Wednesday, December 28, 2016

In Praise of Nasty Women

Have you seen those "Nasty Woman" shirts that became popular during the election? While the original remark was intended as a negative comment against a woman who dared to enter the world of "good old boys" and fight for what she believed in, many women have taken up the phrase as a badge of honor.

Why is it that strong women who display some of the same characteristics that are admired in male leadership are considered "nasty" when they are seen in a woman? Throughout time, women have been expected to take a subordinate role to men. They were considered too emotional or too weak minded to understand the complexities of the male world. Of course, women today consider this view of a woman's role outdated and insulting. 

In the not too distant past, single women were expected to find a husband to provide for them as quickly as possible.  In return, the woman's role was to manage the household and raise the children. I can still remember being told as a young wife who dared to express a political opinion,  that "women should stick to their sewing circles!"  I was also told that the only reason a woman needed to go to college was to find a husband. God help us if we suddenly became single mothers!  If our husbands had not left us financially solvent, too bad!  We were expected to quickly find another man or manage on our own - quietly, without making our plight ruffle the feathers of the existing norms.

At first, I tried to fit the role that was expected of me.  But that shoe didn't fit. Eventually, I rebelled against a role I found stifling and demeaning...I became a "nasty woman."

In our defense, I don't think any of us really enjoy being nasty.  We felt forced into the role in order to make our voices heard. So it is not without a certain sense of pride that we wear the badge of "nasty women." We have worked hard to get to this point.  We are not going to give it up without a fight.

In The Steel Canyon Legacy, Tessa Kingsley is faced with the same dilemma. Can she find a balance between the life that is expected of her and the life she expects of herself?

Wanda DeHaven Pyle is the author of Windborne and the Legacy Trilogy.  Follow her on Facebook and Twitter at 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

New Blog

Dear Reader,

Thank you for following "School Marms and Cowboys".  I have recently started a new blog at that will focus on promoting other independent authors.  I will feature a monthly interview with an author as well as other postings related to the art and craft of writing.

I will continue to post personal reflections on life and living at this site for those of you who enjoy that sort of thing. I will also keep both site updated regarding any new releases I have so you will be the first to know. Thanks again for your support.

Wanda DeHaven Pyle

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll

The year was 1969.  I was a sophomore at a small teachers college in Kansas.  But even there, the metallic stains of Iron Butterfly's In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida could be heard echoing through the halls. It was the summer of love. In August, more than a half a million people descended on a field near Woodstock, New York for four days of rain, sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. I wasn't there, of course, but I felt the vibe nonetheless.

Nixon was inaugurated as president and the "Vietnamization" of Southeast Asia began. The youth of American were fed up with the "establishment". There were protests on college campuses. Sit-ins, walk-outs, and love-ins heralded the theme of "Make Love, Not War!" We were ready and willing to rebel to change the status quo. It was all terribly exciting and we all thought we were doing something daring by going against the views of our elders.  The more they tried to suppress us, the louder we became.

But then, we grew up.  We became complacent.  We joined the very establishment we had once protested against. We went to work, got married, started families and disappeared into the ranks of the middle class. The once proud and loud "boomer generation" grew silent.

We're older now...grandparents who have set aside the foolishness of our youth. But was it really foolish? It was our generation that pushed for Civil Rights and began the movement for Gay Rights. We championed women in the workforce and pushed for equal pay. We shook things up.

Maybe it's time to shake things up again. Somewhere beneath the expanded waistbands and the grey hairs beats the heart of a "boomer" who thought they could make a difference.

There is still time.

Wanda DeHaven Pyle is the author of Windborne and the Legacy Trilogy.  Follow her on Facebook and Twitter at