Women seem to be at the forefront of current events. The #MeToo movement is just one aspect, but very vocal and evident. Women want to be heard, they refuse to be dismissed or discounted. They’re marching, voting, organizing, reporting, running for office. The word “feminist” became the word –of-the-year. Why not? Women have been trying to speak out ever since Eve first discovered the apple in the Garden of Eden.
Museums are acknowledging women artists that they might have overlooked before, female authors are winning national and international book awards, women are winning elections as governors, senators, representatives, almost as President, including minority women candidates.
I grew up in an era that after a time of war when women’s help was essential, the world then expected women to go back to the kitchen, raise the children and be the perfect little housefrau again, cooking, baking and loving their Westinghouse refrigerator (courtesy of Betty Furness tv commercials). But did all women really just want that, having no choice in the matter. We still don’t pay female workers equally to men, but opportunities now continue to open up.
My books were born in that frame of mind. My female protagonists are restless, sometimes unfulfilled, yearning for something they can’t always describe, willing to take risks, but always aware of the times they live in. They don’t always understand why they can’t conform, but they know they can’t, they’re ultra-sensitive to their own hurts but also to the pain of others. I confess that some of their qualities and their flaws probably resemble some of my own, but I do believe that the stories of the ordinary woman in an extraordinary circumstance are the stories that are closest to my heart.
I’ll bet that many of you out there have your own stories which are bursting to be told. None of us may win Pulitzer prizes, but our stories are important and I hope that you will take the chance and try your hand at writing. Even if it’s just to put it on paper for yourself, it’s worth the time and energy to do it. First the toe in the water, then jump right in. The deeper you go, the more fun it is. See you in the deep end of the pool.