1. Tragic back story is a must. Preferably involving TWINS in some form. Orphanages, child labour and imaginary friends found in the window reflections optional.
4. Find your kindred spirit, and love them so. Activities to share with your bosom friend: three-legged races, jumping on old ladies while they sleep in their beds in the middle of the night. Essential: develop code system of communicating involving blinds, lights and long distances. Writing letters, with paper and pens. City excursions and whispered secrets. A period of (forced, painful, but somehow poetic) estrangement optional.
5. Never (and I mean never ever) back down from a dare. Bonus points: if your whole class (including cute guy) watches you accomplish said dare, fearless and daring, nose in the air.
7. Pick a favourite fictional character. Preferably one who has a tragic and/or gothic dramatic storyline. Elaborately re-enact your characters most dramatic scenes. Lady of Shalott FTW. Bonus: endanger your life while doing so, needing the rescue of cute (archenemy) boy.
8. Invite your bosom friend over and watch them binge on, erm, raspberry cordial...
9. Invent a prettier, more fanciful name for yourself. At times, introduce yourself thus. Cordelia works fine. (author’s note: As a child I begged my own family to call me Nancy, which I fancied was a much prettier, somehow more eventful name for a child such as I. Now, to my despair, my family still occasionally revert back to calling my Nancy. Ugh.)
11. Make desserts for your favourite teacher coming for dinner. This, coupled with your day-dreaming disposition, could be a recipe for disaster. Heads up: be on the look out for rats. (a rather romantic end for a rat, to be drowned in pudding...)
12. Regarding apologies. You will need to make a lot of them. Don’t settle for the humble “sorry”. Compose elaborate apologies, adorned with poetically moving statements.
14. Be fiercely, ridiculously competitive and stand-offish with the cutest (oh-so-swoony) boy at school. Despite his charm, gorgeous accent, intelligence, antagonistic playfulness, good nature, general gorgeousness and (obvious to everyone but you) besottedness, you remain aloof. (WHY?! For the love of God!). Please don’t wait until he is on his death bed to have your epiphany that you are MADLY AND CRAZILY IN LOVE WITH THE PERFECTION THAT IS GILBERT BLYTHE. Is there any other fictional boy more swoony? (Authors note: I seem to have gotten carried away...)
Anne Shirley, you are the most delightful of heroines, ever. Anne of Green Gables is not just a classic, it’s a rite of passage.