The Surprising Emotions Evoked by Wonder Woman


I expected to feel excitement and “female empowerment” when I finally saw Wonder Woman. Instead, I watched the movie in silence, crying, and hoping no one would notice. My mother and sister were also mostly silent. Some people around us were laughing and gasping, but it seemed that most of the women in the theater were struck by the same sense of awe as I was.

When I was buying our tickets, a women in her fifties asked me if I had seen the movie yet. She had also bought tickets to Wonder Woman. When I said no, she looked as if she wanted to say something, but she just shook her head. I realize now she must have been there for a repeat viewing.

I’m 44. My mother is 69. My sister is 37. None of us have ever seen a movie with so many powerful women. Honestly, the whole movie could have consisted of life on Themyscira and it would have made me happy. My mother is a retired police officer and said she physically felt the blows the Amazons dealt to the invading Germans.

The thrill during that sequence wasn’t about seeing women beating up men. It was from seeing women defending themselves, each other, their home, their way of life, and winning . . . but of course in a situation like that, the loss of life obscures the win. In many movies, a group of people like the Amazons would have celebrated the win and mourned their dead as heroes. The Amazons didn’t celebrate. They knew that something sacred had come to an end.

Hippolyta’s “you may never return” was heartbreaking and ambiguous. Diana’s resolve was also heartbreaking, but unavoidable. At some points, her bull-headed insistence on DOING IT RIGHT NOW made me want to shake her even though I thought she was on the right track. Until the end.

The scene where she is floating in the air absorbing everything that Ares throws at her is fixed in my mind. And then she threw it back.

I, and I am sure every woman, knows that feeling of wanting to throw it all back at someone. I’m not a proponent of that forgive and move on crap. I’m a proponent of throwing it all back at them, whoever they are.

I was shaken as I left the movie. So was my sister. She said she was going to ask her boyfriend to buy her a Wonder Woman doll. I thought hell, no, and we went to Walmart and I showed her all the dolls and bought the one she liked best.

I put up my Wonder Woman posters last night. They are a bit jarring in my room, which is traditionally feminine . . . but what is more traditionally feminine than an Amazon? Strong, passionate, nurturing, a woman who will die defending her family.

Today, I was depressed. I got on Twitter and read the news, the depressed tweets, the angry tweets, the tweets that divide us, I thought about our enemy, our common enemy, enemy to all women even if they don’t see him that way, and I thought that to set things to rights, we all have to be Wonder Woman. We all have to care more about what’s best for others than we care about ourselves. We all have to be willing to sacrifice everything for people we don’t even know, refugees, people dying for lack of someone willing to help.

I don’t see that. I see bickering and infighting and separation. I don’t see the obstinacy that characterized the young Diana: I will do this no matter the risk to myself because it is the right thing to do, and I will see the humanity in everyone.

So this is what I took away from Wonder Woman. The movie opened my eyes to things that I hadn’t fully comprehended before. It made me feel responsible for things happening in the world that I had not considered my responsibility.

It’s more than a superhero movie. It is the perfect movie for our time.


Rachel Carson


This blog post reminded me immediately of sitting on the floor in the “juvenile books” room of the library, reading one of Rachel Carson’s books, and wishing that I could see a tide pool one day.

Reading binge


I was reading that “juvenile” book from my childhood but I got sidetracked after Tanith Lee died, and I picked up one of her books and started re-reading it. After reading this extensive obituary of Ms. Lee (sent to me by my friend Rowena, thank you again) I decided I needed to go on a reading binge and read all the books by Tanith Lee that I have. She was such an influence on my writing and my interest in the paranormal, fairy tales, mythology, and female characters that go out into the world and change the world and themselves that I want to reread her books with the eye and mindset of a writer.

Attempting to unlock the meaning behind a trend


I know why I like to make jewelry with “skeleton” key charms. (As you will discover in the article below, most of those antique keys aren’t skeleton keys. They’re bit or barrel keys.) I’ve always lived in houses so old that the inside and even the outside doors had those antique locks and long keys that just look mysterious. I can lock my bedroom door with one of those keys. So, I suppose because of my affection for this type of key, the old-fashioned keys became a symbol for one of my vampire characters.

