My idea of a brazen woman warrior doesn’t look much like Wonder Woman. There are no super human powers, tight, low-cut body hugging leotards or hidden hand grenades involved when I give birth to the evolving female characters in my books. Go take a look in the mirror if you want to see what they look like. I’m not kidding.
My literary amazons are female warriors engaged in the emotional battles of the real world. You know these chicks, because they are you, your neighbors, your best friends, your sisters, mothers, and that woman you saw at the grocery store the other day wrestling with a kid or two and looking as if she’s in need of a shot of tequila before noon.
When I craft a story, I’ve usually been boldly looking into the mirror at the bags under my eyes, the way dark spots are forming all over the place and spider veins are collecting in spots that were once blemish free. Aging and life are not for sissies and I ain’t no sissy. I may be a bestselling author but I see myself as just a woman, a partner, a mother, sister, and daughter who has struggled with the same issues as every other woman.
And I see my struggles and victories as the same struggles and victories as the women who read my books and say, “Oh my God! I feel just like that! ” So my readers are my warriors. How they inspire me!
Is there anything bolder than giving birth? What about struggling through a messy divorce or surviving domestic violence, sexual abuse, or a loss so great it’s impossible to move or think that you will live through another day? The death of a child, or a partner, a spouse, or even a job can turn any woman into a Wonder Woman and the birth of my characters comes from the strength and joy and love and life I see in the faces of every single woman I meet.
I’ve never been much for typical heroine worship. It’s hilarious to think that half the world admires famous actresses because they can make believe they are someone else. The women I admire have struggled and survived. They have worked three jobs and supported a family as a single mom. They have bathed their aging parents and put diapers on them and they have volunteered at the local school to help the kids who struggle to read and write. My heroines stand up when someone is wronged and they are tolerant of people who do not think or act like them. My warriors have given away the last piece of bread and opened their hearts and doors to someone who has a greater need than they do. They also know how to say, “I’m sorry”, or “I made a mistake.”
And they are also just simple, devoted, often quietly daring women who strive for levels of happiness, hope, and joy by plodding through the necessary rigors of day-to-day life. Sometimes simply holding a hand or driving past a house to make certain the lights are on and everyone is safe is a brave, kind, wonderful and admirable act. But so is striding forward, dealing with all the issues women always have to deal with, and making certain that everyone else is taken care of. Sigh. We do a lot of stuff!
It’s my contention, as a woman and as an author, that there’s a Wonder Woman living inside the heart and soul of every woman. We really can turn over cars, give birth, change minds and hearts, and survive the worst the world throws at us, and if that isn’t the definition of a Woman Warrior, then nothing ever will be.