I don't know how to feel about claiming my stories. I flip-flop back and forth with it. I crave the recognition. I want to be able to stand up, face to the sun and shout into the wind, "I have written this beautiful thing! Come praise me! I am worthy of your admiration!"
On the other hand, I enjoy idea of being able to stand back from my words and shrug one shoulder and say, "Well, it's only fiction. It's just a story. One of a billion stories, one of a billion story-tellers...no big thing."
I understand now why so many writers have a pen name, and I've just about decided that, when I get the nerve to submit them, I too, will use a pen name.
I don't want to be analyzed by those who think they know me, or those who think they want to know me, or those who think they will know me only through my written words.
It's a terrible invasion of privacy to have a person stand two feet from me and relate me to a character I've written. It scares the hell out of me to know they can see me in there, not just in the heroine of my stories, but also in the creep lurking in the shadows, and the child who clings to a rag doll for protection, and in the teenager who wants nothing more than to escape on an adventure to Europe.
But then, it's my story, isn't it?