Lost in my own Mind With No Breadcrumbs – A Blast From the Past From July 2013

*This post amused me, because ALL the drama has got more so in the last –omg — 8 years. And organized fandom, cons, and increasingly trad pub mean even less than they did then. Meh. Shine on you crazy diamonds. I’ll be in my office and I’m not to be disturbed. – SAH*

One of the problems with being a writer is that you end up living way too much in your own mind.

This is fun when what you’re doing is… oh, coming up with wonderful worlds, or even horrible ones, alluring characters, or perhaps even horrible but interesting ones.

What I’m trying to tell you here is that it’s fine to let your imagination run on the page, but do not under any circumstances let it run free in your real life.

Okay, fine, so I admit that I’m the sort of person who has to control herself not to make the story of her trip to the grocery store more exciting.

Early on I realized that telling my mom how I was attacked by brigands on the way to get peanuts at the corner store was a bad idea.  If it didn’t sound realistic, I got grounded for lying.  If it sounded realistic, mom went on the war path.

So I learned not to lie.  Though I reserved the right to tell the story of the hunting for the peanuts in as thrilling a way as I could, “And then there I was in the isle, when, looking to the right, there it was: PEANUTS.  Oh, how joyous I was—” etc.

For the rest of the stuff I wrote stories.  I mean, people in general don’t expect stories to be true.  Though there was the gentleman who chided me for making up elves in my biography of Shakespeare.  (Yes, he DID mean Ill Met By Moonlight.  No, I don’t know why.)

For the rest of the stuff I still write stories.  You can sort of assume that if I’m telling something as true, it is true as far as I know, always barring errors of memory and the way the past becomes colored in our minds.  (How is it that I always remember things happening at six, eight or fourteen?  I think the Author forgot to fill in the other years.)

I do know the limits of memory and what you think happened in the sense that after about twenty years things blur a bit, in my case particularly visual details.  There are places I’m sure I knew so well they live inside me and places in my head (the places I make up) look just like them.  My grandmother’s kitchen has done the turn of fantasy palace kitchen and science fiction kitchen/cottage.  And…  And yet, would I be shocked if I could go back to it?  Would I find I’d miscounted the number of chairs?  That the cabinets were the wrong shade of blue?  And how come I can’t remember the color of the walls at all?

Memory, particularly when you’re a writer, when it softens with the passing of years, tends to make things “better stories.”  Usually it messes the timing.  Say that this is the story of how I found a ring.  (No, I don’t think I ever did.)  In real life, I might never have found who the ring belonged to.  But my mind will conflate it with the story I heard years later of the woman who threw her engagement ring away, and I’ll be sure I found out that was her wedding ring.

Not, consciously, you realize – just over the years, as they pass, the random events assemble themselves into story.

That’s fine.  It’s human.  The human mind creates stories out of random.  It’s possibly what makes us human. The ability to turn “don’t go into the forest because there’s a 20% chance you’ll fall and break your leg and no one will find you in time into “don’t go into the forest, there are rodents of unusual size and swamps of flame.”  And if you made the story good enough, the kids believed it, and nothing bad happened.

However, there is a tendency being writers to make stories out of other things.  Specifically, to make stories out of things we don’t understand.  And since most of the things we don’t understand are people, there is a tendency to make up stories about how people are behaving this way because they personally hate us… or something.

Years ago, when I took the Kris and Dean Professional Writers Workshop, they kept telling us “Try very hard not to make up stories about why publishers or editors are doing things.  THAT can kill your career because you’ll decide they hate you and act weird.”

I’ll grant you it was easy to decide all publishers hated you. If you go by once it’s a mistake, twice it’s a coincidence, three times is enemy action, all of us midlisters were under enemy fire ALL the time.

But most of the time, it was just how the system worked.  Doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t walk, when you finally could.  (Free, thank the Lord Almighty, free at last.) It just meant that your editor was not doing it on purpose.  He/she/it worked for a very large house, and if you weren’t one of the properties hotly defended you were more likely to get trampled and the book’s chances destroyed in bizarre ways than of getting off the gate with nothing bad happening.

It was almost impossible not to get paranoid, and of course my FEELINGS were often that everyone was against me, but realistically I knew mostly they didn’t remember I existed.  Sort of like the old joke “Everyone hates me.”  “Don’t be ridiculous.  Most of them don’t know you.”

