Way too often, I’m all about me. I don’t want to be—I want to be the Mother Theresa of feminism, the light of reluctant liberalism, the best cook in Grandmothers of America, Best Example of Christianity you know, the…well, never mind, I’m not those things. But I am in there swinging. And, whether I like it or not, I think I write about myself a lot.
Now, about the guys. They’re always good looking and strong. But not hunky. Not muscle-bound. If they get the pickle jar open without grimacing and saying “they put this sucker on with a torque wrench!” it’s their lucky day. They have their own opinions, but they don’t force them on anyone. They never treat a woman like someone with a pretty little head who doesn’t know how to change a tire or open her own damn pickles. They can clean up after a puking kid, cook dinner, or run a feather duster and a vacuum cleaner with the best of them—but they don’t want to. They are, oh, good grief, the guy I married. (I lied about the opinions—if he could find a way to force them on people, he would.)
I don’t do this on purpose. My heroes and heroines don’t look like Duane and me, they don’t do the jobs we did or even share hobbies with us—except for the sewing part. I try to make them different, but at heart, they are us.
Does everyone do this? Do they take writing what they know to the point that their protagonists are uncomfortably like them and the people in their lives they most love and admire? Or am I the only one who seems to be too much about me?