I think people who know me are disappointed to discover I am a writer. It has nothing to do with me, I am certain. Rather, I feel like people like to believe “artsy” people are special in some way … or at the very least, different. Since I work in Corporate America, most seem to be initially taken aback, as I don’t ride the Little School Bus to work everyday. (Of course, if I did, it would at least be pimped out.)
Now I could claim that even though I’m a novelist, poet, and photographer, I’m just like everybody else. I could, but all my friends would laugh so hard, I’d be afraid one of them might choke to death. What is true is that writers are ordinary, not at all flamboyant, often quiet folk. But we still aren’t like other folks – not really. There is something about having an odd idea flash in your head, and respond not by dismissing it, but by instead getting excited by it. Either we are odd because of the stray thoughts, or the converse is true. Either way, we are externally boring, but internally, just a tad … queer.
To show what I mean, I’m posting 7 random facts about myself. I was also tagged by another blogger (whom I won’t publicly
blame name), but that’s not the point. The objective is to show that for those of us who define ourselves by our art, even ordinary things seem vaguely off kilter.
I think it is the small details that bring characters to life. When I write, I try to remember the small things that have made people I’ve met memorable. Then I inject those types of details into my main characters. I think it adds a certain dimension.
1. My grandfather was a barber, before entering the military as a career U.S. army officer. As kid, the only haircuts that didn’t traumatize me came from my grandfather. Strangers cutting my hair freaked me out. Now, as an adult, I NEVER EVER go near a barber shop. I’ve cut my own hair for the last 20 years.
2. I’m ambidextrous, but didn’t realize it until my daughter was born. Everything I learned as an adult, I do left-handed. Everything I learned as a kid, I do right-handed. I draw right-handed with a pencil, but left-handed on a computer. I can cut my hair, because when I switch hands, even looking in the mirror, my mind adjusts, and I don’t notice the change. I used to be able to write my signature forward and backward at the same time.
3. I listen to music more than any other human I’ve ever known. My taste in music is Very Eclectic, and my mix is too. However, when I write, the music I listen to is invariably one mood, if not one genre. For instance, Discovery and Awakening were Pop. Emprise was New Age, and World Beat. Hard as Roxx was, not surprisingly, Rock. My next book isn’t written, but I already know it’s Jazz. I hear the music before the book comes out. I know it’s lyrical, because I always write poetry to Jazz.
4. I spent the 4th grade coloring in coloring books. I never did any homework until I was in the 11th grade. I was in the National Honor Society, although I’m not sure how, since I really never paid any attention in class. In college, there were a number of classes I only went to when there was a test. I usually did better in those classes. I won a full fellowship to Grad School. Why? Who the hell knows? Once I started working, however, I got really, really, really dumb.
5. I can often tell when my best friends are upset, even from across the country. I learned to wait until they call, however, as it used to freak them out too much. “How did you know I was crying?” Hell if I know.
6. Once, for a full year, every time I called my sister in California, she was eating chicken, even though we talked infrequently. On at least 4 different occasions, one of my sisters and I bought and sent the same card to someone even though we lived in different cities.
7. When I was a kid, I expected to die at age 42. I didn’t die at age 42. Kids are stupid.