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The Blogs of TSP

THE SISTER PROJECT is a blog network: a blog of interrelated sister blogs. We are starting with a small family; soon there will be more sisters, perhaps including some of you. Here’s our family tree so far, with one caveat: Though there are a lot of Smiths in the cast, none of them is related, at roachduosidebarleast not genetically. SHE SAID, SHE SAID She Said, She Said is both sides of the sister story. A digital dual memoir by TSP’s oldest sisters, Marion Roach Smith (left), 53, with occasional outbursts by Margaret Roach, 55, it celebrates alternate realities, tenderly and yet bluntly illustrating the universal truth that no two siblings experience anything the same way.  How to explain that truth? Nature? Nurture? It’s a little of both and also neither. And here, under one virtual “cover,” is what that looks like.  Marion, a writing teacher, radio columnist and author, and Margaret, former editorial director of Martha Stewart Living turned blogger, don’t look, act or talk alike. Want to listen in, and watch what happens?

HEY, LITTLE SISTER In Hey Little Sister, as in life, Paige Smith Orloff, multitasks: She is a writer and a cook, a wife and a mother…an only child faced with the charge of helping her daughter to be a good sister to Paige’s son.  “I’m not always sure I know how to do that, or even what it means,” she says. “If I don’t know what a sister’s supposed to do or be, how in the world can I help her learn?”  Paige, 42, may not have biological sisters, but she has picked up some soul sisters along the way, throughout a life that’s taken her from New York, to Hollywood, and now (to the amusement of all who know her) to a farm in the Hudson Valley of New York State (just up the road from Margaret Roach, not far from Marion Roach Smith, and near where Anastasia Smith grew up). “My sisters-by-choice are her companions in the kitchen and in cahoots,” she says. “Whether over cocktails, coffee or broadband connection, they keep me honest, providing patient company as I try to understand my life as a person, a parent, and in my own way, a sister.” Meet Paige.

CLAIMING SISTERHOOD Anastasia Smith, 24, a recent college graduate now pursuing her MFA in creative writing, is the face of Claiming Sisterhood, exploring the two definitions of that tricky verb claim: “to take it as the rightful owner,” and also “to assert it in the face of possible contradiction.” A younger sister to a brother, Anastasia is setting out to find and claim sisterhood on her own terms, “equipped,” she says, “with enough brains and know-how from a liberal-arts institution to connect the dots on the most random of topics, and with no pressing domestic plans on the horizon (i.e., homeownership, husbands, Huggies).” For Anastasia, sisterhood is always linked to feminism—“perhaps simply because sisterhood and feminism are both gendered terms—though also because I think that a search for sisterhood, at its base, is a negotiation of women’s connection to a collective female identity.” She’s not claiming “to have a treasure map (yet) for the intangible meaning in sisterhood (or feminism),” but through this blog she is “exploring the facets of sisterhood, from identity politics to pop-culture.”  Explore with her.

ASTROLOGY: THE THIRD HOUSE, by Sheilaa Hite: an exploration of the astrology of relationship, especially that of us as women and as siblings. Sheilaa kicked off 2009 with a look at the year numerologically, astrologically–and by telling her own sister story. Read her first installments here.