(Snippets from an essay I wrote when I wasn't writing my novel.)
From a physical standpoint, I'm not sure I can say there's anything markedly different about myself from anyone else. Not my hair, my eyes, my height, or my somewhat lumpy feminine shape. I am told all the time that people have met my twin somewhere. Not even my name is unique. Christine van Soolen is also my cousin-in-law who lives a few states over, as well as a murder victim in some crime novel. (Although fair warning: If you address me as, “Christine,” I’ll assume that either I'm in trouble or that you're talking to the lurking shadow behind me. Careful there, my shadow is a dragon.)
So who am I? I am dreams, wishes, and stars on a summer night. I am laughter, compassion, games, and wisdom. I am giggles, secrets, whispers, and books stuffed on a shelf. I am busy, bloody, grumpy, overwhelmed, frustrated, and vulnerable. I am an unending desire for chocolate and a need to hit something. I am love, friendship, motherhood, patience, hugs, and kisses on the cheek. I am clutter, spattered paint, and smudged charcoal. I am she who listens to wind, paints the clouds, and converses with trees. I am strange, weird, hard to understand, opinionated, and bossy. I am words overflowing, ideas refusing to be ignored, stories wishing to be told with bright colors.
I am everything and nothing. I am enough.