Extraordinary
Women

  • Anna Elenor Roosevelt

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    (October 11, 1884 – November 7, 1962) politician, diplomat, activist, and longest-serving First lady of the US. After her husband was stricken with polio, she gave speeches, made public appearances on his behalf, and campaigned in his place. She was an outspoken and controversial First Lady who changed and defined the role of future First Ladies.

  • Rose Antonia Maria Valland

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    Rose Antonia Maria Valland (1 November 1898 – 18 September 1980) was a French art historian, a member of the French Resistance, a captain in the French military, and one of the most decorated women in French history. She secretly recorded details of the Nazi plundering of National French and private Jewish-owned art from France.

  • Lea Cabrielle

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    Lea Cabrielle A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, she served as a fighter pilot and intelligence operations officer in the U.S. Navy from May 1997 to June 2009. She flew the single-seat, carrier-based F/A-18 “Hornet” aircraft in combat operations, and later deployed with a U.S. Special Operations Team as an intelligence operator supporting combat missions. She continues to volunteer as a guest speaker and emcee for charitable and promotional events supporting members of the military, their families and veterans. She now works as a journalist for the Fox news Channel.

  • Megan McClung

    McClung_small

    Megan McClung was the first female United States Marine Corps officer killed in combat during the Iraq War. Major McClung was serving as a public affairs officer in Al Anbar Province, Iraq when she was killed.

  • Rear Admiral Sandra Stosz

    Rear Admiral Sandra Stosz

    Rear Adm. Sandra Stosz became the first female superintendent at any of the U.S. service academies. A 1982 Coast Guard Academy graduate and a surface operations officer with 12 years of sea duty, Admiral Stosz has plotted a course that includes many firsts for women in the military. Her performance in previous assignments as commanding officer for recruit training at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, N.J., the Director of Reserve and Leadership, and the commanding officer of two cutters, has demonstrated a commitment to building a diverse workforce.

  • Nancy Grace Augusta Wake

    Nancy Wake

    Nancy Grace Augusta Wake (August 30, 1912 – August 07, 2011), also known as the “White Mouse”, was one of the most decorated secret agents of the Second World War. By war’s end in Europe she had become famed as a resourceful, dauntless Resistance leader, who topped the Gestapo’s most-wanted list and had saved hundreds of Allied lives. She parachuted behind enemy lines, dodged bullets many times, rode a bicycle 250 miles to alert the French resistance to the Normandy invasion, was involved in ambushing German convoys and destroying bridges and railway lines.

  • Temple Grandin

    Temple Grandin

    Temple Grandin (born August 27, 1947) is an American doctor of Animal Science and professor at Colorado State University, bestselling author, and consultant to the livestock industry in animal behavior. As a person with high-functioning autism, Grandin is also widely noted for her work in autism advocacy and is the inventor of the hug machine designed to calm hypersensitive persons.

  • Bessie Coleman

    Bessie Coleman

    Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman (January 26, 1892 – April 30, 1926) was an American civil aviator. She was the first female pilot of African American descent and the first person of African American descent to hold an international pilot license.

  • Nora Roberts

    Nora Roberts

    Nora Roberts (born Eleanor Marie Robertson, October 10, 1950 in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA), is a bestselling American author of more than 165 romance novels, and she writes as J.D. Robb for the “In Death” series. She also has written under the pseudonym Jill March, and some of her works were published in the UK as Sarah Hardesty.

  • Helen  Keller

    Helen Keller

    Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. The story of how Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become known worldwide through the dramatic depictions of the play and film “The Miracle Worker”.

  • Sally Ride

    Sally Ride

    Dr. Sally Kristen Ride (May 26, 1951 – July 23, 2012) from Los Angeles, California, was an American physicist and a former NASA astronaut. She studied at Portola Middle School, Westlake School for Girls, Swarthmore College and Stanford University, and earned a master’s degree and PhD. Ride joined NASA in 1978, and in 1983, became the first American woman, and then-youngest American, to enter space. In 1987 she left NASA to work at Stanford University Center for International Security and Arms Control.

