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Weekly Wrap: Authors and their Hair

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Okay, before I get to the Weekly Wrap, I have to show you the coolest thing. I got a note earlier this week saying that my 6-word-memoir (yes, six words) was selected for an anthology that’s put out by HarperCollins and Smith Magazine. Maybe Huffington Post is involved, too, though I’m not sure about that.

My six words were: “Mistakenly kills kitten. Fears anything delicate.”

The person who contacted me asked for a bio photo but said she preferred something creative. So I asked my pal, Brian – you can see him in the “3 Trees” link to the right – if he’d draw me. Here’s how to make me cry:

Brian, you are totally and absolutely the coolest!


Okay, on to the Weekly Wrap. How fun was that to hear stories of all your various hairdos throughout your career. I was ready to show the changes in my hair, but when looking through my photo albums, I discovered I have only had two looks:

Long with bangs (I’m on the right – this was back in college) . . .

(and for some inexplicable reason, I used to powder my face like a geisha)

And currently, medium with bangs (this summer, South Africa) . . .

Here’s a quick little hair story from my college years, and then it’s time for the weekend . . .

I had a date with my professor. We were going to see the play he directed; I didn’t know it was a date until he added, “Wear the red dress.”

I had already said yes, but now was determined not to wear the red dress because…of all the professors I wanted to think of me as hot…he was not one of them. The dress he liked was tight, uncomfortable, and unfortunately the only one clean. My favorite dress was made of denim with a round skirt that came down to my ankles. The hem was frayed. In the summer, I wore nothing underneath. In the winter I wore thermals and combat boots underneath. It suited most occasions, and with tights and smaller boots I made it suit this one.

With my dress still damp from washing it in the sink and then sneaking it into someone else’s dryer at my dorm, I left my room in time to meet him around the corner, as he had requested. I carried a book but forgot my key. (I always carried a book, to look casual and preoccupied because being “non-plussed” was “in” that year.)

My hair was long, down to where my back dipped inward, and when I left my dorm, my hair got caught in the door, and I was locked there. So I read, waving occasionally to people I knew and asking them in a non-plussed way if they knew where the R.A. was.

I was eventually released. And even with the delay, I was nearly on time for the date. When my professor put his hand around my waist, it was damp. He didn’t look proud to be walking with me. I regretted immediately not wearing the red dress, realizing I preferred to blow him off rather than vice versa.


Thank you to Neil Gaiman for sharing the history of his hair and just for being Neil Gaiman and making us all swoon.

(Oh, come on. I know you wanted to see that photo again.)

And thanks to all of you who answered the Question of the Week: Simon Haynes, josh kilmer-purcell, Sarah R. Roundell, Ric Marion, mikel k poet, Tish Cohen, Robin Slick, Betsy, *Joe*, Aimee, Lance Reynald, Richard, Kaytie, Aurelio, Carolyn Burns Bass, n.l. belardes, Terry, Juliet, Jason Boog, Lauren Baratz-Logsted, Megan, Mark Bastable, Claire Cameron, Alexander Chee, patry, kim teeple, Jon Armstrong, Julie Ann Shapiro, Jordan, viciousrumours, and J.D. Smith.


Blurry cell phone photo of Sue and Kenny gossiping at House of India last night.

Don’t forget, now, I’m no longer blogging on the weekend, so I’ll see you Monday for another Question of the Week. A few quick things and then I’m off. First of all, thank you to my Indian-food-on-Thursday-nights friends – Kenny, Ritchie, Candy, Mike and Mike and Jim and Jon Rose and Aida, missed you Kathy. And to my Friday Chinese-school folks – I’m bringing donuts tonight, sorry, but you really don’t want me to cook. Thank you to The Beat and Journalista for linking LitPark! And finally – remember I ran a little contest a few weeks back? And remember how Daryl was the first to correctly identify Neil Gaiman’s baby photo? Well, I was planning to post my interview with him today but it became far too interesting and important for such a small space. So as soon as I can shuffle some things around on my blog schedule, you’ll meet Daryl properly. We’ll be talking about bi-polar disorder.

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  • Robin Slick
    February 9, 2007

    See, now that was a lovely post, full of outrageously beautiful pictures (I hate you, Susan Henderson) but naturally one thing jumped right out at me:

    “In the summer, I wore nothing underneath”

    Ah, Susan, you are my kind of people.

    I, alas, am the same, though stupidly do it throughout the year. Could be why I’m always getting, err..head colds.

    But all kidding aside (right..uh-huh), I am really sad to see this week end. I’m going to be suffering Gaiman withdrawal bigtime.

    But as far as that pumpkin patch photo goes…

    Suffice it to say hippie Neil makes lovely wallpaper.

  • Myfanwy Collins
    February 9, 2007

    Congrats on the memoir–love it. Adore that drawing of you. It’s beautiful with the angel kitties above your head.

  • Gail Siegel
    February 9, 2007

    How exciting about the memoir. It’s so, so, cool. Tell me more about it? Is it short-short memoirs? All types? This is FABulous.

    I love your look in college with that red lipstick! You look like Maid Marion or something with all that hair. Gorgeous then, gorgeous now.

  • Carolyn Burns Bass
    February 9, 2007

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought what Robin wrote. About the dress, that is.

