Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My New Writing Buddy

One of our pet fish died last week. She was a convict cichlid (Archocentrus nigrofasciatus), named Convict (lame, I know), about 6 years old and smart as any fish could be. She was the Queen of the tank.

My kids were so sad when she died. We buried her under the ginkgo tree in our front yard. I tried to ease the pain by telling them she'll compost away and show up in the ginkgo's new, spring leaves. It helped a little.

Circle of life, dudes.

During our fish-mourning, my hubby bought me a half-moon betta. He looks like a blue peony in fish form. All fins and glamour! We named him Finnegan. Finney for short. Finney has his own crib so he won't attack every other fish in the tank. He's beautiful but not vain. In fact, he loathes my iPhone camera. He swims away whenever he sees it. It took, like, 50 tries to get this portrait.

Finney is my new writing buddy. He gets me through the tough times now.

Me: "I can't figure out how to fix this plot problem!"
Finney:
Me: "I need a writing break. Do you need a break?"
Finney:
Me: "Does my butt look too big? Too small? Misshapen?"
Finney:

As you can see, he's awesome. He a speck of fishy companionship in this lonely writing business.

*RIP, Convict*

How about you? Do you have something (non-food related) that keeps you company when you write?

******

Also, if you have a moment, please stop by Deb Salisbury's blog and Sarah Fine's post to see how she creates her characters! If you missed it, check out Laura's post and mine.

52 comments:

Miranda Hardy said...

Sorry about Convict. Finney is so cute. I don't have a writing partner such as the wonderful Finney. I, sometimes will write to sounds or songs.

Andrea Mack said...

Finney is lovely! My writing companion is my dog, but I have to say, she hasn't been much help with plotting or rewrites. She does like it when we take writing breaks though!

shelly said...

Sir Poops-A-Lot, a Chinese Crested powder puff, and Hair Ball, a Malti-poo. One sits on my and one his own chair. They listen to me read my writings at loud. Their comments are usually head tilts and ear raises.

Angela Felsted said...

I used to have a smiling face picture on my bedroom wall that I named Bethy and would occasionally rant at or talk to when I got lonely.

On one hand, it felt wonderful. On the other, I think that might be unhealthy. Or are the proper words "slightly-insane."

Probably, I shouldn't have admitted that.

Connie Keller said...

I love Finney.

I have a purple, plastic M&m figurine that my kids gave me years ago. They called him "Book Knowledge Man." Apparently, he had total and complete knowledge of book writing. Sadly, he's about as talkative as Finney.

Clarissa Draper said...

Wow, how cute! I would love a fish on my desk but here in Mexico we have no heat in the house in the winter and I fear my buddy would freeze to death. So, I have my trusty dog.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

My daughter's trying to convince me to get her a fish since daddy won't let her get a cat. Hmmm. I might have to get one considering how helpful Finney is with solving plot problems. :)

Anne Gallagher said...

Godspeed, Convict.

(Awesome name for a fish!)

I have the dogs who every now and then pop their heads up on the window ledge in the back yard and scare the hay-zoo out of me as I write.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Sorry to hear about your writing buddy. I'm glad she's becoming a part of your gingko tree so you can remember her forever. =o)

I have a little plastic Eeyore that my daughter gave me years ago. Right now, he's about buried in loose pens, but he likes it that way. I also have the cats, but they're no help at all.

Alexandra Shostak said...

That fish is SO pretty. I'm sorry about Convict, though.

My cat keeps me company by chewing on my notes and sitting on my lap in such a way that makes it very difficult to type. Sometimes I wonder if that means I'm going in the wrong direction.

Meredith said...

So sorry about Convict! But Finney is such a pretty little fish! Perfect writing companion. :)

Stephen Tremp said...

Sorry to hear of Convict's passing. At least you gave him a proper burial rather than flushing him down the toilet.

Emily Rose said...

I'm really sorry about Convict. We had a beta named Joe. They are beautiful fish:)In fact, he looked a lot like Finney.

Em-Musing said...

Ha HA! Finney's answers...those are the kind of comments I get from my family about my writing.

Jen Chandler said...

Aw :( Sorry about Convict. I like your explanation, thought, about coming back as Ginko leaves.

My cat Colby usually keeps me company while I write. He'll curl up in the general vicinity of where I'm typing and snore. Funny, but he gives the exact same answers that Finney does (who is a beautiful fish, BTW).

Cheers!
Jen

Susan Oloier said...

Sorry about Convict. My older son just lost some (yes, more than one) aquatic pets several weeks ago. We had a burial by the pine tree, so I totally understand.
I have pic of--and my by--my kids. Does that count?

Kris Yankee said...

R.I.P. Convict - so sorry to hear of your loss. Finney is beautiful, and I'm sure he'll take up a bit of that broken heart.

I have several photos around that help me when I'm writing - either not to feel so lonely or as inspiration. They are of my dad and grandma who have passed. By having them near me, it feels like I have my own cheerleaders.

Sarah Pearson said...

Sorry to hear about Convict. Your new companion is beautiful :-)

Holly Ruggiero said...

That Finney is a talker all right!

LD Masterson said...

My condolences on Convict. Finney is lovely.

I lost my writing buddy in July when we had to put our beloved old dog, Brandi, to sleep. It's lonesome writing without her.

Krispy said...

