Celebrating Courage, Creativity and Grit.

One of the most satisfying aspects of blogging is accompanying (and hopefully supporting) fellow bloggers as they discover, pursue, and, eventually, achieve their dreams.

As writer, architect, traveller, and dreamer, Virginia Duran, explains in this video clip,  achieving dreams requires  persistence, strength, skill, creativity, and a great team of supporters. To her list I would add courage.

Virginia has courage as well as  all it takes to be an achiever of dreams.   I was thrilled to see her latest post announcing the publication of  her London  Architectour Guide , which has been  described as an “exquisite travel book for anyone passionate about architecture”.

Other blogging friends with oodles of courage and talent, namely Cynthia Reyes and Marisa Alvarsson, have delighted me and many others recently with their latest achievements.

Much admired and loved blogger, Cynthia, and her  lovely daughter, Lauren Reyes-Grange, have just  written and published the second book in the Myrtle the Purple Turtle series. As Cynthia recalls in this guest post  bringing Myrtle’s Game to us, the readers, was no easy task,  and getting it off the harvest table into our hands became a full-on family affair.  They had to adopt Myrtle-like persistence and determination to achieve their dreams. In ‘Myrtle’s Game’, ” Myrtle and her friends are turned away when they try to join in a game with others. The friends walk away, feeling hurt, but that’s just the start of the story.” With persistence, patience, and practice, Myrtle and her friends prove that even a  slow turtle can play the game as well as anyone else. And, more than that, Myrtle  shows us that the best team is the one which is inclusive and allows you to believe in yourself.  

Marisa, who has been a dear blogging friend almost from the beginning of my blogging days in 2012, began her social media life unwilling, like so many of us, to even mention her real name.  We knew her only  as Miss Marzipan, mother to a toddler, and confined to bed rest with a difficult pregnancy.   Today, thanks to Marisa’s creativity and courage, and  the support of her loving family, she has given herself permission to  embrace the dream of being the author of a fabulous cook book ‘Naturally Sweet Vegan Treats“. She is also a wonderful, kind (almost magical 🙂 ) presence on Instagram, with 146K followers.

Another achiever and  blogger, whom I have come to know in recent months is A Voice from Iran, Laleh Chini.  Like Cynthia she lives in Canada, and, like Cynthia, Laleh and  her daughter  Abnoos Mosleh-Shirazi worked together as co-authors to produce ‘ Climbing over Grit’. “The story follows the journey of Najma as she is forced into a marriage at the age of eleven and faces the challenges of motherhood with an abusive husband, all while the eight-year war with Iraq is taking place.”  The story  is a tribute to Laleh’s mother.  And a tribute to Laleh’s determination to write stories important to her and her family, and which, she believes,  are important for the rest of the world to know.

Now, if, like me, you have places to go and things to do, and if, unlike me, you have your own dreams to pursue, you may not have time to buy or read the books I mention here, but I would urge you to take a closer look at, at least, one of these strong, creative women and their achievements.

I celebrate them all.  And I thank them  for letting me  be a small part  of their dream journeys.

Special note: the photos in this post are not mine. They belong to the authors and illustrators of the books featured.

ps  I may not be on WordPress very much for a few months, but I will do my best to check your posts whenever I can.

 

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155 thoughts on “Celebrating Courage, Creativity and Grit.

  1. kirizar

    I was caught by the title character of one book you mentioned: Myrtle the Purple Turtle. I thought I was the only person to think up the name! I used it when talking to my son when he was still a little boy. For the life of me, I can’t remember what stories I used to tell him. But it’s very nice to know, somewhere she lives on!

    Reply
      1. kirizar

        I will be lucky if my son remembers 1/1 billionth of what I told him while he grew up. He rarely remembers anything I’ve said seconds after I’ve told him something. But that may be the teenage years talking. I don’t know.

