The Women of Hidden Figures

I’m a HUGE fan of Hidden Figures.

dorothy-vaughanDorothy Vaughan was one of the first African-American woman supervisors at NASA and helped advance the careers of Katherine Johnson and Mary Jackson. Once non-human computers were introduced, Vaughan trained herself to become one of the first computer programmers, becoming proficient in early computer languages like FORTRAN.

Mary Jacksonmary-jackson

Jackson began her career at NASA in 1951 as a research mathematician, then went on to become an aerospace engineer. After 34 years in technology at NASA, she decided to take a pay cut and become an equal opportunity specialist, directing her energies to opening doors in STEM to all.




Katherine Johnsonkatherine-johnson

Johnson completed high school at age 14 and graduated summa cum laude with degrees in math and French at 18 after taking every math course offered by West Virginia State College — including some created especially for her. Her deep expertise in geometry enabled her to calculate complex launch trajectories and flight paths for numerous NASA missions.

Black history month:Harriet Tubman

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup
A Mighty GirlLike Page

22 hrs · 

This rare photo of the famous abolitionist Harriet Tubman was taken in 1911, two years before her death at the age of 91. While Harriet Tubman is nearly a household name, many people are surprised to learn that in addition to her famous work as a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, she also played a key role in the American Civil War by working with Union forces for over two years. When the war broke out, Tubman saw a Union victory as a key element to ensuring the abolition of slavery throughout America. She joined the Union forces and urged their officers to see escaped slaves not as “contraband” — seized by the Northern forces and put to work without pay — but as people who could aid their cause. 

Tubman offered her expertise to the Union cause, starting as a nurse in Port Royal, South Carolina, and then working as a scout and spy, using the skills she had developed while smuggling people out of the South to smuggle information instead. She even became the first woman to lead an armed assault in the Civil War, by commanding the Combahee River raid that freed over 700 slaves in South Carolina. After the successful raid, newspapers praised her Tubman’s “patriotism, sagacity, energy, [and] ability.” Following the war, she became a strong supporter of the fight for women’s rights. She often gave speeches on women’s right to vote and worked alongside such figures as Suffrage Movement leader Susan B. Anthony. When asked how she could take on so many dangerous missions over the years, Tubman famously replied, “I can’t die but once.”

To introduce children to Harriet Tubman’s incredible life story, we highly recommend “Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom” for ages 5 to 8 ( and “Who Was Harriet Tubman” for ages 7 to 11 (

Harriet Tubman’s Civil War contributions are also recounted in the excellent book about 16 women who made a mark during the war: “Courageous Women of the Civil War” for ages 12 and up at

For adults who would like to read more about Tubman’s life and contributions, there are two excellent biographies “Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom” ( and “Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman” (

You can also find more books for young readers and a coloring book in our “Harriet Tubman Collection” at

For hundreds of books about trailblazing women role models from throughout history, visit our “Role Model” biography section at


Love kicks ass

Sold an essay today. Feel really good about it.

Guess what I wrote about?


You know why? The world is fucking crazy and hateful right now and my greatest strength is to write about my life and the people I love- my friends and family.

I’ll write about how I make mistakes. I’ll write about wanting more. I’ll write about missing. I’ll write about remembering. I’ll write about hope.

My goal is to write shorter pieces and get them out into the world while I wait to hear back from agents on my book. 

If you’re nervous that I’ll write about you- I just may.


Jan 21

Happy New Year.

I’ve been sick since Christmas. Can’t seem to shake this but no matter that my doctor gave me antibiotics and a seriously strong cough medicine. This illness is slowing my roll and my creativity.

I’m in the waiting phase of querying. I wish I could reach out to the awesome agents who have DEAR DEAD DRUNK GIRL and say, “My birthday is coming up in a few weeks. You know what I’d love? For you to love my book and offer me a contract.”

But alas, that can’t happen.

So I’ll wait and continue to dream like this:

I swallowed a whole straw.

I pulled a cross between a pinch bug and a scorpion out of my eye. 3x. They were 6 inches long and mean.

My husband cheated on me and I had to sell my house to afford living on my own.

Anxiety much?

to counteract my neurosis I’ve started writing long hand. I have a few essays bouncing around and the next YA story percolating in my imagination.

Hope your new year is a good one.



The end of year good stuff list

2016 was erratic, challenging and awesome. Since I’m an optimist, I’m going to talk about some of the awesome. Perhaps optimism will scare away some of the craptacular bits and they’ll never return.

