Butterflies for Everyone!

If you're new to the blog, I'd like to welcome you with a little bit of awesome. As a pre-holiday thank you to my readers (and a little reminder to ourselves to be thankful for the bodies that carry us through our days) I've decided to make the Girl Body Pride Strong Like Butterfly anthology free on Smashwords through Sunday.

The anthology contains the work of many Girl Body Pride writers like Shoshana Rachel, Elan Morgan, and Jessie Sanfilippo, along with novelists Therese Walsh and Mercedes Yardley. Each story shared speaks to women struggling with body image issues. And each story is so beautifully told.

I'd like to invite you to take this opportunity to get your free copy of Strong Like Butterfly and, of course, to pass the information on to your friends. And please, know that I look forward to your thoughts after reading the book. It was an honor editing this collection. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I still do.

The Starting Line Up

I once had an idea. I get a lot of those.

And many, to be honest, remain as they began: creative itches I can't seem to find the time to scratch.

But there are others that become more. These are the ideas that take hold. The ones that keep whispering in my ear saying, "Do something about it, you idiot."

So I did.

I got serious and told the world I was working on an anthology.

I wanted to gather your stories. The kind that would make any mother wondering why she was still wearing her maternity yoga pants five months after pushing the kid out know that she isn't the only one. The kind that spoke to the magnitude of physical changes a woman's body will endure while creating new life. The joys of motherhood. And the cursing at the scale months, and even years down the road.

If this idea ever becomes a reality, I want those who pick up the book not want to put it down.  I want reports of laughter and tears and muffin top solidarity. I want smiles and Warm and Fuzzies and "Have you read....? The whole thing just made me feel like a conversation with a group of friends!"

Okay. So I want. Now what?

Since I first announced the anthology on the blog, I have been honored to read some incredible essays by mama writers I respect and admire. Jeanne Bowerman, Lisa Galek, Abigail Green, Robin O'Bryant and  Stephanie St. John have already submitted and I love each and every piece. I've laughed, cried, RELATED, and wanted to hug these women for their words, much as I hope my our future readers will respond.

But my idea was still whispering in my ear and I finally got brave enough to start whispering into the ears of those for whom the message was actually intended. If the book is going to speak to those who read it, I was hell-bent on making sure I get voices that speak to me. Like authors Therese Walsh and Lissa Rankin. Both are incredibly talented women.

One made me cry with her beautifully written novel.

The other made me think telling my vagina she is pretty is a good for her self-esteem.

And that, my friends, brings me to The Happy.

THEY SAID YES!

Of course.

When's the deadline?

WE BELIEVE IN YOUR IDEA!

My initial reaction was a blank stare.

Holy what?

Really?

SQUEEE! (Because some moments are just totally squee-worthy.)

And after I picked my jaw up off of the floor, I thanked both Therese and  Lissa profusely for their gift of time and experience. And then I went all fan-girl again.

*Interested in adding some of this Awesome to your twitter feed? Click on the names and tell them AspiringMama sent you.

Jeanne V. Bowerman

Abigail Green

Stephanie St. John

Lisa Galek

Lissa Rankin

Therese Walsh

Robin O'Bryant

*I would love to read your submission, as well. For more information on the anthology idea, please click here. The deadline is April 6 and I can't wait to read what you have to share.

Desperately Seeking You...Desperately Seeking Yourself

Listen up, mujeres. (That's Spanish for "ladies." Which makes that sentence "Spanglish." Yeah, I know...I feel cool for just having written it, so I can't even imagine how it feels to have read it.)It's been a while since I mentioned the anthology. Which is funny because I've been sitting here floundering in the Unpubbed Writer version of the After the Wedding Blues wondering what the hell I was supposed to be doing to occupy my time. No writing project keeping up till 3 a.m...now what do I do to keep The Muse busy? Keep myself feeling like I have a goal to work towards (other than not saying anything that rhymes with "Fuck" when I open rejections because Buttercup now believes "Truck it" is an acceptable phrase to utter when something didn't quite go her way. Okay, I'm kidding. Really, I am. But a little part of me wishes I really wasn't.) Where was I again? Oh, right. Me thinking I had nothing to do other than that Mom thing and that Wife thing and that Holding Me Breath While Query Responses Roll In thing and occasionally remembering to mention the Anthology thing on twitter in a lukewarm attempt to drum up interest for submissions and...wait a minute... That sounds suspiciously like a writing project. Maybe, because it is. *Faceplam*

And? So far, so good. I've received a few more submissions and have received word from two very respected writers that they are totally on the Baby F(Ph)at Band Wagon, which has me all kinds of giddy. Now, the only question is, when are you going to share your story?

Here are the updated details (also available in a bit more detail on this link).

