I join them, as you do if you're me. We stare at the River Lea sauntering under the bridge in an insouciant manner, and the shoals of tiny fish butting against the flows and eddies. There is a companionable silence. Then one of the oldsters remarks, 'Saw you in the paper the other week.' I concur. He did. I was. The local press ran a nice little puff for my new novel Honour & Obey, with some added extras about my writing life in general, and my campaign to save our green space.
'Didn't know you was a writer,' he continues. His two companions swivel round and study me narrowly. A pause. 'You don't look like a writer,' one of them observes cautiously. See, I bet that never happens to you. I bet you just rock up to wherever you're going, and everybody goes, 'Yup. Writer.'
|Ebook cover used as avatar on Twitter.|
Mind, who am I to point the finger?
When I joined Twitter, I used my cover of Jigsaw Pieces as my avatar. A lot of writers do similar. I then acquired numerous young male followers who flirted with me. Fairly outrageously.
For a while I remained undecided whether to put them out of their misery, or just go with the flow. Eventually I gave in and replaced the cover with a picture that resembles the ''real me''. But it was with some reluctance, because it's quite nice to be thought of as youthful, with cheekbones you can hang off and attitude. And of course inside, that's exactly how I am!
Oh our avatars - how we present ourselves to the world. I love my elephant - I know I've used it for years, but I still feel happy perched up there. And no one has climbed up to flirt with me.ReplyDelete
I see the reverse..men who use a much younger pic of themselves to flirt with ladies...hahaha..most tragic!Delete
Oh you made me laugh Carol. What does a writer look like I wonder? I bet it brightened up your day.ReplyDelete
People are usually surprised when I say I'm a writer. I don't think that's because of my looks....ReplyDelete
I admit I thought the cover of Jigsaw Pieces was you at first. I was a bit intimidated - as a fellow middle aged woman I prefer you as you are!ReplyDelete
You were not alone then.... it was funny. For a while, but shows how much people 'lije'' you for your looks...Delete
Totally agree Carol. I'm 42 in real life, feel 16 in my head, with the body of a 90 year old! ;)ReplyDelete
Excellent! Actually, 'insouciance' is a word worthy of overuse too, isn't it? As for people who use pics of their younger selves - daft beggars! I mean, vanity I totally get, but that's just self-delusion (as you say, not deluding anyone else!!!).ReplyDelete
Oh, and you are immediately recognisable, too!!! A most distinctive look, and the only lady past (mumbles age) who can TOTES (told you!) carry off that hairdo to the extent that it looks as if some madly outre 'hairista' designed it for you!
Having said all this, I did once use a photo of the 20 year old me as an FB profile photo. All the compliments only made me more aware of the passage of years and sagging of jowls; all those 'weren't you lovely' type remarks....!!!! (the past tense aspect was present in each comment, ha ha!!)
I 'get' that some writers do want too appear more youthful, for their public image..but in the end, you have to be true to yourself. I've never had the 'OMG..is that YOU?' thing when meeting anybody off social media ..recognised you at once! But I have one or two people I follow on Twitter who I KNOW are using a much younger, photoshopped pic. Stupid (men)Delete
Oh yes, of course. Men. HAAAAAAA! Some post areas of their torsos too. Odd behaviour ;)Delete
I've been told that my avatar is not particularly representative of my true self, as my actual image is far more disturbing!....Oi Hedges! stop nodding in agreement....your 'insouciance' is showing!!...:)ReplyDelete
*tucks it back into knickers* Ta.Delete
Insouciance…one of those words I can never get in my head and always forget what it means….*rushes off to dictionary*. Anyway, Carol, I think you are the sassiest of sassy writers out and I would hate to see you any other way than you are now. The funky hairdo is just you! What one earth does a writer look like anyway? I've never used pics of younger me - well not more than a couple of years anyway. There are one or two that I really like and use a lot, so are now showing their age. I so hate having my photo taken that I stick to them, but no one would recognise the younger me anyway. I used to have nearly black hair for starters! Anyway, I love this story. As you say, very 'Last of the Summer Wine'!Delete
Every time I'm in the paper, I get funny comments! And I'm in the paper a lot....Delete
Did you ask what a writer looks like then? Or may be what he thought you did look like. People are odd aren't they. I love the way you tell your tales though. Made me laugh about your avatar. I think you look great :)ReplyDelete
Before I read this, I was contemplating changing my photograph, maybe another image entirely? I really don't like how I look, It's not how I am on the inside...ReplyDelete
Probably not important in the scheme of things anyway...
I hate pics of me...but I think people like to know what a writer looks like. It's wroth getting a good pic -- by which I mean a nice one, but not a photoshopped or 10 years younger one,Delete
Last point first - we all have cheekbones you can hang off and attitude...inside our heads!ReplyDelete
I remember when you had that avatar. It was so funny watching other Tweeters getting muddled up :-))
As for what a writer looks like, I always get that "you're kidding me" response from people, so writers obviously don't usually look like either of us!
Happy new year, Carol. Here's hoping for a healthy one for us all x
Indeed. I hope so to. And yes, it was funny - though it got a bit stupid after a while, which is why I've devolved to the pic I use now,Delete
I think it is wonderful the man in town recognized you! I think writers can look like anyone. I know I have no idea what a writer looks like- we are very diverse. :) I think your twitter story is awesome. It is funny people even believe avatars anyway.ReplyDelete
Wishing you a very happy new year. ;)
In the ''olden days'' (the 1950s) when I started reading, nobody either knew nor cared what a writer looked like. Now it is so much part of the package --and publishers LIKE a good looking writer..which is where I so luck out!Delete
My first picture was of a pony. Now I'm very worried about the people who followed me then!ReplyDelete
Brilliant! Although I must confess, I don't think I'll be changing my Twitter picture to an image of my younger or current self. I like the element of surprise! Great post!ReplyDelete
Happy New Year, Carol. What a fabulous Monday morning giggle. Thanks for that :)ReplyDelete
I am so glad you are all enjoying this! Having a giggle myself - a couple of the guys who DO use photoshopped pics have read it, and NOT seen the irony! Hahahaha.ReplyDelete
There aren't that many recent pics of me to use, and the ones of me in costume for the Renaissance Faire are way more me-like than any of them, in spite of being 25 years old, or more. It's not deliberately choosing a younger me, it's just a flashier, better-dressed me. I also change my avatar image all the time, sometimes to go with a holiday or event, often to make some other kind of statement than "this is what I look like". sometimes I just get bored. They're all as much "the real me" as the studio shots - often more. :)ReplyDelete
Carol, you are hilarious. I should get me a 20-year old picture and post it. And, how does a writer look, by the way? LynnReplyDelete