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Showing posts from August, 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 nove

Wonder Woman versus Atomic Blonde

Women have longed for female protagonists portrayed as strong, resilient, intelligent, intuitive, multi-faceted individuals in fiction and in film. To prove they are as capable as men ... with both hands tied behind her back while wearing four-inch heels. The film  Wonder Woman  was released this year to much fanfare, proving a woman superhero could carry a film on her slender shoulders, a feat film writers believed would never happen. Wonder Woman is a goddess raised by Amazons with superhuman strength and magic powers. She is appalled by the mindless killing she encounters during the war with Germany. She intends to save humanity in spite of their flaws, only to learn humans are warlike by nature. I wonder if she grew weary of the endless conflict over the decades? (I know I am). From Nazis to Ares God of War, her love saves the day. She is the more noble kick-ass heroine, but she takes punches in stride. In an attempt to right past wrongs and make up for lost time, we now have

We Are Women, Hear Us Roar

We are mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, girlfriends, nieces, lovers. We are doctors, nurses, athletes, homemakers, lawyers, counselors, songwriters, test pilots, educators, chefs, scientists, writers, mathematicians, coaches, astronauts, steelworkers, Olympians, manufacturers, dentists, importers, store owners, librarians, poets, race-car drivers, soldiers, activists, entertainers, salespeople, dog walkers, inventors, factory workers, CEOs, CFOs, industrialists, computer experts, photographers, maids, florists, gardeners, filmmakers, actors, architects, explorers, artists, veterinarians, technicians, newscasters, journalists, therapists, models, designers, law enforcement, auto mechanics, psychologists, royalty, entrepreneurs, caregivers, senators, researchers, astrophysicists, prime ministers, physical therapists, FBI agents, etc. Anywhere things need doing, there’s a woman, and she can do more than one thing at a time. Sometimes three things, and many times she can do them better

Wonder(ing) Woman

On the outside, I'm staring blankly at the screen, my fingers frozen on the keys as my once-steaming cup of coffee congeals. On the inside, I'm hurling enough blistering invective at the neighborhood dogs to turn any listeners within a three-block radius into pillars of salt. The barking is driving me nuts. Come on, focus. Wonder Woman; I'm supposed to be writing something about how Wonder Woman relates to my writing. Psht. Yeah. I wonder  how I ever get anything done; how about that? Hey, that could work. How does Wonder (insert gender here) manage to do All The Things without collapsing in a sobbing heap at the bottom of a carton of Dark Chocolate Caramel Espresso* ice cream? Ah, I see that you are now on the edge of your seat, hoping that I will reveal either The Secret or the location of said ice cream. Truth be told, they are one and the same. In two words: self care. Back when my husband was diagnosed with the second of six cancers (I tell you, he'

Give Yourself a Break

Photo by Roy Chan , via Flickr I have a problem with guilt, probably because I was raised by a workaholic father who was raised by a Puritanical mother. It is hard for me to do nothing. It is especially hard for me to write nothing. Because that’s who I am, see? I’m a writer, so if I’m not writing, then guilt spreads its snarly tentacles throughout my brain. The unfortunate part of this mindset is that guilt does not produce much. So when I talk to other writers, I advise them to not be like me. Here’s what I tell them: Take a day off and do no writing at all. Don’t even turn on your computer. Forget you are a writer. Pretend you are a plumber, or an accountant, or a scuba diver. Go for a walk. Call your brother and give him some advice. Go shopping and buy something you never thought you’d wear. Go swimming at the YMCA to exercise more of your body than just your fingers. Take a bubble bath. Sing folk songs at the top of your lungs. (You can sing in the bath if you want.) It

#FridayReads : Emily, Jenny, Wonder Woman, and Me

I have a confession to make. I have been writing a memoir about the years I lived in Yemen for about three years now. At least, that is what I pretend. In reality, I wrote several chapters in a streak of inspiration, then ran into a wall. In my case, the wall consisted of my uncertainty about writing about the time we spent in a small village that was under siege by rebel forces. Uncertainty is not the right word. Inability is more like it. So, there the manuscript sits. Occasionally I pull it up and start writing, only to quit in frustration after a paragraph or two. I don't know how to convey the reality of that time in a way that will make it understandable to my readers. Make that "I didn't know how..." because, as often happens, everything aligns to give some clarity just when we need it. The first star that aligned occurred in a writing group I am in. I was expressing my frustration with myself and my writer's block, and mentioned that all I had been abl

What is Your Superpower?

One of the games we play at our annual Summer Drama Camp is a name game that includes everyone saying their name and what superpower they have. It is a way to help the campers get acquainted, but it also invites them to start thinking about tapping into their imagination for understanding the creative side of what we are doing at camp. Sure we have fun, but that is only a small part of a drama camp. What I have found very interesting when we play that game, is that the kids rarely say they can fly like Superman or climb up the sides of buildings like Spiderman, or run with the blinding speed of Wonder Woman . Often they share things like; "I can remember things." "I can sing very high notes." "I am good at drawing." "I can make my dog sit." That last one is good if we need someone to corral an unruly child. This camp, which I started 15 years ago with a handful of campers and two other adult volunteers, has evolved into a major event