Make Like Dorothy: BOAW BlogFest Wrap Up

Dorothy: Oh, will you help me? Can you help me?
Glinda: You don’t need to be helped any longer. You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.
Dorothy: I have?
Scarecrow: Then why didn’t you tell her before?
Glinda: Because she wouldn’t have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.

This scene from Wizard of Oz that seems dandy to many of us as kids, grows profound with maturity. In fact, the entire story has been picked apart, analyzed and celebrated by philosophers, psychologists, grad students and celebrities alike due to its powerful themes and messages. And does it ever suit the Beauty of a Woman BlogFest.

While the BOAW stories are as unique and varied as their authors, every participant shares an attribute with Dorothy: You’re all beautiful.

Why Dorothy is Beautiful (And You Are, Too)

1. Even in the face of horrendous storms, she dreams BIG and lets her dreams carry into a magical world.

2. She chooses to embark upon a journey through the unknown.

3. In times of duress, fearing “lions and tigers and bears—oh my!,” she sings, dances and moves on. Even her sassy red heels can’t keep her stoic. 😉

4. She sees past the differences in others, befriending everyone from a man made of tin to multi-colored munchkins.

5. She’s kind to animals. (Some philosophers have theorized that Toto represents her intuition.)

6. As that “little voice” within grows louder, she listens to it, investigates and responds.

7. She brave enough to confront witches and an overbearing man hidden behind loudspeakers.

8. As she moves closer to her destination, she and little Toto are captured. But she never stops hoping or searching. No matter what.

9. Against many odds, she’s the heroine of her own life. (When Frank Baum’s novel first came out in 1900, female heroines were unheard of.)

10. Dorothy discovers that her power lies within; it has been all along. As she learns this, her world fills with color. She awakens, having bid farewell to the “old her,” and shares her newfound brightness with others. (Sound familiar??? It should… ;))

When my instincts suggested I share my personal story then invite others to celebrate real beauty, my internal naysayer-voice whispered, “Are you sure you want to? Do you even know what you’re doing?” There were reasons behind my inclinations, I figured; whether I knew the specifics or not didn’t matter. So with perspiring palms, I typed forward. And lordy, have y’all ever made it worthwhile. More than that, you created something incredible.

While I’m still learning to listen to and trust my inner voice, your responses and support are affirmations that I’m on the right path. THANK YOU for sharing of yourself and inspiring so many—me included.

The more we hone in on our instincts, the stronger they become, turning coarse, dusty bricks into gold. The naysayers become the creepy dude/dudette behind the curtain. And the proper path becomes a no-brainer.

May we all ‘make like Dorothy’ and know that all the beauty, growth and confidence we seek lies within. Once we access it, even our wildest dreams become practical.

Now…on with the prizes!
Based on this morning’s name drawing, I’m thrilled to announce the following recipients!

Signed copy of Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone from Coleen Patrick
Winner: Audrey Kalman

Enrollments to Simply Creating Fictional Characters, a 2-month creative writing class instructed by Sharon K. Owen
Winners: BoJo Photo, Kristine Parker, David (FiveReflections), Jessica O’Neal & Nadja gift card ($15) & 1 – Starbucks gift card ($10) from Kara Flathouse
Winners:—Sulthana; Starbucks—Diane Capri

Week of Animal Training via Email from Serena Dracis
Winner: Karen McFarland

Hard or E-Copy of The Golden Sky from EC Stilson
Winner: Katie (Oracular Spectacular)

Enlightening Stories Tele-class/E-course: Discover the Power of Writing from Julie Jordan Scott
Winner: Sheila Seabrook

10-Page Critique from best-selling author/social media guru, Kristen Lamb.
Winner: Debra Eve

E-book copies of The Bridge Club, from author, Patricia Sands
Winner: Julie Jordan Scott

BOAW mugs filled with whole grain blueberry brownies
Winners: Marcy Kennedy & Susie Lindau

Body image coaching session via Skype or phone with Karen R. Koenig
Winner: Sharon Howard

Kindle Touch (or $99 gift card)
Winner: Lynn Kelley

What Dorothy-like quality do you possess? Which do you admire? What aspect of the Beauty of a Woman BlogFest surprised, touched or thrilled you most? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. 🙂

Leave a comment


  1. Yum! Thank you so much once again for hosting August! What a great group of women.
    As far as Dorothy’s traits, I would have to say I am really good at clicking my heels together while seeing past all of my friends differences, ever hoping for success as I bravely embark on new adventures….

