I travel (metaphorically speaking) with a remarkable group of women. These women, for the most part, are writers, bloggers, seekers and the go-to women when you want something done. So today, I am going to list some fantastic blogs and sites for you to visit, for inspiration, encouragement and, if you are anything like me, a dose of humility at the talent out there!
Story Circle Book Reviews is one of the many sources of “womenkind” for me. I started with this group as a reviewer, in which I still take part, as well as working as an editor, book-requester and behind the scenes help-where-needed gal. These are some of the women who have created blogs, and worlds, that I long to inhabit – and feel honored to visit.
Susan Wittig Albert is my favorite author – a woman of remarkable and varied skills. The series which sucked me into her orbit is the China Bayle’s herbal mystery series. In the years I have read Susan’s work, she has had at least 3 other series, going concurrently with China. Confession time – I am an insomniac of life-long suffering. When I have a really bad night, I lie there with the lights off, and write my own make-believe story, about a woman named Shanghai Bailey. Corny huh? China and Susan are not really flip sides of the same person, but they share a love of herbs with me! Her non-fiction works also grace my shelves, and help me along my path of self-exploration… Susan’s websites (yes, plural!) can be found at:
I am very proud to say that I consider Susan a friend – a wonderful mentor!
Next up on my palette of women I want to be when I grow up is the uniquely beautiful Susan J. Tweit. Another multi-talented woman, her haikus, photography, and moving blogs about her husband’s recent passing due to brain cancer have totally amazed me. She does reviews for SCBR as well. Her books are best sellers, and today’s blog, sort of a listing of all she is doing in 2012, including remaking her late husband’s 110 year old studio at their home in Colorado, is amazing. Susan J. Tweit – Mindful Living. Be sure to further explore her blog after you read this particular post.
A new acquaintance, via SCBR is the oh-so-fascinating Khadijah Lacina (aka Yemeni Journey.) Born in the American heartland, she embraced Islam (well before 9/11) and lived with her husband and eight (yes, 8) children in Yemen for nine years. She has recently returned stateside. She is a writer, reader, reviewer, herbalist, fabric artist and translator. Her blog, http://yemenijourney.com/ is full of wonder and grace. Her perspectives on religion, family life, living in Yemen versus the United States and her path as a Muslim woman are so enriching and educational.
Outside of my SCBR world, I have “met” bloggers whose stories enchant me, teach me, and embolden me on my own paths to wisdom and discovery. First in that list is Ashley of Lil Blue Boo. An artist, DIYer, Crafter, Clothing Designer, Blogger and cancer patient, this young mother is absolutely phenomenal. Her attitude in today’s blog personifies her outlook on life. “Every day is a good day. Some days are just better than others!” She could be bummed at her constant chemo, her complicated regimen for knocking out the cancer which has invaded several parts of her body. But she isn’t. She has bracelets (those ubiquitous rubbery-stretch ones) that say “Choose Joy.” and that is her philosophy. I intend to buy a package (20 for only $15, postpaid) and share them, to encourage others to choose joy in their lives. Do check out her crafts, her line of children’s clothing, and great patterns.
Another “online” friend is from the part of my world that I consider my “hippie” persona. We met on Facebook, and I wear a Worldwide Hippies wristband that she sent me. Diana Carson-MayWaldman is yet another inspiring woman in my life. With her encouragement, I submitted my poem, Cancer Dancer, to a collection of poetry that was just published. Hip Poetry was edited by Diana, her husband Mitchell Waldman and Joe McEvoy, Founder of Worldwide Hippies. Di has fierce likes and dislikes, and I adore her enthusiasm for life and the hippie mantra (“People Who seek Peace, Justice, Love, Harmony – Promote Basic Human Rights and Positive Change in the world!”) She and Mitch also run Blue Lake Review, an online magazine with Diana as poetry editor. She is such a strong advocate for women and children, and her work, and words, keep me going on bad days…I am blessed to know her!
Perhaps friendships and discoveries made online are not “real” in some ways, but for me, these women have touched me, and I look forward to corresponding with them, reading their blogs and reviews, and learning from them as I continue on the adventure known as life. I hope you’ll join me in discovering their blogs and the beauty they encourage in all of us.