The writer in me reads to improve. But I also visit museums (physical and virtually), wander around second-hand shops, watch the Gilmore Girls and other television shows for tips on snarky and snappy dialogue (Supernatural is good), watch movies, read The Guardian, listen to music, study people, read all variety of blogs, peruse the documentary section on Netflix, and crawl around the web. Like other writers, the research and entertainment are for education and for story fodder. You never know when you’ll stumble over a golden nugget.
I confess a favorite of mine is reading the classifieds and to a lesser extent, the obscure job postings. Job boards can give your flailing character a career or in my case, a startling moment of revelation.
In need of career for the newest character in a novella series I created and penned during NaNoWriMo, I hit the job boards. Lizbeth needed an encompassing career, something that kept her from the business of living. She was not a lawyer, doctor, executive, or CEO.
I stumbled upon a job posting on a corporate website, KENDO—a cosmetic company—for a Brand Manager & Digital Artistry. Intrigued by the second half of the job title I clicked through the link, thrilled I’d landed on the perfect role for Lizbeth. It was her in every sense of the word.
- ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT: Creative problem solver
- PERSEVERANCE: Through rain, sleet, and snow, nothing will get in the way
- GENEROSITY: Doesn’t hesitate with a kind word or helping hand
- STORYTELLING: Words enthrall and give rise to greater heights
- QUALITY OBSESSION: Your bar is a cut above the highest
- FUN: Nothing in life is worth the effort if it doesn’t excite
KENDO had me at the credo. If I had the skills, I’d have applied, but this wasn’t about me. Lizbeth needed a job and fast.
Before reading deeper into the job description I made notes, altered KENDO’s definition of the six corporate attributes to suit Lizbeth’s personality, and then flushed out the previously elusive details. I tripped the light fantastic in those few minutes, you know the high, when your brain lights up and the floating dust mites clear the room as your character steps through the door. Happy fingers flitted across the keyboard.
It’s only when I continued reading to learn how a Brand Manager of Digital Artistry would spend their days did I have a personal moment.
My eyes froze at beauty junkie.
“That’s what you are”, a little voice in my head pestered.
I debated the slur with myself. “I can’t be”, I volleyed hoping the reality of my addiction wouldn’t require a stint in a clinic somewhere in the mountains with rooms the size of a small closet, single beds adorned with scratchy wool blankets.
“How many brands, not including moisturizes, are you wearing on your face at this moment?” the snotty voice demanded.
I pursed my lips and then smiled. I had this.
“You’re so smug. Go on, count them.”
“Aargh. Okay.” I bit back my annoyance. A part of me knew, just knew I’d be sleeping on a lumpy mattress by the end of the week. I started with primers and on, and on, and on, I went until I finished with the lipstick.
Kat Von D
Make Up For Ever
wet n wild
“Told you so,” the know-it-all alter ego sniped.
The truth is I’ve always known there was a problem, but I refused to own it. It’s only hazardous to my wallet I’ve rationalized over the years. It also explains why my sister insists we avoid the side of the mall where Sephora resides, and why she drags me kicking and screaming past the cosmetic counters in department stores. Even drugstore cosmetics entice me.
The above list is only a reflection of the products applied on that morning but is not an exhaustive catalog of what’s inside the various cosmetic bags inside my closet. Instead of hanging my head in shame and taking stock of my problem I rushed out to buy a new lipstick color.
I want to look my best when I check into the mountain clinic for people like me, people with issues. Maybe we’ll have a makeover party.