Dear friends --
So many insights this month -- may you enjoy the recap as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
These stories are SO romantic, but the reality is that we as women can (and should) be our own person (whatever that entails for us) AND find true love--they should not be mutually exclusive...Perhaps Stephenie Meyer might write that into the story somehow as part of Bella's (or maybe even Renesmee's) character development...Rachael
I enjoy Meyer's books because they are devoid of moralizing. What a refreshing approach from a Mormon woman! She's writing interesting stories full of questions, rather than answers - always the mark of a good writer... Stephenie Meyer is a model Dare to Dream Girl. She literally started her writing journey by dreaming! Janna
I understand that the books are fantasy and I've heard enough from Stephenie's interviews to know her motives are good, but I still think there are too many young people who don't distinguish well between fantasy and real life and who make poor choices as a result. Susan
My daughter and I were talking about this tonight. What if, and it's kind of a big metaphysical "if", one of the reasons that Bella's so headstrong about being with Edward is that she somehow senses that he holds the key to the realization of her potential? Lisle
Whitney post-script: I LOVED that we were willing to say we disagreed and were civil about. Typically when I disagree with someone, especially a woman, rather than debating the point, I will change the subject. While this can be good, it does mean that I have very little practice articulating my view in the face of an opposing view. I suspect this is true for many women. Is it possible that the blogosphere provides enough intimacy that we are willing to engage, but enough distance, that this is a safe place to practice saying what we really think? For further thinking on this topic, see Guy Kawasaki's post, Is Face-To-Face Communication Always the Way to Go?
Julie Berry, a Boston author and mother of 4, is definitely someone to watch. She's got a fantastic young adult book coming out in March 2009, Amaranth Enchantment. The main character is a young woman who is a delightful combination of wits, strength and determination. Julie Keenan
Whitney post-script: I appreciated all of your recommendations of books with both/and female characters. Characters that use both yes (the word of connection) and no (the word of protection -- or of identity). In addition to Shannon Hale and Julie Berry, Matt Langdon recommended Trudi Canavan's The Black Magician, Janna Taylor A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and Julie recommends Robin McKinley.
Some thoughts on Sarah Palin
I would love to see her succeed, just for the sake of all of the dreamers (including me) who have worked so hard to juggle our families and our work and our dreams. To be told she should stay at home with her daughter (shouldn't the daughter take responsibility for her actions now?) or that she doesn't have experience (doesn't she have more than Obama?) or that only a man can shoot for the moon (are women to be in the workforce, but only in menial jobs?) makes me root even more for Palin. Lisa
We live in a time when there are so many opportunities for women. Well-said! Lori Lyn
One of the most striking things about the Palin debate is that some of the most hateful things I have heard or read about her have been from women. As women we can be each other's strongest supporters and loudest cheerleaders. But on the other hand we can be each other's loudest critics.
Palin is unapologetically herself...She has a bear rug in her office. I guess she didn't get the memo that taxidermy is uncool especially in the design-blog world. She owns her choice. She owns who she is. Could that ownership be why I hear such unreasonable animosity towards her by women? Are we jealous of that ownership? Erinn
Whitney's post-script: I thought about posting some of the comments that the nomination of Sarah Palin would set women back several decades, but I just couldn't. Because I disagree. I get to do that, don't I? Civilly of course. Should you want to think further about Lisa and Erinn's points, take a look at my posts Celebrating systergy and The dark side of systergy.
Writing our way to a right-sized dream (Part II): Rebecca Nielsen
I feel as if I am standing in the same moment breathing the same air. It is refreshing to be reassured from Rebecca's experience...It wasn't until listening to your interview with Maria Carr that I was able to recognize that I have been pursuing a new dream..one where I can remind women that the decisions they make about food for their families are vital. Alyson
I love the idea of preparing for our dreams, dreams that we know can't actualize at the moment, because of current circumstances, but by finding ways to reserve some time in our lives to focus on that dream, which keeps us hoping and keeps the dream alive. Margaret Woolley Busse
Loved the part two series; [Rebecca] has a similar dream to mine - an emergency preparedness forum. The journal is a great way to prepare for the future. Amy Jo
Whitney's post-script: I am excited about exploring the journal writing/telling our story in greater depth which I'll have the chance to do in the next few months as I'm going to be teaching a mini-workshop on journal writing. In the meantime, thanks to Macy for flagging Wordle; for those of you that are trying to figure out what you care about -- why not keep a dream journal for a few weeks -- and then copy and paste the text into Wordle. What words come up? For me, dream is prominent, but dare isn't. Maybe there should be more dare in there.
Whitney's post-script: I'm profoundly grateful for your encouraging words. Your praise brought to mind a post titled Grateful girlfriends make the best stress relievers. In particular, I thought you'd enjoy the line "Friends who praise and appreciate life together get closer to each other and soar higher in their personal and professional lives."
Whether men or women, this is systergy -- the praising and acknowledging of one another -- the seeing of our magnificence. Thank you again for the oxytocin, systergy, and for being such a terrific 'dare to dream' team!