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Welcome! My main blog is Notes to Self, where I write about my big, little life. This is a place in the margins to jot down reviews, finds, and ideas worth passing along. I only post about things that are of genuine interest and relevance to me, whether suggested or discovered. I disclose all gifts, sponsorships, favors owed, blood bonds, and other vested interests. Contact me at kyranp c/o gmail.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dare You.


Not every girl going through a tomboy phase gets a machete of her very own. But I never was every girl.

This is a photograph of me, about ten years old, mad for Enid Blyton books and modeling myself on the character Georgina—"Cousin George"—of the Famous Four. That's my Dad, who was writing a play, and had moved us all to a one room servants apartment on the back of a villa overlooking a beach in Plymouth, Tobago. And that's my machete.

I was a daring girl. The first morning I woke up in Tobago, I set out by myself to explore the village, without bothering to wake up my parents. After a while, I got lost. Fortunately, some nice local gentlemen in an old beat up car gave me a ride home. My parents almost died.

I joke that it's just as well I have sons, and no daughters—my heart would never survive a girl like I was. But if I had a daughter, I'd like to think she'd have a streak of daring, and that I'd find ways—short of giving her a machete—to honor it. The Double-Daring Book for Girls has plenty of ideas.

I have a brand new copy of this wonderful book to give away, as part of a book "shower" organized in the authors' honor by their friend, Melissa. Just leave a comment letting me know something of the daring girl you were, nearly were, or wished you were, and be entered for a chance to win. I'll use a random number generator to select a winner on Friday, June 19.

Go ahead. I double dare you.



Blogger Busymomma66 said...

I wasn't much of a daring girl when I was younger, but I'm becoming a daring girl now (and hoping my daughter will be one before she turns my age).

I've divorced my husband and taken to exploring my own passions and learning to jump in with both feet when it feels right.

June 15, 2009 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger kb23219 said...

My inner daring girl florished when I was a child, but now she hides beneath a safe, cautious, middle-aged life. I do try to encourage my daughters to be daring girls, I figure the world will beat it out of them soon enough.

June 15, 2009 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I was and still am quite the tomboy...more comfortable in a mans world than the girly-girly world...I now have two sons and we are always up for an adventure...camping under the stars..swinging on a rope swing then diving into the creek...Thank God for my boys everyday is an adventure...

June 15, 2009 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Great photograph! Must be a wonderful memory for you. I was a daring girl, and I have no daughters. I have to believe... it's for a reason. :-)

June 15, 2009 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger island sweet said...

any daring i did as a child was with guilt and stealth. but i have an openly daring grand daughter now. i sit back and marvel!

June 15, 2009 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

Is it wrong for me to notice that your dad was hot?

June 15, 2009 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

My daring nature as a child was revealed on my long walks home from school. What should have been a 10 minute walk would often stretch to 30 minutes as I would create the most amazing adventures for myself. Whether I imagined a small animal I needed to rescue, leading the elephants back to the circus, a jungle adventure as I crawled through the neighbors bushes or being chased by giant june bugs, my imagination would take me on the most incredible journeys with the bumps and scrapes to match.

Today my young daughter thrills both of us with her imagination and the adventures it conjures on a daily basis, but she definitely has more daredevil in her than I was ever able to muster.

June 15, 2009 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger RW said...

my most daring moment was leaving my home after university to travel to sweden all on my own; to live in a monastic community. I took a plane, a train, a boat, a bus and finally the nuns arrived to pick me up. I think the trip took 3 days in total. my parents thought I was crazy.

June 15, 2009 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger Kate The Great said...

I wanted to be a boy scout. My dad was a scoutmaster during most of my growing-up years, and we as a family went with the scouts on their camping trips. I wasn't allowed on their hikes or their star-mapping nights or their knot-tying activities. I tried Brownies, but we made floor mats out of yarn and brown paper. I earned badges, but got tired of it. Or my parents didn't have the money. Or something.

I want this book--reading it will make up for the slight neglect I felt.

June 15, 2009 at 2:58 PM  
Blogger Jen K-C said...

