The myth that has always been closest is that of Persephone. I always longed to be wise Athena, but would be drawn back to Persephone. Maybe it's because Stephanie sounds sort of like Persephone, but I don't know, something about the haunting picture of her being carried off to the underworld by Hades, reaching toward the sunny sky, flowers falling from her hands, pigs tumbling into the yawning crevice of the earth (yeah the pig imagery is a little weird, but they're in the picture in the book...). That image both frightened and fascinated me as a kid and as I grew older I really started to relate to it.
There are a ton of interpretations of the myth of Persephone. At it's most basic it's an origin story that explains the seasons. Winter comes when Demeter, Persephone's mother is sad because her daughter is down in the underworld. *Stops to ponder if this might be another underlying reason I hate winter.* But to me it's a metaphor about how quickly we as girls/women lose our innocence/childhood. That's the way I've related to it since I was a teen at least. Often times I'd be in a situation too adult or messed up for my own good and I'd think about Persephone who'd just been frolicking after her mother, picking flowers one day and then the ground cracked open under her feet. Childhood over. Suddenly she's the queen of hell. That is how growing up kind of felt to me. Sad, I know, but true too often.
So I've always related to Persephone. And always really really wanted to write a story about her. My WIP is loosely based on her. I have a character named Persephone (her dad's a rock star and her mom is a model, so they do the crazy celeb baby name thing) who was abducted along with her best friend Cori (after Kore, one of Persephone's other names) when they were five. They were brought back seemingly unharmed, but it seems that every three years something awful happens to them... the ground opens up under their feet, so to speak, and they have to go back to the underworld. I'm still in the early stages of writing this, so I'm equal parts delighted and frustrated with it right now. But the part that delights me is getting to play with Greek mythology.
What about you? Is there a myth, fable or fairytale that you always related to for some reason or other as a kid. Or that you were totally obsessed with? Or, if you write, is there one that you want to draw on or have drawn on in your writing?