Last night I was talking to a friend who is reading my book. She told me it’s been a little bizarre reading because she knows me…or thought she did. “You write sword fights! And describe people being wounded as if you know how it feels!” she said. “How do you figure all that out?” I explained that having a cooperative husband who’ll block fight scenes with me helps, but she shook her head. “No, it’s just that I realize you’re not quite who I thought you were.” This friend only knows me from dance, where I am joyful and energetic. So of course it might be a bit daunting to recognize that I might have a darker side, one that knows how injuries feel, how enticing vengeance can be and what betrayal looks like. I’ve run into the same thing with coworkers, who read the book and suddenly look at me as if they’re trying to find the no-nonsense, efficient librarian whose body I’ve obviously taken over.
It’s still me. I’m still cheerful in the morning, madly in love with my husband and determined to find the magic I believe is out there. I’m a good daughter, a loving mother, a faithful friend. I experience deep anger and irrational jealousy. I laugh easily. I’m afraid of heavy winds but I love a good thunderstorm. I write so I can travel to places that exist nowhere but my imagination and I dance in order to free my body and connect to the numinous, that something ‘other’ that makes the ordinary into the extraordinary. So I wrote something that startled you, something that a nice lady like me shouldn’t know about? Better just take a deep breath and keep reading. ‘Cause this is what I do.
This is who I am.