Fooling Around (Joy Preble)

Probably one of the best lessons I’ve learned in life is how to embrace my occasional—or more than occasional--foolish behavior. I make mistakes. I screw up. I sing off-key, but with enthusiasm. I trust the wrong people, press reply all now and then. I lie to the dentist about how often I floss. I get worked up about stuff I can’t control. I spend three days in various embarrassing but fun costumes when a group of us sell books at Comic Con. I buy shoes I regret. Speaking of shoes, once I wore two different but similar shoes to work. I have fallen up the stairs. I have waved at people I didn’t know. I have said things I regret. Yeah, I crush the whole foolish things some days. Aggressively foolish. That’s me, although I am also many other things—good, solid things that people can count on in good, solid ways.

My characters are pretty foolish, too, especially in love because who hasn’t been a fool for love? In the forthcoming IT WASN’T ALWAYS LIKE THIS (5/17/16, Soho Teen), Charlie does something really stupid because of his deep love for Emma, and they both pay for this mistake for many, many years. And when you both are accidentally immortal, that’s a lot of years!

Ethan in my DREAMING ANASTASIA series is a fool for a cause that isn’t what he believes it to be. So is my fictional Anastasia. And so is Anne, in thinking that she can ignore the power simmering inside her.

Leo in last year’s FINDING PARIS foolishly trusts a stranger as she runs from the terrible truth of what has been happening to her.  Her sister Paris comes up with a foolish (but sensible to her) plan to save her. Max foolishly believes he can outrun his past.

Casey in THE SWEET DEAD LIFE foolishly believes he can still get his girlfriend Lanie back even though technically he’s dead now and has returned as his sister Jenna’s often inept guardian angel.

In Shakespeare, the fool was actually quite wise—not that I call myself wise most days! Or any days! So I’ll end with a quote from King Lear because the English major in me insists: “A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.”


  1. Love the phrase "aggressively foolish." Totally been there.

  2. I love this. I found myself nodding as I read this post -- falling UP stairs. Yup. Been there, done that :)


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