So much of my friends feed is filled with people at Sirens
in Denver, Colorado. Traveling is not in my budget, so I am not in Denver. Instead, I'm at work, taking a brief break because there's only one student (nope, as soon as I wrote that he checked out, so now there are no students) left in the learning center. Or, at least, none looking for help with reading or writing. The math tutors still have a few students.
Over at writerunboxed
there's a post on alter egos
Like many folks, my childhood alter egos were all about action; they were fearless investigators and explorers, ready to solve mysteries one day, climb mountains or ford raging rivers the next. But, as an adult, I see things a bit differently. I've realized that I wear different personas for different situations.
My unnamed alter ego as a mom is always calm and collected. She always knows what to do and what to say. She's fantastic at getting things done, so there's never a need to panic over impending deadlines or sudden guests. All the linens in her linen closet are carefully layered with lavender flowers and never develop moth holes; to this day I prefer lavender-scented laundry detergent
. The original was a mom in a book I read when I was a teen; as a mom, I've never managed to live up to her example, except for brief moments when channeling her helped me to get through a few parenting crises.
Interestingly, I seem to draw on her for my tutoring work, as well. This week is National Tutoring Week
(aka International Tutor Appreciation Week), and my supervisor shared the following note with me:
I can hardly believe she's describing me!
Then, there's the alter ego associated with the little shop my husband and I have on Etsy. There, we take turns with various shop tasks, including writing posts and answering "convos" from customers. For that, we try to do a bit of a mind meld and write with a single voice. Not that we're necessarily all that successful at maintaining the same voice, but we do seem to have at least some of our customers guessing at which one of us is responding to their messages.
But, what about my alter ego as a writer?
When it comes to writing, I try to celebrate my creativity. Here's the ultra-short version of my standard writer's bio:
Pamela D. Lloyd was born to a witchy alien fortuneteller and a mad scientist. A sock salesman once tried to buy her in exchange for two suitcases of socks and a realtor later offered an entire house, but her parents, not knowing when to cut their losses, held out for more, only to get stuck with her. It’s no wonder she turned to writing fantasy and science fiction. It was either that, or take over the universe, and the keys to the spaceship had fallen down a rabbit hole.
The details of that bio are
amazingly close to
reality. (No. Really. My mother claimed the severity of her allergies were because she came from another planet; my dad was an organic chemist and pret-ty darn strange; and various people really did try to buy me when I was still a baby.) It's the breezy, carefree attitude that's the expression of an alter ego.
I wish I had that kind of blast ahead, all engines running, take no prisoners temperment when it comes to writing. Instead, I'm most likely to drag my feet all the way to the keyboard and sit there moping, every word pried from my mind with all the generosity Scrooge showed doling out coins to the Cratchit family before that notable Christmas so delightfully documented by Dickens. To make matters worse, I have a terrible time sending stories off. One motto my children heard many times was, "If you don't ask, the answer is always, 'no.'" But, when it comes to asking if publisher XYZ would like to include one of my stories in a magazine or anthology, I'm terrible at asking. This is especially true when I've scraped up the courage to ask once and the story has been returned. Please, please, don't tell me about how I need to write and submit. The message has been received. Thoroughly. The problem is, it's also been chewed and mangled by my psyche. I'm working on it.
My Facebook alter ego might be said to have multiple personalities. I rarely share personal news there, especially when it's bad. I don't feel comfortable sharing news in that space, in large part because I've got two or three complete strangers on my friends list for every friend I've actually met in person, and the ratio's far worse when it comes to people I know well. So, it sometimes becomes my soapbox for expressing myself politically, and sometimes for sharing stuff I find amusing, interesting, or useful. And, now that I've got a decent camera in my phone (thanks to my wonderful son, Keith), I sometimes even post pictures of food I'm about to eat. Really yummy, made-from-scratch food requiring discipline to stop long enough to take a picture before digging in.
So, who am I, really? Some days, I'm not entirely sure myself. I'm complicated.ETA:
This post was started at work, but completed from home. I don't get that
much free time, even on Saturdays. In fact, during the week, I find it difficult to find time to take even the smallest break. Also, I was thrilled to discover that at least a few of the songs by one of my favorite albums are available through the Internet Underground Music Archive(IUMA). I highly recommend that you use the link provided in the Music field to listen to the beautiful and haunting song, "Still My Thoughts."ETA2:
Just in case it's not entirely clear, when I say my alter ego as a mom was always calm and collected, I am absolutely not trying to suggest that my actual parenting style bore any resemblance. I'm sure my kids would be very amused at the very idea. Or, indignant. Their mom, calm and collected?! Nope. Didn't happen. Except when she was. Which happened about as often as a supermoon eclipse.