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  1. Syl,

    I enjoyed this little “inside glance” at the essence of what lies inside this cookbook:) The words enticed me to purchase several to give as gifts-and of course one to keep on my shelf:)

    Your expression of the southern lifestyle, its flavors and scents is beautifully worded.

    Lo

    December 11, 2009
    • Thanks, so much, Loretta, for stopping by–and for buying the books! I Hope you enjoy the recipes and cook good food for great friends.

      Hugs, Syl

      December 11, 2009
  2. Well said, Sylvia. There is such a difference between an individual being assertive and/or aggressive. I saw both behaviors in large doses during my tenure in law offices and it seems some people have trouble distinguishing the difference in these behaviors.

    Betty Gordon

    June 2, 2010
  3. For sure, Betty! And often, a passive person swings like a pendulum to aggression before coming back to the middle with assertiveness. Thanks for stopping by!

    Syl

    June 3, 2010
  4. Sylvia,

    Thanks for visiting civilwarcooking.blogspot.com. I am glad you left a comment. Your blog is fantastic.

    Roxe Anne Peacock

    August 1, 2010
  5. Susan Maradian #

    A loved a War of Her Own! Having lived inOrange from 1990-1996, it made the book all the more interesting.
    I’ve found another author whose books I’ll devour

    December 21, 2010
    • Susan, Much thanks!! So glad you enjoyed it and visited my blog to tell me! I do have three other books out, in a modern day mystery series featuring Sidra Smart, also set in Orange. Hope you enjoy those as well…

      Hugs, Syl

      December 21, 2010
  6. I really enjoyed meeting you at the Madison County Book Sale and Signing. I am really looking forward to reading Bea’s story in A War Of Her Own. God Bless!

    March 1, 2011
    • Thanks, Rebekah, I enjoyed meeting you, too. Hope you enjoy the book! Let me know!

      March 1, 2011
  7. I was probably born strong, but it’s taken me many years to let it show.

    May 18, 2011
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Yes, sort of like me, Helen. It took me a long time to start chopping that trail through the wilderness.

      May 18, 2011
  8. Helen and Sylvia, I wonder if girls today who are born strong are able to express that strength at an earlier age than I. When I was growing up, it was always, “Boys don’t like girls who are smarter (stronger, better at something) than they are.” It was always, “Little girls should be sugar and spice and everything nice.” The only kind of strong a woman was supposed to be was when she needed to “Stand By Your Man”. lol!

    May 18, 2011
  9. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Marian, my conversation with Jourdan revealed just that. She came into this world giving her opinion and has never stopped. Girls in my generation absolutely had to be the proverbial sugar and spice, always sitting with her knees together. Remember–women in WWII stepped out of their comfort zone to don pants to work in the shipyards and many felt ashamed and afraid God was going to send them to Hell.

    However, not all girls are like Jourdan, even today. They still suffer from “boyfriend dependence,” only getting their sense of fulfillment when a boy likes them. They often suffer abuse and sexual innuendoes and put up with them so they won’t displease the boys. My question is, what are their parents teaching or not teaching that makes these boys think they can get by with that? And what are they not teaching their girls that allow them to not take a stand against it?

    Comments?

    May 18, 2011
    • My husband blames pop culture for everything, and I’m sure that has a little bit to do with it. I don’t watch half-hour comedy shows because the ones I’ve tried have sexual jokes every few minutes. Some people might find that funny on the screen, but it isn’t funny in person to a young girl. Still, everybody laughs at it on TV, so there must be something wrong with her if she doesn’t think it’s funny.

      Beyond that, I’ve seen a deterioration of the taboo against boys hitting girls. A girl might be afraid to stand up for herself, if she thinks she’ll get smacked for it–or worse.

      Basically, a lot of young people aren’t being taught respect–to feel it OR to show it whether they feel it or not. And a lot of young people ARE being taught that self-respect comes from outside validation, not from inside. If they aren’t treated well, they think it’s because they don’t deserve better.

      A strong sense of self-worth, validated by struggle to live up to your own expectations, is a gift.

      MA

      May 19, 2011
      • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

        Actually, Marian, Jourdan said that very same thing–about blaming pop culture–the media–for all of the sexually inappropriate comments to girls. It takes a lot of work from others to overcome this stigma implanted in the eyes of young people. Personally, I believe we should hold the media responsible and demand better for our young people. It is difficult for young girls to be pulled both ways. In the process, they lose a sense of their own value. Hence the purpose of this blog. Please help me spread the word about it to young girls–I’d love to have their input and questions. They can email me questions they would like to discuss and we will, right here-and anonymously for their protection. Thanks for writing!

        May 19, 2011
  10. I’m a strong woman who has been traveling this country in a small RV for seven years now with just my dog, Maggie, as companion. I love this blog. I was always strong, but I was in my 40s before I accepted it. I love your blog.

    May 19, 2011
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      As was I, Pat! Good for you! I’d love to do just that. And who knows, I just may one day! I think a lot of our young girls today are strong now but don’t know it and allow themselves to be subject to abuse. Let’s commit to helping change that system. One way to do that is to invite them to join the discussion right here on this blog. Here they can receive input and suggestions from women who have been there and done that! Let’s support our young women by being here for them! Hopefully Jourdan can send some our way!

      May 19, 2011
  11. Hi Sylvia,
    Thanks for emailing me about this new blog of yours. It’s wonderful. As for strong women, I most certainly was not born strong. I was a chameleon for most of my growing up years, trying to please everyone and losing myself. Life circumstances didn’t help. Now I feel I am strong, but still not always able to stand up for what I believe in, but certainly getting stronger all the time. I am amazed at the girls and young women I know in my life who are born strong. It is a gift
    Karen

    May 19, 2011
  12. Back in the day (the 50s) we were taught, as Helen says, to hide our strength because that was the way to attract a man. We were suckered in by Cinderella stories. No one talked about all the things that could go wrong after the wedding and why strength might be a good thing. If they had, I might not have wasted so much time on getting ready for dates and might have written more.
    I’m fortunate now to be married to a Mike Nettleton, who is also my co-author on a number of mysteries. He’s a huge fan of uppity and sarcastic women who know their place–at the front of the pack. And he’s also a huge fan of some of my characters, especially Kate Dalton in An Uncertain Refuge.

    May 19, 2011
  13. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Karen, it truly is. And yet we had it earlier and didn’t know it. One way I have learned for being able to stand up for what I believe in is by just saying it-at that very moment I am feeling it. If I let it fester, then when I do say it, too much heat is added to it because of the festering. My motto is Just Say It. Right then and there. With no heat, no animosity, no attack. Just say it. Letting it just come out of my mouth. It is AMAZING the power found in that simple act. THAT is when we know what we stand for and what we don’t stand for–and more important, what we WON’T stand for! Thanks for your support and encouragement!

    May 19, 2011
  14. I vowed from an early age not to be like my mother. I loved her dearly but she had 9 kids and would make a different meal for any child who didn’t want to eat what she set in front of them. Plus she catered to my father, who admittedly worked hard. I am the only child of the 9 who went to college and on to graduate school — paying my own way because my Dad didn’t believe in girls going to college. (But he was proud when I graduated!) Dad also gave me his love of American history and now I write a series of historical mysteries with two nosy Puritans from Boston as detectives. While Mom was more like a Wilting Lilac I guess Dad was the Steel Magnolia. Still, lilacs are my favorite flower.

    May 19, 2011
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Power post, Marilyn! Love the images with your parents and the flowers!

      May 19, 2011
  15. Slyvia,
    I was developing as a strong woman during the most unpopular years, at least for me. Middle school and High School. I was smart, outspoken and opinionated and for the longest time, everyone, except for my family, tried to make me feel ashamed for it. Boys and Girls I met and knew tried to tell me I was a b–ch. It is unbelievably heartening to find your site and to hear the stories, especially about younger women, who speak out against sexist comments, don’t rely on boyfriends to define their self-worth and who grasp that the world is a better place for it. Now as a writer I delight in inventing female characters who are strong, and not just “male” copies which I think some writers feel they have to do. A woman doesn’t have to act like a man to find her strength.
    Whew, this turned out to be a long post. Love the site, I will be coming back again and again.

    May 20, 2011
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Oh my, Karyne! Good for you! I am so thrilled to have your voice heard here on this blog! We need women like you and Jourdan who found their voice at a younger age and can share advice and suggestions to others who search for it in the midst of a world where that isn’t always encouraged. We’ve come a long way in our society, but we’re not there yet!

      May 20, 2011
  16. I love hearing about strong young women like Jourdan! I hope more teens will learn to do what she is doing.

    May 20, 2011
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Isn’t she an inspiration, indeed! Looking to hear from more young women to share their stories. Anyone know one, send them my way! Thanks Heidi.

      Sylvia

      May 20, 2011
  17. Very glad to hear of a young steel magnolia in Texas! And reading all of the comments from others here. I appreciated your thought, Sylvia, about trying to be trouble-free after your difficult birth. I bet your mother loved you in both incarnations…?

    I was lucky enough to be born into a very liberated family, where male or female didn’t determine anything, but skill and need. My dad for example often did the cooking because as a teacher he had nights free and my mom worked as a psychologist, seeing patients.

    I’ve always said that women will be truly equal when we don’t have to have a movement to make us equal.

    Thanks for the post.

    May 22, 2011
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Jenny, Isn’t that the truth! No titles such as Mrs. to determine whether a woman is married or single. Till we create new words to replace “generic” pronouns such as “man” or “he” when referring to “Everyman”.

      Indeed we are making progress. I recall a man saying to me, We would treat women as equals if they’d just shut up about women’s rights!” My reply, ” Really?”

      May 22, 2011
  18. Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

    May 22, 2011
  19. I’m strong when it really matters. Otherwise, I’m polite and accommodating.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morganmandel.blogspot.com
    http://facebook.com/morgan.mandel

    May 25, 2011
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Morgan, the first isn’t contradictory to the second. We can be strong, polite and also acomodating when it is called for.

      June 7, 2011
  20. That sounds like one of my mother’s family gatherings: three generations, eleven females, four of them granddaughters who rolled on the floor laughing at the antics of their elders. (Who wore hats and gloves every time they left the house and kept Emily Post close at hand.)

    May 31, 2011
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Indeed, Baubo resided wherever those women got together!! I would have love to have been sitting right in the middle of them!

      May 31, 2011
  21. Laine Estep #

    I love strong women. I have a few in my own family, and a few who SHOULD be, but like your sister, prefer to not make waves. Personally, I am one of the big belly floppers in the pool of life! I make my waves as big and as rocking as possible because otherwise I’m not living, but existing. I wasn’t put here to merely exist. This life is the only one I get and I fully intend to get the most out of it as I possibly can.
    Even in my teen years (eons ago) I knew what was and what was not acceptable to me. I was often (and still am) labeled as a bitch because I stood up for myself and for others whenever the need arose. I finally stopped getting angry over that label and decided to embrace it. So now I tell people “You bet I’m a bitch!” I do that because not ONCE in my 46 years on this planet have I ever been called a bitch by someone who was getting what they wanted from me. It is only when I stood up and said NO that I became a bitch in their eyes. I finally said that if standing up for what I believe in makes me a bitch, then I will wear that label with pride and distinction.
    I have a teenage daughter and I’ve tried to impart that same kind of attitude upon her. She does it when it matters to her, but when it doesn’t, she lets it slide. Luckily, the things she lets slide are really not all that important, Disrespectful behavior from anyone is met with a ‘don’t speak to me that way!’ reply.
    It does make it difficult to raise daughters in this era of Snooki and Twilight. It isn’t impossible to teach our daughters to disregard those messages; it is just a lot harder to know they are listening.

    June 7, 2011
  22. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Laine, love your belly flop in the pool of life! Great comment. Like you, I have a daughter and she is a very strong woman. Much to my delight.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    June 7, 2011
  23. I’m a bit older than Karyne and I remember looking forward to growing up and attending cocktail parties in pretty dresses, wearing my hair up in a French twist, getting married young and raising children. My own goals? I didn’t have any. Then along came the 60’s and my world turned upside-down. I’m not sure I was ready to burn my lacy bras or march for my equal rights but there was just no going back. Thank God!

