Women

30 Days of Thanks – Day 7

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Founded in 1902, the Indianapolis-based National Panhellenic Conference Inc. is one of the oldest and largest membership organizations for women representing 26 member women’s fraternity and sorority groups.

Today I give thanks for the women I have met in my sorority, and other sororities.  We created a unique bond during our college years and it was the first group I truly belonged in without compromising any part of my personality.  Completely different from my high school experience, where I felt like I had to downplay one aspect of my personality, depending on the group I was around – the dancer side, the geek side, the heavy metal chick side, etc.  It was refreshing to fully integrate all the pieces into one.

This list will put a smile on all the Alumnae out there.  Some do not apply to those of us who are a little “older,” but I still buy jewelry with my sorority’s symbol on it and know these women will always have my back.  Enjoy 35 Signs You Miss Your Sorority, Snaps!

To Do Wednesday: Re-examine Bridget Jones

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I received my copy of “Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy” in the mail, yesterday. I fell in love with Helen Fielding’s characters over 10 years ago and love that she progressed their story to the present day. I look forward to spending time getting reacquainted with Bridget and her zany antics, now that she is a middle-aged Mom.

Book Review and Trailer – “Moore to Lose” by Julie A. Richman

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Followers of this blog will recognize Julie Richman’s name as the author who knocked my socks off with her debut novel, Searching for Moore.   My review, on July 11th, was one of the most organic posts I have written, since starting this blog.    Julie’s words inspired a friendship between Kristen, Samantha, Cleida and I that culminated in the Searching for Moore Book Trailer, on July 23rd.    These relationships have continued to evolve and I am proud to count these women among my dear friends.

Julie and I stayed up countless nights this Summer analyzing publishing trends, discussing the merits of stand-alone books versus book series, realizing that we had worked at similar agencies at different points in our careers and bonding over her “Needing Moore” series.   I knew she was writing a follow-up book to Searching for Moore, but was conflicted.  She originally intended to write two books for the series, not three.   However, her characters, namely Mia Silver, guided her into writing a beautifully, heart-breaking second book:  Moore to Lose.   Julie received advice from many “experts” in the publishing world, who told her not to write this book.    What the “experts” failed to realize, was that when Julie’s characters spoke to her, she listened.   And wrote.

Then she shared her words with Mom Richman, Kristen, Cleida, Samantha and I.

After reading Moore to Lose I was speechless.  Breathless and hyperventilating, I cried.   I was unprepared for the myriad of emotions and memories it would trigger in me.  It was a deeply personal experience, for I have known Mia my entire life.   I have been Mia.

Moore to Lose focused on Mia’s journey. We already knew she was not the typical, innocent ingénue – she was a tough New York City girl.  This story showed us the dichotomy of the sweet teenager versus maturing young woman, in some of her early decisions. Decisions that many readers have made in their own lives – good, bad and ugly. Julie approached these events with great sensitivity, knowing how deeply the readers were invested in Mia’s happiness.

What Julie did not know was that as I was reading these incredibly difficult, gut-wrenching scenes, I was reliving events from my college days.   Events that were entirely too common for college women.  (Still are, unfortunately.)  As Mia continued on her life’s path, I revisited similar situations that my friends and I found ourselves in and our reactions to those situations.   As the story progressed, and Mia’s past caught up with her, my heart broke alongside hers.   Later, Julie placed Mia at the center of one of the most agonizingly painful events in recent history.   As Julie suffered writing those words, she crafted a grief-stricken, yet delicately fitting homage to her beloved NYC.  She should be proud of the way she honored her resplendent and resilient hometown.

Julie continued to weave the rich tapestry that became Moore to Lose by revisiting familiar secondary characters and using New York City as a vivid backdrop for the action.  In fact, NYC served as another character in the story and served as a touchstone for Mia’s voyage of self-discovery.    Julie further incorporated her trademark use of music and popular culture references as touchstones throughout the story. They helped mark the passage of time and kept Schooner with Mia, connected across the miles and years.

