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Stream of Consciousness Bio

Here we go again. I need a biography for an anthology that's going to carry one of my stories, so I've got to figure out who I am. I've got some ideas, it's just a matter of trying to boil whatever I might say down to something short, vaguely meaningful, and not so boring as to make a person's eyes glaze over.

Vital statistics alone won't cut it. 52, female, married--bleagh, lost me already. I always mention that I live in Madison with my family and work in a metaphysical store. Beyond that, does anyone really want to know about my cats, or my garden, or what I'm making for lunch? These mini-bios are so context-less. If somebody gives me a paragraph about growing tomatoes I might be interested, but personally, I don't give a fig about a one-word indication in some bio that a person "gardens."

I garden. I birdwatch. I bike, run, read. Maybe I should stick to an all-verb bio. . . Or, to get fancier: I pull random words out of a magnetic poetry kit and stick them to the refrigerator and move them around until I get something I like. Is that maybe a little bit interesting?

Above my head a stuffed ground squirrel is hanging upside-down by two clothespins. That's sort of interesting, and obviously there's a story behind it. But if I tell you the story, it will be the length of a short bio and there won't be room for anything else. So all I'd really have room for is a mention of the ground squirrel, random and weird as it is. So Skedaddle (that's her name) will have to be left out, to make room for, um, maybe the fact that I have an interest in learning to cook seaweed?

Often a bio is nothing more than the writer's brag list. "I've been published in A, B, and C." Which is not only boring, it's sort of embarrassing to brag about being published in a bunch of places nobody's ever heard of. I mean, I think it's great that there are so many online venues these days where people like me can share work. But as a statement of who I am?

I would like to say that I only started writing a couple years ago, for fun, and continue playing with it because it continues to be fun and rewarding. I have always liked to read. Hmm, maybe I should share that story about wandering downtown when I was four, trying to get to the library all by myself. Anyone who knows me would agree that not much has changed, me-wise.

So later on, I'll wade through all this and try-- Hmm? Ah, you want to hear about the ground squirrel? See, usually I wear contact lenses. But when I take them out and want my glasses, I can't see well enough to find them. So I always keep Skedaddle next to my glasses. She's not only visible, she's a faithful guardian. And yesterday, Scarlett the barfy cat got Skedaddle, at the same time upchucked all over my work table, trashing the contract for that anthology.


words: Cathy Douglas, Wisconsin (Cathy's Page)
image: 'Woman painting woman' - Sibel Catana, UK (profile + images)


turn around to read the resulting biography


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BluePrintReview - issue 26 - identity