17. Favorite protagonist and why?
Okay, personal disclosure time! It was largely an account of this question that I decided to do all 29 of them. How could I pass up such a chance to burble about my beloved?
So yes, small shock to anyone, my favorite protagonist is the Defender of Life (t'DoL). He's the whole reason I embarked on this whole writing deal in the first place, because I did not want to forget the stories in my head about him. Those 1.1 million words over the last 17 years are because of him, all those unnumbered hours of editing and polishing and slowly getting better at a task I don't particularly like in itself--that's all due to him. Maps, timelines, character lists, illustrations, essays, dubious poetry and lyrics, aside from the 40ish short stories, two novellas, two incomplete and five completed novels...blame them all on him, or to be more precise, my passion for him.
There was this joke I read in Reader's Digest years ago that I've spent altogether too much time thinking about since. Some student was asked to describe himself in 10 words or less, and his answer was: 'succinct.' I laughed...then I wondered how few words I could use to best describe myself. Since then, I've settled on '21st-century female Pygmalion.' Which might be a failure in brevity, since so few people likely know the original story from the Greek mythology: the sculptor who falls in love with the beautiful statue he has made, the blessing which brings it to life. (I was peeved as a 10-year-old when I first encountered the tale. If I was such a talented sculptor, the LAST thing I would sculpt would be another human!)
So. I am an artist, and he is both my masterpiece and my passion. An embodiment of nobility, kindness, sorrow, beauty, and power which I cannot resist. I know better than to hope for the happy outcome of the Pygmalion story in my own life, yet I cannot help but see myself in it. Thank you, God, for t'DoL, second-greatest blessing of my existence!
P.S. My favorite Pre-Raphaelite artist, Edward Burne-Jones, did a series of four paintings on the Pygmalion story (twice, actually!) and if you don't mind the female nudity, they and an explanation of the story and symbolism, can be viewed here. I have to say I love his titles for the pieces:
The Heart Desires
The Hand Refrains
The Godhead Fires
The Soul Attains