I’m not saying that to brag. I know it is a thing sometimes for girls to exclaim how featherbrained they are and then titter, pearly-whites flashing, eyes flirty. I hate that. Being flighty isn’t anything to be proud of, but it isn’t the end of the world, either. And, well…it isn’t something I can change anyway so it doesn’t matter. I know this because my whole life my mother said:
“Just slow down and think before you move or speak.”
To which I would reply:
“If I could remember to take a beat and slow down before I speak, then I could just speak more carefully. You can’t tell someone that thinking is the cure for not thinking.”
Over the years I’ve heard some words more than others. Words like:
- Flibbertigibbet (my mother and I talk like we grew up in the 20s, I don’t know why. )
- Rammy (I spilled milk a LOT at dinners)
- Attention-t0-detail impaired
I thought my goofy tendencies were something only my family and friends knew about me thanks to their long-term exposure. I was like radiation poisoning that way. Surely, strangers at cocktail parties and business meetings didn’t know about the thoughts ping-ponging inside of my skull…
Then, I read the reviews of my novels Slightly Stalky and Pineapple Lies and realized I might not be as cloaked in mystery as I thought. In those books, my leading ladies are basically me with some twists. Turns out my dizziness had infused my literary children.
As one reviewer put it:
” …an interesting setting and protagonist that just might need Ritalin”
Ritalin? Did that woman just say I need medication?! Yikes!
Granted, I played up a penchant for wacky behavior in Slightly Stalky’s Emily. It’s a romantic comedy after all, and, as my British editor called it, “a bit madcap.”
In Pineapple Lies, my lead, Charlotte, lives in her head for two reasons. First, she spent a lot of time alone as a kid. The voices in her head are some of her best friends. Sure, she has the beloved neighbor ladies nearby, but it isn’t the same as having mom at home. Second, after having both her mother and grandmother die, she’s developed a coping mechanism for dealing with tragedy. She leaves the situation. Mentally.
Many reviewers found my ladies endearing. A few found them annoying. I think the scene where Charlotte muses on the possibility that her loofa is plotting her death had some people wondering if I’m in the care of medical professionals. One person who was half annoyed by the dizzy behavior (3 out of 5 stars), noted that Charlotte’s mental wanderings might be caused by her childhood. I was happy about that. I didn’t even begrudge her the two other stars. Ha!
So, no…dizzy behavior isn’t everybody’s cup of tea.
But I embrace mine.
Not just because I have to.
Not just because it is a symptom of the creative bent that makes me want to write. (I suspect, I haven’t done scientific studies…)
But also because being absent-minded has made me resilient and a bit fearless.
Because my slapdash nature makes me mess up so often. Just the other day I made a chocolate cake and though I thought I’d carefully purchased my ingredients, somehow I’d read right over the five cups of powdered sugar for the icing. Doh! Naturally I didn’t notice this until I was just about done making it. (I should have double-check my ingredients before starting? Seriously? It was a damn miracle I was using a recipe at all!) Luckily, I had some powdered sugar in the house, enough to make it sweet, just not as sweet. I think it might have been better that way. (I am a huge fan of serendipity…) And after the two halves of my layer cake had baked for five minutes, I discovered two eggs that were supposed to be in the batter, were instead hanging out smoking cigarettes behind a bowl on the counter. Doh! I removed each pan, poured the warm batter back into the bowl, added an egg, mixed it up, and then poured it back into the pan. The cake turned out just fine. Delicious, actually.
I didn’t panic. I didn’t even get upset. This happens to me all the time. If I got worked up every time I goofed I’d be locked in a rubber room by now. And I’m sure the MacGyver-like skills I’ve gained over the years will come in really handy some day.
So dizzbangs, unite! Embrace your flighty nature. It makes you, you. Sure, you can be really annoying. And your dizziness may occasionally make life slightly less sweet. But in the end, after you’ve found the eggs loitering behind the mixing bowl, life is still delicious. And when the zombie apocalypse comes, you’ll be the one with all the weird fix-it knowledge everyone wants to have in their tribe.
That is, assuming you weren’t the first one eaten because you were fascinated by a squirrel playing with a bottle cap on a park bench and didn’t hear your neighbor with the missing left arm and rotted face sneaking up on you.
Special note to all the people who have read and reviewed by novels: You guys are awesome. All of you. Pineapple Lies has been somewhere between #800-#1200 overall top Kindle books for a week now. I’ve been totally overwhelmed by all the wonderful comments and support and all my new followers here on the blog! Big virtual hug! I’m already done one chapter of Pineapple 2 – I’m writing as fast as I can!! 🙂
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