As editor, I receive story ideas every day which highlight inspiring, enterprising and successful Rochester-area women (usually over age 25). These ideas are right up our alley since that’s generally our focus. But lately, we’ve been receiving submissions about women under the age of 25 who are doing incredible things in our area. It has been fun for me to read about these driven, focused young women, but, unfortunately, we haven’t had much opportunity to present these stories yet.
So to change that—and to kick off the call for nominations for our 10th Annual Extraordinary Rochester Women Award (ERWA)–we’ve done two things. First, we added a “young woman” category to the Extraordinary Rochester Women Award For more details, see the call for nominations (page 38).
Second, we chose to feature a young woman’s story on the cover. “Outstanding in Her Field” (page 20) is about a Blooming Prairie woman who began farming her own crops at age 18 on 40 acres rented to her by her grandmother. Now, 15 years later, she farms over 550 acres, raises cattle and sells chickens and Thanksgiving turkeys.
In every issue, I have the opportunity to learn something I didn’t know before, like the fact that Title IX—the federal equal rights legislation best known for giving women equal opportunity in sports—doesn’t specially mention equality in athletics (see “Exercising Women’s Rights, page 60). Sometimes our stories catch me by surprise and question how I think, like our healthy living article “Beyond ‘Nip/Tuck’” (page 62). Originally meant as a topic for our taboo issue this past July/August, this piece discusses commonly held misconceptions about plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures.
I volunteered to research and write this piece thinking it would be interesting to learn what a tummy tuck is. In the end, I discovered that many of my assumptions about plastic surgery are wrong …the biggest revelation being who has it done (at least in Rochester) and why. It’s not filled with hordes of vain women having needless nips and tucks like some TV drama, but often involves men and women who had major life changes that altered their bodies (accidents, diseases, major weight loss, difficult pregnancies) and were ashamed to seek help putting them back together. The article left me with a greater appreciation of plastic surgery as a way to restore dignity rather than a tool for vanity. Take a look and see what you think.
On a personal note, this is my last issue as editor for Rochester Women magazine. Although I have enjoyed this position greatly, I’ve come to realize that there are writers who edit and editors who write. For the last year and a half, I’ve been an editor who writes, but really I am a writer who edits. I’ve been writing since I was 13 years old, drumming out stories about Duran Duran on a Mead® notebook. It is part of my genetic code. Without it, I (and my family) suffer. So, I am leaving my post as editor to return to the thing I love doing most in the world: Writing fiction full-time.
My sincere thanks to all who have opened their homes and businesses to me, shared their time, talents and stories with me, as well as to the writers, photographers and designers who make the magazine possible and to the readers who love the magazine as I have: “May you have warm words on a cool evening, a full moon on a dark night, and a smooth road all the way to your door.” ~Irish Toast
All the best,