Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It-Which-Shall-Not-Be-Named

It-Which-Shall-Not-Be-Named

This month's Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog question comes from Deb Salisbury, who asks:

"How do your pets/kids/plants (something you take care of) influence your writing? Do they help you, or distract you? Do you include them in your stories?"


I already blogged about my new writing buddy, Finney, who's currently more concerned about begging for food than helping me write. Now I know why the word "fish" is in selfish.
(Just kidding, Finney. Big slimy hugs.)

There's no question that my family influences my writing. Along with work, they're the reason why I don't write every moment of the day.
"Life Balance" has become synonymous with "Hamster Wheel" in my world. The balance is all wonky and I'm always falling off the damn wheel. And yes, I am the hamster. (Don't you dare quote me on that.)

So let's get to the meat of the question. Or the seitan, for the veggie crowd.


Do my family or friends show up in my writing?

No. Not even thinly disguised. It is what it is, folks.

What about the pets, like the fish, the stick insects, and the It-Which-Shall-Not-Be-Named (the giant turd-like bug chrysalis my babysitter found in her yard and thoughtfully brought to my nature-loving kids. The first time I saw it, the turd twitched at me and I made myself deaf from screaming so freaking loud.)
No. But IWSNBN haunts my dreams every night.

What about plants?
I have thought about my pretty sago palm, which is highly poisonous and would make a great Medical Mondays post, but no.

Bottom line? I am a hamster with a mysterious, frightening turd living in my house. Oh, and all my literary imaginings come from one place--my noggin.

I'll leave you with a choice quote from Virginia Woolf:

"Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt, that you can set up on the freedom of my mind."


If you missed it, check out Laura's post from last week, and keep an eye out for Sarah and Deb's post coming soon!

43 comments:

Laura Pauling said...

My family or pets don't show up in my writing either. Maybe some of their antics give me ideas though...

Amie Kaufman said...

Okay, firstly, aaaaaaaaaah, I have been offline and I missed your news! CONGRATULATIONS! I'm over the moon for you!

And secondly... I know we're not naming it, but what IS that thing? Now it's going to be in my dreams too!

Miranda Hardy said...

Love that quote! I can say I put a lot of myself into my characters, plus somethings I wish I had, but I'm not using my family or friends. Not yet, anyway. Lol

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Don't worry, you don't look like a hamster.

Clarissa Draper said...

Your turd looks lovely. What a quiet writing companion.

I just love the VW quote. It's something I agree with completely. They can't take the stories from my mind.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I used my kids names in my first novel but only my oldest knows about that. He was disappointed that his younger brother's name had a bigger role in the book/series. He was thrilled to learn his name had a bigger part in the final book. Of course he was majorly disappointed when I didn't write it. ;)

Anne Gallagher said...

I do use The Monster in my writing, along with a half dozen other members, but they don't know it. And let's keep it that way, shall we.

And that "turd" thing is hideous. I would have run screaming as well.

Connie Keller said...

I do name characters after friends or betas, but only after the books are written. It's a kind of thank-you to them.

BTW, that chrysalis is too creepy. If I saw it in my house, I'd scream at the dog.

Matthew MacNish said...

Plants influence my writing. But not MY plants. I can't keep a plant alive to ... save my life?

Slamdunk said...

I think writers are more cognizant than others of their surroundings. They find inspiration in things that others overlook, and though they may not appear exactly in stories, I believe for most it is embedded.

So yea for the unheralded plants in life.

Suze said...

'Or the seitan, for the veggie crowd.'

:)

Love the Woolf quote, Lydia. Thanks for that.

Old Kitty said...

Thank you for thinking of us veggies! Yay!!!

Take care
x

Munk said...

But you must first feed your noggin...

Critique Sisters said...

I must admit, I'm a bit surprised that IWSNBN doesn't make it into your writing. Because come on, a turd that moves, how can you not write about that?! *shudders*

Carol Kilgore said...

Eewww! That bug creeps me out. Sometimes people I know show up in my work. But never exactly as they are. Usually it will be a trait or quirk that I borrow. And usually I don't recognize it until the third or fourth draft.

Kerri Cuev said...

I never wrote about my family, but often thought some things would make a great comedy. LOL. Nice plant! My cats would have a party with that, but not if it's poisionous ;)

Krispy said...

