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WHO AM I...AND AM I OKAY WITH THAT?

Today's guest is the author Wren Boudreau whose first novel Ice Cream on the Side has just been released. Today she talks about finding herself - and the fun of fascination of the results! :).

Her Blurb: Wren Boudreau likes to think she’s wild and bohemian, a charismatic character who sees magic everywhere. The reality is that Wren Boudreau is quite ordinary, an introvert who prefers nesting in the warm comfort of her home and going on great adventures in her head. In her youth, she played with Barbie dolls, learned to play piano, slept with stuffed animals, and had a “pixie” hair cut. In her teens, Wren wrote stories about lost love, sang in the choir, learned how to use a blow dryer and cried on New Year’s Eve. She went to college, took a creative writing class, directed a play, spiked her hair, waited tables, worked at a publishing house, got married, had a baby. The baby grew up, Wren went back to school, became a teacher and grew her hair long. When she discovered m/m romance, she decided she wanted in on that. She has negligible social skills, does not always play well with others and runs with scissors. She is still married, to a wonderful man who isn’t sure why she’s writing gay romance but loves her anyway.

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Who Am I? And…Am I Okay With That?



Hi, I’m Wren Boudreau. I’ve written a book, “Ice Cream on the Side” which is available from Loose Id HERE. It’s an m/m murder mystery romance. It’s the first book I ever wrote. Some people have actually read it, and some of them have even liked it! Go me.

Blurb: Architect Dylan and art teacher Michael fight past betrayals to find passion in the bedroom with ice cream on the side. But now someone has murdered two of Dylan’s former lovers. Can the guys find the killer before the killer gets Michael?

I’ve started a blog, with bits of this and that. If you’re interested, it’s Here. I’d love to have you visit!

I’m also working on another book, but it’s in the ruminating stage more than anything. I do have a short story in the works, involving a stuck elevator, an inebriated priest and an ice sculpture. You can find out more about that on Kris' blog here.

[Clare: If anyone remembers, I was an earlier victim, sorry "volunteer" for this occasional project of Kris'! It's good fun, make sure you all check in for Wren's story on Valentine's Day!]

It’s been an interesting process, this writing a book thing. From that first moment of “yeah, I think I can do this,” to “holy shit I did it!” I learned things about myself. Like I don’t take being ignored gracefully. And I get kind of smug when things go my way. I also, evidently, use a lot of exclamation points when I write, which is weird because I am not an excitable, or exciting, person. In fact, my husband frequently checks my pulse to make sure I’m alive.

Okay, that might be an exaggeration. But no exclamation marks were harmed in making it.

So I’ve been thinking about writing and being a writer, and how I practically live attached to my laptop anymore. It’s where I read, write, lurk, communicate, etc. And it’s damn comfortable. But a few years ago I would have been wondering constantly: What’s wrong with me?



In my younger days, I spent a lot of time in my head and did more than my share of navel-gazing trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted out of life. I immersed myself in reading, daydreamed endlessly, listened to music, wrote stuff. I had a couple of close friends I spent time with, but didn’t mind being by myself. Even so, I didn’t understand why people couldn’t seem to warm up to me. Near the end of high school, through a series of events I won’t bore you with, I found out that my peers thought I was “stuck up” (do the kids still use that term?) when in fact I was quite shy. More fodder for the who-am-I gristmill. I searched for but never found a satisfactory sense of self. Never quite fitting in anywhere, I was happiest when lost in a good book or fantasy of my own making. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind I wanted more, but more…what? I just lived with a sense of things being slightly off-center (which led to its own set of problems, but let’s not go down that road!). I kind of shut down any further attempt to figure me out.



Then maybe ten years ago, I took the Meyers-Briggs Personality Assessment. If you know nothing about this, there is a ton of info on the web, but a place to start might be Here. My personality type turned out to be INFP. While I could write for days about this and what it means to me, I can put it in this nutshell: I am happiest in my inner world, and that is OKAY!

Don’t get me wrong; it’s a lot more complicated than that! But when I saw this type applied to me, my sense of self was validated. It’s indicative of my self-esteem level that it took a test to let me appreciate myself, but hey, that’s what worked for me. There isn’t anything wrong with me. I am just this way, which is the simple answer to my many “why’s”. Why I like to write. Why being at a party or in a crowd of people sucks the life out of me, and why I can feel energy by being alone. Why I think creatively, and why I am accepting of others, flexible, and hard to get to know. Why I need time to think of responses to things. Why I lurk. Among other things.

So now I’m curious. Do you know who you are? Are you okay with that? Was there an event in your life that validated your sense of self, or how did you come to terms with you?

