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?
Filed under: Pam Hearon |