Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Have You Ever Had An Identity Crisis?

Hi, Guys, and Happy Tuesday! Today I'm reprinting a blog I did recently for Barnes and Noble to celebrate the release of Born at Midnight. Hope you enjoy!

Have you ever stared at your reflection and wondered who the heck that person was? When I was young, I did this a lot. And rightly so. When we’re teens and even in our early twenties, we are just getting to know ourselves. We’re trying to figure out what we want to do with our lives, and who, if anyone, we want to spend it with.

Most of us go through some sort of an identity crisis when we’re young. And yet, finding those answers is easier for some than others. Some of us are way past our twenties, and we’re still seeking clues to the identity of the person staring back at us in the mirror. That or we’re wondering how the heck our mothers got in that reflection. Some of us are still trying to define what makes us tick personally and career wise.

I hear about writers having been born with a pen in their hands and how they worked on the second draft of their novel as they waited for their umbilical cord to fall off. I hear about women who go shopping and within seconds, know exactly what will complete their new look. I’ve been in awe of women who know after talking with a guy for a couple of minutes if he’s worthy of a first date, much less marrying him several months down the road. I hear about women who never picked up the hot hobby of the moment in order to fill a void in their lives because they don’t experience voids. Or about women who never tried a new hairstyle only to realize afterward that their ears were not their best feature. I envy people who were born with a keen sense of self, of style, and with an internal compass that never malfunctions. I envy them, because . . . I’m not one of them. Not yet, or at least, not in every way.

I didn’t have a pen in my hand at birth. And if I had, I wouldn’t have known which hand to hold it in, because I’m dyslexic and I still have left/right issues. I couldn’t spell the word “writer” when, at twenty-three, I admitted that I’d always wanted to see if my wild imagination could transfer onto paper. I’ve crossed-stitched to see if I could find myself and even divorced one man before I found the right one. I’ve made more spur of the moment shopping goofs and spent hours returning items that would be better suited for someone whose taste I would worry about if I hadn’t been the person who bought them. I’ve been permed, dyed, cut short, and left long, and I’m still searching for the hairstyle that defines me.

And if you’re wondering what this has to do with my book, well, Kylie, my sixteen-year-old character in Born at Midnight, book one in my paranormal romance series Shadow Falls written under my new pseudonym, C.C. Hunter, is going through a major identity crisis. She thinks her life is falling apart, and she’s right. Things are changing. Her parents are getting a divorce, her boyfriend broke up with her because she wouldn’t put out, and her best friend has taken a walk on the wild side. Her grandmother died and she’s started seeing ghosts. When Kylie learns about the existence of vampires, werewolves, faes, witches and shapeshifters, it’s mindboggling, but not as disturbing as learning she’s one of them. However, no one can tell Kylie exactly what she is. Talk about an identity crisis!

I chose Kylie’s internal issues because I can identify with her crisis and her woes. At sixteen, I dealt with my own parents’ divorce. I watched a good friend choose a not so wise path. . Honestly, I believe women of all ages can identify with Kylie. I think, unless you are one of those lucky ones born with some super sense of self, then you travel along this path called life and are constantly trying to get to know the woman in the mirror. And even after those formative years, often we’re assaulted by mini identity crises. We rethink our careers, our purposes in life, and question if we’re more suited to be a blonde or brunette.

I know, I’m still searching for the perfect hairstyle and I’m still returning outfits unsure what provoked that particular purchase. With each new stage of life, I find myself reevaluating. But one thing I’m sure about; I should have been born with a pen in my hand. Writing, putting my wild imagination down on paper, has not only turned out to be the career I love, it’s my own journey of self discovery. Each book I write, each character I create, I learn a little bit more about who I am, and I’m a step closer to becoming best buddies with the woman in the mirror.

So, what about you? How’s your internal compass working?



Terri Osburn said...

My child FLEW through this book and is already dying for the next one. I tried reading it but she kept taking the dang thing away from me. She woke up early in the mornings before school so she could read before we left.

This has NEVER happened before. I knew you were the queen of the page turner, but now it's official. You should have a crown.

I envy women with a sense of style. They know what looks good on them and can throw four things together with little effort and always looks awesome. I do not have this gene and after nearly 40 yrs on this planet have resigned myself to never having it.

My only hope now is to make enough money to someday pay someone else to dress me. LOL!

Unknown said...

I'll definitely be picking this one up for the kidling too. She's in the same boat you were. Kind of. She's dyslexic and she wants to be a writer. I've been buying her books from dyslexic writers specifically to show her it can be done. That and it looks really cool like something she'd like anyway. :)

I was one of those who always knew I wanted to write, but I was afraid to pursue it as a career. I wrote my first short story at my 8th birthday party after everyone had fallen asleep. Or they were huddled on the floor in my parents' room afraid the Devil was going to get them. We'd watched The Exorcist.

But as for the identity, I was pretty sure of myself until 30. I did some serious soul searching then. Made a bunch of mistakes. I wouldn't change it though, not for the world.

I'm finally, truly comfortable in my skin. Before, I was doing the fake it till you make it. :)

Christie Craig said...

Hi, Terri!

Aww, thank you so much, girl, for letting me know how much your daughter enjoyed Born at Midnight. Tell her I'm working on Book 3, Taken at Dusk, right now and I think it's my best one yet!

And I know what you mean about envying those women with an innate sense of style. I'm missing that gene, too, I think. LOL.

Thanks for dropping by.


Christie Craig said...

Hi, Saranna,

Please tell your daughter that she can do anything she sets her mind to do. That's one of the beautiful lessons that having dyslexia has taught me - that I can do anything. True, it may not be easy - okay, nothing has ever been easy - but nothing is impossible.

Thanks so much for dropping by and sharing.


debbie said...

Well its good to know I am not alone out there. I am pretty confident on my sense of style but thats about it! I still havent been able to tame my hair. And i still am trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up!! Maybe i will figure it out before I leave this beautiful life!

The new series sounds great, but alas I was only blessed with boys who are not readers.

Terri Osburn said...

BTW - I asked Kiddo if she was Team Lucas or Team Derek and she can't decide. I believe her answer was "They're both so hot the way she writes them." [insert goofy, dreamy look here]

I could have told her that would happen. LOL!

Christie Craig said...

Hi, Debbie,

I was blessed with one of each, and the boy still lives at home . . . with a dog who's half Tasmanian Devil. LOL.

Thanks for dropping by!


Christie Craig said...

LOL, Terri! I feel the same way - I love Lucas and Derek equally. I know that sounds kind of strange to say but it's true.


Diane Kelly said...

Okay, this is really embarrassing to admit. But when I was 16 I went to the mall and I was sort of in a mopey mood and hadn't put on much makeup or done much with my hair. I was looking at clothes on a rack up against a wall and I glanced up and saw a girl eyeing me. I thought "she'd look a lot better if she'd so something with herself. Maybe a little mascara or something." Then I realized it was a mirror and the girl was me! Duh!!!! It was funny to get an objective look at myself.