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Review & Giveaway: Creatrix Rising by Stephanie Raffelock

By Stephanie Raffelock
Categories: Nonfiction / Self Help Memoir
Publisher: She Writes Press
Pub Date: August 24, 2021
Pages:176 Pages
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From the author of the award-winning book A Delightful Little Book on Aging comes a new self-help memoir Creatrix Rising: Unlocking the Power of Midlife Women. In her new book, Stephanie Raffelock liberates mold-defying midlife women, tired of the oft-inaccurate characterization of the “old crone,” to amplify the resounding strength within.

Ever since Eve was banned from the garden, women have endured the oftentimes painful and inaccurate definitions foisted upon them by the patriarchy. Maiden, mother, and crone, representing the three stages assigned to a woman’s life cycle, have been the limiting categories of both ancient and modern (neo-pagan) mythology. And one label in particular rankles: crone. The word conjures a wizened hag—useless for the most part, marginalized by appearance and ability.

None of us has ever truly fit the old-crone image, and for today’s midlife women, a new archetype is being birthed: the Creatrix.

In Creatrix Rising, Raffelock lays out—through personal stories and essays—the highlights of the past fifty years, in which women have gone from a quiet strength to a resounding voice. She invites us along on her own transformational journey by providing probing questions for reflection so that we can flesh out and bring to life this new archetype within ourselves. If what the Dalai Lama has predicted—that women will save the world—proves true, then the Creatrix will for certain be out front, leading the pack.


“The perfect topic at the perfect time, Stephanie Raffelock’s self-help memoir, Creatrix Rising, identifies a new archetype, the Creatrix, that transcends the old archetype of Crone. Her stories and insights about how far women have come is nothing short of inspirational. A must-read for any woman who wants to embrace the strength and creativity of midlife.” -Marci Shimoff, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Happy for No Reason and Chicken Soup for the Women’s Soul

“Poetic and philosophical, Creatrix Rising will inspire readers to claim the courage and confidence that already lives inside of them. An intimate story of transformation, of journeying through life on your own terms without apology.”
Richard Blanco, 2013 Presidential Inaugural Poet and author of How to Love a Country

“The new archetype Stephanie Raffelock assigns to midlife women underscores the assets and wisdom older women bring to our culture and to the greater good. Creatrix Rising is an affirmation and celebration of the feminine story taking place in leadership and creativity throughout our country.”
Gabby Reese, volleyball legend, Nike’s first female spokeswoman, and New York Times best-selling author
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To be completely honest, I have no idea where to begin when describing the effect that Creatrix Rising by Stephanie Raffelock has had on me. I can tell you that my initial thoughts were: (1) pretty cover, clearly a book on female empowerment; (2) Creatrix – that’s a cool word; and (3) Unlocking the Power of Midlife Women – I’m almost to midlife, so let’s do this!

I’m going to say some things that seem completely contradictory, but I hope that you will stay with me. This book was everything that I expected from it yet so much more at the same time. I figured that this book would be written from the perspective of an older and wiser woman with the aim to motivate middle-aged women to fulfill their hidden potential. I was curious about this potential, so I dived in looking for these answers. What I found was something different and, dare I say, better.

It could be a coincidence, but I think that the universe has been working in mysterious ways for me lately. Today, my brother told me about a Harvard study which stated that females pass down mitochondria to only their female offspring. Which prompted my mother to add that people who claim to be Jewish are only really Jewish if their mother is. So, of course, I had to add a really cool genetic nesting doll idea that I came across years ago about how since females have all of the eggs that they will ever have in their lifetime in their bodies, then I was already inside of my very first female ancestor however many years ago that was.

You’re probably thinking, “Cool, but what does that have to do with anything?” Raffelock talks about how she has “felt her ancestors walking with her, whispering to her.” She is “not the only woman who feels connected to the spiritual DNA of her ancestors, the ancient women who sang ancient songs.” I truly believe that it is this science and spirituality that makes women special and something to truly celebrate. So yes, Raffelock is a mature woman who likes to motivate women, but that is not the only thing she does in this book.

She shares stories that demonstrate different struggles that women face, whether during the 1930s or the current Coronavirus pandemic, and leaves us with the inspiration to find the answers or solutions for ourselves, using the path of those before us as a guide, but not necessarily as a turn-by-turn map. She encourages connection, especially with other women, but she subscribes to the notion that there are sometimes people who come into your life for a reason or a season. So do not despair over what you think you may have lost, whether that is some object, a person, or even some former version of yourself.

