Friday, July 10, 2009

Women's Voices Revisited

Tweet This Post
I am revamping my first book. Yes, it's getting a new title and face lift. I am excited about it and will share the new cover with you here, once I get the final draft.

While going through this process, I am taking time to re-read the book. I want to find those errors and typos that got by us during the first publishing attempts.

Doing this brings me back into the material and the voices of the women who talked to me and others about their lives.

Here are some of their words (some in the book and some not).

"I can remember being nice was a goal of mine. I would write it down on my list. 'Be nice!' How many boys would have that as their goal?" (laughs) Kathleen, 35 years old.

"My mother started telling me when I was little . . . Don’t let anyone cause you to try to be somebody else.” Christine, 91 years old

“My aunt was my role model. She had no children, when I visited her, I was the Queen. At my home, we had nine children and my mother always had a baby on her hip. Aunt Dorothy would take me to guitar lessons, water ballet lessons, made doll clothes for my dolls. I was the Queen Bee.” Vicki, 59 years old

"I would pick my battles differently. I would be a little bit different there. I wouldn’t care whether my daughter wore pink shoes with a blue dress. Whereas I did at the time." Kitty, 60-something year old

"I’m not going to be like my mother. That ended up being twenty years of hell—trying NOT to be like my mother." Margaret, 55 years old

One interview was most meaningful to me. The woman, who has since passed away, had ovarian cancer. She was most reflective. I included a few of her answers below.

She told me "There was always this expectation that you grow up and get married. A lot of women didn’t see that there were choices."

She told me that as she played the wife of role and mother she felt misplaced. "I felt like there was somewhere else I was suppose to be. Something else I was supposed to be doing. I was intellectually and emotionally stifled. I didn’t feel like I was a contributing member to the human race. I always felt like I needed that and that I wanted to keep learning."

She also confessed, "I had to suppress the real me."

I asked her what advice she had for mothers of daughters.
"I think if I had to do it over it again, I think I would have encouraged my daughter in different ways. I would have honored her strenghts to help her find her way. Personally, I was never encouraged in any direction in one way or another. Neither was I discouraged. No one ever said to me, 'Okay, you have a good way with words…you should consider writing for the newspaper, enter a writing contest.' Nothing was ever encouraged that way. It was like having tunnel vision growing up. There were no forks in the road."

And now I will return to one of my favorite quotations and one that ended the book.

When asked if she had anything else to say, an 80+ year old woman responded, "I done said enough." Well, me too!

Till next time...

Allyn Evans

Technorati Tags:
, , ,


Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

What a lovely way to do a little prepromotion, I read the book in its Queenly form and you've got me wanting to read it again!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Blogging at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I never want to get to the end of my life and regret I did not try to do more!

I have a feeling you will discover so many more nuggets during the second time around with your book, too.

L. Diane Wolfe

Allyn Evans said...

thanks for the comments! it's rather strange reading through the book again.

the voices of the women speak to me just as much as they did when i transcribed the interviews.