Saturday, March 5, 2011

Who Am I?

I was thinking about my author bio this morning and I came to a realization.  On paper, I'm boring. 

Seriously.  I'm a housewife, living in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere.  I spend most of my time in my house, dorking around on the internet, reading, crocheting and teaching my kid what few things I have left to impart on her High School Senior person.  And, of course, doing writerly things.

Want to see what my bio paragraph looks like right now?

When I’m not writing full time, maintaining my blog, or doing other writerly things, I’m a housewife and homeschooler, who reads everything she can get her hands on and watches too much TV.  Before I dropped into this semi-hermit existence, I spent the majority of my time in corporate America—schmoozing, consulting and administrating wherever my unfinished degree in Speech and Psychology would suit me best.

Yup.  That's it.  Total snooze-fest.  It's also totally accurate.  Sentence one tells what I do now.  Sentence two tells what I used to do (and imparts a bit of what I'm still capable of, despite the fact that I am now boring).  :yawn:  That's me in a nutshell.  Snooze-a-rama. 

People I know don't find me boring - I hope.  My Facebook and blog friends haven't given any indication that I'm a yawner to be around.  Hell, I have more fun inside my head and around the house than anyone can imagine.  I don't think I'm boring, but I can see how it might appear that way.

The problem is I have one paragraph to boil who I am into a rich and meaty stew any agent would be delighted to enjoy. 

I've been places and done things way beyond the confines of this dinky place on the eastern plains of Colorado.  I've driven the mean streets of Detroit and Flint.  (Okay, yeah, I was too chicken to get out of the car, but wouldn't you be?)  I've weathered the edge of a hurricane in my apartment in Tallahassee.  I've explored the back roads - sometimes at the risk of great bodily harm - of the Wasatch Mountains.  I've hung out with artists in their gallery in Salt Lake City.  I've dined with the CEOs of multi-million dollar companies - once on a yacht on Lake Michigan under the glow of Chicago.  I've driven through wildfire smoke so thick I could hardly see and tornado force winds where the tumbleweeds were blowing sideways as the car shook around me.  I've endured frostbite and heat stroke and brain damage and physical therapy that would make a grown man cry (and judging from the other patients, it often did).

How do you take all the rich experiences of a life and turn them into a paragraph?  Especially one that relates to writing?  All the things I've done go into who I am and what I write.  Those words up there in italics are totally accurate and at the same time, wholly insufficient. 

Who am I?  I'm a former road-warrior who's often gotten herself into scrapes she almost didn't get herself out of, who is willing to break herself into tiny pieces if it means getting the job done, who married a man she spent a total of six days in the physical presence of before the wedding and then moved 600 miles to the middle of nowhere to be with that man, who dropped everything to homeschool a child who was failing in the public education system.  Sure, I live most of my life now in my head, but I have 40 years of life experiences that go way beyond what it says in that one little paragraph.

Who am I?  I'm a writer. 

Do anyone really need to know anything else?


  1. > Who am I? I'm a writer. Does anyone really need to know anything else?

    You've said it all. I misted up a little as I read those words. How can we possibly put a lifetime in one paragraph?

    But on your second try, I'd say you did.

  2. I love the paragraph that starts with "I've been places...", take out that first sentence and there's your bio - just add a sentence or two at the end to indicate you're putting all that life-living into writing.

    Or the paragraph that starts with "Who am I?" Just lose that sentence and then tweak the last one to say you're using those years of living to create fiction.

    Honestly - I love those two paragraphs, B.E. They're perfect bios!! And I have never (and will never) find you boring :)

  3. You sound interesting to me, and you've also got a blog award waiting for you over at my blog.

  4. I envy your being able to be a road warrior. I wish I could pick up and travel without worrying about everything. Great post!