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ursulav

Talking to Socks

Back from tour! Not dead! About to head out to MileHiCon in Denver!

I have achieved nothing creatively since getting home, other than plugging away on hamster illos. Handed the Snow Queen book in to my editor, shooting for a February release. My brain isn't sure what to work on next. I have any number of half-done projects I could pick up and work on, but nothing is really grabbing me about the head and shoulders, and I have most of a year anyway.

I've been writing a lot of short stories lately. (Well, a lot for ME.) There will be two (maybe three?) out in November--I'll link when it happens--and another in January and another in short order after that.

Lacking inspiration, I cleaned the closet instead. Read the KonMari book on decluttering, which is very...animist. (Author spent a lot of time working at a Shinto shrine, I hear, which may account for that.) There's a lot written about it and joy and whatnot, but the part I fixated on was that you're supposed to thank the things you get rid of, partly out of respect, partly because this will get you over the weird emotional attachment most of us have to Stuff. Can't get rid of a thing you don't wear because you paid a lot of money for it? Thank it for its help. Then it's easier. (It is, too. Go figure.)

I am amused by the various angsty responses to this I have read, which range from "No way am I talking to my socks!" to some frankly weird radical Christian stuff that thanking your socks is definitely Wrong and possibly Satanic and you should say a prayer to the Holy Spirit instead for giving you socks. (I admit, my Catholicism is pretty lapsed, but I think God is probably a bit more concerned that we not be awful to each other than with briefly anthropomorphizing one's socks as one prepares to send them to Goodwill. Honestly, were I running the universe, I'd be like "Whatever gets you to give the socks to the less fortunate, DO THAT." But there's a reason they don't let me run the universe. Several. Not least that we would be hip-deep in axolotls. Well, anyway, the theology seems a little muddled to me. The important thing is that everybody's got socks going into winter.)

Regardless, whichever way you come at it, the chief source of resistance seems to be in talking to one's sock drawer. Mostly it seems to be that you will look silly doing it.

Then there's me. I read this book and went "Lord, I talk to my socks already! Finally, a book for me!" and spent six hours thanking my excess socks, shoes, light jackets, etc, and dragged four large garbage bags off to the thrift store. I have always been a bit of an animist by nature, and I gave up on not looking silly in private many many years ago. (Who am I trying to impress? I know myself too well to believe in my own dignity. I have tripped on perfectly flat ground and choked on my own saliva too many times.)

There is also a whole lot about the proper way to fold one's clothes so that they will be happy. It is also remarkably space efficient. The closet is cleaner than it has been in eons. I have no idea if I will continue the whole process, but I am surprisingly willing to believe that properly folded socks and underwear can make me happier in some small fashion.

Also, not to bury the lead here, but we met a dog at an adoption event that may be The Dog. Having a home visit after we get back from the con. English Coonhound mix who was dumped, probably for having no hunting instincts whatsoever. Beautiful dog, one of the ones who leeeeeans into you and looks up with a very hopeful expression, good with cats.

"Are you hound people?" asked the rescue people.

"Well," I said. "Better the devil you know."

They laughed. It was rueful laughter, with a slightly hysterical edge, but there it was. (We know all the hound problems and can deal with them. But never another beagle. There are limits.)

I'm a shaman, of course I talk to things... I suspect it's only really a problem when they talk back.

My mom used to say that it was alright to talk to yourself, and alright to answer yourself when you did, but when that third party chimed in you knew you were in trouble.

Handed the Snow Queen book in to my editor, shooting for a February release.

INTERNAL SCREAMING

Very excited for your next writing installment!

Living next door to a beagle, recently, and wish everyone realized that they are beyond the limit. At least that one.

Have fun in Denver, I wish I could see you while you were in town. Silly being on your coast while you're in my mountains. Good luck with the new pup!

You made me laugh this morning. Several times, as a matter of fact. You have shown me something I can now give to my husband when he gives me odd looks for standing in the middle of the living room and calling for my keys, (It works. Not sure why but it does.)

I most sincerely hope that this is The Dog and the quest will end with everyone happy.

Reminds me of something Diane Duane wrote in one of her Star Trek novels"

"Things," she said, "notice." ...Have you noticed, she said, that when you really need something--the key to your quarters, a favorite piece of clothing--you can't find it? You search everywhere, and there's no result. But any other time, when there's no need, the thing in question is always under your hand. This, said the nameless Contributor, is proof that the Universe is sentient, or at least borderline sentient: it craves attention, like a small child, and responds to it depending on how you treat it--with affection, or annoyance. For further proof, she suggested that a person looking for something under these circumstances should walk around their quarters, calling the thing in question by its name. It always turns up. (Before the reader laughs, by the way, s/he is advised to try this on the next thing s/he loses. The technique has its moments."

Shakatany

Hip-deep in axolotls sounds like a reason FOR having you take charge.

Either that or a great name for my Green Day cover band.

I talk to most things. I find they appreciate it. I had a car that if you insulted her in her hearing, the doors didn't open. If you were inside, this was especially problematic.

I have always talked to things, it gets me weird looks at work sometimes but I have noticed a few people have picked up the habit. Who knew it could be catching!

Do genetically engineered beagles count? I'd offer a link but then it would be marked as spam but Chinese scientists have started engineering beagles. They want to use them as lab animals, which is a horrible thought.



I talk to things all the time. I do not only do it at home, either. Once Ted and I were at a store and the cash register beeped, so I beeped back.

The cashier looked at me like I was completely mental. Ted muttered, "She doesn't get out much." But then a while later I did the same thing at a post office and the cashier THERE beeped, too. So there. Or something. :)

Also, I habitually greet animals, which paid off in spades one time when I was walking through a Fairbanks, AK parking lot and said, "Hello," to a raven, who said, "Hello!" back. :) :) :)

When you start talking to things, don't you get the feeling they're watching you? I don't know. Treating them like they're living beeings once would make me think of them as living beeings all the time.

Beautiful dog, one of the ones who leeeeeans into you and looks up with a very hopeful expression

Sounds a lot like our Mungo-dog... he has some kind of hound in him... he makes the best "a-woo-woo-WOO" noises when excited...

Ooo, Denver. Welcome! Should you need recommendations on a) beer and b) tacos, I'm full of those.

Never another beagle? *sad face* But then, I was raised with a beagle so it's no wonder they're my favourite dogs. Hope this one will be THE dog for you--his picture is adorable and he sounds like a sweet creature. And rescue is a thing of goodness.

MA

Years ago, I heard the thanking of objects thing described as never missing an opportunity to practice compassion and gratitude. I like that. I've done so when I've cleared out areas of the house. I do not have any sort of hoarding tendencies, and in fact find clutter to be stressful, and de-cluttering to be therapeutic, but I also find it soothing to thank items for their help when I have donated or discarded them. Think about what you need, be kind, and let items go. Not bad habits to practice.

Good luck with the hound. I still recall the generic Farm Hound (he was found under the porch at an abandoned house) I met at one adoption event who was stunningly good at leaning on people and looking into their eyes and letting them know that no one had ever loved him and maybe, just maybe, you could change that. His foster person sighed and said he did that to absolutely everyone, and she hoped it meant the right person would fall for it and adopt him soon.

"I have tripped on perfectly flat ground and choked on my own saliva too many times."

Oh thank God I'm not alone. One time a coworker told me to "take a deep breath" and I did, and immediately started choking on my own saliva. It was the worst. T_T