Thursday, January 10, 2008

Big Hair, Big Dreams, Big Fun


Last night, I had the fun of meeting author/book club guru Kathy Patrick who was at Left Bank Books promoting her book The Pulpwood Queens Guide to Life. One of the things she does at each reading is choose one lucky attendee to get a "Big Hair Makeover" right then and there. The lucky winner was moi. Pictures can be accessed here.

(UPDATE: a few readers didn't understand the concept of big hair. Think teased and heavily hair sprayed, and usually involving wigs/hairpieces. This is a picture of Kathy Patrick and a reader at last year's fun. I still haven't been able to download/copy pictures from last night. For that you need to click on the above "here" link.)

Later, walking down the street to my car, I kept getting odd glances. I'd forget why (not alot of big hair in St. Louis!). Then I'd glimpse my reflection in a storefront window and do a double take. That wasn't me. But it was.

And then I thought about how easily I now see myself as an author. A novelist. But years ago, when I'd dream about it, I'd wonder how it would feel to try on that job, that label. It fits great now, but it didn't always. For a few minutes last night, I had that feeling again. I'm NOT a big hair girl. (In the '70s, I struggled to fit in a world of Farrah Fawcett wings with my long straight hair. In one of the biggest hair mistakes known to man (and yes, I do think it's a documented disaster right up there with New Coke) I got a Dorothy Hamill wedge cut. Adorable on her and great if you have the kind of hair that bounces. I didn't. Still don't. I have very stubbornly straight hair. But, I digress.)

As I said, I'm not a big hair girl, but it was fun to play as one for a little while last night. And as I think about starting a new novel in the next few weeks, I'm looking forward to the personas I'll get to walk around in for the next year or so as, through my characters, I inhabit new identities (with all sorts of hairstyles). And to get me even more in the spirit of things, on January 17 I'm headed to Kathy Patrick's Girlfriend Weekend, where I'll pal around with my author friends, meet Pulpwood Queens from all over the world, and don a hot pink and leopard print get-up (yes, I'll post pictures) for the Hairball Saturday night. All things I'd never dreamed of a few years ago.

11 comments:

Larramie said...

Hairball Saturday night sounds like a catty affair...groan, yet couldn't resist. But I'm puzzled over the significance of Big Hair, please help, Judy!

debra said...

I don't get the Big Hair reference either....

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Hi Larramie and Debra--Does the picture help? Think Texas, teased hair, lots of hairspray and etc.

Therese said...

What fun, Judy!

I tried for big hair in the early 80s, and kept trying, into the mid 80s... I don't think I'm risking anything by saying my writing efforts are probably going to have a much better outcome. :)

Carleen Brice said...

Have fun at the Hairball! Have a drink for me! :)

Toni Lea Andrews said...

"The higher the hair, the closer to God."

Are the Pulpwood Queens spiritual sisters of the Sweet Potato Queens? Seriously, if you haven't read THE SWEET POTATO QUEENS' BOOK OF LOVE, run, do not walk, to the nearest bookstore.

Or go to www.sweetpotatoqueens.com

Lisa said...

I never had cheerleader big hair, but in the 80s I did have that huge perm with bangs thing going on -- in retrospect, I think I bore more of a likeness to Robert Plant or Rosanne Rosanandana than a beauty queen :)

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Therese--you know, I'm sure if we all pulled out our pictures from back then we'd fall over laughing looking at the hairstyles we thought looked good! And, without even seeing those photos, I know your writing efforts will be much better!

Carleen--Thanks! I might even have two.

Toni Lea--The sweet potato queens are a riot! The Pulpwood Queens are just as, dare I say it, "tacky"?, but are also really about promoting reading and literacy.

Lisa--what a great image--you as Rosanna Danna!

Larramie said...

Judy, I completely understand "big hair," but how is it related to writers or writing?

Patry Francis said...

I stopped in to thank you for all your recent support, but loved the big hair! I had one of those explosive perms Lisa describes. Now when I look at the old photos, I can't help wondering what I was thinking...

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Larramie--Oh, I get it now (and I'm thinking my comparison/connection wasn't too spot on!), but for me, it had to do with seeing myself in doiferent roles, seeing myself how others see me which at times is different from how I do. Climbing into other personas as a writer, too.

Patry--how wonderful to have you stopping by! I'm hoping you are snuggled up at home, with family and friends bringing you tea and soup, and that you're feeling all our healing thoughts! We all ought to pull out those pictures sometime--you know a before and after meme or something, huh?