Look at me…

I took a photograph of my face once. That was a waste of a perfectly good camera. It’s never been the same, since — the camera, not the face, I mean. How would I know what has happened to that? The hair is changing color, I think.

Actually, if you want to know the story of my life, you can look at my hands – worn, scarred and lined, with big stand-out veins on the backs of them – and sometimes not all the scrubbing in the world can get the machine-oil quite out of my nails. Always at least two holes in them, somewhere. Battler’s hands. These days they get pretty sore.

They tell the story — but I think they also tell me I will have go to dictating books soon if I don’t hurry up and die. But selfies are not what I am writing about… unless you consider books a form of selfie. Some are of course, some are rather self-depreciating reflections of the writer -and some are Mary Sue/ Marty Stu versions of what the writer would like to imagine themselves to be.

They do tell the observant reader a lot about you, and your fears and desires. My daughter-in-law just pointed out a fantasy series where the (female) author’s core story is always a relationship between a far older male instructor and a young female… They sell well. I suppose, actually that does appeal to some people – not notably, my daughter-in-law – who detests them for just that reason. Eric and I decided an author we were studying (for reasons of writing) must have a thing about bondage… But no matter what it is, you are bleeding some of yourself onto that page, sometimes bits you might prefer not to show the world. And even if you really aren’t… people will conclude you are.

If you can’t handle that — either be a lot cleverer… or don’t write.

The picture is not me. Not even the hand is mine. But it tells you a lot about me.

13 comments

  1. “And even if you really aren’t… people will conclude you are.”

    “There is a word for people like that. The word is idiot.” — Larry Niven.

  2. “Eric and I decided we were studying (for reasons of writing) must have a thing about bondage”

    I think this sentence is missing a phrase somewhere.

    Anyway, yes. Some themes or tropes just come up over and over again in certain writers’ work, and then sometimes they write something and while it never crops up in their writing before or after you still get the feeling that you got a look at their id.

    It is not usually a very comfortable one.

  3. Interestingly, the only fantasy mentor-apprentice romance books I’ve read are based on an idea where the man is supposed to be some kind of brilliant prodigy who’s in his mid/late twenties and has already achieved master magician status, and the woman/apprentice is in her early twenties, recently graduated from Magic College. (One of the series only lasted two books, and the other, longer-running one I gave up on due to annoying prose and the male lead being kind of a wimp for my tastes.)

  4. So what is that photo? I can identify strawberries and whipped cream, but what’s the rest of it?

    Sorry, looking at that made me too hungry to comment on the rest of what you wrote!

  5. Interesting points, and yes, ‘sometimes’ we do reflect our beliefs… Inadvertently or not.

  6. I remember years and years ago on the old bar, foodie Dave with the best recipes, so yes this is a tell. 🙂

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