The Leading Lady's Year

One woman's quest to become the heroine of her own life


St. Louis, Missouri, USA
December 31
SheBasilisk is a writer, history nut, artist, aspiring florist, and recovering theater geek from Saint Louis, Missouri. Her past work has appeared in, The Collinsville Herald, The Granite City Press-Record, The Madison County Record, LegalNewsline, The Northwest Herald, The Kane County Chronicle, The Galesburg Register-Mail, The DeKalb Daily Chronicle, the St. Louis Beacon, and other publications. She is currently working becoming "the leading lady" of her own life.


"Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living," Mother Jones, labor leader

As a teenager, I made a friend take a detour so I could become a pilgrim.

We'd been tooling around south-central Illinois ostensibly on a college visit day trip. As we headed back forRead full post »

"Suffrage is a common right of citizenship. Women have the right of suffrage. Logically, it cannot be escaped." Victoria Woodhull, feminist, newspaper publisher and first woman to run for president of the United States.

Women in the United States have had the right to vote less than century.… Read full post »

APRIL 17, 2013 2:37PM

Madam Milo: Love your hair

"Hair brings one's self-image into focus; it is vanity's proving ground. Hair is terribly personal, a tangle of mysterious prejudices," Shana Alexander, first female staff writer and columnist for Life magazine

It hasn't been a good hair week. In fact, it hasn't been a great hair life.

It's… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 6, 2013 3:35PM

Margaret Cho: Be frank

"These days, I strive to be a bitch, because not being one sucks. Not being a bitch means not having your voice heard. Not being a bitch means you agree with all the bullshit. Not being a bitch means you don’t appreciate all the other bitches who have come before you.Read full post »

JANUARY 21, 2013 5:48PM

Brownie Wise: Organization is key

"If we build the people, they’ll build the business." Brownie Wise, vice president of Tupperware and innovator behind the "Tupperware Party."

Despite appearances, I'm not an organized person. It's a great deception I've built throughout my life - first as the model student, then as the… Read full post »

JANUARY 14, 2013 9:57AM

Makpal Abdrazakova: Let fly

"Because I am a girl, many people ask me whether it is difficult for me to practice this, and I got used to such questions," Makpal Abdrazakova, first female eagle hunter in Kazakhstan


There are a whole host of things I could - and have- blamed for a certain… Read full post »

JANUARY 10, 2013 1:02PM

Jovita Idar: Write and do

"Working women know their rights and proudly rise to face the struggle. The hour of their degradation is past. Women are no longer servants but rather the equals of men, companions to the," Jovita Idar, Member of the La Cruz Blanca and Mexican-American journalist

I've spent… Read full post »

"I knew that up there on the biggest and fluffiest cloud stood a Fairy Castle and that one day I would find a magic potion as did Alice in her Wonderland. I would be made small enough to visit my dream castle and see the story-book people whoRead full post »

"Perhaps your greatest blessings, too, will come later. Sometimes strange twists of Fate give you your heart’s desire long after you have given up hope," King Peggielene Bartels, ruler of Otuam, Ghana 

King Peggielene Bartels of Otuam, Ghana 

At the time I heard Peggielene Bartels speak, I'd have been grateful… Read full post »

"Iris, in the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason you are behaving like the best friend," Arthur Abbott, The Holiday 

There's a lot of comfort to be had in the darkness back stage. That's why… Read full post »

I can't decide whether I should just call it as a blogger or attempt to make some kind of go of it.

So far, I have made very little progress in making such a decision. 

Then again, this year I've made very little progress at anything but raising my blood… Read full post »

Shawna has a Tiger's eyes and an infatuation of anything Hello!Kitty.

She is capricious. Canny. Ever-changing.

This child has one of the most beautiful smiles I have ever seen.

One moment she will happily tell you about how she beat down another girl at school because she was "disrespectin… Read full post »

(Coughing to cue my fellow readers to stopping yapping over coffee . . .)

Hello. My name is Amelia.

And I'm a romance novel addict.

(Response, "Hi, Amelia.)

That wasn't so hard.

This next part is going to be more difficult.

As that celebration of coupled love - Valentine's Day - approaches,… Read full post »

Moog Moog the Space Barber and The Weaving of a Dream are both nestled on my book shelf today along with The Divine Comedy and The Widow Killer.

I am just under 26 years old.

I graduated cum laude from one of those venerable liberal arts schools that pride… Read full post »

Robert Burns had it right.

The best laid plans after all . . .

But, rather than bore anyone reading with why it’s taken me months to update the “Year of Reading Dangerously,” I will just scurry on through.

After all, nobody needs a meditation on how our best intended plans… Read full post »

(Cue lazy plucking of the banjo in the humid air while bullfrogs croak and a distant steamboat's bell clangs.)We could be lazin' along, you and me, with Jim and Huck and reckonin' and spittin' and chewin' and wavin' to them there riverboats as we read ourselves a book of Huck's adventures byRead full post »

So, a question was born in my mind today. I have to thank the thoughtful posters at Salon's Broadsheet, for playing stork. My question-baby is related to the great post, "The Dictionary: Too hot for fourth grade?"

Posted earlier today (and by that I mean several hours earlier from where IRead full post »

JANUARY 4, 2010 1:12PM

Battling in a "Chocolate War"

Good idea: Try to complete National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO) in November. And get holiday things done.

Bad idea: Try to complete NANOWRIMO in November when involved in an intensive Year of Reading Dangerously.

I apologize for my long absence. Trying to read a serious book after banging out thr… Read full post »

So, "A Year of Reading Dangerously," comes to what I consider the first weighty tome. (Had realized over the weekend I forgot a lede ... bad newspaper reporter, bad!)

This is a chunky thick book. It took me so long to read because I suffer from Good-writing-overloadis. You laugh.… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 26, 2009 1:04PM

"Two Mommies,"an egg and a sperm,am I a prude or just queasy

At long last, I'm back!

I know, I know. I'm slacking. To keep the explanation of my lack of posts short, here's what's been happening in my life to date: busy work days, helping my father with set construction for a high school play, cleaning my apartment, packing for a trip… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 6, 2009 9:26PM

When "Daddy's Roommate" isn't just a "roommate."

I had planned to start this review off in a completely different manner. But, like the Tom Bombadil character in the Lord of the Rings, I decided not to pursue that tangent.

Add to that I feel incredibly guilty for not blogging (blame it on a pinched neck nerve, dog-sitting… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 29, 2009 12:49AM

Goblins and Ghosts and ... Stories, Oh My?

It was a dark and stormy night ... okay, so it's only a dark and kind of windy night in St. Louis as I, rather than pondering weak and weary, write and muse powered by caffeine.

Welcome to the first review of A Year of Reading Dangerously!

The first book… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 28, 2009 12:53PM

A Year of Reading Dangerously!

It has finally arrived!

Welcome to 'A Year of Reading Dangerously!'

With the arrival of Banned Books Week 2009 on Sept. 26, my year of reading as many or all of the most banned and challenged books of 1990 to 1999 plus those most challenged in this current decade has begun.… Read full post »

My excitement grows. "A Year of Reading Dangerously," draws ever nearer. I'm taking notes and getting my thoughts in a row for what I hope will be a year of broadening my mind. Who knows what the future will hold?

With that in mind, I want to take you all on… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 20, 2009 11:25PM

What's wrong with the "Philharmonic"

As Banned Books Week draws ever nigh, I wanted to take time out from getting ready for the launch of "A Year of Reading Dangerously," to take a look at Karla Kuskin's The Philharmonic Gets Dressed.

As anyone (I hope there is an "anyone") who has been following the prelude to… Read full post »