Talking Story

author photos

The wind-blown look.

The wind-blown look.

Photo-bombed by the horses.

Photo-bombed by the horses.

The Producer

The Producer

Even the cats wondered what the fuss was all about.

Even the cats wondered what the fuss was all about.

I hate getting my picture taken. The photos never look like me, the image of myself that lives inside my head. Frankly, I probably never looked liked the image in my head. I’m a writer. I have a great imagination.

As a writer, I spend most of my days in yoga pants and tee-shirts in front of my computer. It’s a big day if I have to buy groceries and talk to a cashier. Heaven help me if I actually have to walk into the school to pick up a kid.

But occasionally I do have to comb my hair, put some make-up on, find clothes without pukas or stains, and submit to being photographed. Book 2, One Shark, No Swim is about to be launched, so new photos were in order.

The photographer said, “I want to capture you in your natural environment.”

Looking down at my Will Work for Books sweatshirt, ratty stretch pants, hair stuffed in a messy pony, lying on the couch guzzling Diet Coke, I didn’t think he knew what he was getting into. “You mean you want to shoot at the house?” I asked.

“I want the readers to see the real you!”

Personally, I’ve always been a bigger fan of the fantasy. Reality always includes too many dishes, kids with sticky hands, and things that make you go ewww.

As we headed out the door to take some shots, my daughter the rodeo princess looked up. “Your make-up’s nice, Mom. Not too over-the-top. I mean, it’s not a like a Rodeo Clown or anything. Not-too-Momish either.”

“Great,” I said, “glad to know I hit the sweet-spot between hobo and whore.”

“I was going to say New York chic, but now that I look at you, it’s kinda more New York-Mom chic.

I don’t even know what that means. But the fun didn’t stop there. The whole barnyard had to get into the act.

“Let’s try some shots by the aspens” was an invitation to the free-range chickens and guinea hens to peck at my feet, hopeful some old grapes or stale bread would come their way. “How about we try something with your arm on a fence rail” turned into a group photo. “Come here and we’ll sit and review what we’ve taken” was the cue for one of the cats to jump on the photographer’s lap and check out the photos. No, really. You’d have thought the cat was the producer if you’d seen the way he pushed us aside to see the viewfinder.

At one point I realized I was the center of attention for fifteen chickens, two guinea hens, three horses, two dogs, and two cats–and one poor photographer standing on a wrought iron lawn chair to get the right angle. No wonder all the critters were staring.

And wondering where the food was.

Probably should’ve gone with photos of them instead.

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