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Meet 2015 Golden Heart Finalist Diana Muñoz Stewart!

Welcome back from the holiday weekend, everyone! Today we’re delighted to welcome Diana Muñoz Stewart, 2015 Golden Heart Finalist in Young Adult Romance with her manuscript MIND TRAVELER.

Diana Muñoz Stewart’s award-winning young adult and adult romantic fiction includes paranormal, science fiction, and contemporary stories. No matter the genre or whether her characters face death, danger, or the daunting trials of everyday life, readers are guaranteed a fast-paced story along with all the tingly temptations of a swoon-worthy romance. 

In addition to writing multi-genre fiction, Diana runs her own company providing web content on health, writing, and family. She earned her Master’s degree in Creative Writing from University of Southern Maine and is an active member of RWA and SCBWI. When not writing, she can be found off-roading in her Jeep—easy to spot by the license plate WRITE ME—or behind her lakeside home, kayaking and hiking with her kids and the man who’s had her heart since they were teens. 

Diana is represented by the wonderful Michelle Grajkowski of Three Seas Literary Agency.

Here’s a blurb for MIND TRAVELER:

A time traveling teen struggles to save the world from her future self.

Sixteen-year-old Able McKinney just wants a normal life. Finding out aliens hijacked her future brain in order to carry out their evil plans—so not helping. 

She should probably give up and tattoo fatalistic poetry all over her face. Except, she’d rather fight back.


Allied with Rainer, present secret crush and future commando heartthrob, Able travels through her own mind and into her future body to wage a war through time. Her desperate actions could reverse the alien plague devastating her world, but could also separate her from the boy she loves forever.

Wow, Diana! I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THAT!! What a fabulous twist (in fact, a whole series of twists!!) on the whole time-traveling-to-save-the-world genre!! I will snap that up as soon as it hits shelves!

Okay, readers—Diana’s here today with a fascinating perspective on what it really means to write “strong female characters.”

 Take it away, Diana!

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dianamunozstewartA Strong Female Character?

Shortly after I received that exciting call telling me that my science fiction YA, Mind Traveler, was a finalist in the Golden Heart, I began to interact with the other 2015 Golden Heart finalist in a private online group.

People began introducing themselves and sharing stories. These women were unique, diverse, and had gone through a lot of adversity not just on their journey as writers but in their lives.

As well as successes, every day manias, humor, fashion choices, marketing strategies, and business tips, these women shared stories of children with learning disabilities, divorce, heartbreak, job loss, injury, and illness.

As I read their inspiring and touching stories, I also began seeing articles online on “How to Write a Strong Female Character.”

I have to admit that seeing that headline stung. It seemed to me that the headline assumed that we, the everyday women of the world, were not strong. And that somehow authors needed to rack their brains, test the very limits of their imaginative boundaries, have articles, and numbered lists in order to conjure up a strong female character.

Out of curiosity, I read some of the articles. The examples I came across of what made a female character strong all had to do with women acting in the traditional male roles. And what made them NOT strong included women who sacrificed for others, women who’d been victims of crime, women who compromised, women who were married, or who spent time in the * gasp * kitchen!

Wait. What?

How does a woman cooking a meal for her family make her not strong? How does compromising? And why would it diminish my character in a book? The more I read these articles, the more I came to believe the question meant to promote powerful female characters actually diminished them. And, more importantly, demeaned the diverse and complicated lives of real women.

The question of how to write a strong female character had somehow turned anything that was feminine or caring into something weak. Don’t get me wrong, many of these articles really wanted to expand the roles of women in fiction and I’m all for that! But this had somehow devolved into equating strength with only anger or violence.

Really? Punching someone in the face doesn’t always mean you’re being strong. Especially when done from a place of fear or anger or jealousy.

Writing a strong female character shouldn’t be about writing a character that mimics a select few traditionally masculine attributes. Strength, real strength, is just like the pain people face. It takes many different forms.

