Fearless Girl is a bronze sculpture by Kristen Visbal, commissioned by State Street Global Advisors via McCann New York. She was installed in March 2017. The statue depicts a girl facing the Charging Bull, or Wall Street bull as he is otherwise known. With hands on hips and feet planted firmly on the ground, Fearless Girl portrays bravery in the face of adversity. The sculpture was installed in anticipation of International Women’s Day. Since her installation, Fearless Girl has caused quite a stir with locals and tourists. You can find Fearless Girl and the Charging Bull in front of the NY stock market exchange.

I have not personally visited Fearless Girl but next time I get back to New York to visit family I will make it my business to snap a photo. But ever since I saw a photo of the statue, I can’t stop thinking about this brave girl. So I started a children’s picture book. You will notice how I slipped my profession into the story, seamlessly, I hope. 


            FEARLESS GIRL (a picture book in process)

            Feet planted firmly on the ground, chin held high, chest forward, hands behind her back, clenched in tight fists, Luiza was unmovable. With her fierce stance and flaming brown eyes, she was unbreachable.

            Not today, her body screamed.

            Louder it yelled. You will not charge at me. For today, it is me who is in charge.

            Then Luiza woke up covered in sweat. Blankets and sheets all in a tumble.

            “Fighting the bull again?” asked her mother as she shook out her daughter’s comforter.

            “He didn’t get me. I was too brave for him,” said Luiza, a nine-year old fourth grader.

            “Such a sweet dream,” said her mother.

            Luiza followed her mother into the kitchen where she was met by her sister and father, who were sitting at the table eating eggs rancheros.

            “If you only practiced more, your dreams would come true,” said Rosa, her older sister as she sprinkled salt onto slices of avocados.

            “I, I, I c-c-c can’t help it,’ said Luiza. “as soon as I wake up, the b-b bull grabs me by my t-t-t tongue.”

            “Then don’t let him do it,” said Papa. He sipped a large cup of black coffee.

            “Her speech therapist said she’s been using her smooth speech strategies in speech class,” said her mother.

            Luiza paced around the kitchen, opening drawers and closet doors. Her father took notice of her agitation.  “I think it’s time we showed her  how to take the bull by the horns,” he said.



That’s all for now. Perhaps you’ll find a finished version one day. Or maybe you want to write your own story. Either way, I hope you continue to read more about the way women can become empowered. One statue at a time!









The first statue that got into my blood and rendered me anemic was Joan of Arc. I was 17 at the time and visiting France with an International Studies Program. My mother had convinced me that I was named after Joan of Arc. She said Joan’s real name was Jeanne, as that was the traditional French spelling.  When I was a child and loved all things French like Madeline and Jean Marie books, French words like ohh la la and anything Parisian, my mother told me that when Joan was 14 years old, she led a revolution. Although I wondered about the “voices that spoke to her” and the “burned at the stake” business, I succumbed to the lure of Joan of Arc. She was a goddess and I was honored to have such a formidable namesake. Even though I read everything I could get my hands on, I wanted more. I wanted something that rang true.

            I went to Europe as my right of passage high school trip. Orleans, a fantastic small French city, was our host for four of the ten weeks. Joan of Arc and Orleans have a reciprocal relationship. The residents adore her and she showers them with riches, mostly in the form of tourism. The first time I laid eyes on the monument, situated in a large square in the middle of the city, I was gob smacked. Joan of Arc was a child! How could I have missed that critical piece of information? There was no way a teenager could became a legendary soldier, responsible for the 14th century freedom march. Was there? 

Sad to say, I left France with a nagging suspicion that there was much more to Joan of Arc’s story. But life got in the way, and I pushed her aside and dug into creating my own saga. Now that I’m retired and life has replaced my “have to do” list with a “want to do” list, I find Joan of Arc rising up in my in-box.


            There are a few ways I can go with this project: write a non-fiction chapter book for middle schoolers; create a picture book for younger kids or compose an essay for a literary magazine. But the question about how Joan, at age 14, sparked a revolution, still haunts me. But as I think about high school kids of today, perhaps we already have young people tooting a revolutionary horn. There is Greta Thunberg making noise about environmentalism and the Parkland survivors sounding the gun control alarm.

            Statues immortalize women who have made a difference. Without monuments, Joan of Arc would be flat and one-dimensional. Instead, she is a person of interest, one who has survived for centuries, chiseled in stone or etched in bronze, waiting for the future to uncover her.

            Check back in a few months. See if I’ve made any progress with the excavation process.

Overlooking the Missouri River, near Interstate 90, sits Dignity, a 50-foot other-worldly statue erected by South Dakota artist Dale Lamphere. Erected in 2016, Dignity is composed of stainless steel with pivoting blue diamonds that illuminate the night skies. The sculpture honors the culture of the Lakota and Dakota peoples, especially indigenous women, while representing honesty, generosity and bravery. Dignity (of Earth and Sky) is an enduring tribute to the inter-relationship between earth, sky, and people who share a belief that humanity is sacred.

            Tall and stately with the beauty and strength of a warrior princes, Dignity holds a star guilt behind her back. Star quilts were usually given as part of the ceremonial life and are used to signal respect and admiration. Only those that are highly revered are bestowed with a star quilt. Men typically receive the honor, yet here stands Dignity, her head held high, proudly displaying her star.



The second statue that piqued my interest was that of Waving Girl, a chiseled monument carved in the likeness of Florence Martus, a local woman who stood on the banks of Savannah for 44 years waving at passing ships. The statue, erected by the sculptor Felix de Weldon and commissioned by the Propeller Club of Savannah, sits in Morrell Park in the historic district of downtown Savannah. The massive sculpture dwarfs passerbys as they meander along the waterfront. Florence’s statue is waving a white flag and she is accompanied by her pet collie. I’m not sure if it was her close proximity to the hotel I was staying at or the mere fact that everywhere I turned something else about Florence would turn up – a ferry named in her honor; a huge official marker memorializing her located in the parking lot of Fort Pulaski; or  the numerous ghost stories that portrayed her as the real deal—but the statue wore at me

Truth is, the statue did much more than wear me down, it followed me home and nipped at my heels. Florence’s story about how she was waiting for the return of her boyfriend had so many holes in it, I found myself wanting to plug them. They were as annoying as the deep crevice’s the mole left on my front lawn. Surely the whole world can see the empty spaces. Who was Florence waiting for and why didn’t they ever return?  I did some research, thinking I could find a plausible explanation that would satisfy my wild imagination. But instead, I inhabited the story. Florence’s story became my obsession and I couldn’t rest until I had fleshed her out and unpacked her story. Feel free to read a short story that I wrote which was published in the Broadkill Review in their Nov. Dec. 2018 issue (see link). “The Waving Girl” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. But I didn’t stop there, I turned the short story into a novel. “Waving Girl’s Last Stand’ is an unpublished braided novel; part ghost story, part historical fiction and part romance. All it needs now is an agent or editor to take it to publication.

            As soon as “Waving Girl” is press-ready, I will use this blog to launch her into the literary world.