Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Blog Question: Were You a Tomboy or a Princess Growing Up?

One of the fun things about writing as the guest on someone else’s blog is answering random questions that never occur to me when I’m writing on my own blog. Sometimes I think these questions seem very off-topic, considering readers are tuning in to find out about a favorite author or book. But the more I read similar guest blogs by other authors, the more I appreciate the random acquaintance that is formed.

Discovering something about an author’s childhood, their favorite TV shows or how/why they started writing gives me an insight into them as people and a greater appreciation of what is written.  So today I’m starting a continuing series called ‘Blog Questions’ where I’ll answer a random question I found on another author’s Guest Blog.  I hope you’ll find these fun and informative...but also, if you have a question put it in comments and I’ll answer it the next time.

So...just for starters, here’s a short one to kick us off: Were you a Tomboy or a Princess growing up??

Definitely a Tomboy! Though my mom sewed me many wonderful dresses when I was little, my preferred activities required tougher clothes! We lived near the ‘Mighty’DuPage River and along its banks grew huge willow trees. My friends and I created many imaginary scenarios in those trees, including submarine hunt, airplanes, apartments and hospitals. Each branch had its own purpose, from control tower at the top to operating room in the middle to torpedo room below.

When we weren't manufacturing alternate realities we might pass lazy summer days weaving jewelry out of willow strands, or hop down and wade across the river (don’t tell Mom!) to the other side and, perhaps beyond to visit friends over there.

In the winter that river froze nearly all the way across and became a skating pond.  The neighbor’s hillside formed a fearsomely steep toboggan run, frozen thickly with buckets of water toted from where the river ran free beside the far bank.  We flew down it, past the willows and stopped, teetering, where the flowing river broke open from the ice. I never ended up on the wet end of that gamble...but it was close!

That river and those trees were only part of my childhood adventures, but together they are serving to create a background for a future book of mine entitled ‘The Lottery’.  Inanimate though they are, the trees and the river play as much a part of that story as any character. ’The Lottery’ is an on-going project that I turn my attention to between other books, but it is a work of love that, soon, I will will tackle full speed. I look forward to its publication in the not too distant future.

Well, that’s my ‘Blog Question’ for today. I’d love to hear from you-what was your childhood like? And remember, let me know what question you’d like me to answer in the future! 


  1. Both! I grew up on a farm, so being just a princess would have been boring. But my dolls had the most fabulous clothes :)

  2. Robin, it sounds like you had an amazing childhood! For me, it was both as well! I also grew up on a farm, but my grandmother loved to sew and bake and taught me to do so as well. Every Christmas I received a long flannel nightgown with eyelet lace. Such fun! But growing up, we spent most of the day outside working. Great post!

  3. Tomboy. Although my mother tried so hard to make me a princess! But with five older brothers, there really was no choice from the start....

  4. A small creek in our neighborhood was the social gathering spot. (I think flowing water enhances all young lives.) Lots of great memories. How and when did you decide to write?

  5. My parents were divorced so I was either in the city of Denver with my mom or on a little farm in a small town in Kansas with my dad. When we were on the farm, we were always outside, riding horses or the three-wheeler or taking peanut butter and jelly sandwiches up into the treehouse to spend the afternoon reading. In town, we had neighborhood kids and we spent hours playing Charlie's Angels between the houses. (Did that just date me a little?haha!!) Great post, Robin! I love the picture!

    1. Sorry to hear that. Definitely tomboy!

  6. Jennie, I spent a lot of time on my grandparent's dairy farm-that's another blog! We played 'Spy' between our houses-that's kinda like 'Charlie's Angels'! Michael, writing kinda crept up on me, turned out I was far too creative when answering essay questions in school! Lana, hope you still have some of those nightgowns-what treasures! My Mom and Grandma taught me how to sew/knit/crochet/tatt/etc., so I can if I have to, but that's a big 'IF'! DeAnna, I had a Barbie with the blonde 'bubble' cut and she wore a pink satin gown with a white fur stole made of 'REAL' rabbit fur...I thought she was gorgeous!

  7. ps, Jennie, the picture is of the Mighty DuPage rolling through my hometown.