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.