Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Characters I am Thankful For

Tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the US so of course I had to come up with a list of things I'm thankful for. Instead of the usual list of my clients, my BookEnds team or all of the blog readers, writers and editors who make me better at my job (see how I slipped that in) I thought I'd put together a list of characters who helped shape the me I am today.

Like anyone in the publishing business I spent most of my childhood with my nose in a book. I went to bed reading, falling asleep with the light on, and spent Saturday mornings curled up under a blanket reading a book from beginning to end. I'd actually hide in the corner so my parents wouldn't notice me and force me to go outside. During those years there were so many characters who shaped me and who I wanted to be like, characters who refuse to leave my head and in many ways have become my role models. People (because that's how I think of them) I still think of today.

Anne Shirley, that tenacious, spunky redhead who wanted to be a writer. I loved Anne of Green Gables and really, really wanted to be her. Well, honestly, I think I wanted to be all of these characters. Anne always said what she believed and despite so many obstacles that would make many sad, Anne was optimistic and confident. She was also determined and wanted to be a writer. Who wouldn't be inspired by that?

Jo March, if you read this blog you'll see Jo's name (or at least Little Women) come up again and again. In some weird way I feel like Jo is a good friend, someone I haven't seen in a while and miss dearly. Jo, like Anne, was spunky, tenacious, brave and determined to be the woman she wanted to be and not the woman everyone thought she should be. It broke my heart when Jo said no to Laurie, but part of me cheered her on. It was a shocking bit of bravery for anyone who dreamed of romance (which I did).

Betsy. I know Betsy has a last name, but I swear I have no idea what it is. Betsy was very similar to Anne and Jo. She wanted to be a writer, she spoke her mind and she stood up for what she believed. Betsy also had a thrilling imagination that often got her and her best friend Tacy, and later Tib, in loads of trouble. It reminded me a lot of me and my own best friend growing up. In the end though Betsy excelled and achieved her dreams. If you're unfamiliar with the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace please check it out.

Meg Murry is a little different from my other characters. Meg didn't want to be a writer, she wanted, if I remember correctly, to be a scientist. At least that's what her parents were in A Wrinkle in Time. Meg was one of the bravest characters I have ever known and everything she did she did for the love of her family. She was an adventurer, an explorer and such a cool nerd. Who wouldn't want to be Meg?

I'd love to hear who you're thankful for.

--jhf




9 comments:

1000th.monkey said...

Pippi Longstocking :) I read those books over and over so many times the covers are in tatters.

Kaye George said...

I loved the Boxcar Children and The Five Little Peppers. I thought their lives were so different and adventurous. They spurred me to start writing my own adventures.

Victoria said...

Trixie Belden! She was spunky and smart, and had adventures and solved mysteries!

Cindy Marcus said...

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. You quite literally nailed all the girls of my childhood who influenced my life and made me grateful for who I was. Except Betsy. This is a name I don't know. And I am excited to meet her.

AJ Blythe said...

Definitely Anne Shirley (I still reread the series 30 years after reading it the first time) for all the reasons you've already said.

Pollyanna. I still try and 'play the game'.

Non-fiction: James Herriott and Gerald Durrell. Memorable for me because thanks to them I'm now an Environmental Scientist.

Melodye said...

Who doesn't love Nancy Drew, Jo Marsh, Pippi Longstocking, and Harriet the Spy? But if I were to choose just one character (with the caveat that I could change my mind tomorrow), I’d choose Francie Nolan, the protagonist in A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN.

The least-favored child in a family of poor immigrants, Francie faces seemingly endless adversity on her way to adulthood. I like that she makes the best of her current circumstances and that she eventually crafts a better life for herself.

Joy is available to all of us; Francie instinctively knows how to find and nurture it. Here, a story of triumph that's rooted in determination, hard work, and no small measure of grace.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I had a favorite table I'd hide under to get to stay in the house and read. One of my first best book friends was Heidi. Then I met Jo. Oh, and Laura, though I felt more of a bond with quiet Mary.

Ah, yes, it was good growing up a reading recluse. It might save me from skin cancer!

Beth Havey@Boomer Highway said...

Thanks for the great memories. I read all the books in the Betsy-Tacy series, Louisa May Alcott books and many of Anne of Green Gables series. I also read the Maida Books, so I am really aging myself or maybe I could read at the age of 2?

BookEnds, LLC said...

Thanks for all of the great comments. You've reminded me of some of the greats that I missed.