        Reply
  2. Pingback: Celebrating Courage, Creativity and Grit – A Voice from Iran

  3. Steve Gingold

    Guess I missed this post, Ann. There are many there whom I am unfamiliar with aside from their comments on posts by some of the bloggers I follow. I have pretty much limited myself to nature photography blogs with some delightful exceptions…such as yours. 🙂
    I checked out Marisa’s cookbook as I am diabetic and there may be some good recipes in there that I am allowed to have…it’s okay because I cheat anyway. I always read the customer reviews and had to laugh at this one…
    “I never buy a book without looking at look inside pages and see a sample of story or recipes. This book sample had a pancake and a waffle recipe. I do not eat pancakes or waffles so therefore I did not buy this book.” 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Teehee. That was an honest review but a bit short-sighted. Was it difficult to manage your diabetes when you were so ill recently? I am missing a lot of posts at the moment because I am on a blogcation. I just check in now and then.

      Reply
      1. Steve Gingold

        Hi, Ann. Bit of a delay with my response. I hope that you are enjoying your blogcation. 🙂 I appreciate that you are still seeing my posts and liking them.
        No, it was pretty easy during the illness as I was entirely dependent on Mary Beth for food and she is always watching my food choices like a hawk all the time anyway. Now that I am out and about again my choices are a bit suspect, but I am improving my behavior. The last doctor visit informed me that if I don’t clean up my diet I’ll have to add another med for life…no insulin yet. Thanks for asking. Looking forward to your return to the blogosphere. 😉

        Reply
  4. Playamart - Zeebra Designs

    What lovely reviews and glimpses into special books and the equally-special people who created them. It’s always good to peer a bit beyond the line of south america’s equator and find out what others are doing.

    Sometimes it’s not good, however, and I am so sorry about the recent headlines that spotlight the horrid killings in your country. It must be difficult to find steady ground – emotionally- when it seems the entire world has gone a bit mad. or a lot mad.

    Suffice to know that I think of you often, and that I am so sorry for another wound for your city of christchurch.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you so much, Z. I am, like so many others, still reeling from what happened on Friday 15th March. Our PM and our citizens have brought kindness and compassion to overwhelm the darkness. And loving support from others, such as yourself, is wonderful to hear. We will not be broken by evil.

      Reply
  5. Born To Organize

    I’ve been thinking of you, Amanda, and grieving, not only for the loss of lives, but for what seemed, at least to me, of the simpler, kinder world of New Zealand. I’m sorry for all your citizens are going through, and I couldn’t help but think, too, “not another trauma for Christchurch”. My heart goes out to you. xo

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you so much, Alys. We must recover from this tragedy with kindness and love. There is no other way. I know that your heart and love are with us

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      There has always been a certain degree of racism in New Zealand but, on the whole, we like to get along. Yet, if this degree of hatred is lurking in our peaceful society then I also worry about our fate. I am grieving for those who lost loved ones today. I am grieving for our city and our country. These people had a right to be safe and we failed them.

      Reply
      1. Tish Farrell

        I do understand. It’s going through my mind that the ‘innocence’ is what might have made Christchurch a target for this terrorist. It is a grievous state of affairs when decency and civility make us more vulnerable to the viciously cowardly.

        Reply
  6. Bespoke Traveler

    So looking forward to hunting these books out and expanding my horizon of stories. Thank you for celebrating these women’s achievements and being part of their support system!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      We live in rich reading times. I was watching a dcocumentary on the Bronte sisters. The narrator mentioned that the sisters had to get their brother to borrow library books for them. Women were not allowed to borrow books from the library. A sobering thought.

      Reply
      1. Bespoke Traveler

        Indeed. Though there’s still much work to be done I’m always mindful and grateful to the women of the past in all parts of the world whose courage and tenacity allows us so many of our rights and freedoms today.

        Reply
  7. Karen

    Thank you Gallivanta for your post. I follow Cynthia but not the others that you have mentioned and they sound like women I need to learn about.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Our blogging community is bursting with talent. It’s hard to follow everyone we would like to but there is great satisfaction in knowing that we are surrounded by creativity and courage.

      Reply
  8. lensandpensbysally

    You’ve taken thought and time to share what others are doing. It’s nice to have your perspective. I do know Virginia’s work and I agree with your thoughts; she is an energetic and talented woman.