I like to think I am daring especially when I face life on life's terms. Although on the inside my bones are rattling in fear. I always run towards what scares me panic attack or not. The internal reward is priceless.

As children you made life fun because of your daring streak. Thanks

June 15, 2009 at 4:23 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

The book sounds terrific! So, I once was a "daring girl" and look back with enormous pride on that little pipsqueak version of me. The most out-there thing I ever did was to stand up and give a spontaneous speech at a Mayor's Youth Conference about how kids have great ideas and how adults REALLY need to listen to them. I was all of eleven.

June 15, 2009 at 4:45 PM  
Blogger Ashley said...

I would love to have this for my daughter. And me, of course!

I lived on a ranch when I was little and would sneak out at night to ride my horse. Bareback with just a halter and lead. I never told my parent. It was just a secret between me and Jess the horse.

June 15, 2009 at 5:36 PM  
Blogger Jillian said...

growing up deep in the suburban sprawl of west end st. john's didn't leave much room for daring activity - thankfully, my active imagination was permanently stuck in overdrive and one day a friend and i decided to pretend we were going on a road trip. mere moments after we hopped into my dad's car that was parked in the driveway, i hit the gearshift and the car gently coasted into the road, coming to an abrupt stop when it hit the sidewalk across the street.
i never did have to go far from home to make trouble!

ps. this week is full of sunny skies and warm weather here in north america's most easterly city. fingers crossed it stays this way for when you visit :)

June 16, 2009 at 7:53 AM  
Blogger Alyson said...

Ooohhh. I guess I was a daring girl, no? We used to romp in the woods in Maine in the summer (me, my brother and the boy from across the street, sometimes the boy next door - there was a shortage of girls). There were forts and bugs and adventures and long bike rides along the coast. I learned to surf at 19, I took a rafting trip through the Grand Canyon at 28, hung out with a rock band (mostly local) after college (by hung out I mean worked for, sold CDs, kept in line..not 'hung out'.) And now I'm pregnant with my own daring girl - hopefully sans machete.

Recently my husband asked me something about the baby and swimming (she's due in November) and I said she should be able to swim by the end of summer '10 and, maybe, able to surf by the end of summer '11!

June 16, 2009 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

I was once a bit of a daring girl, now a bit stuck & trying to be daring again. And I have a soon-to-be 2nd grade daughter who is pretty daring, too.

Although people tell me I'm daring enough by declaring that she'll be allowed to walk home from school eventually. Gotta love the 'burbs.

June 16, 2009 at 10:04 PM  
Blogger AnnDeO said...

Daring... my cousins and I would scootch up tight under the train bridge the three of us holding on to each other and wait for the train to barrel over the bridge as it bowed inches away from our face. What were we thinking? It was fabulous!

June 17, 2009 at 2:25 PM  
Blogger Jaybirdskaki said...

I was not very daring as a child - well, except once when my childhood "friend" dared me to hold my hand on a lit (and very hot) light bulb for 30 seconds. I took the dare and surely I don't have to tell you how that turned out.

I have 3 month old twin girls and would love for them to be daring.

June 18, 2009 at 3:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The book sounds great for my two girls, although I wasn't especially daring as a youngster. However, I would take on any boys in Primary School if they gave me or my friends a hard time. I think I got away with it because I was normally the square, library-dwelling nerd and they weren't quite sure how to react!

June 19, 2009 at 1:50 AM  
Blogger Kyran said...

according to, the winner of the Double Daring Book for girls is commenter #1: Busymomma66.

Thanks everyone for sharing your daring!

June 19, 2009 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger V said...

Ah -
I thing Susan should have won!

June 25, 2009 at 4:44 AM  
Blogger Shelley said...

Looks like your and my dad had something in common. Sadly we lived too far away for my kids to grow up and use the power tools he'd let Kim and Cindy's kids use at the tender age of three or four. I like to think I've passed on the daring gene to my girls - my dad certainly taught me to grit my teeth, stare down fear and take on anything. Of course, this was the man who would wrap up his partially detached finger with duct tape and carry on.

July 28, 2009 at 9:52 AM  

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