Jan. 3rd, 2017

kiki_eng: two bats investigating plants against the night sky (Default)
In your own space, share a book/song/movie/tv show/fanwork/etc that changed your life. Something that impacted on your consciousness in a way that left its mark on your soul. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it.

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

This book basically ate my brain when I read it as a kid and I became thoroughly obsessed with it. It consumed me, basically, in a good way - it sparked a lot of creativity and some of my early independent writing had its roots in that book's style, sensibilities, and humour.

Looking back on it, I think one of the greatest gifts it gave me was its characters, especially Morwen.

Cimorene showed me that I could have my own adventures, they didn't have to look like anyone else's, and I didn't have to fit in at home to be happy; I could find my own place. That was a really valuable thing to have, and to have pre-puberty, I think.

Morwen, though, was who I wanted to grow up to be. She was magic and clever and lived alone with a bunch of cats and she was happy. She kept her house neat and tidy, exactly how she liked it, was a skilled baker and ciderer, and was working on organising her library. She put up barriers to keep crap from entering her life (none of this nonsense, please).

I think Morwen let me grow up imagining a future for myself where being by myself and living by myself and doing the work I wanted to do was an option, and that option a given.

She introduced me to witches as independent women with deep lives, strong friendships, and morals. You could probably write a strong meta piece about Kazul, Morwen, and Cimorene - a dragon, a witch, and an improper princess - living outside the bounds of polite society and facing down the patriarchy (wizards): feminism and fairy tales in the enchanted forest and mountains of morning.

Morwen made me want to be a witch when I grew up, and she set me up pretty well for meeting the witches of the Discworld - and feminist texts for that matter. ...and you know what? I've got two feet on the ground, know I'm never going to fly on a broomstick, have been filing taxes for years, and I still want to be a witch.

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