And if you don’t know who you are, I do wish you good travels. There is a wonderful place at the end of the journey, and it’s been made just for you!!


~~Wren Boudreau~~

Wren's Blog.


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AND JUST FOR FUN...!!

Today's Quote:
"Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits."

Today's Daft Google Searches for 'Clare London':
"Experienced Tools Programmer wanted for High Profile Racing" Hmm...must apply... :)



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Follow this month with Clare (look at the goodies so far...):

Jan 15 : Jen of Well Read savours the memory of food, and seeks it in her fiction!
Jan 16 : Author Mel Keegan tells us why we should all be visiting the GLBT Bookshelf.
Jan 17 : Author Cassandra Gold discusses the wonderful world of the romance sub-genre.



Jan 08 : Jessewave wonders - tongue in cheek - where the less shiny guys are!
Jan 09 : Anne Cain shares her art and encourages a show and tell!
Jan 10 : My latest release Upwardly Mobile is out at Amber Quill today.
Jan 11 : Author Lee Rowan discusses why love should not be a garotte.
Jan 12 : Author Jaime Samms asks if readers prefer short or long stories.
Jan 13 : Author Erastes explains why her submissions keep aiming for the stars!
Jan 14 : Author Daimeryan Rei describes the rewards of writing both fan and original fiction.




Jan 01 : The New Year brings the release of the Immortal Fire anthology IN PRINT.
Jan 02 : author Chrissy Munder asks if current affairs in fiction is delightful or just dates us.
Jan 03 : author Madeleine Urban describes how her characters hijacked her brain.
Jan 04 : author Theda Black's inspiration reaches from a bionic penis to the power of Pan.
Jan 05 : author Josh Lanyon shares some exceedingly good books with us.
Jan 06 : author K. Z. Snow questions what all the fuss is about authors 'making shit up'.
Jan 07 : Josie aka 1more_sickpuppy compares her life and friends online and off.


Want to grab a day to pimp, pose or pontificate? Email me at clarelondon11 @ hotmail.com and I'll happily find you a space ♥

NOTE: most pictures chosen by me and credited where known, others may be used without direct permission, please contact me with any queries/concerns.

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Comments

( 37 comments — Leave a comment )
egret17
Jan. 18th, 2010 01:15 pm (UTC)
*waves at Wren*

I'm an INTJ and am about as much an I as it's possible to be. I, too, was considered stuck up in school, rather than shy/reserved/self-contained. So I can definitely relate!

Out of curiosity, is your husband an I or an E?
wrenboo
Jan. 18th, 2010 02:44 pm (UTC)
Hi Chris!
I'd never have guessed you're an I! *fistbump*

My husband is an INFJ - one of the rarest types for men. Our favorite activity is to stay at home!
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angelasstone
Jan. 18th, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
Gosh you sound alot like me. I totally live in my head, and have conversations with the characters that do as well!! (There isn't enough room for them, so they also live in my closet, and in a basket undermy bed, oh and under my coffee table, and they occasionaly escape to under the couch).

But I agree it took me a long time to realise who I was and how I worked. I'm always the one in the corner or in the wings, getting dragged along here or there. But that's ok becuase I like it.

Then there are the rare moments where I step out into the spotlight anf I love everymoment of it and then I retreat back into mysef and i've never felt better loving the alone part of my life.

XD so I think we're alot alike.. *stops before she rambles on for pages*
wrenboo
Jan. 18th, 2010 03:30 pm (UTC)
Hello Angela! I knew I wasn't the only one out there!

I, too, have had those spotlight moments (and oddly enough I'm pretty good at them. The irony is that makes people think I'm outgoing). And then I have to be alone to re-charge.

And this is a topic one could blather about for a long time - probably because it is so near and dear to our hearts!
chrissymunder
Jan. 18th, 2010 04:05 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on your self-realization and publication. I'm off to check out your links! *pets the exclamation point*
wrenboo
Jan. 18th, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC)
Why,thank you so much, Chrissy! !! !!!
cdn_tam
Jan. 18th, 2010 04:10 pm (UTC)
I'm an INTJ, same as Chris and close to you. I came from a family of E's and I work in a job that requires me to be an E often so I learned at an early age to "fake it". I can be an extravert when the ocassion calls for it, but I don't enjoy it and need recovery after.

We had a career counselling service at work I did a few years ago and was told they had never seen someone in my job score as high on the introvert scale as I did. Umm, Yay me? But I'm fine with that, I don't mind saying I could be a hermit if I had the internet and books, periodically I think I "should" be more outgoing, have more friends, be more social but only because the rest of the world tells me I should, not because I wish I was and then I get over it and am happy with who I am as I am.

