Picture Perfect (well, sort of)

Hi! Thanks for stopping by my little ol’ blog, wherein I discuss a whole lot of nothin’ for your edification and (hopefully) amusement. This week: Author Photos.

So, with a couple of my manuscripts now out on submission, I think it’s a good time to update my author photo.

This, my current photo, has never been my favorite. I mean, the colors are good and the pose is suitably author-y, but that jaw clench is all George Washington and his painful wooden teeth. What’s more, my expression says, this woman is concerned, this woman is serious. False — I’ve never been concerned, much less serious, a day in my life. Don’t just take my word for it, there are lots of people who’ll swear to my lack of seriousity in court.

So I’m ditching old jaw clench in search of something new. First up, a photo from last year, one of my favorites.

The pose is casual and more ‘me,’ and by that I mean sarcastic, insouciant, unserious, but it also looks as if I posed in a prison yard, and if any setting just screams for a serious expression, a prison yard is it.

Besides, I look far, far too much like my doppelganger and childhood celebrity boyfriend, Charlie Bucket.

So, that’s a no.

How about an author photo that makes me look younger? A fine idea, everyone knows young is where’s it’s at and only total geezers would admit to being born in a year that begins with the numbers 19–. How about this lovely young lady photo gem?

Surely no one will notice it’s basically B&W and I’m dressed like I’m on my way to an anti-war rally at the local draft board, right? Okay, maybe not.


And maybe not this photo either.

It’s a classic author pose. Maybe THE #1 classic author pose. And I really did try to serious-it-up with this one, but oh, that expression! That epic smirk shoots this picture zooming past unserious territory to land squarely in parody-land.

Plus I seem to be punching myself in the jaw, for what reason I do not know, but I’m sure I deserved it.

Whew! All this picture perusing has made me thirsty. Anyone want to join me in a cuppa? No scones, sadly, I’m gluten free, but we can go wild on clotted cream.

There, that’s better, all refreshed and happy, and you know what? I believe we’ve reached the end of my quest for the perfect author photo.

I mean, is there any other picture that shows you who I am? A little whimsical, a little sweet, a lot cheeky, and all me (except for the retouches, of course!). Let me know what you think.

Thanks for visiting and please stop by again (I’m serious about that!).

Janet – No power in the ‘verse can stop me


Words. Mere Words.

girl writing

Nice blog title, huh? Lyrical, vaguely Shakespearean, bordering on, dare I say it, literary. Quoted from one of my favorite X-Files episodes, Jose Chung’s From Outer Space. The lines, spoken by Charles Nelson Reilly (wearing an ascot, of course), are about the power of words to transform, inspire, amuse, anger, demean, motivate, humble and a host of other, well, words.

As a writer, I kind of have to understand words. I have to know how to put words together to evoke some kind of reaction, some kind of emotion, or there’s no point to what I’m writing. I want to make my reader tear up, laugh, or say, “Ohmigawd, what’s going to happen next?” at the end of a chapter. Or at least I try my damnedest, and the only way I can do that is by putting together a sequence of words in the best, most clever way I can and hope for the best.

Funny thing is, I’m a real dummy when it comes to parts of speech. I’m a disaster at Mad Libs. I have to ask my kids to explain the difference between an adverb and an adjective (don’t know why I bother, because their word choice for filling in the blank is always some variation of “poop”).

I blame my grammar ignorance on this monster pictured above. No, not a map of the DC Metro lines. Sentence diagrams. Pretty sure that week in 9th grade when we learned about the parts of speech and how to diagram a sentence I was absent. The same reason I never learned the 6-7-8 times tables in 4th grade. I was absent for two weeks due to a nervous breakdown (or maybe it was the mumps).

Whatever my excuse, the upshot is, though I kind of know how to put the words together, I can’t tell you how I do it. Dangling participle? Is that a wardrobe malfunction? Subject-verb agreement? Is that some kind of syntax treaty several grammarians hashed out in a smoke-filled boardroom? I just don’t get it. I think it’s because it’s kind of like math, and math and I don’t get along. Haven’t since that great times table debacle long ago.

But I muddle through, and some people seem to think I put the words together just fine. Including the awesomely terrific literary agent who loves, no, lurvvvvessss my work so much she called to offer me representation last week. I’ve been hoping to hear those words for a long time, words that totally call for a drink!

What? You thought I’d celebrate with any other libation?

Now, as soon as I finish my tea, I’ve got to get to work on revisions. The next step is submissions to publishers–words I can totally get behind.

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