Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Attack Blankets!

So hubby runs hot and I run cold, not unlike couples across the world, I suspect. This means we have three blankets on the bed—two on him, three on me, though that's not my point. My POINT is that the reject third blanket is one of those pounded felt numbers that originally had the satiny edging, but hasn't for many years now. The FELT is coming apart a strip at a time, such that it seems there is ALWAYS an edge of the blanket with a long strip cut, except for the ends... a TRAP, if you will, when you (meaning I) wake up in the middle of the night and need to use the loo. Step out of bed, foot goes through the loop, and then your OTHER leg gets wrapped in this blanket of doom.

You couldn't put that in fiction, could you? It takes too long to explain what the heck I'm talking about, and by the time you get it, while you still can see me toppling over, you've forgotten why I had to get up in the first place. I think maybe this is a tricky area—creating life circumstances that happen to us all, not because we are horribly CLUMSY (because in reality, I'm not really less coordinated than the average bear, though I do fall down more because I happen to WALK more (about 30 miles a week) in WORSE conditions (meaning all of them—even ice)... erm... while doing somewhat distracting things, (like reading or editing...) But that isn't CLUMSY so much as busy with a touch of reckless, yeah?

NORMAL Characters

Do you see normal characters have moments like that very often? I don't think I do. It seems like either there is a clumsy characteristic, or they get things right more often than not. That's a little annoying, actually, now that I think of it, but that is probably just me. I have a strong bias against anyone for whom things come too easily (in fiction or real life, honestly, though in real life, I forgive them mostly if they are nice... though I maintain my right to political bias).

Blankets as Characters

You know... I can only think of three examples and they are complete triangular opposite spectra of the matter.

First, we have Linus. His blankie is his marker of security and in many ways, his best friend. He doesn't do anything without the blanket. If Linus was the MC in Peanuts, the blanket would be the sidekick.

Then we have the HORRIBLE and very REAL blanket incident in which the United States government hired 'blanket assassins' to deliver small pox to native Americans—probably the moment I find most shameful in our history—not that we have a shortage of shameful moments...

And FINALLY, my favorite Blanket as Character... and one I feel positive was inspired by just such an event as I've been experiencing lately (because it ISN'T the first time I've channeled JK Rowling)--the Lethifold! The Lethifold is one of the few five-star dangerous creatures listed in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Five stars means UNTRAINABLE! Eeek! Anyway, a Lethifold is described thus in the Harry Potter Lexicon (which looks like it's from FbaWtFT (my own copy is buried somewhere in other books):

This dangerous beast resembles a half-inch thick black cloak which moves along the ground at night, hunting its prey. It attacks sleeping humans, smothers them, then digests them, all in their bed, leaving no trace at all. The only known defense against a lethifold is a Patronus Charm. Thankfully, this frightening creature is rare, only found in the tropics (FB).

Seems to me the Lethifold's only saving grace is that it LIVES where people don't often use blankets...

What about you? Any interesting, fun, horrible or frightening blankets in your stories? *shifty*

And What About The BURROW!?

No blankets there, to speak of... but we ARE doing our December feature (did I mention this already?) A new drabble is being revealed each day in December (including several from our fantastic friends). So if you'd like a different drabble every day in December, go check it out! 
For a teaser, here was my first entry for the month (fictional—because I know you'll want to know)

Vin Chaud (Mulled wine)

“Sure, sounds like fun.”

I'm not sure I thought that, even as I said it, but how long since I'd been to one of these extended family gatherings? Since I saw you? Twenty-nine years. A husband (mine), a wife (yours) and five children ago. Curiosity stronger than fun-seeking. I really should have known.

For now I sit on a bar stool, pondering mulled wine and the man down the bar I think I went to high school with—the one who would be really stupid to sleep with. But nothing makes me quite so reckless as realities that never were.

A drabble is a story told in exactly a hundred words.


Fire and Ice said...

Oh man...Its so weird that you would talk about blankets today...and evil ones at that.

