Do any of you have a literary alter ego you identify with? A lot of women embrace Jo March in LITTLE WOMEN, or Scarlett O’Hara if they’re feeling feisty and selfish. (That was my main problem with GWTW — Scarlett was admirable but not very likable). I have had a number of literary figures over the years that I longed to be. I loved the dying Victorian saints, like Beth March, or Carol in The Birds’ Christmas Carol (I think that was the name of it). I think I must have had a strong Victorian past life — either I was a sentimental matriarch or old maid (whatever I was, I was a battle-axe), or maybe I really was one of those pale, saintly creatures who died young and everyone wept and was so sorry.
While I have a few alter egos nowadays, like the All-knowing Trash Heap from “Fraggle Rock” (aka Madame Heap) or Sister Yoda the Very Wise who knows everything about being a romance writer, my favorite, long term icon is Auntie Mame. I wanted to start this blog with “Greetings, my little loves!” Auntie Mame used to sweep into a room, see you nephew and cry out “Patrick, my little love” and it’s stuck with me ever since. I’m outrageous, genuinely sweet, love attention (but don’t like fighting for it — it has to come naturally) and in all but financial matters I’m completely extravagant. I should have a long cigarette holder and gesture dramatically (preferably with a bubble gum cigarette at the end).
Mame Dennis knew sorrow and despair and milked every moment of it, she soared through life puncturing the pompous and uplifting the downtrodden (think of Agnes Gooch). And if none of this means anything to you, go and rent Auntie Mame immediately — you’ll fall in love.
The very best thing about Auntie Mame was her mantra — “Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death. Live!” She probably said that to mousy little Agnes (played by the writer Fannie Flagg in the original). But it’s true. Look around you and there are so many glorious things, even through a veil of tears (and I’ve been wearing that particular veil a lot in the last few months).
So first a little ad — Two of my best books are on sale at Amazon this month for the splendid price of $1.99. First, there’s PRINCE OF MAGIC, with ghosts, faux Druids, ruined abbeys and a luscious anti-hero. http://tinyurl.com/ku2eq2o
And then there’s the best book I ever wrote, NIGHTFALL. http://tinyurl.com/mwtuhyj I don’t know why I’m so besotted with it – I firmly believe it’s so wonderful it can cure whatever ails you, as long as you’re the right audience to be transported by the story of convicted murderer Richard Tiernan and his victim/patsy/one true love who finally gets everything she wants in the end.
The sale lasts all month and is most definitely worth it — I defy you to put either of them down once you start them.
But back to alter egos. I suppose role models are the same thing — someone fabulous you aspire to be. Or maybe an alter ego is someone you already are. It’s hard to say.
In the end, just remember that life is indeed a banquet. LIVE!