I used to have a mystique. Honestly. Back in college, I hung out with a rather fanciful group of people who were into alternative spiritual paths and science fiction, and they painted me in equally fanciful terms. Now, mind you, I was about as overweight then as I am now, so my persona wasn’t beautiful. But being a little older than most of them, they regarded me as a wise woman. (I was not that wise either.) I definitely had a mystique: Where did all that knowledge come from?

Now that I’m about 30 years older and finally wiser, I no longer have this persona, a self that conceals as well as reveals. A cloak of otherness is not something I possess. Instead, I am a rather plain, overweight college professor who doesn’t even have the mystique of a college professor. I appear as a woman in her late 50s who either smiles too much or not enough depending on where you encountered me. Often, I say “wow” and get excited about what people are talking about. It’s the anti-mystique: This is who I am.

I mention this because this would be a great time to have a persona, especially one with a certain mystique. I’m a writer, and I think people expect this from their writers. Writers are not like the rest of us, the reasoning goes. They are creative. They are Something Else. A fantasy writer like myself should have one foot firmly in the fantasy realm, teasingly inscrutable. Instead, I’m like a seven-year-old in a candy shop.

Ok, maybe that’s a persona, but a writer’s persona? A fantasy writer’s persona? The seven-year-old in the candy shop is probably closer to how I see my writing as anything. Look at the miracle that just happened! See the storms on the horizon! How are they going to get out of this?

But it’s not … mystical enough.

Oh well.

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