But all the doors are locked, and he has the keys. I dreamed and I saw his hands, white hands, long white fingers, and the key ring with the old fashioned brass keys.”

Here’s the article that prompted me to write this post. You can learn a little about the history of skeleton keys and the less-impressively named bit or barrel keys, and why they may have become popular in current jewelry fashion.

Adding Flare to Your Vision Board


The average vision board is going to consist largely of paper ephemera. Most of it will be pictures cut out magazines or printed out from the Internet and then cut to fit the vision board. Sometimes you’ll want regular scissors; for example, if you’re cutting out the shape of the subject of the picture. Often, though, you’ll be cutting out entire pictures or words or phrases and for those, pinking shears really add appeal to your subjects. Fabric is another element often used in creating vision boards so pinking shears would be perfect for cutting many types of fabric. You can also use pinking shears to cut paint swatches and you can use pinking shears to cut shapes if you have a steady hand.

Other components frequently used in vision boards are ribbons. Ribbons can be fashioned into bows and other shapes and used to dress up your vision board. Beads and ribbons go well together. Regular Super Glue does not, in my experience work well (at all) with gluing beads to ribbons so you’ll have to experiment with different types of glue or putty. Word of warning: in all crafting projects, do NOT use Super Glue with spray paint that has not completely dried. It will create a combination of chemical fumes that can make you quite ill.

As I’m always updating my vision board, I’ll have more tips for you in the future. Feel free to leave your favorite tricks for making a unique vision board.

Vision Boards


A vision board can be as simple as a cheap cork board or can cover the entire wall over your desk or work area. My vision board started as a cork board and spilled over onto the wall. Now, whenever I look up from my computer, I see actors and actresses who look like my characters and help bring them to life for my inspiration, as well as other odds and ends that put me in a vampire mood. Actually, my vision board extends to most of my desk and became 3D with the addition of paper dolls…Bela Lugosi as Dracula, other movie vampires.

You may want your vision board in your bedroom so that it’s the first thing you see in the morning and the last thing you see at night, or you may prefer to put it in your office, sewing room, craft room, or workshop. Your kitchen is another good place for a vision board. It all depends on your vision board’s purpose. I designed mine to bring my characters and their environments to life. Yours might serve a different purpose, such as inspiring you to work on a fitness program or giving you motivation to keep looking for the perfect house or job.

Whatever the ultimate meaning behind your vision board, start with a cork board or wall surface where you can pin or tape pictures. Keep in mind that your vision board will more than likely evolve over time and that you will be moving or replacing pictures. In addition to pictures you find online or in magazines, you can also include postcards, inspirational words and phrases, and any other kind of ephemera that serves to keep your goal in front of you at all times. I draped a black scarf with silver stars over the top of my vision board, hung a bookmark from the bottom, and edged the cork board with 3D star stickers. I included pictures of my dream cast for a movie or TV show based on my books, pictures of places important to my characters and my story, and even jewelry. I carried the vision board over into my wardrobe by purchasing a couple of very inexpensive items in the craft aisle at Walmart and making a piece of jewelry for myself based on a recurrent theme in my books.

No, I’m not going to post a picture and give up all my secrets…yet. And I don’t want you to look at my vision board and have a pre-determined image in mind of what your vision board should look like, because your vision board should look like and be whatever you feel inspired to create. You could make a 3D vision board on one shelf of a bookcase, a shelf on the wall, or by creating a shadow box. It doesn’t have to be artsy or look professional. I don’t think mine looks particularly artsy. It’s more like an ever-changing collage. The goal is not to create a work of art with your vision board, although your vision board may help you create a work of art with words or paint or fabric. The goal is to keep you inspired so that you don’t give up on your project or ambition. Your vision board is a shrine to hope, and some days, hope is all we have.