But because my rational self knew that whatever the emotions, most people in NYC publishing didn’t in fact know I existed, I was very surprised when, telling an older writing friend about an editor missing an appointment with me, he teased me by saying “Oh, yes, he hates you and is trying to destroy your career.”  I guess he thought that’s what I was thinking because of how distressed I was.  I was distressed because I wasn’t absolutely sure I’d kept the appointment at the right place.  (I have no sense of direction.)  And paranoid or not, it’s not a good idea to stand up editors.  (Turns out we had each heard a different hour, and he called me and it got straightened out.)  But at the same time I wanted to say “Oh, that, no.  Thank you.  I’m not that stupid.”

At the same time, I couldn’t blame him.  I watched people go into meltdown because their editor didn’t smile at them in the elevator.  Writers and the sort of explosive emotional situation old publishing created resulted in… drama.

Since I left all publishers save the one I like and can deal with, I tend to keep from drama in my life.  The sad truth about me is that you can completely annoy me one day and I’ll forgive you in a week – not because I’m good natured but because I have a rotten memory for names. You can be a total asshat, and unless I really know you, in a week I won’t remember.

What this means is that I can be fulminatingly furious at someone in the field, but it won’t keep.  Look, I’m far more interested in what’s going on inside my head.  I can write an entire article talking about how wrong, wrong, wrong you are – not, mind you, calling YOU names, unless you have really stepped in it, which usually means you attacked me or one of mine in a personal way – but this doesn’t mean that when I meet you at Worldcon (in the once every five years I go) I’m going to cut you dead.  Chances are even if I think your politics or your favorite movie are repulsive, I find things about you to admire and even like.

Look I have friends – though they might feel otherwise about me – even among the glittery hoo-has of SFWA.  If we don’t talk about their particular issues, they can be pleasant and even interesting people.

One doesn’t condemn an entire person or forfeit an entire friendship just because our friend has one or two really stupid ideas.  If we did that, there would be no friendship and no person who passed muster – particularly among us opinionated lot.

What I mean is that I tend not to get in conflicts, and not to get involved in emotional drama, not because I’m particularly good, but because I’m really busy.  I’ve got barely enough strength for my daily life, my commitments, and my writing.  I do not have time to wonder if some friend is mad at me because I didn’t compliment her on her new sneakers, and I certainly don’t have time to be mad at you forever because you said my hair was funny.  Even when sneakers and hair are stories, or careers.

Unfortunately I’ve discovered, either because people are scared of what is happening in the field and trying to find emotional relief, or because publishers are not all consuming targets of their anger anymore, that some people have had feuds with me for years – that I was TOTALLY unaware of.

Usually the first I hear of it is when a friend of a friend says something like “I don’t want to get in the middle of your quarrel.”  Which leaves me blinking and going “Our what?” since I haven’t given this person half a thought in months.

This can be very flattering, of course.  It’s almost as good as having someone in love with you, when someone cares so much they carry on an entire quarrel without your even knowing.

But it’s a little bit crazy too.  Now, if you are in this field – or even if you aren’t, I understand this sort of thing happens in other careers too (though of course, I know as much about honest work as a duck knows about prospecting for gold) – and even in normal social life (about which I also know… yeah.  Ducks.  Gold.) – seriously, do try not to get involved in too many feuds.

I’ll admit the thing with SFWA got under my nose, like mustard, mostly because honestly, when they start going after older men for being older men, they’ve crossed lines that sheer decency would leave uncrossed.  I was mad, but it wasn’t personal.  I still am mad.  It still isn’t personal.

What I mean is, the people on the other side range from a handful of self-willed villains (or at least self-righteous harm-inflicting people) to a myriad of people who are just going along, just heard something, want to be on the side of angels.  Even when they act like loons, it doesn’t mean some of them aren’t quite decent, the sort of people I’d let catsit.

No, none of them have gone out of their way to pursue a feud with me – at least not that I’ve heard.  (Though granted, I haven’t heard much, more or less on purpose.)  I was just talking about that situation was an example, because of how insane it got and how fast, fueled by everyone’s imagination and wish to be offended.

I’m seeing that happen more and more, and the thing is, I think the reason it’s happening is that it doesn’t matter.  Someone said that disputes are hotter when the stakes are very, very small.