    Some of us were born to be strong, some were raised to be strong and some, like me, were forced to be strong. Now young women have role models from all of us that bridged the gap. They have no doubt that they are tigers and not pigeons. At least, that is my hope.

    June 7, 2011
  24. HI Sylvia,
    What insightful observations regarding strength, individuality and assertiveness. I’m also interested in men who have been ridiculed for choosing to be a stay at home father because it was in the best interest of the family, or who chose a traditionally female occupation, such as nursing. In general, I think those who deviate from the norm suffer in some way. Thanks for enlightening us on these issues.
    Claire Applewhite

    June 7, 2011
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      And thanks for stopping by, Claire! Yep, it is indeed a process we all work on — and will for a long time to come, I fear. And also — one of the most boring things I can think of is to be “NORMAL.” I love to meet folks who are comfortable enough with themselves to step outside that when it fits for them!

      June 23, 2011
  25. I’m so glad you were supported by your family in your different-ness, Karyne. I always feel like whatever the world hands us, if family is behind us, we can persevere. And look where strong women stand now! Everywhere 🙂

    June 7, 2011
  26. Sunny,
    I love what you said about being forced to be strong. I think that life gives us the incentive we need to become the woman or man we are supposed to be. Deciding what to do with it is up to us, thank god so many of the women I know figured out just what to do with it!

    June 8, 2011
  27. Jenny,
    Indeed! I look around at the women who’ve risen to places that generations of women prior to them only dreamed of and think what a wonderful world this can be. I”m grateful for the role models so many strong women are providing for the young women today and I hope they take advantage of it.

    June 8, 2011
  28. Until I retired from academe I taught courses in psychology, the most important of which was psychology of women where I reminded the women and men in my class that today’s women owed their staus to the women who went before, breaking down barriers and paving the way for their little sisters. I despair that the term “feminist” has gone out of fashion or that women today don’t want to use it. I’m glad you see it as a compliment.

    June 8, 2011
  29. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Lesley, I can identify with the ‘feminist’ title. When I first joined ranks, in the midst of a VERY conservative marriage/world, I was reluctant to claim so because I was still in the “people pleasing” role. It took me several years growth before I developed the confidence to wear the title proudly. I still do!

    As a part of that growth, early on, when I started college at 40 and took several courses in women’s studies and they truly began to open my eyes. Thank you for all your contributions for women.

    Thanks for dropping by. Next week we offer suggestions for young women today. Hope the post gets read by a number of them.

    Sylvia

    June 8, 2011
  30. Lesley,

    It’s taken me years to figure out that being a strong woman and being called one is the highest compliment I could ever receive. Thanks for reading!

    June 8, 2011
  31. Sylvia,

    I was beginning to despair that the forward motion of women in todays world was at a standstill. Seeing your site has given me great hope that young women and even us older ones can still get the party started and keep it going.

    June 8, 2011
  32. Great post. There used to be a saying that “it’s a man’s world.” I can remember commercials with that phrase in them. It seems like things change so slowly. Even today the commercials are mostly women in bras and panties or red, pouting lips, or dangerously skinny with big jewels around their necks. Things still need to change.

    June 8, 2011
  33. I grew up in a large Catholic family. I was supposed to the ‘Nun’ and save the family. Instead, I chose to follow a different path, I’m not sure which path would have been stronger.But I am stronger for the choices I’ve made. I also plan to grow stronger.

    Kat

    June 8, 2011
  34. Kudoes, Karyne, for leaping aboard the feminist bandwagon. I’m older than you, a country girl who led a very solitary life as a child. Consequently, I went my own way, had my own thoughts, did my own thing. Dad called me his second son because I have only one brother and I was the one who loved working with the livestock. Even then I would’ve preferred to keep my maiden name when I married, but of course, it just wasn’t done. Now it’s taken almost for granted. However, among the upsides I found is that I moved from the W line to the C line. Happy you, to have received the support from your family to make you into a strong woman.
    Carol

    June 8, 2011
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  36. My grandmother, who raised me, used to tell me that no man was going to marry a woman who didn’t cook. My husband does most of the cooking in our house, and he’s great at it. It gives me an extra hour a day to write, for which he admires me. In gratitude, sometimes I bake him a pie, with grandma’s crust recipe. “There is no one alive who is Youer than You,” Karyne. Thanks for remembering that and inspiring others.

    June 9, 2011
  37. Helen, you are so right that there is still much to be changed. I really believe that alot of mothers have to help their daughters shed the body image issues that plague our society. It’s a scourge of the media generation that women are still portrayed as either lips, legs or how shall we say, upper assets?

    June 9, 2011
  38. Kat, the fact that you knew which path wasn’t for you seems to be the strongest choice of all. I was very lucky that my family supported me in whatever I chose to do, so many women never get that kind of help growing up. Although I do think Nuns have be extremely strong women, my mother was raised a staunch Catholic and she always told me the Nuns did all the work!

    June 9, 2011
  39. Carol,
    I moved from the L to the C line when I got married as well! Family support is really key to young women today, and I hope that more young women are getting it then back in the day.

    Thanks to everyone who’s stopping by and leaving a comment!

    June 9, 2011
  40. Love the quote! Fortunately I have a grandmother and a mother (and dad) who inspired me to be a strong woman and to believe I could do whatever I set out to do with perseverance, hard work and honesty.

    June 9, 2011
  41. Cara,
    Thanks. My husband is my biggest fan and he makes sure I get the time I need to write. Having a hubby like that is pure good fortune. It sounds like you have a true sweetheart there.

    June 9, 2011
  42. Heidi
    Sometimes I open my mouth and the craziest things just fall out. Fortunately this time they were worth keeping. lol I’m really glad you liked it.

    June 9, 2011
  43. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Really enjoying all the great comments, Been in the air today flying to Milwaukee to attend my grandsons HS graduation this weekend. So not been able to sit and comment but now settled into a hotel and wanted to put in my two cents! Fantastic discussions. It is amazing how many strong women there are.

    My mom wasn’t one of those women who spoke up for herself as I was growing up. Quite the contrary. It took waking up at midlife when I started asking all the questions, studying and taking courses of study in women’s studies program at college (yes I took my first freshman class at40). Amazing what asking the right questions can do to wake up a person, Looking forward to the second half of Karyne’s guest appearance! Next week Wednesday.

    June 9, 2011
  44. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Karyne, and thank you for sharing the word. glad u found us, I ‘d love to have a few young women, girls to jump in and join our discussions.

    June 9, 2011
  45. Slyvia,
    I’m so happy that I found this site. I’ts like finding sisters I never knew I had. Growing up, my voice was always the loudest and loneliest in the room when it came to speaking out against sexism etc. I hope we do get some young women in here to share what their going through.

    June 10, 2011
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  48. Laine Estep #

    WOW! There is such truth and power in this column! I will definitely have my teen daughter read this! I preach the same things to her and her friends, but I worry it falls on deaf ears sometimes. Thank you Karyne and Sylvia! You are both strong women and role models for the rest of us! The strongs and the want-to-be-strongs alike! 😀

    June 22, 2011
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Super fantastic, Laine!! That is my heart’s desire–to set the example and guide women–both young and old–to claim their power! I would love to have your daughter and her friends come join us! I’d love to hear first hand what they experience along these lines. How difficult it might be–what influences must they reach beyond, etc. Tell them WELCOME!!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      June 22, 2011
  49. I read The Yellow Wallpaper when I went back to college at 53. It stunned me. I didn’t know this about her background, though. Thanks for this post.
    Karen

    June 22, 2011
  50. When I was at Douglass college, formerly known as the NJ Women’s State College, I took a series of classes called Women’s Studies. It was eye opening to say the least and the highlight was reading The Yellow Wall-Paper. To this day it’s etched into my mind and the messages contained within have stayed with me for years. Being a Feminist has, for too long, carried a stigma that needs to be cast off and forgotten, while pride and ownership of such a worthy title should be cherished.

    June 22, 2011
  51. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Good for you, Karen–going back to college at 53. Supports my stand that it is never too late! And yes, I first read the Yellow wallpaper in college, too, in a short story class. Later, when I learned more about her past, I understand why she should be so depressed!

    In reading her autobiography, “Living With Charlotte Perkins Gilman” I learned that her mother had been married four years and had three children–and she was in poor health. The doctor told her is she had another child it would kill her–so Charlotte’s father moved out and never moved back in with them. He maintained contact with the children–but only on occasion. I strongly recommend this book. It really takes you into the life of one of our leading feminist intellectuals–and a woman with only 4 years of education stretched over 7 years because they moved A LOT!!! There is one scene in the story that I will blog on next week. It is between her and her mother. Powerful!!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    June 22, 2011
  52. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    I hear you, Karyne! The story was so well written I felt like I lived inside that room– Odd, though, that after she left her first marriage and found herself, there is no more hint of depression–quite the contrary. Women have long held the image of ‘being depressed’ because of hormones, PMS, etc. My personal belief is it has more to do with them not having a voice–and/or using it to get in touch with what they stand for, what they don’t stand for, and what they refuse to stand for!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    June 22, 2011
  53. There are issues about which I have always felt strongly. A man who is chivalrous will open doors for women and remove his hat in a lady’s presence; such actions should be done as a sign of respect and not of condescension. My wife use to yell at me for “ruining’ fairy tales for my daughter. I told her that Esmeralda from The Hunchback was a bimbo because she fell in love with a handsome man who treated her badly. Likewise, I told her that the princess should make her own way in the world without a prince to take her to “happily ever after.” My little princess is now entering George Washington University and hopes to be a senator. As a result of my views, I struggle with female characters. I am now working on a novel set in medieval times. I want my women to be strong because of my own perceptions and expectations, but I want them to be realistic. This is often a conundrum.

    June 23, 2011
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Oh, boy, what a fortunate daughter you have! I congratulate you and her both! AND, I do believe we have always had strong women–and of course many of them show their strength in different ways. Perhaps look for and magnify those in your characters. (Which you likely already do!) And regarding fairy tales– I think we benefit from taking a whole new look behind fairy tales. There is much below the surface. One of my favorite books is Women Who Run With the Wolves–love how the author digs below the fluff of the fairy tale and reveal it from a whole different direction and lesson. The tales weren’t written just to entertain. Lots to learn with a deeper look! Thanks much for visiting and commenting, Allan!

      June 23, 2011
  54. Sylvia, I enjoyed this post and returning to this interesting author who wrote The Yellow Wallpaper. It’s amazing how some stories stay with you through the years. The Yellow Wallpaper did!
    Thanks for the article.

    June 24, 2011
  55. You know I’d never heard of her before this post and now I’m so glad you shared this. Another woman to stand in the lexicon of strong women who inspire and encourage women to push past boundaries and never let challenges defeat you.

    June 29, 2011
  56. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Then I’m glad her name jumped out at me! She is an iconic figure in this area of the state–and stands as an example for us all–men and women!
    Thanks for stopping by.

    June 29, 2011
  57. This was a fascinating blog. I am so intrigued by the concept of the androgynous woman that it’s making me reexamine my own character and her relationships. I agree that so many women are eager to discard the support of other women as unnecessary or even, distasteful, as if by allowing themselves to be lumped together is somehow a weakness.

    I recall many a time when I was the woman pulling other women to me for us to stand together and they came, albeit reluctantly. I never had the reservation to ask for the help but I was always sad that it had to be asked for.

    July 6, 2011
  58. I still have my “Uppity Women Unite” pin! I think “a strong woman” is almost an oxymoron. Women ARE strong and have always been, it’s just been in ways that weren’t recognized. I have always hired women because they understand the true meaning of “multitasking.” The women protags in both my vampire books and my upcoming mystery are complete, successful, working women, supervising staff and making decisions..

    July 6, 2011
  59. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Then Lesley did well, Karen! I find it refreshing to read something that causes me to go back and re-evaluate my thoughts, feelings and reactions to things–particularly those related to women. I too loved the androgynous comment. Interdependence, dependent and independent qualities have something important for each of us. Love to hear what others have to say.