I am seeking submissions from moms out there who wants to share their own stories regarding weight loss. I know I'm not the only mother out there who is wondering what the hell happened to her waistline after the baby came. Or the only one who's wishing Karma didn't take names when I was on the other side of motherhood and passing judgment on women I knew for "letting themselves go." Forget Hollywood moms and the fairy-tale disappearing baby pooch...I want real moms to come clean with their own stories. Make me laugh. Make me cry. Make me want to call you up and meet for coffee (sugar free and skim-milked, of course!). Make me connect with you as a mother and as a person. Just make it real.

So what’s the deal? I wrote Baby F(Ph)at: Adventures in Motherhood, Weight Loss, and Trying to Stay Sane…and that is my journey. I want to read about yours. How motherhood changed your perspectives about body image, weight loss, and getting into or staying in shape. I want honesty. I want to laugh. I want to relate. And I want it to read like a conversation between best friends over a few bottles of wine (after the kids are asleep, of course, which means you are totally allowed to swear.)

So far, I have a few awesome pieces which will be considered for the final project, and am in search of more.

Here are the guidelines:

* Stories must be between 500 and 1,500 words and be told in first person. This is your story…not your neighbors. Make sure to include a short bio with contact information.

*Essays should focus on the topic of weight. Suggestions include:

—Your expectations prior to becoming pregnant versus the reality

—How pregnancy changed your body

—How you lost the weight

—Acceptance of your new shape

—Balancing the needs of your children with your own

*Birth moms, adoptive moms, foster moms, grandmothers with custody...if you carried a child or carry the responsibility of raising one, your story counts, too. Motherhood changes all of us and how we see ourselves.

* No anonymous or author unknown submissions.

* Please submit only stories or poems that have not been previously published. An exception to this rule is, of course, those previously published works to which you own the reprint rights.

* Submissions should be sent to aspiringmama@gmail.com with “Anthology” in the subject line.

* By submitting a story, you give www.aspiringmama.com the right to re-publish and distribute your work on this website, and in any other formats (including, but not limited to, the site’s Twitter feed, RSS feed, and possible publication in a book).

* By submitting a story, you give www.aspiringmama.com the right to re-publish and distribute your work on this website, and in any other formats (including, but not limited to, the site's Twitter feed, RSS feed, and possible publication in a book).

Deadline for submissions is April 6, 2011. Feel free to email with any questions. I look forward to reading your stories.

And that’s the deal, peeples. So who wants to share?

Aspiring Mama Seeks Anthology Submissions

It's time to change things up a bit. It's time to take the focus off of the baby f(ph)at essay contest and on to the actual anthology. I'll be honest, I'm not cut out to be a contest blogging mama. It's why I gave up my old blog and hopped on my own little wordy bandwagon over here at Aspiring Mama. But I am all about connecting with other women, other mothers, and working on an anthology that I think will speak to anyone who picks it up.

So what's the deal? I wrote Baby F(Ph)at: Adventures in Motherhood, Weight Loss, and Trying to Stay Sane...and that is my journey. I want to read about yours. How motherhood changed your perspectives about body image, weight loss, and getting into or staying in shape. I want honesty. I want to laugh. I want to relate. And I want it to read like a conversation between best friends over a few bottles of wine (after the kids are asleep, of course, which means you are totally allowed to swear.)

So far, I have a few awesome pieces from previous contest winners which will be considered for the final project, and am in search of more.

I know I’m not the only mother out there who is wondering what the hell happened to her waistline after the baby came. Or the only one who’s wishing Karma didn’t take names when I was on the other side of motherhood and passing judgment on women I knew for “letting themselves go.” Forget Hollywood moms and the fairy-tale disappearing baby pooch…I want real moms to come clean with their own stories. Make me laugh. Make me cry. Make me want to call you up and meet for coffee (sugar free and skim-milked, of course!). Make me connect with you as a mother and as a person. Just make it real.

Here are the guidelines:

* Stories must be between 500 and 1,500 words and be told in first person. This is your story…not your neighbors. Make sure to include a short bio with contact information.

*Essays should focus on the topic of weight. Suggestions include:

—Your expectations prior to becoming pregnant versus the reality

—How pregnancy changed your body

—How you lost the weight

—Acceptance of your new shape

—Balancing the needs of your children with your own

* No anonymous or author unknown submissions.

* Please submit only stories or poems that have not been previously published.

* Submissions should be sent to aspiringmama@gmail.com with “Anthology” in the subject line.

* By submitting a story, you give www.aspiringmama.com the right to re-publish and distribute your work on this website, and in any other formats (including, but not limited to, the site’s Twitter feed, RSS feed, and possible publication in a book).

And that's the deal, peeples. So who wants to share?

**Deadline is April 22,2011. Feel free to email with any questions. I look forward to reading your stories.