Beautiful Badasses


2020 was a bad year for many people. But lots of us can name some silver linings that came from the isolation, depression, and all that bad stuff. One for me was joining the Zoom write-ins started by the writing association I belong to, WFWA or the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. We gather on Zoom to write, talk about writing and publishing, and make friends.

Some of the WFWA Write-Inmates including our baddest badasses.

Kelly, one of our members who I happened to be friends with before on Facebook, has a genetic kidney disease. She’s a beautiful badass for lots of reasons, a few being she survived a suicide bombing at a hotel in Kenya, is an award-winning journalist who started her own online news site when the entity she was working for had to fold, and she knows her way around the American healthcare system better than most of us. Pretty awesome since she’s from Israel.

Kelly lives in the Los Angeles area. Wait time there for a donated kidney is ten years. Kelly doesn’t have that long. So we in the Zoom meetings do whatever we can do to offer support to Kelly. But one woman is going way beyond prayers and good thoughts and donating to fundraisers.

Pamela is donating a kidney. Pamela is a badass in her own right, not least for having adopted three children from overseas and handling everything that goes with international adoptions. Pamela was moved to help Kelly by donating a kidney and has the full support of her family. A whole family of badasses.

Today, Tuesday, March 29, 2022, a team of doctors will remove one of Pamela’s kidneys. It will be flown on a commercial flight from New Jersey to Los Angeles and be installed into Kelly. We at WFWA are calling it the Sisterhood of the Traveling Kidney. We are worried and excited at the same while expecting the best possible outcomes for both women.

WFWA, led by the Write-Inmates, have been doing things for weeks to get ready. Pages have been set up at Give InKind (see links at the end for more of their stories and to donate if you are so moved) to provide meals and other things of their choosing to get through the recovery process. Many of us are wearing bracelets spelling out Beautiful Badass or Brave and Beautiful with beads in Morse code. And we’ve been sending every prayer and thought we have time for into the heavens for the health of our dear friends.

Today, Tuesday, March 29, WFWA is hosting an event on Zoom to support Kelly and Pamela as they undergo their respective surgeries. Below is the link to WFWA’s Facebook event page. Click on the Join Event button and stop by to write, chat, and/or burn a candle which is a tradition at our writing meetings.

If you’re interested in learning about kidney disease and/or the donation process check out The American Kidney Foundation.

If donating an organ is more of a badass thing than you’re prepared for, consider registering for bone marrow/stem cell donation at Be The Match to possibly provide what people with blood cancers and other blood diseases need to survive.

Kelly Give InKind

Pamela Give InKind

Now, go forth and be your own kind of beautiful badass. The world needs us.

NaNoWriMo is coming!

nano So, here it is, the ides of October 2016. While many women are thinking about the holidays and scouring Pinterest for decorating ideas and recipes, writing women are not.

Okay, I know I can’t speak for every woman writer. But on most of my writing Facebook pages, the talk is about NaNoWriMo . Thank the Lord there are places to go where no trace of politics can be found. NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month which is November. Writers’ blogs and writers’ Facebook groups are filled with angst-ridden posts asking, “Who’s doing NaNo this year?”

We’re writers. Why the distress about doing what we love to do? You know how marathon runners stress about finishing their next race? Well, WriMos stress about completing 50,000 words in 30 days. Not just any, 50,000 words, but arranged in such a way they qualify as a novel. A rough draft of a novel, not one you can send out to agents yet (although some have, much to the chagrin and amusement of agents and publishers.) Or maybe it’s the mere beginning of an epic fantasy or a future detective series. Or a novella. Finding time to write that many words amidst the doings of everyday life is a challenge for many folks.

That’s no so much me anymore since I’m unemployed. But I remember those days. this year, besides NaNo, I’m also taking an online course with the University of Iowa Writing Workshop, and sending out queries for a revised former NaNo project, working on book 3 of Lilyland and working with a critique group. Writing, writing everywhere and not a royalty in sight. Sigh.

y unofficial slap-together cover

my unofficial slap-together cover

Since I started NaNo-ing in 2008, I have completed 8 rough drafts (although two were for the same novel). Two of those have been revised, edited, polished, and self-published. Another one I’m currently querying literary agents with. Two others I am currently revising.

If you think you have a novel in you that’s screaming to get out, give NaNo a try this year. Sign up here. You’ll meet a great online community to cheer you on and who will understand what you’re doing when no one around you does. You can meet other actual people face to face at local write-ins. You can drink gallons of coffee and nibble Skittles, M&Ms and pretzel nuggets like mad. Hopefully, you’ll be able to get your family or roommates to understand. If not, it’s only 30 days. 640px-skittles-louisiana-2003