Retiring the Bloody Banner

This is strangely a big deal to me. I really like my bloody keyboard banner, but I’ve decided to retire it in favor of one that shows a picture of me.

Part of the reasoning is that I’m taking steps to make this a more professional author page, and well, that’s what professional author pages look like, right? I don’t want mine to be a cookie cutter page though, and the bloody keyboard has always been a powerful image for me. It’s a great visual of what sometimes goes into the writing process. It’s all about bleeding out your words, tapping the vein of pure expression and passion for this craft. You bleed out your soul onto the keys and clean it up later.

And truth be told, that is actually my blood. The picture hasn’t been photoshopped one bit. But before you get too grossed out, here’s the story.

It wasn’t intentional. I did not purposely cut myself to make art. That would be going much too far. But I did take advantage of the situation to create art. I had cut my finger deeply the night before in an unfortunate dishwashing accident, but I had a deadline for a writing job the next day. So I bandaged it up and got to work.

Well… the skin hadn’t quite stitched itself well enough to withstand the incessant hammering of the keys, and soon enough, the above image became reality. So, not wanting to waste an amazing photo op, I snapped the gruesome sight with my mobile. And it is now immortalized in so many ones and zeros, replicated across cyberspace every time someone visits my blog.

I cleaned off the keyboard, bandaged my finger back up, a little tighter this time, and tried to avoid using it as I finished the job, a little slower than normal.

That’s the story. And while it’s true that a bloody keyboard is probably not the most professional image for an author page, that’s not the main reason I’m retiring it.

The real reason is this:

I’ve been hiding behind that banner, not really wanting to show my face. For some reason, part of me dearly wants to remain anonymous, to be able to write with abandon and never really own up to it. But if I want a career doing this, that’s not going to work so well. I had to come to terms with that. So… there it is now, at the top of my About page. Me facing the world.

Scary.

I’ll keep the bloody keyboard here for safe keeping. If I you ever miss it—I know I will—it’ll be waiting right here.

Tristram Lowe

Tristram Lowe, Los Angeles, CA