Image via Kristen Lamb via Lauriesanders60 WANACommons
You know you're tired when you scroll down to see how long a post is before you decide whether you'll read it.
You know you're tired when you can hear your eyes blink.
You know you're tired when you look in the mirror and see yourself yawn and it makes you yawn again.
You know you're tired when the dust bunnies are so big, the dog thinks they're new toys.
You know you're tired when you can still fall asleep immediately after your second cup of coffee.
You know you're tired when you fall asleep at your desk, sitting up, with your fingers poised over your keyboard.
You know you're tired when your eyes burn so bad, you can't read more than a paragraph without falling asleep.
You know you're tired when you find your keys in the fridge and the cheese in your purse.
You know you're tired when you can't retain a thought long enough to write a complete sentence, let alone a paragraph.
You know you're tired when the only thing you seem to be able to write is a ridiculous post about how tired you are.Though Kristen Lamb, guru, incredible WANAMama to all things WANACon (online writers conference of her creation), says here that Being Tired Can Make You a Better Writer...I may have gone beyond that point, and am looking forward to a coaching conference in San Francisco this weekend to re-energize me and help to recharge my batteries.
My point? The Judy Blume Project
is far too big for two moms from Colorado
and Michigan to do justice to in a mere month (without child protective services being alerted, and husbands complaining loudly about there being no clean underwear), and Judy deserves SO much better than sleep-deprived zombies for partners.
Dana and I are delighted to report that we've gotten so much terrific feedback, we feel compelled to expand the project and extend the deadline. We are now ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS through June, 2013.
So visit your local library. Re-read your favorite Judy Blume books, enjoy the memories they spark, and let us know what a wonderful and necessary contribution she made to your pre-adolescent and adolescent survival.
For many of us, Blume's characters and their life events allowed us to experience scary things without actually having to suffer the consequences. She helped us to feel normal, to understand things we couldn't speak to our parents about, and to understand that we were perfectly acceptable amid a persistent fog of zit-infused angst and uncertainty.
You can review our submission guidelines here
, and now you can enjoy an extended lead-time in preparing your piece. We welcome writers who wish to post their submission to their own blogs (and please
let us know by providing the link on the #JudyBlumeProject Facebook Page
), and tweet and retweet like mad, using the #JudyBlumeProject
thread. We need your help (so we can catch just a few reliable Zs each night, and actually function in the morning when we have to get our kids off to school) and Judy deserves the input of a world of fantastic writers out there. Established or not, young or old, student or teacher, mother or daughter or father; all the above, or none of the above--this means YOU
. Let us know you're getting to work on your Judy Blume Project Anthology submission, thanking and honoring the fine lady for her amazing contribution to MG/YA fiction.
| || |
[UPDATE: NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS
THROUGH JUNE 2013]
On a Tuesday, I stumbled upon something remarkable. Accident. Unexpected. Innocent. Exactly one week ago today, I posted to @HeatheroftheEO’s Extraordinary Ordinary #JustWrite
weekly writing exercise
, and met my new partner, Dana Talusani of The Kitchen Witch blog
, who did the same thing. Dana’s post? An ode to Judy Blume, in which she lamented the absence of new MG/YA fiction from Judy Blume for her own budding adolescent, and wondered from where the next Judy Blume would come.
Some of Dana’s readers said SHE should be the next Judy Blume. I agreed, and suggested she create an anthology in Judy Blume’s honor. Because of that brief exchange, Dana and I are collaborating on this crazy, beautiful Judy Blume Project (#JudyBlumeProject)
, for which, I have a feeling, we will forevermore be grateful.