    July 6, 2011
  60. It is strange how the term “feminist” is sometimes associated with negativity. Growing up to be a woman I always wanted to make my own money and be independent. I love reading about strong female characters. It’s so neat how your work has made you a better author. 🙂 Great post.

    July 6, 2011
  61. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Michele, woman are definitely pros at multi-tasking! I get to going in so many directions, and sometimes all at once, but in the end they all get done. Thanks for dropping by. Folks, check out Michele’s link to her website.

    July 6, 2011
  62. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Aubrie, thanks for stopping by and for the kind words. Feminist being associated with negativity, I believe, often has to do with men’s fear. And if men are afraid of us, many women will follow that fear and avoid the tern so as not to alienate men they love–or want to love.

    That’s a good question, too. I’d love to hear from other readers — why do you think the term has been portrayed with negativity?

    July 6, 2011
  63. Why am I just now hearing about this blog? It’s fabulous here! Thank you, Lesley, for emailing authors from our literary agency about blogging here today. Your post was quite timely for me, I’m writing a romance about a feminist who, because of childhood abuse, does not reach out well to other women for support. Now I know which way to take her on her journey of growth. I love strong women, yet often have trouble writing them as strong in the beginning. Usually by chapter 5 or 6, I’m getting a better handle on my heroine which means major rewrites of previous chapters. I think the majority of us take life’s adversities and eventually turn them into advantages–this is one of our strengths. I try to showcase this steely trait in my heroines. Great post, Lesley. Great blog, too.

    July 6, 2011
  64. Great article, Lesley. I’m flattered that you mentioned me and my senior sleuths. Women have traditionally been strong but worked quietly behind the scenes. We’ve finally come into our own but we’re not quite there yet. Women in power around the world would make it a MUCH better planet.

    July 6, 2011
  65. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Thanks, Vonnie! Thrilled you like the blog! And I am so happy you found us–thanks to Lesley! On the topic of strong female characters–I too write them in my mystery series and also in my historical novel. The thing I find thrilling is to have my protagonist actually not be so strong at the beginning–then watch her grow and develop throughout the book. Sooooo, that means by the time I finish with them, they have made major steps in their growth and in finding their voice. That approach, I hope helps become a stepping stone to others, showing them the process and the journey. I have heard from many who resonated with the protagonist and how she grows–modeling for them steps they still need to make!

    Hope you drop by often–and what about being a guest here! Would love to pick your brain on your take on strong women and how you write them! If so, shoot me an email at sds(at)suddenlink.net

    July 6, 2011
  66. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Agree with you, Jean! And that’s what we’re working toward! Maybe not in my lifetime, but……….

    Thanks for stopping by!

    July 6, 2011
  67. What interesting and inspiring comments. Who thought reminiscing about my days in the classroom and the topic of androgyny would instigate this discussion? Of course, the old theoretical stances on characteristics such as independence, dependence was that they were two end points of the same continuum, one was feminine and one masculine, so no one could (should) be both. It’sclear we’ve come a long way from that point and our characters show it. The issue of men’s fear comes into play here as you’ve suggested. Men would be particualrly fearful of taking on any hint of dependency. So have we moved our male characters beyond this fear?

    Lesley

    July 6, 2011
  68. Darlene DeWitte-Bassett #

    Sylivia,
    I enjoyed your post on Strong Women very much. I have just finished my WIP that includes a ’20 something young woman in the mid-1800’s who is a only child, and unexpectantely inherits the family tobacco plantation.
    I have tried to instill a strong will, and a dirven ablity to trust her ablity and instincts to see her through the trials and troubles that is thrown at her.
    I look forward to following your posts into further enjoyment.
    Darlene DeWitte-Bassett
    dewitte_bassett@yahoo.com

    July 6, 2011
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Sounds like a good story, Darlene. Be sure and stop by and let us know when it is available for purchase!

      July 6, 2011
  69. Very interesting. Although I had not looked at it that way, I do write strong women. The protagonist in my WIP is strong, but she also has other strong women around her that she can turn to when needed. In this book, though, her problem is admitting she needs others and letting them know her secrets.

    July 7, 2011
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Strong women come in all shapes and sizes, Helen. And some start out not so and grow–finding their voice as they go! So, finish that book so I can read it! Or, or you done?

      July 7, 2011
  70. Valerie Horowitz #

    I have been thinking about the topic “whatever happened to feminism?” a lot lately, and enjoyed your post. Perhaps what you describe as the “independence” of young women not relying on others the way 70’s women did is a reflection of the technologically-based isolation of our times. Feminist consciousness raising groups in the 70s were a way for women to come together out of the isolation of the post-WWII 50s and 60s.

    July 7, 2011
  71. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Valerie, could well be a part of it. Perhaps it is a big part of technology age. Young women connect constantly with text messages, FB, Twitter, etc. My granddaughter in law had her baby on Facebook!!!

    Isolation was indeed a big issue in the 50s and 60s for homemakers. But what about the 19th and 20th centuries pre-all these tech instruments? Times change, and needs change. The memory of where we’ve come is important to remember, for sure.

    Thanks for stopping by. And jump in anytime!! Great discussion.

    July 7, 2011
  72. The isolation women felt in the 50s and 60s was only partly isolation from one another. It was also isolation brought on by social proscriptions for how women should behave and what they should feel. There were some very shocking things that went on when the neighborhood women got together over their morning coffee. Ask Betty Friedan.
    I sometimes wonder if we’re kidding ourselves that we are more closely connected now because of technology. Or are we hiding behind a kind of pseudoconnectedness, an illusion that, because we have 500 friends on Facebook and we tell them when we go to bed, we are close? Oh, oh. This sounds like another topic.
    Thanks everyone for making this an inersting and lively discussion.

    Lesley

    July 8, 2011
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Lesley,

      Connected is not always connected is it? We can be connected, but that isn’t the same thing as intimate, one on one openings of the heart. Connecting on FB does not come close to the heart to heart connections women have when they gather. Particularly those nights when Baubo the Belly Goddess comes calling. When we let our hair down, giggle, share confidences, and laugh ourselves silly! No Facebook can equal that!

      And I’m ready for another topic–let’s go!

      July 11, 2011
  73. Thank you for sharing this very poignant message. Girls -especially in this dizzying digital age- face a lot of pressure to be thin, beautiful and popular. Facebook really intensifies that pressure as young girls – heck even adults – flaunt their popularity by tallying up a high number of “friends.” I think it’s important to not try so hard to be liked, which is something “good girls” are conditioned to do. It’s taken me a long time to realize that people don’t have to like me and that I shouldn’t muffle my voice when I have something to say!

    July 13, 2011
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Absolutely, Jessica! I suppose that’s one advantage women gain as we age. You know–old women who say exactly what they think, regardless! Wish I would have learned many years ago to sacrifice the effort to make everyone like me, to one of being who I am. To not be afraid to say who I am, what I stand for, what I don’t stand for–and most importantly, what I won’t stand for! That’s where you young whippersnappers can sidle up to an older woman and say, “talk to me!”

      Glad to have you here! Love your chicklit blog and reviews. You focus on some very strong women authors!

      July 13, 2011
  74. Beautifully and wonderfully said, Sylvia. I am so often saddened by how many women and girls who cast such a negative eye on other women, often influenced and encouraged by the media and entertainment industry. I was fortunate, being an athlete in high school, because I think it had me seeing other women as teammates and allies rather than competition.

    July 13, 2011
  75. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Karen, Thank you. I do agree with you about how we are taught to see other women as competition. Women don’t learn the importance of team work like men are–unless they get into sports, the military, or other such institutions that teach team work. And good for you that you had opportunity to do so. Much of what young women learn is to be ‘mean girls’ or bullies to those girls who threaten them. Hope we can turn that around–despite much of the media.

    July 13, 2011
  76. Very interesting points you have mentioned , thankyou for putting up. “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” by Arthur Ashe.

    July 14, 2011
  77. These are impressive articles. Keep up the sunny handiwork.
    [url=http://dietrecipesfordiabetics.blogspot.com/]Diet recipes for diabetics[/url]

    July 16, 2011
  78. Hey there I really like your articles. I linked to your WordPress blog on my site about the PSP-3000 so my visitors will check out your blog too.

    July 17, 2011
  79. Beautifully said, Sylvia! Love it. 🙂

    July 26, 2011
  80. YEAH! Some of my favorite books are Terry Pratchett’s books about the witches of Discworld, Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and their current young trainee. They really know the power of the crone, although they call themselves “The maiden, the mother and … the other one.” lol!

    I heard that Margaret Mead was always surrounded by young people because she was active and knowledgeable and willing to share what she’d learned.

    Go,crones! (And … cronesters? What’s a male crone?) I mean, besides Sean Connery?

    July 27, 2011
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Yeah, but the word crone has a real history about it–and I’m for turning society’s bad image of being one, flipped around.

      July 27, 2011
  81. Well, I, for one of many, am waiting on the next installment.

    Love it, Sylvia.

    July 27, 2011
  82. I love it, Sylvia. Says so much with so much wit and humor.

    July 27, 2011
  83. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Thanks, you beautiful crones! And yes, more good stuff is coming next week!!! and likely the next!!

    July 27, 2011
  84. Being a future crone myself, though some would say I’m showing good practice at it already, I love this story. Actually in pagan beliefs, of which I’m a huge fan, the crone is a necessary and vital part of the trifecta of women. The young girl, the mother, and the crone are what comprise all of womanhood.

    I say, cheers to the Crone! Long May She Reign!

    July 27, 2011
  85. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Hey, girlfriend, I’m there and have been for a good while! And its the best years of my life. Love it! Wear the title proudly. Looking forward to next week’s post when Drizilla learns the secrets–she’s got a little make u to do–but at least she’ll learn how she missed it and what’s lacking!

    July 27, 2011
  86. Absolutely love this post.
    Karen

    August 3, 2011
  87. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Thanks, Karen. As you might can tell, I had fun writing it!! Thanks for stopping by!

    August 3, 2011
  88. Love it, love it, love it. We are what we think and we can think just about anything we want.

    Thanks so much for this post, Sylvia.

    August 3, 2011
  89. Merely wanna tell that this is very helpful , Thanks for taking your time to write this. “Hollywood is a place where people from Iowa mistake each other for stars.” by Fred Allen.

    August 6, 2011
  90. Hello There. I discovered your weblog using msn. That is an extremely well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read extra of your useful info. Thank you for the post. I will certainly return.

    August 6, 2011
  91. I agree with your Change The Voices in Your Head. Make Them Like You Instead | WRITING STRONG WOMEN, wonderful post.

    August 7, 2011
  92. Wonderful! What a great pick me up!

    August 10, 2011
  93. Sylvia, thanks for having me here today on your delightful blog.

    August 17, 2011
  94. AMEN to that! When I was first reading romance, as a young girl, I can remember reaching a point of such utter frustration with the heroine that I threw the book out the window. She was a drippy, whining thing who kept letting the hero(if you could call him that) bully, badger and even physically abuse her(yes the early romances had plenty of physical abuse that went under the guise of “love”) all in the name of romancing her.

    I’m so glad that girls and women reading romance today can have an choice in books like yours, Vonnie, that show the amazing character and strength of true women.

    August 17, 2011
  95. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Vonnie, thrilled to have you here, and Karyne–I agree. Threw a few books across the room myself. Great to see the times/romance novels are a changing!

    August 17, 2011
  96. Karyne, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. You know I recently read a re-release of a book written by a top romance writer. The original copyright date was 1985. The hero–and to quote you, “if you could call him that”–was so emotionally abusive, so juvenile in his reactions I could barely finish. I kept thinking, “please don’t ever write anything like this.” What message was it sending? Men can yell and call us names and then ignore us for days all under the guise of love. Would I want my 17-year old granddaughter to read this? Heavens, no. I want her to know that a “soul mate” respects you in all things. Better to be alone than to be abused in any form. This is the message I try to convey: be strong, be true to yourself, be better than you ever thought you could, be awesomely YOU.

