What I Should Have Said to Amy Newmark…

Yesterday I participated in a Twitter party celebrating the release of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Curvy & Confident: 101 Stories about Loving Yourself and Your Body.

I’ve only attended one other Chicken Soup Twitter party before. It was last year when Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Very Good, Very Bad Cat: 101 Heartwarming Stories about Our Happy, Heroic & Hilarious Pets was released. It was okay. I didn’t really know what to do or what to expect then. It wasn’t as well attended as I’d hoped it be. Or as interactive as I’ve seen other parties. (Those weren’t Chicken Soup parties, though.)

But yesterday’s party? Very well attended, very interactive and very inspirational.

Got to meet some of my fellow contributing authors and found some neat new people to follow on Twitter. Lots of great conversations going on.

And the support for one another? WOW! Blew me away. I really enjoyed seeing the camaraderie, the compassion, the support and the love all of these ladies were showing one another.

Another thing that blew me away was this Tweet from one of the book’s editors, Amy Newmark:


I was so enamored with the thought of this very busy editor (she’s the chief editor for all Chicken Soup for the Soul books) remembering which story was mine and having had it enter her realm of consciousness while she was on vacation that all I Tweeted back was:

Omg. Lame.

Then Natasha Stoynoff, one of the other editors for this book (the third was Supermodel Emme), Tweeted in response to Amy and Emme’s tweets:


I’m not sure I even responded to Natasha’s Tweet. I was so stuck on the fact that first Amy, then Emme, then Natasha had all responded. About my story. Thank goodness this all took place online because if that had been in person? I would’ve made it all awkward and uncomfortable.

This morning I woke up and thought, “Really? That was the best you could do? Just a big ol’ ‘thanks’ that didn’t convey how sincerely excited you were to hear such praise?”

Well, in my defense, Twitter limits you to 140 characters and I am a bit verbose.

Plus, I wanted to be sure to include the #CSSCurvyandConfident hashtag. And there was SO much reeling through my mind. Which was mostly very vain and self-centered and reveling in the attention of being noticed and recognized, because sometimes I can be desperate that way.

But now that I’ve had some time to reflect on it, I wish I’d said something snappy like, “Hope you owned it and had a marvelous time.”

Or, “Bathing suits can be very intimidating, but also very empowering. Glad you showed yours who was boss on your vacation!”

Or something. Something positive and supportive like all the other ladies were telling each other about their stories.

Which, sadly, none of them I’d read yet. I’d been so busy between travels and the holidays at the end of 2016 I was doing good just to keep my head on straight.

Yet, I’m sure they’d all been busy too. But they’d read so many of the stories.

So in the middle of the party I took a break so I could read:

  • Andrea Amador’s “Beauty at Every Size” – Andrea has been wonderful. Shortly after author copies were delivered I got the most wonderful note from her on Facebook about how much she enjoyed my “Thunder Thighs and All.” Again yesterday she gave me “mad props” for it. I’d meant to reciprocate and read hers the first time she reached out, but clearly got distracted before I did it. Remedied that yesterday and was so moved by her story of lending her eyes to a fellow shopper in a Lane Bryant so the woman could see a different, more beautiful view of herself. Very touching.
  • Jill Burns’s “Missing Body Parts” – Jill had Tweeted me a nice compliment and I felt awful I had nothing to say about her story. At that point. (She’s actually why I stopped following all the #CSSCurvyandConfident threads and took a break to read some stories so I could participate better.) Her story was chilling. It was so beautifully written in such concise, precise, language that the punch it delivered at the end with the advice she’d give to the young woman who’s mutilated pictures she’d found with body parts cut out broke my heart and made it skip a beat all at the same time.
  • Ella Rose Reardon Farella’s “Becoming a Curvy, Confident Mom” – Her story was getting rave reviews from Amy, Elle, Natasha and several of the other contributing writers about what an important role model moms are for their children’s body images, especially their daughters. I could totally relate to her story. It wasn’t until about a year ago that I started dressing for fun again. Why should I bother trying to look cute when I’m not my ideal size? Oh my. What a shame. Her daughters help ignite the fun of fashion flame no matter your size in her again. (For me it was tennis of all things.)
  • Emme’s “Shape Shifting” – There should’ve been a disclaimer on this one” “Buckle up. Bumpy emotional roller coaster of a ride ahead.” It was an experience of anger, sadness, happiness, laughter, admiration and, to borrow part of Andrea Amador’s expression, “mad” respect. It was also neat to get a sneak peek behind-the-scenes peak into such a successful woman’s life.

As happens with all parties, they eventually come to an end. However, this one left me with more than good memories.

I saw a network in action where women were encouraging, motivating, understanding and accepting each other like I’ve never seen before. It was marvelous and makes me even more tickled pink to have stories included in this particular Chicken Soup book especially.

It also makes me very excited to hurry up and read more of these stories written by women who I can totally relate to on multiple levels.

  1. Jill Burns

    January 7, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    I giggled when I first saw this title. You perfectly described my sentiments concerning Twitter. I’m still trying to figure out how to keep up during a Twitter party and I always type too many characters. After this party ended, I found that I’d missed all the questions that Amy had asked. All the comments I managed to spit out, felt inadequate. For that matter, I wished I’d said more about your two touching stories and how I also had an awesome set of thunder thighs as well as a fear of swimsuits–still do. I never told you that in your cancer story, your journal entry broke my heart and gave me goosebumps at the same time. I came up short with everyone.

    Thank you for your sweet words and the beautiful way you described my story. It was a difficult story to write. Of course, I love that I can always count on my favorite Chicken Soup editor to make sure everything is in order.

    Most of all, thank you for posting this. I had a blast at that party and felt blessed by all the beautiful spirits who shared so much encouragement and love. Thanks to Chicken Soup, Amy, Emme, Natasha, and all the wonderful authors who contributed. I know this book will make a difference.

    1. cmroch@comcast.net

      January 10, 2017 at 9:17 am

      Oh Jill, I felt the same way! I missed all of Amy’s questions, wished I had read every story in the book before the party, was SO touched by everyone sharing so openly about a subject that I know has broken all of our hearts at one time or another, but I love seeing the resilience and bouncing back and coming to accept ourselves now. And Natasha’s stories…have you read those? Her Trump one (very last story in the book) was like a punch in the stomach. What a brave, strong, classy woman. I’m anxious to hurry up and read all the rest of the stories now. I’m so glad to know you now thanks to this book. Thank you for your kind words and taking the time to come leave a comment!

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