Friday, February 24, 2006

Other Lives

Now that I've compared Olympic skating to writing, I need to find another extended metaphor to play with. As Mom did remind me, that whole dream was really just part of a very vivid fantasy life. I think most writers are like that. I had this whole Walter Mitty-esque existence going on in my brain. If I was in the backseat of the car on a family trip, I might have been a princess kidnapped by evil conspirators, a fighter pilot, an explorer on a river boat on the Amazon, a witch riding a broomstick, a passenger on an airplane going to some exotic land, etc. I basically was Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes, but I had more mental characters than just Spaceman Spiff (or did Calvin have a larger cast in his head?).

In addition to being a champion figure skater, I've also been a champion gymnast, a Broadway star, an Oscar-winning actress, a famous author, a princess, an X-wing pilot, a ballerina, the first female president, a globe-trotting television journalist, a flight attendant, and a popular singer, among other things. In some cases, I did actually attempt to do some of those things in real life. I've studied voice and have been in a stage musical, I was in the high school drama club and have taken acting classes, I've taken ballet classes, I got a degree in television journalism, and, oh yeah, I've written some books (hey, one of those daydreams could come true!).

Then there are the other random things I've tried that I didn't necessarily spend a lot of time daydreaming about. I've played the flute and oboe, I took guitar lessons (but that didn't work because I never developed calluses, and that was painful), I can sew, do embroidery and knit. I've played with making pottery and ceramics. I think I had every craft kit known to mankind. I used to be able to draw a little as long as I had something to look at as a model, but I haven't tried that in ages.

But I realized this morning while working on a new bio to send for a conference where I'm speaking that I don't have much in the way of hobbies at the moment. I don't have a "day job," so I can't talk about that except in the past tense. I don't even have any serious hobbies that I dedicate a lot of time to other than reading and writing. I sing in the church choir and take that ballet exercise class, but that's about all I do that doesn't relate to writing. I think I need a life! I do a lot of random little things, but nothing with the kind of consistency where I could put it in a bio. That may be my project for the year, to find something and dedicate enough time to it to have something to add to my bio.

(And discussing TV shows on the Internet probably doesn't count -- that's the thing other than writing or reading I seem to devote the most time to, but I tend to consider that promo work.)

Now, though, it's a delightfully rainy day, which around here qualifies it as a national holiday, so I'm going to curl up on the sofa and watch a girly movie. A Room With a View sounds good right now.

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