Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Wonder Women — in fact and in fiction


As we have seen in this month's posts, the term "Wonder Woman" creates different images for different people. For example, some might argue the women pictured above are not Wonder Women. Really? I'm fairly certain they can do a lot of things I can't do, which makes them Wonder Women in my book. In this article, however, I'd like to address one flesh-and-blood variety and three fictional ones who in very diverse ways also fit this category for me.

In the past, I've shared my admiration for fantasy author S. K. Randolph. As her editor, I've witnessed her evolution into a true Wonder Woman Writer who creates and develops three-dimensional characters of salvation, of purpose, and of revenge. A former ballerina and dance instructor, she has transferred her creative skills into a choreography of words. Her first novel, The Dimensioner's Revenge published in 2011, took seven years to write because she was working full time. The following three novels and eleven companion shorts (all together totaling some 738,000 words) have since been completed and published, a most respectable accomplishment. Beyond the impressive word counts, she exhibits a rare excellence in her expressive use of language and overall attention to detail, imparting not only extraordinary stories, but also moments of insight and wisdom appropriate to readers of all ages and genres.

One of Randolph's many memorable characters, Jaradee Myrlindah dedicates her life to preserving her people and her culture from annihilation, thus qualifying for Wonder Woman status. Loyal, focused, and committed, she sacrifices herself to save her young daughter. Her story, related in Jaradee's Legacy, speaks of the powerful good that women can bring to the most desperate situations.

Speaking of characters who make the Wonder Women team, I would like to submit two of my own. Katherine Kohler, protagonist of my soon-to-be-released A Brother Betrayed, endures the death of her beloved husband, the loss of her job, the wrath of her daughter, and the vendetta of her brother-in-law to regain control of her life. At times in doubt of her ability to cope with one more tragedy, she finds a strength she didn't know she possessed to push ahead against overwhelming odds that seem determined to defeat her.

Another character from this novel who earns Wonder Woman kudos, Yoshiko Yamamoto loses her mother at an early age, lives under the thumb of her emotionally distant father, and falls into the clutches of an abusive man. Walking a tightrope of terror to protect herself and her young son, this gentle woman finds support in others who see hints the strong person residing behind the wall of fear that rules her life. Finally mustering the strength to face her demons, she emerges to become more than she ever believed she could be and a true Wonder Woman.

Editor Linda Lane has returned to her first love—writing—while maintaining her editing work. She also helps new and not-so-new writers improve their skills through posts on Blood Red Pencil and offers private mentoring as well. You can contact her through her writing website, LSLaneBooks.com. Also, you can visit her at DenverEditor.com.

10 comments :

  1. It's tough to be a Wonder Woman when faced with all the obstacles your protagonist faces. But that's kind of the way life is. I recently watched Hidden Figures and discovered another group of amazing Wonder Women I'd never heard about before. Women rock!

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  2. It's amazing how many Wonder Women we never hear about. It seems that especially women of color and minorities are even more often not recognized for the major contributions they bring to the many lives they touch. I rarely go to theaters, but I will make a point of watching Hidden Figures; it's the first movie in years that has made my "must see" list.

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  3. What wonderful examples, Linda. Both Randolph's and your books, which sound intriguing, are definitely examples of Wonder Women. As for the two ladies pictured, I KNOW they can do more things than I ever could.

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  4. Women who populated this country after harrowing voyages across an unforgiving ocean, women forced into service as slaves in a land that ignored their basic human rights, and those who ventured into the wild and rugged west as this country opened up were true Wonder Women. It's difficult to fathom the hardships they endured as workers, wives, mothers, grandmothers, and keepers of homes that give deep new meaning to "rustic". Ordinary women leading extraordinary lives, often under the most difficult of conditions, fill the earth. Their place--our place--in the human race continues to evolve as the struggle for acknowledgement and fair treatment goes on; yet most live with grace, dignity, and accomplishment. Wonder Women all!

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  5. There are so many female role models to choose from: from science, medicine, literature, and those quieter fierce woman across the globe managing under difficult circumstances. You don't need a cape to be a hero.

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  6. Exactly! No cape required. We need to remember and appreciate the accomplishments of those who work so hard to do the good they do.

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  7. Great article, Linda, and I can't wait to meet those two Wonder Women from your novel. I am curious about the ethnic mix, and you are so right about the need to celebrate Wonder Women of color.

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  8. Many women who are celebrated today are white. Yet among our ranks we have a multitude of very talented ladies of all colors and ethnic backgrounds. Why is it that we don't embrace people for who they are and the beauty they bring to our lives? Why must we focus on the color of their skin, their ethnic background, or their religion? We can't change the world, but we don't have to support its prejudices regarding race, religion, ethnicity, or gender.

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  9. There are many great examples of women who deserve the title of "Wonder Woman". Thanks for sharing this post!


    www.ficklemillennial.com

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  10. Yes, Gina, there are. Many live low-key lives, and we never learn of the contributions they make.

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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