Wednesday, July 3, 2013

This IS My Happy Face

by Shannon Baker

I recently saw a funny ditty on You Tube about Bitchy Resting Face.

At first I laughed, then realized, that’s what’s happening to me. My dear companion often asks me, “What’s the matter?” Or, “You’re scowling out the window again.” Or, “What did I do to piss you off?”

I’m not angry. I’m not sad. I might be puzzled and a bit frustrated, but all in all, life is pretty fine. The cause for the Bitchy Resting Face is that I’m trying to work out something. Several somethings, in fact.

First, there is the disturbing fact that I was laid off my day job two months ago. So now I’m wondering if I ought to do contracting, thus setting my own hours and making time for my dear companion’s strange schedule and my writing. That would lead to less income, more stress as I start up my own business and lots of stuff I keep putting on the list. Meanwhile, I’m sending out resumes and wondering if any of those jobs would be fun and exciting. If I actually land a new position, I’ll be starting a new job at a new company with new people and new routines. Thinking about it makes my face scrunch all up.

Then, I finished a draft of my next book and sent it out to critique partners. Will they like it? Will I end up dismantling it and doing major rewrites? When will they get back to me and how much time will it take to fix what they find wrong?

I had a book released in March. How are sales of that going? What promotion do I need to do to increase them? Maybe I ought to add a few signings. I could write a few more blogs.

Book two is somewhere in the publishing pipeline. I think I’m pretty much finished with it until copy edits or galley proofs or whatever the next step really is. I’ve seen a simple mockup of the cover and I’m happy with it. But I need to write the acknowledgments and dedication. I think. Maybe I already did that. I need to check.

I’m plotting a new series and book one of that series. It’s more ambitious than anything I’ve done before. Am I up to it? From the brick wall my brain turned into, I’m doubting it. I spend a great deal of my time holed up inside my head wondering what clues Kate can find that will lead her to the solution and just how soon they should be revealed.

In the meantime, since I’m not chained to a 9 to 5, I’ve been tearing up the trails and paths, getting out on my bike or with my backpack as often as possible before I go back to gainful employment.

I’d tell you that as soon as I get this job issue straightened out and the new series plotted and book 3 is turned in, I’ll be a glowing portrait radiating inner beauty. I know better, though. By that time, there will be another book, another life crisis, and I’ll be working out something complicated in my head.

So while I’m at the pool or wandering by a mountain stream swollen with summer melt-off, or even just sitting on the patio enjoying the soft breeze, my eyebrows are drawn together, my mouth is puckered and I seem to be scowling. Understand, I’m not unhappy. Sadly, I suffer from Bitchy Resting Face, exacerbated by deep schizophrenia and aggravated distraction.

This is me, displaying my natural Bitchy Resting Face. I'm actually having a really good time.


Kathleen Ernst said...

Ii think all writers have some version of that expression. God only knows what's going on in our heads at any given moment. Especially murder mystery writers.

Beth Groundwater said...

When people started asking me "What's the matter?" when I wasn't really worried about anything, I realized it was time for Botox on those deep forehead wrinkles. The nice side effect was that my headaches diminished. I'm now off the Botox, but if I start getting those comments again, I'll go back to zapping those furrows above my nose.

Keith Raffel said...

Laid off? What a bummer! But maybe an opportunity. Good luck, Shannon