Eww, but what IS it?! I can't believe you haven't found some way to get rid of it.

Characters have pets in my stories because I like animals and have had pets. I only have one character who is based on someone I know.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

No family or friends in my writing, either. However, I have been known to pick out one quality, trait, or quirk from someone I know and add that to a character that had come from my imagination. Does that count?

Meredith said...

Oh my goodness, that bug would give me nightmares, too! I would never want to include that in my work. :)

David Powers King said...

Awesome post!

I don't know why, but I'm getting a strange deja vu thing going on here. That makes it even more awesome! :)

Carol Riggs said...

Ha, I was amused all through this post! Thanks for the lift, Lydia!! And you make some good points too. :)

Shelley Munro said...

Your post made me smile. LOL about the bug scream. The one in the jar looks just like a turd!

Our puppy is a constant disturbance to my writing routine. I take her for a loooooong walk in the mornings so she has a long sleep. The walking time is very good for thinking/plotting though, so it's not all bad.

Carrie Butler said...

I'm going to pretend I did not grimace and hold my hand over IWSNBN...

Fun post, as always! :)

Liza said...

You had me laughing out loud here. And I loved the quote!

Deb Salisbury said...

ROFL! Oh, you need to mention IWSNBN in a novel sometime, just so a character can freak out over it. LOL!

Jennifer Hillier said...

You're hilarious!

I'm in awe that you allow that turd to stay in your house! Ewwww! You're a good mom.

julie fedderson said...

You don't look or smell like a hamster. And I think a children's book about a mysterious talking turd would totally sell. At least with my kids, who picked out a book in the library last night because it had a character that passed gas in it. Boys.

Sarah said...

I really needed this after a long, semi-miserable day at work--hey, at least I don't have a mysterious, frightening turd living in my house! Great post, Lydia.

Olga said...

You have frightened me a little with your bug jar. I would like to know the updates on how to grow sago palm :)

catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com said...

That is so funny! I have put family members in short stories. Their fun character just matched so well.

WritingNut said...

Ahh.. this was great! And I love that quote :)

Vicki Rocho said...

Ha! I totally said that thing in the jar looked like a turd. Is it gong to hatch?

TirzahLaughs said...

The dog makes me leave the house occasionally.

:)

Tirz

Em said...

I will use pets. And all sorts of people show up in poetry. (No names, though.) And in non-fic as well. Really no avoiding that one.

Fiction, no. My fictional characters Walkin from Elsewhere.

I love the crysalis. Bet it's something beautiful.

Ciara said...

Okay, once I got past the bug I was happy. Not a big fan of anything bug related. :) Love the quote and you cracked me up.
Thanks for stopping by Laura's and participating in my blog tour.

Karen Lange said...

Family and pets in my writing - not so much. Although there are a few traits in one character that reflect a difficult someone I know. That's all I'm saying...

LD Masterson said...

I'm careful not to include anything remotely resembling my kids or grandkids in my stories because I know they'd start counting who had more lines, just to make me crazy. Heck, they do it to my annual Christmas letter. The Smothers Brothers have nothing on my boys.

But I always include a dog, because I'm a dog lover.

lbdiamond said...

hehehe. That "big turd" could very well be Mr. Hinkie from South Park. Just sayin'.

"Hiiiideeeee ho-ooooooo!"

vbtremper said...

Oh my. That thing would haunt my dreams, too. Can't wait to find out what's inside.

I don't write about my family, but I have been inspired by the places I've lived abroad. Oops, I forgot the MG ms I plan to revise after NaNo, which has characters inspired by my parents, brother, and grandparents.

oceangirl said...

Hi Lydia, I'm running out of family, pets and neighbours to write about :)

Leslie Rose said...

I do use family and friends in my writing. I just fessed up to one of them. Thank goodness he was flattered. I hear the witness protection program can be lots of fun.

Deborah Walker said...

I did use my kid's hamster in a story: 'The Rebirth of Mr Scratchy Claws'. There should be more hamster SF.

Margo Berendsen said...

"I am a hamster with a mysterious, frightening turn living in my house" - (snorts soda through nose while laughing).

How can you stand it, having that thing in your house??? I'm having my own issues with worms these days, but at least they aren't in my house!

I've taken bits of personality from different family members to add to my characters, but that's the extent that my family has been pillaged so far :)

 
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