Right now, there is no proof that good standing in fandom, or with your professional equals means anything anymore.  A lot of the people who are buying books have never attended a con.  The local fandom can no longer affect the laydown of a book.  The author of Wool was second only to George R.R. Martin in sales, but when he attended a big con he had no one at his autograph session – because he was selling to people who don’t go to cons.

From personal experience cons have been losing importance.  Organized fandom has been losing the ability to influence sales… at the same time that not a week goes by I don’t hear of some new feud.  (Not usually involving me.)

I think it’s because, like thinking your publisher hated you was better than thinking you’d been THAT unlucky three times, thinking that people in the field are destroying you is better than thinking that you just haven’t figured out how to deal with the new conditions yet.

The problem is that when your creativity is going towards interpersonal drama, it’s not going to writing, or whatever you do for a living.  Also, it makes people outside the field think we’re nuts.  (Which might or might not matter 😉 )

Do other professions experience this too?  Does it matter if someone is fighting with you if you’re not even aware of it?  What do you do about it in saner fields than SF/F?  Am I hurting myself by being unaware that some people might/might not have it in for me?  Where do people find the energy for al this?  Am I broken because my attitude is, “hate me all you want, so long as you’re not actively coming over to argue with me?”

I remember in the village women mostly spent their lives in interpersonal feuds over things like “she cut in front of me in the fish queue, so I’m going to cut in on her at the green grocers.”  Even back then, I couldn’t muster enough interest to remember who was mad at whom, and shocked people who were feuding with my family by talking to them – not out of good nature, but because I couldn’t remember.

Am I the only one with a wretched memory?  Or is it just that I channel so much inside, I couldn’t bother to remember who I was mad at?

Perhaps it costs me in sales, or friends, or something – but if I have to put that much drama into something, I want to sell it.

(Grumbles off, convinced there’s something seriously wrong with her.)

123 responses to “Lost in my own Mind With No Breadcrumbs – A Blast From the Past From July 2013

  1. Early on I realized that telling my mom how I was attacked by brigands on the way to get peanuts at the corner store was a bad idea.

    More good memories. Two days in a row. Dear Esteemed Hostess thank you.

    In my mind I hear the opening of Amahl and the Night Visitors. The exasperated momma sings to her fanciful son, ‘O Amahl, when will you stop telling lies?’, only to discover that this time he is not lying. There are three kings outside the door — and one of them is black!

  2. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Story Idea.

    The Would-Be Evil Overlord launches deadly attacks against the Good Guy.

    The Good Guy deals with the deadly attacks without realizing that the WBEO (or anybody else) had launched them against him.

    IE The Good Guy just thinks the deadly attacks fall into the “Sh*t Happens” Category and goes on with his life.

    Finally the Good Guy is called in by a friend who needs help dealing with the WBEO and they defeat the WBEO.

    Defeated the WBEO rants at the Good Guy about how much he hates the Good Guy because the Good Guy never acknowledged the WBEO’s earlier attacks.

    The Good Guy responds “What Attacks” and the WBEO dies of a rage-induced heart-attack. 😈 😈 😈 😈

    • Margaret Ball

      Brilliant! Now write it.

    • Sound if not exactly like, rather close to Get Smart! where Maxwell stumbles through it all and emerges triumphant by sheer luck.

      • and some Pink Panther, and some Road Runner, and, and I run out of remembering . . .(well Inspector Gadget was based on Get Smart so we can include that with Maxwell)

        • Director Frank Capra had articulated that as the logic of the Harry Langdon (silent) comedies, that Langdon’s character was an innocent who meandered through life protected by the angels and unconscious of the precariousness of his situation. We see it extended most clearly in cartoons wherein a character can safely run off a cliff and only falls upon realization of the abyss beneath.

          Capra referenced “The Good Soldier Švejk” as his inspiration, a character from a series of novels set in the Great War

          Many of the situations and characters seem to have been inspired, at least in part, by Hašek’s service in the 91st Infantry Regiment of the Austro-Hungarian Army. The novel also deals with broader anti-war themes: essentially a series of absurdly comic episodes, it explores the pointlessness and futility of conflict in general and of military discipline, Austrian military discipline in particular. Many of its characters, especially the Czechs, are participating in a conflict they do not understand on behalf of an empire to which they have no loyalty.