I live in my head a lot. I always have a running movie in my head, sometimes I'm in it, sometimes not. When I'm driving or trying to fall asleep I focus on it, making up stories complete with dialogue where I am witty and entertaining and far more agressive than I am in real life. LOL But I think as long as you don't get lost in the internal dialogue (sitting in the dark, refusing to talk to people, quit your job, only eat take-out pizza) it's certainly not a bad place to be. God help us if the whole world was made out of social butterfly extraverts.
wrenboo
Jan. 18th, 2010 04:45 pm (UTC)
Hi Tam!

Did you feel odd in a family of E's?

I've had a job requiring the E trait, too. It was tough for me. I'm glad you've managed to succeed in the E world and still get your I needs met.

I can relate to everything you said. The voice of the world saying "you should" can be intimidating. It's lovely, I think, that the Internet came along to give us I's a place to hang out. *puts leftover pizza away and turns on lights*
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1more_sickpuppy
Jan. 18th, 2010 04:59 pm (UTC)
Hi, lovely to read this. I actually had a little "doh" moment thinking, "oh right, it *is* okay to be just the way you are"... silly that we need reminding.

I recognize some of myself in there too. Intellectually I know I'm supposedly ok the way I am, but I'd probably trust a test more.

I do find it problematic to "marry" the different parts of me into one though. I like being on my own, in my head or online, but I also love the stimulation of social interaction. I enjoy and feel 'real' doing certain simple, physical tasks but I wither without intellectual challenge. Which means I can do either one of these things intensely for a while and remain content, by bringing out that side of me. But I'll always miss the other stuff eventually and feel incomplete without it. I'm very okay with having those different needs/desires, but in everyday life I have to choose one at the cost of the other... so how to solve that puzzle?

Edit: Oh, and I've been told I seem aloof, snobbish and unavailable too, when I was just feeling a little shy, intimidated or awkward.

Edited at 2010-01-18 05:04 pm (UTC)
wrenboo
Jan. 18th, 2010 05:12 pm (UTC)
Dear sickpuppy,

There's no easy answer to finding the right balance in one's life! Our intellect and our emotions can often seem at odds. I think one of the toughest things is when you are a renaissance sort of person, with many facets, interests and abilities, and you have to learn to accept that all those different things about you are okay, that you aren't going to be the same you every minute of every day. And not only do you have to figure that out, but you have to deal with other people's perceptions of you (or misconceptions as the case may be).
jenna_hilary
Jan. 18th, 2010 05:32 pm (UTC)
What an absolutely fascinating post! Kudos to you, Wren, on being published and also in finding peace with your own personality.

Unlike most others who have commented here, I'm a really typical ENTJ (outgoing, leader, organized) who, I believe, is in the midst of changing because of how much the solitary writing life has affected me over the last nineteen years. Yikes! My daughter has changed from INTJ to ENTJ over the last few years, so I guess it's not unprecedented.

I have organized so many projects from beginning to end, have gathered people in groups, have tried to be a compassionate leader in various situations that I am just about exhausted. I have this dream of being alone in a cabin in the woods for about a month, and it seems great, but I know I'd be horribly sad and lonely by the second day. Sigh. Even with the time to write.... Maybe I just need a truly long, peaceful vacation.

Around the age of thirteen or so I realized I had to make choices about how to live my life and how to project myself, and I decided then who I was. I've been totally fine with that ever since, thank goodness, though I too got the stuck-up label, but also loads of people who have told me that their first opinion of me (usually negative!) was changed completely once they got to know me. I'm clumsy but extremely well-intentioned, and I just have come to live with being initially mis-understood.

The writing life is so contrary to how I generally have defined myself that it's produced quite an interesting internal discussion! I can feel the flux inside, the shifting tides, and I'm not sure where I will end up. I do think that I'll be happy not to be asked to organize any more conventions, thank you very much! Sequestering myself in the writing room, and in the writing world, is so darned appealing that it has literally shifted the foundations of my personality. That just feels so amazing to me....
Yours,
Jenna
wrenboo
Jan. 18th, 2010 07:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks much, Jenna!

I think even if we are doing things that suit our particular type, if we do them without rest they still overwhelm us. A vacation may be just what you need! Beach? Mountains? Rainforest?

I'm so impressed that you were mature enough at 13 to decide who you were. I don't think too many kids have that ability!

Isn't it weird that we all seem to have that snobbish first appearance?