  • Carol Mutter

    Carol Mutter

    Carol A. Mutter (born December 17, 1945) is a retired United States Marine Corps lieutenant general. She is the first woman in the history of the United States Armed Forces to be appointed to a three-star grade. She retired from the Marine Corps on January 1, 1999. Her last active duty assignment was as Deputy Chief of Staff, Manpower and Reserve Affairs (DC/S, M&RA) at Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

  • Wilma Rudolph

    Wilma Rudolph

    Wilma Glodean Rudolph (June 23, 1940 – November 12, 1994) was an American athlete. Rudolph was considered the fastest woman in the world in the 1960s and competed in two Olympic Games, in 1956 and in 1960.

  • Sarah Deal Burrow

    Sarah Deal

    Lt. Col. Sarah Deal Burrow, United States Marine Corps, became the first female Marine selected for Naval aviation training, and subsequently the Marine Corps’ first female aviator in 1993.

  • Antonia Novello

    Antonia Novello

    Dr. Antonia Coello Novello, M.D., (born August 23, 1944) is a Puerto Rican physician and public health administrator. She was a vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and served as fourteenth Surgeon General of the United States from 1990 to 1993. Novello is the first woman and first Hispanic to serve as Surgeon General.

  • The Ruby Slippered Sisterhood

    The 2009 Class of Golden Heart Finalists, dubbed the “Ruby Slippered Sisterhood”.

  • Sandra Day O’Connor

    Sandra Day O'Connor

    Sandra Day O’Connor (born March 26, 1930) is an American jurist who was the first female member of the Supreme Court of the United States. She served as an Associate Justice from 1981 until her retirement from the Court in 2006. O’Connor was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981.[2] During her tenure, she was regarded as the Court’s leading centrist, and was the swing vote in many cases; this made her the most powerful justice for many years.

  • Pvt. Minnie Spotted Wolf

    Minnie Spotted Wolf

    Private Minnie Spotted-Wolf (1923 – 1988) was the first Native American woman to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. She enlisted in the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve in July 1943.

  • Sergeant Kimberly Munley

    Sergeant Kimberly Munley a civilian Department of Defense police officer at Ft Hood credited with stopping the firing rampage of an Army Major within a few minutes after he launched his attack. Munley, a 35 year old petite mother of two, put her life at risk and drew the attention of shooter. She fired and took the man down. But not before she was shot three times. Munley is credited with preventing many more deaths.

  • Rosie the Riveter

    Rosie the Riveter

    Rosie the Riveter is a cultural and feminist icon of the United States, representing the American women who worked in factories during World War II, many of whom worked in the manufacturing plants that produced munitions and war supplies.

  • Wives of police officers, firemen, soldiers, sailors and marines

  • World War II Women Airforce Service Pilots

    World War II Women Service Pilots

  • SPAR Olivia Hooker: First African American Woman in the Coast Guard

    Olivia Hooker

    In February 1945, Olivia Hooker was sworn in by a Coast Guard officer, becoming the first African-American female admitted into the United States Coast Guard. Hooker joined the service to become a SPAR (Semper Paratus Always Ready), the acronym used for female service personnel during World War II. She remained in the Coast Guard until the war-time SPARs were disbanded by mid-1946. Dr. Hooker later earned a doctorate in psychology had a distinguished career as a professor.

  • US Navy Admiral Michelle Howard

    US Navy Admiral Michelle Howard made history in July 2014 when she became the first female four-star admiral in the US Navy’s 239-year history. She is the second highest-ranking officer in the Navy. Howard is also the first African American woman to serve as a three-star officer in the U.S. military and became the first to command a U.S. Navy ship.

  • Diana Gabaldon

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    Brilliant author of the historical sci-fi adventure-romance Outlander books, novellas, and graphic novel.

