How They Met Themselves, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, watercolor, 1864
Not long ago the Norwegian and I were out for dinner when a complete stranger approached me and asked if I had seen the show Breaking Bad. I hadn’t, but he told me that Anna Gunn, the woman who plays Skyler White on the show, was my doppelgänger.
I looked her up when I got home. I could see a vague resemblance in the photograph. Of course, it piqued my curiosity about the show, especially since it has garnered so many awards. I started watching it and now I joke that I have a serious meth addiction. Really, I don’t. And I know drug addiction is no laughing matter, but the show’s writing is incredible and the acting is superb… But I digress.
They say everyone has a double. I guess mine might be Anna Gunn – sort of. We’re not identical. Our noses are completely different, and once I started watching the show and saw a more dimensional version of the actress, I thought she and I resembled each other less. Sometimes I think mannerisms and certain expressions make people similar even if they don’t look alike. In fact, that’s one of the story lines in my book, Celebration’s Baby, which will be out in April 2014. A secondary character, Maya, lost the love of her life years ago. He died in an accident and she hasn’t been able to love since. Fast forward years later, a man who reminds her of her old love shows up. She can’t decide if she’s attracted to him because he reminds her of her dead lover or if her heart is truly ready to love again.
He’s not exactly a doppelgänger, not in the true sense of the word. Then again, the meaning of the word has changed over the years. In folklore, doppelgängers are perceived as sinister versions of a person – an evil twin. In the old days, when you saw your doppelgänger, it was a harbinger of bad luck or an omen of death.
But, of course, the contemporary meaning of doppelgänger is simply a look-alike. Doppelgängers are a running gag through the sitcom How I Met Your Mother: at one time or another, the characters have spotted uncanny look a likes of each other, except for Barney (Neil Patrick Harris’s character). The absence of his doppelgänger is used as a significant plotline, which I won’t spoil in case you haven’t seen the show and want to.
Who’s your doppelgänger?
Celebration’s Bride is available now!
RT Book Reviews gives Celebration’s Bride 4.5 stars and says, “Thompson’s reality TV show setup rocks the pages with its quirky cast. Her couples’ imperfections make them realistic and alluring….”
Celebration’s Family - February 2014
Celebration’s Baby - April 2014
It’s May which means it’s my birthday month, though that’s not really what I want to talk about today (but feel free to send gifts b/c I love presents.) May also is the month when Brenda Novak hosts her annual on-line auction for Diabetes research. To date her auctions have raised over a million dollars. You can bid on anything from meet & greets with authors to fabulous vacations to jewelry. There’s truly something for everyone. I’ve donated to this auction for many years, but a few years ago the cause came near and dear to those I love and now it means so much more.
When The Professor and I started dating he was finishing up his PhD and living with his best friend since 2nd grade who was also completing a PhD – my fella had moved to Austin (from their native OH) before Jeff came, but then they were roommates until Jeff got married. While the Professor and I were falling in love I got to know Jeff and his then fiancé, Rendy – they were planning their wedding and their future. He was one of those big dreamers, lots of plans for the future, wanting the best and the most of everything. He was fiercely smart and though he could be a toad at times (what man can’t?) he was crazy about the Professor and I know would have done anything for him.
He stood next to the Professor at our wedding, gave an amazing best man speech that made me cry. There we were two married couples and for a while we all lived in the same city and we’d have dinner on occasion. Then we all moved, us to Tennessee and them to Ohio. First jobs, first homes, we were on our way. We visited each other in our perspective homes, saw each other for holidays and the guys talked for hours on the phone every month or so.
Then we moved back to Texas and the week The Professor started his job here we got the call. Jeff had died. A victim of his juvenile diabetes. He was 33 and he and his wife had just celebrated their 5th wedding anniversary. The Professor was heartbroken. He gave the eulogy at Jeff’s funeral. And all of a sudden this auction that I’d donated to because I knew it was a good cause came home to the DeHart house.
So here we are in May once again and I don’t know if you’ve had Diabetes affect anyone you know and love, but it is a devestating disease that affects millions of children and their families. If you are so inclined I’d encourage you to go over and see if there’s something you would be interested in bidding on – or you can also simply make a cash donation. I’ve linked the image at the top of this post to the auction. Also, here are the two items I’ve personally donated.
