On the 100 Acre Personality Quiz I discovered I'm a Kanga. It's not far from the truth, except that kids don't know not to misbehave around me. Just the opposite, really. I say, "Everyone gather around me here at the table," and three-fourths of the children ignore me. Where do you get one of those "I mean it" voices that successful teachers and coaches use?
It was the same with horses. I spent my childhood dreaming of owning a horse someday. Rather than an imaginary friend, I had an imaginary horse, Jerina. White, graceful, with the delicate face of an Arabian, the two of us galloped effortlessly across the farm. My parents finally got me a real horse when I was fourteen, and I discovered I have little talent for riding. I took good care of Lady and she was fond of me, but many of our rides turned out to be long arguments about where and how fast we should be going. She felt her opinion was at least as valid as mine. When my cousin or anyone who knew horses rode her, she was a different animal: obedient, smooth, predictable. Just not with me.
Maybe that's why I enjoy writing so much. The characters in my stories sometimes surprise me, heading off in directions I didn't anticipate, but I have the ultimate power to let them roam or call them back. In the end, everyone behaves, or misbehaves, just as they are supposed to. I've always been a live and let live sort of person. I don't like being bossed around, and I don't try to boss others. I live a lot of my life inside my head, and maybe that's why. In there, I'm (more or less) in control.