Blonde not Blonde

My Kenosha buddy Miya is a daring soul who often colors her hair in vibrant colors. They look good on her.

Since the Covid lockdown, I’ve been doing that too, trying on different shades (courtesy of a sale on such hair products on Amazon). They don’t look quite as good on me as they do on Miya … but that hasn’t stopped me.

I started with ice-blue then went to some shade of fuchsia, next was a funky red, then spiced plum.

I’ve got this big speech coming up at the end of the month before hundreds and hundreds of folks attending an online (though it is traditionally in-person) library-author-writer gala. It’s an honor to be the opening speaker for the Galena Lit Fest. I’ll wear one of my nicest sweaters, put on a little jewelry, and dig out the mascara.

So I thought I should ditch the spiced plum and look more … I dunno … real, natural, ordinary. I searched in the closet this morning and found a box of blonde. It was under the box of dark turquoise, which I was going to try next. Gee, I almost went for the turquoise anyway, but I remembered the hundreds and hundreds thing.

I should have bleached my hair first, as spiced plum is a little on the dark side. But I didn’t. I didn’t have bleachy stuff to employ. I went straight for the blonde. My roots are a light shade of blonde now. The rest of my hair is a shimmery lighter shade of spiced plum. Supposedly these quirky colors fade faster, but spiced plum has seemed to adhere to my hair like Super Glue. My hair just likes the hue.


I’m not going to re-color it. I’m going with what I got. (I kinda like it, actually.)

Steven Paul Leiva gifted me a nifty ball cap for Christmas. Denim blue, and embroidered red on it is: I Write Therefore I Am. I might wear that for my speech, tuck my blonde-not-blonde-spiced-plum tresses up underneath it.

Or I might just let them see me.

In a couple of days I’ll put my speech together, maybe it will decide for me. My topic is libraries and how they impacted me as a reader and writer. I won the Illinois Author Project’s Soon-to-Be-Famous Award in 2019 with my novel The Bone Shroud, and that gained me the Lit Fest invite. Truly an honor. I hope I come across okay … it is what I say, not what color my hair is, that matters.

In my Piper Blackwell novels, Teegan the Goth dispatcher dyes her hair an unnatural shade of black, though in the latest book, The Dead of Jerusalem Ridge, she added purple highlights. I’ve decided Teegan is going to change the color of her hair. Spiced plum would look good on her. I think she’s going to find a sale on Amazon and stock her bathroom closet with a variety of shades. Yeah, I’m gonna run with that.

And after I finally get to use that box of dark turquoise … I will revisit Amazon and find some other quirky colors on sale to stash in the closet for future use.

Life is too short to not embrace things a little out of the ordinary.

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