Thursday, September 10, 2015


or Do All Writers Have Split Personalities

by Jackie King
Jackie King
In Julia Cameron’s book AN ARTIST’S WAY, she speaks of feeding your inner child. My problem is, I’m so busy taking care of my old-girl self, that there’s little time left for outings with some brat that lurks in my psyche. However, some time in the past I had to return a purchase to the mall. I walked from the sizzling Tulsa  heat into life reviving air conditioning and decided that both me and my inner-child could something new. I had just picked up a shirt when this inner-brat whined,

“Why don’t you get something different? I’m sick of beige.”

What? Inner Brat didn’t like beige?

Somewhat unnerved, I put back the Tee and wandered on through the store. Maybe Inner-Child would prefer a nice navy blue? I strolled from sportswear into blouses and stepped within arm’s length of a dressy print top in shades of orange, yellow and brown. The effect was a bit like viewing an abstract painting and I paused a minute.

That one, Brat said.

My civilized (beleaguered?) self, smiled and spoke in a (silent) faux-calm voice said, “Okay, we’ll try it on, but will make us look like a buffalo.” (Brat isn’t the only alter ego who can be snippy.) I looped the blouse over my arm and moved on. Four racks over I spotted a splashy flowered print. I reacted with one word: “Yuck.”

“Try on that one, too,” Brat said.

I thought my child rearing days were over!

Grown-up-lady rolled her eyes. If anything would make us look ridiculous (an important fear to me, but Brat didn’t seem to care) this garment would. But the jacket was unlined, cotton and sported three-quarter sleeves. Very comfortable for summer, and we mature ladies love our comfort. What the heck, might as well try that one on too.

The two of us, brat and woman-of-a-certain age, (not sure who was leading whom), found a dressing room and tried on both items. SHOCKEROO: My older self decided to buy both! Grown up self loved the blouse; Brat insisted on the blazing blazer.

Feeling more than a little daring, I headed toward hats. I was getting into this. If child and grownup joined forces, what might happen next?

The above anecdote happened four summers earlier, and I’m growing more eccentric with each passing year. When I went to church yesterday, I wore what are called Pajama-Jeans (Purple ones) with a T-shirt  that read, “OLD IS COOL.” 
Two avid readers who agree that OLD IS COOL!
So my message to Julia Cameron is that my inner-child isn't just alive and well, she is thriving and corrupting senior readers along the way. Above I'm with Mary Ruth Whitman and Richard Baden. We are wearing different colored fedoras with twinkling lights.

Like my own children years earlier, my inner child has taken over my life.

Book 1 - Grace Cassidy Series


Bill Kirton said...

Good for you, Jackie. Interestingly, though, that inner child which you use to such good comic effect here isn't as separate as the narrative suggests. (And I know you know that.) I'm sure you'll agree that her (or in my case, his) voice is totally legitimate and that we can still be all the ages we've gone through - often at the same time. I think I'll draw the line at a twinkling fedora, though. I'm in the (repressed) UK.

Jean Henry Mead said...

LOL, Jackie. My inner brat's voice has dimmed somewhat over the years but I still give in to impulsive purchases at times, which wind up in boxes to be mailed to my children and grandchildren. But the brat does come in handy when I'm writing. Thanks for the good post.

Jackie King said...

Bill, You made me laugh aloud! Truly. I love the droll British humor. And thanks for responding.

Jackie King said...

Thanks Jean! I was so repressed during my childhood and adulthood, that I'm really enjoying myself as an Oldie.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVED this post, Jackie! I'm the same way you are/were; very conservative, bland colors. I'll go see if I can find my inner child and ask her to come out and help me update my wardrobe. I'm definitely going to find a sparkly hat for the holiday season. Can't let you have all the fun, now can I? ;)

Jackie King said...

Hi Linda, Thanks for writing! Looking for your inner child is huge fun, but are you sure you need it? You're my friend who rides a motorcycle! However, it never hurts to add a sparkly hat. Hugs!