RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
We're going to hear from a science fiction writer now, Pat Cadigan. She'll be telling a true story that she called in to the NPR project Hidden World of Girls, produced by the Kitchen Sisters Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva.
We asked you to call in, too. And you did.
Unidentified Woman #1: You have 87 new messages. To listen to your messages, push three.
(Soundbite of a phone tone)
Unidentified Woman #2: I ran away from home at age 15 and put myself through art school go-go dancing.
Unidentified Man: My daughter got training as a car mechanic, opened a garage in Burlington, Vermont called Girlington.
Unidentified Woman #3: I want to tell you about my struggle with bulimia.
Unidentified Child #1: Hello. I'm 12 years old. I'm on the New Moon Girl's Editorial Board.
Unidentified Woman #4: My mother was a war bride in the Second World War. The English girls that married American soldiers...
Unidentified Child #2: Whenever one of us turns 13, my mother has this big make-up coming-of-age ritual where she'll do your colors. She finds out if you're a fall or a summer. She teaches you how you put on eyeliner...
Unidentified Woman #5: I'm calling about my grandmother. She is 87 years old, and she's been pediatrician for over 50 years, started an all-female practice in the South in the 1950s. She is one of my heroes and works in inner city clinics to this day.
Unidentified Woman #1: Message seven was received at 2:10 A.M. Saturday.
Ms. PAT CADIGAN (Science Fiction Writer): My name is Pat Cadigan. My best friend Rosemarie and I had a very involved secret life when we were in elementary school. After we saw "The Day the Earth Stood Still" on TV, we invented a whole secret life in which we were twins from the planet Venus and we were in charge of the entire solar system, as well as Earth. This mostly involved having our secret, exclusive contact with The Beatles...
Mr. JOHN LENNON (Singer/Songwriter/Musician): Hello, this is John speaking with his voice. We're all very...
Ms. CADIGAN: ...who came to us for advice about their songs and how to deal with fame and other important matters. On occasion, they would ask us to use our highly developed shape-shifting ability to become them, and finish recording sessions and concert tours when they were too tired to go on themselves.
Every detail of our exciting lives was being broadcast to our home planet, Venus, as well, providing many hours of entertainment for all the other Venusians. Of course, we had many other super powers which allowed us to help out Superman and Flash, Wonder Woman and a few other superheroes.
Now, this complex double life lasted from 1963 to a time when we should have outgrown it, except we were having too much fun.
Eventually, our lives diverged. Rose stayed in the town where we grew up, married and had two daughters. I went off to university and eventually became a science fiction writer.
We reunited in the early '80s when we were both having marital problems. We tried to keep in touch, although contact became sporadic again. We'd been out of touch for a few years when I found out that Rose had died of bone cancer about two weeks before 9/11, only a few days before she would have turned 50.
She's on Venus now. I'm sure of it.
MONTAGNE: Our series is produced by the Kitchen Sisters and mixed by Jim McKee. If you have a story for The Hidden World of Girls, call us at 202-408-9576. As part of the series, we're also collecting photographs of pages from the diaries of girls. You can find out more at npr.org.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, host:
And I'm Steve Inskeep.