Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Few Writer Trials

Last night I kept waking up from stress nightmares: free-falling elevators, long chase-scenes through abandoned buildings.

What had me in a cold sweat?

I needed to get some new head shots taken today.

Okay, you can stop laughing now.

See, I don't usually wear make-up. Didn't really own any until Saturday when I stood and stared stupidly at the shelves of cosmetics at Target wondering what I needed to buy to look like a semi-professional grown-up. Appearance isn't one of those high-value issues in my life. Which can be a good thing. I have a friend who used to spend a full hour each day on hair and make-up.

My splash-water-in-my-face-and-head-out-the-door approach has given me an extra hour to do the things that my life has been rich and full with. Things I wouldn't have had time for if I did a lot of fussing.

I also don't do much with my hair. So when I NEED it to look good, I have no wealth of experience to draw from. And clothes? Because of twenty years of teaching ballet, I like to wear something I can do the splits in. Anything stretchy and cotton and completely comfortable.

Yet today I needed to choose clothes, fix my face, tame my hair - and take a picture that would embody what I want to convey as an author. Last year's photo was used on posters, in newspapers, on blogs, in book catalogs, websites, business cards.

Ha! Talk about pressure!

Ted came to my rescue. As a video project manager, he knows lots of make-up artists and called a friend to come help me out. That was a surprising treat. She didn't turn me into a caricature. She really fixed my face to be me - but a me that would look better for the camera.

Then daughter Jenni and I headed to an inexpensive mall studio, where a bubbly high-school junior was the photographer.

I tried some "serious-intelligent-author" looks, and quite honestly, the photos looked like I was a sad-eyed Basset Hound. I tried some mysterious smiles and only succeeded in looking nauseated.

So I gave up and just did the same old smile as my past head-shots.

I know, I know. It's a tremendous privilege to get to write books, and I don't mean to gripe. And isn't God good to let me have a career where I don't usually HAVE to gussy up to do my work? And I'm thrilled that my husband loves the flower-child-throw-back natural style that is me.

But we all have things that stress us out, don't we? Experiences that are a snap for others, are just not part of our comfort zone.

Whatever scary thing you had to face today - congratulations! You did it!
And I pray that if you have anything scary to face tomorrow, God will send you support in many forms, just as He sent me a kind make-up artist, an enthusiastic photographer, and a family that loves me the way I am.

Sharon Hinck


C. H. Green said...

You look great! I dread the day I have to go do that, but if it happens I'm not gonna complain. You go girl.

Meredith Efken said...

You look GORGEOUS, Dahling! Simply gorgeous! :)