: prolific and iconic author, surrogate mother, surrogate best friend and confidant to women and men in the most difficult of their growing up years, through many of life’s most tumultuous situations. Who knows what the real Judy is like, but between her pages, she offers a soft breast to rest your troubled head upon, like the grandmother you miss so desperately. She offers a kick in the pants like the best friend who always tells you the truth; honesty, always honesty, without restraint or judgment. And most importantly, Judy always lets you know that you’re perfect and normal, and perfectly normal, just the way you are. The same stuff your mom always told you, but you didn’t believe because she had to love you, she was your mom; and no one else ever would
No one’s likely to tap you on the shoulder to tell you flat out that this is the magic you’ve been waiting for. When it comes, you’d better believe in it; believe in yourself and believe in the possibility that it could happen to you, on a regular old Tuesday. This could be your
If you’re lucky, you know when you come upon your destiny—you know when someone is meant to come into your life, and that something beautiful will happen as a result. I don’t know whether there will ever come a penny from this project upon which we’re embarking, but I do know that it will be life-changing in ways that transcend the concrete. I can’t thank Heather enough for being her Extraordinary Ordinary
self and providing a platform for something like this to happen. And I can’t thank Dana enough for taking me along in this dust-kicking convertible that could totally be headed off a cliff.
What a ride it’s sure to be. I’m leaning in. With everything I have, I’m leaning in.
Follow along to see what happens on The Judy Bloom Project Facebook Page
.Guidelines to SUBMIT YOUR OWN PIECE (to Dana) or (to Kim)...this could be YOUR Tuesday.
Please tell me in the comments what Judy Blume meant to you, and consider throwing in your proverbial hat.
[UPDATE: NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS
THROUGH JUNE 2013]
My friend, Dana, of The Kitchen Witch
, and I are in the flurry of promoting our Judy Blume Project Anthology CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS through Facebook and Twitter, and you may have received an e-mail about it.
If you're a Tweeter, you can follow along at #JudyBlumeProject
, and #amwriting and you can follow Dana @thekitchwitch and Kim @KimWCPosse.If you're on Facebook, you can LIKE the page, and follow along there. You can check out how all this came about by reading Dana's original blog post, lamenting the announced retirement from YA fiction of prolific and iconic author, Judy Blume, here.An
d you can read Kim's original post on the topic here
The Judy Blume Project aims to become an anthology of moments and memories of the many people on whom Judy Blume had an impact growing up. Good or bad, touching or funny: WE WANT TO HEAR YOUR VOICES!!
Write about what Judy Blume meant to you, either when you were navigating the turbulence of adolescence, or stories about your own kids (catch any of them reading Forever??). Don't be shy, and please
don't feel like you have to be a writer to submit.Here are the updated guidelines as Dana posted them on her site:1. Judy is awesome and such a gift to gawky, long-limbed nerds–because let’s face it. Adolescence sucks.
2. Or maybe (now as a mother) you have an issue or two with her, and that’s perfectly fine, because Judy is fearless and frank about things. Poor Mama’s hair almost lit on fire when she found a contraband copy of Forever in my closet in the 5th grade. (ps: Mama? That was C.’s book and yeah, I stole it, but I couldn’t resist). I’m re-reading Blubber as I write this and now, as a mother? Very different story. And yet universal truths remain, and it’s folly to look away from them.
3. Kim and I are casual kind of girls (eww, did I just call myself a girl?) Heh. Anyways, what I mean to say is that we want you to be yourself. Because that’s the gold–your voice, your experience, your honesty, what you choose to put on paper.
Notice she didn't call me a girl...that's OK...sniff...I can take it.....
4. I suck at concise, clearly.
No, Dana, my friend, You are ROCKIN this!
5. We are open to all formats: you can write a letter, have an imaginary conversation, tell a poignant story or a humorous anecdote, give us a slice-of-life moment. We are open to it all. (Hey Kim, did I make us sound hip or what?)
YOU always sound hip--thanks for bringing me along for the ride, girlfriend!
I would add Poetry as an option.
6. Please send your submission (preferably 500 words or less but we are forgiving) by the last day of April. Kim has a crafty link on her website for submissions but I am not electronically clever, so just email it to me.
Bloggers, you are welcome to post your submissions to your own sites (a badge will be available shortly), but please be sure to link back to either my post (this one)
or Dana's post
on the topic, and it's wise to leave a comment on one of our posts so we're sure to find it, or better yet e-mail it to one of us (there's a little e-mail icon on either of our sites, and be sure to reference Judy Blume Project in the subject).
