Four Fantastic Females for #InternationalWomensDay

I love collecting stories. My bookshelves are overflowing with powerful characters and twisting plots, but nothing captures my imagination better than real-life figures with extraordinary tales. To celebrate #InternationalWomensDay, I spent the day with my sister and nieces discussing awe-inspiring historical female figures.

Here are our four favourites!


IRENA SENDLER (1910-2008)


Irena_Sendlerowa_24_grudnia_1944Irena Sendler was a Polish social worker and activist who rescued 2,500 Jewish children from the Holocaust, by providing them with fake passports and smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto. Eventually, Nazi agents grew suspicious of Sendler’s activities and arrested her, brutally beating her and breaking both her arms and legs in an attempt to get her to reveal the details of the children she’d smuggled out of the country. Sendler never revealed anything about her work or the children she had helped, and was sentenced to death. She escaped on the day of her execution, thanks to friends and co-workers bribing her guards, and continued her work until the end of the war.

You can read more about her here >>


KHUTULUN (1260-1306)


khutulunKhutulun was an ancient noblewoman, warrior and wrestler, and the great-great-granddaughter of Gengis Khan. She was the favourite child and advisor of her father, Kaidu, and she often accompanied him on campaigns. It was from her that he sought most of his battle strategy and political advice, and she was his choice of successor when he died. She was denied the throne by her male relatives and spent the rest of her life resisting the succession of her brother and cousin.

She is described by Marco Polo as: a superb warrior, one who could ride into enemy ranks and snatch a captive as easily as a hawk snatches a chicken… so strong and brave that in all her father’s realm there was no man who could outdo her in feats of strength.

Khutulun insisted that any man who wanted to marry her would have to beat her in a wrestling match. However, if she beat him, he would have to give up his horse. She amassed 10,000 horses.

You can read more about her here >>


QUEEN ARAWELO (C. 15th Century)


Queen araweloArawelo was the first-born daughter of a Somalian king. He died without a male heir and so Arawelo took over the kingdom herself. Her first act as queen was dismissing the traditional gender roles and filling her government with women.

When the men in Somalia protested the prominence of women under Arawelo’s rule, the women staged a kingdom-wide walkout, abandoning their homes for a day to prove just how valuable they were.

Under Arawelo’s rule, Somalia enjoyed a long period of prosperity and her history is now shrouded in legend. A variation of her name is now the Somalian term for a girl or woman who is assertive and independent.


CORNELIA SORABJI (1866-1945)


Cornelia-Sorabji-437x590Cornelia Sorabji was the first woman to practice law in Britain and India.

Her mother was devoted to the cause of women’s education, and established several girls’ schools in Puna. It was through her mother’s contacts that Cornelia was able to become the first woman to take the Bachelor of Civil Laws exam at Oxford University in 1892.

Two years later, Cornelia returned to India and dedicated her time to the rights and education of women and children. Over her twenty year career, it is estimated that she helped over 600 women and orphans fight legal battles, often for no fee.

You can read more about her here >>



If anyone is looking for a book on historical women, I highly recommend ‘Bygone Badass Broads’ by Mackenzie Lee or ‘Rejected Princesses’ by Jason Porath. They’re full of enlightening and entertaining tales of amazing (and often little-known) women in history. They are both well worth the read!



Who is your favourite woman in history and what’s her story?

 

 

The hobbit lives! | An update

It has been an absolute age since I posted on this blog. I don’t even have a good reason for my absence, beyond concentrating on Acres of Ink, my wedding, my book, and training. So, here’s a quick update on my life and what you can expect from me in the next few months!


ACRES OF INK

Acres of InkFor those of you who don’t know, Acres of Ink is my developmental editing service. I work exclusively on fiction novels and offer a ‘free sample’ editing service of up to 3,000 words for new clients – check it out!

I’m very pleased to announce I had a successful first quarter, testing the waters and getting glowing feedback from my clients. I’m now stepping things up a bit by adding an editing blog to enhance my services. This will be similar to the ‘Writing Is Hard‘ section that used to be on here and will focus on Character Development, Plot Development, World Building, plus some editing tips and tricks. My first blog series will be about the amazing advice I recently received during a workshop in Bloomsbury (home of Harry Potter). If that  sounds up your street, make sure follow the blog so you don’t miss anything!

Ron


MY WEDDING

CountdownI’m getting married in 106 days! I’m not sure how I got to this stage in my life but I’m suddenly 30 years’ old and have impending nuptials to organise. Most of the ‘big things’ have been done already but I’m sure I’m forgetting something… the to-do list is loooooong. On the plus side, I get to try on my chosen dress for the first time next Thursday. [Cue stereotypically girly squealing].