I have had the attack blankets set on me quite often, earlier this evening as a matter of fact. I was attempting to get the birthday presents for the Princess out of my room, and said Princess' blanket decided it wanted to come. Attached to my foot and almost killing me.

This happens alot. I am not clumsy, but I tend to not watch where Im going...

Thanks for spreading the awareness of the dangers of blankets!

Oh I too am the Cold one in my relationship. In fact, in my household. While the Hubby and the Princess are content with it being 60 degrees in the house and sleeping with fans on year round with no blankets, I am always huddled in a huge comforter, blasting the heat to about 73 degrees.


Not Hannah said...

I often wonder if my characters are TOO clumsy, because they seem to fall down or bump themselves on things (or plot devices) a bit more than other characters (another example of me inserting myself into my work.) I think it's one of the reasons that I love Robin McKinley so much; her characters are SUCH bumblers who still manage to Do Good Things.

Ted Cross said...

My wife is always saying it too hot in the house when everyone else thinks it's too cold, and then she'll turn around a week later and do the opposite. I can't think of any good blanket stories, though.

Hart Johnson said...

Leesh-They're EVIL, aren't they?! And hubby is the only one who runs warm at our house... daughter sometimes... but son and I are always cold (funny--Mr. Tart always responds, 'then put some clothes on' *shifty*) and daughter, it depends.

Heather-I think clumsy is okay. It's endearing (unless it is the only personality they have *cough*Twilight*cough*), and I know for a fact you have a sense of humor and are capable of emotion, so won't get mired in THAT trap.

Ted--that is funny she goes back and forth! I only ever ran hot when pregnant (that isn't a risk, is it?)

The Words Crafter said...

I read a romance novel years ago and I can still remember the MC-she was perpetually clumsy and it was actually well written. The condition was humorous and endearing and seemed completely natural.

She didn't fall down staircases or bump into walls, though.

A character could be nervous and clumsiness could result from that naturally....

Your drabble made me smile and the lethifold creeped me out!

Have a great week!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I dunno. I think the blanket-of-doom (*snarf*) could be done in fiction. It's a matter of style, methinks. Let's see....

"The alarm bleated from the dresser across the room. Shannon groaned and swung her legs over the edge of the bed, kicking the top blanket off in the process. Sleep fogged, she'd taken three steps before she realized the loose strip on the blanket edge had somehow wrapped around her ankle, and as she fell forward, forehead arcing on a collision course with the edge of the dresser, she had time for only one thought: Not again!"

Or something like that. *grins*

And I know I've mentioned this before, but why just walk when you can walk and read? Busy people have to multitask, ne? :D

Deb and Barbara said...

Okay, first off, I LOVE your drabble. Second, I have attack blankets all over my house (we live in the cold like you), but not in my ms's. A serious oversight? After reading this, I think so.
The Middle Ages

Terry Odell said...

My character in a current WIP has a clumsy streak. Hmm...channeling the author perhaps? Let's just say that it's our first year in a snowy clime, and my son gave me some cleat thingies to put on my shoes so I don't trip and fall on the ice. He knows his mom.

As for blankets - we used twin comforters on our king-size bed, so we could thermoregulate as needed.

Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

Old Kitty said...

I loved your drabble!! Got me in the mood for some mulled wine myself...

I love my snugglies!!! Warm and fleecy and cuddly. Sadly I think my current ms is missing this!! :-)

Take care

Sarah Ahiers said...

Now i have a GREAT idea for a new horror story involving blankets. WIN!

Dawn Ius said...

I have a sudden urge to create a blanket character....

Hart Johnson said...

WC-clumsiness CAN be endearing! I love it with Tonks in the HP books. But good point on nerves--definitely make a person fumble a bit.

Simon-LOVE your piece! Nice! And BOOYA on the multi-tasking!

Barbara-thank you! And yes--definitely add some blankets of doom to the fiction! *snort*

Terry-I suspect this winter may be rough! Climate change takes a year or two to adjust (speaking from experience). And watch those trekker things--great for snow, but not adequate for ice, so don't overestimate them!

