I must confess, until I was very pregnant with our first child, I never considered men's clothes as being anything other than for ... men. Duh. But while I was trying to hide the fact that I was as big as a barn (I was so delusional), I wore my beloved's sweat pants around the house, with a big sweatshirt on top. This was during the weeks before Christmas, when it was cold enough to layer and pretend I was still a size 8. During the summer before, I wore tent dresses and a maternity bathing suit that hid nothing. And I was nowhere as big in those early months, so now you understand why I was delusional in thinking those sweat pants were a great camouflage.

Fast forward a few years (okay, so she's now in grad school), and I have rediscovered men's clothing. One of my beloved's polo shirts found its way into my closet and I grabbed it out of desperation. I'd sweat through all of my cotton knit shirts, and wanted a clean shirt pronto. What a serendipitous moment. Why hadn't anyone told me men's polo shirts are way cool? Neat little band around the sleeve, heavier knit, nice collar, great fabric, and colors I like.  I put it on and promptly told my beloved he wasn't getting it back, period.

How often, as writers, do we stick with the tried-and-true?  What does it take to force us into another style? Sometimes we do it by accident, sometimes by design. The point is, if you don't stretch your writing muscles and tread into foreign territory, you're probably going to wonder for the rest of your life what you mighta, coulda, maybe shoulda done as a writer. So dig into those controversial subjects. Play with language. Come up with characters totally unlike anyone you've ever met.

Take a chance. I love my beloved's polo shirts. And he ain't gettin' this one back!