The winner of this auction will receive a complimentary copy, in the winner’s choice of digital file, of all of Robyn DeHart’s Entangled Scandalous titles
All the books in her current Forbidden Love series:
A LITTLE BIT WICKED
A LITTLE BIT SINFUL
A LITTLE BIT SCANDALOUS
Also included will be copies of her upcoming trilogy (releasing in 2014), THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE SWORD.
Popular writing instructor and award-winning author Robyn DeHart is known for creating authentic characters that readerslove. Here she’ll offer one-on-one character mentoring. Get personal assistance with creating your characters from the GMC to character arcs to how to use your characters to grow the plot of your book.
**If you’re attending RWA National Conference this summer in Atlanta, GA (July 17-20, 2013), Robyn will even throw in a short meeting for coffee to get the ball rolling.
So what’s your favorite charity to donate to, whether it be time or money? I’m giving away 3 copies of the first book in my Forbidden Love series, A Little Bit Wicked, so comment and you could win!
I just finished reading a book for my book club called The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. It’s the story of Hadley Richardson, Hemingway’s first wife, how they met, married, and how the marriage ended. It’s not my typical reading material, and that’s what I love (and hate) about this book club. It pushes me to read books I would otherwise never pick up, and a lot of the time I agree with that first inclination.
I enjoyed The Paris Wife. It was engaging and well-written and I have a connection to Hemingway because my mother was born in Oak Park, IL, and my grandparents knew Hemingway’s father. The book is touted as being quite accurate, as far as these sorts of books go, but I’m sure that doesn’t mean every line is exactly what Hadley Richardson thought. And even though I am an author I find myself much more sympathetic to Hadley than I am to Ernest. He tends to exhibit what we would now label as “diva behavior.”
But there is one paragraph about Ernest Hemingway I could totally relate to. It really does sum up what so many of us love about being a writer. Here it is.
“I couldn’t reach into every part of Ernest and he didn’t want me to. He needed me to make him feel safe and backed up, yes, the same way I needed him. But he also liked that he could disappear into his work, away from me. And return when he wanted to.”
I remember when my daughter was a newborn and she never (or so it felt) slept or stopped crying, and I was exhausted and the days went in slow motion, the thing that saved me as I rocked her endlessly was being able to escape in my mind. I plotted much of The Rogue Pirate’s Bride walking and rocking that baby. I’m not a plotter, but I needed to go somewhere else besides that dark nursery and that wailing infant.
And still, when tragedies that don’t touch me occur, I escape into writing. On the day of the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, CT, like many of you, I was saddened and horrified. I sat and watched the news reports coming in, each one more surreal than the last. When I couldn’t take any more, I turned off the TV and internet and escaped into my work in progress. Regency England and the world of my own making could sweep me away for a time. I could return when I wanted.
What about you? How do you “escape”? Christmas is over, but I’ll give one person who comments a choice of one of my recent books–The Making of a Duchess, The Making of a Gentleman, Lord and Lady Spy, The Rogue Pirate’s Bride, or When You Give a Duke a Diamond.
I was in college during the Oklahoma city bombing and I could not look away from the TV. It was the daycare that got me the most, yes the other lives lost were tragic, but what kind of monster can put a bomb in a place with a daycare? All those tiny toys charred amidst the debris and them carrying out those little, bloody bodies. It broke my heart. Still does.
And today, today marks the anniversary of the date we all remember. I was at work. I worked at the university, my alma mater, in a small office with just me and my boss. I was talking to my mom on the phone and she was at home watching Good Morning America and they cut in to the broadcasting (it’s aired an hour later here in the CTZ) to report the hit of the first plane. While she and I were on the phone, the second plane hit. My boss came in muttering something about a terrible thing happening in NYC. I tried to find something streaming live on the internet, but the sites were jammed. Someone in another office rolled a TV out into the hall and we all gathered out there and watched. The Pentagon. The field. People jumping. The buildings falling.
Still today it is hard to wrap my mind around such things. Whatever your politics, killing out of some misguided sense of religion is just wrong. But these moments, the ones we remember so precisely, they shape us, change us. I remember as a child being afraid of Lybia because of stuff we learned about in school. And I remember the plane hijackings of the 80′s. But 9/11 was different. It was so terrifyingly real and close.
So you can remember with me today, tell me where you were or what memories you have, you can let it pass. But today, I needed to pause and remember.