True Things and Other Worries

I no longer have that hair cut, those glasses, that laptop, that desk, or that apartment, but you get the idea.
I no longer have that hair cut, those glasses, that laptop, that desk, or that apartment, but you get the idea.

I’m It. Well, I’ve been tagged anyway–by the ever fascinating and honest Sophie in the Moonlight. Since I can’t have a story to tell every night, here are the 10 true things about me that this tag requires. And yes, I will tie it all to writing one way or another no matter how thin the string.

One. A few years ago I left a movie theater with less hair than I had before I went in. Someone behind me cut off a lock of my hair while I watched Johnny Depp seduce Juliet Binoche in a charming and repressed French town. He (she?) made the cut an inch from my scalp and I didn’t feel a thing–although that section of hair stood up straight for a long time.

Two. I eat M&Ms in the proper color order.

Three. Which reminds me that in board games I always want to be the piece that matches what I’m wearing. Well, you’ve got to make a decision somehow.

Four. In college my friends would applaud the way I got in and out of a car. I can’t begin to explain that.

Five. I was 18 before I got my first kiss.

Six. I stole a wedding invitation and photograph from the guy who gave me that kiss. And yes, I mean an invitation to his wedding.

(Jeez, having blogged for over a year now, I’m probably repeating myself. That just proves what sticks in my head.)

Seven. At 37 I jumped on stage after a show to take singer Neil Finn’s water bottle. I realize I’m too old to act like that, but sometimes I am still 16.

Eight. Sometimes I tell my students I graded their papers, but left them at home. In truth, the papers are ungraded and in my bag because I wanted to work on my novel instead.

Nine. When I was 16 I would sometimes push my bed into the middle of the room to sleep because of the roaches. I remember one night watching the silhouettes of three cockroaches in the light of my alarm clock.

Ten. I worry what will happen when I have nothing more to write about.


In fiction, characters need details that bring them to life. I don’t want those details to be predictable–he was a rich, arrogant, business man–or so out there as to break the spell–she drowned herself in the bathtub and came back to life younger than before. Details have to make you believe and make you care. Well, maybe not make you, but help persuade you anyway. Then there is that danger of using the same detail again and again. You know, those favorite things you don’t even know you do until someone points them out. “Say, did you notice that all your girls tug on their hair?”

“Do they? Let me see that.”

Can you remember any detail about a character that ruined a story for you? The kind of detail that rang so harshly you couldn’t get around it to enjoy the story? Or the opposite? What kind of detail makes a character true for you?

For all I know, all the details about me in the history of this blog have made me no more real or made your impression no more accurate than my impression of myself. So please tell, what ten details would capture you?

That makes you It.

5 thoughts on “True Things and Other Worries

  1. This is off the topic, but I am astonished by the number of pictures you have documenting your life. I have rarely been the subject of photographs, and when I have, I’ve usually destroyed them. I have a zillion photos of my children, but I never like the way I look/looked and few were taken in childhood. I suppose I’m the same way about wriiting, it’s never good enough. But it’s lovely that you have that sense of continuity of self that comes from an unbroken series of photos at different ages.

  2. Sophie, it’s a date–even if the actual date is unclear.

    shelli, it is amazing how many important things I forget but I still remember those damn cockroaches.

    squirrel, well, the next post might explain. Also, I’m way insecure about my looks and usually look at these photos and wish I were better looking–yes, vanity! But then I hit the publish button and try not to think about it again. Try.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s