Monday, March 19, 2012

At least she didn't find the skeletons in there

I'm scheduled to spend the next three days in Portland attending a conference for the day job.

It's the first time I'm revisiting the setting of Believe it or Not since the book's release, so that's exciting.

It's also an occasion that requires me to dress like a grown-up, which isn't nearly as exciting.

Saturday night, I asked my gentleman friend's six-year-old to assist me in choosing outfits for my business trip. She had a fine time perusing the contents of my large walk-in closet before selecting the following ensemble for me to wear to a Sunday evening awards banquet:

Note the matching red shoes and perhaps slightly less matching purple bra (paired with matching purple panties, so I'll give her that one).

I'm charmed by the attention to detail and the colorful nature of the ensemble. I'm also a little perplexed to discover these things in my closet in the first place.

I acquired the skirt while on vacation in Fiji six years ago. To the best of my recollection, I haven't worn it since that summer. The top is a more recent purchase, though it hasn't emerged from the closet since last spring (partly due to the fact that unless I safety-pin the neckline, I show more cleavage than a half-price hooker).

I've cleaned my closet numerous times in the last year alone, hauling boxes and bags full of clothing to Goodwill. I always thought I was being pretty ruthless.

But it took someone else – a six-year-old, no less – wandering through my wardrobe to make me realize I'd actually missed quite a lot.

I can't think of a more perfect metaphor for why all writers need good critique partners. No matter what the age, background, or skill level of the person reading your work, he or she will always catch things you missed. Always. You can choose to disagree with the observations or ignore the feedback, but if nothing else, the input will give you a fresh look at your prose.

Or wardrobe, as the case may be. I'm half tempted to pack the outfit, just to make me smile over the next few days.

Have you ever discovered something in your closet or your writing that surprised or disturbed you? Please share!

Oh, and speaking of the Portland conference, I suspect I may be a little tied up with day job stuff for the next few days. That means posting to the blog may be a challenge, so I'm going to go ahead and extend last Friday's contest a few more days. That gives you through noon PST on Tuesday, March 20 to enter the contest by coming up with another idea for a contest.

I swear, that made sense at the time.


Teri Anne Stanley said...

I almost got out of the house the other day wearing a 15 year-old skirt and cowboy boots (there was a shirt involved, too, but it's not very interesting)...alas, the 14-yo Drama Queen halted me before I got past the front door.
Payback for not letting her wear her dominatrix belt/corset thing to church, I guess.

Sarah Allen said...

Love it! Tots sexy. I just sent the first half of my manuscript to readers, so I'm waiting/hoping to get this feedback/fresh perspective. I hadn't thought about giving it to my seven year old sister, but maybe...

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Anonymous said...

Have a fun conference - and take a picture of what the final outfit looks like - although I'm sure it won't be near as lovely as the pictured one....

Tacoza said...

My niece does have quite the discerning eye!!

Laina said...

You know, that shirt would look nice with a pair of black pants or a black skirt (maybe with a cami underneath, lol). It's a tiny bit bright altogether, but they're both nice. Not bad for a six year old ;)

(I say that in the nicest way because the 8 year old I baby-sit wanted to go to school the other day in head to toe camo.)