Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday Thirteen

March is National Women's History Month.

Last week I offered up some facts about women. This week, in honor of the many women who have influenced my life in one way or another, I thought I'd list 13 of those wonderful ladies. Some I knew or have known, others not so much.

These are not in any particular order.

1. My mother. I suppose this would be on many women's list. Your mom teaches you how to do your hair, put on make up, walk, talk, flirt, cook, make the bed, and so many other things. Many of these things you learn simply because she has modeled the actions for you. My mother taught me to never go out in public looking "unmade" regardless of what was going on in your life.

2. My grandmother. She gave me unconditional love and all the hugs I needed. Everyone needs that kind of support in her life.

3. My teachers - all of them. I could list 13 teachers, I think, and might have to do that for another Thursday. My teachers and professors have all impacted me one way or another. They have taught me how to think, how to meet deadlines, how to write, how to communicate, and how to play well with others. Very important lessons, don't you think?

4. Mary Johnston. This author lived from 1870 - 1936, so obviously I did not know her. But she was a Botetourt County author and a suffragist. Because of her, I have a role model to follow and the right to vote. How cool is that?

5. Carolyn Keene aka Mildred Wirt. Keene is the pen name of the author of the Nancy Drew mystery series, and Mildred Wirt was the author who wrote the first books under that name. I loved the Nancy Drew books and I feel sure they are one of the reasons I wanted to become a writer. I have never wanted to write the Great American Novel. No. I would be quite happy if I could write something akin to Nancy Drew.

6. My BFFs. Over the years I have had a number of friends. Some have passed away. Many have moved on to other places and we aren't in touch. Some I have recently reconnected with on Facebook. At least one friend has stood by me for almost 30 years. Another has held my hand for about 15 years. Still another has been my daily "email pal" for over 10 years. I am so very thankful for these wonderful women.

7. Kate Jackson. Yeah, the actress. When I was growing up, I thought she was the bomb, man. I became a fan early in her career, even before she starred in Charlie's Angels. I actually watched her in a Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows, which I wasn't supposed to be watching but did. That was in the early 1970s, so I have been a fan for a very long time. Jackson went on to battle breast cancer and to have open heart surgery later in life. She's now a spokesperson for the American Heart Association.

8. Chrissie Hynde. As a young woman, I picked up the guitar not to play classical music, but to play rock and roll. Chrissie Hynde, lead singer and guitarist for The Pretenders, was a female rock and roller long before anyone else thought about it. Though at the time I really didn't pay much attention to her, as I grew older I became an admirer of her work in all of its stages.

9. Ellen Goodman. This Pulitzer Prize winning columnist writes well and puts it out there. She has chronicled changes in society for years, and has been a strong advocate for women for as long as I could read her column. She writes with courage and with dedication and I have long admired that.

10. Leslie Stahl. Her work on 60 Minutes has always been impressive. She was a White House correspondent for a number of years. I have always admired her ability to ask hard questions and move an interview along.

11. Laura Ingalls Wilder. I believe Ms. Wilder was writing creative nonfiction before anyone even knew what that was. Her Little House books enchanted me as a youth and as an adult I appreciate the details in her work.

12. Mary Queen of Scots. I am not sure why this historic figure has always fascinated me. Perhaps it is my Scots-Irish blood. Mary lived in the 1500s and must have been quite a character. She led armies, married royalty, and pissed off an English queen to the point of being beheaded. England's Elizabeth 1, who was also Mary's cousin, had her arrested and jailed for 19 years and then lopped off her head. I have read a number of historic accounts about this imposing woman and have found them all amazing.

13. Joan of Arc. This historic woman lived in the 1400s. She led the French army to a number of victories before being burned at the stake at the tender of age of 19. Known as the Maid of Orleans, Joan had visions which led the peasant girl to her ruin at the hands of the English.

There you have it. Women to admire. Take a moment to be grateful for the women in your life, won't you? Where would you be without them?

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here.  I've been playing for a while and this is my 182nd time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.


  1. I didn't realize Kate Jackson was on Dark Shadows! I used to run home from school to watch that!

    Wow, that's terrible about Mary Queen of Scots! After being in jail that long, the cousin still had her head chopped off?!

  2. I loved Chrissie Hynde too and still do. I liked Jane Fonda too. Today many of my role models are women my age who don't get plastic surgery.

  3. As a kid I went crazy over the Nancy Drew series too. And moms? I have a volatile relationship with mine, but ok, she's as strong-willed and as headstrong as I am. Often one of us ends up in tears after an argument (always her, and I always feel sorry afterwards) but we still borrow each other's silk blouse, wedges, the purses - I can live with that :) Great list you have.

  4. Wonderful tribute!

    Enjoy your Thursday!

  5. My mother and grandmother's top my personal list. I consider myself quite lucky.

  6. Great list of women! Janis Joplin thought about being a rocker too!

  7. Great women! So glad to see teachers on your list. They are often overlooked, but when you think about it, teachers spend about as much time with you as your family.

  8. What a lovely list! I remember learning of Joan of Arc in school, she was my patron saint and I still keep her quote close: I am not afraid. I was born to do this.

    Come by for my "13ish Page Free Read". I'm part of the Luck of the Irish Blog Hop, a collection of authors are offering free reads and a grand prize of a Kindle 3. Wanted to give my T13ers a shot!

    Happy TT,

    Free Read/Kindle 3 Contest

  9. Excellent list! Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Great list, it makes me think of the women who influenced me... thanks for the prompt!

    Happy TT!


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