          The character of Josef Švejk is a development of this theme. Through (possibly feigned) idiocy or incompetence he repeatedly manages to frustrate military authority and expose its stupidity in a form of passive resistance: the reader is left unclear, however, as to whether Švejk is genuinely incompetent, or acting quite deliberately with dumb insolence. These absurd events reach a climax when Švejk, wearing a Russian uniform, is mistakenly taken prisoner by his own side.
          Wikipedia

          It has been too long since I delved into Theatrical history but I believe a similar character can be found in the Commedia dell’arte and even in the Yiddish schlemiel.

          In each depiction we have a bumbling character who, in complete innocence, devastates the best laid plans of his intellectual superiors.

          • It might also be interesting to read something like that from the perspective of the angels charged with ensuring the innocent makes it through with his innocence (and life) intact.

            *scurries off to make notes in story journal*

            • The security of the unaware was a not uncommon theme in cartoons, as this montage from a Fleischer Studios Popeye shows:

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Maxwell Smart was an idiot and the script-writers were on his side. 👿

        My thought was that the Good Guy was facing plenty of problems and intelligently succeeding against the problems.

        He just didn’t realize that the WBEO was behind some of the problems. 😉

        • Ah, competent yet unaware. Now that’s an interesting idea, that is!

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Plus the WBEQ thinking that he was more important (in the overall scheme of things) than he actually was. 😉

            • Hmmmm … the closest I can come up with is Belloq in Raiders of the Lost Ark, although an argument might be made for Danny DeVito’s character in Romancing the Stone. There are probably numerous westerns where such is a theme.

            • Or “How can this be, I’m invincible”, along with the many other things listed on the Evil Overlord List (half of which come from Bond films).

    • I think an aneurysm or a perforated (ad untreated) ulcer would work better. But that’s me.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        You may be right but I was thinking of a way for the WBEO to just “down dead because of rage”. 😉

      • Probably the Good Guy could not diagnose on the spot.

      • Donald Stephens

        Breaks a bone in his foot after stomping with rage, then dies of thrombosis?

        “A death ironic enough to be smelted.”

      • Donald Stephens

        Breaking a bone in his foot stamping in rage, then dies of thrombosis?

  3. Breadcrumbs are no use for trail-blazing. You need a couple cans of Krylon spray paint, preferably in a florescent hue. It won’t help you find your way back out but it will liven up the decor.

    • Ah, those are the battery operated spray cans! Suddenly, Congo makes sense. 🙂

    • A row of cans set on a rack under a vehicle, a small computer to read speed and operate the soleniods, as a dot-matrix to… er, I think anyone here can figure out the rest without further aid.

      • sounds like something Doc Travis would come up with on Rocket City Rednecks. All the parts gotten from Rog’s stash but one vital part from Daddy’s tools.

    • I keep waiting to go hiking and find a blaze under a small sign that reads, “Not this way, dumbunny. Can’t you read?”

      • Way back in the early-ish 1980’s I knew a fellow who made a few trails for ATV’s (3-wheel still common back when), and do dragging for Winter use,who was annoyed snowmobilers would use his trails but refuse him use of theirs. Pa suggested he put up signs: [ATV ONLY (Doesn’t go to any bars anyway!)]

  4. (How is it that I always remember things happening at six, eight or fourteen?  I think the Author forgot to fill in the other years.)

    Perhaps you only recall six, eight or fourteen because those are the points which are essential to your story.

    There is what the author must work out for himself in creating his world solidly. Then there is what needs to be shared with the audience for the purpose of the story at hand.

    A former Brother-in-law fancied himself a great author.  He became addicted to his world building.  Not only had he worked out his character backgrounds, he had worked each one out to eight generations of incarnations in excruciating detail before the story itself commenced.  Further, he insisted on including all of this in his writing.  I am not sure that he ever succeeded in bringing his writing as far as the original story about his main character. 

    (The work in question was never shared with me, but it was shared with his wife and my Mother-In-Law.  While this family story may have become exaggerated for effect, knowing the man, it is essentially true.)

    • Obviously a fan of Katherine Kerr.

      You know, if reincarnation was a technological thing done by alien lifeforms… Maybe I could read that sort of thing. But being soapy and pagan mystical at once is a bit much for me, although obviously it hits the sweet spot for others.

