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Squeeee! It’s here! It’s here! What an honor an privilege it’s been to hear about this book that the divine Ms. Suzi Banks Baum has been compiling over the last year! And what an honor to be included in the anthology!* It’s a bitchin’ compilation of women’s voices, put together to benefit two important organizations that provide vital services to women in Berkshire County, Massachusetts:  The Community Health Programs (CHP) and Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires (VIM Berkshires), which provide free and low-cost medical care and services to women in need. Right? Right!

And how stoked am I to be going to the release party tomorrow night?! On Friday the Berkshire Featival of Women Writers kicks off with Laundry Line Divine presents: Out of the Mouths of Babes: An Evening of Mothers Reading to Others. Hosted by Suzi Banks Baum and featuring readings by Suzi, Alana Chernila, Nichole Dupont, Janet Reich Elsbach, Michelle Gillett, and Jenny Laird, and celebrating the book launch of An Anthology of Babes: 35 Women Give Motherhood a Voice. It’s at Dewey Hall, in Sheffield, MA from 7–9: 30 p.m.$5 suggested donation. Returning this year after a standing-room-only premiere at last year’s Festival, Out of the Mouths of Babes offers readings from six Berkshire women authors, ranging from a young single mother to a mother of adult children. Come to the event to be entertained, challenged, echoed, and encouraged. Favorite bedtime snacks will be served at intermission, and following the readings, the audience is invited to participate in a discussion of motherhood and creativity led by Suzi Banks Baum.

Please come out and play – it was packed to the gills last year when the event was at Simon’s Rock, and this year promises to be a Big Deal too. If you can’t make it out, and would like a copy of the book to hold in your hands, you can always order a copy at http://www.anthologyofbabes.com. Hope to see you there!

*Re-entry

Good morning, rainy Wednesday! I overslept and so some projects are going to wait for me, but that’s fine for today; I’ll get into them in a bit. But I wanted to pop by and tell you about a neat thing.

Do you know about Suzi Banks Baum’s Laundry Line Divine? She’s been in the blogroll over on the left for a little while now, because I just adore reading her. The blog is split into a bunch of rad pages, the main one being her musings on creativity and daily living and motherhood, accompanied by her fantastic photographs  and collage illustrations. It’s some of the most authentic and delicious stuff I read on a regular basis – the kind of work that makes one’s soul pleased to walk the earth, knowing there are kindred upon the same ground.

And Suzi does something else with her blog, as well – she brings together women who are blogging, printing them up in a collection called Out of the Mouths of Babes*. If you scroll down a little bit on her page and peek in the middle column, you’ll find links to pages that she’s collected of posts from these osm writers about everything from radio to food to inspiration, hung them all out in a line like laundry, and hence the name of her blog.  It’s a very very cool thing.

And I am filled with gratitude this rainy Wednesday to announce that I have been honored with a spot in the line, a repost of a blog entry that I did after coming home from a retreat at Kripalu with Karen Arp-Sandel in the springtime. You can see it here. Better yet, grab some delicious context by starting here with the post from Suzi that jumps to mine at the end.

May your day find a little sugar spilled on it today =)

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It was a long flight by motorcycle to Little Whinging with baby Potter in the sidecar. Those diapers don't change themselves. Just sayin'.

I sat down to write about this dreadful commercial I saw the other night, only to find, upon researching it more, that it has been pulled. Hooray! But the more I think about it this morning, the more I think that just because it’s been pulled and so swept under the rug, the more it needs to be talked about, actually.

Let me check my privilege before I begin here: My mother was a second wave feminist, and she instilled in me some Values. I was in the right place at the right time to be part of the Riot Grrrl movement.* A good eighty percent of the men I deal with are really great people who just, well… get it. The other twenty percent of these guys, the ones who want to take my agency, the guy who pulled the exceptionalism stunt on me in my pigtails at Trader Joe’s last year, I feel empowered enough to deal with them on my own. And I’m privileged enough not to run into the really scary ones that often.** Big. Privilege. Ok, recognized, stated, spoken, there it is: context.

So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about gender, ever since spending the week at Kripalu, engaged in Sisterhood, because this was a different kind of gooey center –  I tend to ruminate upon gender in terms of the personal-as-political more than anything else. Men are a very important part of my life, and it helps that I live with two really great men (ok, one of them, at thirteen, is really still a cub – he still has the goofy paws and the learning curve thing happening) who value me as I am – we have a huge amount of mutual respect, a metric fuckload of love, and a really great division of labour (for the record, Will Dearest has changed a few diapers in his time). Which is to say, I am blessed with a home that is a safe place and sanctuary.
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