Thursday, April 27, 2006

Locks Of Love

I did it. I cut my hair. Short.

Several years ago I read about an organization called Locks Of Love, which furnishes human hair wigs to children afflicted with disease who can't grow hair of their own. I visited their website and saw pictures of children in before (bald) photos and after (with LOL wigs). After seeing these lovely children I determined to grow a crop of hair and donate it.

My hair has always been extremely thick and coarse, and it grows very fast. The last real chop I'd had was in spring of 2002, which turned me into a pixie that I thought looked great. So I stopped the pixie cut maintenance and just let it go. It grew out to my chin line and my husband was encouraged. It passed my chin and hit the shoulder length where it wouldn't stay behind my shoulders and always fell in my face. I took stock in claw clips, the best hair accessory since the rubber band. After a couple of years my hair cascaded down my back in waves, my husband began to think I was morphing back into the woman he married.

Locks Of Love requires a minimum of ten-inches of hair for their donations. Because I promised my husby I wouldn't do the pixie-cut again, I took a bit longer to grow my hair to a length where I could donate ten inches and still have some fluff around my face.

For several months now I've needed a change. When my friend Carlene invited me to her house for a "hair-fest" with our private stylist, Jamie Cabrillo, I knew it was time. I woke up yesterday morning giddy with excitement. I gently let my husby know that today was the day, that my chestnut tresses would be braided and cut and I would emerge a new woman. I promised that if I felt good about myself, it couldn't help but radiate onto him.

Because I had so much hair, Jamie made two braids. My buddy Carlene had the honors of the first cut. Jamie lopped off the second braid and then began clipping away. She said my wavy hair had been pulled tight from its length for so long that it sprang into curls when she wet it. She gave me a "stacked bob" that has layers in the back for fullness, but blends to a single length in the front to avoid the curse of big hair. I love the cut.

Husby came over to the hair fest for a view of the new me before heading to work that evening. I'd warned him that it could be pretty short. He was delightfully surprised it wasn't as short as he expected. I was delightfully surprised at his reaction.

So now my two braids are sitting in a zip-lock bag awaiting shipment to Locks Of Love. Like an organ donor, I'll never know the child who will wear my hair. But it feels great to know it'll bring smiles for years.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Nexus Lives

So it's been four months since I updated my blog. Not because nothing's happened, but because so much was happening my muse needed a rest.

While my muse was on vacation, my creative critic put on the gloves and gave my novel, THE NEXUS, logosuction and a pace lift. I'm happy to say that I was able to cut more than 22,000 words without losing any of the texture or changing the voice. Every character survived, though they move through their paces with more immediacy and determination.

I shipped NEXUS to my agent on Monday, it arrived at her office this morning. Now I'll wait to see what she thinks.

In the meantime, I'm going to pick up the threads of WHISPERING NIGHTS and go back to the Yorkshire moors where I left Clarissa and the eccentric family of slave-smuggling aristocrats to which she is governess.