It takes real strength to stand beside the bed of your daughter, whose kidneys have failed, and to hold her hand. To stand there and offer her comfort during dialysis when your heart seems to have broken into a thousand jagged pieces that have lodged their sharp objections in your throat. To stand there and to say words of comfort over that aching pain even when you can’t know what her tomorrow will be.

It takes real strength to try to create better days for your child who is injured in body and mind. To cook for that child in the most loving and meticulous of ways. To walk into that child’s room and to find that child has died and to break and break and break and then to carry on without that person. That takes Herculean strength.

It takes real strength to compromise with someone you truly can’t stand in order to continue in your job as a public defender, in order to stand up for those people who you know need your support and your courage. To compromise even when the person you must compromise with equates you to the size of your skirt and the color of your hair.

It takes real strength to create a life for yourself when you’ve been told that you are no greater than your worst mistake. To cast off the dispersions of people who see you as a drug addict, a whore or a victim, and find a way to rise beyond. To advance yourself for yourself. And for your child.

So maybe we should rid ourselves of the idea that women aren’t strong. We who take care of our families, ourselves, and make the world a better place. We are strong. We that go to work, start businesses, stay at home, give birth, adopt, carry our children, the weight of our families, our own dreams while supporting and encouraging the dreams of those we love—we are strong.

Maybe if we accept the notion that everyday women are strong, we wouldn’t need blog posts to tell us how to write strong women. We’d only need to do one thing: pay attention.

We could pay attention to the real women in our lives, to their doubts, fears, challenges, insecurities, triumphs, and the issues that so many mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends face. We could pay attention to the humor, courage, and determination that allows them to face their problems and move through their normal days, normal stresses, and even tragedies.

If we did that then we could create well-rounded characters, real characters, and strong characters. We could make these characters strong at home, in outer space, on the farm, in fantasy. Make them strong in every real, unreal, or fantastical setting our imaginations wanted to play within. Because we wouldn’t have to guess what makes a strong woman strong. We’d know.

Amazon_US_$25_H_03618_31169_CF_0411I would love to hear about the strong women in your life. Please feel free to share in the comments and you could win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

A heartfelt thanks to the wonderful, caring, and strong women of the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood! The Dragonflies truly appreciate the work you do to promote women writers including giving all of us this wonderful opportunity to appear on your blog!

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 Aww, thanks, Diana!!! The Rubies are really loving getting to know the Dragonflies!! Fabulous having you with us today….I expect we’ll have a really interesting conversation about this topic!!

 

Connect with Diana on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DMSwrites

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dmunozstewart

Website: http://www.dianamunozstewart.com/home.html

Blog: http://thewritecatch.blogspot.com

57 responses to “Meet 2015 Golden Heart Finalist Diana Muñoz Stewart!”

  1. Elisa Beatty says:

    Welcome, Diana! What a great topic.

    I admit I do really enjoy the current trend of having strong female characters who’re strong in the way male characters have traditionally been strong (Katniss Everdeen, Brienne of Tarth), but you’re absolutely right that wielding a bow or sword isn’t what makes women strong.

    I grew up with a very strong mother–a women who went into the sciences at a time when women were not welcome in most laboratories, and ignored all the harassment and not only made a name for herself, she worked hard to open the doors for other women and for young people of color. She was also a fiercely loving mother, and she’ll always be my model of strength.

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    • Thanks, Elisa! I love the expanding roles of women in books. And I really liked reading the books you mentioned. I’m certainly not against kick-butt books! In fact, my current WIP is about a group of female vigilantes that take down a sex-slave ring. These women are also part of a large family. So there are children around and lots of sisterly moments! That’s probably why this subject was on my mind. I’m very conscious as I write the story to make the women characters well-rounded, with real women emotions, chores, worries, and yes, they do kick butt. But I don’t want these characters to be strong simply because they pick up a gun or challenge a bad person. I want their strength to shine through in subtle and significant ways too and to come from where I suspect your mother’s strength comes from–the everyday desire to do better and help others. Your mother sounds like an amazing woman!

