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MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2007
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Calling all busy women
Find a few minutes to write a ‘day diary’

By Melissa Rayworth
For The Associated Press

What will you be doing Tuesday? Joni Cole wants to know. And if you tell her, she might just publish the details.

Cole is a co-editor of the “This Day in the Life” book series, which began in 2002 with the publication of “This Day: Diaries from American Women.” The concept of her books is this: Women from across the country submit “day diaries” of their thoughts and actions from a single 24-hour period, which Cole then compiles into a snapshot of the varied and often hectic lives of American women.

As she prepares the next installment, Cole has teamed up with Colgate to create the National Day Diary Project, which encourages women to post their diaries at www.my247life.com.

“Anybody across the country can pick a single day and she can go to the Web site and post it and read other women’s day diaries,” said Cole. The added bonus for those who choose Tuesday as their day to chronicle is that they may be included in Cole’s next book, due out in 2008.

The Web site, designed as a virtual community where women can connect over their similarities and marvel at their differences, also serves as an advertising vehicle for Colgate’s Lady Speed Stick deodorant. It offers tips on creating a successful diary, although Cole said there’s no wrong way to participate.

“Women should know, this is not a writing project. Every woman has a beautiful natural voice, the voice she hears in her head when she’s thinking,” said Cole.

So far, the site lists a few dozen entries, but Cole expects traffic to increase as more women hear about the project.

“I thought one of the biggest challenges when I did the book would be to entice women to participate,” she said. But she received a flood of submissions, ranging from the mundane (“At Walgreens drive-through picking up prescriptions. I’m actually surprised I remembered.”) to the philosophical (“What more can we ask of life than that we would be missed if we were not here?”).

In her most recent book (“This Day in the Life: Diaries from Women Across America,” published in 2005), a mother of two from North Carolina writes about her older daughter: “One minute I adore her, the next minute she makes me want to get on a bus and leave town.”

Cole isn’t surprised by the honesty. “Writing as the day goes along almost nudges you to be honest,” she said. “It does get to what is really in our heads or really in our hearts .... You don’t have time to edit or package yourself when you’re changing diapers or meeting that deadline.”

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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