I just had my author photo taken for my novel. I have an irrational almost-fear/total discomfort with the camera. I carry my tension and anxiety in my jaw and in photos my mouth looks weird and my expression looks stern.

The photos were taken at home, which helped, and those taken in my kitchen seemed at-a-glance to be the best. I love to cook and entertain so maybe that has something to do with why I seem the most at ease and like myself in those photos. I think, though, it has more to do with what I was thinking about during those particular photos. I was thinking about how I dedicated my first novel to my dad. Not just my dad. I dedicated the book to Nathaniel J. Bergman which was the pen name my dad (Ned McDonnell) dreamed up for the books he would someday write.

My dad never did write those books. He never wrote much of anything. While he lay dying, I promised him I would finish the novel I was working on, I would make it the best I could, and I would dedicate it to him and his dream. I told him, I’ll do it for both of us.

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2 Responses to Smile

  1. tanita says:

    Nathaniel J. Bergman is THE BEST name. His stories would have been amazing.

  2. Ethel Rohan says:

    Thanks so much, Tanita. I know I LOVE the pen name. Nathaniel after Hawthorne and Bergman after Ingrid. The ‘J’ I never asked him (what was I thinking, I never asked him!!!) but I like to joke it likely stands for “Jaysus”