I am Laura Ingalls Wilder. I have been practicing since I was a Half-Pint.
My personal Laura-hood began on a childhood road trip during which took my family through a rural area. In real life we traveled the road flanked by corn fields at night, and, of course,in Laura-life Pa would have already halted the wagon for the day and the horses would be long-settled. There was something thrilling, though, about being someone other than myself, especially in the delicious dark of the backseat.
Likely not long after, my sister and I spent a summer devoted to the Little House television series. That summer we were also absorbed by our dollhouses, and, in particular, a small doll who resided in said dollhouses. She wore a ruffled peach dress, a petticoat, and pantalons, and her porcelain face was framed by yellow ringlets. Naturally, she was our Nellie Oleson and a leading character in the live-action fan fiction we performed every summer morning. She was wicked, and, to be honest, more fun to personify than the honest, earnest Laura.
I reached the apogee of my Laura-hood at age eleven, when I stepped out in prairie garb for Halloween: a gingham dress covered by a pinafore, braids, a lunch pail and slate, and a bonnet to protect my face from the unforgiving sun (photo forthcoming). This costume required a fair degree of explanation, which was nothing new, the previous year having been the Year of Betsy Ross. I was the sixth grader, who, if life as Laura didn’t pan out, planned to pursue a career in historical interpretation. In costume, of course.
As an adult I have established homesteads across the country, I have been a teacher, I am a writer. I am still Laura.
- Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography (2014) by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Ed. Pamela Smith Hill
- Laura Ingalls Wilder Country: The People and Places in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Life and Books (1995) by William Anderson
- The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie (2012) by Wendy McClure
- Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated (2011) by Alison Arngrim