Nice to meet you
It was suggested to me that a photo of myself be posted on the site. I’m not one for posing for a picture. I'm not self-conscious, not really, I don't have low self-esteem, but I don't like being a dancing bear. So I wasn't going to allow photos of myself. You aren't reading my books because of my looks, so what's the point? The point is that it would make me real to you all, I suppose. But I wanted a picture that was honest, not a gussied up portrait.
One day when I snuck out for a week, I snapped a selfie. I was on the beach. I usually wouldn't have had my phone turned on, much less on and inside my pocket. But people needed to get a hold of me, so I was chained to my phone. There I was, walking a gorgeous beach, unhappy that I was a prisoner to my cell phone.
I wasn't enjoying the beach as I usually would have, but I kept walking. The sand between my toes was a small comfort, the salty air was cleansing, and the sound of the sea bellowed in my ears, drowning out my grumbles. I was sulking. Never mind the fact that I was lucky enough to be strolling a beach. No, that wasn't enough for me. I wanted it all. To be left alone in peace while I vacationed and walk to my heart's content and not have to make certain my ringer was loud enough to be heard over the raging ocean. While I sulked, I wasn't paying attention to the one thing I should never have taken my eyes off—the sea. A rogue wave broke just a couple of feet from me and splashed all up and down my body. I burst out laughing. Mother Nature had just slapped me. "Snap out of it, brat!"
Then, a text came through from a friend. She asked how I was doing. How she knew I would be crabby on my solitary vacation is only explained by one word: love. It had begun to rain a little, and I needed to get off the beach. My feet were tired, my back hurt, and I was wet and getting cold despite being fully clothed. I approached the dunes, and my back gave out. It was done and needed a rest. So there I was, plopped in the dunes in the spitting rain watching the ocean. Not another soul was around. I was in my little salty world.
Off to the side, I saw a sun dog. I smiled and snapped a selfie, I never take selfies, and I sent it off to my friend. She replied, "You look happy." She was right. I was. That is the picture you see here. No makeup, a slightly sunburned forehead, I hadn't showered that day, and I may or may not have brushed my hair. I was damp and in pain but damn if I wasn't truly happy. That is me, everybody—the real me. I'm Jude McLean, and I'm delighted to meet you.
- Jude McLean