I don’t remember how old I was the first time I saw Romancing The Stone. The movie was just always there, woven into the fabric of my life and probably every other person alive in the 80s. I never questioned it. Some cultures have myths, religion, gods–I have Kathleen Turner. For anyone who has somehow missed the amazingly sexy/cheesy/classic film, it’s about a mousy romance writer with no life or love, who travels to Colombia on a quest to save her sister from some bad guys, ultimately sheds her mousy exterior and comes into her own hawt romance with the one and only Michael Douglas. Danger and hijinx abound.
The point of this post is that for years my one and only mental image of a writer was embodied by Joan Wilder. And I’m not talking about the sexy, breezy woman who sails off into the sunset with Jack Colton. I’m talking about THIS Joan Wilder:
NOT this one:
I wanted to be her. The headphone-and-pajamas, weeping-over-her-typewriter, lives alone with her cat, and has post-it notes ALL over her apartment…WRITER. Forget the action and romance in the rest of the movie, I could watch the first fifteen minutes where she finishes her novel and celebrates all by herself over and over. That’s what writing is really like! (well, except maybe for the part where she types out the perfect last sentence and THE END without tearing every last strand of her hair out)
So recently when a client of mine heard about my book being published, he asked me clear out of the blue, “Does this mean you’re going to run off to South America and become Joan Wilder or something?”
And you know what? I might have a MacBook instead of a typewriter, but I realized today that I have the headphones, the pajamas, the post-it notes…and even the cat (my late kitty Thyme was actually the spitting image of Joan Wilder’s cat Romeo). Omg, I have fulfilled the dream of mousy writerdom!
Then today I received one other Joan Wilder accessory that I never thought I’d have:
(haha, it’s a publishing contract, not Jack Colton…I’m set in that department)
I know you are probably thinking: Emily, you have a severely distorted vision of reality, get help! And you wouldn’t be the first person to say that recently! But you know, I think everyone who has ever tried to get published has an image of a WRITER that they see in their heads when they let themselves dream. And I think I could do a lot worse than Kathleen Turner.
So when you think writer, or for that matter, any dream you aspire to…
What do you see?