Craft Awakening (Guest Post)

Today, I welcome Jennifer Smith-Kirk to the blog to chat about how crafting – in particular, making cards – has elevated her life to a whole new level. I have known Jennifer for many years and love her positive spirit! Here she is, at the door. Do come in and join us.

Take it away, Jennifer:

A Crafty Woman to Admire

Meet Jennifer Smith-Kirk, Crafting Extraordinaire!

Hi Everyone!

Firstly a huge thank you to lovely Christy Birmingham for allowing me to write a guest post. A little about me, firstly my name is Jennifer Smith-Kirk, I am in my early 50’s, and through various circumstances I have found a hobby card-making that has become my passion.

I have some disabilities and was diagnosed with Pulmonary Sarcoidosis just over 10 years ago, Sarcoidosis in an autoimmune multi-system disease, which affects my eyes, joints and skin. I have overcome 2 major strokes & 2 mini strokes I was at the time in retail management with a large team of staff under me. I hung on to work mainly in denial until poor health took over, then I was no longer well enough to do my job.

I have had to learn to walk again twice and I am now left with right sided weakness and I walk either with a cane or a 3 wheel walker depending on how I am as it changes on a day to day basis.

I am married to a wonderful, patient caring man who is loved by my friends and family. He encourages me and on days that I want to disappear as I am quite often in pain he manages to lift me up.

Continue reading

Science Fiction Writing: It’s Not Just a Man’s World

Well, of course, the title makes sense, right? I mean, why shouldn’t women write sci-fi too? But the jarring truth is that men are still being spotlighted much more often than women for their science fiction stories, even though both genders are writing it.

Men Getting the Sci-Fi Spotlight

The focus on men in the science fiction genre has been going on far too long. This point applies to both the authors and the characters in the books. Yet you only have to look back to Mary Shelley to see that women have been writing sci-fi for a long time! But time and again women struggle to get the attention of men writing in the genre.

For example, last week when I was on Google.ca (I’m in Canada) I searched the term “sci fi writers.” Up came photos of 10 well-known authors in the Science Fiction genre and (wait for it) they’re all men. Here’s what I saw:

science-fiction-writers-search

There’s Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Charles Stross, and more. Please understand I’m not saying these aren’t talented writers. The point, though: Where are the women? Because there certainly ARE women who in the sci-fi world.

It’s like we’re just replaying the all-male shortlist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award again and again. And it’s frustrating that sometimes people aren’t willing to look around for a more diverse pool of authors for awards.

YES, women writers in Science Fiction do exist, and they are awesome. You only have to look so far as Natacha Guyot to prove it.

Science Fiction Writers, Including Natacha Guyot

I recently purchased Natacha Guyot’s sci-fi tale Dream Crusher. She has visited my other blog Poetic Parfait a few times, where she’s blown me away with her analyses of sci-fi works and her love of spaceships. If you missed Natacha’s series at her site on #SciFi Women Interviews, I highly recommend it too. You’ll read about female writers who adore writing in this genre and the compelling story-lines they’re creating for readers.

Of course, there are many, many women writing about science fiction. It’s just that men Continue reading

It’s Never Too Late: Guest Post from Author Dorothy Place

Please join me in welcoming author Dorothy Place to the blog! Her encouraging story is a reminder that today is a new day for making changes in your life. If you think you’re past the age of writing a book, think again. Thanks for being here today, Dorothy, and the floor is yours.

❣ ❣ ❣ ❣ ❣  ❣ ❣ ❣ ❣ ❣

It’s Never Too Late.

As an undergraduate, my English professor at Syracuse University suggested that I major in that subject. He liked my writing and said he would like to see me continue to write. “What????” I said. “English major?” That was some fifty years ago and, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t think of one job, except teaching, that an English major could perform. And I certainly knew that I was far too stupid to be a teacher. So, I did the next most sensible thing. I gave up my scholarship and got married.

It's Never Too Late to Publish a Book

Meet Author Dorothy M. Place.

Divorced, I went back to school to earn an undergraduate degree. Despite the warning question posed by one of my male professors (what will you do when you are a candidate and are menopausal?) I drew a blank. I was 35 and hadn’t even thought about it. So, I went on to earn a doctorate.  For the next twenty-five years, I worked as a research director, making sense of numbers and writing report after report that can be characterized as long, boring, and completely sanitized.

Then, Voila! I retired. And, like many women with grown children, decided to write about my early childhood. Having plenty of experience with long and boring reports, I quickly realized that my stories were not only long and boring, but that it would take more strength than I had to strap my grown children into a chair and force feed them my work. I kept writing because I loved the exercise and discipline, and turned out quite a few stories that seemed to go nowhere.

Continue reading