  • Marjorie Harris Carr

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    (1915-1997) an American environmental activist. She is best known for leading the fight against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Cross Florida Barge Canal. Carr and her colleagues won a temporary injunction against construction of the canal in January 1971. Days later, President Richard Nixon halted construction of the canal.

 

 

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Writers are Super Heroes

Their Superpowers are: Imagination, Curiosity and Creativity.

     Imagination

In the top five questions authors are asked is: “Where do you get your stories?” 

     For a while when asked this I quickly said, “the Amazon story store.”  I mean, Amazon sells live lady bugs and rents goats, why not sell stories?  But alas, I had to stop because too many asked me for the link. 

     Here’s the real skinny.

     Writers are blessed/cursed with wild, vivid imaginations capable of great things.  I firmly believe imagination is everything to a writer. Imagining is our super power.  It’s a way to preview life’s coming attractions. It’s the ability to change the past in our mind’s eye.

Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” I’m not going to argue with Al.

Back to the, where do you get stories question. The correct answer is writers get stories everyplace. Through our senses, into our minds, we ingest the world around us then reshape it all into new images in our imagination.   

Recently my imagination was triggered by The Bureau of Land Management seeking volunteers to spend the summer in the middle of nowhere Montana in an abandoned haunted town.  Not happening for me but, my mind took me to an abundance of romance possibilities and spooky stuff.

Then there’s the abandoned and boarded up Baker hotel in Mineral Springs TX.  A big ole empty hotel just sitting there. I imagined a story about a group of mystery writers spending the weekend there and the last sentence of the book. “How would you rate your stay at the Baker Hotel?”   

And songs. For me songs are writing prompts. Take Ray Stevens’ DEAD SKUNK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. I immediately thought of a squished ex sprawled across the double yellow line. A hot detective convinced the ex-wife killed the skunk.

Who but an author can admire an ancient oak and imagine couples from every time period falling in love under the spreading branches? Then wonder how many bodies the roots are embracing.

I believe authors are a special breed. Every day we fade into the alternate world of books. Those written by others and the ones we’re writing. We extend our arms, put our fingers to the keyboard and imagination flows, letter by letter, across the screen. We can imagine anything and happily share what we conjure up with the world. 

I use my imagination to write the Under Fire series about extraordinary women and the men they love. Military heroines. A Coast Guard helicopter pilot. A Coast Guard admiral. A Marine Corps Intelligence officer. A Federal agent who works closely with Special Ops men. Women at the top of their field in a man’s world. They don’t want a man to take care of them they want a man who will accept them for who they are and stand shoulder to shoulder with them in their adventures.

Last year my imagination got the best of me and I published Let Me Tell You a Story.  A collection of eight twisted and tattered tales from the odd side. It felt amazing to finally free these characters from my mind and put them on the page. 

BTW I now answer the question, “where do ideas come from”, with a huge smile and say, “I imagine every single one of them.”

Where has your imagination taken you today?  Or, where has an author’s imagination taken you today?  

     Curiosity

     Author’s professional curiosity is a huge subject on many levels. It begins with, can I write a book? Should I write a book? How do I write a book? Flash forward to a truck load of how do I promote and gain new reader questions.

I believe an author’s personal curiosity keeps the joy in writing. It ignites the imagination and fuels the creativity tank.

Curiosity isn’t just asking questions, it’s challenging yourself to come up with your own discoveries. Please, when you do ask questions, don’t be an ask hole.

DefinitionAsk Hole– one who takes your time asking a million questions and not only doesn’t listen to the answer, but if asking for advice, has no intention of taking it. 

In asking questions be prepared for the answers you may receive. I asked a couple married 60 years a simple question. When did you first know you were in love? The couple had never told each other and their answers had everyone in the room tearing.    

The curiosity superpower will take you places. Not like in horror movies when the dude goes out into a dark and stormy night to see what’s howling. Like asking a perfect stranger in line at the Post Office a question that can lead to a romance or lifelong friendship. Riding the subway in a big city on your own for the first time. Calling the apiary to find out how they get bees to give up their pollen.