Sorry about Convict, but Finney is very pretty! My friend had a blue beta that I fish-sat for a weekend in college while she was away. He proceeded to spend that entire weekend freaking me out. See, he was quite old (as my friend had told me) and he liked to creep up to the edge of his bowl and stop moving. So he'd slightly start tipping to the side like he was going belly-up, which freaked me out EVERY TIME. I didn't want my friend to come back from the weekend and think I'd killed her fish. :P

Ahem, tangent aside, there's a random assortment of stuffed animals that hang out on the couch with me when I write. Also my sister's Loki action figure used to glare at me over my shoulder from the side-table, but he's been relocated.

Deb Salisbury said...

RIP, Convict.

ROFL at Finney's comments! I so love betas. What a beautiful fish!

Munk said...

How can one's butt become misshapen? What have you done?

David Powers King said...

That's too bad. Fish are the best, aren't they? So quiet and understanding.

I have a Spidey figure sitting on top of the hutch of my desk. Does that count? :)

Heather said...

Aw, I'm so sorry about Convict but Finny sounds like he'll be a great companion. A man who knows when not to talk is a smart man, even if he's a fish. ;) My cat Lady Fluffy (I know, not very original either) keeps me company while I write.

Linda Gray said...

Buzzing keeps me company when I write. Either buzzing in my head from unknown mysterious sources, or buzzing from loud people all around me because I'm in a coffee shop. I find it less alarming when it's coming from others, so I like to write in coffee shops.

Finney is beautiful, and so smart! So sorry about Convict. :-(

Liza said...

My cat ignores me for a few hours while I write...then stalks me and stands there and ye-owls until I pet her or feed her or both.

catherinemjohnson said...

Sorry about Convict, your new fish is beautiful though. I'm sure he will be a great mascot.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Finney looks like a mighty fine muse. I have my squeezable plush whale that has authentic whale recordings inside. I can call the deep whenever I like. ;)

Carrie Butler said...

I'm sorry to hear about Convict, but I'm glad you found another fish to keep you company. Finney is gorgeous. :)

I have a hockey puck that I turn over and over in my hands while I plot. Does that count? *grins*

Carol Riggs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol Riggs said...

Aw. Sending sympathies for Convict and your kids, but Finney sounds like a wonderful companion (haha, loved your dialogue bit there).

I have a 5" little black and gray stuffed cow sitting by my desk to keep me company. His name is Moooofi. ;o)

notesfromnadir said...

Too bad about Convict -- that seems pretty old for a fish.

I like your new writing buddy's witty comebacks!

Ghenet Myrthil said...

Sorry to hear about Convict. I had two betta fish for a while but they didn't live very long. (Not my fault!) What I really want is a puppy, so I'm waiting to have enough time to take care of one.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

Aww, I'm sorry to read about Convict. It's hard to lose a pet. But Finney is beautiful and happily not too talkative (so as not to disturb your writing).
I have three Siamese kitties that keep me company when I am working. They are adorable and spoiled rotten.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sorry about your fish.
I bet Finney is a male - smart enough to know when to keep quite. Especially for that last question.

Jennifer Hillier said...

Aw, I'm sorry about Convict, but hooray for the new, very glamorous Finney! What a lovely color he is.

I see he's great to bounce ideas off of, too. :)

Sherrie Petersen said...

I can't believe you buried the fish! We always do a "ceremony" at the toilet, more for the kids than the fish :)

lynnrush said...

Sorry about the fish!! Total bummer.

I love having my favorite, ratty, ragged sweatshirt around when I'm writing. Even when it's a little hot (I live in the desert) I don't mind cuddling up with it as I write.

Not so much when I'm editing, just writing. :)

Suze said...

Aw, honey, I'm so sorry! I have a fish called Fatso and I so get this post. :(

Medeia Sharif said...

I'm sorry about Convict. :(

One of my cats snuggles up to me and kneads my hip while I write.

Susan Fields said...

I'm sorry to hear about Convict - losing a pet is so sad!

I love your conversations with Finney, sounds like he knows all the right things to say. :)

My dog keeps me company when I write, sometimes more than I'd like.

LTM said...

BAH!!! Lydia! You are cracking me up. Finney is indeed gorgeous--and those fighting fish are totally my favorite. Watch out b/c they're jumpers, but otherwise, he should live a long time... unlike poor Convict. I guess his evil ways caught up w/him... :D j/k. Sorry 'bout your fish. :o| <3

lbdiamond said...

Finney is the strong and silent type, I can tell. And he's so handsome!

My condolences for Convict.

Karen Lange said...

Finney does sound awesome! Maybe I need a similar writing companion. It would be better than consuming too many calories as I write...

WritingNut said...

I'm so sorry about Convict, but Finny is beautiful and a great writing buddy!

Slamdunk said...

Great idea telling the kids that Convict will compost and be part of the tree. That would comfort me as well.

Hmm, we do have goldfish that beg for food while I type, but I change locations for writing--so I think my answer to your question is "no."

Kari Marie said...

So sorry to hear about Convict, but Finney is lovely.

So talkative too. (LOL).

My pups keep me company, but more often than not they are a tad bit distracting.

Arlee Bird said...

It's probably more distraction than it is company, but it's the radio.


Lee
Tossing It Out

J.L. Campbell said...

Cool conversation between you and Finney. Life would be so much easier if my kid would respond like that. He's as argumentative as they come.

Leslie Rose said...

Finney's a beauty, and I'm not even a fish person. I am pestered by three cats who enjoy traipsing across my keyboard when I'm on a writing roll and not paying enough attention to them. Fish are looking better and better.

DL Hammons said...

I have a cap I wear backwards when I'm in writing mode. If I go more than a couple days with it sitting there on the shelf, it starts calling my name. When I tell people some of my story idea's come "just from the top of my head", I'm not joking! :)

 
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