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On My Mark

I was born with a birthmark—a bright red V in the middle of my forehead.  My parents were worried about me being self-conscious of it although the doctor assured them it would fade through the years.  For a while, my mom wouldn’t cut me any bangs for fear I would think she was trying to hide it.  But my aunt convinced her I’d be cute in bangs, so eventually she relented.  Occasionally, someone would point to the mark and comment about my sunburn, but that’s about as extensive as the conversations ever got.

Years passed, and the doctor proved to be correct.  By the time I got into high school, my birthmark wasn’t too noticeable UNLESS I was angry or sick.   My mark was dubbed as my “neon sign” by friends and family—a beacon that flashed bright red and warned everyone to steer clear that day.  At that point, I decided to take advantage of my novelty, so I ran for class office.  During my campaign speech, I drew attention to the V on my head and convinced the sophomores I was destined to be their Vice-President.  Needless to say, I won the election.

Fast forward a few years.  I was writing my first novel (The Timestone Key).  The story is a romantic Arthurian fantasy, and I needed my ever-so-average heroine to have something that was nondescript yet marked her as special.  Enter my mom with a copy of Rolling Stone Magazine under her arm, which was a bit of a shock in itself.  She’d swiped my nephew’s copy during a recent visit.  The magazine contained an article about a young boy who was a healer.  His parents knew he was a healer from birth because he bore the mark of a healer—a V in the middle of his forehead.  Poof!  I had that special something that my heroine needed.  But, more than that, I felt a surge of pride to be bearing the same mark.  It wasn’t just my “neon sign” anymore; it was something that had a place in history and connected me to a special group.

Now, don’t get me wrong—I don’t think of myself as a healer.  But I do hope I can touch people in a special way through my writing.  Maybe one of my stories will make someone look at someone else in a different light or from a different perspective.  And maybe that look will lead to a broken heart being mended.

So how about you?  What is your most special trait or characteristic?

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22 Responses

  1. My birthmark, on my knee, is in the shape of Texas (with a little bit of New Mexico). I have Texan ancestors, so even though I’ve never lived there, I consider it to proof of my innate Tex-anity.
    My most special characteristic? The question makes me shrink in like a turtle, honestly. Which is odd, because I’m so not the turtle type. I’m a TEXAN!

    • A birthmark shaped like Texas–that is soooo cool! You don’t need a coat-of-arms, you have Texas on your knee:-) I can think of lots of book titles and stories that could go along with that one, Keri. Have you ever used it?

  2. I love the Texas-shaped birthmark, Keri. That is cool.

    Pamela – My sister has the red V on her forehead too! I don’t.

    Special trait, huh? I can roll my tongue. Does that count? LOL

    I have a freckle on the back of my thigh, as does my first cousin once removed. Exact same spot.

    My second toe is longer than my big toe (by quite a bit!) My material grandmother had that. Neither my mother nor my sister have that. However, my niece does. In fact, my niece’s fingers and toes look more like mine than they do my sister.

    Interesting topic. I can’t wait to see what everybody else adds to the discussion!

    • See Cindy, I was destined to be your sister. Freckles don’t count. I have too many to count.

  3. That’s so cool! I have the V as well, inever knew it meant i was a healer though….

    • I had never heard it before either. I think it’s very cool. Sounds like it might be more common than I realized. Although, I’ve never known anybody else who has it.

  4. I have a small red splotch on my crown. It’s always been hidden by my hair, so my ever-sensitive mother first told me about when when I was 14 and we watching Omen 2… The bit were Damien Thorn finds *his* mark in the same place… 0_o

  5. I love these discusisons!
    I wasn’t born with it, but thanks to a bicycling accident in college, I have a perfect “7” scar on my knee. It’s been my lucky number, ever since!

  6. Oh. Lord. Let’s not start counting scars.

    And Cyndi, when your second toe is longer than your big toe that’s called Egyptian foot. One of those useless little tidbits of college learnin’ that’s still taking up space in my brain.

    I don’t have any interesting birthmarks or such, but my younger sister’s eyes are two different colors. One is brown, the other almost green. And no, I didn’t mention it to her growing up. Much.

  7. very cool! My kid has the V too. We were told they’re “stork bites” 🙂

    and that they would fade. they have a lot, especially with summer and him getting tanner. but when he’s angry, it’s like a highlight between his brows.

  8. That’s really cool about the healer thing! My cousin had a V on his forehead, but he only had that from running around the corner and into the radiator and splitting his head open. Twice.

    My middle toes are longer, as are my middle fingers. Someone told me recently that a middle finger longer than an index finger meant you received more testosterone in development or something like that. Made sense to me, since I have all those traits that are supposed to belong to men (hate shopping, try to fix instead of listen, etc.).

  9. My son was born with a stork bite, too. Not sure what causes it but it was very noticeable when he was born. He was still so beautiful, though.

    He’s brown as a berry now (has my native American skin) so it’s no longer very visable. Not sure it is a sign of a healer, but I love the idea it is…not so much a healer of the flesh as a healer of the spirit 🙂

    • I know, Liz. That’s what intrigued me, too. Maybe healers can reach into all aspects of life?

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