June 14, 2022
Note From Rochelle
This summer’s tips will be filled with series—book recommendations from some of the authors who’ve been on the blog in the last couple of years, productivity tips, and a special series on what I’ve learned from my favorite writers.
Today’s tip begins the series of Book Recommendations from my favorite writers!
Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach
Writers Recommend: Stephanie Wildman
Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia engaged me immediately. The book opens in a cigar factory in Cuba, generations ago, where the sole woman worker listens to a reader in the factory and the words of Victor Hugo. Several generations of Cuban women struggle with displacement (to Miami), family and motherhood, and finding meaning. Garcia tells their saga in counterpoint with the tale of a Salvadoran immigrant and her daughter. All these women discover “We are force” and “We are more than we think” in the face of oppressive systems that would deny their humanity.
I can’t resist adding that if you love reading and you aren’t reading children’s literature, you are missing out. Some of the best novels I’ve read recently would be classified as “middle grade” books. My favorite, which started me loving the genre, is The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson which presents important social justice themes within a complex coming of age mystery. Also check out How to Find What You’re Not Looking For by Veera Hiranandani, historical fiction set in the era following the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision Loving v. Virginia overturning the ban on interracial marriage. Yes, I favor books that care about social justice and antidiscrimination.
Words of Wisdom
I don’t feel especially wise, but I do find wisdom in the title of Rochelle’s podcast: “Always Write.” You know best what feels right about your writing; but do benefit from the wisdom of a critique group. I’m happiest on the days when I wake up to morning pages and feel the joy of handwriting the words for three pages. These pages often get translated into something better when I turn to the keyboard later in the day. When I can’t write, I try to read or take walks. Most importantly “only kindness makes sense” which includes kindness to yourself.
About Stephanie Wildman
Stephanie Wildman’s Brave in the Water (2021) (illustrated by Jenni Feidler-Aguilar; translated into Spanish as Valiente en el Agua by Cecilia Populus-Eudave) portrays a child overcoming his fear and helping his grandma face her own apprehensions. Lawley Publishing will release her second children’s book Treasure Hunt (illustrated by Estefania Razo) in November 2022 where readers join twins Flor and Roberto on their search through their home as they discover what fun their big brother creates with a gigantic cardboard box.
Stephanie became a Professor Emerita after serving as the John A. and Elizabeth H. Sutro Chair at Santa Clara Law. She directed the school’s Center for Social Justice and Public Service.Her other books include Privilege Revealed: How Invisible Preference Undermines America (with contributions by Armstrong, Davis, & Grillo) (2021); Race and Races: Cases and Resources for a Diverse America 3d (with Delgado, Harris, Perea, and Stefancic) (2015); Social Justice: Professionals Communities and Law (with Mahoney and Calmore) (2013); and Women and the Law Stories (with Schneider) (2011). Stephanie is a grandmother, mother, spouse, friend, good listener, and she can sit “criss-cross apple sauce” thanks to her yoga practice. Find her at stephaniewildman.com and @SWildmanSF on Twitter.