Women in Horror: D.J. Doyle

Women in Horror Month: Featured Author: D.J. Doyle

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D.J. Doyle was raised by pot-smoking hippies and spent her days worshipping pagan deities in the HellFire Club and her nights watching horror movies and reading horror books. She now lives with her family in a treehouse, preying on unsuspecting travellers, and where she likes nothing better than coming up with ideas for new stories and plotting her next novel. Some of this might have been made up.

She has written many subgenres of horror from comedy to extreme to sci-fi. So far, her novels are based on Irish Mythology and Folklore, intertwining tales from the past and present. Her extreme horror stories go inside the minds of serial killers, which was not an easy task.

 Celtic Curse: Newgrange

Haunted for years by dreams of death and mysterious rituals, Jess Young travels to Ireland in search of answers. Her search becomes a race against time when her friend is abducted by Celtic Druids bent on resurrecting the Morrigan; the Celtic goddess of war and death. 

Reader Review – This is a dark, gritty and fatalistic story of ancient beliefs, rituals and powers that grapple for control of the future of the world as we know it. Doyle builds the story masterfully, complete with twists that take the reader’s breath away and a sense of urgency that grows as the action escalates. 

Christ On A Bike

Father Jack and his pontification of priests are on their travels to conduct an exorcism. Demons can lurk in every corner. 
Can Father Jack overcome the demons within?

Reader Review – Why can I not give 6 stars???? This unique little short was bloody brilliant! I have to say I have never laughed as hard as I did when reading how Fr. Jack referred to his team. This terrific little short is like the show Father Ted on steroids, it has all the humor, all the sass and a s**t load of horror with enough creep factor to give you the heebeegeebees. 

Red

Blurb – A depraved past has shaped a man into the twisted serial killer he is today. His obsession with the color Red, and his lust for blood, leads to inventive ways to kill his captives. Who is his next victim, and can she be his salvation? 

Review – This is extreme horror at its finest. It was a quick throat punch with a kick to the nuts finale. Violent and gory with a truly twisted psychopath at the helm, Red is a must read.

WordyNerdBird’s note:
I have read and thoroughly enjoyed many of D.J. Doyle’s horror books. My favourite is still A Celtic Curse: Banshee, so here is a bonus link!

You can find and follow D.J. Doyle on
FACEBOOK | TWITTER GOODREADS | WEBSITE

Women in Horror: S.K. Gregory

Women in Horror Month: Featured Author: S.K. Gregory

S. K. Gregory writes horror, urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels. When she isn’t writing, she works as an editor and promoter for indie authors. She resides in Northern Ireland and has been writing since she was a child.

Most of the horror she writes features supernatural creatures such as demons. She recently released a collection of short stories called Chills and Thrills Tales which feature everything from werewolves to ghosts, to killer cannibal demons.

Independence Day

July 4th – The infection begins…

When a town is overrun by zombies, Rachel and her family are caught in the chaos. The virus spreads fast and Rachel is left to defend herself and her little cousin. 

Gabe and Adam are two soldiers, tasked with finding the source of the infection and stopping it. But are they already too late?

Rachel joins the soldiers in a bid to survive, but with the army ready to drop a bomb on the town, they must figure out a way to escape before they are killed. 

Can it stop the spread of the infection though?

Contains adult content.

Trickster

A Small Town. An Ancient Evil…

For acting Sheriff, Kayla Thomas, most nights consist of breaking up bar fights and locking up drunks. That is until a local businessman decides to open up the old mine and gets more than he bargained for. 

Something evil resides in Silverville and he just let it out…

When the businessman is found murdered, Kayla faces a viral like disease which turns ordinary people into murderers, tapping into their worst fears. 

Who can she trust when anyone could be infected? 

With the town snowed in, Kayla and her deputies must find the source of the virus before the roads are cleared. If this evil escapes into the world, no one is safe.

Can Kayla defeat the Trickster?

Crashed

When Crystal crashes into Jax, she is worried that she will go to jail for drunk driving, but she has bigger things to worry about. Jax may seem like a normal teen, but he is hiding a secret. Injured in the crash, his wolf side is unleashed. Crystal is in danger, will she survive the night?

