Dear Theodora Goss,

I read with great delight your recent blog
on Being Real
. It is something I have often struggled with. It’s
part of the dissonance created when you, the writer, have to start
thinking of yourself in terms of a brand. Funny things start to
happen as you begin to talk about yourself. Especially in the third
person.

“But it’s also a thing to manage, a thing that can make you feel
quite strange about yourself, as though you’re not really you.”

It is here that I am forced to disagree with you. That belly pride blog of
ours
notwithstanding, we in the Broaddus family firmly believe in
being really us at all times. There’s no strangeness about it. Allow
me to give you a rare glimpse into the real life of the Broaddus
household:

Here, our secret network of cameras
captures my wife Sally as she goes about her daily routine of
vacuuming and dusting. Luckily, she was unaware of the cameras.

Or how the camera catches me as I go about
cleaning the bathroom and doing dishes. (Why yes, that is a framed
version of an article a local paper did on me a couple years back
hanging over our sink. If you look REALLY close, the cupid on the
cover is my son, Malcolm.)
Whether our nightly quality family time of
playing video games with my oldest, Reese, (curiously, Malcolm wanted
no part of our realness exercise … still scarred after that Cupid
episode) or our bedtime reading of Steampunk II, we strive to be real,
at all times.

As you can plainly see, there are no vanity issues here and we are
clearly unconcerned about image here. I don’t know what your hang up
may be.

As a writer, we are always out there. Through my twitter, my facebook
page, my blog, people interact with me and get glimpses into my
thoughts and my life. Which is ironic because, I think, most times it
is through my stories that people get a glimpse of my heart. Though I
love that we are all about story and controlling story, especially the
myth of our own lives.

Your ardent fan,

Maurice

P.S.

I wonder if a similar dissonance is created among artists who are
Christian, as they are told by one camp to pursue humility, yet as a
brand, they are told to constantly be promoting themselves. A
not-necessarily-insurmountable problem, but a fraught one nonetheless.
Then again, in most of the images of Christ I see, he’s either
quite buff or has rock star hair.

P.P.S.

This is certainly a much better idea than me threatening to tape bacon
to my kids as a way to out-Scalzi John Scalzi’s blog. Though I
haven’t entirely ruled that out yet.