It’s another overcast morning in Gretna, Nebraska, at the Home Office of Jewell Publishing. I have trekked once again to the 72nd Street Exit of I-80 to the Comfort Inn, home of the Nebraska Writers Guild Spring Conference. It’s the last day (sad face).
The conference room is abuzz with people visiting. That’s the sound you hear on the third day, and folks are better acquainted after the first two days. I’ve sort of kept to the same few people, spoken up to people I’ve met before. A couple of people I wished would be here are not. It’s sad when illness keeps them away.
So far, the best lines I’ve heard are from Michelle Pennington. Her topic was Creating Strong Female Characters. This is right up my alley. I’m thrilled to have someone else say things out loud that are on my mind.
Not having had sisters, I do not know what it’s like to have one. The only example I had of female relationships was that of my mom and her sisters. When they were young, they all had a lot of fun together. As they aged, there was a lot of arguing, judging, and backstabbing. Mom, being the oldest, still thought she had to be in charge of the tribe, know about all their business, and a host of other co-dependent characteristics. It was what she was used to, protecting her sisters from the fighting our grandparents did often.
It never occurred to her that her sisters didn’t need her protection any more. She didn’t need to know all about the events in the other families. It wasn’t any of her business. Relationships took a beating. The sisters, once very close, became more distant. It happens.
What Michelle Pennington said was strong women are not necessarily physically strong. They’re not bullies or buff or tomboys or ace mechanics. They have emotional strength and are resilient. Michelle added, “Please, let’s not have female relationships in our books be rivals, or enemies. We need our female relationships to be friendships that last and that are significant.” I need to learn about that type of female relationship. I’ve not witnessed many. Isn’t life a real learning experience sometimes?
As I listened to the keynote speaker, I felt encouraged to keep on my writer’s journey. Do the work. Enjoy the process. Write every day. You are doing something important. You are writing for people who need to read your stories. Keep creating. I plan to.
My mind is full and boggled right now. It needs some rest right now. I hope if you have a creative endeavor you have support in your life for it. Join a guild or club or society to learn. And don’t give up. I won’t either. See you tomorrow.