In July, I had the opportunity to talk with Main Street Moxie Podcast about literary characters with moxie. We had a great discussion and took some fun publicity photos, which will air with the show on October 17. Of course, I looked in my calendar to find out when would be the Wednesday before the episode came out so that I could write a "Why Wednesday" post about moxie.
I can't tell you how thrilled I was to discover that my discussion of moxie would come out on October 5, my sister's birthday. I don't know anyone, real or fictional, with more moxie than my sister. If you want to hear about why sometime (when you have plenty of time to listen), you can ask me. In the meanwhile, you can join me in wishing her a great birthday. HBD, V!
On the show, I got to talk about what I think moxie means. I cobbled together these three ideas:
- Resilience and pluck, having attitude and confidence enough to go against the grain, to be brave, to show swagger and good sense, even in moments of fear or danger. Some nerve.
- In The Orchid Thief, Susan Orlean mentions “willful obliviousness," the idea that a person has to be able to ignore obstacles between herself and her goal, not pay attention to what doesn't serve.
- On a Fated Mates' trailblazer episode (July 6, 2022), Brenda Jackson said, "If there's no seat at the table for you, make your own table."
Between those three, I came to the idea that people with systemic power don't need moxie. When life clears the path for people, those people don't need to learn and practice the skills that create power. It's an important characteristic of underdogs.
I hope you'll listen to the podcast and read the show notes to learn to which literary characters I ascribed moxie. You won't be surprised that many of them come from romance novels, where there's always something to overcome on the way to finding a happily ever after.
What do you think are the traits of moxie? Whom do you know (real or fictional) with lots of moxie? Do you agree with the premise that we can learn moxie by reading about characters who exhibit the trait? Please share your thoughts of moxie in the comments below. (And don't forget to listen to my episode when it comes out on Monday, which is, by the way, my husband's birthday, so HBD, CIO!)