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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Women Wednesday: Amazing Women

Today's post is going to be short because I'm in over my head with my grammar book edits and I REALLY need to finish them. But March is Women's History Month, and so it's a bad time to skip Wednesday posts or Women Wednesdays.

First, I'm grateful for Geena Davis and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Since I joined the Facebook page, I've seen so many affirming things about being a woman in this day and age. We still have a lot of work to do, but in working together, we can get it done.

Next, I'm grateful to literary agent Kristin Nelson (not my agent -- as an indie I've not queried her, but I'm happy to follow her posts on FB) for sharing this information about women in indie publishing. I'll sum up the article by saying that self-publishing women are breaking through all kinds of gender barriers in their success. I hope as I continue to put my work in the hands of readers, I can join that group of successful indie authors. I am a work in progress.

Speaking of works in progress, thanks to a great book by Jennifer Weiner (Good in Bed), I am making some changes to the Jane's character in #25 Reasons. I had already made her a character whose body changed after becoming a mother, but I'd pulled back from making her a larger woman, in part because I did not need more "evidence" I was writing a memoir. While the experiences in #25 Reasons are things I can relate to as one half of a married couple, I have worked diligently to write something MOST women could relate to. Jane's story is Jane's, not mine. But after a breakfast date with a friend and a couple of nights with Weiner's book, I realized just how rare it is for plus-sized women to BE protagonists -- even in chic-lit. If I want to see changes there, I have to be part of those changes. 

I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to a local lady named Dawn DeShazo. Dawn went further than I did in finding research about the PARCC standardized test third graders and up are supposed to take this year, and helped a group of parents (including me) REFUSE to test our kids via PARCC and REFUSE to open all our children's school information to a third party's market research whims. Parents did not think we could refuse the test for our children. Many school admins across the country have used scare tactics and misleading information to make parents would back down from protecting our kids' well-being and privacy. Dawn didn't back down. She did the research to show parents COULD, especially in light of our legislature working to end the contract with the third party company, and SHOULD refuse PARCC testing. There's still a bunch of shady stuff going on in our legislature that negatively impacts our kids. As long as parents work together, we can support our teachers (largely a female group) and help our kids be more student and less guinea pig for FOR PROFIT corporations.

Finally, I am great friends with MANY wonderful unsung women heroes. A mom took time out of her busy day last week to help me pull articles from my blogs and organize them for my grammar book. (That link will take you to some of those articles and blog posts.) Several moms have been sounding boards for me these past few weeks. Others are just there when I need them -- we don't talk as often as we'd like, but we can pick up three months of happenings in two hour phone conversations and if one needed something urgently, the other would drop and run to save the day. Having people like that in my life is just good.

So much for keeping this short!! There is so much going on by women and for women that I think needs to be shared.

Phyl Campbell is Author, Mother, Dreamer. Right now, she's in over her head with two book projects whose (author-self-imposed) deadlines passed by. She waved, and only cried a little. But sometimes the Mother and Dreamer get in the way of the Author, and the Author has to catch up. Check out her author page on Amazon.