Wolffy and the Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad, No Good Birthday Week

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With apologies to Judith Viorst.

Last night, after midnight so really this morning, I discovered something terrible.

There is malware on two of my sites. This malware redirects you to porn or something else if you try to visit the mobile version of the site. It has no affect on the desktop versions that I can see, but use an iPad or phone to access the website and you’re going to get porn. Or taxi services. Or something.

This site is not one of the affected sites. The affected sites are, of course, my mom’s site and my publishing site.

I stayed up most of the night trying to fix the problem. Today is mom’s birthday and I wanted it to be…well, malware-free at least.

At around 4 am I noticed there were buzzing insects in my room (which is also the library). A lot of them. A lot of black and yellow buzzing insects.

Fuck. Wasps. About 8 in the room and TEN ON THE WINDOW OUTSIDE, TRYING TO GET IN.


I tried to close the window but I’m not strong enough. I was talking with the fiance and he asked if there was anywhere else I could sleep. No, I said. There’s the bed in the library or the floor in the kitchen, the floor in the bathroom, or the unfinished floor in the living room. That’s it.

What about upstairs on the floor with your mom and the dog?

Then I’d wake her up, and how better to truly ruin her day?

I decided I’d sleep in the library and just pray to the gods I didn’t get stung. After I announced my plan to the Ogre, the wasps got angry. They heard what I’d said. They didn’t like my plan. They started divebombing the lamp, flying close to my face, buzzing with purpose.

I said a hurried goodbye to the Ogre, clicked off Skype, and grabbed my pillow and blanket and ran.

I slept on the bathroom floor. I figured, it’s heated and I can put towels and bathmats under me. Shouldn’t be too bad.

I was wrong.

Mom found me at 7am. She got me up and sent me upstairs to sleep on her bed and get an actual rest.

My back still has not forgiven me.

And then, as if sleeping on tile wasn’t enough for my poor body, at some point during my blissful sleep on mom’s bed I woke up and got up on one elbow, as if I were about to leave the bed. I then fell back asleep in that position and woke up a few hours later, still up on one elbow. My entire arm and left side had gone numb. I turned over onto my other side and the feeling started rushing back, undulating waves of numbness and tingling, dancing out blue and green in my brain.

I ended up getting up around 2pm. Mom was not in a good mood, but the wasps were gone from the library at least. The malware is still on the websites, and I am still trying to fix it.

But this story is a perfect example of how amazing my mom is. She woke up on her birthday to find me curled up on the bathroom floor because of a wasp infestation — another problem she has to deal with — when she’d gone to bed right after we discovered the malware problem. She went to bed with bad news and woke up to bad news, and you know what she did?

Sent me to have a good sleep in her bed.

Then she started baking koek.

With a still-broken foot.

And now we’re at Breakwater Books, where she plans on hosting the Live Poets’ meeting. (If anyone shows; summer fell on a Saturday this year so everyone is out enjoying the sun. If no one shows, then she and I get to sit and write and read for a bit, which is awesome.)

I’m fairly certain that, ’twere I in her shoes, I would have crawled into my closet, cried, and left the Ogre to deal with the mess in our lives.

I don’t know how my mom got so good at handling crises. But she’s fantastic and she keeps me going, even on a day that’s supposed to be for her.

And even on days when it gets to be too much, when she just has to have a good cry, she does so. She lets herself feel her emotions. And then she picks up the pieces and keeps going. She doesn’t let anything get her down for very long at all.

So. You may wonder: how do I write such resilient, persistent, strong and brilliant female characters in my stories?

I have one hell of a role model.


PS Mercury is retrograde right now. I’M JUST SAYIN’