Every now and then I like to round up and share Three Good Things I've found recently out and about on the internet. A bit fired up by recent debates and talk of women collected in 3-ring office products, it seemed timely - or at least cathartic - to devote today's post to Three Good Things for Women Writers.
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Word of The Glass Woman Prize, a literary prize for women writers, comes from author J.A. Pak, this year's winner for her lovely short story "miranda." The prize is privately funded by writer Beate Siggridaughter to encourage and support women writers. Siggridaughter's description of a "glass woman" is inclusive and poetic:
"a woman of glass, with a blood system and gut system visible inside her, pipes and veins, and in those there would be bits of poetry, newspapers, roses, sentimental things, baby’s teeth, locks of baby hair, all kinds of lace bits, birds, and foxes, ice-picks, wedding rings, veils, and wedding cake doves, graduations gowns, tarot cards, sacred stones, pressed flowers, and a whole lot of joy and a whole lot of sorrow. She’d have a flute and a piano key, an ankh, everything, anger and joy, hope, hiking gear, rock climbing gear, motorcycle gear, dirt, fear, bras, lilacs, mirrors, underwear. What about the brittleness of glass? I would make it unbreakable glass, of course: transparent, but shatter-proof."
And speaking of women writing with bits of poetry, joy, sorrow, fear and hiking gear, I recently read (and loved) Cheryl Strayed's memoir Wild (Alfred Knopf, 2012), in which the author, devastated by her mother's death, takes to hiking the Pacific Coast Trail - alone. I must confess to being drawn to pilgrimage stories (Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez's movie The Way, though kind of schmaltzy, has me determined to walk El Camino de Santiago someday) and Wild is a great choice if you like personal transformation stories set in the beauty, isolation, and grit of the great outdoors. I was especially moved by Wild's raw honesty - Strayed courageously puts everything out there - including some brutally tough emotions, bad choices, and regrets. It's hard to imagine what it must have taken to write the book, but as I looked to Strayed's website for more information about her life after the hike, found these inspiring words for writers:
"Be brave. Write what’s true for you. Write what you think. What about what confuses you and compels you. Write about the crazy, hard, and beautiful. Write what scares you. Write what makes you laugh and write what makes you weep. Writing is risk and revelation. There’s no need to show up at the party if you’re only going to stand around with your hands in your pockets and stare at the drapes."
These are only Three Good Things for Women Writers, ones I happened to notice and like; but there are many, many more out there. Please share other favorites in the comments below.
May your writing binders be full of beauty and bravery - and happy reading!