Moore to Lose is so much more than a “romance” novel. It is the story of a woman losing, finding, healing and honoring herself and her spirit. We fell in love with Mia in Searching for Moore. In Moore to Lose, we understand why we love her. As Mia lives her life, we live the experiences with her. Searching for Moore was a roller coaster ride of emotions. Moore to Lose took that ride, plunged it into complete darkness and added loops, spins and rolls.

Julie promised that all issues would be resolved in the third, and final, book in the Needing Moore series.  I will be anxiously waiting for that book, and highly recommend Moore to Lose, for readers who want rich characters who evoke tears, anger, joy, heartbreak, forgiveness, friendship, acceptance, and ultimately, love.

Here are the links to my reviews on Amazon and GoodReads.

In the meantime, please enjoy the Moore to Lose Book Trailer. 

Movie Recommendation – “Femme: Women Healing the World”

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I highly recommend my Friends see FEMME: WOMEN HEALING THE WORLD.  It’s a NEW film about women around the world transforming and healing global society on a daily basis.
I highly recommend my Friends see FEMME: WOMEN HEALING THE WORLD. It’s a NEW film about women around the world transforming and healing global society on a daily basis.

FEMME is an inspirational voyage about women around the world who are actively transforming and healing global society on a daily basis.

Starring Sharon Stone (Casino, Total Recall, Basic Instinct), Jean Houston, Marianne Williamson, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Riane Eisler, Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Shirin Ebadi and Mairead Maguire, Rickie Lee Jones, Gloria Steinem, and more!

Influential women discuss religion, science, history, politics and entertainment – and the solutions to the multiple crisis’ we face throughout the world. FEMME focuses on utilizing a feminine approach with nurturing energy to inspire a new hope for the future. Directed By: Emmanuel Itier, Produced By: Amanda Estremera, Andrea Barron, Barbara Lazaroff, Celeste Yarnall, Dawn Zuill, and Sharon Stone.

Be sure to tell your Friends!  Watch it instantly http://facebook.com/FemmeTheMovie!

View the Official Movie Trailer.  

Mother’s Day and Childfree People

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day 1 motorcycle classI originally published this post two years ago, but I liked it and thought it was worth another look.   My friends who are mothers have declared me a “Dog Mom,”  which I suspect is one step closer to Crazy Dog Lady – a moniker I fully embrace.   

Hubby and I do not have children.  Why, or how, is no one’s business and not subject for a public forum.  Suffice it to say, that in our mid-40s, we are not planning to start a family, as our family is complete.

This brings me to the awkwardness of Mother’s Day, and the exploitation….er, “celebration,” of motherhood.  It has become a slippery slope like wishing someone “Happy Holidays.”   My response when someone wishes me a happy anything, is to say, “thank you.”   I don’t care to have a long, drawn out discussion of religion, philosophy, end-of-days, heaven, hell, bunions, facial hair, acne or explosive diarrhea.   Although, as a Nursing Student I have an unnatural fascination with bowel movements.  They are magical!

Happy Mother's Day TootMore awkward than wishing someone a “Happy Mother’s Day,” is the “do you have children” question.  When I answer, “no,” there are two reactions.  The cover-up “oh,” followed by uneasy silence, or the probing “why not?”   My typical response is to shrug my shoulders and stare at the person, because saying “none of your damned business,” seems unnecessarily harsh.  And, it really is NONE of their business, so I don’t engage in conversation about it.  I simply don’t care to hear their thoughts about my personal life.  Ironically, the people who are most likely to ask, or make unsolicited comments, are those least closest to me.  Interesting.

Many of us mentor others throughout our lives.  In my case, there are several women whom I have advised during incredibly difficult experiences in their lives.  I was the “adult” they turned to for support and advice.  They chose me, for their own personal reasons and I was honored to be their shoulder to cry on or first person to celebrate with.  Did that make me a mother? <shoulder shrug>

Which brings me to Mother’s Day.  What do you say to single fathers, grandparents raising their grandchildren, foster parents, gay dads, siblings raising other siblings?   I still struggle with this.

However, in honor of the “holiday,”  I wish EVERYONE who is mother, or serves in the role of a mother a happy day.  May you be celebrated for your personal contributions to forming the next generation by being acknowledged for being YOU.  (Free meals, coffee and gift certificates are also nice, people.)