    August 17, 2011
  97. I really like the way you analyze your protagonist before you begin. It makes total sense yet most of us rarely do that.

    August 18, 2011
  98. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    I agree with you, Helen. It is neat to see an author really know her character in advance and head that direction with story development. Thanks for stopping by.

    August 18, 2011
  99. Vonnie,

    I read your awesome words about a soul mate and let me tell you that is so touching. You have a way with words. I adore you so

    Walk in harmony,
    Melinda

    August 20, 2011
  100. I love it. What an amazing, intelligent and passionate woman Paige is. I think admiring her Nana not only for what she does but for how she does it shows a insight and deeper understanding of life and people than is common today. My own grandmother raised eight children, most of them as a single mom, doing two jobs. She taught until she was 82 years old in Spanish Harlem in NYC and she did it all with a passion and courage that I hope to emulate each day of my life.

    Good luck to you Paige, in whatever endeavours you undertake, may you find success, joy and most of all, the style to do it with.

    August 24, 2011
  101. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Somehow, Karyne, I think she’ll have the style. Don’t you? And Karyne, your grandmother sounds like a woman with style, herself! Great example for others!

    August 24, 2011
  102. Paige Cooperstein #

    Sounds like we’ve all got women of style in our lives!

    August 24, 2011
  103. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Indeed we do, Paige. And your post broke all records for hits on this blog! So–well done, young lady!

    August 24, 2011
  104. Kitty Fleischman #

    This was Mom’s eulogy. Tha “Mark” who is speaking is my youngest brother, Mark Delorey.

    August 31, 2011
  105. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Thanks for the clarification, Kitty! Great story!

    August 31, 2011
  106. Definitely Inspiring. Thanks much !

    September 1, 2011
  107. Great post, Sylvie! I love your blog, so therefore I’m presenting you with the Liebster Award, an award for small blogs. I’m not sure what your following is, but I’m giving the award to you anyway because Writing Strong Women is fabulous!

    September 10, 2011
  108. Cynthia Herrmann #

    I can’t wait to read your next book! Inez was so fortunate to have someone she trusted so completely who was willing to care for William.

    I always wanted to be an only child; it wasn’t until I was a teenager that I could appreciate my sisters – and then, only the ones that had already left home. Geographically, we’re scattered, but with free long distance phone time, email, and Facebook, we remain connected.

    September 26, 2011
  109. Ann #

    Hi Sylvia!
    Thanks so much for hosting me at the start of my mini blog book tour. It’s wonderful to have a chance to “pay tribute” to one of the strongest, most influential women in my life: my sister.

    September 26, 2011
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      You are most welcome, Ann. A delightful story of sisters–reminds me so much of mine!

      September 26, 2011
  110. Oh that quote says it all. My older sister was my hero, my adviser, my counsel and my friend. We have fought, made up, fought again, not spoken, spoken too much and even cast each other off permanently.

    But despite our combined efforts to dissolve our friendship, it has remained, tattered, torn and even threadbare, but always, a solid link between us. Strong, resilient and a constant stabilizer in a unsteady world.

    September 26, 2011
  111. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Me, too, Karyne. My sister and I fought like cats and dogs as teenagers–and it was all her fault (see my tongue in my cheek!), but she tells a different story–but yes, the one constant in my life!!

    September 26, 2011
  112. Great post about sisters. I have 5 of them and wouldn’t trade in a single one even though we have widely divergent opinions now about just about everything. It makes me sad that my own daughter doesn’t have a sister.

    September 26, 2011
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Sharon, I have one sister, and my daughter got three brothers instead. She always wanted a sister–but alas! However, she does have a neat friend that helps!!

      September 26, 2011
  113. I am an only child and, growing up, always wanted a big brother for some reason. Now, however, I ache for a sister. I do now have a sister-in-law, which is probably where the feeling comes from: we are very different but get on reasonably well, however I just can’t completely trust her with confidences that I would share with a biological sister.

    My wip features teenage sisters and I’m enjoying writing their relationship. They’re very close, so I’ll have to remember to add some sulking and fighting to make it more realistic. Thanks for the pointers!

    September 26, 2011
  114. Ann #

    So wonderful to read about other folks and their sisters—real and imagined sisters, that is! I too enjoy exploring the fictional relationship between my protagonist Inez and her younger sister Harmony, the conflicts and the closeness. Thanks, everyone, for sharing your stories!

    September 26, 2011
  115. Carol-Lynn Rössel #

    What a delightful story! I’ve no sister, but a loverly brother. As we’ve aged, funnily, my daughter and I have become rather like sisters.

    September 27, 2011
  116. Ann #

    Hi Carol-Lynn!
    As my daughter nears adult-hood, I find that our relationship is also shifting in that direction. And lest I leave out the brothers … I have two, and they are lovely human beings. 🙂 Thinking about it, the specialness of the sister relationship we have could partly be due to the fact that we arrived numbers one and two in the birth order, so had some “alone time” together before the boys arrived (and we had to share that room!). 😉 My sister promised to drop by the site and chime in… She’s a busy woman, so we’ll see if she manages to add a comment over the next couple days.

    September 27, 2011
  117. Barbara Bibel #

    I have two younger sisters and they are both wonderful. Now that we are all grown up with children and one of us is a grandmother we have even more to share and enjoy.

    September 27, 2011
  118. Alison Parker #

    I am a bit at a loss for words (my sister does a much better job of putting thoughts “down on paper” than I), but I do want to express my deep love and gratitude for having such a caring and talented sister! Ann has been there for me in a way that no one else could. Thank you, sis for writing such a wonderful story about our lives together. I have no memory of the trundle bed or the tricycle incident, but I do recall our infamous slap/throw chair fight (your secret is safe with me!) and the line down the middle of the room. Ah, the memories! Pretty amazing we made it through the tough times to become the best of friends.
    Many thanks again for the loving heartfelt words, and your support and encouragement through the tough times. And I hope our continued journey in life together as sisters will bring us more joy, laughter and shared memories. xoxo!

    September 28, 2011
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Alison, my sister and I have some of those stories, too, and our take is different from each side!! Guess our memory cells protect us from the real truth sometimes–which is usually right down the middle!

      September 28, 2011
  119. Ann #

    Hello Barbara,
    We haven’t hit that point yet, but I recently went back East with my daughter, and the three of us were able to spend some “women time” together. It was great! And since my sister and daughter are both artists, they have a very strong bond, which makes me very happy. 🙂

    September 28, 2011
  120. Ann #

    Hello Alison!
    Welcome to the blog-o-sphere! 😀 And thank YOU for giving the go-ahead to share our story, because it’s *our* story, and I wouldn’t put it out “on the airwaves” without you being a-okay with it. Wow, those photos sure bring back memories… thanks for the love, the hugs, the laughs and, yeah, even the fights, because we wouldn’t’ve grown into the women we now are without all that and more. yer sister, ann

    September 28, 2011
  121. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    AND THE WINNER OF A COPY OF ANN’S BOOK IS…………..DRUM ROLL…….ELLE CARTER NEAL!

    ELLE, PLEASE CONTACT EITHER ME OR ANN TO SUBMIT YOUR MAILING ADDRESS.

    CONGRATULATION!

    October 3, 2011
  122. Alison Parker #

    Thanks for the warm welcome, sister! It’s been fun looking back and remembering. We can laugh at all the drama now! Many hugs back to you on the west coast.

    October 10, 2011
  123. I’ve made my most life-changing decisions impulsively, which is completely uncharacteristic of me. But after making each choice, I felt at peace, sure that I’d chosen wisely. And everything has worked out. Later I realized that, even though I hadn’t been making lists of pros and cons or seeking outside counsel, I’d been turning the various issues over in my mind for a long time–just not in an organized way, and often not consciously. So when I was ready, the decisions I made seemed natural, nothing earth-shattering about them–even though the people around me were astounded because they hadn’t seen the change coming.

    October 11, 2011
  124. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Interesting, Kathy. I think we might often do that even when we think we’ve made a quick decision. Sometimes, I’ve agonized over some of the simplest decisions–such as studying a restaurant menu, unable to decide what to order. One day my boss asked me how in the world I ever made a decision on the job, if it took me that long to decide on what to eat! That got my attention. Now, I practice making them fast. Go in, open the menu, pick out something, close it and order. End of story. Good practice! I think even that exercise helps me be a more decisive person–at least on minor things.

    October 12, 2011
  125. Silvia, Here is my story. I indirectly wrote about my great aunt Rose in my Chile Recipe story. Aunt Rose was born and raised in coal country in upstate Pennsylvania. She was both an aunt and a cousin, being related to my grandmother before she married my grandfather’s brother. To make a long story short, she had three sons by her husband and her husband was abusive to the point of her taking her children to Philadelphia and working as a domestic and cook for many years. She was a good Catholic and she could not reconcile to her husband because of the abuse. She sought a divorce in the civil courts which was unthinkable back in forties. The story goes that her young ambitious nephew, a monsignor, did not want her to get a divorce, that the publicity of it would ruin his political ambitions. He did eventually become a bishop. She had to change her last name legally in order to file for divorce and not embarass her family. I know she was strong. She raised three boys on her own as a single mother in rough economic times. You might remember her chile recipe. http://thisculturalchristian.blogspot.com/2009/09/five-recommended-ingredients-for-living.html

    October 19, 2011
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Michael, what a powerful story. I will certainly try her chili recipe and let u know how it turns out. Question: good cooks and strong women – wondering if a woman with the power to create delicious recipes and being a strong woman always go together? I cannot think of an example where that is not true. Thoughts? Know anyone that isnt?

      I never had thought about it from that perspective. Would love to hear what you and others know about it.

      October 19, 2011
  126. Liz #

    Interesting as always.

    Perhaps the best known female Civil War participant is Clarissa Harlowe “Clara” Barton, who went on to form the American Red Cross. In the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, Barton operated the Office of Missing Soldiers. Clearly a woman who found a practical solution whenever she saw a need.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clara_Barton

    November 9, 2011
  127. Hello Liz!
    Interesting! I knew about the American Red Cross connection, but not about her efforts re: Office of Missing Soldiers. I love it when I learn something new… Thank you! 🙂

    November 9, 2011
  128. Sandra #

    There’s a whole lot of folk songs about women who dressed as men to follow a lover to war (or sea). I suspect most listeners have no idea how many women really did do that! Life in a war zone was terrible; I don’t know how they did it.
    Sandra

    November 9, 2011
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      I might dress as a man to fight a war, but not to FOLLOW a man! LOL

      November 9, 2011
  129. Florence Evans #

    This has been the most interesting of the Strong Women Blogs that I have read. Thanks Sylvia.

    November 9, 2011
  130. Hi again Sandra!
    You’re right… the conditions were terrible, no matter who you were in the war. It amazes me that so many women were able to keep their gender secret for as long as many did… sometimes the length of the war and beyond.

    November 9, 2011
  131. Hello Florence!
    Thank you! High praise indeed… 🙂 This blog is wonderful for raising interest in the roles of women in all areas of life, through all eras of history. I learn something new with each post.

    November 9, 2011
  132. The deprivations women, especially those living in the South, had to endure was appalling. With so many of the men gone, these women were often left alone to defend their homes and their lives against Northern aggressors. Just because it was during the Victorian era, didn’t necessary mean every man was a gentleman and would protect a woman’s virtue. Great blog post Anne.

    November 10, 2011
  133. Hello Dianne!
    Absolutely right… The veneer of civilization is very thin sometimes, particularly in wartime. For those who stay behind trying to defend their homes and their lives, it can be absolutely horrible…

    November 11, 2011
  134. Liz #

    Looking for something else today, I came across this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Women_in_the_American_Civil_War

    No mention of Belle Boyd or Clara Barton, although Mary Edwards Walker made the list.

    November 11, 2011
  135. Hi Liz!
    Interesting… I looked, and noticed there’s no subcategory for “Spies,” although they include subcategories for nursing, cross-dressing, and the sanitary commission. A bit odd. Maybe it’s an entry that’s still “under construction.”

