The Trouble with Introverts


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Just to set the record straight, I’m a consummate introvert, replenished by sitting alone in the sunshine, coffee at one elbow, muffin at the other, laptop balanced on my knees. Needless to say, I’m never the life of the party, a shy petunia among the more flamboyant tiger lilies and striking dahlias. I’m content to observe and listen, and then quietly sneak out the back door for a riveting night of jigsaw puzzles.

In our externally focused world, extroverts get a lot of press, but introverts have magical inner worlds that I wouldn’t trade for any amount of attention. I suspect that many writers are introverts, their inner worlds rife with imagination. It’s where we conjure up stories in dazzling color and symphonic sound. We create secret worlds and populate them with emotional characters that we love and destroy. Introverts are anything but boring…to themselves, at least.

The trouble with introvert-ism is that vexing duty called MARKETING.

Really? As an author I have to market? That’s the polar opposite of my introvert strength. I have to be social…in a social network? I have to post stuff on Facebook and start a blog? I have to tweet? Really? Are you kidding me?

If you sense the panic coursing up my spine, you might accurately assume I’m hyperventilating. My mind is a pristine blank slate, utterly thoughtless. What do I say? How many times a month can I write, “I…um…wrote this book, and I hate to impose, but I’d be really happy if you read it.”

My extrovert friends are bundles of energy, brimming with fantastic and zany ideas. I get that deer-in-the-headlights look on my face when they offer helpful suggestions. I stop breathing and need an EMT to jumpstart the old thumper.

Well, I’m knuckling under; you’ll be pleased to know. I just bought a book called Marketing for Introverts by Marcia Yudkin. If you catch me dabbling in the social scene without the internet equivalent of an anxiety attack, you can thank Marcia, I know I will.

Happy Writing


Sorcerer’s Garden


images (13)I’m about halfway finished with the first draft of a new book that for a long time I called the Coma Book. It has little to do with comas, but that’s beside the point. It lacked a name, and as I mulled over characters and outlined the story, I had to call it something.

Most of the time, I know the title of a book right out of the chute, as if there’s no question or choice in the decision. Other times, a name prefers a game of hide-and-seek, making me wait for the big AHA moment. “So there you are,” I might say with delight, as if discovering a long lost sock behind the dryer or a two-year-old under the sink.

The erstwhile named Coma Book is about dreams, stories, and fantasies overlapping with ordinary life. The shifting border becomes increasingly permeable, with confusing and frightening results. One character, an old sorceress, traverses the multiple layers of existence with graceful clarity by touching her crystal ball.

Well, ugh. I hate crystal balls in general. Hokey, low-budget props for the unimaginative.

But…not long ago, at a friend’s house, I encountered a particular chunk of quartz. Avid rock-collectors, she and her husband have hundreds from all over the world. Their house looks like a quarry. Anyway, the rock of interest was a clear crystal with bronze, gold, and smoke-colored inclusions. When sunlight hit the inclusions, the rock seemed to burn on the inside. As it turned, it mutated, changing its internal scenery. I saw alien galaxies, rotating nebulae of firelit stars and spinning planets.

“What is this?” I asked, mouth agape.

“Some call it a dream crystal,” my friend replied. “I’ve also heard it called a sorcerer’s garden.”