Creatrix Rising is a call to action, for women to set aside the idea that even though your reproductive years are behind you, that doesn’t mean that you can’t create. As a soon-to-be-divorced woman on the cusp of midlife, I am inspired to take my destiny in my own hands and find the path to my creative calling. For such a short book, there is so much ground covered and really great questions and writing prompts at the end of each chapter that can help you sort through your thoughts and goals.

If you are a woman who struggles with some obstacle in your life, whether it’s a job or relationship issue, a deep-seated insecurity, or a general feeling of not knowing what to do next; I think that this book can shed some light on various paths that you might consider exploring. Even if it means just meandering a different path in your mind before committing to making new moves. That’s sort of the point of sharing experiences with other people, and both accepting and giving the gift of experience by living vicariously through each other.

I am really surprised that this book was written and published during the pandemic. It is very well thought out and the prose is beautiful like poetry. Not to mention, the whole package is pristine: from the beautiful cover art, to the nicely constructed hardcover, to the impeccable editing. While obviously timely, I think that this book is also timeless. It has earned a permanent spot on my bookshelf and will be referenced at various intervals in my life. Not to mention, I will definitely share it with other women as well.

Stephanie Raffelock is the author of Creatrix Rising, Unlocking the Power of Midlife Women, (She Writes Press – August, 2021). She also penned the award winning book, A Delightful Little Book on Aging.

A graduate of Naropa University’s program in Writing and Poetics, Stephanie was a contributor to The Rogue Valley Messenger in Oregon. She has blogged for Nexus Magazine, Omaha Lifestyles, Care2.com, as well as SixtyandMe.com.

A former i-Heart Radio host, she is now a popular guest on podcasts, where she inspires women to embrace the strength and passion of their personal story. Stephanie continues to build her speaker’s resume by giving presentations for groups like The Ashland Literary Arts Festival, Breaking the Glass, WINS at Charles Schwab and Southern Oregon University, Friends of the Hannon Library. Her commitment to uplift women extends to teaching personal development classes for incarcerated women and non-profits, including Dress for Success, Austin.

A recent transplant to Austin, Texas Stephanie enjoys an active life with her husband, Dean, and their Labrador retriever, Mickey Mantel Raffelock.

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Promo & Giveaway: A Delightful Little Book on Aging by Stephanie Raffelock

Stephanie Raffelock

Genre: Inspirational / Spiritual / Essays / Self-Help
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication Date: April 28, 2020
Number of Pages: 119 pages

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All around us, older women flourish in industry, entertainment, and politics. Do they know something that we don’t, or are we all just trying to figure it out? For so many of us, our hearts and minds still feel that we are twenty-something young women who can take on the world. But in our bodies, the flexibility and strength that were once taken for granted are far from how we remember them. Every day we have to rise above the creaky joints and achy knees to earn the opportunity of moving through the world with a modicum of grace. 

Yet we do rise, because it’s a privilege to grow old, and every single day is a gift. Peter Pan’s mantra was, “Never grow up”; our collective mantra should be, “Never stop growing.” This collection of user-friendly stories, essays, and philosophies invites readers to celebrate whatever age they are with a sense of joy and purpose and with a spirit of gratitude.

PRAISE for A Delightful Little Book on Aging:

“Where are the elders? The wise women, the crones, the guardians of truth here to gently, lovingly, and playfully guide us towards the fulfillment of our collective destiny? It turns out that they are right here, in our midst, and Stephanie Raffelock is showcasing the reclamation of aging as a moment of becoming, no longer a dreaded withering into insignificance. A Delightful Little Book on Aging lays down new and beautiful tracks for the journey into our richest, deepest, and wildest years.” – Kelly Brogan, MD, author of the New York Times bestseller A Mind of Your Own
“A helpful, uplifting work for readers handling the challenges of growing older.” – Kirkus Reviews
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The Dominant Gene and the Gracious Ladies
of the Ranch Readers Book Club
Guest Post by Stephanie Raffelock

A friend who will share dessert with you is the very best kind of friend.

For most of my adult life I have been a carrot-juice-swilling, veggie-chomping, sugar-eschewing fitness buff. I’ve made good choices. I value health. I stood strong and somewhat smugly in the light of that truth. And then I moved to Texas.

Texas women are belles. That means they are beautiful, elegant, smart, and gracious—all in one package. I’ve never met women like them anywhere. And they all have a certain gene. The more Texan they are, the more dominant the gene. The gene causes a cross between mothering, welcoming, sisterhood, and baking. Oh my God, the baking!

