What's Your Helmet? By Grace Burrowes
I'm fortunate that my sister Gail lives about an hour east of Atlanta, so when RWA 2013 wrapped up, I could spend a day at her house decompressing and call it a sibling visit. We had great fun comparing our Works in Progress--Gail is about to submit a PhD thesis on the use of certain metaphors in Virgil's "Aeneid,"and I'm wrapping up a third book in a Regency trilogy for next year. Plenty of overlap there--and what do you know, Virgil hid Easter eggs in his 9000 line epics, and Easter hadn't even been invented!
This is what happens after I've been at a conference of romance writers for a week.
So there I was at the breakfast table, scarfing up hot blueberry shortcake with ice cream for breakfast (the rule is, your post-conference penitential fast doesn't start until you're home), when the topic of music and exercise comes up. Gail notes what a bummer it is when the iPod dies mid-work out, or mid-run. Boy, the remaining exercise is so much tougher.
Up from his copy of the New Yorker does my brother-in-law Tom peer. He's a retired Art History professor, which I guess explains reading The New Yorker at breakfast. "I listen to music when I exercise too, and I never run out."
Gail has lived with this guy for decades, she knows better, but I bite. "What do you listen to?"
For those of you fortunate enough not to know your music history, this is a Wagnerian Opera, full of huge emotions, big music, and much drama. I'm a recovering music history major, and the blueberry short bread was really good, and I was less than 24 hours post-conference, so I started heartily da-da-dumming the theme, which you will find here.
Tom takes one look at me across the table. "You need a helmet," and he dives back into The New Yorker.
YES! At that moment--and often--I NEED A HELMET. This is a true perception of a significant aspect of my persona. Big emotions, big music, much drama--all superimposed on a rather unprepossessesing, well fed, granny-in-training.
I need a helmet. That one accessory would save me a lot of words, and save other people a lot of time trying to figure out what I'm about.
I might also like to keep a quill pen tucked behind one ear--though that would rather preclude the helmet.
What one accessory could you add to your ensemble--or to your significant other's--that would personify you or them for all to see?
To one commenter, I'll send an audio copy of "Once Upon a Tartan," my Scottish Victorian romance coming out next week, featuring a hero whose one accessory might be a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary (unabridged!), and a heroine who leaves him speechless anyway.