Aging Gracelessly with a Little Help from my Friends

This whole author thing has thrown me for a loop, quite honestly. My publisher Sartoris Literary Group has a very patient man, James Dickerson, who is working with this newbie and I'm sure I am driving him crazy. He asked me to send pictures for the promotions and book covers, which I didn't have because I wasn't actually sure I would be published. 

I searched my facebook pictures and discovered I had not one picture from the last decade without a kid, a husband, or a farm animal in it. Anyway, I'm pretty sure he wanted professional pictures. The only thing I have been professional at in the last ten years is motherhood. I am proud of this, but I do not think yoga pants were what James had in mind. 

So I enlisted my brutally honest and beautiful friend, Connie, to help me. She said, "I'm sure you have something in your closet. I'll be over in the morning." Connie came over before work and looked through my clothes. 

"No. You do not have anything in your closet. We have to go shopping."

Connie took me to Dirt Cheap because she is a professional deal finder. She found a gorgeous outfit that was originally $300 for $22. I swear, I have never so much as found a towel in Dirt Cheap.

I arranged to have my hair done and for a good friend's daughter, who shoots for Town and Gown Magazine and Mississippi State, to take the picture. Connie said, "You might consider getting your makeup done." I agreed because I own three pieces of makeup and she knows this: powder, lip gloss, and in recent years, mascara.

The photo shoot went relatively painlessly. I was nervous in my tight face, clothes, and fixed hair, but I figured it was worth it, right?

Now this photographer is talented. I am in no way putting down her abilities. She simply had some tough subject matter. Here is the text I sent her the next morning:

I mean, I haven't smoked in some years, but I seriously looked like an anti-smoking campaign: Kids, don't smoke unless you want to look like THIS!!!!

I then sent the pictures to Connie. Here is what she wrote:


I decided in real life to keep my wrinkles, but not in my picture!

I was still a bit uncomfortable with the woman in this picture, though. I sent it to my good friend and neighbor, Marion.

She called and said, "Well, at least if you get famous, you won't have to worry about anyone recognizing you!"

That was it. We called our other neighborhood girlfriend, Hiroko, who has a nice camera. I stood in my backyard and told her to please take a picture of the real me so I could remember what I looked like. She had a hard time not laughing at my poses. In fact, by the end we were both rolling.

I sent both sets of pictures to the publisher. I guess I'll let them choose. But I know one thing: I am returning $300 worth of unopened makeup today!

Thank you friends!