Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Empowering girls; the right to remain anonymous

It’s been a busy week, so I haven’t posted since last Friday. But, I’ve been working hard, and managed to do some writing for children. I’m quite happy with the output. I also have a lot to talk about today.


I’ve finally worked out what was wrong with my retelling of “The legend of Tselane and the giant ogre.”

Girls are portrayed as an endangered specicies that need to locked up for protection and rescued when the first measure fails. That’s not the message I want to pass to our kids, so I’m making a number of plot changes, making Tselane a more empowered character.

The “captive with a knife” plot twist has been done to death, so never fear, I won’t stoop to making Tselane peel potatoes for supper a few minutes before Dingwe arrives. Too convenient a solution.

Speaking of empowered girls – tomorrowis mobile operator Cell C’s designated “TAKE A GIRL CHILD TO WORK” day. What are your plans to help empower your daughter/niece/sister? If you can’t take a girl child to work on that day, what else can you do?


Colleague: Why do you call your daughter Baby? What’s her real name?

Damaria: XYZ [A combination of consonanats and vowels making up an African name]

Colleague (looks blank for a moment, then laughs): Hmm. Baby’s a really good name!

It’s true enough her name is difficult to pronounce, as some of South Africa’s languages don’t have the combination of consonents her name has. But the major reason I don’t disclose her name is to protect her privacy. I choose to be a journalist and to blog about aspects of our lives.

She is not old enough to consent to it. And until she does, she will remain anonymous to most people outside our social circle. For the same reason, I don’t post her pictures on the blog.


Some time ago, I mentioned that a blog visitor emailed me, just to say how much she enjoyed the blog. I learnt she was nominated for the same award I was. (probably how she stumbled on my blog)

Anyway, I liked the article she was nominated for so much I suggested she pitch for freelance work with my employer. Turns out they were looking for someone more permanent. She started working with us this week. Isn’t that amazing?

Also, while doing some vanity searches ( yes sometimes I do a Google search of my name to see where my business articles wind up), I came across Home Alone - Diary of a dark alley.

The blogger, called lalasini, said he/she was reading my work. “Cool stories, and not only for children.”

That kind of endorsement is inspiring, especially because he/she is a complete stranger. Thank you lasini.


- Please visit the SCBWI Gauteng’s blog to read about the “meet the editor” event.
This report is more detailed than my initial post, and will be very useful for writers looking to crack the children’s book market.

- South African writers and illustrators looking for work, and willing/able to do newspaper work should also read this blog post by The Times editor.

He’s not advertising a writing/illustration job, but a smart writer would watch that space very closely.

- There’s been a lot of media coverage about the dangers social networking sites accessed through cellphones. Patricia De Lille’s comments on the phenomenon and on blogging made for some interesting reading.

So I polished up my proposal for “A parents’ guide to protecting children from harmful mobile content” and sent out to a number of publishers. Clearly the issue is becoming more relevant as social networking media and the use of mobile content is becoming increasingly relevant for our society.

I sent out two other book proposals (from my ideas file) – it was time I actually started shopping the book ideas around rather than letting molder in my computer files. I also sent out one children’s story out to a publisher. We’ll see how that turns out.

No comments:

Copyright Notice

With the exception of entries specifically credited to individual authors, the content on this blog is copyrighted by Damaria Senne and may not be reprinted without permission.