This year is celebratory, I’ve decided. Things are so very tough for so many people I know (including myself!) that I want a small time out from dealing with life and a month spent enjoying the wonder.
Initially, i was going to start this in February and give you the Women’s History Month I failed to deliver on last year because life was just a little too exciting. Merely. Barely. But then I started writing a novel while doing quite possibly too much else. Until now I’ve had the luxury of writing novels in the interstices. Even the novel full of chocolate and sarcasm and sheer rage from last year (which will be published in a year) was written when a lot of my teaching faded from view. This time, though, I’m doing everything at once. I had twenty deadlines of various sorts this week, and I should meet them all by working nice long days, but… this meant I had to rethink.
My celebration has a main theme, which is writers telling us about other writers who are flying under the radar and ought not be. It also has occasional posts on other women’s history subjects. I have some wonderful posts because my strict rule is to ask people whose work is also worth reading. Whatever these friends are writing on, they have voices worth hearing.
I’m so glad to be so much past the worst of a very challenging period, and to be able to be part of Women’s History Month again. One day, the Australian celebrations will mention those of us who started the ball rolling. I worked with a writer over summer and they had trouble understanding that one of the biggest chains on positive cultural change – to do with many histories, including those of women and minority groups – is the tendency for the wider community to forget and to silence. My celebration is another way, a happy way, of working to bring back many voices and to start conversations. We don’t have to accept the silencing being thrust on us.