Tag Archives: China

A Galaxy of Immortal Women: Chinese Women in Myth and Fact

Chinese Women and Goddesses, Stone Age to Today
Posted on April 3, 2015

My husband has two degrees in Chinese history and is writing a nine-volume novel set largely in China and San Francisco, and I have been a fan of Judge Dee for at least fifty years. So as you may expect, we have Chinese art in our house, a large floor to ceiling bookcase full of Chinese history, and a plastic crate holding all the Judge Dee books. We watch Chinese movies (especially when they star Gong Li, who can play a peasant or an empress equally convincingly). So when I was asked if I would accept a book about Chinese women’s history in return for my doing an honest and impartial review, I jumped at the chance and then ran as best one can on a walker, to tell my husband what was on the way.

I have just finished reading it, and am gobbling up the bibliography. Always read bibliographies; you never know what you can find there.

After reading A GALAXY OF IMMORTAL WOMEN: THE YIN SIDE OF CHINESE CIVILIZATION, I feel that I understand the Chinese mentality far more than I did before. It begins with archaeological discoveries that take Chinese culture back at least 12,000 years, when the last Ice Age was just ending and the sea level was rising. It goes through to the present day. It seems to me that the closer we get to the present, the worse the condition of women becomes. But part of that is because so much of very recent Chinese history has been monochrome.

I enjoyed this book very much. If you are interested in ancient history, or goddess worship, or women’s history, or Chinese history, or the entire human cosmos, I recommend you read this book. I have rarely learned so much from a book I enjoyed so much. Now I am going to go and put it on my husband’s desk for him to enjoy.

Life, the Universe, and Everything

Some friends of ours have just bought a house. It’s going to have to have a lot of work done on it, and they’ll be living there while they’re doing the work, but that’s okay because he’s the world’s greatest handyman and she is good at crafts, cleaning, and homeschooling their resident grandson. (He’s not quite four and can already write his name and address.) She’s an RN, and at one time worked in a pediatric intensive care burn unit. If she can handle that, she can definitely teach one healthy boy.

I bought her a new set of measuring cups to put in the kitchen. When we moved into this house I had never lived in any one house more than four years, and I was determined to end that. The first things I moved were my measuring cups and spoons. I put them on the wall by the sink, saying, “I will never again have to try to remember where I put the measuring spoons in THIS house, because we will live here the rest of my life.” So far it’s worked; we’ve been here twenty-four years, and when we remodeled the kitchen Manny carefully put the measuring  cups back in the same place they had been. I didn’t even have to tell him to. But then, one rarely has to tell Manny what to do. That’s part of what make him the world’s greatest handyman.

Anyhow, I told Teresa she needed to move the measuring cups and spoons FIRST so they would have the same result, and then a couple of days later I decided she should have a new set of measuring cups to move.

That house is an eyesore now, but two years from now it’ll be the best-looking house on the block. I know Manny and Teresa, and on top of their other skills, Teresa has a green thumb. Anything she or Manny puts in the ground grows like mad.

As for me, I manage to keep our house fairly clean, but that’s about it. I broke my back in May falling off a kitchen stool, and my back has been absolute agony ever since. I had new X-rays yesterday, and they disclosed that the break was as healed as it is going to get, but I have severe arthritis all over my back. So it isn’t going to get any better. Ducky, ducky, quack, quack. I am not a happy camper in that respect.

But otherwise I am a pretty happy camper. i have been doing book reviews, and that’s fun. Expect reviews of Black  Jaguar, Green Jade; Dancing with Autism (I have autism and so does my son and so did my father and his mother, so I know how difficult that attitude is to cultivate); Guardians Inc.: The Cypher; and This Honest Man within a few days. Also, Harlequin has changed its guidelines sufficiently that I might be able to sell to them some books they rejected some years ago, so I’m feeling good about that prospect. Also I have had my whole house clean at the same time for most of the last two months, and I’m making my own bread and yogurt. I’m not going to be able to resume gardening with my back in the state it’s in, so I guess I get to survive without gardening, but at least the yard is decently landscaped and Manny will keep it mowed. My husband, T, is now the main fiction writer of the household, which is good for his ego and will eventually be very good for our bank balance. Just wait till you get a look at his new series. I am not allowed to tell anything about it now, but it is very, very good work.

I just got through editing a book for a general, and he is delighted with the results, even though he has to do some more writing. On top of that, I found out yesterday that my favorite mystery writer (now that my friend Elizabeth Linington is dead and I’m not allowed to count myself) makes heavy use of a reference book I wrote.

So life is good for the most part. The grandchildren are beautiful and healthy; my son is on the verge of getting a job he very much wants; my daughter is soon to move back into her house that burned last year; and my brother has kicked China in the teeth by building the first American oil drilling rig built entirely in America in about the last twenty years. China has had a monopoly on them. Lee just broke their monopoly. He sent me pictures of the results yesterday. We have GOT to bring more manufacturing back to the US, and Lee is voting with his money and his brain. I’m very proud of him. I had wondered why he found it necessary to hire a full-time patent attorney last year. He’s a talented inventor, but what could keep a patent attorney busy full time? Well, now I know.

And that’s how it looks through the garden window this Saturday at 5:45 AM. I’m going back to bed.