Thursday, March 6, 2008

Here's to Girl Power!

March is Women's History Month, a great time to think about all the amazing women you've known. When I began work on my last book, She of the Rib, my original idea was to create a collection of tribute poems written to specific women who have impacted my life. I ended up taking the book in a different direction, but I'd still like to write those tribute poems at some point--if I could manage to distill into 30 or 40 lines the impact that Ruby Miller, Reta Barnes, Eula Tillis, and others like them have had (and continue to have) on me.

I'm a big believer in celebrating, so here's how I want you to honor Women's History Month: find a quiet place and a quiet time (yeah, I know, that's the toughest part of this assignment) and make a list of twenty women who have made a difference in your life. Teachers, family members, friends, perhaps even women you've never actually met. (Author Louisa May Alcott is high on my own list, for example; she was a huge influence on my becoming a writer.) Anyway, after you make your list, pick one person who is alive and well and write a note telling her what she's meant to you. A note, mind you--and handwritten, no less! Not a signed Hallmark card, not an e-mail. Everybody deserves to receive a note worth keeping forever, and for all you know, this might be the one. Make it worthy! Put that little piece of your heart in the mail, then find a special place to keep your List of Amazing Women so you can bring it out again next March to add another name, write another note, or just reflect again on the many wonderful women who've made you who you are today.

In the meantime, here's a list of women who, through either their intellect, ability, compassion, conviction, or courage, have made a difference for all of us. If there's a name you don't recognize, please take a moment to click on it and see what that woman's contribution was. And if you'd like post a comment about these or other amazing women to whom we need to pay tribute this month, please do!

1 comment:

Glenda (Writerlady) said...

Besides family some great women have touched my life and changed it for the better. My favorite teacher, Mrs. Chapman taught me to love books by reading great stories to us every afternoon in third grade. She also influenced my decision to become a teacher.
A strong and courageous woman, Verna, taught me to paint with oils at a time in my life filled with grief and stress. She probably never knew what she meant to me. And another woman, a teacher and caring person, changed my life and because of her I finally had the faith in myself to follow my passion. Nancy Simpson, poet, mentored many writers and I am fortunate to have been one of them.