The recent conference I went to featured a wonderful and many-times-published author as a speaker who made a point to let us know that:
Everyone in this room has something in common, which is why we love to gather together like this. We are drawn to each other because of…
We all waited for her to say something like, “our creativity!” or “our passion for words!”
Instead, she said,
“we are drawn to each other because of the fact that WE ARE NOT NORMAL. Normal people do not contemplate how best to kill someone while eating breakfast (she's a crime/mystery writer). Normal people get stressed over their own problems—they do not get stressed over the problems of the imaginary people they create.”
She got a hearty laugh from us all. Maybe she’s right, but I was definitely sitting with the right group of people.
A few days ago, I was taking a long walk with my kiddo. We took our time along the hilly roads of my town, and my mind wandered a bit. It wandered to a character who’s been nagging me for two years or so. He’s a little boy of Irish heritage who wants more than anything to be an Italian chef because he believes that a killer meat sauce has the ability to cure nearly every wrong in the world, his personal problems included.
When bits of dialogue for my very loose storyline pop into my mind, he has an accent eerily similar to the one I heard in my head while reading Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes and ‘Tis.
Anyway, like the “not normal” person I am, I found myself chuckling at a response this fictional boy might make after being told to stick with cooking potatoes, and I said it out loud.
In a very bad Irish accent.
I said it a couple of times, trying it out. My little girl giggled, so I said it louder. And then I added some silly, indignant hand motions. And then I noticed a man standing against his front porch railing, staring at me. He wasn’t open-mouthed or looking disgusted or anything, but I could tell he thought I was…"not normal.”
So I got very embarrassed and hurried my daughter down the road, not speaking until we turned the corner, at which point my wee one and I began singing “Sister Suffragette” from Mary Poppins. I have a quick recovery time when it comes to embarrassment.
Have you ever had an embarrassing moment related to writing or creating a character? (please say yes)