It sounds like you are on the cusp of a change and excited about it. That is awesome! You sound so very much in touch with your inner self - very self-assured, even in the midst of flux! I'm sure that whatever is in store for you will be fabulous!
lee_rowan
Jan. 18th, 2010 08:00 pm (UTC)
Yep. If your first two M-B letters are IN, it seems that kids thought you were stuck up, when the true description was probably "painfully shy." I always seem to test IN and right on the border between TJ and FP, depending on the questions. But yes, isn't it great to find out that just because most of your friends get energized by a party, there's nothing abnormal about needing large hunks of peace and solitude to recharge? In some ways I think writing is the perfect sort of work for INs... you pretty much have to be left alone to get any work done.

Congratulations on being published! I like mysteries, will have to check out Ice Cream!

LOL at the !!! -- I also use far more !s in posting online than I ever use in conversation.
wrenboo
Jan. 18th, 2010 08:32 pm (UTC)
Thanks for stopping in, Lee!

I agree that IN may equal Writer. It makes sense that if we live in our heads, we could create some terrific stuff there. Getting it out to share with others - that takes a little doing!

Thanks, too, for the congrats! Glad you share in the exclamation point fetish!
krisngoodbooks
Jan. 18th, 2010 09:42 pm (UTC)
You know all this talk of being victims, Clare and Wren, will probably give me a complex. Ok, not likely, but still... :)
wrenboo
Jan. 18th, 2010 09:51 pm (UTC)
But truly, you sappy romantic you, you're strong enough to overcome any complex, no matter how richly deserved!
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jambrea
Jan. 18th, 2010 11:12 pm (UTC)
I am happiest when I'm at home. :) I love talking to my on line friends. I love staying in and watching movies.

I did have a time where I had to be in front of people. I was in the Air Force and in charge of my squad in tech school. Very out of character for me, but I actually enjoyed it. The Air Force brought that out of me and it has slowly receded the longer I'm out of the services. lol

Give me the characters in my head and I'm happy. :)
wrenboo
Jan. 19th, 2010 12:32 am (UTC)
Oh jambrea, let's have a slumber party. We just won't talk to each other :)

I think you can get used to being "on" when you have to, but it all settles back to normal when given the chance.
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jessewave
Jan. 19th, 2010 12:16 am (UTC)

Wren
I guess no one would believe me if I said I was an introvert.:) I have always been an extrovert (as far back as I can remember). Maybe it's because I love people and finding out what makes them tick is interesting. I think you're a big 'ole liar Wren - I can't believe you are an I.
wrenboo
Jan. 19th, 2010 12:35 am (UTC)
Wave, it is clear that you love people and learning about them by the way you run your website! You are an E using her powers for good!

And...*hmph*...I do not lie. When I take the Meyers-Briggs, my "I-ness" is about as deep as it can get. Truly. I just have developed a way of coping in the real world...and now in the virtual one as well. :)
kz_snow
Jan. 19th, 2010 04:15 am (UTC)
Sorry I'm so late to the party, Wren, but I was -- you guessed it -- lost in my head.

We have weirdly similar temperaments and backgrounds...except for the loving, supportive husband. Sometimes I'm convinced there's a mill somewhere that cranks them out, and I'm the only female without a map. ;-)

I'm pretty much okay with myself, but everybody else thinks I'm a lout (because, you know, writing is the sport of lazy women).
wrenboo
Jan. 19th, 2010 04:47 am (UTC)
I'm glad you found your way out, KZ. I'd hate to have to come in after you!

Maybe we're separated-at-birth twins! The loving, supportive husband? The mill broke down in the making of him. He really is an odd one. I mean, one of a kind!

Lazy women unite! Later...after I get out of my jammies and finish this box of bon bons.
wrenboo
Jan. 19th, 2010 04:48 am (UTC)
Hey Clare!
Thanks for having me guest-post! It was fun!
wren
clarelondon
Jan. 19th, 2010 08:41 am (UTC)
Hey, it was great to have you, thanks for your time and enthusiasm. Great post! I'm trying to find the time to do my own M-B test, I haven't done it since I was first in management and I can't remember what it said then. I expect I disagreed with it, anyway, being a stroppy cow...LOL.
^___^
janeychapel
Jan. 20th, 2010 10:10 pm (UTC)
Hi Wren! Congrats on your first release! :)

I'm an ENFJ who varies, depending on the job, to an ESFJ. I also think I'm getting more introverted as I age. I appreciate quiet time alone in my house SO much more than I used to. Maybe because that's the only time I can concentrate enough to write? *shrug*

Great post!
( 37 comments — Leave a comment )

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