Thursday, July 05, 2007,3:13 PM
Eight Random Things

As I continue to post silly personal things...

So Mike tagged me in the 8 Random Things About Me Meme. I think he did it with malicious glee since he hates the things. The official rules for this one are -

The rules of getting tagged are simple. If you get tagged…

* Post eight random facts about yourself.
* Tag eight other bloggers (hopefully those who haven’t been tagged before).
* Post these rules.

I always feel really stupid trying to think of eight (or seven or five) facts about myself. So I tried to think up a theme to play along with. I toyed with the idea of crazy stuff that has happened to me in foreign places (mugged in Naples, car stolen in Barcelona, certain incidents with tequila in Cancun), but there weren't quite enough to make eight (that I am willing to share). I already did the seven books I'm reading now one and a list of my favorite books would just be too hard. But I like the book theme. So I'm going to go with the "Eight Female Fictional Characters that I have Most Wanted to Be." Okay, I'm sure that it says something weird about my personality and that I have serious issues that I want to be like characters in books, but I do it anyway (and not all of these are from when I was a kid!). I never wanted to be the typical choices either. All my friends when I was a kid went around pretending to be Princess Leia, Anne of Green Gables, or Madonna (yes it was the 80's), but I chose lesser known characters to emulate. (I probably would have wanted to be like Anne of Green Gables, but I think I was too much like her to begin with...)

So here my list of really cool female characters I aspired to be -

1. Betsy. There are two types of women in the world. Those who grew up loving the Betsy/Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace and those who have never heard of them. I would check these books out of the library over and over again during my childhood (they have since been reprinted so I have my own copies now). Set in pre-WW1 Minnesota, they tell the story of a girl, Betsy, as she grows up and sees her world expand into the modern era. She is outgoing and loves to write. Her experiences as a teenager, falling in love, and traveling abroad shaped my conceptions of life. Part of me truly thought that high school would hold dances where one filled out dance cards and selected who one danced the waltz with. Or that hanging out with friends for entertainment involved reading Shakespeare, writing stories, and singing around a piano. I think I was most shocked by traveling to Europe when I was 12 and realizing that it was a modern as the USA. Not that I really expected different, but the descriptions I had come to know through reading Betsy and the Great World were ingrained in my mind. I loved Betsy because she was a writer - my dream as a child. She also had no limits. She was encouraged to live life fully - to pursue her dreams, to travel, to follow her heart. I wanted to grow up and be like her.

2. Meg from A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. Another go to again and again book from my childhood. Meg was smart, but not in the way that fit the system. I always did exactly what was expected of me and did it well. I wanted to do more than that - to be creatively intelligent and find myself on adventures. Meg wasn't a fearless hero, but she never gave up and did things out of a love for her family.

3. Aerin from The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley. The quirky misfit princess who trains herself to become a dragonslayer and saved her Kingdom. Although most of my Christian friends have issues with her because of the way her relations play out in the book, I still love her for her courage. She didn't fit the expectations of a princess and never gave up trying to discover who she really was. I love that she broke the mold and took on the most dangerous tasks because she was the only one who could.

4. Vicki Austin from Madeleine L'Engles' Austin Family books, especially A Ring of Endless Light. So yes, the books about her are total coming of age, discovering oneself, and falling in love books. I so wanted to be Vicki when I was in 5th grade. She was a more normal person than the others on this list, but she got to hang out with family and friends that sat around discussing literature and philosophy. She also got to help do scientific observations of dolphins (this was my I want to be a marine biologist so I can swim with dolphins phase - 5th grade remember...). I wanted a life like hers - full of neat experiences and good conversations.

5. Mara Jade from the Star Wars Expanded Universe created by master Star Wars writer Timothy Zahn. So she is just an awesome, super sexy, totally independent, Jedi Master (who ends up marrying Luke Skywalker). The part of me that wants to be a kick-butt I'm going to save the world type of girl loves Mara Jade (same reason I love Sydney Bristow, but I'm sticking to books here). She's fun and the exact opposite of my conflict avoiding pacifist nature. But then again if you know me only as Mara Jade from The Ooze, the description sorta fits.

6. Eowyn from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Another kickbutt girl who is determined to fight for what she believes in. I love her passion even as I understand her uncertainty in who she is as a person (even though I hate the way Tolkien resolved her character in the end - he CANNOT write women). I share her fears of life becoming "A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire." She appeals to the part of me that wants to make a difference in this world.

7. Liadan from Son of the Shadows Book 2 of The Sevenwaters Trilogy by Juliet Marillier. This book is a retelling of the Tam Lin tale - a Scottish poem where the damsel rescues the prince. I love most Tan Lin based novels, but mix in Celtic healing lore and ancient tribal factions, and this becomes more than just a feminist love story. The pagany side of me enjoys stories of wise women who are attuned to the earth and the natural power of plants. I like the idea of that sort of connection and would enjoy having that sort of knowledge.

8. Phedre from Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy series. Um. If you've read the books, you may understand. If you haven't, I really don't want to explain.

Update - The picture is me as Eowyn back in 2003

As for tagging. I'll leave it open. It you want to be tagged (for 8 Random Things or 8 Characters that you Want To Be...), consider yourself tagged. Just let me know if you decide to continue the meme.

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posted by Julie at 3:13 PM ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 7/06/2007 08:38:00 AM, Blogger Mrs. M

    YES YES YES to Vicky Austin!!! I read A Ring of Endless Light for the first time a few weeks ago, it was the first L'Engle book I've ever read. (I've read 3 since...)

  • At 7/12/2007 08:39:00 AM, Blogger PrincessMax

    I love it! I'm right there with you on 1 and 2. I'll never be able to capture how disillusioned I was about adolescence by Betsy as well as you have. I built a little chair in the crotch of a tree in our yard with a cigar box to hold my stuff to be more like Betsy! I also thought parties might involve peeling apples in one piece and trying to figure out which initial the peel formed when it fell, so that we would guess who our future husbands might be. Ha!

    Long live female protagonists with mousy brown hair. You go girl! Relegate the blonde and the redhead to sidekick status! Woohoo!

    If you haven't read any Tamora Piece, go out and find any of her quartets. Alanna, the Lioness, always tops my list of fictional characters that I've always wanted to be.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • At 7/12/2007 09:08:00 PM, Blogger Julie

    ah yes, the apple thing... all that stuff just sounded like so much fun.

    I've always meant to read Tamora Pierce, but haven't (yet) for some reason. I went through a kick of reading young adult fantasy novels when I was in grad school (don't ask), but I guess they didn't have her at the library.

  • At 7/26/2007 12:45:00 PM, Anonymous Scooter

    OK, I'm a guy can't say that Tolkien can't right women, and also say that you aspired to be Eowyn.

    On another note, I loved Eowyn long before I knew why or even what love is.


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