I made friends. Real good, make me smile, and excited to see them friends. Writing and creative friends. Got an agent and published friends. Picked me for her team friend. If you need some Twitter happiness follow them:

MonicaKristin, & Kimberly

I got published enough that I’m going to have to pay taxes on my income!,, and GLITTERBOMB. My work was reviewed, was liked, was shared and went viral. Heck, the freaking Daily Mail ran a crazy piece making it look as if they interviewed me. picked up my xoJane piece and ran it 5 months after it went live (I later found out Time Magazine owns xoJane)

I thought I finished writing my young adult novel DEAR DEAD DRUNK GIRL. Then I revised it 3 more times. 8 agents asked for it. And now I’m waiting, fingers crossed, prayers said, one  will love my work so much they’ll represent me and my future work by the end of the year. (a girl can dream can’t she?)

DEAR DEAD DRUNK GIRL was picked to be in two Twitter contests.

I made more friends during those contests. I feel as if my community expanded and I’m grateful for it. Because, after spending years, days, weeks, and hours alone typing on my computer it feels so good to have human contact and not just talk to the voices in my head.

I’m healing from surgery and I’m no longer in pain.

I opened an intuitive healing business. I have an office, insurance and it’s crazy cool, too.

So even if 2016 had bat-shit crazy, painful days and events. I’m wishing us all courage to face the new year and fight for our dreams.





Kristin Smith Book Giveaway!

Want to win a book? follow the link below to win debut author Kristin Smith’s CATALYST. Are you a writer? Want a sneak peak into her writing world? Scroll down and dive into her creative space.

Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box (Intl winner would get eBook prizes)

Paste this code in your post’s HTML to share the grand prize giveaway – ends Dec 1st:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Book & Author Details:
by Kristin Smith
(The Deception Game, #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: November 21st 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

Too pretty.
Too smart.
Too perfect.

In a crumbling, futuristic Las Vegas where the wealthy choose the characteristics of their children like ordering off a drive-thru menu, seventeen-year-old Sienna Preston doesn’t fit in. As a normal girl surrounded by genetically modified teenagers, all of her imperfections are on display. But after the death of her father, everything she’s ever known and loved changes in an instant.

With little skills to help provide for her family, Sienna clings to the two things that come easily—lying and stealing. But not all thief-for-hire assignments go as planned. When a covert exchange of a stolen computer chip is intercepted, she becomes entangled with a corrupt government official who uses her thieving past as leverage, her mother as collateral, and the genetically modified poster boy she’s falling for as bait.

In order to rescue her mother, there may only be one option—joining forces with the Fringe, an extremist group, and their young leader who’s  too hot to be bad. Problem is, these revolutionaries aren’t what they seem, and the secrets they’re hiding could be more dangerous than Sienna  is prepared for. In the end, she must be willing to risk everything to save the one thing that matters most.

Catalyst is a thrilling adventure of danger, romance, intrigue, and deception.


Kristin Smith writes young adult contemporary and science fiction novels. When she’s not writing, you can find her dreaming about the beach, beating her boys at Just Dance, or belting out karaoke (from the comfort of her own home). Kristin currently resides in the middle-of-nowhere North Carolina with her husband and five incredibly loud but extremely cute boys. To read more about her obsession with YA novels or her addiction to chocolate, you can visit her at

Author links:

Guest Post by Kristin Smith: An Inside Look at My Writing Space

My writing space has evolved over time, much to the relief of my back and wrists. I used to write here:

But now I write here:

I’m a sucker for all things girly, sparkly, and pretty, so when I was designing my space, I knew I wanted it to reflect who I am and what I’m about. I love inspirational quotes and sayings and since this writing thing has always been a dream of mine, I figured focusing on the “dream” aspect would be a good thing. Plus, the arrow decor is a hot item right now, and I’m a big fan! Obviously.

You can’t have a writing space without a sturdy desk and a comfy chair, and I think I found the best for my budget.

And a writing desk isn’t complete without a little chocolate pick-me-up for those long writing sessions.

And a writing session isn’t complete without a cup of herbal tea or hot chocolate for those chilly winter days.

My Make it Happen board keeps me focused on what I need to get done that week and reminds me of my daily goals.

Oh, and can’t forget about the perfectly placed copies of my book that inspire me every time I sit down to write. Hello, beauties!

Well, that’s my writing space in a nutshell. Where do you write?