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  2. Seana Kelly says:

    Amen, Sister! I love this topic and couldn’t agree more. True strength isn’t always obvious, isn’t a punch in the face or an arrow through the heart. More often than not, real courage happens in quiet, invisible moments that go unnoticed by others. I love your championing of the everyday heroes.

    The strong women in my life are real and fictional. My mother was and is an inspiration to me, but so, too, is Jane Eyre, Elizabeth Bennet, Jo March, Hester Prynne, Scout Finch, Nancy Drew, Hermione Granger, Eve Dallas, Mercy Thompson…

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    • Thanks, Seana! I love this, “True strength isn’t always obvious, isn’t a punch in the face or an arrow through the heart.” Yep. And the well-rounded characters are often those that show these layers of strength. Not just a few traditionally male attributes, but also the significant strengths we see in the women we know and love. Thank you so much for your comment!

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  3. Carrie Padgett says:

    What a great and thought-provoking post, Diana. I do love a well-rounded female character who can kiss a boo-Bok and kick the bad guy’s butt if needed. I always liked Mrs. King of ‘Scarecrow and Mrs. King’ fame. (That’s probably before your time.) She took care of her kids and was a spy in her spare time. In real life, my mom is a very strong woman. She worked, raised 5 kids, and stood up for us and herself whenever necessary.
    Great to get to know you, Diana. Good luck in NYC!

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    • Thanks, Carrie! Your mother sounds like a great woman! A woman who is a caring mother and still sticks up for herself. Kissing boo-boos and kicking butt! Exactly! You don’t have to exclude attributes that might be considered traditionally feminine in order to have a character that is strong.

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  4. Nancy Coiner says:

    Loved the post, Diana! And the comments it has elicited, too. Just getting through an “ordinary” life with some grace takes courage, strength, & maturity. But I also get how women got tired of action-focused narratives in which women waited for rescue & were judged mostly on their beauty & loyalty to the hero. One of my favorite counters to that old trend is in Sharon Shinn’s Mystic And Rider, a wonderful romance fantasy.

    Your book sounds ingenious! Congrats.

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    • Thanks, Nancy! I think you’re right. I think that’s where we writers got the notion that if we made our characters more like men–not waiting to be rescued and not being judged on their beauty–that we would make them strong. And we did! I certainly don’t want to diminish women. And making them strong in one way shouldn’t downplay the strength women show every day and have shown throughout history. Maybe if we acknowledge that strength, we can better represent it in our characters. And maybe even recognize it in ourselves. Thank you so much for you comment!

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  5. Kim Law says:

    Hi Diana, and welcome to the blog! Excellent thoughts and points on strong women. There’s a lot about life in general that makes us strong–just being able to get through it. But sometimes we also need to kick some butt 😉 Like some of the other commenters, I love woman like that, who can take care of things at home, but turn badass toward whatever threatens her or her family when she has to!

    Good luck at the awards ceremony in NYC!

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    • Thanks, Kim! I was so happy to be invited her to guest blog! *looks around* It’s beautiful here!

      Yep. I really like the idea of having women characters who aren’t just there to replace the male lead, do what the male lead would do. Characters who actually remind us of and represent the complex and strong women who surround us.

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  6. Mia Sosa says:

    I love this post, Diana! It made me think about the characteristics of some of my favorite female characters. Although some of them are physically strong, that isn’t always the case. The universal trait, it seems, is inner strength, a mental fortitude that enables that woman to handle whatever life throws her way.

    In my own life, my mother is the strongest woman I know, and none of that strength derives from traits generally associated with men.

    Looking forward to meeting you in person later this month!

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    • Thanks so much for your great comment, Mia! I think a lot of times we are attracted to characters that we can relate to in some way. Makes sense in your case. It sure takes a lot of inner strength and mental fortitude to be a writer! I can’t wait to meet you in NYC!

