Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Describe Yourself - If You Dare

One of the pleasures I have discovered in that last two summers at the cottage in PEI is the mystery novel.  I have never been a fan of this genre — at least in print form having enjoyed the TV adaptations — particularly of the British variety such as Midsomer Murders  or Inspector Morse.  Of course there is the original fictional detective Sherlock Holmes in his many incarnations. 

In the past two summers (or should I say Midsomers) I have found the detective mystery to be the perfect light reading to complement my more serious exploration of Spiritual Direction books, books on dream interpretation, alchemy, and Jungian psychology liberally (small l) mixed with the bible. 

One of the series I have discovered is by Sue Grafton who has written a alphabetical series (A is for Alibi, B is for Burglar down to W is for Wasted) dealing with the exploits of her female Private Eye Kinsey Millhone.  One of the things that makes Sue Grafton’s writing so engaging is the descriptive nature of how she writes.  The scenes and the characters are written so graphically and vibrantly that I have no difficulty picturing the scenes in the stories and the characters which inhabit them.

I would like to give you some examples of the writing but unfortunately all our copies of the books are back in Ann of Green Gable’s home province and so I must limit the examples to a few I found on line:

Beverly Danziger looked like an expensive, carefully wrapped package from a good but conservative shop. Only her compulsive chatter hinted at the nervousness beneath her cool surface. It was a nervousness out of all proportion to the problem she placed before Kinsey Millhone.

He was young—maybe twenty or so—and he must once have been a good-looking kid. Kinsey could see that. But now his body was covered in scars, his face half-collapsed. It saddened Kinsey and made her curious. 

The question I would like to put to you today is, “if Sue Grafton was to put you into one of her novels, how would she describe you?”  This of course could be both the outer appearance as well and the inner person. 
Thinking about what I would write was more daunting that I first thought it would be.  It is a bit like what would I put in my obituary if I were to write it but makes it more immediate.  In effect how do you think other people see you?

Well here is my preliminary effort.  In outward appearance Gregory (Greg) Little is a tall (6’2”) somewhat overweight (215 lbs.) senior citizen (now 65 years old).  You could not describe Greg as tall dark and handsome despite his height.  He is fairly attractive but his years are beginning to show.  He does wear his age quite well but not as well as he thinks.  He is certainly no longer dark as the thinning hair is showing a lot of gray as is his full beard.  Greg peers at the world through myopic eyes and does not see a lot of the physical colours in the world being somewhat colour blind to go along with his short-sightedness.  Greg is, however, very interested in the nuances of people and what makes them tick. He is a person who likes to see the connections with things beyond the physical world however; he doesn’t always make the connections about others as well as himself as he thinks he should.  Greg is not a detail oriented person as anyone reading his emails can attest.  He puts this down to his personality type which is INFJ on the Myers Briggs scale and a 9 on the Enneagram scale.  However he is more attentive to detail than he used to be.  Greg also has a good sense of humour and likes seeing the ironic and paradoxes in life. 
I could go on but I think I will leave it at that — for today in any case.  So how would Sue Grafton describe you on the inside as well on the outside? 


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