Her Double Life by Lynda Waterhouse


I have had this painting for years. I’m pretty sure that it was made for the cover of a book although I have never been able to find it.  Perhaps the artist drew it on spec hoping for a commission.

The image has a melodramatic feel. Why is she looking so afraid? Is it something to do with the greenish shadowy chap in the background or the serious faced man with the bow tie beside her? She is not looking at either of them. Her terrified gaze is fixed on something in the distance.

I am intrigued by the title and the notion of a character having a double life. The Urban Dictionary defines double life as ‘having two lives, one of which you do not want others to know about.’ It goes on to say, ‘this is the classic scenario for many super heroes.’

The American poet Don Blanding (1894-1957) poem ‘Double Life’ begins:

How very simple life would be

If only there were two of me

A Restless Me to drift and roam

A Quiet Me to stay at home

So it’s time for a writing challenge.

Use the image or the title, Her Double Life, or the poem (or all three) as a starting point for a story, poem or song.

4 thoughts on “Her Double Life by Lynda Waterhouse

  1. Intriguing! I reckon that she’s seeing the green man in a reflection and that they are in fact looking at each other via that reflection. But why? That will occupy me on my day-off dog walk today!

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