    November 11, 2011
  136. Reading Ann Parker’s ‘veneer of civilization’ and Gone with the Wind and immediately thereafter, Cold Mountain, popped into my head.

    November 11, 2011
  137. Hi Ken! I loved Cold Mountain… and it’s been a long time since Gone with the Wind, but yes, that definitely applies as well…
    Thanks for the comment. 🙂

    November 11, 2011
  138. Liz #

    Nice, and timely with holiday shopping looming.

    November 22, 2011
  139. This is so very hard to do, but worth the effort. I live too much in the imaginary story-worlds swirling around in my head. But, when I do manage to pay attention to my surroundings and engage with the actual humans in my real world, more often than not, we both end the encounter with a smile. Liz is right. This is never more important than during the holidays when everyone seems so stressed.

    November 22, 2011
  140. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    @Liz and Meredith, good points, all. And yes, this season most especially, is stressful. Any thing we can do to decrease it for ourselves and others benefits us all.

    November 22, 2011
  141. …. And the winner for this stop is….
    KEN CONSAUL

    Ken: Please contact me at annparker(at)annparker.net.
    Thank you, everyone, for joining me in the ongoing conversation here about women in the Civil War at Writing Strong Women. And thank you, Sylvia, for hosting me! 🙂

    November 26, 2011
  142. This is really attention-grabbing, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look ahead to searching for more of your great post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks

    December 3, 2011
  143. This really resonates with me because I have a tough time being heard – especially by my friends who interupt me every time their cell phones chirp. I’m also trying to make a conscious effort to just be there and listen to my friends vent about their problems without interjecting wtih advice. Great post! I hope a lot of people read it and learn from it.

    December 5, 2011
  144. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Thanks, Jessica. Yes, cell phones are a blessing and a curse. One thing I try to remind myself when friends are venting is to ask them if they are wanting advice, or just someone to listen while they vent. So often, a person just needs another to be there and truly hear them. But so often we feel like we need to ‘give advice.’ Tell them what WE think they should do–when no one really can, because we are NOT them. Thanks for the comment and dropping by.

    December 5, 2011
  145. I write strong women, too. Because I have been surrounded by strong women my entire life. I’ve known some women who were weaklings, but most of the women who had the most influence on my life were strong, honest, and true to their inner voice. They inspire me to try to be a strong woman, too.

    My characters are less subtle. They demand that I step up, step out and quit being a wimp.

    I love your blogs. I wish you’d publish e-books. If you don’t soon I may have to break down and buy “A War of Her Own” as a p-book, even though I’ve sworn off print books since I bought my Kindle.

    December 20, 2011
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Thanks, Meredith, for stopping by! Thanks for the comment. It does indeed help to know SOMEONE reads it! And about the e-pub of the book. My publisher promises sometime next year. However, the hard copy is just a click away! LOL

      December 20, 2011
  146. Wow! Lindsay, you are truly an inspiration. It takes a lot of courage to pursue a dream in defiance of naysayers On a personal note, I grew up in a very negative environment and always thought of myself as an airhead. My mother used to “joke” about how I need to get my paper hat ready for my career in fast food. One day I snapped and decided to show the world that I am indeed smart! So i worked my way through college and graduated magna cum laude. Boo yeah! I had a lot of self-doubt along the way, but I after conquering that goal, I had the confidence to pursue a career in writing. Your story encourages me to continue pushing the envelope and to always listen to my inner voice.

    January 18, 2012
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Me, too, Jessica! I was always told if anyone was going to fail at something it would be me. Well, I finally figured out at 40 I wasn’t stupid and ended up graduating with honors all while raising 4 kids!

      Negative environments do damage–but the damage can be healed.

      January 18, 2012
      • Wow – now that’s an impressive accomplishment! I have a lot of respect for parents who juggle parenting, work and school! You are indeed a strong woman – and I’m sure your readers would agree!

        January 18, 2012
    • I’m so impressed you were strong enough at such a young age to find the courage to move forward and break the shackles your upbringing tried to put on you. I was forty-four before I found that kind of courage. Your story inspires ME.

      January 18, 2012
  147. I, too, followed that storyline I grew up with, but I don’t think the next generation are so inclined. My daughter doesn’t seem to be, anyway. (And I’m quite proud of her for believing in herself and not paying much attention to the conventional way of doing things.)

    January 18, 2012
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Helen, that’s true of some young women, but for sure, not all of them. I know some who still struggle with low self-esteem and a ‘can’t do’ attitude.

      January 18, 2012
  148. Helen, my fear is that parents are still pushing daughters – just in the opposite direction… Many young women today seem to be under incredible pressure to achieve and to “have it all”. Not sure they understand that “having it all” translates to “doing it all”. My hope is that parents raise daughters to follow whatever dream that is theirs – not their parents. Sounds like you did exactly that.

    January 18, 2012
  149. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Good point, Lindsay. In truth, the ‘having it all’ syndrome is hopefully giving way to doing what you love–and loving it!

    January 18, 2012
  150. Sylvia and Lindsay, thank you for the inspiration and Lindsay for being so candid! I agree we break free one tiny step at a time and if we continue to move forward we hit critical mass and explode into a whole new world of opportunity. Then we’re rocking and nothing can stop us.

    Great to see you’re spreading the word about encouraging our daughters to do what they love. Thank goodness I know what I know because last year it was time for my daughter to choose her electives. Of course I told her to do what she loves; that the rest will come, and so the job of choosing became fun for her. One subject she chose was music and now she’s saying, “It’s so cool I have music 3-4 times a week now!”

    Freedom is so essential and precious; very special to be able to bestow it upon your child and see them shine. A motto of mine is “Love who you are and do what you love” xxx

    January 22, 2012
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      What a marvelous blessing you gave your daughter! Love it. And I agree with you–most definitely!

      January 22, 2012
  151. “But we all deserve to live our life. The life that brings joy and freedom and gratitude – not the one that breeds exhaustion and resentment and envy,” should be the fundamental truth we all live by.

    January 23, 2012
  152. Thanks for having me as a guest today, Sylvia. Camp Follower is free today in the Kindle Store and currently ranked at #21 there!

    February 15, 2012
  153. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Thanks for sharing your post, Suzanne. Very eye opening! Good luck on your launch! Sylvia

    February 17, 2012
  154. The minute a person whose word means a great deal to others dare to take the open-hearted and courageous way, many others follow. ~ Marian Anderson

    April 5, 2012
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Powerful quote by a powerful woman. Yes, it is important that we dare to take the open-hearted and courageous way. Thanks, Kathy, for reminding her. Gives me courage just reading it!

      April 6, 2012
  155. Laine #

    You couldn’t be more right if you’d carved it in stone! I know a lot of women who are like the lady you described. They will play the role of doormat and complain to everyone except those walking all over them. Personally, I have no patience for that kind of silliness! I’ve told more than one person “if all you want to do is complain about it, find someone who is willing to listen to you.” A body gets tired of the whining after a while. Ms Whines-a-lot will never find a solution if all she is willing to do about a problem is complain.

    In fact, most of Ms Whines-a-lot’s problems would be solved with a healthy dose of Backbone Soup. People will treat you exactly the way you allow them to treat you. If you don’t stand up for yourself, no one else will.

    To those who only want to complain I say this:
    If there is ANYTHING you can do to improve your situation and you will not take the steps necessary to do so, then don’t come crying to me. I’ll just tell you to keep on crying. When your HAD ENOUGH is full, maybe you’ll find your backbone.

    April 16, 2012
  156. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    I smiled at your comment, Laine, because what you said is so true. It seems that people like that soothe their wounds by complaining to someone else who can’t, not shouldn’t do a thing about it!

    And I’m with you–unless you are ready to take a stand for yourself, don’t vent on me! I can’t help you. If you need a suggestion on what to say–okay, then we’ll talk, but only if you then go SAY it to the right person!

    April 19, 2012
  157. Deanna Smith #

    I like your point of view. One that get me is “You will need to do this”. Makes me feel they are the boss no a partner. They can say” if it is ok with you can it be done this way” give me the chance to say yes or no. Don’t make my choices for me. Let me “just say it’ is ok also. Hope this made since.

    May 22, 2012
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      I agree, Deanna. It has so much to do with how we say it–or how something is said to us.Makes a huge difference! thanks for stopping by

      May 22, 2012
  158. It’s not often easy to stop and not say the first thing that comes to mind or to change your tone, but to decide what you really want to say and how you want to say it.

    May 28, 2012
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      It isn’t easy–that’s for sure. It takes me realizing what I wished I had said, then comparing that with what I knew at the time, what signals my body gave me, and then learning to slow down the next time, listen to my body, and then speaking from the heart. And as always, the more we do this the easier it comes.
      And I don’t succeed every time. But even if I do identify the feeling later, I go back and capture that.

      May 29, 2012
  159. This is an important message for people pleasers like me. I’m too nice for my own good and rarely speak my mind when I need to stand up for myself. Thanks for brining this issue to light!

    June 3, 2012
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Good! and you are not alone, Jessica. Took me half a lifetime to learn that. So do it now, rather than later!

      June 15, 2012
  160. This is really good advice especially for people like me who impulsively answer people’s questions without looking into the subtext. Sometimes I kick myself for not realizing that people are being passive aggressive and I take them at face value. Time for me to wisen up and be a little bit quicker on the uptake!

    June 4, 2012
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Jessica, we have been trained to think we have to answer every question asked us–and promptly. As we learn that, first, we are not obligated to answer any question. That right there — deciding whether we want to answer it or not, takes a moments reflection. I have worked on retraining myself to give myself time to make that decision–answer it or not. It also gives me time to ask WHY they are asking it.

      I think we’ve all been asked, “Can I ask you a question?” Typically I respond with–you just did! Then I go on to say, “certainly, you can ask me anything you want–however, I reserve the right not to answer it.” Smiling sweetly of course.

      When you suspect they may be passive agressive, you might ask for clarification. This can also apply to statements from other people. After a family wedding I was sitting at breakfast the next morning with the grandmother of the bride. I made the statement, “It was a nice wedding, wasn’t it? (making small talk.) She looked around the room as if stalling, then with hesitation said, “yes, it was nice.” I knew that wasn’t what she wanted to say. I thought, nope, not leaving it there. I looked at her and said, “Okay, “Sally,” this is me you are talking to. What is it that you want to say, but are not?” In a very disgusted voice she said, “Am I wrong or is “bride” pregnant?” I had to decide whether to lie to her, or tell the grandmother of the bride the truth. I chose to tell the truth. (Family secrets SUCK!)

      And, we can be quicker on the uptake when we pay attention to the message our bodies give us at that instant. Pause long enough to identify the feeling, and if possible, the color of that feeling. Color comes with its own meaning. Guess I better do a blog post on color and meaning!

      Conversation is fascinating. Small talk is not always small talk, and even if it is, it can lead to something much deeper. This woman and I connected at a much deeper level, and she so appreciated my honesty. (Of course afterwards I let the bride know what I had revealed.) In the long run, it made little difference to anyone except that grandmother, who was hurting deeply.

      June 4, 2012
  161. Really good advice! Yes, it’s true, I’ve been trained as a “good girl” to respond to people quickly and politely. It’s important to take a moment and tap into our intuition before giving a knee-jerk response to a possibly offensive question – or dismissing a meaningful remark as something insignificant. When it comes to communicating, there’s always room for improvement. Thanks for planting this seed in my head!

    June 4, 2012
  162. I couldn’t think of a better place than your blog to share my grandma’s story. I forgot to mention a fun little fact about this wonderful woman. She was a sucker for a man in uniform. She was so pleased that I married a Navy man and always flirted with him when we would visit her in Arkansas. I’ll never forget how she smiled at him and made him blush! At her funeral two handsome Marines stood by her coffin. I knew that if she was smiling down on us, she’d be focusing much of her attention on those Marines. 🙂 I will never forget their final salute to her after they folded the American flag. What an honor it was to have her in my life. I’m a lucky girl.

