Learning how to program computers isn’t easy. For some, it comes somewhat naturally. However, those that make it look easy likely had someone motivating and fostering their education. Too often this is a career path only chosen by men. So why don’t more women pursue a career in programming?
Josephine Baker, later known as ‘Bronze Venus’, ‘Black Pearl’ and ‘Créole Goddess’ was born in America in 1906 and later moved to France to become a singer, dancer, and actress. She was the first African-American woman to star in a major motion picture, and became famous worldwide.
Though she grew up as a maid in wealthy white households she eventually became an exotic dancer in France, famously appearing in next to no clothing, and became a French citizen in 1937.
Ernest Hemingway referred to Baker as ‘the most sensational woman anyone ever saw’ and she received approximately 1500 marriage proposals in her life time. She became a muse for Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, and Christian Dior. She had a variety of exotic pets including a cheetah named Chiquita, a chimpanzee named Ethel, a pig named Albert, a snake named Kiki, a goat, a parrot, parakeets, fish, three cats, and seven dogs.
When WWII broke out, Baker became a volunteer spy for France, and assisted the French Resistance by smuggling messages written in invisible ink on sheet music. She made great efforts to aid those in danger of enemy attack, sent Christmas presents to French soldiers, and smuggled information she gathered in Spain back to France by pinning notes containing the information on the inside of her underwear. She was awarded the Medal of Resistance with Rosette and later named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.
Baker also aided many civil rights movements by refusing to perform to segregated audiences and storming out of a club in Manhattan with actress Grace Kelly after she was refused service. She worked with the NAACP and spoke at a Washington march alongside Martin Luther King Jr. as the only official female speaker. Baker was actually asked by Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow to take his place as leader of the American Civil Rights Movement, but Baker declined on the grounds her twelve adopted children ‘were too young to lose their mother’.
Baker died in 1975, four days after her final show, attended by such names as Mick Jagger, Shirley Bassey, and Liza Minnelli.
Oh and she was queer and had a relationship with Frida Kahlo. All around badass.
Still waiting for her movie. And appearances in period dramas.
One of my favorite fairy tale figures is Baba Yaga, an old witch who lives in an enchanted forest, rides a mortar instead of a broom, lives in a house with chicken legs and usually has three magical sons. I have an obsession with witches in general, but something about this old Russian spell caster really captures my imagination.
I think one day i’d like to write about the adventures of her youth. How she became powerful and delightfully evil (although she is good in a couple of tales). So, here you go, young Baba Yaga (who would have a different name, since Baba means old woman. Maybe just Yaga?).
1. Write as if your reader is smarter than you. Writers must trust the reader’s ability to read between the lines. I really can’t stand it when I read a piece that seems like I’m being forcefully spoonfed.
2.It lies in the execution and not the idea. You have this brilliant idea, but what’s the point if you don’t know how to effectively communicate this to your reader?
3. Writing is about rewriting. It’s pretty presumptuous to think that first or second draft is pure gold…
4. Get Critiques. Don’t just get your family and friends to look at your work. Hearing “That’s good” or “That sucks” doesn’t really help you to become a better writer. You need to know specifically why something doesn’t quite work. It might also be worth noting that you don’t always have to do what someone suggests. Sometimes these suggestions are out of left field.
Also, when looking for a group check to see if their agenda and goals match what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re not satisfied with what you’re seeing, you can always start one.
5. Hang around the right people. This should apply to everyone, You want to be around people that lift you up, not pull you down.
6. It’s okay to let a story go. Sometimes it’s hard, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t recycle the characters…
7. Leave your apartment. You have to experience life to write something. Don’t be that stereotypical writer sitting away at the computer and brooding.
8. Get an Editor. Whether you choose to self-publish or go the traditional route, you do need to have it professionally edited. You’re too close to the work to sometimes catch glaring grammatical errors, etc.
9. Treat your writing like a job (that you like!). If you want to be taken seriously as a writer, act like it. Set aside time—whether it’s fifteen minutes, an hour, or a page a day. Some of it most certainly will be crap, but you can always go back and correct it.
