Suzanne and I have been thrilled with all the submissions we have received for Congratulations, You're a Woman Now! Unfortunately, we did not complete our outreach as quickly as planned, so several people who don't follow our blogs only learned about the anthology within the past couple of weeks. We have also gotten feedback that some of our regular readers have been struggling to make the finishing touches on their submissions during a holiday weekend. We are therefore extending the submission deadline to Monday, September 15th. Thank you again to everyone who submitted their stories in time for the original deadline. We really appreciate it.
If you check out the website, you will see the the new deadline and a couple of updates. First, there is no minimum word requirement. Second, men are also encouraged to submit stories, whether about their daughters, their sisters, their nieces, or their family friends.
Suzanne and I look forward to reading all the stories!
A. Elliot's Lesson Learned: Submissions are now due by September 15.
There have been moments this past week where I have felt as though summer has flown by and moments where I felt as if the clock is broken. For instance, when on earth is my older son (OS) returning to preschool? Yes, I know his classes start in the second week of September, but I feel as if it must already be December. On the other hand, I almost convinced a friend of mine today that OS's birthday party is not for another 3 weeks. Almost...but not quite. She realized that it is happening in two weeks. Boy was I surprised. I pulled out the calendar so that OS and I can count down the days until his birthday. I couldn't believe it is already only ten days away.
Hmmm...if that is only ten days away, then that must mean that the submission deadline for Congratulations, You're a Woman Now! is only nine days away! We've been pleased with many of the submissions we've received so far, but there is still room for more. For the record, there is no minimum number of words required, and men are also welcome to submit relevant period stories, for example about a sister or a daughter. I've gotten emails from some people who worry that their stories are boring. I would encourage you to submit it anyway. It may be just the story we are looking for. It also doesn't have to be about your first period. For example, someone once told me that she used to get paid to test out tampons when she was in high school. Every month she would be asked to review a new batch. You don't hear about that every day!
You also don't encounter your old junior high school classmates every day...or at least you didn't until Facebook became popular. I have been making "friends" with a lot of my people whom I hadn't seen in decades. A recent moms group meeting on bullying made my junior high memories seems far more recent. Never mind summer flying by. How about life flying by! While I enjoyed many great moments in junior high, I had some other, less enjoyable moments. In particular, I may never get over...icebreakers.
Icebreakers were part of swimming, youth group, and student retreat day, which was called Snowball in our school. (Despite the name Snowball, icebreakers were never literally named.) We always had to play one or two variations that I hated. In one, everyone had to introduce themselves by saying they were bringing something to a picnic that started with the first letter of your name. Beth brought bananas, Catherine brought cookies, and Mary brought marshmallows. Now if Alex were my real name, rather than a "nomme de keyboard," I could have said I was bringing apples, but if you've read the Congratulations, You're a Woman Now! website, you know my real name and therefore understand how embarrassed I was when I had to announce that I was bringing nuts to the picnic. Most of the class would cackle raucously at the word "nuts" in a fashion later popularized by Beevis and Butthead, Oh come on! You know the junior high puberty jokes! (Even when I tried to "bring" nectarines, my classmates would gleefully suggest that nuts were a "more appropriate" offering.)
The other one icebreaker that made me freeze was being asked to use an adjective to describe myself that started with the same letter as my name. Alex would have been awesome, Beth was beautiful, Catherine was cool, and Mary was marvelous. I was either nice or neat. Yeah, major boring. My parents and I had quite a few fights over why they picked my name, and at one point I was determined to use my middle name when I went off to college. I swear it came up every year from junior high through high school and college and then again when I was picking my kids' names. I cannot count the number of times that the Big Giraffe rolled his eyes during my pregnancies because I grilled him about what our kids could bring to a picnic or how they could describe themselves.
I'm not sure why I can't get this out of my head.
A. Elliot's Lesson Learned: Some old memories feel like they happened yesterday; if your first (or other significant) period is one such memory, please write it up and submit it.
Seeking Writers for Congratulations, You're a Woman Now!
Extra! Extra! Seeking all writers!
Come on you know you want see your name in a book. I've spent a good chunk of yesterday and today trying to get the word out there through every possible venue that Suzanne and I are looking for submissions for the anthology of menstruation stories that we are putting together entitled Congratulations, You're a Woman Now! It's been really exciting, and of course I got a total rush from doing it. From the alumnae job postings at my college, to my class e-notes, yahoos groups, moms group publicity loop, Facebook, and MySpace, Suzanne and I are really trying to get the word out there. Tomorrow we're tackling Craig's List in several major cities. Most exciting, several bloggers have agreed to help us spread the word, including the awesome Parent Bloggers Network. Of course if any of you would be so kind to as to spread the word, or better yet submit stories yourself, we would be extremely grateful.
So what are we looking for? Although the original concept focused on soliciting stories that felt embarrassing when they happened but became funny in hindsight, the stories do not have to be humor stories. The website, http://www.youreawomannow.com, provides all of the details and some sample topics. We are interested in stories from people of any age, cultural, national, or religious background, and sexual orientation. While the focus is obviously on women, men are also welcome to submit meaningful period stories about their daughters or other loved ones. The deadline is Sept. 1, 2008.
So why exactly are we doing this? Straight from our website:
While stand-up comediennes routinely joke about their period sagas, and other women are laughing at stories on blogs, Congratulations, You’re a Woman Now! is going to take it one step further by allowing women to share their stories with the general public in print. We’re looking for humorous, heartwarming, and poignant submissions reflecting on how you felt and what happened when you got your period. We want to hear from women who suffered through it and women who celebrated it. We want to hear from those who look back on the experience with tears of laughter or just plain tears. Sharing these stories may remove some of the stigma around “the curse.”
A. Elliot's Lesson Learned: If you have a good story about your first period or any other menstrual debacle, you are invited to submit it.
If you were at BlogHer, I may have pawned off one of my business cards on you. On the back was a sticker saying that I am looking for period stories submissions. Suzanne, author of Off the Beaten Subway Track, asked me to be a co-editor of an anthology of period stories! We made our site live right before I left for BlogHer.
Women at BlogHer seemed pretty excited about the idea of a period anthology. I think that I heard more period stories on Friday and Saturday than I had previously heard in my entire lifetime. In fact, these stories were so much fun that a group of us ended up talking about them for at least a half hour. I believe we may also have scared some woman away, but that's another story.
A. Elliot's Lesson Learned: We're looking for more submissions. Please click here for more info.
For those of us who didn't get an instruction manual with our babies and for whom parenting hasn't always gone as planned. On a more serious note this blog is about supporting a woman's ability to make her own choices about parenting including the choice, for whatever reason, to bottle feed her babies formula.