Shaping Destiny Giveaway & Winners of Hollywood and Catholic Women
It seems like lately I’ve had a lot of books and posts on my theme of “helping women (and children) around the world” instead of kids’ books. This is another great book today, part of a WOW! Women On Writing blog tour, that empowers women and inspires us to figure out what is important in our lives. Destiny Allison wrote an amazing guest post to go along with her book (see below) about how hard it is to be a SAHM and WAHM too! (Now that school is back in session, I do plan to blog a bit more on the children’s/YA book scene AND also I plan to add one more post a week that focuses on things to do with my book coming out, but more on that later. . .) I have either an e-copy or print copy to give away of this really cool book with a title I LOVE–Shaping Destiny. If you are interested in winning this memoir, please leave a comment (or question for Destiny) below by Sunday night 8/26 at 8:00 pm CST. I have a synopsis and guest post by Destiny below, so don’t miss those!
I also have the winners of my giveaway of Hollywood and Catholic Women from last week. The winners are Cathy Hall, Marybeth, and Becky Povich. I’ll be emailing each of you about this prize! Congratulations and thanks for stopping by and commenting on my interview with Kathryn. She has written a fascinating book. Now on to. . . Shaping Destiny!
Synopsis of Shaping Destiny:
Shaping Destiny is the inspiring story of Allison’s life from the creation of her first sculpture to her acceptance into a prominent Santa Fe art gallery. The book, which recounts her journey from traditional female roles to self-actualization and independence, is told with three voices: the emotional, the intellectual and the instructional. Though she had no formal training, Allison moved quickly from small, Plasticine clay sculptures to an apprenticeship at a foundry to teaching in a small museum. Along the way, the author wrestled with shedding and then reclaiming family. To add to the extended metaphor binding her story to the theory and language of sculpture, Allison infuses an ample dose of popular philosophy in lessons culled from childhood days spent with her father. The 22 lessons at the beginning of each chapter intend to guide readers’ passage through the complexities of clay and life; each lesson works with the idea that art is a process, as is life.
The Unique Challenge of Being a Woman Artist
Guest Post By Destiny Allison
It was late. The children had long been asleep. My husband was working an overnight shift and I had the house to myself. The dishes were done and put away. Sundry toys, bottles, blocks and bears were back in their appropriate places. For a moment, chaos was tame.
Ahhh, silence, that vast, sweet quiet! It was soft as the skin of my infant, tender as my toddler’s kiss, and limitless as the dark sky sparkling with distant stars outside my window.
As I settled in front of the sculpture I had waited all day to contemplate, I heard only the sound of my own breath. It was rhythmic, a peaceful rise and fall as calming as a sea breaking on distant shores. Finally I was alone–able to engage in my passion and give voice to that part of myself rendered small in daylight hours. Tonight, for a little while, I would speak.
I looked at the tiny face of the clay woman in front of me. With the tip of my finger, I stroked her tangled hair and traced her round belly, full breasts, and the lines of her arms. There, that was it! That was what had been bothering me all day! The proportions were wrong. Her arms were too long for her body. Ape-like and heavy, they robbed this woman of her grace. I grabbed my knife and savagely cut through skin, sinew, and bones. This was a flaw I could fix. This I could render right. This small woman would be the woman I was not–forever still, forever wise, forever. . .
Before I could finish the thought, a piercing wale of unspeakable agony shattered the quiet of my mind. My baby was awake. I sighed and put down my knife. I turned off the light above my table and wearily climbed the stairs, unfastening my bra as I went. My baby was hungry. He was wet. He needed something only I could give him–the sustenance of a mother’s love, the sustenance of my body, mind and soul.
Fast forward twenty years and not much has changed. Today, though I make my living from my art, there are always interruptions. My husband calls me to share some news. My sons, now grown, still need me. Someone has lost something and has to find it RIGHT NOW. Someone wants to know if we are cooking dinner tonight or if he should fend for himself. There are dishes to be done, dogs to feed and walk, beds to be made, and floors to be swept. Because I don’t go to an office or have a “real” job, because I love what I do, it is hard for my family to know that I am not always available to them.
I am better now at shushing them–a low growl in my throat, as I start to respond, gives them the distinct impression that their interruption is not welcome. They are a little more careful about what they ask and when. Still, they are my family. I am mother and wife. I love them. So I do like women the world over. I turn off my machines and give them a minute or an hour. Like a soldier learns to sleep whenever he can, I have learned to work when I can. And work I do because over the years, that small voice of a woman rendered quiet in daylight hours has grown strong, incessant, and exacting. She will be heard. She will shout out to the world. Nothing will stop her.
Isn’t Destiny great? What terrific writing! If you want to read more, please leave a comment for your chance to win or visit her book page on Amazon by clicking below. If you enter the contest, please leave your comment by 8/26!
The WOW! advanced writing a middle-grade novel online class I teach starts on 8/23. It’s for anyone who has at least three chapters of a middle-grade novel started (or an entire draft is good, too). For more information, please see the syllabus on the WOW! classroom page or email me at margo (at) wow-womenonwriting.com. Thanks!