Thursday, September 15, 2011

It’s All An Act

I will never forget the moment when a young woman I considered smart, sassy and completely “together” looked me in the eye and said, “It’s all an act. I’m a total wreck inside.”
That moment is seared into my brain because it was freeing. The thought occurred to me that if she was able to pull off this act, maybe others were as well. So I started asking around and sure enough, all of the women I considered to be strong, independent and poised felt like total fools at least some of the time.

I’ve heard from a couple of people recently that I seem polished and confident. That makes me giggle because I feel like a Great Dane puppy that’s all paws and no brain. So instead of writing one story today, I thought it would be fun to share a few of my funnier foibles. I hope it’s as liberating for you as my colleague’s confession was for me.

1) Friends who have been to the stable with me often comment on how in my element I seem when I’m working with horses. But one friend in particular can testify to the fact that I once hung myself by my bra from the saddle horn. My stirrup gave way as I was mounting, I fell and – Lord only knows how –- found myself in a rather precarious position. Thankfully, the horse stood still. Though he did look back at me with an expression that said “Really?”

2) When my middle son was still teeny, he had colic. One of the only ways to quiet him was to put him up on my shoulder, bounce him lightly and pat his bottom. I would often accompany this routine by teasingly saying “spank the baby” in a sing-song voice. One day he started to fuss as we stood in line at the grocery store. My 3 ½ -year-old son proceeded to shout – loudly – “Spank the baby mom! Spank him!” Surprisingly, I didn’t find DFS on my door that afternoon.

3) I learned the hard way not to address an email before I was ready to send it. I was preparing to send an email to the entire company once and got as far as “Good morning!” before I somehow managed to send it. I instantly got back 250 replies along the lines of “Good morning to you!” Along with one from the president of the company saying “Good morning? Really?” Of course, I fared better than the colleague who learned not to trust spell check when she sent a company-wide email announcing that there were only three days left in the panty drive. We were actually in the middle of a food pantry drive. Although, maybe her foible was a stroke a genius in disguise. She got great participation that year.

So there they are – the three that came to mind first, anyway. I could go on for ages about the goofy things I’ve done. In fact, I usually work them into my books. Some of the most ridiculous moments are ones I’ve found myself in. One of the best compliments a reader ever gave me is that I am good at writing strong, independent female leads. It makes me happy to hear that, especially since I try really hard to show their insecurities, too. I can think of one character in particular who gets accused of being neurotic, so maybe I took it a bit too far with her. But that’s okay, because she’s a reflection of me and I’ll own my insecurities. Overcoming them is what makes life interesting.

Heather Huffman writes romantic suspense with strong female leads who refuse to give up hope. To learn more about her writing, visit For a limited time, you can download her debut novel, Throwaway, for free on Amazon.

1 comment:

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