I got an email from my editor this morning, along with the edited version of my Magic Bean Café manuscript. She briefly touched on some feedback from an “expert” in her field about women’s friendships in romance fiction. She referred to them as non-conflict tea parties in Pleasantville.
I disagree. (It’s not surprising to those who know me that I rebel against expert opinion.)
Today, women are raising their voices. They are coming together in solidarity to expose sexual exploitation, unequal pay and are fighting for women’s rights. A lone voice is lost in a desert but a phalanx becomes a fighting force. It took ninety women to take Harvey Weinstein down. Ninety. Women not only have to fight against the tide, they have to do it in numbers. Thankfully, the word defeat is losing its efficacy.
The women in my series, Everyday Goddesses, are not living in Pleasantville. Okay, they live in Eden, but if you remember there was a lot of conflict there including Adam, Eve, the apple, snake and tree.
My goddesses prove the conflict theory. They each face difficult choices, growth, setbacks, sadness, bliss, have their individual flaws and strengths. They don’t sit around sipping tea, even though the main watering hole is a coffee shop. They encourage and support each other, sometimes enable, at other times provide the impetus for change. As one of them says, “We fix one another’s crowns without letting the world know it’s crooked.” Hopefully, we all have at least one of these kinds of friends. To have a tribe is a blessing.
My first exposure to this kind of tribal relationship was Anita Diamont’s, “The Red Tent”. It made an indelible impression that lingers twenty years later. I loved “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”, a tale about friendships, with a little magic thrown in.
I’ve created mirrors, each character reflecting the many aspects of the Divine Feminine, which I’ve written about before. Bountiful, earthy, intellectual, airy, fiery, emotional, logical, and passionate. Maiden, mother, crone and queen. Definitely multi-layered, covering the wide spectrum of human emotion.
To call their rituals tea parties is offensive. To say they live in Pleasantville is inaccurate. They are kick ass warriors, working to make the world a better place, who need a little TLC to get through the fight. That they find that within their group is inspiring.
Men have referred to their bond as a band of brothers. Women can have the same kind of bond with each other. I call it the Sisterhood of Kindred Spirits.
I love writing their stories. In fact, I’ve created something similar with my Fire and Ice series. If you’re in the mood, please give them a try.