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Sister stories

Sisters - you laugh with them and cry with them. They can drive you crazy. You love them.

We asked you, our readers, to share your sister stories - and Grrrrrl, did you ever! We received so many that we didn't have room to print them all in these pages, although you can read many more online, click here. Most of these sisters stories contain an "Aha!" moment - a special event or turning point that illustrates the sister relationship. Not all are peaches and cream; some write of loss or broken relationships, wishing for mending.

In our "stories," Kathy has a younger sister and brother - twins. Norma grew up with two older brothers - no sisters. Having no sisters, Norma has had a lifelong curiosity about these mysterious female sibling relationships. Growing up, her friend Sherry was rich in sisters - no brothers. Sherry's all-female household was Norma's first introduction to the complexities of sister relationships.

For this issue we visited with Jearlyn and Jevetta Steele, sisters who sing together, about the complexity of their female bond. They have a lot to say about the roles they play as equals, and as older and younger sisters; harmony and discord; how they intuit each other's needs, and how they come back together after a disagreement.

We've also found that sisters can be chosen. Darlene Bell has been paired up with three "Little Sisters" over the years. She shares about the importance of older women building relationships with younger women.

Choosing a sister is powerful. When the two of us started working together at the Women's Press nearly 25 years ago, we didn't know we'd develop a sister-like bond. But having similar feminist sensibilities - and an overdrive in our work capacities - along with quite different skill sets and personalities has given us a strong respect and appreciation for each other.

Some things we've learned about sisterhood:
• You can "choose" your sisters, and it's important to surround yourself with women who support and encourage you, women who confirm your beliefs but who also challenge your thinking.
• To find sisters, you have to be willing to take a chance, go to new places, meet new people, show up as the authentic woman you'd like to have as a sister.
• Intentional communication is critical - having a willingness to work on differences, speak truth and stay in relationship when the going gets tough.

We hope that this package of sister stories stirs your thinking about the women in your lives - either biological or chosen sisters - and about what those relationships are or could be.

Also in this May issue, the annual What Women Want! section starting on page 25 is like your sisters' best suggestions for favorite places to go and things to do that are women-friendly. The honorees are the results of the Women's Press' What Women Want poll in December and January. Keep this issue as a resource for best places for a girlfriends' road trip; women-friendly graduate programs; home remodeling or car repairs; the best places to take kids on a rainy day, and more.

Coming up:
June's theme is "women and wheels." When were you glad you gave yourself a green light? Tell us about it.
Send up to 150 words to editor@womenspress.com
Deadline: May 10, 2014
June 2014 Advertising Sections:
• Elder Guide
• Food and Drink Guide
• Women Going Places Guide
• GoSeeDo Guide
Deadline: May 10, 2014

July's focus is "winning and losing" and we're asking: When was a time that you won or lost and what did that mean to you?
Send up to 150 words to editor@womenspress.com
Deadline: June 10, 2014
July advertising sections:
• Celebrate Your Independents - Buy Local Guide
• Health Guide
• Women and Pets Guide
• GoSeeDo Guide
Deadline: June 10, 2014


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