I dance sitting in my car. I can’t help myself. I can’t drive without music. And when I hear music, I have to move. When I hear great music, I have to move even more. And it looks ridiculous. At least I assume. I can’t actually see myself.
So I quite often find myself at a stoplight doing a fist pump that turns into an “oh I was just playing with my hair” move when I realize I’m level with the car beside me. Or a shoulder groove that turns into “just stretching out my sore muscles.”
But then I remember:
I don’t know these people.
That’s one good thing about the traffic in this area. Although I’m surrounded by other cars, I’ll probably never see those drivers ever again. So does it matter if they think I’m strange?
No. No it does not. Because the truth is, I am strange. (I know. Try to control your utter shock.) And it always makes me smile to see other strange people doing fabulously strange things.
So why not? Maybe a weird car-dancing girl in the car next to someone will make their day. You just never know. (Although the fist-pumping could be a little alarming so that one I might still keep in check. But the rest? Oh, it’s on.)
Confession: I’m going to keep car-dancing. And you can’t stop me. But you’re welcome to join me.
I saw a quote in Panera the other day. A cute quote about a preference for coffee over compliments, attributed to one of my favorite authors: Louisa May Alcott. Being the good little detail-oriented researcher that I am, I went home and looked it up.
Indeed, the words were penned by Alcott. But they were spoken through the lips of her character, Amy, the youngest sister in Little Women.
I found myself conflicted about that. Authors are quoted through the words of their characters all the time. And while I’m glad acknowledgement is given to the creator of those words, I find myself concerned.
As a writer, I create all kinds of characters who say a wide variety of things. Sometimes they say things I don’t agree with. Obviously. Because without tension between characters, your plot is as interesting as your Uncle Joe’s third retelling of the time he caught that massive bass.
Not every character we create is going to say wonderful things that reflect our opinions and perspectives. We use dialog to create tension, to reflect moods, to stir emotions within the reader. So where’s the line when it comes to attributing those words directly to the author, bypassing the character entirely?
I don’t know. But I find it troubling.
And I feel the need to say this: I love coffee. So when my character says derogatory things about coffee, don’t you attribute it to me directly. That opinion belongs to the person in my head, capiche?