    June 4, 2012
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      What a neat story! I can just see her smiling at those Marines!

      For others who may have a story of a strong woman they would like to write a blog about, contact me here.

      June 4, 2012
  163. You said it all in once sentence! “If you’re wondering if your relationship is abusive, it probably is.” Thank you for sharing this post!

    July 19, 2012
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Thank you, Melanie. Powerful comment in itself. Truly, one either knows, or one doesn’t–and having to ask fairly well seals the answer.

      July 19, 2012
  164. I’ve never thought of myself as a bird, but it rings true. Inspirational thoughts from an inspirational writer.

    July 26, 2012
    • Thank you, Earl. Inspiration can sometimes be contagious. When one is inspired by the least little thing, it’s good to just pass it on. God bless you and yours.

      July 27, 2012
      • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

        Pam, you did good inspiring Earl. I thought cake was the only thing to get his going! 🙂

        Inspiration comes in more directions than one can even count, I find. People ask me where my comes from. Answer? Where don’t they come from? That would be a shorter list!

        July 27, 2012
  165. Wow! Judging by her blog post, this author has some serious writnig chops. The premise of her book is really unique and interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel mixed with religion and the paranormal. Hmm…I’ll have to check this one out!

    July 27, 2012
    • Jessica, I’m sitting here with my coffee smiling this morning. Thanks so much for the comment. For me, religion has always been filled with the paranormal. Bringing something unique to the page is a writer’s dream. I’d be thrilled to have you read Televenge. Blessings to you and yours.

      July 27, 2012
  166. JoAnne Craft #

    I have many women who lived as men, and as soldiers in the U.S. with the first KNOWN woman enlisting as a men in the Revolutionary War; on my Pinterest board “People And Times We Should Know About”. Many women lived as men out west, as outlaws, and cowboys. In his introduction to his novel The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest, (the second novel The The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy) Stieg Larsson writes about women serving as fighting forces, and how it probably goes back into antiquity. That got me interested in researching this topic. I have found out that females did serve as men in all armies, but this fact was completely left out of the history books. If it wasn’t for advent of the internet, these women would still be lost to history, as are other women who played vital roles through out the history of the planet.

    August 27, 2012
    • JoAnne Craft #

      I have many women who lived as men, and as soldiers in the U.S. with the first KNOWN woman enlisting as a men in the Revolutionary War; on my Pinterest board “People And Times We Should Know About”. Many women lived as men out west, as outlaws, and cowboys. In his introduction to his novel The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest, (the second novel The The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy) Stieg Larsson writes about women serving as fighting forces, and how it probably goes back into antiquity. That got me interested in researching this topic. I have found out that females did serve as men in all armies, but this fact was completely left out of the history books. If it wasn’t for advent of the internet, these women would still be lost to history, as are other women who played vital roles through out the history of the planet.

      August 27, 2012
      • JoAnne Craft #

        I know of many women who lived as men, and as soldiers in the U.S. with the first KNOWN woman enlisting as a men in the Revolutionary War; on my Pinterest board “People And Times We Should Know About”. Many women lived as men out west, as outlaws, and cowboys. In his intro. to his novel The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest Stieg Larsson writes about women serving as fighting forces, and how it probably goes back into antiquity.

        August 27, 2012
  167. “Put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward.” That’s true no matter what age, isn’t it?

    August 28, 2012
    • It is, Dani, especially for us as adults. You’d hope that children wouldn’t have that truth, though.

      August 28, 2012
  168. Sylvia, thank you so much for allowing me to post on your blog – and to tell Angel’s story and how she came into being.

    August 28, 2012
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      My pleasure, Helen! So looking forward to making the time to read it! Whirlwind trip! But I do have it on my Ipad ready to go!

      August 28, 2012
  169. I like that she worked as a mermaid as well. Your mermaid stories are great!

    August 28, 2012
    • Thank you Alex. Angel’s beginning to whisper in my ear again, but I don’t think the next book will have much to do with swimming as a mermaid.

      August 28, 2012
  170. Angel sounds like a wonderfully, complicated and strong young woman. I envy people who have lived lots of places though it probably wasn’t fun to change schools all the time.

    August 28, 2012
    • It was a bit odd, especially during high school.

      August 28, 2012
  171. Wow–Angel IS a strong woman! And so are you. I would have freaked out if I’d come home from college to find my mother gone–of course, that would have been out of character for my mother, so that makes a difference. Still, it takes nerves of steel to find no home and no forwarding address and hang cool about it.

    No wonder Angel wants to talk to you!

    August 28, 2012
  172. You’re probably right, Marian. Angel and I are sort of soul sisters.

    August 28, 2012
  173. Helen, I am so glad that Angel is talking to you again. After reading this first book, I suspected that she could come back in a new story. I think these characters that stay with us for so long do need our attention.

    I agree with Marian, I would have freaked if my mother just disappeared like that. She wasn’t June Cleaver by any means, but at least she never ran away.

    August 29, 2012
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Maryann, so would I have! Wow! Can’t imagine how scared I’d have been!

      August 29, 2012
  174. I like how you used your own insights and experiences to inform your character’s. 🙂 Congratulations on the release!

    August 29, 2012
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Elizabeth, I find writing so much more profound when writers use their own insights and experience! Me, too!

      August 29, 2012
  175. Ann #

    It’s amazing how characters come alive isn’t it? Sometimes they surprise you and turn out to be nothing like you first thought.
    Ann

    August 29, 2012
  176. We did (and do) get such mixed messages about being BIG. I happen to be really tall and grew up feeling inferior about that – of all things! But I also grew up thinking I had to be superwoman. I’m not sure we’ve clarified matters in today’s world either.

    September 12, 2012
  177. Cameron #

    I love your approach to “BIG”, and the way it is applicable to women in today’s society. One of my favorite thing about Little Pickle Press books is that they can open up conversation, no matter what the age. Great post. Thank you.

    September 12, 2012
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Thanks, Cameron. I truly do think children’s books offer such important messages to adults, as well as children. Little Pickle Press’s approach to inspire conversation is so desperately needed in our country today. May we all learn what being BIG is all about!

      September 12, 2012
  178. Dani’s post struck a chord in me. I grew up, small and that defined me for much of my childhood and into early adulthood. Called “cute” and “mini” and not taken as seriously as I wanted, irritated me. I developed my sense of humour to deflect the comments and also to deal with the hurt. Humour has now become a part of who I am and not merely used to bolster my self-confidence. Now that I am “big”, I’m hoping to instill more important attributes in my girls that go far beyond body size.

    September 12, 2012
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Jodi, and your post struck a chord in me. And I am thrilled to know women like you are working to change the concept of size and what contributes to a woman being BIG! Big comes from the heart — not the physical. And I am thrilled you turned the hurt into humor. Our world certainly needs more of that! Which is another reason why I love children’s books. Thank goodness for folks like Little Pickle Press–who focus on just that!

      September 12, 2012
  179. SweetSarahCA #

    Terriffic post! These are such great ideas for any woman to start the day with. I also really appreciate the time you took to tell us a little about The two wonderful ladies that wrote and illustrated BIG!

    September 12, 2012
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      SweetSarah! What a lovely name! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. And for adding the suggestion of starting our days with this thought of what constitutes being big. And indeed, the book is beautiful and the women who created it added so much to our world of reading. Inspires me, for sure!

      September 12, 2012
  180. BIG is relevant to all of us in how we are constantly trying to adjust and alter ourselves when our natural selves are really quite incredible. It is only when we start making comparisons to others that we start to see failings, flaws and shortcomings. This book really emphasizes that being the best you in the present moment is what matters, and what forms us as people, both big and soon to be big.

    September 12, 2012
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Thanks, Tony, for dropping by! Points well made–and taken! A great book that indeed deserves to be read by all!

      September 12, 2012
  181. This is a very important book for every parent to buy/read to their daughters AND sons.
    J.Deak, author of How Girls Thrive, Girls Will be Girls, and Your Fantastic Elastic Brain

    September 12, 2012
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Thanks, JoAnn. And in the process of reading it to our children, the parents and grandparents learn the lesson too! Double wammy!

      September 12, 2012
  182. I can’t agree with you more. You sound like a very wise grandmother!

    September 12, 2012
  183. Really great post, Sylvia. Big can mean many different things and it can affect all ages. Both of my kids are tall. When they were younger they often got crude comments about their height. It was hard for them, especially my daughter.

    September 12, 2012
  184. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Thanks for the comment, Helen. And wow. Yes, children can be equal opportunity bullies. Criticized for being little and criticized for being big. That makes it even more vital for parents and grandparents and teachers and….everyone…to set the example for our precious children.

    As the song from the South Pacific says, you have to start early to teach a child to hate. I say, we also have to start early to teach our children respect and equality.

    September 12, 2012
  185. I can SO relate, Helen. I’m 5’10” and towered in heels. I hated it in school, loved it in business. And now I feel short, because like many older women, I’m shrinking, and younger women are much taller, too. Physical size really ought to be a non-issue.

    September 12, 2012
  186. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    It is only an issue because we let it be. This last weekend at the East Texas Book Festival in Tyler, Texas I got a photograph of me (pushing 5’3″) standing beside Elvin Hayes, NBA Hall of Fame guy–who stands at 6’9″

    Gives a whole new meaning to size and big. Elvin is big, but not because of his height, but because of the man.

    September 12, 2012
  187. Sylvia, I am raising three children, two of whom are girls. I am constantly amazed at their observations about appearance. The lens through which they are seeing the world and themselves is partially (perhaps even largely) ground and focused by their peers, the media, other outside influences. As their mother, I only have partial control. Our titles are intended to catalyze meaningful discussions between children and adults about topics such as the ones you mention. It is our intention to not only improve the quality of the content our children consume but also to raise the consciousness of the community to help shape these children best. Thanks so much for sharing your perspective.

    September 12, 2012
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Rana, thanks so much for stopping by. It is exciting to hear there are folks like you–mother’s yourself–who diligently work to improve the education and training of your children! OUR children!

      September 12, 2012
  188. Leslie #

    Being a BIG sister to 3 younger siblings, my adolescence was perpetually about being BIG in order to set a good example. Fortunately, back then setting a good example meant simply staying out of trouble, and being polite. I wasn’t raised in an age where my external image was driving my self-esteem, or my popularity. I didn’t need to develop a “brand” for myself based on my looks. It must be so hard growing up now, truly difficult to focus on what’s important. A book like this helps to hone in on what the core basics are to being a beautifully BIG person; full-figured or not.

    September 12, 2012
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Thanks, Leslie. And hooray for older sisters! Especially when they set a good example!

      September 12, 2012
  189. Yes, I find that if someone is pushing me away, I’m much more likely to step closer as if trying to pursue him or her. Win them over. I often wondered why I did this.
    After reading about the rubber band, I’m understanding more about why couples want a little distance just when they feel everything is going so well. But what about being one with each other? Bonding? Or being soul mates? You can’t get any closer.
    We keep striving for closeness.
    As a I writer, I have a couple who are close and caring. I don’t see any rubber bands there, but then they’re my dream couple.

    January 11, 2013
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Dorothy, I hear you. And yes, there are some couples who have bonded so close–soul mates as you would. I wonder if perhaps they have found the secret of the dance and they do it so smoothly it isn’t even noticeable to them or to others. There is such a thing as finding that balance in a relationshop. That usually only happens after much work by both parties. Then, the two know how to keep that perfect tension on the rubber band so that neither one moves too far away, nor in too close. Interesting question. Worth observing and watching. Love any more feedback you might have about it.

      January 11, 2013
      • Dickey, I think relationships are always such a struggle. But the time in between the struggle seems worth it. I never know if to demand, nicely, what I need, or if this would push a person farther away. Yet if you don’t reveal your needs, they’re in the dark. I guess it’s the rubber band again. That’s why it’s a struggle because it’s done intuitively and nobody talks about it. Nobody says, “I think we’re a little too close now, so I’m going to back up a little. ” (That made me chuckle.)
        It is fun talking about this with you with your obvious expertise.
        Dot

        January 12, 2013
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Great conversation, Dorothy. I’m loving it too! Helps me put into words that sense of inner knowing. And you know what? I think when we do sense another person stepping back and we respond by stepping forward, we feel that backward step they took deep in our gut. It is uncomfortable. So, we convince ourself if we step even closer, they will too. Not so–quite the opposite. Often they take a bigger step back.