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  7. Sharon Wray says:

    I’m waving furiously to my fellow dragonfly! I loved this blog because it’s a topic I struggle with within my own family. I chose to stay home with my kids when they were born prematurely and the other women in my family, all very smart professionals, just didn’t understand. And most of them still don’t. But I’ve moved passed their censure and have created a wonderful life for myself and my family.

    I think it takes as much strength to “fight the tide” as it does to become a kick-ass assassin or spy. One is just quieter than the other.

    Can’t wait to see you in NYC!

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    • *waves back* Hi, Sharon! Wow. I think your experience is very telling. We should never belittle a woman for her choices. And, yes, holding your head high when you make a decision for your own life that isn’t what others want for you takes a great deal of courage and strength. Bravo! And congratulations on your 2015 final!

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  8. Jessica Darago says:

    Excellent points, Diane!

    I think somewhere along the way the idea of “strong female character,” which was intended to mean “well-written, three-dimensional female character” got co-opted to mean “butt-kicking female character.” (I have opinions on the reason for this, but I’ll keep them to myself.)

    I think one of the single best places to see the difference between these concepts is Orphan Black. All of the clones, all played by the brilliant Tatiana Madslany, have very different, well-defined personalities. Helena is violent to an extreme. On the other hand, you can’t even imagine Cosima defending herself against an attacker, but she arguably has the most grace and inner strength. Allison is the perfect suburban soccer mom on the outside, a seething mess on the inside. Sarah, the main protagonist, has shown the greatest spectrum of characteristics, from nurturing mother to seedy con artist to feats of superhuman physical strength. And so on.

    “Strong” doesn’t have to mean any one thing in this case; the point is, we understand why each of these women is the person she is, and we believe it, because the writers took the time to put these women and their lives at the heart of the story, instead of making them accessories to someone elses’ lives. THAT’s what it means to write strong female characters: to write fully rounded characters who are female. It’s sadly all too rare–outside of romance, that is.

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    • Jessica Darago says:

      (And I carefully edited that and then misspelled “Maslany.” Time for more coffee.)

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    • Hi, Jessica! Wow. I couldn’t agree more. Your points are so on the money. “…because the writers took the time to put these women and their lives at the heart of the story, instead of making them accessories to someone elses’ lives.” This. Yes. And I LOVE that show! The writers do an amazing job of creating complex characters that are familiar and dynamic. Thank you so much for your comments!

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  9. Kimberly says:

    Wonderful wonderful wonderful, Diana. Love your points. I totally believe it takes more strength to harness power for the good of others than to just be violent. And I think that’s what makes some of the really kick-ass heroines of today so awesome, is they’re not pointlessly aggressive. If they’re waging a war, it’s not for themselves, and that is a largely common female trait of power.
    I have a friend Shari who I met just as I decided to pursue adoption. She adopted as a single woman in her thirties from a third world country, which to me is pretty bad ass 🙂 But before she became a wonderful mother to her daughter, she had to fight for the right to adopt as a single person. The agencies back then were much less open to this and she was told she couldn’t. But she faced them down and told them if she was called to do this, how could they justly stand in her way? The agency changed their policy after her visit and opened it’s mind to the rest of us who want to be adoptive single parents. And now she’s raised an amazing daughter and continues to be strong and yet not harsh as she works with special needs children and cares for an aging parent, and yet finds joy in every day and cares about those around her.

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  10. Terri-Lynne says:

    This made me cry all over again. Amazing words. Amazing woman. Is it “entitled” to say I’m so proud of you? ‘Cause I am!

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  11. Jen Gilroy says:

    Great post, Diana. I’m happy to be one of your Dragonfly sisters, and look forward to meeting you in person in New York.

