The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Mae Jemison

Mae Carol Jemison (b. 1956) became the first African American woman to travel into space when she went in to orbit on the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992. She has also done many other amazing things. She served in the Peace Corps, she holds nine honorary doctorates, is trained in dance and choreography, and is fluent in Russian, Japanese, and Swahili. The most nerdy among you might be interested to know that she has acted in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation!

There is much more to learn about this smart and adventurous woman. You can find out more about her HERE.

Mae Jemison Quotes

• The thing that I have done throughout my life is to do the best job that I can and to be me.

• Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.

• It is important for scientists to be aware of what our discoveries mean, socially and politically. It’s a noble goal that science should be apolitical, acultural, and asocial, but it can’t be, because it’s done by people who are all those things.

• Science is very important to me, but I also like to stress that you have to be well-rounded. One’s love for science doesn’t get rid of all the other areas. I truly feel someone interested in science is interested in understanding what’s going on in the world. That means you have to find out about social science, art, and politics.

• Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations…If you adopt their attitudes, then the possibility won’t exist because you’ll have already shut it out … You can hear other people’s wisdom, but you’ve got to re-evaluate the world for yourself.

There are times when I get an idea for notable quotable female and when I look her up, I am disappointed by a lot of what she has to say. But this week’s Quotable Nerdy Chick was easy because once I thought of highlighting Mae Jemison, I found that I liked everything I read about her!

To see a compiled list of Nerdy Chick Quotes (only one quote per chick) chick HERE.

The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Annie Lennox

So today I really wanted to select a female rocker to feature on the Quotable Nerdy Chick in honor of the release of SO YOU WANT TO BE A ROCK STAR by Audrey Vernick, and I discovered it was harder than I thought to find one whose quotes spoke to me. But I found one, probably because she was on my mind after hearing one of her songs on American Idol this week. And when I heard it sung by the contestant, all I could say to my husband was, “Why would ANYONE put themselves in the position of being compared to Annie Lennox?” So, in my search for female rocker quotes I ended up at Annie Lennox and I liked so much of what she had to say that it was hard to narrow it down to five quotes. But here are five of my favorites:

Annie Lennox Quotes

  •  Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world.


  •  Dying is easy, it’s living that scares me to death.


  • Music is an extraordinary vehicle for expressing emotion – very powerful emotions. That’s what draws millions of people towards it. And, um, I found myself always going for these darker places and – people identify with that.


  • When you’re that successful, things have a momentum, and at a certain point you can’t really tell whether you have created the momentum or it’s creating you.


  • The future hasn’t happened yet and the past is gone. So I think the only moment we have is right here and no, and I try to make the best of those moments, the moments that I’m in.

I’m going to try to take that last quote to heart. Living in the moment has always been hard for me, but it is often crucial to happiness.

Annie Lennox, who many of us knew as half of the Eurythmics, is the most recognized female artist of the Brit Awards.  She is also a humanitarian and social activist. Last year she received an  Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II for her humanitarian work.

If you want to know how to be a rock star, you can enter this giveaway for what is sure to become the Rock Star manual HERE.

Donna Farrell: Glasses Flaunting Web Designer!

This past summer, when my life was caving in on me a bit, I knew I needed a new website, but I couldn’t find the time to revamp mine. My friend Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen understood the pressure I was under, so she surprised me by researching web designers and calling me with Donna Farrell’s name. “Here’s who I found to do your website. Contact her.” I did. Donna did a great job with my site! Sudipta ended up getting her site redesigned by Donna too.  At this point, Donna has designed web sites for over twenty children’s authors and others.  She is also a wonderful illustrator. Thank you for joining us today Donna!

What is your favorite way to flaunt your brain power? 

I love to use my hands.  So anything I can fix, repair or create with my hands makes my noggin happiest.  From creating a visual world for a story from the tip of my pencil to taking apart the vacuum to figure out why it isn’t working, everything is a puzzle to me that I MUST solve.  I find natural curiosity leads to problem solving, letting your brain power shine through.

If you can take apart your vacuum and have the confidence you will fix it, you’re not only nerdy, you’re brave! Are there any social norms are you fond of flouting?

I’m really comfortable with who I am, so I don’t really worry about the norms, or what people will think. I focus on staying optimistic, running an honest business and treating others fairly. As a sole proprietor, I’m more concerned with my customer service and relationships then the bottom line, that’s about as against the norm as it gets.  Probably not the perfect business model, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

I love it when interviewees pick that flouting question! So how is brain power an asset to your career?

It has allowed me to be flexible and take opportunities as they come, in directions I might not have foreseen, embracing the changing landscape and carving out a niche for myself.  My creative path has been varied.  I hold a BFA in Graphic Design, but have also done hand painted furniture, murals and technical illustration. Currently I spread my time between my web design business, illustration work and freelancing as a graphic artist, this variety has been what has made me most happy.

