. Sorry, T.

+ Do less. The goal was to publish a post everyday to MommyMusingsBlog.com and the your turn tumblr blog.

+ I can blog fearlessly everyday.

This is my best work today. Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please feel free to share it with your friends or send me a comment. You can also post a comment on my blog or Facebook, or tweet me @kristinebruneau.


By ABF (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or GPL (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

I lost it. I don’t know where exactly where the pink flip phone landed in the falling snow. There were inches or feet of cold, icy fluff already covering the field where I walked with my dog. Pearl bounded and pounced after snowballs and I laughed at her white goatee – a mix of saliva and frozen snow after pushing her dark muzzle into the snow. My eyelashes felt bedazzled from crystallized tears.

My two little boys brought me to the mountain so they could tumble down one side of it into the crevasse and then climb up again. The sky was gray – a pillow of cloud. Not many clouds, but a single cloud of gray looming over the woods, obliterating the sky. And the snow fell upon relentless in its mission to cover the world, choking from it all air and light. But the pending storm could not prevent the giggles from the two bear cubs I watched over.

The last phone call I made to him was erased like the snow that pressed upon me. The last call for forgiveness. The last call for sympathy. The last call of pain – no more. I slipped the phone into my pocket and turned my attention to the toothless boys and digging dog.

This time, this place is what matters now. Nothing can take this moment away. I am not afraid and will not be afraid ever again. I called out to the boys. I can only make out the faintest shadows through twilight’s curtain. The dog came to my side, cold, wet, and shaking. The boys linger. I call out more loudly again and shuffle from side to side.

The phone may have been lost. But I am not.

This is a short work of experimental fiction. Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please feel free to share it with your friends or send me a comment. You can also post a comment on my blog or Facebook, or tweet me @kristinebruneau.

This is part of #yourturnchallenge #day7 – and it’s my best work today.