MY BOOK

The main event! So, as I mentioned earlier, I attended a Bloomsbury workshop that focused on YA and Middle Grade novels (my special interest genres). The day was utterly amazing and full of excellent advice. I’ll be sharing most of this advice on the Acres of Ink Blog in coming weeks, but it also inspired me to change my first three chapters ever so slightly. The impact of the opening chapters has now increased tenfold and I’m now readying my query letter! 2019 will be my year.


MY TRAINING

EyeammakingadifferenceTraining for what, you may ask. Well, in my infinite wisdom, I decided that 2019 was the year to give back to charities that have helped me become who I am today. So, on Sunday 10th March, I will be walking 14 miles (22.5km) to raise money for Moorfields’ Eye Charity. Moorfields saved my sight when I was 10 and their care and expertise is the reason I can still read and write (and edit) today. My sight is so integral to everything that brings me joy in my life, so I thought I’d take the time to support the amazing work they do.

If you’d like to find out more about my story or what Moorfields does – or if you’d like to donate some pennies to the cause! – then you can do that here >>

Aaaaand… if you fancy seeing a very tired, very red-faced hobbit, you can follow my updates on Instagram (@kfgooodacre.writing).


ONE MORE THING

I’m bringing back my book reviews! I’ll be starting with Circe by Madeline Miller and The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab. Watch this space!

 

World Sight Day | Living with sight loss, trauma and decline

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I was the only six-year-old I knew who could spell ‘haemorrhage’ correctly. It was a word I learned from the dictionary, reading it aloud to my mum as she wrote a letter excusing me from P.E. lessons.


For those of you who don’t know, I was born with a condition called Incontinentia Pigmenti. The condition can affect many parts of someone’s body but, for me, it most prominently affects my eyes.

It is my experience with IP and resulting symptoms that prompted me to write this post today, as well as urge everyone to regularly have their eyes checked. The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) states that 80% of the world’s blind are avoidably so. This is a frightening statistic and one that we can change.

To find out more about what you can do to lower this number, please visit their website.


Bright lights and dark shadows


When I was six, I went into my mum’s bedroom, complaining of ‘lights in my eyes’. Continue reading

A spring in your step for Ostara

Spring is in the air! 


MAIN-Spring-Equinox

In the Celtic calendar, 20-21st March is the festival of Ostara; the Spring Equinox. It is a time of new beginnings, of birth and rebirth, and plentiful supplies of chocolate eggs. Yummy.

The Celtic Wheel of the Year features heavily in my children’s series, Equinox, as the quarter-points of the year (the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes [1] [2]; the Summer and Winter Solstices) are traditionally the points at which the barriers between the Fae and human worlds are at their thinnest.

But Ostara was also the basis for the Christian festival for Easter, making it a far more popular festival than its Autumn counterpart, Mabon. The good news is: that means lots of food and frolics to line up for the Bank Holiday weekend… Continue reading

Merry Mabon! Celebrate the end of the summer with fun, games and, of course, food!

much-ado-about-mabon

This year, the feast of Mabon, or, the Autumnal Equinox, falls (no pun intended) on the 22nd of September.

Annual Celtic festivals are a big feature of The Elder Throne and, because I’m the kind of person who seizes any excuse to celebrate, here are some ideas for food, fun and frolics for this Friday…

Continue reading

Five by five: Every episode of Buffy as a limerick

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Today is National Limerick Day and, a few weeks ago, I stumbled across something I need to share with the rest of the internet. I’m a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and also of jaunty poems. What could be better than a combination of the two? The wonderful team at Waffle Meringue Productions have recapped every episode of BtVS in limerick form, with brilliant results (click here for their lengthy take on my favourite episode: Once More with Feeling).

Here are a few taster poems from five of my favourite episodes… make sure to check out WMP’s website for the rest! Continue reading

Love in the time of gods: Philemon and Baucis

philemon-and-baucisWhen it came to love, the ancient Greeks and Romans had it covered. Amidst their tales of sex, entrapment and betrayal comes my favourite tale of all time… and it’s a romance. Sure, there’s mass death in it too, but oh well.

From Ovid’s Metamorphoses is a story that borders Greek and Roman myth. This isn’t your average story of boy-meets-girl and gives her an ‘I Wuv You’ bear.

This is true love.


Philemon and Baucis

Disguised as humble travellers, Zeus, King of the Gods, and Hermes, walked the earthly realm, seeking comfort and rest. They approached a thousand houses, and a thousand houses bolted their doors against them, unwilling to offer shelter.

Growing angry and despairing of the nature of humankind, the two gods approached one last dwelling. It was a humble shack, roofed with reeds and stems from the nearby marsh. It belonged to the aged Baucis and equally old Philemon, a married couple of meagre means. They had been wedded in the cottage in their younger years, and grown old together.

It was this house that received them gladly, welcoming the disguised travellers and making light of their poverty by acknowledging it, and bearing it without discontent of mind. Continue reading