    Sharon Wray’s comment above resonated with me. What unites the strong women I’ve known is having the courage of their convictions to make choices which are right for them. They are also women who don’t judge other women for making different choices. True strength comes from strength of purpose.

    My mother and grandmothers are the women whose strength first inspired me, and their spirits are still guiding influences in my life.

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    • “True strength comes from strength of purpose.” So true, Jen! I’m so glad that we got to connect through our Dragonfly sisterhood! I’ve been so grateful to share this experience with the Dragonflies and to connect online with the many diverse women of RWA. What an amazing experience! Looking forward to meeting you in NYC!

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  12. Oh, Diana, such a beautiful post. You almost had me in tears. I too agree with Sharon when it comes to fighting the tide, staying home to raise your kids, giving up what society deems important. When we’d decided to homeschool our kids–not for any other reason than to nurture them, be with them, and educate them personally, we’d received stares and negative comments, like our aim was to hermit them away from the world. For ten years I’d received snubbings and hurtful comments. My husband was a teacher, so it’s not like we were doing this uninformed.

    I’d started to feel validated when my kids started high school and came home with 95% averages and received comments how their peers looked up to them, how they’d demonstrated patience with others, how respectful and fun-loving they were. Teachers asked them where they learned certain things, and other kids loved hanging out with them. Little by little, I was shedding this skin I’d developed, this non-important, less-human, backward mother casing that had enveloped me for years.

    I’m not saying I’m this strong confident woman, but I too learned so much during those homeshcooling years. Strength comes in many forms, like you pointed out, Diana. I’m just so thankful my kids are loving, intelligent, and eager-to-learn teens. I think maybe I gleaned a little strength from them.

    Can’t wait to give hugs in person, my Dragonfly sister. You’re much loved.
    xo

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    • I think what you did takes incredible strength, Arlene. You are a strong woman! It takes a lot of strength to live in a place where others see you as a “non-important, less-human, backward mother.” And to rise beyond those petty mindsets while striving to educate your children with grace and dignity. Your children sound like amazing individuals. I look forward to meeting you and returning that hug! Much love back!

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    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Awesome, Arlene!! Sounds like you really did right by your kids.

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  13. Maria Powers says:

    Wow. Wow. Wow. Yes, yes, yes. Thank you Diana for saying everything I believe. This is why I love my fellow Dragonflies. Such incredibly brilliant women. Strong, fearless people who make me stretch to be the best that I can be.

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    • I agree, Maria! It has been wonderful getting to know all of you online, and I can’t wait to meet all of you in person! RWA, as shown by the Rubies’ wonderful blog and the thoughtful responses to this post, is comprised of encouraging, intelligent, and supportive individuals.

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  14. Caroline says:

    Diana, you never cease to amaze me. I’m not even sure I’m qualified to leave a comment. You are absolutely right.

    The other day I noticed that since I switched to writing erotic romance, I find the heroes are alphas. I never used to like alphas as heroes. They’re not the marrying kind. They’re strong and silent but they have a hard shell (oops, I almost wrote “hard smell”). But I also noticed that since I started writing alpha heroes, the heroines are their equals. They don’t back down either. They’re tough, dedicated, protective, and clever. If they give up on something, it’s because that goal isn’t what they truly want anymore. But they also have a sense of humor, and that helps them keep it all together.

    I love Joss Whedon’s response when someone asked him, “Why do you write strong female characters?” He said, “Because you’re still asking me that question.”

    You shine in your brilliance, lady. I’m proud to call you my Dragonfly Sister.

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    • Caroline, you’re more than qualified! I think that Joss Whedon quote is great. I have to tell you that a very smart man, a former teacher of mine, Boman Desai, said this on my Facebook page, “Kudos, Diana! I wish more people would think beyond the stereotypes toward what truly makes a person strong as you did. I would add only that what makes a woman strong is also what makes a man strong: recognizing and fulfilling his or her responsibility without regard to the gender stereotypes.” How fantastic that you brought that up here! You’re absolutely right. Matching the valor of our hero and heroine is a fun way to spice up a novel, but that shouldn’t exclude them BOTH from being protective, humorous, and sensitive! Thank you so much for your comment! Looking forward to giving you a huge hug in NYC!

