A few years ago when trying to learn how to play poker a friend described my face as ‘less poker ’ and more ‘mini golf’.
Every attempt at a lie or a double bluff bounces between my eyes, pinks my cheeks, twisting my mouth in quite unexpected and surprising ways. Every emotion is writ large in size 24 Cambria across my features. Yes, I’m one of those, it’s that easy for folks to know what’s going on with me…should they wish to.
No writer decides to write a novel for an easy life. Most writers these days are wonderfully candid about the 4am anxieties and the thudding disappointments most of us experience. I’ve learnt so much along the way including that it’s entirely possible to want something but also to fear it in equal measure.
I’ve strived harder, experienced more ‘what the f**k am I doing?’ moments, and felt nourished by my work in a way I didn’t know was possible.
Through all of this, my loyal face has kept pace, grimacing and grinning ready to show the world whatever was going on with me on any given day. Like on the news when they have those ‘this just in!’ rolling text banners, my internal headlines ‘I’m stuck on a plot point!’ or ‘My book just sold to Harper US!’ can be read in the squiggle of my eyebrows or the spark of my eyes.
The mini golf menu has extended to include the one eye grimace – opening an editing-related email; the mouth open wobbler – on reading a supportive review and also – my favourite – the pre-cry smile which was firmly established when I held my book in my hands and knew, beyond doubt it was all worth it and I can’t wait to do the whole thing again…