Thursday, March 26, 2009

Beverly Stone: Provocative

Meet Beverley Stone, all-around awesome person. For the next few weeks, she'll be blogging about life as an author, with the same warm and honest humanity that defines her novel No Beautiful Shore. Settle in and enjoy a peek into the mind of a very talented writer.

Narcissism and the Single Novelist
II. Provocative

No updo.

First of all, I have to say thanks to Bryan for enhancing my credibility by posting the only glam shot I have ever had taken with my hair “swept into an updo,” directly above the blog entry where I say I never do such things. In case you are wondering, I got myself all titivated off (as my people say) to attend the Book Lovers Ball, 2008. I decided that I would wear my vintage 1960’s cocktail fit-out and go as Holly Golightly. However, upon examining my wrinkles in the mirror, I realized that I couldn’t pull it off, even if I could find one of those fancy cigarette holders. I decided to go as Gladys Golightly, Holly’s older sister, who had her own money for the powder room, and would never, ever have abandoned Cat to the streets of NYC. Gladys -- practical, responsible, and unfairly excluded from the story by that Capote fellow. Perhaps I will write my own novel from Glad’s point-of-view: Breakfast at Zellers.

Bryan has given me what I think are some pretty confining terms for this blog. I have been told that I can neither swear not slur others, but otherwise the sky is the limit. Well, fahooie on Cormorant Books, I say.

See that was provocative. I ask myself, why am I like this? Where does this desire to show people that they are not the boss of me come from? I am four-years old on some fundamental emotional level. Saying or doing things to chafe at people’s comfort level is not a wining quality in an employee, spouse or blog writer. I do, as a friend of mine pointed out, really enjoy saying things to bother people.

It’s not that I set out to be an irritant, but it is a gift. I read back what I have written sometimes, and I think, ‘My Lord, Beverley. Don’t be writing that.’ (read this statement as if it was said by your mom, because I am channeling mine here). It’s not that I start with that goal in mind, but my characters make some unconventional, uncomfortable choices, as does Janice in No Beautiful Shore. Unlike a character in a Hollywood romance, she stays with the man she doesn’t love, mostly because she is scared. I think that is what people do in real life – they are too scared to make changes.

So when I am not consumed by the black dogs of doubt, I am overwhelmed by the desire to say things that shock people. I’d apologize, but that would be insincere.

I like being a bit of an excrement disturber. Notice that I did not say the vulgar word for excrement that starts with an “s”, and I promise you, I would not, even if my mouth was full of it. I am all about colouring inside the lines. And I never, ever wear my hair in an updo either.

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