Being curious gives you the courage and confidence to step out of you comfort zone. Even if it’s a tiny bit and for the briefest moment it can take you to the next level with new experiences to use in your writing.

Schedule a day, few hours, an hour, to question everything like a joyous five year old. Finding the fun and joy in your life carries over into your writing. Use curiosity to wake up your senses. Take a ‘feel’ trip. Invite friends. Touch everything you see. Well, not hot stuff and not guys. High end department stores, craft stores, and garden centers are great for this. When you write about the silk duvet on the heroine’s bed you’ll smile remembering exactly how it looked and felt. Equate the wool textures from the craft store with your hero’s sweater. You won’t have to imagine how the heroine’s fingers feel as they drift over his sleeve. You will know. Finger flower petals and leaves. They have an incredible lush feeling. Leaves can release a surprising scent. Instead of the heroine stomping through the lavender, you can use lemon balm, geraniums or any other scented plants you discover. 

Talking scent, do an experiment to find which is more alluring to the Y chromosome homo sapiens in your life. Does bacon, stink bait, or a slightly spicy Jo Malone scent dabbed behind the ear drive them crazy?  I found it broke down to the first two depending on how hungry and how close to the weekend it was.  

Are you curious and courageous enough to taste python pizza?  Find out if eel is really that nasty. I say yes. Does a hot dog taste as good without the bun? That’s a big N O for me. How many shots of grappa does it take to make you drunk?

My curiosity led me to a bee pollen hijacker who slams back grappa with python pizza and carries bacon in her purse to attract men. Where does it take you?

     Creativity

     Lately, in writers groups, there has been some discussion about keeping the joy in our writing. There are a bazillion answers. I think one is by indulging our other creative talents.  Yeaph. OTHER creative talents. Authors are very creative people. Think about all the other talents you have and how those creative outlets can nourish your writing. 

Here are a few.

Sewing. BTW I hear it’s coming back as a thing.

Knitting and crocheting.

Setting a proper table is now considered an art. Ha! I giggled when I saw a Facebook post about setting a table and there was no place for the cell phone.

Family wrangling. 

Cooking. Look at all the TV cooking shows.

Painting as in, on a canvas and the walls. 

Carpentry.

Sketching.

Coloring.

Gardening.

Decorating.

Giving Parties.

Yeah. I hear you asking what these creative endeavors have to do with writing.  When you begin writing a new book you write a synopsis. Make a plan. Develop a structure or a pattern.  Look at the talents I mentioned above. How many need a plan, a pattern?

When sketching a face you start with the basic features everyone has, head shape, jaw, ears, nose eyes. But, it is how we shape those features that makes the face unique. Take sewing a dress. You begin with a pattern. Each one has an opening for the head and sleeves, but think of the creative possibilities in achieving the finished product.

When you begin to write every word inside you doesn’t rush out like a water fall onto the page at once. It’s like knitting and crocheting. One stitch/word at a time culminating in this great design/book.

I believe spending a few hours, minutes, a week with your other talents can help feed the writing beast. As proof I offer Ruby Sister examples. 

Jeannie Lin is a perpetual creative bottle rocket. She’s an entrepreneur, baker, swag maker and always has amazing creative ideas. Hope Ramsey is a knitter extraordinaire. Vivi Andrews produced the RWA awards ceremony. Louisa Cornell was an opera singer. Many Ruby Sisters are teachers. Have you seen the pictures Rubies post of their gardens on Facebook?

Me? I’m sketching again. Drawing my characters. Although I have to admit I sometimes use the Flash Face app to get the basics. I color in the big girl books. I click the knitting needles and crochet with basic stitches. Garden. My chain saw skill is getting better. A new design, other than out of control jungle, is emerging in the back yard. New skeeter repellant recipes are being tested and I write.   

What are your other creative talents? Take one of yours and examine it for similarities with writing.

Do you think enjoying all your creative venues can help keep the joy in your writing?

 

 

 

   

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