You can find and follow S.K. Gregory on
FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS | BOOKBUB | 
WEBSITE

WordyNerdBird’s note:
I have read ‘Trickster’ and the ‘Chills and Thrills Tales’ short story series by S.K. Gregory, and found them to be enjoyably dark and disturbing.

Women in Horror: Fiona Cooke

Women in Horror Month: Featured Author: Fiona Cooke

Fiona Cooke is a writer, editor, poet and blogger living in the Midlands of Ireland. 

Fiona has four books published on Amazon and blogs at unusualfiction.wordpress.com about her work and anything that interests or inspires her. A Tolkien obsessive, she lives for music festivals and all things horror related. She hopes to  publish her latest horror novella – Death Dues in the near future.

Fiona Cooke writes gothic horror, contemporary horror, Literary horror prose and ghost stories. She is also compiling a collection of gothic poetry for release in October 2019.

You can follow Fiona Cooke on
FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WORDPRESS | AMAZON

WordyNerdBird’s note:
I have read and enjoyed Fiona’s books, and always appreciate the dark twists and turns that her horror stories take.

Women in Horror: Faith Marlow

Women in Horror Month Featured Author: Faith Marlow

Faith Marlow is a dark fantasy/ paranormal/ horror author with Vamptasy Publishing, an imprint of CHBB. Her stories stir emotions and explore the thin veil between human and the inhuman. Dark, yet inviting and familiar, Faith seeks to deliver chills with a sense of class, and sometimes a bit of heat. With each story, she hopes to build exposure for fellow women authors and artists who create horror.

Being Mrs. Dracula

When Valeria’s hand was given in marriage to the handsome and powerful Count Vlad Dracula, she dreamed of happiness but instead her life was filled with longing for her absent husband, their country ravaged by war. When Vlad at last returned from the battlefield he was a changed man, an alluring and dangerous creature with a thirst for her blood…and for more wives. For over one hundred years, tales of Count Dracula have haunted and seduced the imagination of readers worldwide. Now experience the story of Dracula from a new perspective, as told by the three women who knew him best. Discover their stories, their secrets, and find out what it would be to love and be loved by history’s most powerful vampire in Being Mrs. Dracula. In a marriage that spans centuries, one man shared between three women, love may be eternal but happiness is not guaranteed.

Read a customer review of Being Mrs Dracula here.

Soul Syndicate

A soul is a heavy burden to bear.
There’s a gala celebrating the city and many notable celebrities are attending, including a rock star, a socialite, a baseball player, and an entertainment reporter. Each of them is notable in their own right, and each one holding a secret.
When they all get stuck in an elevator together after the gala is over, they think that that is the worst thing that could happen to them…until the doors finally open.
The world as they knew it has gone, now they have poppies attached to their chests and are facing down soulless friends, family, and strangers, including a crotchety old woman and a former drag queen.
It’s a battle for the ultimate prize: their souls and the souls of everyone else on Earth. Can they save the world, or will these disparate individuals kill each other first?

Read a customer review of Soul Syndicate here.

Another Beautiful Nightmare: Women of Horror Anthology (Book 2)

Witches brew and demons howl
Vampires lurk and zombies scowl
Full moon rising over shadow and sin
Thick fog and whispers on the wind
Welcome to our Beautiful Nightmare…again.

WordyNerdBird’s note:
Another Beautiful Nightmare is a new release anthology by excellent authors, some of whom are featured on this blog this month. I have read and thoroughly enjoyed the first anthology and some individual works by the authors included in this new collection, so I’m very keen to read this book!

You can find and follow Faith Marlow on
FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | AMAZON | GOODREADS

Women in Horror: Lucretia Stanhope

Women in Horror Month Featured Author: Lucretia Stanhope

Lucretia Stanhope is the award-winning author of The Elemental Witch Trials series, featuring witches and vampires in an eternal struggle for power. She also writes horror, and paranormal romance. 

Lucretia writes the full range of horror from comedy (Rather Be Fishing) to extreme (God’s Teeth) and have even dipped into erotic horror (Beating Hearts). Her fantasy series, The Elemental Witch Trials and more so the Paranormal Peacekeepers have horror elements. She finds that she just can’t seem to leave that aspect out of her writing entirely. Especially hearts, ripping them out, chewing on them… you know, romantic stuff. 

