14 December 2013
Coming Clean About A Semi-Private Pleasure
by Elizabeth Zelvin
Among my fellow SleuthSayers with their expertise about technology and weaponry, law enforcement and spying, I'd like to think I contribute my mite of unique individuality. So I'm going to take the conversation as far from explosives and cybersecurity and all that stuff my blog brothers in particular write about and make a confession. In our house, the stuffed animals talk to us. I could claim writer’s license—if our characters can talk to us, why shouldn’t the plush wolves and teddy bears? But my husband’s not a writer, and they talk to him too.
We know it's kind of weird. We used to try not to have these infantile, if not actually dysfunctional, relationships with the little guys. And gals—there’s Noelle the book bear, who’s quite the intellectual, and Elfie, who wears a red dress except at Xmas, when she puts her elf outfit on. But I digress. Like any other addicts, we couldn’t just say no to the animals’ demands for our attention and desire for conversation. So we said the hell with it and stopped trying to refrain. We decided that the way we channel these cuddly companions is a lot like the way fictional characters say and do what they want to, rather than what the author has planned. And there's nothing weird about that, is there?
I finally made out what my husband was saying between roars of laughter.
“Moose don’t eat moss!” he said.
“They don’t?” I said. “What do you mean? The moose are always talking about eating moss.”
“It was a joke!” he said. “I can’t believe you believed me!”
What did he mean? It had nothing to do with him. I’d believed the moose. Who would know better what a moose eats?
“What do they eat?”
“So where did the moose moss come from?”
“I got it from Dr. Seuss!” he said.
Since I was at Bouchercon, I got to tell this story to a lot of writers. One of them suggested the perfect comeback if any reader points out I’ve committed an error of fact regarding what moose eat. It hasn't happened yet, but it still could.
“It’s an hommage to Dr. Seuss,” I’ll say.
Posted by Elizabeth Zelvin at 00:01