Friday, July 25, 2008

Fake it till you make it

In the very beginning of Bujold's Mirror Dance, right after his evil clone-brother, Mark, takes over the Dendarii, Miles is staring into a mirror, thinking about operational systems and "how things work". Back in the first book, Warriors Apprentice, Miles creates himself an inter-galactic admiral to stop a bunch of skeevy mercenaries from slitting his throat. Goes to show you how far guts and gall will take you, because next thing you know, he takes over the organization and runs some pretty tight ops.

Because he's only a teenager, he passes himself off as older, until one days--years later, when yeah--there he is, staring into the mirror--the interior matches the exterior.

He tried so hard, and wanted to be so much--he became Naismith. As he said, "solid all the way through."

After years of interviews--from both sides--I know the shiny reflective stuff on the outside is what people see. The business suit, nice shoes, good hair and cultured speech, it doesn't matter if you only have that one suit, one pair of shoes, and you got the haircut with a half-price coupon. For those ten minutes in time--you can use your WordPower and no one will know.

Like Cinderella in the Rodgers and Hammerstein version, I can turn into someone else, if only in my head--and with the right attitude and props? Damn straight, I can be a successful writer.

Plop me down on an armchair, give me a pipe and I'll do my Anita Shreve imitation. When I go to conference, I've google-mapped everything from the airport to the hotel and the crosswalks. Nobody cares if I'm sweating so hard I need that antiperspirant. What they see is what I want them to see, and I'm faking it till I make it, lol.


Alice Audrey said...

You go, girl. Have a good confrence.

Jennifer McKenzie said...

So, if I pretend I'm Nora, do you think Miriam Kriss will buy it?

Deanna said...

I've thought (always thinking too much here) that there's a subtle difference between faking it the way you're preparing to do and bluffing. When I catch myself bluffing, I see myself nearly convinced of what's not true - and I don't see it till someone who's real about themselves brings me up short. That really has nothing to do with the business of looking and go-getting that everyone does, recognizing it's fake, sort of. Maybe it's grownup imaginary games, and they can work pretty well out on the big playground.

Anyway, you sound ready to do it up big. Enjoy.

jodi said...

lol, Deanna--I never bluff, only when I'm trying to get all big and puffy. You have to deal with consequences. Like if you get hurt, you'll be hurt--but if you're not dead you can take revenge. Hmm, maybe that's not bluffing, maybe it's just the manic side of manic depressive.

...if there's a kernel of truth, then it can be real. One day. Myths and legends all, I did research into the origins of the words once. Little kernel of truth. Big story. I hope to grow bigger.

lol, Jen.

I don't think you're short enough.

*thank you, Alice*

Alice Audrey said...

It isn't bluffing. It's mustering courage. How we think of ourselves can be a self fulfilling prophesy. Why not take advantage of that?

Unhinged said...

Nicely said! Er, written.

I have no doubts at all that you're going to make it. It's just a matter of when.

And Alice's last comment is oh-so-true. Nothing can be more damning (or successful) than a self-fulling prophesy.