Jenny--Thank you! I like cozy blankies too (as does the cat--the only time she will sit on my lap is under a blanket)

Sarah-EXCELLENT! Looking forward to the Evil Blanket Chronicles!

Hart Johnson said...

Ha! Dawn, you snuck in there on me! Go for it! Fiction definitely needs more, I think!

Carol Kilgore said...

Blankets? Hubby is often cold. I'm forever in my own tropical world...even in winter. Love the drabble :)

Colene Murphy said...

Hahahahahaha! I knew exactly where you were going when you said "satiny edge" I LOVE and HATE those blankets. They remind me of my childhood but also the millions of injuries the dreaded hole caused.

Had never heard of the Lethifold but as a lover of all things blankety, its really a scary evil thing!

Talli Roland said...

Blankets as characters! I love it! Right now, my old fuzzy blanet would be a Winnie the Pooh type. :) Stay warm!

Jessica Bell said...

Question: Do you giggle at your own wit as you write your blog posts? I can just imagine ... ;o)

Hart Johnson said...

Carol-LUCKY! I wish I was the heater in my relationship! (thank you!)

Colene-they must be the cheap blankets, eh? They are what I grew up with too--and I think the ones we have were gifts... And as a Potter lover, you should buy Fantastic Beasts, but the Harry Potter Lexicon is a good source for all those creatures!

Talli-Pooh! Though I'm not remembering a blanket and now I'm feeling like I missed some central Pooh!

Jessica-- does cackling madly count? Sometimes I feel quite insane... I'm not sure what it is I periodically channel...

Kas said...

Mm.. mulled wine. Yum.

I have a real life blanket character, does that count? It's one of those big giant uber-fluffy beyond soft and incredibly warm kinds. Its name is Cloud.

And you know, I've often thought about the whole normal life happenings that don't translate into writing, though I most often think of it in terms of speaking. Like when you say something and someone thinks you say something else and then you have to figure out what they thought you said... Or when you say something but you meant to say something else and then you have to correct yourself. And then there's a few facial expressions I have a really hard time figuring out how to describe accurately.

*wanders away pondering indescribable things*

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We have one of those trap blankets and yes, it catches my wife at least once a week.

Rachael Harrie said...

LOL, love the blanket story. I so know what you mean about the Loop from Death, we used to have one at our place as well ;)

Interesting there are only 3 blankets, love the lethal HP one though :)


Southpaw said...

Blankets can be so evil!

Helena said...

If I'd read about the Lethifold when I was little, I wouldn't have gone to bed without my trusty softball bat. Take that, you floor-crawling blanket!

Ella said...

It is the same at my house, Hubby runs hot, I run cold! Blankets that crawl off you in the middle of the night and end up on the floor are the most evil of all! I like reading about characters with quirks, but I can see how it could be hard to do.

Nice drabble, now I want some mulled wine and wrap up in a blanket~

erica and christy said...

My children poke action figures through holes in my knit blankets creating even larger holes making it that much easier for my toe to get caught. Yes, I recently got tangled and tripped. It must be that time of year. I just checked out the burrow last night for the first time! I'll head back when I have more time! christy

Natasha said...

I have an evil blanket too, only it is not a blanket,it is a quilt. BUT it is EVIL for all that it looks soft and pink.

dolorah said...

LOL. Sorry for your mishap, but I did get a laugh. I've done that myself before. Peed my pants for the blunder too.

Now this is a serious topic of interest. I have a special fondness for blankets - of the Linus type, of course.

I did not know that about the Lethifold! I guess I'm not well schooled in Harry Potter *hangs head in shame*

Way cool on the drabble.

And Simon: that's sooo cool.


Adina West said...

Such a funny post. And now you mention it, I do have something in my novel which is not quite a blanket...more of a rug. It does play an important part, but it isn't scary and doesn't eat people.