  2. You did a wonderful thing with your BOAW promotion, August. I love seeing women (actually, men too) recognize what they already have inside of themselves.

  3. What an amazing celebration of women and beauty. I think the thing that touched me most was reading everyone’s deeply personal experience with beauty. It moved me, comforted me, and inspired me….
    I love when you wrote:
    May we all ‘make like Dorothy’ and know that all the beauty, growth and confidence we seek lies within. Once we access it, even our wildest dreams become practical.
    That says it all – everything we seek likes within us. It’s about recognizes that, believing in ourselves, and letting that beauty shines from within….
    I treasure you and everything you are bringing to our blogosphere….true beauty! Positive, uplifting and inspiring!! Thank YOU!!

  4. I’m still reading everyone’s posts, but have enjoyed them so much. I’m so happy I was included in this. Thank you.

    “6. As that “little voice” within grows louder, she listens to it, investigates and responds.”

    This was my favorite line in today’s post. Looking forward to reading more posts in the future.

    Thank you, again.

  5. Catherine Johnson

     /  February 13, 2012

    All of that about Dorothy is fascinating August and I loved your blogfest, it was so much fun. I promise to be more spontaneous and join in next time 🙂

  6. Viva la Dorothy and her heroine’s journey. Thanks for the reminder. Congratulations to all your winners as well.



  7. This has been an incredible experience August. I have marked many of the posts to reread when i need inspiration and reminding. Thanks so much.

  8. Coleen Patrick

     /  February 13, 2012

    August, I love what you wrote about honing our instincts! This was an awesome blog fest—thanks for your inspiration and hard work. 🙂

  9. Very original and creative post, August!
    You are a “writer’s writer”!

  10. Thanks for the inspiration, August, and the from-the-heart words of wisdom. Something I enjoyed the most about the BlogFest was that each post was so unique, reflecting some facet of the person who wrote it. We can all take strength and courage from your truth quest, I think. 🙂 And though Dorothy’s never been a favorite of mine, I do believe in her essential message, the one she had inside her all along: “There’s no place like home.”

  11. I’m very glad you hosted this August. I haven’t made my way through the entire list, but the ones I read were touching. Thanks for making a home for all these lovely stories.

  12. Kourtney Heintz

     /  February 13, 2012

    August congrats on hosting a super successful and inspiring blogfest. And congrats to all the winners of the prizes. 🙂

    Just knowing that I wasn’t alone was such a blessing. Negative thoughts about my self image sometimes clutter my head but I resist saying them, fearing it will make them real. Like they’ll stick. But while reading all these blogs I learned it’s okay to have them but not to let them rule me. I should rule me.

    In terms of the Dorothy trait I have, I tend to want change, but long for what was only after it’s gone.

    • Sometimes when we share our insecurities out loud, we realize how weightless they are. And keeping them inside can deepen them. I’m so touched to hear that you felt less alone as a result of the blog-fest. That’s a huge reward for all of us. 🙂

  13. This was a fabulous blogfest, August. I enjoyed reading many many posts.
    Congratulations to all of the winners!

  14. I went through a period in my life that brought to some very scary places in my mind…the weird thing is that the Wizard of Oz was something I kept talking about and referring to while I was “crazy”..
    There is no doubt that Mr. L. Frank Baum (the writer) had a message he was trying to bring out through the art of writing.

    • I absolutely agree with you. It’s amazing how certain films and other works strike us particularly when we’re struggling. I hope in your case, Wizard of Oz brought some peace or relief.

      Have you seen Dream of Oz? It’s a made-for-TV movie about Baum’s life. I’m not sure how factual it is, but it’s a great watch regardless.

  15. Wonderful insights, August!

  16. Thank you for organizing all of this August! What a truly wonderful job you did! It came together beautifully! No pun intended. Like Dorothy, I think we have done an excellent job and looking past the differences and celebrating the diversity in each and all of us. Congratulations to all the lucky winners!

  17. August, I believe it’s fair to say we are all so thankful to you for inspiring so many of us to join in your BOAW BlogFest. What a joyful experience! I’ll be saving all of those posts to take time to visit again and again.
    “10. Dorothy discovers that her power lies within.” It seems to me that everyone who participated in the Blogfest can relate to that!

  18. I didn’t find you and this wonderful Blogfest until after the deadline, but I followed and read many posts that truly touched me.

    I admire the candor and beautiful, emotive introspection in your story.

