Learning to be a Lady: Nails

Last week I got my very first manicure.

Miss Vera had a piece of advice in her book that I thought made perfect sense: if you want to dress up like a woman, the best investment you can make is in your nails, since you see them all the time. So I dropped into QQ Nails in Chelsea during last week’s snow storm and received a very serviceable $10 file & polish. The quiet lady who did them did not seem to understand me when I said I’d never gotten my nails done before.

“So square or round?” she asked again.

“I’m not sure. Which is better?”

“They’re both fine. Square or round?”

“Well, which do you like?”

She looked at me, then looked at her nails, which were quite stubby and sadly yellowing. Probably from all the weird polish removers and chemicals she has to use all day. She looked quite unimpressed with me.

“Round,” I said.

I learned how to put on eyeliner just last year, so let’s be honest, I am not an expert on being a lady, let alone an expert on dudes who are sometimes ladies. I am trying, I am. It’s quite fun once you get over how expensive being a woman is. But here it is, a full 7 days later and I am still getting pleasure out of seeing my robin’s egg nails every few seconds. It’s a very cheery, spring color at a time when winter is being just a bitch of a hanger-on. So that was $10 well spent, I think.

Now here is a very helpful video from my friend Megan. Jinkx is obviously better at this hyper-feminine stuff than I am, and it’s fascinating to watch her put on her drag. Stay through the tuck, you will not be disappointed.

As far as The Project is going, I had hoped to start writing a draft by March 1 but that date has come and gone. I am paralyzed by decisions: where shall I set this story? New York or a seedy small town in southern Florida? Who is my main character? What does her drag look like? Where does she come from, what does she do when she’s not dressing up and solving mysteries? What’s my mystery, and who perpetrated it and why? This last one is probably the worst, because I am an armchair forensic investigator and I have solved dozens of poorly written crimes on TV fifteen minutes before the final commercial break and now I see how terrible I really am at it.

June 1 is my new goal. Doesn’t that sound sunnier? A June draft. I feel better already.


This entry was posted by TJ on Thursday, March 14th, 2013 at 3:58 PM and is filed under The Project . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1. Kate Locke says:

    I’m offering unsolicited advice as a published author of 13 years. Start with the character. Once you work out your protagonist, the rest of stuff will jump into place. I do think you’ll have more to work with by setting the story in NYC, but if you want to make it a bit more quirky, down south would probably work better.

    You want the ’special world’ of the story to be different from the norm, so making her day job something banal and straight-laced would work. Like RuPaul being a principal! As for mysteries, I realize I’m not as great as writing them as I am at solving them on TV, but I think if you give every suspect a reason to want the victim dead, it will help you build something really strong.

    Hope that helps! And as a fellow 80085er, if you’re in the NYC area, I’d love to meet up sometime and talk shop!


    TJ Reply:

    Oh goodness! Things have started looking up since this post. I am chugging along if you can call 5k words chugging. Maybe meandering along at a ladylike pace. Maybe soon I will write a quick post with some hints about how our hero is shaping up but I’d hate to jinx it. Your advice is all good advice! She does, in fact, have a very lame day job which ~happens~ to come in handy when busting down doors.

    Yes yes, we should get drinks! That sounds lovely. :)


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