7. Kim and I will steal Dick Cheney’s old bunker, sit down with wine and cheese and read, compile, choose and pitch. We’re building a book, and we want you in it.
I would add dark chocolate...but I'm totally THERE!
8. If you want to encourage your friends to participate–do! We’re nice! Well, okay, Kim is nice–I’m a wolverine
(Not in the least in my experience thus far). But don’t let that scare you. Come play with us! We’re on Twitter #JudyBlumeProject and #amwriting. When you do put your submission in, please Tweet or email and let us know that you are in the hot tub. As cold as it is this winter, company is good.
9. Please remember–your voice matters.
Here here, Dana!! And we can't WAIT to read yours!
Truly. Dana and I both want to extend thanks to the crazy (in a good way) people who have been so generous and supportive–because Judy is worth it. My e-mail icon is at the tippy top of this page...or you can find the handy dandy submission form here.
Now I'm aging myself and you know why Dana didn't call me a girl. :P
[UPDATE: NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS
THROUGH JUNE 2013]
Magic can materialize in a breath...you're going about your day, you happen upon something that might be remarkable, make an innocent comment and wheels start to turn on a regular old Tuesday, if you're open to it. Magic is exactly what happened yesterday between The Kitchen Witch and I, when I linked my Beauty of a Woman post about The Beauty of Women Friends to the Extraordinary Ordinary's weekly Just Write exercise. My moment, trying to write while waiting for my dear friend to come through her surgery to remove a cancerous breast, totally fit with the spirit of the exercise...write from the heart, "
from a free heart-gut place," says Heather, and don't stop, Just Write. So you post your moment, and others post their moments
, you read each other's blogs, maybe laugh, maybe cry, but above all, you appreciate the craft of real writing that comes from the heart. Soon you find it changes the way you write for the better. You come to seek out moments to write about; beautiful moments, poignant moments, moments to appreciate, to savor or just to mark.
I was reading some of the other blogger's posts, and The Kitchen Witch's was about Judy Blume (please take a moment to pop over and read it)
, bemoaning the absence of new MG/YA fiction for her daughter's generation from Blume, and acknowledging how the author's works had impacted her own life. She wondered where the next Judy Blume would come from, which clearly struck a nerve with several of the commenters. So today, she writes: What We Want to Say
March 6, 2013 Hi, you lovely, big-hearted Readers,
I was Gobsmacked at the volume of personal emails I recieved from you, telling me how much Judy Blume has meant to you, and how pivotal she has been to your (and so many of our) growing-up years. So often she’s been a steady, reassuring voice whispering in the dark.
A friend of mine, Kim and I were talking yesterday about Judy Blume, and we thought it would be so interesting and beautiful to hear the stories/memories/musings about Judy’s work and what it meant to you, as a young woman navigating that twisting and hard road between girl and womanhood.
Our ultimate goal is to compile an anthology in her honor, full of colorful, vibrant voices. A book chock-full of writing by women (or men!) who have heartfelt and honest things to say.
If you’d like to submit a piece for consideration, please send it in to Kim or me by the end of [JUNE, 2013]. It will be a belated Valentine to our Judy, but one that is long overdue.
So, Dana and I started hashing it out. She's taking it on through her channels, and I'm taking it on through my channels, and we're going to put our heads together, pick through the many inspiring and heart-felt submissions we're sure to get, and come up with something brilliant to honor Judy and her many inspiring works for young readers.So dig in. Dig deep. Send in your submission by the end of [June], and maybe you could find yourself a published author (newly or again) in the near future! We all have a story to tell, if Judy has inspired the landscape of your life in any way, maybe this is a beautiful place for you to begin telling yours. Find the Updated Guidelines Here! We've extended the submission deadline through the end of April!!
At the start of one of the last couple sessions of my Creative Writing class, one of the few men in attendance asked me to sit next to him. I didn’t want to offend him—because I was raised that way; to be polite at all costs—I said, OK.
