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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Women of Achievement Month

So many women who've inspired us with their determination, strength, courage and wisdom. Who are your favorites? Without trying to stir up any political debate, here are my choices:

World Level: Mother Teresa
I'm sure God blessed this woman for her selfless acts of mercy and charitable works. Years of sacrificing her life for others is an inspiration for us all to volunteer to help those in need.
A quote from Mother Teresa:

"Speak tenderly to them. Let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile, in the warmth of your greeting. Always have a cheerful smile. Don't only give your care, but give your heart as well."

National Level: Susan B. Anthony
There were many women fighting for women's rights in the United States, but her name is among the top ones listed and remembered. Again, she sacrificed her time, effort and energy to fight for many causes; voting for women was one of them. In 1920, years after she died, the Susan B. Anthony Amendment granted American adult women the right to vote.

Personal Level: My mother, Ann
Like most homemakers after World War II, her goal was to create a happy home, raise a family, and keep close family ties. Coming from a large Italian family background, this became a full-time job. She didn't drive, but would walk miles to stores or take me, my brother, and my sister to school and return to walk us home until we were old enough to do that with friends.
She inspired us to do well in school and go to college. All three of us got degrees and my sister and I were the first two females in our large extended family to go to college.

Now, at almost 87 years of age, my mother's age and illnesses have slowed her down, but her spirits remain high. She still cooks for herself (we made an apartment in our home for her) and she sometimes cooks for my husband and me, too! As the remaining female sibling out of ten children in her family, she is the matriarch of our Italian heritage and the keeper/teller of long-ago stories of relatives. One brother is also alive, but Alzheimer's has stripped him of most memories. My mother keeps in touch with my cousins, second cousins, grandchildren, and loves it when great-grandchildren visit. She remembers most relatives' birthdays and anniversaries and keeps the post office in business.

Writing Level: Romance Author Carla Cassidy
Carla recently published her 100th book! She's down-to-earth; a friend and always available to help. While some authors may shun others and step back instead of helping those seeking publication, Carla has always volunteered her aid, giving loads of help, suggestions, important critique information, and genuine friendship. Without her enthusiasm and words of wisdom when I was ready to stop writing, I wouldn't be a published author today. Others also encouraged my efforts (Sandy Marshall and Cheryl Rabin).
Carla offered one critical piece of advice that got my brain in gear and shed light on what I'd been doing wrong with my writing efforts for years..."don't write episodes". Hearing her words made me realize that's exactly what I'd been doing!

These are women I truly admire and who've achieved positions of respect in my life.
Tell us about women you admire during Women of Achievement Month!



What a terrific post, Marianne! At the World Level, I'd add Elizabeth I: a woman who took on a country torn by religious intolerance and created an empire.
National level: Madeline Albright, our first female Secretary of State who's brilliant and a tireless worker for human rights advocacy.
Personal level: My mother-in-law, Gloria, who has always been the most warm, generous, giving lady I know--not just with material things, but with her heart.
Writing level: Bertrice Small, the only one of the original "Avon Ladies of Romance" who has not won RWA's Lifetime Achievement Award, Bertrice is not only the pioneer of the "kick-ass heroine," she also had the distinction of First Author to Have Fabio on her book (Enchantress Mine), and was the brains behind Kensington Books' Brava line. Romance authors (and readers!) owe a lot to Bertrice and I bet most of them don't even know it!

Tina Donahue said...

Wonderful post, Marianne - thanks so much for sharing these wonderful women with the rest of us. We have a lot to live up to. :)

Sandy said...

Marianne,a fantastic post. I would have picked Mother Theresa for World Level too. That humble little woman sacrificed her life for others.

National Level: There are so many and certainly Susan B. Anthony and Madeline Albright rank way up there. What about Dolly Madison, Hillary Clinton and I could go but don't want to get political. lol

On a personal level it will always be my mother, Katherine Alice Walker Zinn. With all her many illnesses she was a mentally strong lady who raised her children, provided them a good life, and raised us to be good people. She taught us how to live our lives and in the end taught us how to die. Marianne, in many ways you remind me of her.

Writing level: I do agree with Marianne about Carla Cassidy. Without Carla our RWA chapter would have disappeared long ago.

Thank you, Mariane, for mentioning me as one of your supports. I will always give you support and friendship.

Amber Skyze said...

What a great tribute to such endearing women.

Katalina Leon said...

Wonderful post Marianne. It reminds to be more supportive and appreciative of the quietly heroic women in my life-you included-I hope you're healing well.

Marianne Stephens said...

Gina and Sandy, you've named some wonderful women to admire, too.
Tina, Amber and Kat...thanks for commenting.
And Kat...many thanks for the "you included"! I'm healing! Yea!

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