Rather Be Fishing

No matter what the options are, Mike, a rough-tongued, reclusive southerner, with little patience for people, would rather be fishing. Every time he puts his hand on his rod, the phone rings with a new job to exterminate a monster.

‘Rather Be Fishing’ follows Mike on nine such delays as he battles a range of challenging creatures. His clients find themselves plagued by everything from well-known foes like vampires and werewolves, to more rare nuisances, like moss men and chupacabra. Adding to his headaches are the not-so-supernatural clients he needs to deal with in order to get a free day on the lake. 

Feral

Why are werewolves going missing? When a frustrated alpha requests the aid of the Paranormal Peacekeepers, a new partnership is formed. Alice and Amarok are assigned to get in and get answers before the pack problems bleed into the lives of the townspeople. 

Prisoner or ambassador? As a hybrid, Alice is still struggling with what her place is at the Paranormal Peacekeepers when she is assigned her first mission and given her permanent partner. Before she can find out who is responsible for the missing werewolves, she has to commit to the job and ignore the voice in her head telling her use the mission as a chance to escape. 

Loyal ambassador and former member of the para-military. Amarok is still broken from the death of his partner when he is assigned to work with new recruit, Alice. While he will vet her, and make sure she is safely returned to the Paranormal Peacekeepers, the bond of partnership means something to him that blurs the lines of following orders. 

The mission takes them to emotional places they never imagined and tests the limits of their supernatural abilities. To solve the mystery of where the werewolves have gone they will need to redefine themselves and come together as a team. 

Necrozmancy

What if Dorothy was a necromancer and the land of Oz wasn’t so wonderful? This is dark comedy re-imagining of a beloved classic. It is a horror short, with violence and foul language.

Lucretia can be found and followed on FACEBOOK | TWITTER | AMAZON | GOODREADS

WordyNerdBird’s note:
I have read NecrOzmancy, both books in the Paranormal Detectives series, and am currently up to book 9 in the Elemental Witch Trials series. I really enjoy Stanhope’s original and compelling stories and the great writing with which they are delivered.

Women In Horror: Lily Lamb aka A. Drew

Women in Horror Month Featured Author: Lily Lamb aka A. Drew

Today’s featured author is Lily Lamb, who also writes as A. Drew.

Lily is a Turkish-Australian multi-genre Indie author. She works as a nurse by day where she feeds her soul by caring for others. At night she tends to her imaginative alter-ego by writing tales involving love, passion, mystery, and horror.

Lily’s stories like “The Awakening” oozes hope and empathy for the future of humanity. Carefully crafted with raw realism surrounding family trauma and dynamics whilst incorporating the draw of supernatural events, giving rise to a unique horror. The story is sensitively sprinkled with elements of horror, tempered with the tenderness and longing of a youth’s search for his own identity. Like all great stories, there is a twist in it, concealed from the reader until the very end. An engaging read, touching upon social issues in a modern world.

The Dowling House (Dark Terror Series 1)  

Since 1954, the Dowling House remained unoccupied until George and Melissa purchased it, hoping to renovate it for a profit. Their dream for a new lucrative business encounters a few challenges, but they can be easily overcome….or can they? Join George and Melissa on their amazing journey into the supernatural, but be warned, it is very engaging and you might not get out alive.  

The Awakening: Prequel to Dowling House (Dark Terror Book 2)  

A near-fatal incident stirs an awakening of an adolescent’s ability to connect with entities from the deep and dark hidden world, that which is beyond our natural awareness. A world of lost souls, both good and bad, all trying to reach out to the boy now that they are aware of his surreal capability. 
Coming to terms with his psychic ability that he neither asked for nor knew how to wield, he is unwittingly drawn into solving a grisly mystery from beyond the grave. This will become the greatest test of his faith in himself. 
Will he survive?  #Supernatural #Thiriller #Horror 

Born Into Chaos

 Many centuries ago, he was born into a chaotic world and was shunned by Gods and Mortals. Shunned by the gods and the humans because of his lineage. He lived in isolation and filled with shame. As his resentment grew he no longer cared for anyone but lived by his own rules.

One night, a feeling of wonderment reached every cell of his being. He didn’t understand his elation, until he sensed the gentle beat which beckoned him…giving him the will to wake up from a deep sleep. He sensed it was his last chance at redemption. It would lead to a deceptive fight for his sanity and future. Living has never been more deadly and costly… or fulfilling.