      Dream couples, I would guess, have perfected the dance! Making the steps so smooth and seamless you don’t notice who is leading at any one moment. And yes, I’ve found myself doing that too, Dorothy, moving closer when someone seems to be pushing me away–or used to–until I learned the power of the dance. Healthy relationships are balanced. And yes, we often keep striving for closeness. The key to closeness, however, is in balancing the dance. Balance.

      Soul mates dance–for sure. There is distance around soul mates. For sure. And their ‘dance’ only deepens the relationship. It doesn’t separate–quite the opposite. Why? Because it teaches us to respect the other person’s boundaries.

      Stepping back is one way of creating a healthy boundary for ourself. Allowing the other person to step back without us moving closer shows that we respect their boundaries.

      Relationships, to be effective, carry that balance, that tension. If not, they languish, limp, ineffective, and sometimes being harmful.

      January 12, 2013
      • Jim Hogg #

        I am suspicious of “dream couples.” I am suspicious of happy people. If there is no tension, there is no authentic relationship. There is no such oneness. We are different people, regardless of how much we try not to be.

        January 13, 2013
        • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

          Jim, I hear what you are saying. No couple is perfect and no couple is perennially happy. So many times, people/couples put on a happy face in public, and come across as the perfect couple, when in fact, behind closed doors, there is much unhappiness. At times even abuse of one kind or another. Better to be authentic, than ‘happy, happy, happy.’ Indeed, relationships thrive on a healthy amount of tension. Differences must be honored. Each must be open to the other person finding and being themselves, then coming together to share. That is the power of the Dance of the Rubber Band. A healthy amount of tension and space and respect. If not, the band is ineffective. Thanks for sharing. I honor your path.

          January 13, 2013
          • Sylvia, when do you know that the rubber band has snapped? If you pull away at times, and so does he. You can have a period where you don’t seem to be getting along at all. Then it all goes away. Things are fine again.
            What’s that all about?
            But suppose it happens way too much?

            January 14, 2013
          • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

            Oh boy. To me, when the rubber band snaps, the relationship is likely over. When that happens, at least one person of the pair knows that because it rings loud and clear. Perhaps what you are referring to is not a snapped band, but a band that has been stretched so wide it has become unusable. And yes, sometimes a couple is not getting along for a while and then it gets better seemingly for no reason. However, old wounds don’t heal on their own. They fester. Then they get snatched up and used again when the wounded person needs a weapon. I believe it is of the utmost importance for a couple to keep talking about an issue until both people feel ‘done’ with it–even if that takes days. I’ve found that if my husband says something that bothers me, then I raise the issue, then he’s upset. Days later he may come back to me and need to talk about it more. Then–maybe I’m not done, and have to talk through the issue again. However, this does not mean we FIGHT about it, rather we try to understand the other person.

            The biggest argument we have ever had was right after we married and over a half a glass of orange juice. It took us days to work through it–off and on, of course. Today, we laugh about it–BECAUSE we stayed with it until we were both clear about what had happened.

            And if an argument happens way too much, then the two people need to commit to work through it until it doesn’t. (We no longer argue over ‘the orange juice’ which wasn’t about the orange juice at all.

            And congratulations on your new mystery coming out with Mainly Murder Press. “Murder at the P & Z

            January 14, 2013
  190. Sorry, meant to address you as Sylvia!

    January 12, 2013
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      (No biggie about the Dickey)

      I agree, we don’t say, “I’m backing up now.” Seems to me that would dilute the effort. The power is in the self care, the self boundaries, and in the demonstration that we claim what we need–space. Some people need more space than others, and when that is different between each in the relationship, there comes the imbalance. However, when one person feels a need for space and claims it, that in itself helps the other person learn how to use that ’empty’ space. Does that make sense?

      It also helps us each not be so ‘needy.’ I don’t know about you, but I don’t respond well to ‘neediness.’ If someone needs way too much of me, I pull back. Whether that is a mate or a neighbor. It makes me feel like they suck the air out of me. Not good. I don’t help them or me if I allow them to do that. So–I step back.

      That also sometimes requires me to claim some space. For instance–when I’m sick, if the other person becomes overbearing about it, giving me way too much sympathy, I must claim that “I’m tired talking about my health. Let’s talk about something else.”

      Again, it is all about setting our personal boundaries–which always aids relationships because the relationships are more honest–open.

      Thanks, Dorothy, for letting me go on about it. A topic I can talk about forever! LOL

      January 12, 2013
  191. This is wonderful conversation since you are experienced.
    I’ll step back if too much time is needed of me from someone, but I like being needed. Having raised four children, I loved being so essential to their well being. So I guess it’s the maternal instinct in me. You talked about being sick, well, if i’m left alone too much while I’m sick, I become lonely. I like a little TLC. But not to dwell on sickness just a bit of interest and cheering up. I have an awful immune system and I can get bronchitis almost each late September. It drags on for a couple of months. I’m a very active person walking each day, tai chi, and more. So that all comes to a painful stop and all my children are in different states so that leaves me needing company.

    But people can often feel burdened especially if they’re independent themselves. So I understand that.

    I enjoy talking to you, your rubber band metaphor was an insightful, wonderful eye-opener!

    And, please do me a favor and “go on,” anytime!

    January 12, 2013
  192. Donna #

    I feel this happens in friendships as well. So many people don’t realize it takes both people to work at a friendship…just like a marriage, if only one tries to make it work…it will fail. I have had so many friendships end because I tried and worked at each but the other just left it like a flower without water and the friendship died. I actually thought moving 1200 miles (60 miles from my friend) would bring us together as best friends again but it seem to push us apart. I am almost at the point of not wanting any friends because I don’t want to be hurt again, I don’t want to feel the snap of the rubber band because the tension was so tight….both I and the rubber band snapped. Any advice or suggestions on how to balance a friendship.

    January 13, 2013
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Wow. Good question, Donna. And you are so correct. This dance of the rubber band occurs in any relationship we may be in. Friends, professional relationships, family. I hear how this snap of the band has hurt. I, too, have had such experiences. One in particular. And yes, it does hurt, badly. I grieved over the loss of that friend for a long time. We finally reconnected several years later–after we’d both grown. We are still friends–but live a 1000 miles away from each other and only see or talk to each other once a year maybe. That way, we can still enjoy those times without the friend dishonoring my choices.

      Friendships are tough. Or can be. Particularly if one person wants more out of the friendship than the other. And as in any relationship, it takes both people wanting the friendship and working equally to make it happen. When that isn’t the case, when I want a closer friendship with someone than they want with me, I must back off and respect their boundaries, otherwise I push them away–and don’t have the friendship at all. Sometimes, perhaps our expectations of a friend can be too great. More than the other person can or wants to give. Friends can’t be everything to each other, they can only compliment each other. When those expectations are too great, the other takes a step backward.

      I suggest you practice tuning in to your own sense of knowing–your intuition–and follow it. Pay attention to those subtle messages another person gives. Don’t listen so much to what a person is saying, listen to why they are saying it. Then, adjust your actions accordingly. Better that a friend want more of your time, than less.

      When a person can leave a friendship like a flower without water–the friendship was not a good match, or the timing of it wasn’t. That friend did not value you–at least at that moment. Also, remember, oftentimes those actions are not so much about you, but about them–stresses, issues, financial problems, health concerns, relationship issues, job problems–all of these can sap a person’s energy, leaving nothing else to give. At different times in our lives, our need for friendships vary.

      And when a friendship is not working, bless it and let it go. Best of luck.

      If any of this doesn’t make sense, or you have a question about it, please ask.

      January 13, 2013
  193. Donna, I can’t wait to hear Sylvia’s advice. Real friendship is very rare.

    Here’s hoping that the next one will work. It’s worth the effort.

    January 13, 2013
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Dorothy, you are so right. Real friendships are indeed rare. And friendships come and go. We move in and out of relationships because of our own growth. We can really care about someone, and each grow in different directions. Just like marriages. Just like my first marriage. I still love my ex, but I couldn’t live with him! LOL We no longer have anything in common (but children and grandchildren).

      I count many people as my friend, even though I seldom see them or talk with them. That’s okay. I still care about them, and they, me. The key, again, is balance. I had a male friend tell me one time, “Sylvia, never give more intimacy in a relationship than you get back.” Perhaps that’s the key to balance.

      January 13, 2013
  194. You have a husband who will talk, Sylvia. Some husbands don’t want to get close to emotions. They consider it a breakdown of some kind if they have to discuss their feelings–go figure. So what occurs is an argument and you hope it doesn’t come up again and you try to get over it.

    January 14, 2013
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      My husband talks, but not about feelings. The best way to dialog with men is to talk about thinking. “What did you think when I said that? Or did that?” Then you have a chance to clarify what they thought about what you said or did. And you do that until the issue is clear. He used to ascribe my intent. “You said that just to criticize me–to judge me–or control me,” whatever.” That was a tough one to get past because he was certain of my intent. Took me a while to convince him only God and I knew my intent–he didn’t. And his assumption was incorrect.

      And if we think that topic won’t come up again (if we haven’t settled it–completely settled it!) WRONG! 🙂 That’s why it behooves both people in the relationship to work through it until it is a fond memory, and without barbs attached to it.

      January 14, 2013
  195. So, Sylvia, you say to this person, “We had an argument this morning,” just to get at the root of what caused the argument, and he says, “I didn’t have an argument, you did.”

    Where do you go from there? There is use of the word “thinking,” at least in this situation.

    Isolation sets in. You withdraw thinking, “Am I living alone?”

    January 14, 2013
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Some people define arguments differently, too. Some people–I’ve known men this way–who just see it as clearing the air–and not arguing. Whether you did or not, it is all about communication and feeling understood. To do that, often we have to first seek to understand!

      January 14, 2013
  196. Sylvia, I’m adding to my above comment because it doesn’t make sense. What I meant to say was people get heated and sometimes you need a little space. But if you can later talk about what you “thought” started the argument and not what you “feel” started it, as you suggested, you might get some where.
    I hope that’s clearer. You did me a great service. Next time I’m in an argument with a man, I will stay away from the Feeling-Word.
    Thank you!

    January 14, 2013
  197. Sylvia, my above comment doesn’t make sense. But let me just say that you did me a great service. Next time I’m in an argument with a man, I will stay away from the Feeling-Word.
    Thank you!

    January 14, 2013
  198. So true, Sylvia, thanks again.

    January 15, 2013
  199. Sylvia, after the divorce to my first husband, I went to therapy to prevent making the same mistakes. Now I know myself better and I’m on my rightful path. It is strewn with mistakes, but that’s OK. I address them. What makes me content is that I’m not denying myself what is in my heart and soul.

    January 23, 2013
    • Sylvia, thought I should add that I’ve met women who don’t address what is wrong and they seem to grow more unhappy and continue to make the wrong choices. So while I respect the poem, I think it’s important to know yourself first and then the wounds are OK, in fact, they often signify that you are willing to step out of the box and challenge life. But it all has to be within that self-knowledge.

      Sometimes life just hands you wounds that have nothing to do with your own efforts, and they are also to be greatly respected as the poem implies.

      January 23, 2013
      • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

        Well said!! And those mistakes become holy when we do learn from them!!

        January 23, 2013
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Good for you, Dorothy. For sure–if we don’t learn the lessons in one relationship that are there for us to learn–we will learn it in the next one because there is a greater chance we will get involved with someone with the same issues that were in the first. Good for you that you are on the right path. And of course, we know we’ve learned those lessons when we don’t attract them to us! Yes, we make other mistakes, but as long as we are open to learning them, all is good!

