I’ve always been a bit on the fringe in my thinking. My whole life, I’ve ignored rosy-tinted glasses in favor of wide-eyed realism, which, let’s face it, often seems dark to those who live in their rosy-tinted glasses. I’m sure this is part of the reason I write mysteries rather than, say, romances.
So many years ago, when I struggled with my sense of what it meant to be “normal” and assumed that normality was optimism, I tried to change myself. I spent years trying to force my brain into positive thinking. I was hell on myself, truly. I still am, but I’m learning, and I now realize that a world filled with optimists wouldn’t function very well. We need the pragmatists and realists (or, pessimists, as we’re often known). We need the folks who don’t avert their gazes from the tough stuff.
Back then, I never would have predicted that I’d go to a writers conference called the Maui Writers Conference as a fledgling novelist and that because of that one fateful decision, I’d find myself a member of a writer family of like-minded souls. We are all shadow spinners, and we love each other.
In fact, we blog together on the ShadowSpinners blog, taglined “when nice people write bad things.” These writers are my peeps, my tribe, my “normality.” (I know, there’s no such thing, but you know what I mean.)
And now we’re all in an anthology together! Aptly enough, the collection is called, ShadowSpinners, A Collection of Dark Tales. Last weekend I traveled from Portland, OR, to Eugene for the launch party. For a bunch of writers who flirt with the dark side, we sure are affectionate, huggy people! I’m honored to be a contributor in this collection. I sure hope you’ll check it out.
Are you a shadow spinner in life? There’s nothing wrong with this — embrace it!