It’s Springtime! Adolescent Memories Are in Full Blume…

So I only found out about the Judy Blume Project this morning, and already my heart is stirring and my mind is spinning.

You see, Judy Blume and her many early works written for fragile prepubescent girls helped me get through a really awkward and confusing time of my life.  Hair sprouting in places for no reason, boobs that appeared to show up out of nowhere and thoughts – lots of thoughts, bad thoughts, dirty thoughts, about…well… you know… boys, boy parts and why all of the really good shows on HBO were on much, much later at night.

I’m still waiting for the awkward phase to end.

When does that happen anyway?

The Judy Blume Project is the brainchild of blogger Dana the Kitchen Witch and  blogger/author Kim Jorgensen Gane of West Coast Posse. They are putting together an anthology honoring the prolific author and soliciting Blume’s legion of fans across many generations to contribute entries to capture their own memories, perspectives and thoughts on the author and the impact of her work.

If you know me well, you know that I grew up reading two series – no, not Laura Ingalls Wilder. (Do I look and sound like a prairie girl to you? Come on…)

The Hardy Boys (not Nancy Drew – she was too wimpy even for me) and Judy Blume.

JudyBlumeBooks

These are EXACTLY what my editions looked like back in the early ’80s, by the way. Someone’s selling her entire collection for $14.95 on eBay. Sigh. Heartbreaking.

I must have read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing a dozen times. Blubber and Then Again, Maybe I Won’t, a few dozen times.

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret… okay, for this one, I think I read passages daily every day throughout middle school! (Anyone else out there remember sleeping with it tucked under their pillow or that little space between the nightstand and the bed?)

Last year, when my blog was less-focused on my new adventure of writing my first novel, I instead posed questions each week to spark creativity and inspiration in others – I called them Kuhnspirations. Yeah, admittedly, the title’s a bit cornball, and I was teased by good friends about that one, but one week, I asked others who wanted to journal with me what their dream dinner party guest list would look like, and in fact, Ms. Blume was an esteemed member of my list.

I don’t know if later generations who fell in love with J. K. Rowling’s and Stephanie Meyer’s series will truly understand what Judy Blume meant to those of us who grew up with Blume’s messages of self-love, acceptance and forgiveness.  And don’t get me wrong – I adore The Twilight series myself and have enjoyed several of the Harry Potter books so far. But there was something far more personal and intimate about the Blume books that just doesn’t compare.

I do plan to take part in the project – submissions are due to the bloggers by end of April, by the way. The format guidelines are pretty flexible and they’re open to a variety of styles for responding. You can even  follow along with the project at its Facebook page, and I recommend you do.

I can’t say that Judy Blume has inspired me as a writer as much as she influenced me as a thinking, feeling young woman. She made a tremendous impression on my heart as a young girl. When I felt like the misunderstood alien from outer space or gawky, geeky pudge muffin, she reminded me that there was so much more to me than met the eye of those who ridiculed. It didn’t stop the tears or doubts, but it did help me become a little tougher, more introspective and more confident where I knew I excelled, whether those insecure teasers who badgered me realized it or not.

I don’t follow this age category in today’s young adult literature genre.  Is there a similar Judy Blume for this bully-taunted 21st century generation, aside from the Judy Blume herself? I sure hope so.  She was a real life-saver for young girls like me.

Judy Blume, you will hear from thousands of readers everywhere very soon. You will know you made a difference in your own way, if you don’t already. You will feel the gush and the mush, and we will probably embarrass you far beyond you’re comfortable experiencing. But you will feel the love.

Sniffle. Sniffle.

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5 Comments

  1. Chris! I’m speechless! I can’t thank you enough for promoting the #JudyBlumeProject for Dana and me. We knew Judy would bring this out in people, and we are so touched. And we can expect a separate submission? Wow! Sniffle, sniffle indeed!

  2. It was a beautiful discovery to find two writers who completely share my appreciation for Ms. Blume. I’m so happy that I can help spread the word about such a unique, collaborative project. And, yes, I plan to formally submit to your anthology in a slightly different format. 🙂 Great to meet you and good luck! ~ ck

    • Great to meet you, Chris, and thank you again. We look so forward to your submission. Good luck to you.

  3. Gobsmacked! Thank you so much for helping get the word out about this project! We are so excited about it, and your support means the world! ~Dana

    • Absolutely! I am excited for you both and for all of the readers who will get to wax nostalgic reading everyone’s memories and connect with each other in this unique way. Already I’m considering a bid on that woman’s old book collection on eBay. Yep, I may have lost my mind. Fun meeting you out here. 🙂 ~ ck


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