Life with a Writer

A conversation between Mr. Katje and myself yesterday.

Mr. Katje (holding up pens): My pens.
Me: I have lots of pens.
Mr. Katje: I know, and you are a pen magpie, so if I don’t say these are MY pens they might just disappear on me.
Me (laughing): I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Mr. Katje: CAW CAW CAW
Me: ::bursts into giggles::
Mr. Katje: ADMIT IT
Me: I admit nothing!
Mr. Katje: and yet I hear no denial!

He’s right to be worried. I got my eyes on his Sharpie.

(No, that’s not a euphemism.)

(Maybe.)

This Week at WolfHouse

I’m more a fan of “Wolf Haus” but mom likes WolfHouse, so there you go.

Overheard at WolfHouse

  • That’s a fantastic coffee! Accompanied by RAT DANCE.
  • Hey, Tyee is helping us renovate by ripping up the linoleum in the kitchen!
  • Oh, fireplace, I love you. Let’s elope.
  • Pack Leader, I’m worried about Mistress. WHY IS SHE ALWAYS GOING TO THE VET?
  • I think the oven is possessed.

Some context:

WolfHouse is having a bit of a rat problem right now. No biggie…except, well, the rats are huge. Apparently they’re Norwegian Roof Rats, and they come into houses because they don’t like the cold. My reaction to this:

Norwegian rats who don’t like the cold? What, did Norway send us their defective rats? What the hell? I DEMAND BETTER RATS.”

::shakes fist at Norway::

Yesterday morning I woke up to a loud thumping sound from the kitchen. It was a massive rat, caught in the trap under the sink. A while later another came by, and they started making more noise under the cupboard, thumping all over the place. Mom dubbed this RAT DANCE and then called the rat man to get him to come take care of the rats.

Tyee was very interested in the rats, and started going into Hunter Mode. He scraped and scrabbled at the floor, hoping it would help him get into the cupboard where he could hunt the rats. This prompted me to make a comment about him helping us renovate by ripping up the kitchen linoleum. Not really, though; that stuff is tough.

We would have let him hunt the rats if there were no danger of said rodents getting into some poison, but there is. Mom was at the end of her rope a while ago and put out poison for the things. She felt awful but didn’t know what else to do — she’d bought a humane trap and every time the rats took the treats out and left it still open.

The original trap didn’t work, the poison didn’t work, and now we have the Rat Man and his traps. He sets the trap up, the rats get caught, he comes and gets them.

If the rats could mind their own business and leave us alone we wouldn’t have to do this, but they get into our food and keep us up by running around in the walls and basically make life very difficult, so we are forced to deal with them even though we’d prefer not to hurt or torture them. Being human can be pretty rough on your soul sometimes.

~

The fireplace and I are in love. I stand by it and it warms my butt up. This is obviously true love. We are going to elope.

~

Tyee is worried about me, because I am always going to “the vet”. Wednesday I had surgery at the hospital, Thursday I had a doctor’s appointment, and Friday I had a follow up dentist appointment. Tyee can smell the medicine on me each time and looks at me worriedly before cocking his head in confusion, as if he’s saying “But you have no balls to cut off! What could they be doing to you?”

It’s honestly not that hard to confuse a wolf-dog.

(Also, you’ll notice Tyee uses the wrong pronouns for me. That’s okay; I don’t ask him to try and grasp the intricacies of my genderqueerness. I tried to explain to him a few times about it and he just looked very worried and confused, and then licked my face to show me he still loved me.)

~

Mom’s oven is broken. The CPU is fried. The burners work but the oven(s) (pizza and regular size one both) won’t turn on, nor will the warming centre (which mom calls “the hob”). The buttons are broken, basically.

However, this did not stop the oven from turning itself on to 350 degrees Farenheit in the middle of the night on Thursday, nor from beeping at me unprompted throughout the day Friday.

It is possessed. We are getting rid of it and perhaps performing an exorcism.

~

Never a dull moment at WolfHouse, that’s for sure.

So, your writer friend named a character after you.

They may have told you this, thinking it would make you happy to hear it (and perhaps it did). Or you may have picked up their book after publication and noticed a character with your name, known that they wrote this book after meeting you, and thought to yourself, “Surely, that’s not a coincidence.”

But then you notice that the character with your name is…well. Not your best side. Perhaps a little like you, but surely you do not have that many flaws? Such weird peccadillos? Or such grievous sins — surely your friend does not see you that way!

Do they see you that way? Are they not-so-subtly trying to tell you, Hey, this is what I think of you?

No. They’re not.

(Or maybe they are. I’m not trying to speak for all writers here — I’m just sharing my perspective. There may be writers out there who are just that passive-aggressive.)

