Polishing My Novel, Or At Least Its Nails

This week I’m meeting with the book designer I hired. We’re going to take pictures of hands.

Well, he is. He’s the pro. Not my hands, though. Not even the hands of anyone I really know. He’ll be shooting the hands of a girl who’s the younger sister of a girl who works at my bakery.

Boy, was that a weird pitch to make over the phone: “Hi, you don’t know me–well, you probably know who I am just like I sort of know who you are, just ’cause, you know, that’s just Lopez Island–but anyway, can I borrow your hands?”

My book is The Flying Burgowski. It’s about a girl who discovers she can fly. The cover picture features landscape viewed from above, from the perspective of my heroine, Jocelyn Burgowski, through her outstretched hands.

(orig. image courtesy flikrhivemind.net)

(orig. image courtesy flikrhivemind.net)

My book designer could NOT find any stock photos of adolescent hands. Adult ones look just plain wrong. So do little kids’ hands. Therefore: the hands-shoot, scheduled for the 10-minute slot my 8th grade hands-model has between the end of school and the start of basketball practice. She’s a busy girl. But she’s a conscientious one, too. Right after enthusiastic agreement and establishing a meeting place, she said, “I’ll need to take off my nail polish, right?”

Actually, I explained, nail color could easily be photo-shopped out, so she didn’t need to worry. In fact, I added, my book’s heroine only wears polish on her right hand, because–well, you’ll have to read it.

So when I put the phone down, I was thinking about nail polish–what it means, what it doesn’t, and wondering if other people had similar thoughts.

For the record: the only nails I polish are on my toes. Which, honestly, I’m considering giving up for winter because I haven’t SEEN my toes, sockless or slipperless, in about three months, except for the shower. But then I remind myself of why I bother.

I’m not what you’d call girly, though I do enjoy dressing up occasionally. But here on the island, folks are used to seeing me in jeans or biking gear. I’m always talking about going for a run or going camping–the earthy type, right? So one of my male friends seemed honestly baffled when he asked me, “Why do you wear nail polish?”

“Because my husband once told me he thought it was sexy,” I blurted. Whoa–TMI. We both blushed. “And…and I like it too,” I added lamely. New topic…

But it’s true. I could totally leave those little jars behind (though I do enjoy their names: right now I’m wearing a sparkly burgundy called “I’m Not Really a Waitress”). But my husband likes it, and goodness knows, I don’t do many special things for my mate. (Yeah, those chocolate chip cookies in the freezer are for him, but hey, they’re not JUST for him.)

(orig. image courtesy familyholiday.net)

(orig. image courtesy familyholiday.net)

Still: I draw the line at toes. Fingers? Forget it–can’t be bothered.

How about you gals? Fingers, toes, both, neither? Why? And you guys: are you like my husband? Do you think it’s silly? Do you even NOTICE? I’m dying to hear.

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