Inspiration strikes in odd places. Today mine came from by Sierra Godfrey’s blog post on Woman’s History Month. She asked that we think about women in our lives and be thankful for them.
I’m going to be thankful for the strong women, who aren’t necessarily in my life, but they’ve influenced it beyond a doubt. I’m not talking fictional people, or authors. Charley R. already posted what amounts to my Ode to Anne McCaffrey *grin* these are the women whose genes I have running in my system.
These are the women of my previous generations that have inspired my character to be the women they are. And they all funneled through my mother and into me. I’m sure my dad’s side of the family had its share, seeing as my Abuela was a Missionary down in South America. I just happen to know my mom’s family a bit better.
- It might have taken her a bit to get through the divorce and find a proper mate, but she did it. More than that she took up the back breaking work of cleaning houses to put food on the table and clothing on my back.
- She never gave up her dream of graduating college either. She beat me to it too. She walked down the aisle to get her Bachelors the week before I did.
- She’s my real life Cinderella, with a closet of ball gown to prove that finding your Frog Prince isn’t always that easy. (What? My step-father happens to be a French Swamp Yankee, and they both love my analogy).
My Grandmother (mother’s side):
- Oh Nellie, where to begin with her? Anyone who has read my collaborative story, Faerie Bound, on Protagonize, will know Haddie. Haddie pretty much is my grandmother. She was vocal in town hall in her day, she raised six boys with my mom’s help and raised hell with anyone who might cross her.
- Case in point – She became a Court Advocate for abused women, taking up a position in the court that served the town she raised her boys in. Sometimes the abusers would try to approach her desk (located in a hallway mind you) to harass ‘their woman’. Well the moment my grandmother caught their eye they’d be all ‘yes ma’am’ no ma’am’ ‘I’ll just be going now Mrs. B.’
- In fact I could give you all sorts of anecdotes about her. Some good some bad. Maybe on another day.
My great-grandmother, (mother’s, mother’s side):
- I actually got to know her as the little old lady who made yummy donuts and collected bells.
- She sang in the choir and held faith fast, despite an abusive husband.
- She stayed independent in her own home, up until the last few years.
- As I love telling people, she camped out with the girl scouts until she was 76 at which point she declared sleeping on the ground wasn’t good for her back.
My great-grandmother (mother’s father’s side):
- I’ve only heard stories about her, but she sounds pretty amazing.
- For one she was a trolley car conductor in Maine. We’re talking turn of the last century people (1920s/30s)! That’s a pretty amazing job for a woman to have back then.
- When she separated from her husband, whom she never divorced, she bought the house across the street from his and cleaned houses to support herself and her boys and a couple nieces and nephews.
How can I not write strong female protagonists when these women are in my blood? What about you, is there someone, or a group of someones who have influenced you?
:} Cathryn Leigh