10. Read the good and bad stuff. Enough said.
11. You can’t please everyone. Everyone’s not going to like what you write. Who cares.
Dorothy and Alice
“It was all sort of odd, you know,” Alice says pensively, balancing the teacup on her saucer. Picnics are all well and good until you’re forced to walk all the way back to school with a rapidly cooling wet patch on the front of your skirt.
“That is, I believe,” Dorothy says, “rather a prerequisite for journeys to other worlds. Of course, I could be wrong.”
Alice sighs heavily. “Must you always be so literal? I didn’t mean the going there, or the being there, or even Wonderland itself. It was only that I felt so queer once I got back.”
Dorothy hums thoughtfully, reaching over to scratch at the top of Toto’s head. (Technically, of course, pets aren’t allowed at school, but they’d hardly let something as little as a rule stop them.) “Like everything was somehow…less, here?” she says. “That’s how I felt, sort of.”
“No,” Alice says, a little surprised. She brushes a stray bit of hair out of her eyes, tucking it back behind her headband and thinking hard. “Not at all, actually. It was like I was somehow more.”
Dorothy reaches over to steal a sip of tea, lifting the cup out of Alice’s hands and setting it down again after making a face. “That’s gone cold, you know,” she says. “You really ought to drink it faster.”
Alice rolls her eyes. “If I did, I wouldn’t have any left for you to take.”
“That’s true,” Dorothy says easily. “Anyway, isn’t it all sort of the same thing?” When Alice frowns at her, she adds, “The world being less or you being more, I mean. I think you sort of end up in the same place either way.”
“Maybe,” Alice says, taking her own sip of—stone cold, it’s true—tea. “But I think there’s something to be said for perspective, don’t you?”
“Probably,” Dorothy admits. “Though I will say, if one more teacher sits me down to have a gentle talk about glasses being half full or empty, I shall scream.”
“And I would support you in that,” Alice says loyally. “I should scream with you, if you wanted me to.”
Dorothy laughs. “Only if you feel a truly desperate urge,” she says. “And I hope you know I would do the same for you.” She sighs. “Still, it’s not my fault if they think I have a bad attitude. I can’t help it if I’m always wondering whether the teachers actually know anything about the things they’re telling us.”
“Well, it’s not as if you can tell them that you’ve been to a country where the man in charge is lying about his qualifications,” Alice says, and giggles. “Only think of the looks on their faces.”
Dorothy laughs too, but she sobers up quickly when they hear a bell ringing in the distance. “Ugh,” she says with feeling. “We’ve History next, and that always makes me feel as if someone’s stuffed wool between my ears.”
“Perhaps they have,” Alice says, finishing off her tea and packing it away. “Come along, Chester,” she coos, picking up her cat while Dorothy grabs the basket.
“I don’t see why you didn’t just call him Cheshire,” Dorothy says as they start off back to the school.
Alice shrugs. “I think it would have made me feel sad, knowing that he wasn’t,” she says, and Dorothy nods in understanding.
“By the way,” she says, “I’ve been meaning to ask. Have you met the new girl?”
Alice frowns. “You mean what’s-her-name? Susan something?”
“Pevensie,” Dorothy says eagerly, nodding. “I think we ought to ask her to lunch with us.”
“Really?” Alice says, surprised. “I wouldn’t have thought it of her.”
“I can’t be sure, of course,” Dorothy says. “But I got a sort of funny feeling off of her. She’s certainly worth a look, at any rate.”
“Well, then,” Alice says, delightedly. “Look we shall.”
That is a fantastic story but, um, why is Dorothy using English grammatical structures when she’s from Kansas?
True! Unless she’s picked it up from her (presumably) boarding school with Alice.
I could get behind a series about Girls Who Have Adventures And Life After
Bernie Mac was always able to bring the truth
words to live by.
i want this for my birthday.
holy shit, who invents these things, seriously
We got this candle for my niece’s 1st birthday party and as soon as it opened up and started playing the music she started crying hard it was soo cute and funny.
It’s like a £1.50 over here.
I want this. This year. For my 25th birthday (for 8 years and running).
i want. 40th pls. you have one year.