Ok, so being badass isn’t new. I’ve stumbled onto a few blogs celebrating the virtues of being a badass woman in the real world. They are awesome and I admire their views – women sounding off on what in their own lives constitutes being badass. I personally like to think of myself that way – as a kick ass woman who stands by her convictions and tackles every day with the idea that she can make a difference.
So what is badassery? Yes, I’ve dubbed a new noun. Badassery – (n.): the state of being a badass. Is it a mindset? A philosophy? A tattoo on your forearm that dares anyone to defy you? A way to wear a great pair of kicking jeans and a motorcycle jacket? The ability to raise a functional human being in this world without having to kowtow to the sheep masses who can’t make an independent decision unless its presented to them via mainstream media? Possibly. Maybe it’s one, a few or all of those things. Or maybe its just running on your treadmill to the dirty, gritty voice of Sully Erna belting it out as the front man of Godsmack to lose those extra forty pounds. I would venture to say that all of those things qualify as badassery in real life. And some, if not all, may describe me or at least the woman I want to be.
As a writer, I live a decent part of my life immersed in fiction, whether it’s in a book, on TV, in the movies, or in a video game. I have always been drawn to strong female characters. One of the very first women I wanted to emulate was Wonder Woman. Linda Carter made Diana Prince a goddess with a boomerang hairband and a lasso of truth. And she could kick ass in a pair of red-hot boots. I was eight. This fascination soon evolved into Colonel Wilma Deering, Erin Gray of Buck Rogers. Athena on the original Battlestar Galactica – she was a Viper pilot for God sakes, and Diana, the Queen Lizard Bitch on V.
Let us not forget Princess Leia. I loved her best when she disguised herself as a bounty hunter to rescue a frozen Han from the disgusting Jabba the Hut. Obviously, my eleven-year-old mind didn’t understand the male fantasy of the bikini clad sex slave. What it did get was that these women fought beside men for truth and justice. AS EQUALS.
I played all of these characters with my Barbies. I even went so far as to make Voutfits out of red fabric and felt. I stole my brother’s pistols from his action figures and strapped them to the thighs of my badass Barbies with an elastic hair tie as a holster. I even knew that tight black spandex pants translated as hot, kick ass woman. What did I know? I had never read comics. Didn’t even realize the Jean Grey’s and the Black Widow’s existed. All I knew was there were heroines on television that I adored and wanted to be. I created OC’s to insert my own characters into these worlds without even knowing that I was writing fanfiction.
Years later when I returned to writing out of frustration to find books I really wanted to read, I asked myself what did I want to write about? What inspired me? I had moved on to Dana Scully, Major Samantha Carter, Buffy and the Charmed Sisters. Now, Brenda Lee Johnson of The Closer. And then it hit me with Mary Shannon of In Plain Sight. The woman is the epitome of badass. If I could tote a gun, shoot at bad guys and have the balls to say half the stuff she does, I would be a woman to be reckoned with. Mary Shannon is a warrior. She fights for what is right and protects others from ‘bad’, much to her own sacrifice. She cares for the people under her protection, her family, and her one friend. She is not perfect, in fact her personal life is a hot mess, yet she still gets up every day and gets the job done.
These are the kind of women I admire and want to explore in my own writing. I want to look at the warrior women, who do amazing, strong things and examine how they balance those achievements with living in a real world. How do they maintain their humanity in the face of the evils they see everyday? What do they have to come home to when the bad guy is in jail, the terrorist are annihilated and the (insert alien/vampire/ghoul here) have been vanquished? Of course as a romance writer, I want to know that she has an equally heroic man fighting by her side so that she can at least get her groove on and have a “Happy For Now” with the potential for a “Happily Ever After”. Her partner will honor her badassery, support and admire it and above all, love her for it.
So to that end, this blog will serve two purposes: 1) I will explore what makes amazing strong female characters badass and 2) Provide a platform for the evolution of my own stories that celebrate women in their badassery.
I am a writer, a mother, a teacher and a woman constantly seeking balance in her life. Join me and my characters in that journey.