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Sunday, January 20, 2008
A Few of My Favorite Things (that might surprise you)
The first ever article about me as an author came out last week in my local paper, the Forest Park Review (for some reason direct links to the article don't seem to work so to read it just go to www.forestparkreview.com, then in the menu on the left click on "Hometown" and the article about me is called "Writing Her Own Soundtrack" and dated 1/15/08).
I enjoyed talking to the reporter, he was very nice (though he did make me older by a year in the article which as we all know women don't like very much and my agent's name was misspelled), and I do enjoy the article, but it did give me my first taste as to how I may be portrayed by the media. Part way through the interview, the reporter told me that I'd shattered any stereotypes he'd had coming in. From my website he'd expected a rebellious goth girl, but instead found me very articulate and friendly. I kind of wanted to say that I am a writer with a master's degree so of course I'm articulate and to correct that I'm a punk girl who had a goth phase, but hey, I just thought it was cool of him to admit to that and there is a bit about it in his article, too.
Next he asked me to tell him something about me that people wouldn't expect from a rebellious punk rock writer type. Honestly I thought it was the most fun question he asked, so I want to name a few of my favorite things that might surprise you here:
1. As I told him, I love soap operas. One Life to Live, in particular. I've been watching it for almost 15 years. I got hooked the summer before my freshman year of high school. I tape it every day (because I'm not high tech enough to have a Tivo or actually I'm too cheap. I figure I have a functioning VCR so why bother?) and I watch it while I eat dinner to unwind from my day job and get into writing mode. I love that soap operas have outrageous plot lines that I could never get away with. Watching them gets the creative juices flowing. And I actually have learned a lot about how to push the plot line forward through dialog or how to slow the plot down using evasive characters.
2. Greek mythology. I've loved Greek myths since I was a little girl. I've especially loved the Persephone story (and the image of her I used above), maybe because I think the name Persephone sounds like a cooler version of Stephanie. But seriously, I want to do a modern retelling of it or use it as an overarching metaphor in a book. I tried in the one I am working on now, but it didn't work, so it's going to have to stew a little bit longer.
3. Exercise. I'm kind of a freak, but I actually enjoy working out. Pilates relaxes me, kickboxing makes me feel both bad-ass and silly at the same time, and just going on the elliptical with my iPod and some trashy VH1 programming on the TV at the gym (preferably Rock of Love--because I'm a punk rocker with a soft spot for 80s hair metal) during my lunch break helps me get through the day.
What about you? What are some things you love that people probably never would have guessed about you? Or if you are a writer, what about your characters? Do you have a prom queen who is a secret chess-whiz? A goth girl who loves romance novels? Let's talk about what makes us or our characters unique because that is the best way to breakdown stereotypes and that's one of my favorite things about art/writing, it's universal and it forces us to look past our preconceived notions.