What’s cool about being nerdy?

I get to wear glasses! I love different styles of frames the way others crush on shoes.  I figure if you have to wear them every day why not have fun with it!

I got my first pair of glasses this past summer. I like them too! Can you tell us about a well-known fictitious chick you admire and why you admire her?

Anne Shirley.  (aka Anne of Green Gables) L.M. Montgomery created such a great character with so many of the qualities that I admire. She is smart, imaginative, passionate and stubborn.  I love the notion of “kindred spirits”, that we can form alliances that run deep into your soul. Anne also struggled like most adolescents wishing she looked different, wishing for more wealth, only to find comfort in her own skin and the modesty of a simple life.

As a designer and an artist, how do the nerdy parts of your brain help out the artistic parts?I think what sets some of the really good designers apart, is their ability to work with a grid.  There needs to be some rhyme or reason to the placement and hierarchy of the text.  The grid is really a mathematical element.  Even with portraiture, there is math.  Eyes sit 1/2 way between top of head and chin etc.

Then you use your skills to try to make other people happy, a lot of them are authors! Since authors tend to be brainy folks, can you tell us what it is like to work on projects with so many people who have big ideas?

I have met very few in person and have only spoken by phone to about half.  I think because writers are comfortable communicating in text, it’s possible to pick up on their energy and personality through an exchange of emails. With each site I hope to create an online presence that is unique to them, their books and their writing.  Because I have studied the market of children’s publishing, attended SCBWI conferences and am in the trenches myself, my relationship with my clients isn’t all about design, but also advisor and comrade. Sure, at times I’m a little star struck, having the opportunity to collaborate with those whose work I have admired, and professional success I’ve envied.  I feel so much gratitude to be a part of the creative direction of their sites.

What’s something you like to do that might be considered a tad bit nerdy, but is actually really fun?

I love organizing.  All the labeling, sorting, compartmentalizing.  To take chaos, toss the reins around it and show it whose boss, now that is pretty powerful.  Evaluating and eliminating clutter, it’s like an episode of CSI for me.  It also has therapeutic benefits.  When my environment is unsettled and scattered, that’s how my brain feels.

Oof. I hate organizing. I only wish I thought it was fun! I think my life would be a lot better if I had your attitude toward de-cluttering. Oh well. If you could give your middle school or high school self one piece of advice, what would it be?

“Adolescence is when girls experience social pressure

Books Donna illustrated for Target.

to put aside their authentic selves and to display

only a small portion of their gifts.”

-Mary Pipher

To that I say:

You are original and uniquely you.

Be authentic.

Let all your gifts shine.

Very nicely said! To find out more about Donna and to see a snapshot of many of her sites, visit her WEBSITE!      

You can also find Donna on Twitter and Pinterest

I’m so glad to have been in touch with this particular Nerdy Chick! Her mad web skills made my life so much easier this summer. Thanks Donna. 

First Post Ever: Why Nerdy Chicks?

Hi! My name is Kami Kinard and I am a nerdy chick.  I am also a children’s writer. And a mom. And the creator of this blog. I am thankful for the long line of nerdy chicks who preceded me!  Some of these include:

Susan B. Anthony

Without her wit and determination, I probably wouldn’t be allowed to author this blog!  Susan B. Anthony flouted social norms in the biggest way!

Madame Curie

A fascinating and brilliant woman who coined the term radioactivity and who used her scientific discoveries to improve the human condition. During WWI, for example, she set up a mobile x-ray station to help doctors treat wounded soldiers. Ever heard of  the Bookmobile? Think of this vehicle as The X-Ray mobile! Thank you, Marie Curie, for flaunting your brain power!  (Actually, I have to say that in what I’ve read about Madame Curie, it seems like she was pretty humble about her brain power, but I’m thankful that she didn’t mind using it!)
Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart

 Amelia Earhart is proof that smart girls can also be amazing adventurers!


When I was gathering information for this blog, I was surprised by how few women appeared on lists of intelligent people! I’m here to advocate for those amazing nerdy chicks whose songs have not yet been sung.  Every Monday here I’ll interview one of them. Then on Wednesdays, you’ll hear from me. On Friday’s we’ll highlight an activity or event that other nerdy chicks enjoy. It is not always easy to be smart and to make decisions that stand out from the pack.  If you’re a nerdy chick, you’ll find out here that you’re not alone!


Do you know someone who has accomplished something worthy by flaunting her brain power or by flouting social norms?  Please suggest them for a Nerdy Chick interview. You can do so by leaving a comment, or by sending me an email: kamikinard AT juno DOT com.  Nerdy Chicks Rule is hosting a huge giveaway starting on January 15.  Anyone who suggests an interviewee (even if we aren’t able to work her in) will be entered to win. What’s the huge giveaway? Check back on January 15!