What’s Your Super Power?

girl-standing-1789334_1280Jessie: In New Hampshire, watching my first daffodils opening on the south side of the house.

Since I live in a household filled with men I’ve had more than my fair share of contact with the realm of superheroes. Capt. America is a favorite in my household along with Spider-Man, Superman, and Batman.

When my sons were younger the merits of different super powers were frequently debated. The boys wanted super speed or super strength or laser beams they could shoot from their eyes. My vote often went to invisibility or the ability to teleport. I’m not really sure I’d like to know the future, and I’m quite certain I don’t want to hear other people’s thoughts.

The reality is while I don’t have super speed, I do have some super powers of my own. They may not be glamorous and Hollywood has yet to feature them in a big budget film, but they’re mine all the same. I have a knack for finding bargains almost everywhere I look. I can take a heaping mound of containers filled with leftovers and make all of them fit in the refrigerator. I can peek into a pantry that appears almost empty and turn out a dinner for at least six, with dessert, probably with home-baked bread. I can also spot crumbs on the kitchen counter that are apparently invisible to every other member of my family.

As a writer I’ve often wished I had another set of super powers. Superfast typing speed, fully plotted outlines springing immediately to the page just because I wished it to be so, manuscripts turned in with zero errors every time. In my line of work it would be very helpful to be a super grammarian, and unwaveringly accurate speller, or someone whose wrists never suffered with carpal tunnel. I would even settle for the ability to produce paper and pen from thin air whenever an idea threatened to flit away. Probably the best ability of all would be the ability to infinitely stretch time before deadlines.

So until I end up in some sort of lab experiment gone wrong, the recipient of an unusual spider bite, or radioactive exposure, I heroically content myself with dreaming up super levels of sleuthing ability for my characters.

Readers, do you have a real life super power? Writers, have you ever given a superpower to one of your characters?

25 Thoughts

  1. Personally, I would love the superpower to be able to see my own typos. How can I look at a mistake in my draft 50 times and still not notice it???

    My protagonist, Zoe Chambers, doesn’t have a superpower in the traditional sense, but she does seem to have a knack to MacGyver together weapons for self defense from just about anything. It’s not something she uses in every book, but it’s been fun to write the couple of times she has needed this skill.

    And, Jessie, teleportation. Definitely teleportation!

  2. I love it, Jessie. I have the Finding superpower – I always know where something is in the fridge, pantry, or on my desk. My Country Store Mysteries protag, Robbie Jordan, is a puzzle master, so it’s kind of a super power.

    Wouldn’t that time stretching superpower be nice? Just imagine!

  3. Annette, that’s too funny. Now I’m going to have to watch for Zoe’s talent.

    I inherited a superpower from my dad, who could heft a tomato and tell you exactly how much it weighed. I can do this (up to a point), and also eyeball distances and measurements accurately. We were arguing about how many ounces in a glass of wine the other day, and I dumped my glass into a measuring cup, showing my family it was exactly six ounces. Just like I said. This comes in handy for sewing, too.

  4. Finding dead relatives? It’s sort of a psychic power, I suppose, and I’ve run into too many coincidences (like meeting someone at a Boston professional event who knew the person who lived in a house my 6th or 7th great-grandfather built and made it possible to see the place, or the fact that I attended college in a town where a whole batch of my ancestors were buried, which I didn’t discover until years after I graduated) to ignore it. I gave that ability to my protagonist in the Relatively Dead series, only Abby actually “sees” her ancestors, especially when she touches something connected to them. I haven’t seen anyone yet, but I’m hopeful.

  5. I know you have that cooking superpower Jessie. I remember being with you and you saying I’ll make sweet potato/black bean patties. Minutes later there was a spread on the table with all kinds of toppings cut up. It was amazing. My super power is the ability to day dream endlessly. Not a very good one. I’d like one when the ideas are coming to quickly where extra arms would sprout to type or write them down. They can be so elusive!

    1. If you have one sweet potato there is little that cannot be done!

      Extra arms! Great at the typewriter and also for carrying grocery bags in from the car!

  6. I have many superpowers – the ability to remember any useless fact (it must be useless except for trivia purposes), the ability to get from point A to point B without directions (pretty much only in the local area – it won’t work in say, Boston or Des Moines) by being able to picture the area as the crow flies (I attribute this to having seeing approximately 100 and four billionty DC-area traffic reports), and the ability to estimate to within a 10th of a carat diamond size from 10 feet away.

    My MC doesn’t have any superpower unless being too stubborn is a superpower now … in which case, add that to my list, as well. 😀

  7. I love this topic! I guess my superpower would be that I can bake a scone that is not dry and dense. 🙂 This comes from a discussion at work recently when a co-worker said my scones are traditional scones. LOL. For my amateur sleuth Hope, she can track down a killer as easily as she can track her blog’s Google analytics. 🙂

  8. I was actually asked this question in a blog tour interview once and surprisingly didn’t hesitate with my answer. I definitely have the superpower of finding things- anything! Whether it is a misplaced stuff animal or that tool someone used on that project ten years ago, I can find it. My family barely looks for anything anymore, they just ask me. Or when their search has been exhausted, my daughter says “Call in the big guns!” And without fail (at least as of yet), I swoop in to the rescue and find it. Now if only I could have the superpower to write a publishable first draft- that would be something!

    1. Anna, can you work remotely on finding things? I really miss one of my earrings! Also, I’ve misplaced a black fountain pen that I quite like.

  9. I don’t have any superpowers, traditional or not. (I love your superpowers.) However, I’ve always wanted to fly, which is ironic given my fear of heights. Or maybe it’s because of my fear of heights.

  10. My superpower is the ability to get more into a dishwasher than anyone else thinks possible. I would love to have the superpower of being able to neatly fold sheets and towels. My linen closet always looks like it’s been ransacked.

    I recently gave my protagonist Julia’s boyfriend Chris my husband’s superpower–to be able to tell the time within minutes day or night based only on his internal clock. Unfortunately, as Chris laments, it’s a superpower that can’t earn you a dime.

    1. I was just folding sheets this afternoon thinking how nice it would be if the fitted sheets were more cooperative! Mind meld! Or is it a Wickeds super power?

  11. A great topic and a lot of impressive superpowers. I’m super at organizing. Show me the worst cluttered room and I’ll have it neat in no time if given no restrictions. (I love to throw things away!) I’m also great at packing. I can get four square feet of stuff into three square feet of space. Now if I could just figure out that teleporting thing….

    1. That is a wonderful super power! I love to declutter too! What if your could teleport donations straight from a pile in your house to Goodwill! That would be a fantastic super power!

  12. I have the ability to see super hero potential in friends…more of a gift than a power.

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