Women’s Wednesday

Yes, it’s Wednesday and so that merits WIPpet but it is also Women’s History Month this month. Yesterday (the 8th) was International Women’s Day. And so I feel that I need to say something on the topic, somewhere. I didn’t post anything about IWD yesterday because a) I honestly had no idea what to say and b) because there were already so many wonderful women marking the occasion with words of wisdom, compassion and resilience.

I read this article which looks at the role of women and the representation of women, as characters and as authors, in YA. While I don’t agree with every point made, it is certainly worth the time to read it.

The one thing that really impacted me recently happened last week at work. I work in a bookstore now (I know! It is literally the best job and I love it so much!) and my boss asked me to find some books to make a display for Women’s History Month. In TOTAL, I found about 8 books, plus a couple of historical fiction featuring women. And almost all of the books were about white, straight, able-bodied, middle- to upper-class women, the majority from the last two centuries. And I looked at the small stack of books and thought ‘This can’t be all?! Where are all the others?’ The selection of books found in one bookstore, in one city obviously cannot represent the whole picture but they give an indication of the value placed on women’s histories and women’s stories. And I find it lacking.

So, with that said, it’s time to move onto the WIPpet. 🙂 Today’s excerpt is relevant to the date because I wrote it this week. 🙂 On Monday, in fact. I’ve been trying to add some depth and introspection into my scenes because I am aware that they can be very spartan so let me know what you think. 🙂

They rode in silence for a while, Laena’s gaze fixed firmly on the path ahead. Kara studied her friend’s sharp profile, the straight nose that protruded just a little too far to be called pretty, and the stone set jaw. Kara remembered the bright, adventurous, rebellious Laena she’d trampled garden beds with. The girl sitting beside her was not the same girl. Her spark had gone. When Kara looked in Laena’s eyes, instead of fire she saw ashes. And it terrified her because sometimes, when Kara caught her reflection in the mirror, she saw the same ash in her own eyes.

My character interview series continues. I interviewed Gwen on Saturday. I still haven’t chosen a character to interview this week. Help me decide! 🙂

Hrithur is Kara’s cousin. The bastard child of a bastard child, he dwells on the periphery of the court.

Ailig knows what it is to be a prince without a country. Forced to flee from their homes a generation earlier, Ailig’s people now rely on the generosity of the Fariliens. And now the same threat that drove them from their homes is poised to attack their new sanctuary. Ailig is determined to make sure his people will not have to flee again.

Anjez is a proud man, a prince of Bashraan…and an ex-slave. He seeks to forge new alliances with Fariel in defiance of his father, the king, but can he truly leave the traumas of his slave past behind him?

Eriden knows forty ways to kill a man with her bare hands. Raised in the slums of Bal Briad, she worked her way up from the child of a whore to the prodigy of the Assassin Guildmaster. But helping Kara defeat her enemy may be Eriden’s hardest task yet.

Lorcan Aelysk is a Haelean nobleman. Caught up in his father’s schemes, he is torn away from the one he loves and sent far to the south, to conquer a place called Fariel.

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4 thoughts on “Women’s Wednesday

  1. AM says:

    Oh, wow. I really like this snippet. Love the last part about seeing the same thing in her own eyes.

    I hear you on finding books about women.When I was homeschooling my daughter (she’s in public school now), we spent a full year learning about women in history. Fortunately, our library is pretty good, and we were able to find books about women who were not able-bodied, white, or middle class. But going into even a big bookstore? Yeah, not nearly so many options. This summer, I’m hoping to take my kids to visit the Women’s Rights National Museum (it’s only a bit over an hour from us).

  2. Ruth Nestvold says:

    Nice snippet! I really like the observation and introspection on Kara’s part, and the conclusions she comes too. Very effective. 🙂

    As to non-white historical fiction by women, Beloved and The Color Purple immediately come to mind. And hasn’t Amy Tan written some historical fiction?

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