My daughter, Kristine, reads constantly. She is, in fact, sitting in the living room reading Lord of the Rings with a stack of history books and Jane Austen-related material next to her chair. She gets her exercise by walking to the library and lugging home books. This makes her My Hero.
Recently, she introduced me to another writer who has also become My Hero. She did it by bringing home from the library a book about a very particular publishing phenomenon—series children’s books. There were a number of writers who gave their talents to this effort, but the paragon that stood out in my reading of the book was Mildred A. Wirt, the original Carolyn Keene. (The title, for anyone who’s interested is Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak.)
I expect that most women reading this know that byline. Carolyn Keene was the author of record for the Nancy Drew Mystery series that most of us grew up with—that girls are still growing up with and which, after repeated tries to bring Nancy into the new age or to make her adhere to modern assumptions about what girls want to read, has reverted back to the character she was when the inestimable Ms. Wirt was writing her.
So, why is Mildred Wirt My Hero? It’s not just that she wrote 23 volumes of the Nancy Drew series. It was that she also wrote:
Kay Tracey (as Frances K. Judd)
Penny Parker (as Mildred A. Wirt)
Dana Girls (as Carolyn Keene)
Penny Nichols (as Joan Clark)
Connie Carl (as Joan Clark)
Madge Sterling (as Ann Wirt)
It was that in her most prolific year, 1939, she wrote nine novels. She wrote when she was pregnant, raising a child, caring for a sick husband and sustaining his loss, dealing with her own health problems. She wrote from spartan outlines and from very detailed ones—both of which can be a blessing or a curse for a writer. She dealt with editors who were disengaged from her issues and who were jealous of their creations. She worked under wraps—sworn to secrecy about her involvement with the books she wrote—and reacted with measured calm when others took credit for her work. (Since I also ghostwrite for a living, I understand what this feels like better than I’d like to).
Millie Wirt could fly a plane, climb a mountain, paddle the Amazon. She could be self-confident yet self-effacing, assertive yet measured, bold yet polite—even in the face of unjust criticism. She was a journalist, too, who worked until the age of 96, using a magnifying lens so as to be able to see the computer display. She turned in her last column one evening in May of 2002, went home and died that night. If that’s not dying in harness, I don’t know what is.
All of that is why she is My Hero. She exemplified something science fiction writer and fellow MAFIA (Making Appearances Frequently In Analog) member Michael Flynn wrote years ago about how writers deal with the changes and chances of the material world. I can’t quote him verbatim, but I can paraphrase and condense his comments thusly: If the world around you seems to be going mad, keep writing. If the sky is falling and you have no means to prop it up, keep writing. If things are splodey-sploding all around you, keep writing.
It’s what writers do.
"How To Make Something People Give A Shit About".
"20 free fashion books to download from The Metropolitan Museum of Art".
"Decipher Your Cat's Body Language With This Helpful Infographic". (Also includes the corresponding dog body language infographic.) [Mental Floss]
"Why Do Poor People 'Waste' Money On Luxury Goods?"
"Girth Guides are online!" is a post announcing Girth Guides: Patches for Fat Activists. Being a fat person is tough work & sometimes we deserve a bit of recognition for living in the world while fat. Girth Guides is a way to connect with other fat activists and seek comfort in community; a club where we can witness and validate our own strength and lived experiences.
"10 Things You Should Say to Someone with a Chronic Illness". 
"17 Pictures Of Beach Bodies That Will Get You Motivated". [Buzzfeed] No humans in sight in this article! "“Being able to return to a stage of sexual immaturity after reaching sexual maturity and remaining essentially biologically immortal is really helpful for maintaining my youthful glow,” she shared."
Here is a tweet with a retail listing description and a link to photos. Hard to describe; worth a look.
The Globe and Mail has an excerpt from Untangled, in which "psychotherapist Lisa Damour uses neuroscience to help parents – and anyone perplexed by teenage girls – understand what’s really going on in their heads". (Not a field I know anything about, so take my linking it with a grain of salt, but I found the excerpt more interesting than The Globe and Mail's description suggests.)
Whether they’re selling tickets to orbit or making sure the science funding keeps flowing, rocket companies and space agencies alike have a vested interest in getting the public jazzed about the cosmic beyond. So it’s no surprise that we’re now entering a golden age of space tourism propaganda—one that’s bringing back the beloved, classic design elements of long-past atomic age propaganda.
Target • Beaverton, Oregon
A long list of tasks has carried over into the work week. Some of the tasks can’t be deferred due to hard deadlines. My most important task took me to Target immediately after work. I did get what I needed.
While I was walking back to my car I saw these two guys talking against the red Target building. I took my purchases to my car and then walked back towards the scene. After taking one photo from a fair distance away, I was caught. I explained that I couldn’t resist the black on red scene. They shrugged and went back to talking. So I was able to get closer and take a few more shots. I got lucky! And it was golden hour.
But the truth is, I don't really have a lot to say about the Tudors?
If I had to pick a favourite one, I'd probably pick Elizabeth? But honestly that's more because I'm interested in some of the explorers from her period - Raleigh, Drake, their ilk,the pseudopirates, and all that meant in terms of the tensions between England and Spain during their rush to lay claim to the New World, and the Armada, and all that jazz.
But the Tudors themselves?
I suppose I'm just more of a Yorkist at heart...