I spent much of my time last night with Eleanor Estes and Emily Dickinson.
Both women are fine company for a woman writer of today.
I was dying pages of Emily’s poetry and ironing pages of Eleanor’s book, The Middle Moffat, to use in future art projects. It was so meditative and so much fun and a great compliment to the photo editing I have discovered, the project that says, “Oh, I can be so close to them visually….”
Here’s what I mean.
When I was a little girl my writing hero was Laura Ingalls Wilder. I adored her. I still do, actually. I have read about the controversy, that it is her daughter, writer Rose Wilder Lane who wrote the Little House Books, that Laura was simply the inspiration. I have heard that stuff and I don’t even care about it.
I created two photos of us yesterday and today. Can you see me in this one? I am hiding amidst the trees, writing. You and I are among the few who know (and I can secretly appreciate) the photo of me I merged with Laura was taken in Emily Dickinson’s garden.
I also feel compelled to spend time with Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who rebelled against her parents and married one of her fans and correspondents, Robert Browning, and fled to Florence so she might feel well. Together they had a son they named, appropriately, Pen. Well, his actual complete name was Robert Wiedeman Barrett Browning, but Pen seems so much more like his parents than all those official sounding names strung together.
Elizabeth reminds me my love for my children is fierce, perhaps more now that I have cancer and am fighting back. I remember her husband’s line, “Grow old with me, the best is yet to be.”
One of my latest heroes is Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who fought depression and won. It was an ongoing battle, raged throughout her life, but she won. She won! Without medicine!
Some of you will recognize Eleanor Estes and others wonder why her name sounds vaguely familiar.
She was an award winning children’s author, born in 1906, when one of my grandmothers was six years old and one of my grandmothers was two years old. She became a children’s librarian after she graduated from high school in Connecticut.
I imagine the books offered a lot of inspiration.
Just like her books offer me a lot of inspiration today. I was dying pages from The Middle Moffat last night, reading words and admiring the illustrations. I enjoyed, too, the words and characters named Nancy and Jane. My mother is named Nancy and her good friend was named Jane. It helps make me feel so familiar with Estes and her work.
What women writers will you spend time with today?
What writers in general will you spend time with today?
Let me know how it goes - I would love to hear from you.
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Julie Jordan Scott has been a Life & Creativity Coach, Writer, Facilitator and Teleclass Leader since 1999. She is also an award winning Actor, Director, Artist and Mother Extraordinaire. She was twice the StoryTelling Slam champion in Bakersfield.
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