On the morning of October 2, 2017, I woke up, reached for my phone, and opened my news app.

“Oh, my God,” I whispered, as I read about the shooting in Las Vegas. Then I got up, dressed, and went to wake my preschooler.

Later that day, I started writing “Vigil,” an essay that had been churning in my head for several months. I submitted it to Mothers Always Write, a literary magazine I had written for before, when I saw that the theme of their Winter issue was “Perspective.”

So here it is, one perspective on mothering in the age of mass shootings. Read more…



Courtney McKinney-Whitaker writes (decidedly not scary) rhymes for young readers and historical fiction and nonfiction, essays, and poetry for older readers. Her 2014 novel, The Last Sister, won the IPPY Silver Medal for historical fiction, and her work has been featured in Highlights HELLO and Mothers Always Write. Follow her on Twitter @courtneymckwhit or visit her website at courtneymckinneywhitaker.com.