A Month of Writers, Day Eleven: Cherie Priest
Posted on December 13, 2007 Posted by John Scalzi 15 Comments
I think it’s well documented that I am almost insensibly a fan of Cherie Priest, both as a human and as a writer; the latter, at least, you can ascertain by looking at the cover of her latest, Not Flesh Nor Feathers, and seeing who her blurb is from. Yes, that means I think you should buy it.
And oddly enough, Cherie’s contribution to A Month of Writers fits into the theme of being kept up half the night, albeit in a different way that I meant it. You’ll see. Also, for those of you who need to know, “Moriarty6” in this piece is Cherie’s hubby.
CHERIE PRIEST: rules of engagement
Patterns of interaction with moriarty6:
Me: We always experience X.
Him: I have never noticed X.
Me: Well, now you’ll notice it.
Him: Crap. Now I notice X all the time.
Submitted by way of example — our downstairs neighbors. It began as just a Downstairs Neighbor with the Visiting Screamer, aka his girlfriend. But then a few weeks ago, the Visiting Screamer became the Live-In Screamer. Many a time have I been gossipping with graphxgrrl about the bedroom hollerings that take place in the room directly underneath my own bedroom; and recently have I groused about it to moriarty6, who insisted that he’s never heard them.
Last night, they vindicated me. Oh, it wasn’t one of their more bombastic showings, but it was sufficient to demonstrate that yes, boy howdy can we hear them and yes, from here on out moriarty6 shall accidentally be listening for them as he tries to get to sleep, which is fine with me. Why should I suffer alone?
I swear, this woman is not to be believed. She howls, yells, moans, throws things around, and so help me God — she narrates.
“… OH MY GOD I’M HITTING MY HEAD ON THE HEADBOARD AHH AHH AHH YOU’RE KNEELING ON MY HAIR OOH OOH OOH I’M COMING OH GOD OH GOD HARDER HARDER MORE MORE MORE YOU’RE GIVING IT TO ME GOOD AHM AHM AHM OHH OHH OHH MY NIPPLES ARE SO HARD AHH AHH AHH I’M SCRATCHING YOUR HAIRY LITTLE THIGH OOH OOH OOH I’M LYING ON A WET SPOT AAH AAH AAH MMM MMM MMM …”
It’s like living upstairs from a Phillip Roth audiobook. I mean, I’m glad you’re having a good time, sister, but it’s summer. People have their windows open, you know? Maybe muffle it just a tad.
Actually, last night we might have upset them. We were laughing at them so hard that they stopped; and they only started up again once we’d turned in for the night. Oh, I’ve laughed at them before by myself, but my scornful little cackle doesn’t quite have the carrying range that moriarty6‘s critical giggles can attain. Maybe now they’ve got a better idea of how well we can hear them, and perhaps they’ll be a little more considerate, or hell — invest in a gag.
But I’m not holding my breath. That’s Live-In Screamer’s job. “OH MY GOD YOU’RE CHOKING ME AND THAT’S SO HOT AAK AAK AAK …”
(original entry, with comments, here)
I just read Not Flesh Nor Feathers last week. It passed my test of “can’t wait to get to the end to see what happens, then pissed that there isn’t any more when I get there”. (That means I liked it a lot, in case I’m not being clear.)
Doing a quick count in my head, I’ve lived in at least 10 different apartments over time. I’ve never had a resident screamer. I do, however, now have a tenant living in the apartment directly over mine who vacuums every freakin’ night no matter what time she gets home. She has a bunch of area rugs, so I get to listen to the little wheels transitioning from carpet to hard wood floor over and over again. Last month I told her she can’t vacuum after 10:00pm no matter how big of a mess the pixies made while she was away all day.
Excellent choice, though you have neglected two very important beings in her life:
Spain the cat and Howard the fish. But seriously, her writing is excellent, and she plays video games. How can you not adore this woman?
I’m Rofling all over again. I remember than entry, and it’s still hilarity encapsulated.
Great pick. Cheri Priest is one of my favorite writers. I picked up Not Flesh Nor Feathers weeks ago, but I am saving it for a time that I can sit down, take my time, and really enjoy it.
Hahaha! Oh, I am filled with teh l0ve for you this morning, dear Mr. Scalzi…
Just letting you know, this came up very ugly via RSS on livejournal – a bunch of extraneous HTML code before the livejournal usernames.
My sister and her husband used to live downstairs from a couple that they referred to as ‘The Rabbits’. Whenever I would stay over to watch the dogs, I would be treated to a wakeup call around 4am every day — bedsprings squeaking, moaning, and eventually the headboard banging the wall. And during the spring or fall they typically would have another go in the early afternoon with the patio door and windows open for all the world to hear.
Cherie is a wonderful writer — Not Flesh Nor Feathers is one of those books you don’t want to stop reading. It is a great end to an excellent trilogy.
“It’s like living upstairs from a Phillip Roth audiobook.”
First of all, Cherie Priest rocks, and I wouldn’t have known about her if it wasn’t for this site.
Second, reminds me of a time waaaay back in my early twenties when I hung out with this band and the lead singer’s name was Dave. Upstairs from me I just happened to have a screamer who cried “Oh, Daaaaave” (different Dave) over and over again. So band member Dave came over and stuck a tape recorder out the window and recorded it. But that didn’t make a very good recording. So then he had to bring over (under my protest) some fancy recording equipment and mike that he duct taped to a broom and held it out the window up to their window. Got a pretty good recording and then incorporated it into some song (forget now) in his live shows.
Now I can’t believe I allowed myself to sit there with him till the wee hours, broom-handled mike at the ready, just waiting for the action to start.
Luckily we never got caught.
I suppose this reference is mandatory.
There’s no link in your link, Mythago.
That was a psionic link, Mr Scalzi. Mental telepathy.
I will interpret for the mundanes – he meant
OMG!! Reminds me of two different neighbors I’ve lived under over the years. Had a newlywed couple upstairs one time that broke the bed…then deathly silence, so my husband & I (also newlyweds) threw on robes and ran upstairs to make sure they were ok and were relieved when they answered the door (in their robes) laughing too hard to talk.
and more recently I lived under a young man, who most of the time I never knew he was upstairs…until one night when he and a romantic encounter woke me up with rather enthusiastic bed-bouncing, landed on the floor and kept on going…and going…and going for HOURS!!! Left him a note the next day applauding his ability to find companionship in this day and time, and suggesting their further after midnight floor exercises be moved to the living room in the future!
AND a big thanks to my little brother, Dr_Phil_Physics for recommending this post to me today! PS – I’ll have to check out the book that started all the festivities today.
I’m a fan of Cherie’s short stories, especially “The Immigrant” in MYTHIC 2 (edited by Mike Allen.) Any new short stories I should look for Cherie?
Heh. I told my wife about this anecdote, and without batting an eye, she replied, “So you’re saying she gave a blow by blow account?”