It all started out thanks to my blogging for True/Slant, which is where the editors of this magazine found my writing and liked it enough to ask me to write about my miserable left hip, whose arthritis worsened severely in January 2010, just in time for me to combine writing a memoir with — agonizing pain! Five specialists! Xrays! MRIs! Heavy painkillers!
The corticosteroids I took to reduce the inflammation then destroyed the bone in my hip — necessitating hip replacement (which I am trying to get up the nerve to just get done.)
The cover shoot was a hoot. Five (!) strangers converged on our small suburban apartment: an art director and photographer from Atlanta, a make-up and hair artist from Chicago, a photo assistant from Brooklyn and a wardrobe stylist from New York City who brought an entire garment rack filled with possibilities they had chosen for me, based on my many bossy emails of what I refuse to wear and (shriek) my clothing size.
Brave souls, all of us.
It took 4.5 hours to achieve this shot. What you can’t see is the July sweat dripping down my back, nor the photographer sliding up and down my living room wall for support, also drenched from non-stop focus and exertion. Nor the art director, Susan, peering after every shot at her laptop to see how it all looked.
Luckily for me, the photographer, Kevin, and Susan and I had had time the day before to enjoy a long, leisurely lunch and have a chance to get to know one another personally, which made the shoot much less scary than it might have otherwise been. They’re lovely people, warm and down-to-earth, so I never felt intimidated or nervous.
(Thanks to my new book and other projects, I’m fairly used to being photographed for national publication. I even had my pic taken in a bathing suit for some paid web writing I did about my hip.)
The necklace is my own (Ann Taylor), as are the invisible earrings. I’m leaning against our sofa, with lots of artificial light thrown in. The curly hair is natural.
I never thought in a million years this might happen, but it’s already prompted some kind and supportive emails from AT readers.
Here’s a link to the issue…although you can’t access my story (!) online.