“Wait, are you single?”
I showed him my ring, “Nope, sorry. I’m married.”
“Oh, well leave that seat open then.”
K. Thanks. EVER so.
He then went on to ask whether another female in class was single, and lament how he just wanted to meet a nice woman who wasn’t crazy.
Er, reap what you sow, much?
And then his writing was really genuinely funny and entertaining, so I had to forgive him, and even like him just a little bit.
Fast forward a few weeks to the first meeting of our invitation-only writers’ group…and there he is. And my project, that I will have to read aloud, is smut-filled. ***Warning, warning, Will Robinson! You may want to stop reading now, daughters & nieces.**** It isn’t really. But by way of introduction to the characters, it’s kind of right there in your face in the first two chapters. Sex is a part of life; an important
part of life. Do I relish the idea of reading it aloud to a mixed group? Nope. Not one bit.
In this age of tablets—which have changed EVERYTHING about the Publishing Industry, including a rapid growth in women’s erotica, because no one knows what you’re reading or downloading—and Fifty Shades
, however, I want to write a better version of the sexy novel. I want to tell a great story, with dynamic characters who engage in believable dialog and who appropriately engage in consensual, grown-up sex. I don’t wish to glorify the sex, or gratuitously slather it all over every chapter, but it’s an important part of all our stories.
It’s how we all got here, whether we like to think it of our parents or not.
Sex is how partners connect and remember they love one another, even when life gets all other kinds of messy and sometimes ugly, in between. Americans don’t easily acknowledge sex and its appropriate place in our collective rites of passage growing up, and they don’t like to talk about it much. Even grownups snicker and laugh about it behind their hands, and we’re too often mortified at the idea of discussing it with our kids.
While I don’t see myself reading the Fifty Shades
series, due to the many reviews
that suggest it may be poorly written and filled with too much purple prose
, the fact that I just don’t enjoy the S&M (nope, not taking any chances linking to that!) idea myself and I don’t really want to read what I’ve heard referred to as “wall-to-wall sex,” I must allow that perhaps it’s had an important place in modern literature if it’s gotten people to talk and read about sex more freely, and thus created more opportunities for its consensual enjoyment. I’m all for that.
I still find myself mortified, however, at the idea of reading aloud in [a mixed] ‘Group’ next week—and I will likely request an all female escort to my vehicle at the end of it.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
If I don’t die of embarrassment, that is.
On a recent visit with her family to San Diego, my girlfriend, Anna, shared a great book with me; "The Happiness Project," by Gretchen Rubin. I've only read the first couple chapters so far, but perhaps you've noticed in my blog that I've been conscious of making the best of being so far away from family, longtime friends and what will always be home. Let me tell you, spending the afternoon with newer friends, sitting beside a pool on March 4 was definitely a good reason to be grateful and happy today.
I just love pools, beaches, and activities of any kind on any body of water. Growing up in a resort town on the shores of Lake Michigan has made me a water child, for sure. Plus I'm a Cancer, which is a water sign. I also love books. One of my favorite things to do while relaxing by a pool is read a great book.
I dearly miss books, in fact. Good old-fashioned, curl the pages back, dogear them all you want, paperback books. I love to display hardcover books; the colors of the jackets and the art are pleasing to me. I have books out in my guest room in case my guests can't sleep. And once upon a time, I even had two large library shelves filled with books in my living room. My children have all had vast book collections; even Aidan, who is coming of age in the tablet generation.
I've been trying to get accustomed to reading e-books, but it's just not the same. I miss hungrily turning each page. I miss the smell of books; ruffling the pages so the smell wafts up on the breeze it makes. Books feel warm and like things to be treasured, tablets seem cold and impersonal. Most of all, I miss passing along a book to a good friend, and receiving one in return.
I'm trying to be hip...after all, I'm writing a BLOG, aren't I? But let's just say that I'm not in love with my tablet just yet in the same way that I've always enjoyed a love affair with a great book.