When I name a character after a friend, I do so, by and large, because I needed a name and said friend’s name worked in my world. I will usually intend that character to be a protagonist. Often, that character has quirks and peccadillos and weird flaws and big sins that come out in the writing that I never would associate with my friend — and by that point, the character is their own person who happens to have been named after my friend, and perhaps they share some superficial similarities but that’s really it.

It’s so obvious to me, the writer, that this character and this friend have nothing to do with each other except a name that I forget it may not be obvious to said friend when they read the story. They may read it and wonder if that’s what I really think of them, and gods, I must not be much a friend at all if that’s how I feel!

Friends, let me assure you: your names appear in my books because they were handy names, and perhaps I felt I wanted to include you somehow. The characters your names are bestowed upon are not you.

I’m just not that passive-aggressive.

Now, there may come a time when you do appear as a character in my book — but often under a different name. You may see some of yourself in other characters, and that’s likely because you’ve been such a huge influence in my life that I can’t help but to write you in some way. Or, you helped me out on one of my campaigns and got a perk where you get to be a character — that’s also a possibility, and one in which I would work with you in character creation.

But if you see your name in my story, don’t tear yourself up wondering if I was subtly trying to tell you something. I wasn’t. The characters have minds of their own, just like we do. I can only poke at them and hope they’ll go the direction I want them to go.

It’s like herding cats.

Songs for snakes and lions

I was looking at the ebook of prompts, and today’s is “What role does music play in your life?”

Short answer: a pretty important one. I have a lot of music on my computers; I have writing playlists, playlists for the gods, playlists for holidays, playlists for sleeping, playlists for cleaning, playlists for sex….

I love music. And when I find a new song I like, I listen to it on repeat for hours, sometimes days, so it becomes a part of me.

Lately, I’ve been interested in fandom mixes — collections of songs put together to fandom themes, like mixes for the houses of Hogwarts, or mixes for your one true pairing.

On Friday I saw this Gryffindor/Slytherin music mix. (Only slightly Drarry.) I’m a Slytherin engaged to a Gryffindor — I had to check it out.

The mix is perfectly put together for its theme; each song conveys the tension and attraction between Gryffindor and Slytherin. I like most of the songs, but my favourite so far is Afraid by The Neighbourhood. I’ve listened to it several times since Friday. I won’t be surprised if I break 100 plays sometime this week.

I don’t own it yet; when I have some extra cash I’ll probably buy it (and the other songs from the mix) from iTunes. I’ve been listening to it on Youtube.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrWwtU7iyl0]

When you get a chance, check out the music mix. It’s pretty awesome.

The same user has also put together a Slytherin mix, a Ravenclaw mix, a Hufflepuff mix, and a Gryffindor mix. I haven’t listened to any of them yet; I’m still absorbing the Slyth/Gryff one. There is another Slytherin mix, however, that I listened to a long time ago and really liked — it’s here, if you’re interested, and that user has also put together mixes for the rest of the houses.

Fifty Shades of Drinking update

I know, I know, I promised another episode early in the new year and I have not delivered. I am terribly sorry about that. However, life has been pretty insane since coming up here to visit my mom, and a few days ago I was put on a run of antibiotics to clear out the infection my wisdom teeth — so I can’t have any alcohol till that’s over, which will be the 23rd or so.

I will get an episode up by the end of the month, I swear. (Or, like, a few minutes after midnight on the first of February.)

Thanks so much for your patience and understanding, y’all, and rest assured I have not abandoned the project. I want to continue to rip apart the books while getting sloshed as much as you want to watch me do it.

Speaking of style….

This is just a short post to show off the thrift store finds I made this week.

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The green sweater? Fits perfectly, and was only four dollars. It’s just my style and I needed a new sweater.

The scarf, though, is the really amazing find. For one, the pattern is awesome (tartan-esque). For another? Handmade in Scotland. And it’s 100% Cashmere.

Yeah, you read that right. Cashmere.

I paid $1.25 for it.

You may all bow down to me now.

I AM THE THRIFT STORE QUEEN. LOOK UPON MY WORKS, YE MIGHTY, AND DESPAIR.

(Seriously, this is as good a find as the 1950s Singer sewing machine, in table, that I found for 8 dollars.)

Travelling all day today

Well, most of the day, and likely when I arrive at mom’s I won’t really have a chance to blog. (No, I did not get a chance to leave yesterday. So…much…cleaning.)

Or I will have a chance, and will make a liar of myself. More likely the afternoon will be spent unpacking the car and then drinking wine and watching Grey’s Anatomy.

At any rate, have a wonderful Sunday, be excellent to each other, and I’ll see you tomorrow.