As a kid, I was a bit of a tomboy. I didn’t play with dolls. Instead, I fought my brother over his Tonka dump truck. Never have I owned a Barbie though I played with Star Wars action figures, usually light saber fighting. I didn’t wear dresses. I played football in the front yard. I had short hair and people thought I was a boy. My play with other girls seemed to delve into my domestic future as mother and wife only for the sake of making mud pies. I came into the house very little, but when I did, I watched one TV show a night. And, gasp, when Little House on the Prairie—the ultimate in popular shows of the 70s—stared airing, I watched it, but I much preferred the newer show, Wonder Woman. I wanted to be Linda Carter! Now as an adult, I now know exactly why so many men and boys tuned in to watch the gorgeous Linda Carter. Sadly, that future was not in the cards for me. Though, I do have WW pajamas and wear them proudly, if not as… well.
But then came Buck Rogers in the 25th century! And I wanted to be Erin Gray. Once again, oblivious to the crushes the boys my age had on her, ala Linda Carter. But whoa, the romance! The aliens! The sci-fi goodness! The woman carried a gun and wore a shiny outfit! I didn’t know another single girl who admitted to watching the show (the show aired two seasons. Maybe NOBODY else watched it). Still, was I really a tomboy? Was it inevitable that I grow up to be a tech geek who was into science fiction? Well, I did do that. But I also found Jane Austen around this time, and like many girls, read my share of the Bronte sisters, including several reads of Wuthering Heights.
I turned into that teen who dressed up to be girly and dance at the Homecoming dance after the football game, while being one of the few girls who actually watched said game. I read Woodiwiss and I read Stephen King. I read historical fiction tomes on past rulers of Scotland, my favorite being the ill-fated Mary Queen of Scots.
Am I still a tomboy? Not really. I’m not really sure what that means, anymore. The idea of what a little girl should be and how she should act has changed. And thank goodness for that. I did find those roots of fascination in the unknown have stayed with me. I did mesh my love of intergalactic war scenes with the romance I looked for in those shows, but got very little of. But more importantly, I found that so many of the roles we expect to fill, or think our kids might fall into, aren’t that predictable. It’s okay to be a girl who plays sports, loves Star Wars, and reads romance.
I wouldn’t have dreamed, back then, that I’d write a sci-fi romance novel. What about you? Did you have these kinds of signs as a kid of what you might be doing as an adult?
Ella Drake is a dark paranormal and science fiction romance author. Look for her latest, a space western, SILVER BOUND, releasing November 22nd from Carina Press. For more info and excerpt, please visit http://www.elladrake.com/SilverBound.htm
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