    I haven’t yet done that with mine. As a recovering alcoholic, I connected with many of the “isms” and insidious lies the disease whispers to me.

    SO much brighter to be on this side of that nightmare. I remember that daily through gratitude, celebration, and meditation.

    The stories I read in these posts were prize enough for me.

  19. BoJo Photo

     /  February 13, 2012

    Amazing gifts for so many!

    Great thoughts on Dorothy. I love the movie!

    It has been said that there is nothing to be feared but fear itself!

    Fear hides beauty? Surely could.

    There are great creatives in many forms and you take creative writing to another level. Great job!

  20. OMG! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I WON? I can’t believe I won the Kindle? I’m picking my jaw off the floor. Pinch me and tell me I read that right! How awesome! Thank you, thank you, thank you, August! My heart is racing, I’m so stunned!

    I was reading all the winners and recognizing so many of their names and jazzed that they won such cool prizes. Yep, I’m still floored, but I’ll stop blabbing. I think I’ll be smiling in my sleep tonight. WOO HOO! Let me settle myself down here. Get a grip…

    Okay, before I read that I won – did I really read that right? I’ve had to re-read it three times now! Anyways, I was going to say that I love the Wizard of Oz and every time I walk through my front door, that famous line, “There’s no place like home” comes back to me. Well, I think that your BOAW blogfest has kind of helped each of us realize that accepting ourselves the way we are, realizing the beauty that lies within can shine on the outside, and we can feel at home in our own bodies, feel comfortable and confident. There’s nothing like feeling relaxed and at peace and at home in our own skin. There’s no place like home!

    I still have lots more posts to read and will keep reading until I’ve read them all.

    Thanks again for everything, August!

  21. You know, I’ve never thought of Dorothy as a badass, but she really is! Beautiful perspective, August. As was your BOAW blogfest. The stories everyone shared were inspiring and what I took away from it was that none of us is alone in our hopes/fears/dreams. Thank you again for putting this together.

  22. I haven’t read all of the posts for the blogfest yet but have enjoyed those I’ve been able to get to so far. What a nice thing for you to do, August! I’d have to choose the first quality listed because…you know I’ve always been a dreamer. Sorry, as soon as I thought it, a favorite song by the Eagles popped right into my head and I had to say it. 🙂

  23. Hi August! I hope you didn’t mind me stepping in and congratulating Lynn. She and her husband have been through soo much that I am so happy for her.

    Thank you again for sharing your experience and organizing a fantastic group of writers. As you know I was held captive last week by a bunch of hooligans, aka family and I am just now making my way through all the posts. I do not want to miss any of them. They are all fantastic. Great Job!!! 🙂

    Oh, and thank you for my gift. I heard from Serena last night. Unfortunately I do not have a dog. I would love for you to forward my gift to someone who does okay? 🙂

    • Of course not, Karen. Lovely of you to share congrats with Lynn! I’m so glad that you’ve been enjoying the stories. Definitely feel free to pass the dog-training gift on to a pooch owner. Knowing you, I bet you’ll get as much or more joy from sharing it. 🙂

  24. EllieAnn

     /  February 14, 2012

    Yay! Congrats Lynn on the new Kindle.=)
    Great post. Those are wonderful qualities about Dorothy. My favorite quality she possessed was compassion–she wanted to help her friends get what they needed.

  25. You are an amazingly brave and warm woman, August. I enjoyed your post today, as I always enjoy them. Your words are filled with wisdom and grace, as are you. I’m so glad I met you and can call you “friend”. 🙂

  26. Debra Eve

     /  February 14, 2012

    I won too! Wow, I’m so thrilled. A critique with Kristen Lamb. Now I have no excuse to put my fiction on the back burner. Thanks, August.

  27. That’s totally me!!! I LOVE Dorothy! What a great post 🙂

    Thanks again for an amazing Blogfest experience 😉 It took my blogging to a whole new level, thanks to you. 🙂 Never thought I’d reveal so much but oh, how liberating it is. Can’t wait for the next one!

  28. Nicely wrapped up, August. What a smashing success with the BOAW. You can never go wrong with a WoO tie-in, either.

  29. No kidding, I watched this just a few days ago! The movie is one of entertainment’s crowning achievements made possible by the beautiful Judy Garland. I get something different from the movie every time I watch it, and “Over the Rainbow” is THE best song from a movie, period. I identify with the Lion… and to this day I’m still trying to be “King of the Foreessttt!!”

  30. Just beautiful and timely for me. Thank you

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