Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Chick Lit Cheerleader: Lovely Ladies of Literature

Introduction by Melissa Amster

Since our Chick Lit Cheerleader's last visit, she's been published once again. This time, in a compilation called A Kind of Mad Courage. Her story, "Heartstrings," is about a widow whose daughter is saved through another woman's loss. Get those tissues out as this sounds like a tear-jerker to me. Jen is no stranger to tear-jerkers, having recently admitted that she "ugly cried" on an airplane while reading The Fault in Our Stars. In fact, Hazel is one of the strong female characters who has made an impact on Jen. Read more about her and some other characters who have had a similar effect! 

Hear them Roar!

In the midst of International Chick Lit Month, it occurred to me we’ve bonded with some tough cookies in novels over the years.  Women who’ve leapt into view from page one with a strong voice, some women on journeys to find their voice and, lest we forget, women who worked overtime to have their voice resonate as the only one heard in the room.  I wondered what it would be like to have characters who’ve imprinted on me as a reader as a part of my day-to-day.  Here is what I imagine life with these women may look like.       
Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada-Tough as nails.  Dressed to the nines.  I think she eats her assistants for breakfast.  Miranda doesn’t require a rational reason to verbally go “Tae-Bo” on anyone.  More than moxie, Miranda unapologetically crafted herself to be top dog.  As long as I’m not on the receiving end of her bottle rocket-esque zingers, I won’t be crying under my desk.  She could squish me like a bug with one, “That’s all” thrown my way. 

Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind-She’ll stretch a wardrobe, farther than yards of drapery fabric were meant to go.  Her agenda may trump minefrom time-to-time, yet as God as her witness, she’ll never let me go hungry.  Although her methods aren’t always pristine, Scarlett is a do-er.  A risk taker.  She’d be the friend who’d have the courage to say to me, “Oh fiddly-dee, stop talking about the tattoo you want, and just go do it!”     

Hazel Grace Lancaster in The Fault in Our Stars- Although her character is Young Adult in genre, Hazel Grace affected me to my core.  She’d gift me with a symbolic pack of cigarettes for my victory smoke at the end of my life’s hurdles.  She would teach me about living life to the fullest while able, willing, and healthy.  I hope we’re all blessed to have a Hazel Grace in our lives.      

Idgie/Ninny Threadgoode in Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop CafĂ©-I crave to spend time with friends who’ve successfully merged onto life’s less traveled roads that I can learn from.  Idgie would spear me on to defend friends at the courthouse, until the grave, or even manning the barbeque pit depending on your dilemma.  Ninny would encourage me to find my inner "Towanda," on the days I look in the mirror and see a shadow of the bee-boppy girl who once was.  Ms. Threadgoode; a friend to many through the decades, proves she’ll be there for those she loves no matter what. 

Novalee Nation in Where the Heart is- This young thing didn’t let the number seven keep her from evolving from the homeless Wal-Mart mom, into a driven young woman.  She knew when to accept help, when to forgive, and why, at times, she needed to depend upon herself.  That’s a friend I need in my world.  The one who will love me even when I might name my children after favorite snacks. 

Chick Lit has given us iconic characters.  Ones we love.  Some we love to hate.  Many we identify with whether we see ourselves in them, or someone we know.  We’d love to hear about the characters you’ve been moved by.  A plethora to choose from!  Enjoy this fabulous month celebrating the genre we love.  Without passionate readers like you, who’d yell, “Towanda!” to cheer us on at Chick Lit Central?  Thank you for being a part of our community.

Jen Tucker is the author of the funny and true stories, The Day I Wore My Panties Inside Out and The Day I Lost My Shaker of SaltIn September 2012, she had her children's book, Little Pumpkin published as an e-book. She also blogs monthly for Survival for Blondes. She currently lives in Indiana with her husband, three kids and two dogs. You can find her at TwitterFacebook, her blog and on her website. And in case you missed them. check out her previous Chick Lit Cheerleader posts here.

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