My desk is not tranquil like yours, or ever that neat. This is my imagination spread out on my tiny desk. To the left are printed copies of my book with hand written notes, above it are previsouly printed versions. There are envelopes of my comic book GLITTERBOMB. Above that are my remaining journals. they go back as far as elementary school, and I fight with myself about throwing them away because sometimes when I read them I am embarassed about the girl I was.

There are photos of people I love and a laminated book I wrote in 3rd grade. Behind my screen are prayers, and printed out quotes from Kurt Vonnegut, Cheryl Strayed and Rumi.  I’ve got my breakfast- a yogurt and my coffee to my right are bills and inspirational ideas and emotional charts. I have Star Trek and Dr. Who Funko figurines and one baby Groot everywhere in the bookcase. There are mason jars of sea shells and sculptures of things my girl made when she was in pre-school. One shelf is dedicated to books that inspire me to write.

What does your desk look like?

It’s really easy for me to say 2016 sucked.

It’s really easy for me to say 2016 sucked. I went through physical pain, emotional trauma, had a hysterectomy, coped with family illness and during the past year, especially the last few weeks, our country’s emotional outcry is doing a job on my nervous system and is overwhelming my empathic gifts.

But I am an optimist. And I don’t let the hard things, the things that have frightened and disappointed me define me.

2016 is the year my essays found an audience. I received positive reviews. I’ve gone viral. I’ve been interviewed. I discovered the world of comic books. I revised my YA 2x times and two handfuls of agents have it. Two different contests selected my work. I made new friends. I healed from surgery. I opened my intuitive-healing office and have seen my gifts have a positive impact on others. My friends got agents and books published. 

The only single person who has control over my life is me. My choices, my perspectives, how I conduct myself, and contribute to my world.

Don’t give your power away. Don’t let fear paint your rose-colored glasses gray. Be nice. Like attracts like. Feel how you feel then use it as a tool for positive change.

My hope for you, if you’re still reading this, is you take the remaining 6 weeks of the year and do something that makes a positive change in your life. I’ve stepped away from social media for the most part- I’ve got a deadline for my book and people to love. 

Glitterbomb #3 reviews are in

Glitterbomb3A-585x900-webGlitterbomb3B-585x900-webGlitterbomb #3 arrived in stores last week. What did reviewers think of it? Read on and find out…

• Newsarama: 10/10 “The body horror might be the hook, but the most resonant idea is that the industry itself is a living nightmare for many.”

• Adventures In Poor Taste: 8.5/10 “Glitterbomb continues to be intriguing as it captures the horror of Hollywood and the ‘monster inside you’ story well.”

• Nerdy Chatterbox: 5/5 “It does a great job of depicting the seedy underbelly of Hollywood…”

• Retcon Punch“Glitterbomb isn’t holding my hand and allows me questions while telling a surprisingly snug, paced narrative.”

• Reading With a Flight Ring“There’s an undeniable presence about this book that draws you in and leaves you with a desire to want more.”

Newsarama Reviews my Work


Newsarama’s review of GLITTERBOMB. glitterbomb_3_cover

Best Shots Review: GLITTERBOMB #3 Reveals ‘The Truth of Hollywood Is The Scariest Thing of All’ (10/10)

Months ago Jim Zub reached out to me via Twitter to be part of his comic book team and every day since has been amazing. He is talented, fair, and enjoyable to work for. The team’s creativity is top notch. I consider myself lucky to be part of GLITTERBOMB.

GLITTERBOMB continues to receive positive reviews and I’m amazed.

And when I read that people are connecting to my essays, well, it fills my heart with joy and gladness.

Matthew Sibley said this about my work:

Holly Raychelle Hughes’ essays close out each issue and prove how accurate Glitterbomb is. They recollect the themes seeded in the pages of the comic into cautionary tales about Hollywood and the people. Here she succinctly sums up the thesis of the issue – that the ones who hang others out to dry do it instinctively and show no remorse about doing so, even after years of it having the opportunity to plague on their consciences because they’ll happily do it again.

I don’t believe these essays shouldn’t be defined as back matter, because that implies they’re only for the most dedicated of readers, nor do I consider it correct to label them as supplementary material because for the same reason. Instead they should be treated as required reading because not only are they poignant, but they ground the horror. The body horror might be the hook, but the most resonant idea is that the industry itself is a living nightmare for many. Without these essays, Zub, Hughes, Morissette-Phan, Marshall and Dillon wouldn’t be able to reinforce that there’s a truth to this book, and that’s the scariest thing of all.

Please go to your local comic book store and check out GLITTERBOMB. It’s where Hollywood horror bleeds into reality.

Can’t wait for you all to read #4!




Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