July 7, 2011
Barbie Taught me to be a Writer
I haven't owned a Barbie doll since I turned 16 and gave away my Barbie l because I was much too mature to ever want to play with dolls again. Instead I wanted to be a grown up and think about important matters such as establishing a career, making car payments, buying a house.
Well, I'm done with being a grownup. I blame my wrinkles on being a grownup, as well as too much time sunbathing. Now I want to play with Barbie again. I spent endless hours as a little girl playing with my Barbie and thanks to her I honed my imagination. I learned to sit alone in a room and chatter to myself and make up stories which today is what people call writers except they put their chatter on paper. I think Barbie can help me finish my novel, remind me how to pretend again, and not be such a grownup.
My friend bought me this Barbie the other day because we both decided we want Barbie's life. Check her out! (See above) She is holding her cell phone, ready to call her friends, (there is a photo of her and her friends on the little bookshelf on the right and they all look very stress-free and fun). She has her lap top, a cool drink with a fun straw, a little white kitten and a purple dog. Maybe it's a stuffed animal. Whatever. It's purple and sweet. She has on a cute outfit to match her pink love chaise lounge and there are palm trees swaying outside her window. Has to be California. Granted she is facing a mirror but we all knew Barbie was a little vain.(adds some interesting depth to her character). And, after all, she is Barbie. She is awash in pink. No wonder she has that big smile on her face. She's doing her own thing. I have my main character. And a setting.
If I may digress, one of my best Christmas gifts was a Barbie Dream House. It had a window seat, shag carpet, and a big closet with tiny hangers. It also came with a melon-colored convertible. The Dream House was sold at a yard sale when my father died. I think every house I've lived in since, I wanted to be my very own dream house. I also had a Ken doll that disappeared. He must have taken off in that convertible. Ken always did seem too much of a pretty boy to stick around. And this is where I learned how to put conflict into my writing. I let a man into Barbie's Dream House, and I spent endless hours having them go through the ups and downs of a relationship. I learned how to devise plot.