A friend (and former roommate) came down to visit friends in this area late last month and we spent an evening together. He seemed worried that giving me his impressions of me less hesitantly than he used to would cause me great angst. One impression was of the kind of job that he thinks I'd like (not too far off the mark), and a worry that I'm not taking enough risks socially and employment-wise. Probably also fair--although the cynic in me notes that I took a tremendous risk in employment by leaving the relatively safe harbor of Intermedia for my current position. The fact that I haven't found my 'dream job' yet isn't a sign that I haven't been looking; it is a sign, I think, that such jobs don't come up all that often.
The risks I didn't take that I regret are from several years back--when I might have had the opportunity to move to California as the tech industry was just getting going. And, this is more of a "what if" regret; I have literally no idea where I'd be now if I'd pursued an opportunity with Kinko's home office in Ventura, for instance, although I'd almost certainly not still be there. I expect I'd have ended up in Silicon Valley. Maybe I'd be caught in the economic squeeze out there now. Since I'd have gotten there so early, though, maybe I'd have done really well.
But, the time for that is past. Even the time in early 2000 of job nibbles from dot-coms I didn't want to work for is gone now. (Ironically, the one dot-com I did want to work for, Be, Inc., would have laid me off in January had I gotten the position I was interested in there.) For the time being, I might as well be selective, because the only two types of jobs I'm likely to find are (a) such perfect fits the employer couldn't help but hire me, and (b) jobs nobody else wants that the employer is desperate to fill. I'd rather avoid category (b) if possible.
My friend also observed that a lot of my stories have strong female characters--strong in the physical sense, more often than not--and confided that maybe this was the kind of woman I'd be looking for were I looking for romance. He seemed to not be sure I'd even realized I kept having dangerous women as heroines or villains; I assured him that this was not lost on me.
I suppose it's a fundamental truth of writing that friends of writers always see characters in stories as stand-ins for the author or friends of the author, and also a fundamental truth that writers will always grumble at the thought. Are all of the male leads in my stories supposed to be me? No. To a greater or lesser degree they all are anyway.
But so are all of the female leads. Sometimes so are minor characters. Sometimes, even, so are antagonists. As long as the character is developed, the character is always, in some fashion, the writer. There's nearly as much of me in Revar as there is in Mika; I'll leave it to friends who can't help psychoanalyzing me through what I write to decide which parts are which.