Born Into Chaos is a dark fantasy story, sprinkled with horror.

Lily can be found and followed online via
FACEBOOK | TWITTER | AMAZON BOOKBUB |

WordyNerdBird’s note:
I’ve read all of Lily’s books, and thoroughly enjoyed them. Her story lines are original, her characters are relatable and realistic, and each of the books provides a great horror/dark read. They come highly recommended!

A Dozen Amazing Ladies of Horror and Dark Fiction

Meet twelve amazingly talented Indie writers of horror and dark fiction.

2019 marks the tenth year of Women In Horror Month.

In honour of Women in Horror Month 2019, this post is dedicated to twelve amazingly talented Indie writers of horror and dark fiction.

If you enjoy reading horror and other genres which often blend with it such as dark fantasy, urban fantasy and dark romance, these are the authors you should follow and read.

Each of them will be featured individually on this blog in the coming weeks, but by introducing them all now, you can be following them on social media and becoming familiar with them even before their individual profiles hit the page.

Lily Lamb aka A. Drew is a Turkish Australian multi-genre indie author. She works as a nurse by day where she feeds her soul by caring for others. At night she tends to her imaginative alter-ego by writing tales involving love, passion, mystery, and horror.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | AMAZON | BOOKBUB |

Faith Marlow is a dark fantasy/ paranormal/ horror author with Vamptasy Publishing, an imprint of CHBB. Her stories stir emotions and explore the thin veil between human and the inhuman. Dark, yet inviting and familiar, Faith seeks to deliver chills with a sense of class, and sometimes a bit of heat. With each story, she hopes to build exposure for fellow women authors and artists who create horror.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | AMAZON | GOODREADS

Lucretia Stanhope is the award-winning author of The Elemental Witch Trials series, featuring witches and vampires in an eternal struggle for power. She also writes horror, and paranormal romance.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | AMAZON | GOODREADS

Baileigh Higgins, author of the bestselling Zombie Apocalypse Series, Dangerous Days, lives in the Free State, South Africa, with hubby and best friend Brendan and loves nothing more than lazing on the couch with pizza and a bad horror movie. Her unhealthy obsession with the end of the world has led to numerous books on the subject and a secret bunker only she knows the location of. 

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | BOOKBUB | WEBSITE

A.Giacomi is the author of the wildly entertaining Zombie Girl Saga, a four-part series from CHBB Publishing. She is a wife and mother two tiny humans. She is a Canadian born writer, educator, and artist. A. Giacomi is a zombie enthusiast, lover of all things Tim Burton, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Marvel, Star Wars and just generally just loves film and literature, essentially she’s a fangirl.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST| AMAZON | GOODREADS |

Fiona Cooke is a writer, editor, poet and blogger living in the Midlands of Ireland.  She has four books published on Amazon – The Lights Went Out and Other Stories; a collection of unusual fiction in a mix of genres, What Happened in Dingle; a romantic comedy novella and two collections of gothic horror- Death Comes Calling and The Nightmare.  A Tolkien obsessive, she lives for music festivals and all things horror related. She hopes to  publish her latest horror novella – Death Dues in the near future.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WORDPRESS | AMAZON

S. K. Gregory writes horror, urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels. When she isn’t writing, she works as an editor and promoter for Indie authors. She resides in Northern Ireland and has been writing since she was a child.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS | BOOKBUB | WEBSITE

Lou Yardley is an Office Gremlin by day and an author by night: it’s the best time, really, as it’s when all the monsters come out to play. ‘The Other’s Voice’ (2016) was her first novel. 2018 saw her publish a delightfully gory werewolf tale called “Hellhound”, as well as a short stories “When the Sun Sets” and “The Forest”.
She currently lives with her partner Mark, and their eight cats in Greater London. When she’s not performing spreadsheet alchemy in her day job, Lou likes playing the banjo, reading, listening to the kind of metal where the vocalists growl at you, and watching B-movies.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

Suzi Albracht lives near Annapolis, Maryland in a town called Bowie with her boyfriend, Tim. She is the author of Supernatural Horror Crime Thriller books in The Devil’s Due Collection and a Paranormal Romance/Ghost series – An OBX Haunting – that takes place in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

