In November, 2005, while looking for a quote with a gardening/writing metaphor, I came across a website called Literary Mama. Posted above the linked text was a call for a copy editor.
Dated June, 2005, I thought the position had surely been filled but inquired anyway. To my surprise and good fortune, the position was still open, and the editors sent me a text to edit in way of an interview. That was a little nerve-wracking because I had perused the site and saw how many of the literary mamas held doctorates, had published books, and taught at the college level. It seemed their expertise dwarfed my secondary level teaching experience and my masters plus 40 hours (which moved me to the top of the pay scale -- I've never had an inkling to get my Phd.)
Still, my participation in a long-distance writing course with The Institute of Children's Literature (where Bill Wagner, a former editor of Jack and Jill , was my mentor) and my years as advisor to Blue Springs South's literary magazine had honed my editing skills, so I stepped out in faith, attached my edited file to an email, and hit 'send.'
Now almost three years later, Literary Mama has grown to an international staff of 35 women, and I am currently a co-editor of the Literary Reflections deparment. It is an awesome experience to work with such an accomplished, supportive group of women, and to have met and worked with many talented writers who submit work to the site or have become linked through online classes. This coming February many Mamas plan to attend the AWP Conference in Chicago for a first LM reunion. I am so anxious to see them face to face and give them each a hug (or a handshake for those not so touchy-feely ones).
My life has been enriched by our association, and I'm grateful for the serendipitious moment that linked me to the LM site. What a professional blessing!