It’s true–after three years of building our blog and compiling an amazing and varied archive of stories, we are so happy to announce that our book, Drinking Diaries: Women Serve Their Stories Straight Up, will be published this September by Seal Press.
We are so grateful for your readership and support, and hope you will continue to visit the blog and of course, spring for the book which is available now for pre-order on Amazon, Indiebound and B&N.com.
Our journey from blog to book has been both emotional and thrilling–and worth every minute. We’ve been working on this project together, since June 2008, and are proud to have created a blog covering anything and everything related to women and drinking. From celebration to revelation we like to say. A place where there is no judgment, where the stories we and other women share range from comical and celebratory to sexy and despairing. Where we offer news, profiles, research and opinions—all about women and their relationship with alcohol.
Drinking Diaries was conceived, sadly, as a result of Caren’s mother’s drinking. Well into her sixties, Caren’s mother’s wine habit went from socially acceptable and culturally expected (she’s French) to deeply problematic. A child survivor of the Holocaust, her mother began using alcohol to numb her pain. Caren watched in fear and bewilderment as her mother’s dependence on alcohol accelerated with warp speed.
Leah, also the child of an alcoholic, whose mother has been sober for over 35 years, was the person Caren turned to. Together on Leah’s front porch, Caren would lament about her mother’s drinking. Then, over a Friday night dinner with our husbands, we decided that there was no place for women to share their stories—the sad, happy and everything in between—of drinking and the effect it has on their life. We would provide that place.
In an effort to discover who the readers—of the future book we hoped to publish—would be, we started the Drinking Diaries blog. We queried women authors to do Q&A interviews, and let out shrieks of jubilation when we got a “yes” from accomplished writers like Joyce Maynard, Jackie Mitchard and Julie Powell. They all had tales to contribute. We went to blogging conferences and writing workshops, asking women along the way to share their stories. Sex and drinking. Parenting and drinking. Work and drinking. Family and drinking. Culture and drinking. Health and drinking. Nearly three years later, it’s all here.
Somewhere along the way, we were deemed “experts” on the subject of women and drinking. We’ve been interviewed for radio shows and TV-news programs, and featured on various blogs. Recently, Caren wrote an article, “The Art of Mindful Drinking,” and did a related podcast for a national magazine.
Both mothers of three children each, we start our twice-weekly work sessions with a catch-up walk through a beautiful Long Island Sound-lined park before returning to our office—Caren’s kitchen. Over mugs of tea and handfuls of almonds, we bicker like an old married couple over grammar, Leah’s blackberry addiction, and Caren’s roving attention toward shopping websites. Some stories make us laugh hysterically like two teenage girls. Others hit very close to home. And when we “score” an interview or get a response from a high-profile person we never expected to get, we high-five like football players.
When we’re not working together on the forthcoming anthology, we are working independently from home on new posts for the blog, which we update every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We touch base via email and phone several times a day, basking in glory on a day when the blog has a high number of hits, and sharing frustration when a writer fails to turn in a piece that she swore was coming yesterday.
This journey has grown from seed on Leah’s porch, to stalk with our blog, to blossoming flower this Fall, when the book hits the shelves—both virtual and in bookstores. Our partnership is a labor of love more than a business venture. The stories are there. We are just asking women to scratch the surface and let them out.