“A voluminous litany of curse words spewed from her mouth, all of which would have made hardened criminals on death row blush like nuns.”
~ from, Life in the ‘Cosm, by Cait Gordon
My husband is my first beta-reader. Yeah, I know, you are probably thinking this is as bad as my asking him to teach me how to drive. But because we’ve been musicians together for years, we’re used to criticizing each other to within an inch of our lives artistically, and then snogging it up afterwards as if nothing happened. Not many people have understood that our hot-headedness is just related to the desire to make something better creatively, and it’s not a reflection of what we think of each other.
Bruce is the one of two people who are reading the book as I develop it. My future beta readers can tear the finished manuscript to death afterwards. 🙂 I spent many years as a technical writer, and am used to bullet holes going through my work. However, this will be an interesting challenge, because it’s a book, and not a user guide about how to configure an SSL appliance.
Anyway, I’ve noticed that whenever I have tried to write a story, I cannot represent myself fully through only one character. In LITC, there is one in particular who my close friends will recognize as embodying my personality: an extroverted, giggly, silly, and hot-tempered person. The quote above is a reaction of hers.
Yet, Virj is my protagonist, who is an introvert. One of my friends nearly had a heart attack when I said my lead character is an introvert. But even though the majority of my friends are introverts, and I have learned to understand their reality, there are certain things about Virj that I get. I, too, just want to be alone to decompress, write, and shut out the world. Maybe in my case I do it to recover, because of fibro, but the feelings are there. There are other things about Virj that resonate with me, too. Like, looking for love in the wrong places and not trusting to embrace the people who really love me. I have insecurities that try to obstruct my friendships, and I have to push through those and celebrate the people in my life, and be grateful for them!
Even Xax and Viv, Virj’s Dads, who own a high-end hair salon in the Delta Mews Business park–I get their desire to be parents, and how they can love someone who isn’t biologically theirs, with a fierceness, loyalty, and over-protectiveness. (Ooo, I haven’t mentioned them yet, have I? TEASER!)
Obviously, the book is complete fiction, and any resemblance to anyone, anything, anywhere, from any time-space continuum is a coincidence, but I think authors do put their own reactions in their writing from time to time. For example, I have strong feelings about religious bullying, and I found it easier to express them through a scene in the book, rather than writing a standard blog article. Maybe because I’m a Celt, and we prefer to tell stories; who knows?
In any case, I can see my Cait-isms pop up obviously or subtly all over the place. If I ever did a fantasy fiction truly based on me, I think I would need at least 12 characters to capture me. I’ve always known that my personality was multi-faceted. People have tried to typecast me and label me before, and then I would do something that broke their boxed-in view of me. I suppose I am a very free and fluid spirit, and I like to learn and grow continually.
I hope I never become so narrow as to be that easy to predict. Unless of course you predict that I’ll be unpredictable. Then that’s OK.
Enough about me for today. What do you think of me? 😉
Cait Gordon has been a senior technical writer in high tech and government organizations. She is currently a Web Developer consultant for Dynamic Canvas Inc., and assistant to the Executive Director at H’Art of Ottawa. She also enjoys her crafting business, Cait Cards.