Tuesday, November 13, 2007



I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but more of us are left-handed these days. When I was growing up, I rarely met others like me. Now if I’m at a dinner party, several of us are jostling for table position. And while researchers look for an inherited gene, I’m here to tell you that the phenomenon isn’t genetic. No one else in my family as far back as my parents can remember is left-handed. My three kids aren’t either. When I interview other left-handed people, they rarely site other family members that are same-handed.


There’s no question in my mind, though, that lefties have different brains. We are wired differently. We have more schizophrenia, alcoholism, dyslexia, and autism than right-handers. On the other “hand”, we produce more creativity – music, novels, architecture, scientific discoveries. Are we quieter, more introspective than our fellow right-handers? Do we spend more time observing than acting? I’m not sure. Maybe.

Last year, on my first book tour, I joined fellow writers for lunch. We hadn’t met before, but we had the same dreams. Imagine our surprise when we discovered that all of us were lefties?

I’d love it if you’d weigh in on this topic. Are you a leftie? Are you shyer than your counterpart, more likely to sit in the back row? How about your family? Any other lefties?

8 comments:

Monica Ferris said...

I'm right handed, but mildly dyslexic -- I still have to think before I turn right or left, often actually lifting one hand or the other. One thing I have noticed is the number of movie stars, television stars, and actors who are left handed, far more than the average among non-show business types. And that seems to be true among writers as well.

Lee Lofland said...

During my days as a police detective I learned that it's a little more difficult to tell when a left-handed suspect is lying. An interrogator really has to be on her toes when questioning a southpaw.

Lefties think with the opposite side of the brain that right-handed folks use so officers must look for the usual signs (eye-movements) of lying in reverse. This can become even more complicated when the left-handed suspect uses both sides of their brain to respond.

In case you lefties didn't know (I'm left-handed) a lot of us have no trouble writing backward - a mirror image of text (DaVinci was left-handed and wrote his notes in reverse to prevent others from from reading them).

Some of us can use both hands at once to write in reverse with the left hand and forward with the right - at the same time! I can do it. I can actually write anything I want forward and backward at the same time. Try it. You may be surprised.

Still, I don't suggest you go out and commit a crime just because you think you'll outwit the detective with your newly found tricks. There are tons of left-handed detectives out there waiting for you.

Camille Minichino said...

Can't you see it now ... in a few months, the gestation period for mystery novels, we'll all have a character who's a lefty and a cop who sees through it all!

I can't even drink from a cup of coffee with my left hand without spilling it, so I'm in awe of those who are ambidextrous.

Deb Baker said...

Lee, what get info for a mystery writer. I love it!

BTW, I don't know how I managed (again) to post multiply copies. I tried to delete the other but blogger won't let me. I'll keep trying. Must have something to do with being left-handed.

Lee Lofland said...

I presented a workshop with this information at Forensic University a couple of weeks ago. I was amazed at the number of left handed people in the audience and I suspect a lot of people went home and tried to write in reverse. It was a fun session.

caryn said...

Two of our children are lefties though no one else on eithr side of the family is. What was hard for us was the number of windup toys when they were kids. They would have to hold the thing in front of them and reach over the top to in order to have the knob turn for them correctly.

Linda O. Johnston said...

My younger son is left handed. He's a delight, but he does seem to see the world differently in many ways from the rest of the family. Don't know whether it has anything to do with his handedness.
--Linda

Anonymous said...

'And now we rise & we are everywhere"
So said Nick Drake.

I read that lefthanded numbers are growing every year and they don't know why.?

It's because the time of the left hander is upon us... hehe!