Monday, March 27, 2017

Gracias Abuelita!

To conclude Women's History Month...here's a shout-out to my Abuelita.
At eleven years old when I read my first few romance novels – my grandmother’s Barbara Cartland collection – I was hooked. There was something magical about the stories and how they unfolded.
What I didn’t know at the time was that my grandmother would be the reason behind my writing.
“Speaking of romance,” my mother said over coffee one morning, “Your grandmother was quite the romantic writer.” “Grandma?” I shrieked. The reference caught me off guard, Grandma had been deceased for years and my mother rarely spoke of her. “Yeah” she answered. “Your grandmother wrote love letters to your grandfather when he was away on business.” “She did?” I never heard this before. “Yeah, didn’t you know?” Mom continued, “She placed first in a writing contest.” Love letters? Contest? Whoa. I had no idea.
When I started to write romance in my twenties the genre fascinated me. Intrigued by such appeal I often questioned from where my desire to write emerged. After my mother’s revelation I thought long and hard about my grandmother’s writing. When did she start writing? What inspired her to write?
Mystified as I was to learn about grandma’s writing prowess one thing was for sure, it offered a new perspective: Romance writing was in my genes.
My grandmother would have been ninety-seven years old this past February and I still think of her when I write, I can hear her giggle as I’m crafting a sexy scene. “Gracias Abuelita for your gift. I know now I was born to write.”
Women writers rock!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Malala Yousafzai -- International Women's Day, March 8th

Malala Yousafzai has never been an ordinary person.
Malala began blogging when she was barely 11 years old. At the time she was writing about the Taliban takeover of her hometown of Mingora in Pakistan. The group responsible for the takeover followed an extremist version of Islam and believed girls should not go to school. Malala was very courageously standing up for girls right to education. 
On October 9, 2012, the Taliban tried to silence her. A gunman boarded a truck that she and her classmates used as a school bus and shot Malala in the head. Malala survived the attack. The months following she showed remarkable strength and optimism during a long recovery. Since then Malala has become a symbol of the struggle for girls' rights worldwide. In fact, she delivered a powerful speech at the United Nations just nine months after the attack. 
Two years after her ordeal, on October 10, 2014 Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala said the prize was an encouragement to go forward with her mission to help kids, "This award is for all those children whose voices need to be heard."
Malala, a woman of integrity and character.

Happy International Women's Day!
Maria Cox
Source: Time For Kids / a div. of Time, Inc.