The story started with Helen and Gracie, two chaos monsters who are besties but facing big changes at the end of middle school, and the question of how our friendships can evolve and even get stronger rather than falling apart when we’re challenged. At the same time I was trying to figure out how to talk about periods in a positive way as a parent when I had found them pretty awful in my own childhood. What I kept coming back to was friendship, starting in middle school and going for decades at this point. We’ve asked each other Is this normal? Do you have an extra pad? Can you see my pad? If I wear this long t-shirt so no one can see my pad will everyone know I’m wearing it because I have my period in the first place?!?! Oh no are those are ruined? What did your doctor say? Our friends don’t have to have all the answers and often we can’t fix things for each other, but just going through a common experience together and supporting one another can turn something that seems impossible into a part of life you can not only survive, but even laugh at. Because I’m a writer, I decided to work through those feelings in 60,000 words instead of a simple conversation.