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The rainbow; a lovely cheerful place from which to write. Rainbow colours are such a part of our lives. But where are the stories?

There are many philosophical associations with these colours but I chose the simple human needs and rights that yoga teaches. As I looked at them, these rights seemed to lend themselves to the struggles that women have faced over time but writing from that perspective would require a very broad brush to do them justice. So, I chose the single, if huge, struggle for women's suffrage. As I researched it I quickly felt in deep awe of the massive struggle this was. These women were warriors.

Each of the colours became a deepening part of this larger story. Each of the chapters is a story in its own right; but each looks at the movement from a slightly different perspective. They advance through time from 1905 to 1914. Almost all of the events described actually happened.

The colours are of course Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet.

Red represents freedom from persecution and therefore the story is about the need for physical safety. It begins in 1905 with a woman who escapes from domestic abuse, but finds abuse again in the early days of the active campaigning of the suffrage movement.

Orange relates to the need to use our individual creativity for a better good. In 1907 a young woman with no demands on her life style makes friends with a young working class woman who wants to accomplish great things in her life. Drawing them in, the suffrage movement develops at a very rapid rate for both of them.

Yellow represents the human need for wisdom and so this story looks at an individual's self-determination and belief in herself. A working class woman in a provincial town discovers a greater need where she lives and in 1908 takes dramatic action to meet it. The suffrage movement has given her impetus and confidence.

Green is the colour of nature and what is more natural than our need to give and receive love. The story looks at compassion and how we look after each other. Told from the point of view of women warders in Holloway we see the treatment and determination of the suffragettes held there in 1909 and the care and love they hold for each other.

Blue is about our need to express our beliefs. It looks at our abilities to communicate and express ourselves. Not all the women seeking the vote were suffragettes and here we meet a policeman's wife introduced to the suffragists. She sees how activist demonstrations are policed in 1910. It is not how she thinks it is.

Indigo is more introspective and is concerned with our need to know ourselves, our spirituality. It is the colour of infinity, intuition and perception. Here we see the events from the point of view of a civil servant at the House of Commons in 1911/12.

The last is violet which represents our need for peace and acceptance. The movement has become violent now and the word terrorism has been applied to it. The priest who witnesses it wants to understand what is happening and how it could have become so violent. But what is happening in 1914 is the beginning of the Great War.

I am proudest of this novella because, as a result of proof-reading them for me, a quiet friend of mine was moved to go to London to take part in a political rally for the first time in her life! Praise indeed!

Fiction & Literature
16 October
Wilma Hayes
Smashwords, Inc.

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