      • On discovering that The Spouse was an avid reader of science fiction, he began to share ideas he was sure they must share in common. (Did you know that space aliens built the pyramids?) He was nonplussed when The Spouse was less than interested.

        I admit that there were times when I had to ask myself if B-I-L wasn’t sometimes trying to pull someone’s leg for a lark, but each time on reflection I had to conclude that he didn’t have that in him.

      • Reincarnation stories seem to me to make the universe seem a lot smaller. There’s one series in particular that on the surface is a grand fantasy covering multiple continents and thousands of years…but when you take the official “reincarnations” into account, it turns out that it’s actually about the same six people having roughly the same argument about a dozen times. It’s like someone took that Babylon 5 line about how “Our souls are stuck in some sort of interstellar sewing circle” and decided to play it straight.

        • I tried that series. I failed. OK idea, but the execution wasn’t my cup of tea.

        • I read Farmer’s Riverworld series. The original story with Tom Mix and Yeshua son of Joseph was good, but I didn’t care much for the novels.

          • It’s been a long time since I read some of those novels, maybe two or three, and don’t remember much but the basic premise, but I remember that I gave up because I thought the story kept meandering too much and the characters seemed to be stuck en route. Kept meeting new famous historical characters and so on, but not finding out much of what they had set out to find out and not getting off the planet or anything. So yes, I suppose the point was more some sort of contemplation of humanity in general, but I found it boring rather than interesting. Place seemed like hell one would want the heroes to escape, and save others from, and they never seemed to get there. I have no idea if they ever got there. And not particularly interested either.

  5. If I like someone I talk to them. If I don’t, then I walk away. Simple. Why deal with drama? If someone starts drama with me that was unintentional on my part them I walk away. I still don’t understand drama in real life– it’s hard enough as it is. Although I’ve held a grudge or too. Drama is too stressful and can make us ill.

    • Oh my gracious! I often don’t talk to people I like simply because I’ve nothing to say, have other things on my mind or simply do not realize that conversation might be appropriate. Heck, I don’t even talk to myself.

      This has occasionally resulted in puzzled inquiries of me family along the lines of, “Yesterday RES was so charming and witty; today I can’t get a word out! Did I somehow offend?” “No, that is just how RES is.”

      Of course, considering what I use in lieu of a sense of humour, not talking to people outside of carefully defined interactions is somewhat of a survival adaptation. Opening conversational floodgates too often results in people slowly backing away and casting furtive (and increasingly less furtive) glances for rescuers.

    • If I am at work, you can tell who I dislike rather easily. is it work related? I will ask or reply as needed to get on with said work. Otherwise, I likely ain’t talking to you unless you bring something up. If you get stupid, don’t expect a polite reply telling you so. Don’t ask anything you do not want a truthful answer to. If it is outside of work, I likely ain’t anywhere around someone who annoys me.

    • I’m fond of the office sign that reads “You look like drama and a headache. Go away.”

  6. Aren’t you already disturbed?

    Or is that just the rest of us?

    • But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.

      ”Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”

      ”How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.

      ”You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.” 

    • “The act of observing disturbs the observed” and upon discovering that I’ve been under observation I am indeed greatly disturbed. And that seems to disturb the observer(s).

    • Fortunately for me, and extremely fortunate for those around me, I don’t get oversturbed. I just pull out one of my knives and start sharpening it, working up to my patented “crazed smile”, with mutterings of “shaaaarrrrrrrrrrrp”, “poinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnty”, “shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiney”. Worked great when my daughter brought over a new boy…

      • Country song by Rodney Atkins in the same vein as the last:
        “Cleaning this gun”

        The chorus:

        “Come on in, boy, sit on down
        And tell me ’bout yourself.
        So you like my daughter, do you now?
        Yeah, we think she’s something else.
        She’s her daddy’s girl, her mama’s world.
        She deserves respect,
        That’s what she’ll get.
        Ain’t it, son?
        Now y’all run along and have some fun.

        I’ll see you when you get back.
        Bet I’ll be up all night
        Still cleaning this gun.”

      • A bit of a Peter Lorre “laugh” seems to get people to back away as well.

      • Didn’t Mel Gibson claim that he had one of his special effects buddies make him some lifelike decapitated teenage boy heads to place in his parlor when boys came to visit/date his daughter?

  7. … control herself not to make the story of her trip to the grocery store more exciting.

