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Monday, January 21, 2013

Gouge My Eyes Out With a Sewing Needle

A woman should never learn to sew, 
and if she can she should never admit to it. 
--Katherine Clifton, The English Patient

I despise sewing. And in the midst of editing DAUGHTER OF THE GODS, I realized something else. 

All my female protagonists hate sewing. Not just sewing--knitting, spinning, carding, embroidering... If it involves some sort of thread or material to be made into clothes, they hate it. 

Part of this is surely due to my inherent distaste for sewing. I've tried knitting and cross-stitch and both made me want to gouge my eyes out. (Although I have family members who are excellent seamstresses who never fail to impress me with their prowess with a sewing machine). I can sew a button on one of my daughter's shirts, but that's the end of my expertise, and even that almost sends me into epileptic fits

Yet, I think there's also a part of me that wants my heroines to buck the trend of history. Throughout the ages, most societies expected women to be able to sew. Instead, my leading ladies are sassy (sometimes snarky) women who speak multiple languages, read, write, hunt, study medicine, race horses, and take to the stage. Maybe it would be more historically accurate if they also sewed, but I don't care. 

After all, well-behaved women rarely make history, right?

9 comments:

Jade said...

I have been ABSENT and while that was happening, you got a COVER and it is PRETTY.

SO PRETTY.

Liza said...

I find the things that I like tend to creep into my stories. The things I don't like, well, not so much.

Julie Dao said...

I'm not a sewer myself :( My mother is good at everything - sewing, quilting, cross-stitch, knitting, you name it - but I'm better with a pen than a needle. At least there's less chance I'll get stabbed with a pen when using it...

Amalia T. Dillin said...

Hey, Queens and the like can get away with the eccentricity of not sewing, I figure.

AND ahhhhhh!!!! I see that you have a release date for Daughter of the Gods, now! MAY 2014!!! Congratulations that is SO EXCITING. I am buying all your books for my mother, by the way. So there is that.

Jemi Fraser said...

Agreed! I can't sew worth beans - hate doing it. Although for a limited stretch in university I found embroidery strangley soothing - used to do it on the 12 hour bus rides to/from school! :)

Anne Gallagher said...

I can sew, crochet and all those womanly virtues inherent in the latter centuries. I just don't. I have better things to do with my time. The only thing I do do is iron. I won't give that up for anybody.

lbdiamond said...

LOL! I can so relate to this.

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

I wish wish wish I could sew but my sewing machines hate me. Tension? Tension? You wanna see tension?!?!?

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