I need to start my weekly wrap by saying that was some sweet homecoming you guys gave me. Thank you for that. You were definitely missed.
If you’re wondering about the seemingly random (yet stylish) photos today, these are some of the people I’ll be working with next month, and this is my little way of advertising Nile Rodgers’ We Are Family Foundation, whose programs educate people about mutual respect, understanding, and appreciation of cultural diversity.
Sometimes when I ask a Question of the Week, I don’t realize how hard it is till Friday, when I take a crack at it. It seemed like a simple enough thing to ask you guys to describe your writing style, but when I tried to answer it myself, I became nervous about underselling or overselling my own work, or worse, discovering that it was ordinary.
Some of you spent a little time describing your shoes and glasses, so I think I’ll start there, too, and talk about my outward style. I have a habit of wearing jeans, two shirts at once, and I comb my hair with my fingers. I’m a mascara and lip gloss type of girl, though today (and this is typical), I’ve forgotten the mascara and lip gloss. If I dress up to go out, I look about the same except with bracelets and usually the necklace I bought in Beijing for just a few cents.
I’m fussier about my writing.
I think I have two writing styles. There’s my non-fiction (essays, my memoir) that pretty much captures the way I speak minus the um’s. This writing is lighter, hopefully funny and poignant, and the easiest for me to write. I’m an Achilles’ heal junkie so I tend to run towards the scenes that expose weaknesses. I love people for their tender, unpolished spots, the ways they’re ashamed, the things they most want to hide. That would be the quality that my non-fiction shares with my fiction. That and an obsession with rhythm and quirky details.
As far as my fiction goes – short stories and my novel – I’ve been compared to Carson McCullers for twenty years. I’m not entirely sure what that’s about, but oddly enough, I find my Virginia accent rears its head in my fiction. I worked very hard to lose my accent in college because people teased me about it, but when I write deep, and particularly when I write from a child’s perspective, the voice in my head still has a little twang to it. One thing I do know is that when I write fiction, I tend to go deeper and darker because fiction has always allowed me to tell bigger emotional truths. Any of you feel the same way?
Tommy Hilfiger (who, by the way, has just gone FUR-FREE! You go, Tommy!)
Thanks to those of you who answered the Question of the Week and shared your style: Julie Ann Shapiro, Claire Cameron, Lori Oliva, Lance Reynald, Aurelio, Ellen Meister, James Spring, Paula, Robin Slick, Aimee, Ania, Lauren Baratz-Logsted, Gail Siegel, Jenn, Betsy, AmyWallen, Anneliese, amy, Carolyn Burns Bass, Kelly Spitzer, Noria, Margy, Jonathan Evison, *Joe*, Pia, scott, Ric Marion, Tom Jackson, Nathalie, Kris Yankee, Bruce Hoppe, Jim Simpson, Mary Akers, Kimberly, Kirk Farber, Jordan, Daryl, Alexi Lykissas, Richard, Juliet, Grant Bailie, jon armstrong, n.l. belardes, Simon Haynes, Man Martin, and Edward Champion.
And thank you to the most awesome Elizabeth Crane for sharing your book and your crocheted tops with us! See you Monday!