D.J. Doyle was raised by pot-smoking hippies and spent her days worshipping pagan deities in the HellFire Club and her nights watching horror movies and reading horror books. She now lives with her family in a treehouse, preying on unsuspecting travellers, and where she likes nothing better than coming up with ideas for new stories and plotting her next novel. Some of this might have been made up.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | WEBSITE

Joanne Van Leerdam has lived all her life in Australia, she has, thus, far, avoided being killed or consumed by any of the deadly wildlife, which is probably a good thing. Other than Australia, Canada is her favourite place in the world. 
In addition to writing powerful, thought-provoking poetry and short-but-incredibly horrifying stories, she keeps teens enthralled in her senior high school English, History and Drama/Performance classes. She is an active member and performer in her local theatre company and has directed high school musicals for ten years.  
Her poetry is contemporary, sensual, moody and easy to read – and it will get you in the feelings. Her horror fiction is deliciously creepy and macabre, and deeply satisfying.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST| WORDPRESS | AMAZON | GOODREADS | BOOKBUB | WEBSITE

Lily Luchesi is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of the Paranormal Detectives Series, published by Vamptasy Publishing. She also has short stories included in multiple bestselling anthologies, and a successful dark erotica retelling of Dracula.Her Coven Series has successfully topped Amazon’s Hot New Releases list consecutively.She is also the editor, curator and contributing author of Vamptasy Publishing’s Damsels of Distress anthology, which celebrates strong female characters in horror and paranormal fiction.
She was born in Chicago, Illinois, and now resides in Los Angeles, California. Ever since she was a toddler her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things “dark”. At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle. She is also an out member of the LGBT+ community. When she’s not writing, she’s going to rock concerts, getting tattooed, watching the CW, or reading manga. And drinking copious amounts of coffee.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS


Women In Horror Month 2019

Women in Horror Month 2019 starts today!

February is Women in Horror Month

I’m very excited to be participating in the month long celebration of the creepy, macabre and spooky for the second time around.  

Last year, I was featured on some blogs and websites as an author of horror, which is also going to happen this year. 

In my first WiHM blog post last year, I gave a shout-out to two authors who were my first inspiration with all things Gothic and macabre: Emily Bronte and Mary Shelley

This year, the shout-outs will be for  excellent Indie horror authors who have great books to offer to the world. I plan to briefly introduce the featured authors to you tomorrow before moving on to spotlighting each of them individually in the coming weeks. 

I will try to share everything to all my social media, but this blog will be the hub of that sharing, so stay tuned for some excellent dark things! 

If horror isn’t your thing and you prefer poetry, just hold on tight and wait until April, when National Poetry Month swings into action. I will be doing some regular posts throughout the month too, so I’m confident there will be something for everyone even though the focus will indeed be on the ladies of dark literature.

If you’d like to read some of my previous Women in Horror posts from 2018, simply click on these links:

Women in Horror: Inspirations
My Kind of Horror
Facing My Own Fears
Thank you, Mary Shelley

The Poet’s Insights: ‘The Artist’

The poet tells the story behind her poem, ‘The Artist’.

‘The Artist’ is one of my favourite poems from ‘Leaf’, my first published book of poetry.

 

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The inspiration for this poem came from my long-time friend Nicky, who is an gifted artist.
Nicky was one of the people who really pushed me to pursue publication of my poetry. She is an infinite source of encouragement and support, but more than that, she is a loyal and constant friend and confidant.

I should preface this story by pointing out that I’ve never been good at drawing or painting. My grandfather was an artist. My sister once painted a brilliant life-size portrait of Charlie Chaplin that covered her bedroom door for years. My mother could draw animals, people, and groovy designs with a ball point pen and make them look fantastic.

And then, there’s me. The only thing I can draw is cash from an ATM, and the occasional stick figure.

One day, Nicky showed me one of her beautiful paintings, which she had just completed. I gazed at it for a while, and sighed,”I wished I could do that.”

The Artists Plain

Without missing a beat, she replied, “You do. You just do it with words.”

That came as a real revelation to me. At that point in my life, I just wrote poetry for myself, and shared the ones I liked with a couple of friends. I didn’t really consider myself a poet as such, nor did I think I’d ever be published.

