Beloved poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote the words below in one of ten letters exchanged during 1903-1904 with a young student, Franz Xavier Kappus, who had sought his advice, initially about becoming a writer, but ultimately about life. The collected letters were first published in 1929 and later, in 1984, translated into English by Stephen Mitchell. Published in a small volume entitled Letters to a Young Poet, they are among the most beloved letters of all time.
On this International Women’s Day, and in light of my novel’s themes of female empowerment at a time, the late 1960s, when modern-day “Women’s Lib” was first hitting its stride, it seems fitting to share Rilke’s early twentieth century perspective on women’s potential:
It seems it’s true that wonders never cease, and in this case it is the United Nations naming Wonder Woman as the Honorary UN Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls around the world. I have no doubt she has and will continue to inspire flying girls to be all that they can be for many years to come. Wherever you women and girls may be and whatever your hopes, dreams, and pursuits, fly high!
POW! BAM! WHAM! KAPOW!
Like jazz, stories are meant to be heard, to strike resonant chords in our hearts or rumble down deep in our gut. Soul music. Melodies and words about what matters. When we tell our stories and they are listened to, and when we listen to other people’s stories, we build community, come closer. We grow in understanding of ourselves and others, and hopefully become more curious, suspend old ideas and assumptions … Read more about why I write.
“I am a bud beginning to unfold, a story waiting to be told.” –Sam Keen
The Woman Inside Her is my novel-in-progress, and much of this website is about my journey toward its completion. Throughout, I will share with you bits and pieces, questions and conclusions, about the story’s overall themes.
As the story begins, the year is 1968, “the pill” has arrived, the Sexual Revolution is in full swing, and all the rules about relationships and sex have been turned upside down. Read more about The Woman Inside Her—the story and characters, the setting and times–as well as a brief excerpt from Chapter One.