Aspiring Novelist Seeks Occasional Company at Some Point

ladyonbeachTell Us About Yourself: In my free time, I read obituaries. You should also know that I have insomnia, especially when my word count is too low, or I’ve spent the previous five hours staring at a blank page, or I’ve just killed one of my darlings. Fortunately, that hasn’t happened in a while, but full disclosure is important, especially at the beginning of a relationship.

My favorite food is whatever my protagonist is eating, so at the moment, it’s Cracker Jacks. Teddy and I have been eating them for the past 200 pages. For the foreseeable future, whomever I meet should probably like and/or at least tolerate popcorn, molasses, and peanuts. If you have a peanut allergy, I’m not the one for you. That could change in the second draft though, maybe sometime after February 1st, give or take. Don’t be surprised if I come up with a new character who happens to love kale, and I start eating the stuff for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. As a general rule though, I appreciate a good cheeseburger.

Teddy and I are huge fans of hand-written letters and postage stamps. Writing me a letter is probably the best way to reach me, since I’ll be avoiding the internet for the next several years. Feel free to contact me in 2020 if you also enjoy boardwalks, funnel cake, dictionaries, ephemera, rare books, Maine, Rhode Island, Pizza Hut, cooking, pie, sourdough bread, blueberries, live music, cello, sculling, Japanese, braille, and babies.

Don’t let the word babies scare you. Don’t worry, I don’t have any. At the age of 44, my novel is my baby.

Having read this far, it might surprise you that unlike most writers, famous or otherwise, I don’t drink. No, I’m not a recovering alcoholic, and no, I’m not Mormon or Catholic, and no, I’m not from Connecticut. You’d be surprised how often people ask me these questions.

When I’m not writing my novel, I’m either at work, volunteering, playing the cello, or swimming. Generally, I am available between 11:00 PM and 4:45 AM, and that’s only if I’m not sleeping. After such busy days, you should understand that not only do I like spending time alone, i.e., without you, I need to spend time without you. Teddy also prefers his alone time, taking great pleasure in relaxing in a tub full of bubbles.

If I do manage to squeeze you into my schedule, you should know that I have the attention span of a flea. Don’t take it personally. You might think that I’m not paying attention to your boring story about the egg sandwich and pizza you had for breakfast three weeks ago that no one has acknowledged on Facebook, and you could be right. I could be thinking about the dishes, or how I really need to go Christmas shopping, but more than likely I’m thinking about whether I need to delete chapter five. Don’t be surprised though if your boring story about the egg sandwich turns up in my novel three years later. It will be much more interesting when one of my characters tells it.

The word flea in the previous paragraph reminds me that I should probably tell you that I have a cat. She does not have fleas, but this is how my mind works, so bear with me. She is a lovely creature, and if you are fortunate enough to meet her, you two might be able to commiserate. She has mixed feelings about my novel-writing endeavor, and has been known to chew at my computer cords while I’m writing so that I pay attention to her. It’s not a strategy that I recommend for you, but you must admit that it’s genius. Fortunately, in recent weeks, she has realized that I’m in this for the long haul, and she has taken the much more positive approach of sitting behind me on my chair while I write. That’s not a strategy that I recommend for you either, but you are welcome to sit in your own chair in your own house and write, and then come visit both me and my cat at a mutually agreeable time. If you’ve read this far and you are allergic to cats, I’m sorry, but you should look elsewhere.

I suppose you’d like to know what I look like, even though you won’t be seeing much of me. My mother says that I look like Audrey Hepburn, but she is my mother, so take that with a grain of salt. My grandmother used to say that I have beautiful hands, and that I have my father’s smile, so if you know my father, you can imagine what I might look like if we were to meet in person and I were to smile at you, which is unlikely, since I have a novel to write.

However, if we do meet in person, you should know that I walk with a limp. I like to put that out there before we actually meet, because it bothers some people. It used to bother me too, and sometimes it still does, especially when people assume I need help when I don’t. I also don’t like being stared at everywhere I go.

My characters don’t like being stared at either, but it is the only thing they know. I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know them so that I can tell their story, instead of judging them from the outside looking in, like everyone else does. If you’ve read this far and you’d like to get to know me too, feel free to write to me. Don’t be surprised if it takes me a few years to write back.

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