    I love the contentment on your face in the drawing, but oddly, what struck me most is your hands. These are the hands of a woman who mistakenly kills a kitten, but goes on to cradle babies, nurture friendships, and write amazing stories from it all.

  • Kaytie
    February 9, 2007

    A six word memoir is quite the challenge!

    Did it take you a long time each morning to create the bangs (fringe?) in your college picture?

  • Susan Henderson
    February 9, 2007

    Oh, hey, stop right there guys. I most certainly do wear underwear now. I don’t want anyone calling me Britney!

    Robin – Yes, withdrawl.

    Myf – I love those angel kitties, too.

    Gail – I also wrote a normal sized memoir, you know. This was just a contest, apparently, run by Smith Magazine. You had to tell your story in six words. (I think the look I was going for in college was that I’m-so-scary/The-Cure look.)

    Carolyn – Aww. You’re a sweetheart. And Brian, too. When he showed me this drawing, I was really choked up.

    Kaytie – My hair care was always to comb my hair out in the shower and then just wring the water out of it and go. Anything that happened with the bangs was accidental or from combing with my fingers. Now I’ve had to add blowdrying to my hair care because the texture changed after Green-Hand was born.

    P.S. Yes, I know I’m way behind on email. I’ll try to catch up today. Sorry!

  • LaurenBaratz-Logsted
    February 9, 2007

    Regarding Britney/panties: While vacationing in Colorado in December, the friends we were staying with had no TV but plenty of computers. One night – there may have been a glass or two of wine involved – I mentioned something I’d heard online, that if you googled Britney + Panties, you got like a million hits, so we did. Next thing I know, flash forward to a gathering a few days later, and there’s my then six-year-old daughter telling people, “In our house, we are thankful Britney is wearing panties again.” Mortifying…yet fun!

  • Juliet
    February 9, 2007

    RE: earlier comments

    Your brother must have a damn, damn fine face.

  • Robin Slick
    February 9, 2007

    Okay, this is seriously weird.

    Since I’m an agnostic, that means I can believe in anything I want or not believe it…but if you go to our beloved…I mean, Neil Gaiman’s site today…he has an anniversary gift…a weird 8 ball with Neils face in the center (you look like Jambi on Pee Wee’s Playhouse, Neil…but cuter, of course)

    Here is the link:

    So I clicked on it, and here’s what it said:

    “And now we hear that Julie has beendiscontinued?”

    Ahem. That’s my daughter’s name. I will now gulp in fear every five seconds until one of you goes to his site and tells me you got the same message and it means nothing.

    Thank you.

  • Lance Reynald
    February 9, 2007

    and what exactly is suppose to be wrong with geisha makeup??

    dated a few of those fair faced gals , especially in the 80s, if you looked like Siouxsee Sioux OR Morrisey I may have taken a shot at it.

    Great pics, great week, great stories.

    Congrats on all the great bookish news Wondertwin!!!

    gotta run, I have this crazy idea that I’m gonna finish this novel sooner rather than later.

    xoxo- L.

  • Susan Henderson
    February 9, 2007

    Lauren – Your daughter sounds absolutely great!

    Last night, and this will give you some insight into Green-Hand’s personality, we went out for Indian food, which we do most Thursdays. And after we eat, we all move into the (totally freezing) bar area, where the mics and instruments are set up, and people get up and play. And my friend comes up to Green-Hand and asks if he wants to sign up on the list to play some songs. And he looks over the list and looks around the bar and says, “Yes, but I’d like to go later when there’s a bigger crowd.” Then he sat down and did sodokus until it was his turn.

    Juliet – Aw, what a sweetie.

    Robin – Eek, that’s freaky! I got “Anywho, I’m pretty keen about you” or something like that with a little British twist, and I decided that was a fine fortune to stop on. It’s awfully fun shaking him back and forth!

    Lance – I’m proud of you. Take it to the end!

    Okay, guys, I have some work I need to finish up before I head out to the new year’s party at Chinese school. 新年快乐!

  • LaurenBaratz-Logsted
    February 9, 2007

    Susan, I think we should fix Green-Hand up with The Jaxster.

  • Ellen Meister
    February 10, 2007

    This line made me laugh like crazy:

    So I read, waving occasionally to people I knew and asking them in a non-plussed way if they knew where the R.A. was.

    Ha! I can just SEE you!

    Great week on Litpark,Sue. Thanks!

  • Rashenbo
    February 11, 2007

    That’s an awesome post. I love the sketch. It looks beautiful! Congratulations too on your fabulous six word brilliance! 🙂

  • Susan Henderson
    February 12, 2007

    Lauren – Yes, definitely. Hey, check in tomorrow . . .

    Ellen – I’m full of these stories of stupid things I do. Just yesterday, the phone rang. Someone said, “Hey! How are you doing?” We talked a while, and then I said, can you hold on while I go to a quieter room – there’s a bunch of guys playing guitar in my living room. And she said, “People are playing guitar in your living room – why??!” When I got to the quieter room, I said, “Sorry, so who is this now?” And, of course, it’s the wrong number and she said, “Well, it’s been great talking to you.”

    Rashenbo – Welcome! I don’t know if my six words were brilliant, but I sure think the sketch is.

Susan Henderson