This month's topic is strong women in life and fiction. Since I write m/m erotic romance there are few, as in no female heroines in my work. I do have a few wicked secondary characters that are female but I think I'll turn to my real life experiences to draw on for this discussion. It's hard to work with a negative. *g*
I really don't have to go far to find awesome examples of strong women. My best friend is the head of my company's art department and she defines 'strong woman'. Deana is as independent and self-sufficient as anyone I know. She has flirted with the alter on an occasion or two but has remained single, a career in advertising taking her around the world and through life like a never ending roller coast. She has weathered life exceedingly well, with grace, beauty, intelligence, wit and fortitude. On her own, she nursed her ailing mom until her passing, juggling work, home and family with a strength I don't think I possess. She is an inspiration to me to tackle my life and responsibilities as they change with time.
Another friend is my executive editor who balances husband, home, young children (and all the activities, responsibilities and challenges that presents), a full time RL job, and is my right hand at my press. She is fast becoming my left one as well. *g* I can't believe the number of things she accomplishes in a single day, and does exceedingly well. She nurtures 30 plus authors, manages a dozen editors in three imprints and does it with the calm skill. She shows me what can be done if a person is organized and talented. I wish I was more like her.
Closer to home, I need only look to my own mother. Though now deceased, my mother raised and provided for 6 children, worked a full time, demanding job as a nurse, kept a huge house, and an unpredictable husband who passed away in his early forties leaving her with very little. She worked long and hard to make sure my siblings and I were warm, safe and feed and taught us to prepare for the future as we meet daily life head one a day at a time. I always saw her as very strong when I was young.
As she grew older, I became more aware of her as a person, not just 'my mom'. I was surprised to see she had moments of weakness, as well. That shocked me at first but witnessing those times made her more 'real' to me. With age, I grew to understand we are all a combination of weak and strong.That's what makes the strength so much more impressive. I can forgive my own 'weak moments' because of that. I hope one day my own children see me as a 'strong woman'. I'd like to be remembered that way.