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Butt, it’s time to show my face

18 Aug
Pirate_1

Lily with Nicole Harris at the Nautical Or Nice Cocktail Party at RWA Conference. (That’s me on the left).

This weekend has been conference weekend for members of Romance Writers of Australia. They’ve been enjoying their annual conference, this year in Fremantle in West Australia. (Kind of part of Perth, but with great coast, yachting, a fantastic old prison, old buildings and about the most character you can find in a big city).

I couldn’t stay for all the Conference, but I drove up from my home at Margaret River for the ‘Nautical Or Nice’ Cocktail party on Friday night, to meet my critique partner from Brisbane (the soon to be pubished, Kylie Kaden) for the first time, and to share pre-Saturday conference breakfast with my fellow Escape Artists and Managing Editor Kate Cuthbert, (Escape Publishing).

I was also lucky enough to have lunch in Mandurah on the way back from the Conference Saturday, with WriteNote1 book reviewer, arts publicist, op-shopping extraordinaire, and former journalist, Monique Mulligan. Three hours we found ourselves chatting and lunching… that’s not bad for a first date!

Pirates 2

With book reviewer and blogger, Monique Mulligan in Mandurah. (That’s me on the right).

 

It was wonderful meeting people who I’ve only met (so far) through email, Facebook or author groups, however, something that amazed me about the weekend was how difficult it was to spot people from their social media photographs and avatars. Perhaps it shouldn’t surprise me, after all, we were all supposed to be in costume.

In no particular order, here are the people I think DO look like their avatars, and who I was able to spy across a crowded room and think: aha, that is X.

1) Juanita Kees

2) Ros Baxter

3) Cate Ellink

4) Imelda Evans

5) Victoria Purman

And then there are the people who I would not have recognised from two feet away in bright sunlight! Would you believe I actually took a photograph of Jennie Jones with her friend Nicole Harris, and it was only as I was looking at Jennie through the lens of the camera that I got an inkling about who she was!

1) Lisa Ireland (Dressed in a pirate outfit, Lisa cheated by straightening her hair!)

2) Jennie Jones (Jennie cheated too because lately her avatars have been collages of her brilliant book cover, House on Burra Burra Lane, – that’s my excuse JJ and I’m sticking to it!)

3) Natasha Devereaux (Natasha’s avatar is eye-popping because she has a huge snake wrapped around her shoulders – yes – a real one. Without the snake, she was unrecognisable!)

Now I should add, I got in a lot of trouble myself because people were expecting me to wear my pink beanie, which has become something of a trademark on my Facebook author page, and on Twitter. But I ask you, does a pink beanie really go with a pirate outfit? More particularly, with red pants and a red scarf on said pirate outfit? And even more particularly, with a pirate hat? No, dear reader, it doesn’t. So I didn’t wear my beanie, and in turn, nobody recognised me!

It also didn’t help that somewhere in the world of lanyards and name tags… I happened to miss out on getting one. So people couldn’t cheat and double-check my tummy to spot my name hanging from a ribbon around my neck!

So cutting to the chase (finally), this has got me thinking about all things avatars and gravatars, and it has made me realise something about myself. When I first began this blog, and for the first year of this blog’s life, my avatar has been deliberately unrecognisable. That’s because I was way too shy to want anyone who knew me, to know I was writing romance. However, during 2013, and particularly in the last few months, I’ve been doing the romance writer’s literary equivalent to coming out of the closet.

My ‘pink beanie’ picture first appeared on Jenn J McLeod’s Author Harvest blog back in February. Then it was introduced to my author page on Facebook, and my Twitter account, and lately I’ve been using it more in my blog.

Lily_1

From Butt…

LilyM_lowres

… to beanie.

Last week, I updated my ‘About Me’ page and changed my ‘unrecognisable’ photo (the picture many people refer to as my ‘butt photo’… to the beanie photo.)

It’s a small change, but it’s showing how far I’ve come in confidence in the last year. I’m comfortable now to give
Lily Malone a face, rather than a butt. (Although that butt will always have a place in my heart… if that’s possible without some major anatomical reshuffling).

Right now, the only place Lily’s butt remains is on my friend page with Facebook. I’m not quite sure I can let that derriere disappear just yet… we shall see!

To everyone I was able to meet in person during #RWAus13 it was wonderful to put your face to your name, and to absent friends, you were very much missed!

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14 responses to “Butt, it’s time to show my face

  1. Jenn J McLeod | House for all Seasons

    August 18, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Ahh, not a small change at all, Lily. That is a BIG change! Butt …. so you know… when we meet (eventually) I will not look like my avatar. In real life I have more of a Miranda Kerr thing happening.

     
    • Lily Malone

      August 18, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      Well, Jenn. I would be a bit worried if you looked like a dandelion seed head in real life!

       
    • writenote1

      August 20, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      I was going to say that … but Lily showed my real face on her blog!

       
  2. Susanne Bellamy

    August 18, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    It’s an interesting point you make about hiding our true identities; I still have a red rose avatar on some sites which probably won’t be changing any time soon, (largely because I don’t remember what I did to get it there in the first place!). Very pleased you chose to come out of the closet with your pink beanie. I love to see friends’ faces.

    And when we meet, just look for the long hair, Lily. Hope I still look like my FB photo then!

     
    • Lily Malone

      August 18, 2013 at 7:16 pm

      I am sure you will still have that beautiful hair and that serene persona Ms lovely Susanne.

       
      • Susanne Bellamy

        August 18, 2013 at 9:08 pm

        Oh I do hope you make it to the 2014 conference.

         
  3. Lily Malone

    August 18, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    I should add – Kerrie Paterson looks like Kerrie Paterson too – but she’s tiny! I found her behind the pot plant, right where she promised she’d be hiding. 🙂

     
  4. noelleclarkblog

    August 18, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Lily, I was looking everywhere for you. In fact, having to stare at other women’s fronts trying to read nametags that were mostly sideways, could get me a bad reputation. Anyway, I searched and searched, and – finding no red beanie – decided you mustn’t be here. And now the conference is over. 😦 Well, hello Lily…we were in the same room on Friday night. Hope to meet you in Sydney 2014. 🙂

     
    • Lily Malone

      August 18, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      Hi Noelle
      Oh I know! No beanie got me in so much trouble. No nametag definitely didn’t help. There are so many people I missed. I wished I could have stayed for the weekend but $$$ and time away from home were the killers.
      I don’t know about 2014… unless I sell a zillion books before then of course!
      I hope you had a wonderful time at conference!

       
  5. Nicole Harris

    August 18, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Ooooh, look! I’m on Lily Malone’s BLOG!!!!!! 🙂

     
  6. Cate Ellink

    August 19, 2013 at 12:00 am

    It was awesome to meet you, Lily, and the pink beanie was just like the photo and made spotting you a cinch! Thanks 🙂 it’s the best fun meeting online friends for “flesh time” as Roz Baxter called it. Thanks for coming up and it was awesome chatting!

    Love Cate xoxo

     
  7. Iris B

    August 20, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Great pirate costume ! But yes, I can understand it would’ve been “brave” to walk along Freo’s streets in the costume. LOL

     
  8. lillianderson

    August 20, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    I can’t believe I just saw your actual face so many times in a row! Glad you had a great time, wish I could have made it! ❤

     
  9. writenote1

    August 20, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Still grinning at all the adjectives you used to describe your Saturday lunch date – you’ve got me worked out! I had a lovely time also – and so glad it wasn’t “awkward”. Must have been the wine. Only joking, it was your lovely company.

     

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