If I Could Be Anyone, I’d Be…

Today we’re taking a break from the headaches of self-publishing to participate in super blogger Talli Roland’s “web splash” to celebrate the launch of her second novel, Watching Willow Watts

I haven’t read it yet but I loved Talli’s debut, The Hating Game, and this sounds like even more fun:

For Willow Watts, life has settled into a predictably dull routine: days behind the counter at her father’s antique shop and nights watching TV, as the pension-aged residents of Britain’s Ugliest Village bed down for yet another early night. But everything changes when a YouTube video of Willow’s epically embarrassing Marilyn Monroe impersonation gets millions of hits after a viewer spots Marilyn’s ghostly image in a frame. Instantly, Willow’s town is overrun with fans flocking to see the ‘new Marilyn’. Egged on by the villagers – whose shops and businesses are cashing in – Willow embraces her new identify, dying her hair platinum and ramming herself full of cakes to achieve Marilyn’s legendary curves. But when a former flame returns seeking the old Willow, Willow must decide: can she risk her stardom and her village’s newfound fortune on love, or is being Marilyn her ticket to happiness?

What’s this web splash all about then? Well, since Willow assumes the identity of her idol, Marilyn Monroe, Talli invited us all to an online “If I Could Be Anyone, I’d Be…” Party. The idea is that today, you post about who you’d like to be and why, and maybe even dress up as them if you’re so inclined.

So who would I like to be?

Well, I don’t really have an idol or anything like that, and the person I’d most like to be is always going to be me. But if I had to swap my life with anyone, there is one person who immediately comes to mind, and her name is Dr. Kathleen (Kate) Rubins.

If you’ve read my book Mousetrapped, you’ll know that my childhood and teenage years were filled with strange and unusual obsessions, and wild and exotic dreams. My first Big and Unrealistic Dream was to be a NASA astronaut, following repeated viewings of the movie Space Camp and – more recently! – an annual pass to Kennedy Space Center and getting to see a Space Shuttle launch up close. Then after a chance encounter with a book called The Hot Zone by Richard Preston, I decided – at the age of 13 – to become a virologist. But not just any virologist, oh no – I wanted to specialize in the Ebola virus and work in the Biosafety Level 4 laboratories at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) despite being Irish, being squeamish and not studying very hard for my biology exam.

Now while the chances of me becoming a Level 4 virologist at USAMRIID were slim indeed, my chances of becoming a NASA astronaut were even slimmer. But even if I were an American citizen, excellent at science and math and not so cowardly that I refuse to get on rollercoasters (let alone into space ships and hot zones…), the chances of me getting to do those things would still between slim and none, because to get to do them is to not only work your way into an exclusive workplace, but to excel until you have reached the highest ranks of it.

And guess what?

Dr. Kathleen Rubins has done both.

Yes, both. And she’s only thirty-four.

She is only five years older than me, and yet she has worked with the Ebola virus in USAMRIID’s laboratories AND she is a NASA astronaut trainee.

I mean, what are the chances?

So, while I’m pretty happy with how my Achieve My Dreams To Do list is looking, if I could swap my achievements for anyone else’s it would definitely be those of Kathleen Rubins. Read more about Kathleen here.

Who would YOU like to be? Tell Talli on Twitter using the hash-tag #watchingwillowwatts.

Click here to visit Talli’s blog, and see who else is taking part in today’s web splash and who they’d like to be. Click here to find Watching Willow Watts on Amazon.com and here on Amazon.co.uk.

22 thoughts on “If I Could Be Anyone, I’d Be…

    • catherineryanhoward says:

      I know… it’s hardly surprising I picked a NASA astronaut, right? But I remember when I found out about her, I couldn’t *believe* that someone had not only done that, but worked with Ebola as well, and not only worked with Ebola, but done it in USAMRIID! I was like, if this woman has a 3-book deal and is married to Josh Groban as well, she has my life! ;-D

      Congrats on Watching Willow Watts and once I’ve had some coffee, I’m going to run around and see who everyone else came as.

  1. Mike says:

    I have already read Watching Willow Watts (he says, smugly) and I do recommend it. As for being someone else, sorry, but “…I gotta be meeeeee…I gotta be me…”

  2. Rebecca Emin says:

    Great choice, what an inspiring lady! I like the way you said “me” too. That’s what I said, but I failed to go on and force myself to pick someone like you did. Respect!

  3. Allie says:

    I love your choice, she seems very inspirational, and at only 34, she’s younger than me. Some of us are late bloomers though, we’re allowed a bit of time off for having children, etc… 😉

  4. Janice says:

    Oh wow – what a woman! Great choice Catherine – I assume you are today wearing your NASA badges proudly on your blue boilersuit..?

    P.S. I wear my NASA, Shuttle, and Mission badges on my red woolly dressing gown. Which, as you can imagine, occasionally gets me strange looks from the postman.

    • catherineryanhoward says:

      If I *had* a blue boilersuit, I’d wear it constantly. (Maybe one day… Like, after I get to adult Space Camp. That’s the dream!) I like your mission badge/dressing gown idea though – might try that! 🙂

  5. Rachel Lyndhurst says:

    Fascinating choice, Catherine! I worked in the space industry for ten years (as an accountant!) – really didn’t like those daggy bag things they make you put over your shoes in the clean rooms. Or the moppy caps!

  6. beverlydiehl says:

    Dr. Rubins seems like a totally amazing lady, though I’m not sure that working with the Ebola virus does it for me. Too much like juggling knives, one oops and it’s all over. And I’m the clumsy type.

    I’m so jealous of all the people that have read the book already. This weekend, I hope.

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