Early on in my new Austin life, I was invited into a book group. I’ve been in groups before. Writing groups, book groups, bang-on-a-drum women’s groups. But nothing in my past could have prepared me for the change that this group would thrust upon me with its room full of belles all seeking expression for their dominant gene.

I’m talking about Texas hospitality. I was warmly welcomed into a sisterhood that conducts its book group in a way that would put Martha Stewart to shame. And they make it look easy. First, a light dinner is served. It’s perfect. Everything is arranged in an inviting way, and even though the food is being dished out as guests arrive, the kitchen remains mysteriously clean and sparkly.

Only after the meal is consumed and wine is poured is there talk of the book, but the talk is not an afterthought. The conversations are smart and emotionally intelligent. The women are savvy and sensitively honest, relating themes from the book to their own lives, quick to praise the author’s efforts and equally quick to point out where the story let them down. Getting to know women from my new community through the discussion of books is about as good as it gets.

Once the book has been discussed, that genetic snip raises itself up, and the hostess brings out dessert.

Please keep in mind my earlier statement about “sugar-eschewing.” The first time dessert was served at a meeting, I wanted to be polite, and so I took a little bite. There are no store-bought desserts in this group. The gene to which I refer causes these women to concoct an alchemical decadence of creamy, sweet, tart, crunchy luxury with powdered sugar sprinkled on top. Like a siren calling to the mariner, I am moved to another bite, as I try making deals with myself: “Okay, just one more bite, and that’s all.” Ha!

And then came the second book group. Dessert was brought out—some kind of made-from-scratch layered cake with a Swiss buttercream frosting—and my mouth began to water. Are you kidding me? Who bakes like this? I knew I was hooked when I began to moan. “Oh, God. Ohhhhhh. Oh, this is so good. So good. Yes, yes, yes.” I’ll have what she’s having takes on a new meaning.

We have no control over the events in our life, only our attitudes. So here’s my attitude: “Bring it on!”

My life is changing before my eyes. I think about building a shrine to Paula Deen on my front porch. I dream of the ingredients these women keep in their cupboards. I fantasize about being in their kitchens and licking out the remains of chocolate, vanilla, and raspberry cream from stacks of bowls.

Last night, I wanted to throw myself into a tray of banana pudding, so I can’t really be held responsible for what escaped my lips as I finished the last bite of pudding. In front of these warm, kind, gracious ladies, the words just wouldn’t stay in my head and without my knowing it, escaped into the space. “This is so fucking good,” I moaned, unaware that I had pierced the veil between thought and Did I just say that?

But no one judged. They laughed, so I don’t think I’ve been thrown out of the group for bad behavior just yet. I am not a belle, more like a street urchin who has probably been exposed to one too many Fitbits and too much kale.

I’ll get in my ten thousand steps today. I’ll prepare vegetables and protein for dinner. I’ll drink a protein smoothie for breakfast . . . with fiber. I know that for the next month, if I have dessert at all, it will be fresh berries with coconut milk and a little Stevia. Then next month, it will happen again. I’ll go to the book group. I’ll adore all those wonderful women. I’ll participate in the smart book discussion, and when dessert is served, I’ll greedily take my portion, and hope that I can behave.

My life is different now. My design on the pure and healthy diet has met its match. The sweet taste of homemade dessert served up on a bed of Southern graciousness is too difficult for me to resist. The truth is that I want to fill a bathtub with their chocolate torts, vanilla cakes, and banana puddings, inserting myself naked into the center of it. This is probably an indication that I need serious therapy.

Or maybe just that I love living in Texas.


Stephanie Raffelock is the author of A Delightful Little Book on Aging  (She Writes Press, April 2020). A graduate of Naropa University’s program in Writing and Poetics, she has penned articles for numerous publications, including the Aspen Times, the Rogue Valley Messenger, Nexus Magazine, Omaha Lifestyles, Care2.com, and SixtyandMe.com. Stephanie is part of the positive-aging movement, which encourages viewing age as a beautiful and noble passage, the fruition of years that birth wisdom and deep gratitude for all of life.  She’s a recent transplant to Austin, Texas, where she enjoys life with her husband, Dean, and their Labrador retriever, Jeter (yes, named after the great Yankee shortstop). 

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TWO WINNERS: Signed hardcover copy of A Delightful Little Book on Aging + a set of 50 pocket inspirations
ONE WINNER: A set of 50 pocket inspirations
JULY 7-19, 2020

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