    And now I ponder ‘A Trip To The Store’ told with… uh… Oomph, I suppose one might call it.

    • Have you read _Tales of the Minivandians_? Suburban life as Viking saga. Great stuff!

      • I started reading it and wound up setting it aside.. some time ago. Nothing *wrong* with it, but it just didn’t grab *me* enough to have me keep at it in a determined fashion. Might yet finish it, but it’s not on the priority list as it were.

        (Fwiw, I also set aside the second of the MHI works [audiobook format] as I found it *too* stimulating and I needed to breathe. Haven’t picked it back up in months. Have listened to tales of plagues and nuclear accidents and… I won’t say it is bad, it’s just not my idea of a nice ‘read’.)

  8. I try to keep personal feuds to a minimum. I’m a professional, and there are times you have to work with people who you really do not like. Competent does not equal likable. I need competence, likability is a luxury.

    • When I was flying full time, the older pilots would warn us young bucks that the world was far too small to be p-ssing people off. “The co-pilot that you stepped on while climbing the ladder at your last job will probably be your captain at your next job,” was how one retired gent phrased it.

    • All too often in my life, those Competent yet unlikable were few and far between. Usually it is both incompetent and unlikable, or worse. unlikable, competent, yet unwilling to do a competent job (thereby being considered ‘incompetent’ by me and likely part and parcel why they are unlikable).

    • In a summer job during college, it was beaten into me drummed into my head that some vendors did *not* get chewed out for a goofup. A. They didn’t do it that often, B. nobody else was remotely as good. And this was in a major metro area, if they told us to sod off, we would have been in a world of hurt.

  9. Margaret Ball

    Oh, yes, other professions get this too. The feuds in academia make the Wars of the Roses seem like a children’s game. I don’t know if it’s because the stakes are so low or because for all practical purposes they really are dealing with a fixed-size pie.

    • *wags paw* 50/50? Plus tenure means you’ll be seeing Dr. So-and-so at conferences and reading their articles in journals for decades, if not centuries? And dealing with, er, ah, ahem, encountering their current and former graduate students for ever and ever amen?

    • Reading about what happened at a Classics conference recently certainly would open any eyes that weren’t already open about that. Or kept willfully closed.

      Whodathunk that a branch of study that focused on ancient European civilization would focus on, well, ancient Europeans?

  10. it was easy to decide all publishers hated you.

    That is because they do, but it isn’t anything personal.

    If you were a publisher, forced to kiss the butt of your best-seller twit and nagged all day by mid-listers and worse, how would you feel about those whose work you depend on for your income? You’d be like a computer maker getting your circuit boards from China, knowing that seven of ten will be outside of spec, that only one in a hundred within spec will actually function properly and faced by shipping delays that render many of those circuit boards obsolete by the time they finally arrive.

    Of course publishers hate you, they hate all authors, even (especially) those they are forced to pretend they love.

  11. Am I the only one with a wretched memory?

    NO!
    I have told people that there are:
    1. Close relatives (think: nuclear family. *Maybe* aunt/uncle)
    2. People I work with near constantly.
    3. Close friends I see fairly often (once or twice a year is NOT often here).
    4. Memorable Jerks (Well, mines owned by donkeys.. yeah)
    5. Everyone else.

    If you are not one of the first 3, and I seem to have forgotten you? You are in #5. Be complimented; You are NOT #4.

  12. Sort of like the old joke ‘Everyone hates me.’ ‘Don’t be ridiculous. Most of them don’t know you.'”

    Sigh. If only. I’m Jewish, plenty of people who never have and never will meet me nonetheless hate me. And the national (not to mention world) supply of people who hate categorically rather than individually seems to be growing.

    Gosh, I hate that.

  13. Christopher M. Chupik

    On a side note, “brigand” is a wonderful word that should definitely be used more often.

  14. “Shine on you crazy diamonds. I’ll be in my office and I’m not to be disturbed.

    Who’s got the chartreuse and fluorescent yellow polka-dot paint?

  15. so there were brigands between you and the store?

  16. For the rest of the stuff I wrote stories. I mean, people in general don’t expect stories to be true. Though there was the gentleman who chided me for making up elves in my biography of Shakespeare. (Yes, he DID mean Ill Met By Moonlight. No, I don’t know why.)

    ‘Cause you got the historical touches spot-on?