Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hair Today Gone Tomorrow

by Julie Coulter Bellon

There comes a point in most women’s lives when they feel the need for a haircut. A new style, something different. That was where I was at last Saturday.

I walked into the salon, my hair curled softly around my shoulders, hanging halfway down my back. The salon was crowded, but the stylist quickly led me back to a chair and within moments she had swooshed the cape in front of me, tied it around my neck and asked me what I wanted done. I looked at myself in the mirror and told her, I wanted it cut.

With my hair wet, she held it in front of me, her fingers pinching it just below my shoulders. "What do you think about this length?" she asked.

I imagined silky curls brushing my shoulders and said, "sounds great." The stylist got busy, putting my hair in clips at odd angles, pulling the hair back with her fingers and cutting.

We made small talk and during the course of the conversation, we talked about the books that I’d written. The lady in the chair next to me suddenly leaned over and said, "I’ve read your books! How exciting to meet you!"

I looked in the mirror at myself, the hair in clips poking up, making me look like my small children had been playing "hairdresser" on mom while I slept, and briefly debated on telling her to turn away because I was hideous, but then I smiled and simply said, "Thank you!" We talked for quite a while about the state of LDS fiction and I wanted to share a few things about our conversation with you today.

LDS fiction has improved immeasurably over the last five years. You can find an LDS book in almost every genre, and you don’t have to worry about needless scenes offering profanity, violence, or sensuality, but still have a great story that keeps you riveted. And as shameless promotion, she liked that my book, Time Will Tell, had a romance for an older woman in it. She felt like there aren’t enough of those around.

We talked at length about historical fiction. Times have changed since Gerald Lund’s, The Work and the Glory series came out and we both felt that it has been for the good and the bad. Our opinions matched in feeling that some authors seem out to teach a history lesson with their LDS fiction, instead of just trying to weave the history into a story that makes you feel like you are right there with the characters. I used Annette Lyon’s temple series (At the Journey’s End and House on the Hill) to illustrate my point of an author who expertly weaves the history in with an absorbing story. She hadn’t yet read Annette’s books, but took out paper and pen to write down the titles because they sounded so intriguing and just what she was looking for.

We also talked about the mystery/suspense genre and how it seems to be getting more and more chilling, yet still adhering to standards that wouldn’t make people feel uncomfortable. Kerry Blair is a master of this as well as Betsy Brannon Green and Jeff Savage. Interestingly enough, she hadn’t read any male authors like Jeff Savage or Robison Wells, but wrote down their names as well.

By the time my hair was done, it felt like we were old friends. We’d shared our favorite authors, our favorite books, and I felt like I’d gained a new perspective on several things. Books can do that, I believe. They bring out feelings and issues that can spark discussion, no matter where you are.

Although next time, I hope I’m not in the middle of getting my hair done, so I can look a little more like myself while we chat.

I also was reminded that hair looks longer when it’s wet, so when mine dried, it didn’t brush my shoulders like I’d planned. I guess I can be grateful my hair grows quickly. Until then, maybe I’ll just hide behind a new book.


At 7/26/2007 2:28 PM, Blogger Annette Lyon said...

Ten bucks says your hair looks terrific.

And thanks so much for mentioning me and so many others to this lady!

At 7/26/2007 4:03 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

I'm sure you look great. How fun to find a fellow book lover while getting your hair cut.


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