    Reply
  9. Tiny

    A beautiful, informative and generous post, Gallivanta. My grandies will certainly attest to the excellence of little Myrtle. Now they will soon enjoy the second book too 🙂

    Reply
  10. Clare Pooley

    Such a generous post, Mandy! I have Cynthia’s four books but the other two authors and their books are new to me. I will certainly look out for them.
    Have a fun blogging break this autumn and enjoy some family time. xxxx

    Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          🙂 🙂 thank you. He’s the youngest grandchild (of my parents) but the first grandchild to be getting married. An important family milestone.

  11. Lisa Dorenfest

    This inspiration is exactly what I needed today as I try to figure out ‘what is next’. As I near the conclusion of my current dream (only 14 degrees left for a full circle!) I am finding myself feeling like I’ll never achieve my next.

    Watching Virginia’s video, I am reminded that I have checked all the boxes of what it takes to be a ‘good dreamer’ and should stop worrying. A reminder that I am pretty gosh darned good at creating the life I want and that my ‘next act’ will be as successful as my previous one.

    Thank you for getting me over my niggling insecurities. It takes a lot of support to achieve a dream so I will come back to this post often for reassurance as I continue to reinvent myself yet again.

    Sounds like you have a busy time ahead of you I’m Feb, Mar and again in May. Looking forward to seeing you back here again to provide even more inspiration when you have all your hard work behind you!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      My goodness yes, you are pretty gosh darned good at creating the life you want. I am curious to see what happens next; no pressure though. I will be patient. 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Reply
  12. Wendy L. Macdonald

    Each of these offerings look like wonderful examples of courage, creativity, and grit. It’s especially encouraging to me to see two Canadians in the group.
    Blessings on your blogging break ~ Wendy Mac

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Wendy. It was wonderful to read your lovely post about Myrtle. Canadians! I think I secretly want to be one. 🙂 Actually, somewhere in Canada I have relatives ( 4th or 5th cousins???) because two of my great grandmother’s brothers settled in Canada. They were from Scotland.

      Reply
  13. utesmile

    I admire all these women too, and it is so wonderful to read about them in your post. Their courage and creativity needs to be celebrated and you do that wonderfully here. Thank you Mandy. The blogging community is amazing and each and everyone has a unique gift to give to the world. You too! ♥

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you for your kind comment. It’s lovely to be in the company of such creative people, and Cynthia, as you know, is one of the best. I also love the way she encourages, supports and mentors others.

      Reply
  14. Pingback: Celebrating Courage, Creativity and Grit. – Cynthia Reyes

  15. Marisa @missmarzipan.com

    Thank you so much for the kindness and mention! You have consistently been one of the loveliest, most generous people on wp and I am forever grateful to have connected with you so early on in both of our blogging lives! When I feel cynical about online life and social media, there are some connections that I focus on to bring me back to a positive mindset. The connection to you is one of them. Thank you for being here and thank you for the generosity ❤ Love and best from Sweden

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I have lost track of the years but I am amazed to think we have been connected since before your sweet cupcake was born. What changes have taken place since then, but there has been one constant; your love for your family and the priority you give to them. I so love your achievements but more than that I love seeing your commitment and love to your family. Hugs and love. Kia Kaha (Keep Strong)

      Reply
  16. insearchofitall

    You will be missed but I, more than many understand the need for time away. I already have 2 copies of Myrtle even though I have no little ones to give them to. I donate them. It resonated in many ways. Thank you for the introduction to the other authors. I love to buy books from bloggers. Enjoy your time away.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you for your kind comment. 🙂 I don’t have any little ones nearby to give Myrtle to either. At the moment I am just holding on to my copies because I enjoy looking at them. At some stage I may donate them but, then again, if there are going to be more Myrtle books I would like to collect the series. 😀

      Reply
  17. Liz

    What a wonderful showcase of brilliant talent and, yes, courage. It’s easy to forget, when one sees a finished creation, how much blood, sweat and tears have been shed behind the scenes. It reminds me of Hemingway’s famous quote – “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” 😂

    Reply
  18. Clanmother

    I join your celebration of courage, creativity and grit. Ah, that is what makes life truly meaningful. I will miss you on your sabbatical – and I’ll be here when you come back. Hugs and love coming your way.

    Reply
  19. Cynthia Reyes

    Lauren and I are very happy to be included here among these fabulous individuals and especially by you, someone whom we admire and respect. We are all in good company with you, young lady! Thank you for being such a remarkable person.

