I love writing suspense because it takes me on adventures I'd never try in real life. And that's a good thing since the older I get, the more my bones creak and my joints hurt. I've got wrinkles in place where I didn't used to have places.
So no, I can jump out of planes or scale mountains. I can't drive fast--okay I have been known to do that maybe. But only when I'm trying to get to a shoe sale! I don't like getting old but I don't have much choice. I just hope my fingers won't quit typing any time soon.
I've been discussing wrinkles and old age and cellulite with some friends and that got me to thinking about writers and how solitary we are. We can slink around in our PJs on DEADLINE days and not even think twice about it. But when it comes time to go to a conference where there will be OTHER PEOPLE, and we panic. Maybe because we don't dwell on our looks as much as we dwell on our characters' goals, motivations and conflicts. We might run a brush through our air-dried hair at home but out there in the real world, we have to maintain the image. You know the one--we wear a boa and those cute mules with feathered vamps and we flutter about in a vivid silk dressing gown and sip on freshly ground coffee and eat divine chocolate. And we have a maid and cabana boy, too. Yes, that's the image of most romance writers, right? NOT. I wear t-shirts and yoga pants most days. Elastic is my friend. I have a trench coat I call my Wal-Mart coat because I can throw it on over anything and be completely covered when I make a chocolate and coffee run. So in a way, I'm undercover just like my characters. Except it never fails I'll run into someone from
church and have to explain why I look like I'm a shoplifter.
No, old age is not fun. Wrinkles, age spots, dimples where dimples don't need to be, an ever-expanding waist line and aches and pains galore. But I've learned something in my old age--for every wrinkle there is a laugh line, for every new inch there is a memory, and for all the aches and pains, there is a life full of joy, sorrow and stories--that's the suspense of every day life and sometimes that's enough for me!