With those words, she inspired this poem.

The Artist.

ScreenHunter_439 Apr. 11 11.03

As a poem, I believe it hass integrity. It feels and sounds good when reading it aloud, and the rhythm works well with the ideas of making brush strokes and splashing a bit of paint around. At the end, it’s a reflection of that moment when the artist stands back and is surprised by what she finds on the easel in front of her.

The artist in the poem is definitely me. Like the artworks in the poem, some of my writing is vivid and colourful, while other pieces are dark and tear-smudged. Even a poem that appears to be fictional, like ‘Misery’ – which has been included in a fairy tale anthology! – is deeply rooted in my own reality.

I have very great affection for ‘The Artist’ for the truth it tells about my own experience as a poet, but I also love the fact that it will always be about my friendship with Nicky, too. Without her inspiration and encouragement, I might still just have a bunch of notebooks full of poems that nobody else would ever read.

Leaf 2nd Ed eBook Cover 6x9 350ppi

I first told ‘The Artist’s story when Nicky spoke at my book launch for ‘Leaf’ in June, 2016. Completely unaware of the story behind the poem or the fact that she had inspired it, Nicky chose ‘The Artist’ as the poem she would like to read to the guests. When she finished her reading and speech, I followed with the account of the poem’s inspiration. It was a beautiful moment in time that highlighted the wonderful thing that we share in our friendship.

 

Joey'sMapleLeafTatt

I hope you enjoyed ‘The Artist’ and the story behind it. If you appreciated this post, please click “like” below so that others find it more easily. You’re also welcome to leave a comment.
Thank you in advance.

 

International Women’s Day, 2018

Why We Should Celebrate International Women’s Day.

As I was driving to work this morning, a caller to my favourite radio station was critical of the fact that the station was observing International Women’s Day as part of the day’s programming.

“What’s it going to achieve? Do you think you’re going to change everything in one day?” He spoke politely, but went on to dismiss the value of this, and every other, “touchy-feely day”.

While my initial instinct was to dismiss him as a sexist pig, his cynicism challenged me to consider that there might be many folks out there, and possibly not just men, who doubt the benefit or validity of such an observance.

This is what I would like to say to those with that mindset:

Observing International Women’s Day is definitely not going to change everything on one day. That’s not what anyone is expecting.

It is a chance to celebrate the changes that have been made, and to remember those who worked so hard to introduce them. It’s not even exclusively about gender equality – so many women have made significant advances, even when it was still almost entirely a “man’s world”. Think of Marie Curie or Ruby Payne-Scott making significant scientific and mathematical discoveries that have had a huge impact in many other areas of society. Think of Rosa Parkes and her courage that inspired so many. Think of the countless women who have worked for freedom, or justice, or civil rights for all people, not just women.

It is a day to remember that the rights and freedoms I have as an Australian woman were fought for by many – not just the suffragettes. Nurses at the battlefields of major conflicts, teachers, doctors and medical researchers, writers, women who raised their sons to respect them and therefore other women, lawyers, filmmakers, journalists— they and countless others have contributed to the privileges I enjoy in the 21st century.

It is a day to remember my own mother, grandmothers and aunts who worked hard to provide and care for me, but also to teach me and demonstrate for me what it means to be a woman of strength, confidence and integrity. It’s also a day to think of my sisters, cousins and friends who encourage and stand beside me when life is hard, because they model those same qualities for me time and time again. They remind me of not just what I am, but who I am.

It is a day to consider what legacy I pass on to my nieces, my students, and my readers. What do I want them to learn from my example? I want them to know they are enough. Strong enough, good enough, beautiful enough, deserving enough, talented enough, smart enough, and worthy enough. They do not have to take any else’s bullying or abuse. They do not have to accept other people’s bad behaviour. They are under no obligation to “measure up” to the yardstick of anyone else, male or female. They can make of their lives anything that they decide upon and set their mind to. They can face challenges with courage, and they can overcome whatever would seek to undo or defeat them.

These are the women I write of in my poems, blog posts and stories about women of strength and beauty.

That, my friend, is what this day helps me to achieve, because it sharpens my focus on those things for a time.

So, happy International Women’s Day 2018.

I hope that you will think of it in terms of gratitude and humility. I also hope that every woman will use it to both be inspired and be inspirational.