    Reply
  20. restlessjo

    Glad to read, via the comments, that it’s going to be an enjoyable type of business, Ann. 🙂 🙂 Thanks for the celebrations. So much is possible if you believe, and persevere.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Oh, that’s wonderful news, Maureen. Blush, blush, I don’t have any grandies or great-grandies but I still have the Myrtle Books……. I am a kid at heart, I think. Maybe I could read the stories to Jack. Does Bert like being read to?

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thanks, Pauline. I am looking forward to my brother’s visit, and perhaps a few outings into the countryside. Sadly, we won’t get as far as Dunedin. I love your city. 🙂

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Neil, for the tip of your hat. It will be appreciated. Recognition is important but I wish there were a way, as a society, to offer indie authors more financial recognition. Basic Income or writers grants? They work so hard for so little, most of the time.

      Reply
  21. Steve Schwartzman

    I’m happy for you, that you found an inspiring online community, and an international one at that. I would have commented an hour ago but I’ve spent the time perusing the blogs and books you highlighted here.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Unfortunately, I have no wildflower books to offer but I think you may like some of the vegan sweet treat recipes. Speaking of wildflowers/nature/ conservation, I have just referenced The Magic Garden on a Facebook post. I am sure I have mentioned the author to you ( or maybe Linda) before, Gene Stratton Porter https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Stratton-Porter . You may know her books and the films based on her books.

      Reply
      1. Steve Schwartzman

        Yes, I did look at some of those vegan recipes. It may have been Linda you mentioned Gene Stratton Porter to. A search for “Stratton” in my blog’s comments just now came up empty, although you could have mentioned her in a reply to a comment I left on your blog. Wikipedia reports that “Her novels have been translated into more than twenty languages… and at their peak in the 1910s attracted an estimated 50 million readers.” I suspect few people have heard of her today. Yesterday’s fame can be today’s oblivion. I’ll see if I can find any of her nature photographs.

        Reply
  22. KerryCan

    You’re always so generous to other bloggers, my friend! This is such a nice post and all the work sounds excellent and compelling. If you aren’t around WP much, I’ll miss you very much and look forward to your return. I hope all is well.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Aww, that’s kind of you to say so. I won’t disappear completely but I know I am going to be quite busy in February and March, and then again in May. There won’t be much of the type of quiet time I need to concentrate fully on blogs. All is well, though, and I have just had a lovely visit to family in Cairns.

      Reply
  23. Liz Gauffreau

    I was pleased to see your post this morning! Just last night, I’d gone to your blog to make sure I hadn’t missed any posts. I enjoyed reading your celebration of women’s courage, creativity, and grit.

    Reply
  24. Virginia Duran

    I wasn’t expecting this at all. Thanks for including me in a list of such talented women and your wonderful words, this post made my day. Waking up to this earlier was such a sweet morning treat 🙂
    Lots of love from London to you!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Just a thank you from me for making my day yesterday. 🙂 I am so happy this project of yours has come to fruition. So much hard work and dedication involved.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I am always so impressed by the creativity and excellence in our blogging community. It makes me realize how much each person contributes to making our world a better place. My world for example would be a lot poorer without your beautiful photos. 🙂

      Reply
      1. Leya

        I agree about everyones creativity! And we all contribute – there is something for everyone! I always wait for your reflections and flowers and Jack…and …Wishing you a lovely weekend!

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          A lovely weekend to you, too. I try to add a little loveliness to the world when I can. 🙂 Poor Jack is beginning to feel his age. He spends so much time sleeping these days, and his walks are mostly little rambles. He is in good spirits though.

        2. Leya

          How old is Jack? Totti is also sleeping more, but no problem for him to walk 10 kilometers and more. He will turn 11 this spring.

        3. Gallivanta Post author

          Jack will be 12 in April. He started to slow down towards the end of last year. May be he will pick up again. We all have our ups and downs as we get older. 🙂

        1. Gallivanta Post author

          And a lot more to sustain. 🙂 I doubt I could ever do what you do. I have trouble just dreaming up and executing ( sometimes by burning and over cooking) the meals for the day. 😀

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