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  15. Spot on, Diana. Strength can be found in endurance, empathy, acceptance, and quiet perseverance. I never knew how strong my own mother was until the last year of her life when I witnessed all she went through in hospice, and saw how her sense of humor and love for others (which included all her caretakers) carried her through to the end of her life.

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    • Linda! I loved this, “Strength can be found in endurance, empathy, acceptance, and quiet perseverance.” You are among one of the strongest women I know. And I am sure that your mother was as remarkable as you. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving your comment!

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  16. Julie Glover says:

    I want to kiss this post — it’s so beautiful!

    I once worked for an attorney who was feminine through and through, even with a soft Southern voice and pink (yes, pink) suits. Was she a pushover? Heck, no! With her smarts and a smile, she disarmed adversaries and negotiated amazing deals for her clients. She was feminine-strong, and I appreciated her approaching her job with the strengths she naturally brought to her tasks.

    My vote for strong women in my life would include breast cancer fighters, women who care for ailing parents and disabled children, domestic abuse overcomers, and young girls who inspire me with their fervor for life. I’m glad you write for those youth, too. Your story sounds amazing! Can’t wait to read it.

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    • Julie, I want to kiss you for wanting kiss this post! Thanks for sharing that great story about the attorney you worked for. She sounds fantastic. I bet that was a fun and challenging job. Oh, we have to find more places to use this, “feminine-strong.” Awesome.

      Yes. Yes. Yes! To the other examples of women of strength you gave too. I am proud to say I know many heroes like the women and girls you mentioned! Thank you so much for your comment!

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  17. Awesome post, Diana! I agree that strength can be defined in so many different ways and all facets of strong women should be embraced. There are so many strong women in my life – my mom and mother-in-law to name a couple. I can’t wait to meet you in NYC and to read your novel!! 🙂 #YALitRocks

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    • Thanks, Tosha! You are a wonderful example of a strong women–one who competes and writes and lives her life to the fullest! I can’t wait to meet you too. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

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  18. Marnee Blake says:

    What an amazing blog, Diana!! I agree!! My mother is my example (I’m sure lots would say that). But, I have friends who raised children alone, friends who fought breast cancer and other diseases.

    I always tell my boys that real strength doesn’t have to do with muscles. And I know lots of women who prove that every day.

    Anyway, I’m super excited to meet you in NYC!

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  19. I love this post, Diana. I think the strongest woman in my life is my daughter, Anne. Back in the 90’s, when almost no lesbians were out, she started working with the Human Rights Campaign, working for equal rights for gay Americans. She came under pressure to quit, including physical threats, but she continued. Ten years ago, she held a commitment ceremony with the woman she loved and today they have two beautiful children. On Friday, I called her and we cried together because sometime in the next year there’s finally going to be the wedding we’ve both been waiting for. And you know why? Because strong women cry together.

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    • Jeanne, strong women do cry together! You should be so proud that you raised such a strong and dedicated woman. She sounds amazing. I’m thrilled that you shared her inspiring story here. Can’t wait to hear all about the wedding plans and to chat about children and life and writing in NYC. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing!

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    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Three cheers for your daughter, Jeanne!! So many people fought so long and hard for the changes that are coming to fruition these days. I’m so grateful that young LBGTQ kids can live happier, safer, freer lives because of those pioneers.

      Have fun planning that wedding!

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  20. Diana! Love this wonderful blog post. There is more to a strong woman that being able to karate chop the nemesis. I usually base my ideas of what a strong woman is on the examples I have and they all spend most of the time in the kitchen, but don’t let people walk all over them. Nope. A strong woman just knows herself and keeps coming back even after mistakes. I agree!!

