They tell me that admitting you have a problem is the first step in solving it. So here goes. I’m mostly tall. Yes, I’ve said it. At 5’ 10”, I’m a mostly tall person. Not freakishly tall, but tall enough to make me stand out in a crowd. (Especially with the red hair.) Not statuesque enough to shop in tall girl store, but too altitudinous to shop in the average section of a store.
Yep…I have a problem.
All my life being mostly tall has been kind of a mixed bag. Had I been two inches taller I would have been recruited by basketball scouts or NYC modeling agencies. Two inches shorter would allow me to wear heels without feeling silly and would have made it easier to get cast in shows. (Do you know how many average or short actors there are out there? Trust me, more than you’d think!)
As a mostly tall person I’ve found that people assume I know what I’m talking about even when I haven’t a clue. I’ve also discovered that mostly tall women are not allowed to be shy. Whenever I stand in a corner feeling awkward or intimidated, people think I’m being snobbish. Weird, right?
Since being tall has been such a strange experience for me, I suppose it shouldn’t come to a surprise to anyone that my heroines Rebecca Robbins (Skating On The Edge) and Paige Marshall (Murder For Choir) are both shorter than me. They get to wear high heels without dwarfing their dates. At times they manage to blend into the background and they never have to worry about the inseam of their jeans not fitting.
People often say that writers should write what they know. Well, mostly I do. My mother was a World Champion Artistic Roller Skater so I guess it isn’t a surprise that I have plunked Rebecca Robbins smack in the middle of a roller rink. And my professional opera and musical theater training comes in very hand as Paige Marshall solves murders while looking for her big break. But writing also gives an author the chance to explore things they only dreamed of. And trust me, I’ve dreamed of being all the adjectives that come with being less than mostly tall.
So today I confess: I am a mostly tall person. And while I might wish that I could be tall enough to dunk a basketball or short enough to blend into the background when I’m feeling particularly shy, I understand that I can’t change what I am. I’ll just have to content myself with living vicariously through the fictional characters I write.
How about you? What confessions do you have to share and how do you deal with things about your life that you can’t change? If this writing thing doesn’t work out for me, I’m going to need all the help I can get!
Joelle Charbonneau has performed in a variety of opera and musical theatre productions across Chicagoland. She now teaches private voice lessons and uses her stage experience to create compelling characters in her books. She is the author of two mystery series: The Rebecca Robbins mysteries (Minotaur Books) and the Glee Club mysteries (Berkley). Joelle is also the author of The Testing young adult trilogy that will debut with THE TESTING from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s in June of 2013. Learn more at www.joellecharbonneau.com