      January 23, 2013
  200. Jim Hogg #

    Wow. This is so incredibly deep and potentially liberating for so many people. I have no doubt there are thousands of twin womb survivors who have felt this unanswered pain all of their lives. It is my hope that many of them may begin to heal, now that they know of their grief. Thank you for offering all of us this blessing, Syl.

    March 18, 2013
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Thanks, Jim, for your comment. When we are brave enough to share our pain with others, healing isn’t far behind.

      March 18, 2013
  201. Jim Hogg #

    Absolutely. The only way to healing is to walk toward–and through–the pain.

    March 18, 2013
  202. Very interesting and not too surprising given the data on the affection and closeness of twins. Thank goodness for writers who share such experiences.

    March 18, 2013
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Thanks, Dorothy, for stopping by and leaving a comment. Yes, modern technology has really helped bring this whole issue into the light of our knowledge base. We can’t heal from a grief we can’t know about.

      March 18, 2013
  203. Diane #

    Hot Springs is a lovely area. Wishing you lots of happiness in your new home!

    May 10, 2013
  204. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Thanks, Diane! We REALLY hope you and Mike will come visit us! We would love it!! Stay in touch!

    May 10, 2013
  205. I can’t wait to see the new house — especially my room. Moving is always a time filled with excitement and anticipation. Also a lot of work. It’s like writing a book. You hate the drudgery of doing it but love the thrill of having done it.

    May 11, 2013
  206. Sylvia, I can’t believe you didn’t sell him a book.

    May 11, 2013
  207. Always nice to hear a funny story, particularly when we tell it on ourselves. Thanks for sharing.

    May 12, 2013
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Thanks, Elaine–yes, the tale is always funnier when it is on the teller!!
      Hope you and Black Cat are doing well! We’ve been really busy packing! Good to hear from you!

      May 12, 2013
  208. This is a great step forward, Sylvia, and no one deserves it more.

    May 27, 2013
  209. It’s certainly no surprise that Orange, TX, is proud of you. I’m proud of you and I’ve never even been to Orange. Best wishes, my dear friend, for continued success.

    May 27, 2013
  210. Pam Ruth #

    Hi Sylvia!! It’s been a long time and I am so happy to see another book of Sid’s. just got it and can’t wait to jump into her life again. Hope all is going well for you and have a wonderful summer. Best wishes, Pam

    June 26, 2013
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Thanks Pam! I hope you enjoy reading it. Thanks for stopping by!

      June 26, 2013
  211. Barry Wright #

    Congratulations Sylvia! You amaze me sometimes, your accomplishments, success in writing, and just about everything else! Keep up the great work. Baer & Marty

    June 26, 2013
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Thanks, my dear friend! Your words warm my heart! Look forward to seeing you soon!

      June 26, 2013
  212. Well said, Sylvia, and I can’t disagree with any of it, but you will always be Lady S to me.

    July 4, 2013
  213. Beautifully stated, Sylvia. I think we have come a long way on the road to universal social justice. Sadly, there are roadblocks slowing our journey placed by those who benefit in some way by fostering racism, hatred, and violence.

    July 15, 2013
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Earl, yes, I fear you are correct. There are those who benefit, whether it be financially, or to assuage their own biases.

      July 16, 2013
  214. I love this, Sylvia. This is one of those pieces one must read several times and then think about all day.

    September 10, 2013
  215. Laura #

    Thank you for sharing this letter. I am a survivor… my twin brother died about five months into my mother’s pregnancy and I can honestly say that not only did it affect my childhood emensely, but I still struggle with it well into my late twenties. I was one of the lucky ones that had my loss explained to me at a young age… not that I gave my parents a choice. I knew about my brother before they told me because I dreamed of him constantly and confronted them about him when I was 5.

    At any rate, it’s nice to know that I’m not completelty crazy and alone in dealing with the loss.

    October 29, 2013
  216. Amanda-Beth #

    I really don’t understand wjy whay happened in my family did but it did. Botj i amd my full sis are womb twin surviors no we aren’t twins i am 4 in 1/2 years older then her. I knew my mother seemed unintristed in me as baby to point of disturbingness my dad would hold me on to mother to feed he forgot they had forumla or thought i should get breast milk. During todder years i was her monkey and not just in toddler years a preformance monkey. I always knew something was missing. I am 8 months older then mary-kate and ashely olsen i met them when they were 5 months old yes before full house i felt connected to them because they were twins. J finally spoke up at 4 1/2. I do regret not informing sister sooner tjen i did fhat her twin died in nicu. I knew what was going on best of 4 yr olds knowledge andci knew whuch grandma was the sucker i didn’t know it would get her yelled at. So i asked grandmama(dad’s mom) was i a twin? She said yes dear. When still inside. That’s as far as she got before dad came back and yelled at her. I didn’t get why wads so wromg to tell me that and why dad was behaving so oddly as he was one of most loving people on earth and parents knew even if i didn’t know directly i had idea of it after all i was adment about getting sister at 3 1/2 to insane level. I kmew how calm oerson dad was so i didn’t nring it up again till i was about 17 i had to know. Dad said yes you were told truth at 4, i did overreact cord accident some where between 7th and 8th month. Then thru regressive therapy i was able to acess that memory in my subconscious their are reasons why we store those types od memories in subconscious rather then consciousness. Verbal memories take over between age 2 and 3 and become episodic around age 3. I for me am glad i know full truth and it was momth 7 and my twin was choked by her umbilical cord. My mother refuses to answer questions and flips out at word twins and dad died before was able to find out more as i didn’t want to make him sadder that day.

    December 27, 2013
  217. The words of a Sage, I believe. And a lovely website. Sure do miss you.

    April 2, 2014
  218. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Thanks, Kathy. Yes, tightened and little reworked, but you’ve heard it before. I miss you too! Will have to get back over there one day and visit everyone. Love you guys so much! And feel your energy!!

    April 2, 2014
  219. Sue Vertrees #

    Thank you for the inspiration, Sylvia. My bones lie uncollected, scattered, waiting for the breath of life, waiting for courage and wisdom to make them come alive. Thank you.

    April 2, 2014
  220. Sylvia, this is beautiful in a unique and interesting way. I love it!

    April 3, 2014
  221. Sylvia,

    That is a great story! Made my morning and I shared it with several writer friends before they had their first cup of coffee. Thank you!

    April 3, 2014
  222. Ginger Mynatt #

    Since my future novel that I have worked on OFF and on, capitals on OFF, is called Trekking the Bones, I should really go to Hot Springs and wander about some nice evening.

    April 3, 2014
  223. Your act might have changed more than two worlds. The woman you spoke kindly to probably felt so uplifted that she passed your kindness along to someone else. There’s no telling where it stopped.

    April 26, 2014
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      I do hope so, Kathy! Truly. That is what it is all about! Making this world a more peaceful place.

      April 30, 2014
  224. Lesha Jett #

    How can I find out if I am a womb twin survivor? Are there any hospital reports or something in the medical records when I was born? Can I get access to those?

    August 29, 2014
  225. Amanda Crowther #

    Lesha Jett #
    How can I find out if I am a womb twin survivor? Are there any hospital reports or something in the medical records when I was born? Can I get access to those?

    Depends on year you where born. Talk to your parents. Look for counselor who specializes in proper therapy to take you back into subconscious memories. This should be done verbally they may ask you to press on your diaphragm gently but that’s it their is never them touching you. It’s about opening up the subconscious memories. Their stored as pictures as these are generally preverbal memories and very short pictures of singlular events. I was born in 1985 no record. My sisters born in 1990 only partial record of the fact at 1 time their where two in form of ultrasounds despite livng 6 hrs in nicu their is no birth certifficate for sis whose name was to be Brittany. However these types of records have improved over last 5-10 yrs. I think hospital knew before Brittany was born she wasn’t going to make it but they never told us. An older sibling may have knowledge of it also.

    August 30, 2014
    • Lesha Jett #

      I was born in California in 1969.

      August 30, 2014
  226. Excellent comment/suggestions, Amanda! Thank you! Some times there is no way to prove it. In my case, it’s more an inner sense of knowing based on facts shared by my mother and other indications–like those childhood years of crying myself to sleep due to a deep sense of loss, of always feeling like a part of me was missing–even being left-handed can sometimes be a clue–not always–but sometimes.

    I found it healing to acknowledge my inner sense of knowing, and honoring that other life that didn’t come with me this time.

    August 30, 2014
  227. ruby malicoat #

    Im looking forward to reading the new book.

    October 12, 2014
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Hey, Ruby! We were talking about you the other day! Wondering how you were doing! How ARE you doing?

      October 12, 2014
      • ruby malicoat #

        Im well. Living in florida and enjoying warm weather. H r u? Still living in Austin?

        October 13, 2014
  228. I’m anxiously waiting for that release date, Sylvia. I know enough about the story to say it will strike home with many people. Everyone who has experienced a life changing event should read ORIGINAL CYN.

    October 15, 2014
  229. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Thanks, Earl. And who hasn’t experienced a life-changing event, huh. Your support means the world to me!

    October 15, 2014
  230. Jim #

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

    November 21, 2014
  231. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Before the patriarchal culture took over–I blame the Romans, but that’s just me–spiritual endeavors were often overseen by women and material possessions in some places followed a matriarchal line. The pendulum has swung both ways (well, that’s funny no matter what image occurs to you) and I hope it will settle somewhere in the middle finally where both men and women participate. Right now, we are seeing women rejoin the discussion which has been male oriented for a good number of centuries. Thanks for this beautiful reminder of the history of women as myth-makers.

    February 5, 2015
  232. A very timely and interesting post, Sylvia! #‎WomensRightToWrite‬

    February 5, 2015
  233. Rosie symbolized women stepping into roles traditionally held by men and began the change in attitude toward women in the workplace as well as in the arts and entertainment fields. The new TV series, Marvel’s Agent Carter, plays on this theme in the world of espionage. After WW II, super spy Peggy Carter is assigned to an alphabet agency of the US government where she is automatically assigned to answering phones and fetching coffee because she’s only a woman. Each episode is a fun adventure when she proves she is more capable of taking down bad guys than her male counterparts.

    Sylvia, in your excellent book, A WAR OF HER OWN, your heroine Bea Meade picks up Rosie’s banner and carries it forward when she takes job in a WWII shipyard. You crafted a terrific and moving story that would make Rosie proud.

    February 13, 2015
  234. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Hey, Earl! Great to have your comments! And I have not watched Agent Carter. Sounds like I should have been. Will add that to my list. Thanks for the kind words on A War Of Her Own.

    Hope you and Carol are well.

    Syl

    February 14, 2015
  235. Amanda Crowther #

    It is just fact anyone born before 1990 their will be zero records as is nor information they kept. We have gained understanding. 1990-2000 if their was print out of ultrasound you can ha’ve partial records. I can’t say exact yr they started keeping track of when one twin was loaded in utero and other lived but they so now keep such records and no more of that waiting time when one twin dies in nicu the birth certificates are made right away now. 1990-1995 you had to ask for print out of ultrasound now a days they give it to you unless ask them nor to and quality of said pictures is way better. Prior to 1990 once ultrasounds where accepted around 1980 in full it was just getting the scan and prior to that when checking on pregnancy they used x rays. So very weird but it really does explain why records are limited. However kids these days if are in situation where parent doesn’t tell them they can find records for themselves as it is recorded.

    June 10, 2015
  236. Betty Johann #

    Judy is an incredible , inspiring woman, whom I loved the moment I met her….because she also rescues/fosters animals! The world would be a better place if we had more people like Judy in it! BettyJohann

    April 4, 2016
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Betty, I agree with you for sure! I so admire her. Not only does she grow her own food and rescues/fosters animals, but she writes darn good, too!

      April 4, 2016
  237. Jim #

    Yes! Thank you!

    April 9, 2016
  238. Kristi Erickson #

    I totally agree, Hillary is qualified to be our next POTUS and yes I support her as well!! Thank you for posting!!

    June 8, 2016
  239. This is beautiful. Loved it!

    June 17, 2016
  240. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Thanks. Earl. Learning how much I love writing folklore and fairy tales!!

    June 17, 2016

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