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  21. Elisa Beatty says:

    Thanks so much for being with us today, Diana, and for sparking such interesting comments!

    Have a blast in NYC, where you’ll be with a host of strong women!!

    And the Amazon gift card goes to: Carrie Padgett!! Congrats, Carrie. I’ll put Diana in touch with you!

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  22. Diana,
    This was one of the most powerful posts I’ve seen.
    You nailed it perfectly.
    It will impact my future writing.
    Thanks for sharing your insights.

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  23. Tracy P says:

    Sorry I’m late to the party, but I loved reading this. Heck, I even got teary. I saw myself as strong for cooking for that teen daughter who needs that display of love. And makes me happy about the scene in my GH finalist MS where the heroine (who is a kickass former CIA operative, not with the FBI) is cooking an elaborate meal for the hero. And makes me even more proud to write romances – because doing that and putting our work out there for critique and rejection isn’t for the weak.

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    • Hi Tracy! So glad you made it! Yep, you are strong to do that for your daughter, and I’m so glad that you recognize it. Your book sounds so cool and your heroine well rounded. Or as others have said, “feminine-strong” and “kissing boo-boos and kicking butt.” Nice. Would love to get together and talk research and teens in NYC.

      This, “…putting our work out there for critique and rejection isn’t for the weak.” Amen! Thanks for stopping by!

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  24. Diana,
    Some of my favorite books/movies are ones where the heroine saves herself through her wits and not necessarily through force–although I love a character who can protect herself and/or her family. I remember loving Sally Field’s character in Eye for an Eye. My heart broke for her, and I celebrated her strength and strength of character.
    I agree completely that making a female character “strong” shouldn’t be that hard. There are strong women all around us doing millions of different things. Thanks for a great post.
    See you in NYC.

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    • “There are strong women all around us doing millions of different things.” So true. Maybe if we start to look for the strength inherent in so many of our daily lives, we can not only start to recognize it but celebrate it instead of downplaying it.

      Thanks for your comment, Kimberly!

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  25. Brynn Kelly says:

    Coming in late … What an inspiring blog, Diana. It’s so true that we cast women in male roles to make them appear strong – I’m guilty of that as an RS author. And that staunchness is often a cover for fears. Lots to think about there.

    Related to that: What annoys me is that our society equates tears with weakness. And because women are more prone to crying than men, ergo, women are seen as weaker. As someone who is prone to leaking from the eyes – at anything! – it really bugs me that it’s seen as a sign that I’m not a strong person. And that people who don’t cry are said to be strong. No one chooses to cry, or not to cry. Tears either come or they don’t – you can’t stop them, and you can’t fake them. Feeling things deeply is not a weakness. Some might argue that it’s a strength…

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    • Brynn, you are so right about tears! Sometimes I cry from the wind. (I have allergies.) Seriously, I once cried during Kung Fu Panda. Really, that movie can get emotional. And crying so doesn’t mean you are not strong. Your ability to feel emotions does not in any way hinder your ability to be competent and strong in your life!

      The license plate has been fun. Sometimes not so much. I got pulled over the other day and the police officer asked me, “Is your license plate supposed to be directions to me?” As in did I want him to “Write me a ticket.” He thought he was hysterical. I was just glad he did NOT write me a ticket. Thanks for stopping by!

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  26. Brynn Kelly says:

    Oh, and BTW, I LOVE the sound of your book. And your license plate 🙂

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  27. Elle Mason says:

    I love everything about this post. Thank you so much for writing it, and I’m sure it is something I’ll be sharing with other writing friends for some time to come.

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  • Shelley Coriell: So glad to see the Dreamweavers and all of those gorgeous books. Congratulations GH Class of 2014,...
  • Tracy Brody: Love seeing all those familiar covers! Congrats and best wishes to all the Dreamweavers!
  • Jeanine Englert: Congrats to ALL of you! I think you did a great job of weaving your dreams into an awesome reality!...

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