Saturday, September 7, 2013

Snips & Specs & Stress Relief

In which Sam rants about stress, raves about being inspired by YA fiction heroines, and discovers stress relief in her favorite novels.

As I mentioned last week, I just started back at law school and am already stressed out! This is my third and final year in the program, and yet I am still surprised every semester at how much work there is to do. 

But of course, you are not here to read about my busy schedule - you're here to read about books! And today I am happy to indulge, because I believe there is a strong correlation between stress levels and sources of inspiration. Let's put aside for now the incredible people in our own lives who manage their stress effectively, and the amazing people around the world who accomplish so much while facing far more daunting obstacles than papers and final exams. 

For example - Nelson Mandela spent decades in prison for his activism and was a catalyst for the end of apartheid in South Africa. Incidentally, there is a biopic starring Idris Elba about Mandela's life coming out in October.
They are all sources of inspiration to me, but sometimes I need both escape from the often-harrowing real world, escape and inspiration, and that's where fiction comes in.

I thought of this topic when I just cracked open my new copy of Rae Carson's The Bitter Kingdom (review to follow!) because I find the main character, Elisa, so inspiring. All I can tell you so far is that the novel opens with Elisa once again immediately pushing herself to her physical limits, and I can't wait to read more!

So excited to start reading!
But the number one most inspiring character from YA novels that, when I'm stressed out, I read about is Lady Keladry of Mindelan from Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small quartet.

It seems Meg and I are in a competition over who can bring up Kel the most often (Meg: 1, Sam: 2) but there is absolutely a reason. Kel is the classic warrior stoic. Nothing fazes her; nothing shakes her. She keeps her cool in some insane circumstances as the first openly female knight in a century. She is hazed, beaten, mocked, ridiculed, whispered about, tormented, and almost denied her dream, but no matter what - she perseveres.

painting of kel
Amazing fanart of Kel by Minuiko

What heroines or heroes inspire you? Let us know in the comments!


1 comment:

  1. God we are so alike hahahaha I literally do the same thing, and it is absolutely Kel I visualize because she's the chillest about putting up with all the crap she goes through (although I could probably use a little more of Alanna's outspokenness when it comes to telling people off)


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