I’m thinking about diamonds today . . . and our four legged friends. In last weeks post I talked about feisty heroines and it made me consider other attributes of past and modern day women. I’ve never been particularly attached to sparkly things – the only jewellry I wear are my wedding bands and the earrings I’ve had for longer than I can remember. I do have jewellry, but it sits collecting dust in a box on the dresser. Dogs, on the other hand . . . well I have three of those. Including this monster on the right – Barney – a 70kg (168pds) Dogue De Bordeaux who sleeps and slobbers and is just about the coolest canine in the whole world. I also have a bouncing Tenterfield Terrier and crazy Staffy cross. Add to that eight horses (including a mini pony in the backyard) a fifteen year old house cow named Ginger and three birds . . . you get the idea that it’s quite the menagerie.
So it got me thinking that I really am a dogs kind of girl, and not diamonds. I’ve always preferred McLeod’s Daughter’s to Sex And The City, or being outdoors with my horses than at the mall scouting for killer heels and the must have handbag. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t like to shop (just ask my DH). But I don’t love to shop. Unless I’m at the saddlers looking for a new bridle for my horse Zeb, or trying on fancy cowboy boots (See, I do like shoes)
And thinking about what I liked, got me thinking about what I write. And yes . . . most of my heroines are definitely the dogs kind of girls 🙂 Which doesn’t mean they are always knee deep in manure and shifting hay with a pitch fork. My current heroine owns and runs her own bridal store. But she also has a dog and is a no frills kind of girl outside of her work. She wears daggy sweats on the weekend and likes to spend time potting herbs. She also knows how to dress and is stylish and cultured. Some of my favorite heroines don’t actually have pets . . . I love the movie Under The Tuscan Sun. The heroine Frances is a city-girl writer who transplants herself to Italy to recover from a failed marriage. Not a dog in sight (although she does inherit a kitten and spends a stormy night with an owl) After a few mishaps, this heroine embraces her new life, learning to cook, renovating her crumbling newly purchased villa, making a family from a group of migrant workers, a lovesick pair of teenagers and her gay best friend. And she hopes for love even when she believes it has passed her by.
So what makes her the dogs kind of girl? Well, she’s earnest and feels things deeply. She is equally at home in sweats or a fabulous white dress and heels. She just seems incredibly comfortable in her own skin by the end of the movie. And maybe because she is a little girl next door, Frances is easy to identify with. She could be your best friend. Your neighbour. Your sister. Or you.
Not that there is anything wrong with diamonds. We need those kind of girls. Heroine’s like Carrie Bradshaw from Sex And The City have their own kind of vulnerabilities. Their heart might not always be on their sleeve – but it’s definately there. Carrie is also a writer and endeavors to ‘find’ herself in her writing. She is the quintessential shoe-aholic and has a unique fashion style. Image and independence is important to Carrie and she’s diamonds all the way.
So what kind of heroine do you like reading about? Or watching? Or writing? Do you prefer the Debbie Macomber home and hearth heroine, finding her way in a small town. Or the Jackie Collins heroine, like the stripper with a heart of gold who beats the odds and end up as the CEO? Marilyn Monroe or Debbie Reynolds? Whichever you like, the great thing about fiction – we can happily have both. Who knows – these two girls might even be best friends one day.