Young Woman Reading by Mary Cassatt
I’m sick of the dumb-as-dirt women I’m seeing on television lately. I don’t know these women. Most of my friends, even if they’re not Rhodes Scholars, are pretty savvy about their own lives. And I rarely see the grown women I know acting like high school drama queens. So I give you, R/W/L Smart Chick’s Edition. Enjoy.
Reading: Kissed by Darkness (Sunwalker Saga) by Shéa McLeod
I love opening a book and feeling like I’ve fallen into a really well-developed universe, and Kissed by Darkness is looking like a great read so far. Add in a kick-ass heroine with a quick wit, a great sense of humor, and a pair of nice boots? I’m sold. Plus, it’s set on the West Coast. Go Portland!
I’m only a few chapters in, but I’m already enjoying Morgan’s distinctive voice, the well-developed cast of supporting characters, and the intriguing premise. This is the first of the Sunwalker Saga, and if the first book is any indication, I’m going to enjoy digging into the second one, as well.
Kissed by Darkness is well-written and moves at a fast clip without seeming rushed. It’s adult paranormal fiction with a smart feel, a lot of humor, and a very appealing protagonist. Check it out!
Watching: Sons of Anarchy
Pet peeve? Giving a female protagonist in a series a smart, professional career, and then writing her like she was a bubble-headed teenager. (Ally McBeal? I’m looking at you.) Thing I love with hearts and flowers? Finding female characters in supposedly misogynistic environments that are smart, savvy, and fully developed.
Which is why I can recommend watching Sons of Anarchy, whose fourth season just premiered here in the U.S. Given the premise of the show, a drama surrounding a motorcycle club in Northern California, viewers might expect the show’s female characters to be window dressing, but they would be dead wrong. Katey Sagal won a Golden Globe last year for her portrayal of Gemma, the matriarch of the club, and why she didn’t win every other award out there, I don’t know.
These women are powerful, intelligent, diverse characters; and the writers on the show have a lot of respect for them. The male/female interaction is genuine and uncontrived. The relationships feel real. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s Shakespeare on Harleys, people. Check it out.
Listening: Loreena McKennitt—The Book of Secrets
This listening pick has a lot to do with what I’m writing right now, which is the third Elementals book, and has some very East meets West themes. So I’m listening to a lot of this particular album while I write.
But, if you’ve never checked out Loreena McKennitt’s music, please get thee to iTunes or your local music store soon! This is folk/Celtic/world music that not only sounds great, but has a lot of depth. If you’ve ever read McKennitt’s liner notes, you know that she not only writes and performs, but she does a lot of research into the culture, folklore, and geography of the genres that inspire her. Your ears will thank you, as will your brain.
Check out “The Mummer’s Dance” from The Book of Secrets. And don’t forget, smart chicks rule.