‘Boobs’ book reveals Surrey writer’s ‘Pencil Test’ memories

Christina Myers among 19 contributors to new Caitlin Press anthology

Surrey-based writer Christina Myers has contributed to a new book called “Boobs: Women Explore What It Means to Have Breasts” (Caitlin Press).

SURREY — “The first time I heard about the pencil test, I was sitting in a sea of sleeping bags and pillows, giddy on a combination of 7-Up and gossip.”

So begins Christina Myers’ contribution to a new book that reveals the burdens, expectations and pleasures of having breasts.

Diverse stories and poems by 19 writers are featured in “Boobs: Women Explore What it Means to Have Breasts,” edited by Ruth Daniell and published by Caitlin Press (Caitlin-press.com).

Among the contributors is Myers, who lives in the Bolivar Heights area of North Surrey with her husband and two kids.

With humour and some humility, Myers wrote about “The Pencil Test,” an informal gauge of breast development (and the need to wear a bra) conceived by Ann Landers, the legendary newspaper advice columnist.

Coincidentally, Myers herself is a former columnist and reporter who worked for papers in Burnaby and New Westminster.

“Mine is a story I had in my head for a long time and had never written it down, until this project came about,” she told the Now. “I’d used it as a punchline story over the years. I told it many times kind of as a joke, but underneath that humour was a lot of really challenging emotions attached to it. It’s a classic comedy thing that you turn something hard and challenging, maybe even tragic in a way, and you make it funny, and I’d done that for years. So as soon as I saw this call (for submissions for the ‘Boobs’ book), I knew what I was going to write about.”

Other stories in the book share memories of breastfeeding, breast-reduction surgery, sexual assault, exhibitionism, jealousy, “Late-blooming Boobies,” fashion-magazine images and more. Contributors include established writers (Lorna Crozier, Nancy Lee and Kate Braid among them) and newer voices, including Myers.

“It’s a thrill to have my name in the index list next to some of the writers I’ve known about, and in the biographies at the end,” Myers said.

Her “Pencil Test” story was first tested for an audience.

“I read it once at an event and that was kind of the test for the submission, that if it bombed at a reading, I wouldn’t send it in,” Myers recalled. “But it got a great reception. People laughed at the right parts and so many people came up to me and told me, ‘Oh, I remember the pencil test, that happened to me, too. It affected me.’ That’s what made me think, ‘People get this, I should send it in.’”

The book’s other contributors are Ruth Daniell, Francine Cunningham, Lynn Easton, Laura Ritland, Dina del Bucchia (with David Zomparelli), Sierra Skye Gemma, Jane Eaton Hamilton, Miranda Pearson, Sara Graefe, Taryn Hubbard, Fiona Tinwei Lam, Maggie Wojtarowicz, Emily Wight, Zuri Scrivens and Emily Davidson.



Just Posted

From a drunk judge to Clifford Olson: George Garrett recounts a life in B.C. news radio

New book from ‘Intrepid Reporter’ George Garrett offers readers a glimpse behind the headlines

Surrey second only to Detroit, in North America, for most dramatic home price increases

The report by Point2 Homes looked at 83 real estate markets in Canada, United States and Mexico

OUR VIEW: Some people make it hard not to cast stones

The transgressions of people in positions of trust can shake faith in institutions they represent

Business community feted in anniversary event

South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce awards celebrate excellence

Name that playhouse

Naming sponsorship for White Rock theatre venue is available again

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

B.C. Speaker Darryl Plecas resumes battle with suspended staff

Committee meets at B.C. legislature to consider new allegations

North BC broken axle derailment could happen again: TSB

CN coal train derailment caused by broken axle can happen again without a different way to inspect

Former B.C. fire chief sues his city after termination

Keith Green’s civil claim says that he believes he was wrongfully terminated

B.C. man injured in police shooting now in wheelchair

“Shots were fired by police and the Kelowna man was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.”

Peter Tork, Monkees’ lovable bass-guitar player, dies at 77

Tork, Micky Dolenz, David Jones and Michael Nesmith formed the made-for-television rock band

Wife remembers B.C. man killed in possible case of mistaken identity

Rex Gill was in Kamloops working to support his family after oilfield job dried up

North Delta happening: week of Feb. 21

Events, courses and clubs listings for North Delta

Millennial men least likely to have a family doctor: Statistics Canada

Report found more women have primary care physicians, compared with men

Most Read