Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

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Location: Misbehaving in Candlelight

Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It's Loose in My Den
Or...I wonder what it's like to awaken to the sound of me screaming...

So I'm in my den this morning, preparing to post the word of the day for all you visitors when I see movement across the room from me. Large movement. Now, considering the cat is low to the ground, the height on the wall at which I see this movement is distressing, at best.

It's one of those fist-size wolf spiders. And it stops to look back at me. I think it snarled.

My reaction brought a flurry of blanket and half-comatose "wha? wha? wha's going on?" from the couch in the room just outside my den. (For those of you who have heard the "panther-at-the-window" story, this part is a repeat.) Anyway, my significant other had to do the honors of chasing said spider around my den with the various flat objects and can-o-Raid because I made a beeline for the farthest corner of the house (my bathroom sink) where I sat shivering in abject terror considering how nice it was for him to deal with this.

He failed.

Now, I have to give him props for trying, but, dudes, now I'm in here watching the walls...I expect the thing to slip out from behind the bookshelf (where it is supposedly plotting my doom) at any moment, sprint across the ceiling, drop onto me, and suck the life out of my head or something. Good God! It could happen! And it would suck!

I had a native Floridian (my artist, Megan Kissinger, actually) tell me once that wolf spiders don't bite; they just jump and flee and scare the crap out of you. But I also had a native Floridian tell me the scorpions around here were harmless...prior to one stinging me (and it hurt) and causing my arm to swell up like a Florida orange. But, you know, I survived. I'll probably survive the demon stalking me, too, but I'm totally freaked out by it. I have to go to work now, which means I'm going to lose track of it all day. It's probably going to sneak into my bed and wait for me...

Eight-legged demon freak...

I don't know how to turn this into a writing-related column for you guys. I'm supposed to always post about Choices Meant for Gods or something writing-related, but, I'm sorry, I'm just too freaked out by the thought of something vile and hairy running across the keyboard...or my foot...or stopping on the keyboard...or my foot...Ugh. So how about those of you who read this post think of the thing that scares you most in life and respond in the comment field. Write (there we go: write) what freaks you out or scares you and share it with the other visitors. I've just shared mine!

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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Blogger Linda L Rucker said...

Okay, you and my daughter will tie for first place for silliest female. My daughter was driving to work one morning. Had to be there at six and it was pitch black outside. She opens the car door, gets in, cranks the car, backs out of the driveway, always and forever on the lookout for spiders cause she is terrified of them to the point of ditching the car should one ever come into her line of sight.
So, she's tooling down the country road, no street lights, and all of sudden, something grabs her hair from the back seat. She screams and immediately begins to pummel her head, trying to loosen the grip of what she is certain is one of those gigantic wolf spiders. (For those of you who don't live in Florida, a wolf spider can get to the size of a dinner plate!) She is screaming, weaving all over the thankfully deserted road, and the thing has a death grip on her hair. Horrified that she might actually touch the gigantic spider, she stomps on the brakes, throws the car in park and flings herself out of the car, the whole time pummeling her head and neck and shaking her hair to loosen the beast. And it's not there. So, after a few minutes of trying to calm her galloping heart and searching in her purse for a dry pair of panties, she finally opens the door cautiously, armed with a can of hairspray she keeps in the car, furtively looking for the humongous wolf spider that attacked her and as she is about to lean over the front seat the beast jumps up on the back of the front seat, sending Jaime screaming and tumbling onto the ground and a patch of sand spurs.
As she scrambles frantically to her feet, she hears a plaintive Meow! It is her daughter's black kitten that managed to squeeze through the cracked window and spend the night in the car.
Not a spider this time, but I have seen her literally rip her shirt off while driving down a crowded city street because a teeny little bitty spider webbed down on her!
So, while the whole experience you had this morning, Sandy scared the s--t out of you, I now need to replace my Depends! Thanks for the laugh, as always!!

10:24 AM  
Blogger Dorothy said...

LOL, between you and Linda, I've got to get a new set of drawers. I'm so sorry but this is really hilarious and I think it's because I can relate, not with wolf spiders, but from having unearthyly creatures walking around the home and you don't even know where to begin to eradicate them. Try rats. I'd rather have wolf spiders. I think. At least rats are slower.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Sandy Lender said...

Okay, yes, I have nearly wrecked the car because of a wolf spider. The reason the car remained intact: the spider was on the outside of the window. The thing is, it takes a minute to realize that when you first see the thing, you know? They're pretty doggone evil-lookin' peering in at you, gnashing their fangs, tapping their front legs on the glass to make sure you're aware that they could drop hairs on you if they could just get in.

I wonder if other drivers realize just what sort of tragedy is averted when the creature is flung away by the windshield wipers...

The strange this is that I don't have this insane fear of other bugs. I like other bugs. They're all cute. They all get a free ride out of my house if they get in. Frogs (yes, I live in a swamp) get a bath before they get escorted back out because they usually get dusty (I'm not a great housekeeper). But spiders get a quick whack with a shoe and/or a good shower of Raid because I'm just scared to death of them.

Sandy L.
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

11:13 AM  
Blogger Sandy Lender said...

Oh, Linda, I will NEVER leave the windows down on my car because a spider might creep in.

Yeah, it's kinda like that.

Sandy L.
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

11:14 AM  
Blogger Jeni said...

Do you realize between your writing about the spider in the den, Linda's daughter and the cat-spider-scare, you could have a combination going there for the background for a really cool book? Darned near have a chapter with those two stories alone but take them, expand on them a bit about demons scaring the living crap out of people -The eight-legged cat-demon-spider! I'm terrified of spiders too but not so much that I won't go in search of a nice big old shoe and flatten the living daylights out of it myself. Had to learn to do that otherwise we probably would have been overrun here with spiders long ago since my daughters are too scared to kill 'em. Sometimes, I guess you do need a man around the house then don't you? Or, at least, one with decent aim anyway.

8:18 PM  
Blogger Sandy Lender said...

Jeni, Darling, now that "they" have made those rubber things that open tight lids on jars, I can't think of any time when you need a man around the house.


Sandy L.
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

8:22 PM  
Blogger Laura M. Crawford said...

Sandy, you are absolutely correct...spiders are eight-legged demons. 'Nuff said. I'm backing you up, girlfriend!

Laura :)

1:34 AM  

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