Sunday, December 4, 2011

Scary Roommate #1

There is a long, convoluted thought behind this decision, and I'm not sure why I think anyone might be interested...but I'm going ahead with it anyway. You'll have to follow along for the next few weeks for this to really make sense because it's much too long to put down in one post.

So I'm starting off tame and ending up crazed, and your job is to tell me if you recognize where the real life event I relate was fictionalized and put into one of my books.

Or maybe more than one of my books!

All these mini stories are true, and all have to do with places I've, uh, resided.

This week's story takes place in a garage. This was no converted garage. It was your basic, swing-up door variety, with not even a service sink, let alone bathroom.

If you're wondering what in the world I was doing, living in a garage, well, I'll just simplify it by saying, Hard times.

There are no nightlights in garages. I guess I could have rigged something up, but I kept telling myself I wasn't staying. I had a desk lamp that I'd switch on, but other than that, it was me, some basic supplies, a backpacking mat and a down sleeping bag.


And a black widow spider.

Just one.

I think.

The garage was actually fairly new, and the only junk in it was me and my minimal stuff. And at first I didn't know about the spider because it wouldn't show itself when the door was up. But one morning I did notice it, and boy did it freak me out. I slept with that monster dangling above me? It wasn't, like, lurking in a corner. It was right there! Above my sleeping bag! It could have dropped down and...and...creepy-crawled all over me! Or, what if I was sleeping on my back with my mouth open?


I t tried to catch it. Or, you know, smash it. But I didn't exactly have a broom or long-handled weapon to work with and the sneaky booger got away.

I stuffed my bag back in its sack, worried that it would otherwise crawl inside it and lay in wait while I was away. (I had developed a phobia of black widows long before this garage--developed over the years by them dropping out of attics and roof tiles and air conditioning units.Oh. And there was the one that dropped out of the workstation at a hair salon right past my knee!) Anyway, when I came back that night I checked all over for the spider and it was nowhere to be found. I went to bed, but the garage was pitch black when the light was off, so I would never be able to see if it was rappelling down it's sticky thread to come chomp on me. So I kept clicking on the light, kept checking the rafters. Eventually I fell asleep, but in the morning when my alarm went off and I clicked on the light, there it was again, dangling overhead.


To make a very long, sleepless story short, I never did catch that sneaky spider. Instead, I moved out.

To where I'll tell you next week. For now, recognize anything in this story?


Shaina said...

Ha ha ha!!! Sometimes I think creepy critters are WAY smarter than we even want to believe. That makes them even creepier!

I'm thinking you infused Marissa with your spider issues. It always cracks me up when she freaks out over a spider.

It's funny, I wasn't scared of spiders until I "grew up" and got a husband to kill them for me.

I love hearing all the crazy places people have lived. I've lived in a mens' dormitory, the attic of a 150 year old carriage house, a concrete-floored unfinished basement, and various apartments, but I've never lived in a garage. Burrrr! I can't wait to hear where else you've called home. :)

betina gideons said...

Sammy keyes and snake eyes

bookworm said...

Poor You.... and Marissa!!!!!! You have to love that it's payback from your writing into real life!!!!!!!!!!!! :D hahahahahahah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Millers said...

Oh oh I know!
It's when they're locked in "Caesar's Palace"!

Mel said...

I don't know why my mind went to Wild Things...although those were ticks not spiders. Huh.

And dang! That's very scary. So glad you aren't in that garage anymore. And this series of posts sound highly entertaining. Can't wait for next Sunday!

Anonymous said...

Oh my god.
I am so scared of spiders, too.
In fact, I'm scared of every type of insect that exists.
I'm like Lana Keyes, the only way I can kill them is if I suffocate them. I can't squish them--its too gross! :0 I know, torturous, I'm a terrible human being, I'm going to end up being a serial killer one day, blahblahblah. Actually I'm not because I also HATE blood like Lana.
Anyway, I LOVED this post.
When you were like, "AAAAGH!" for some reason, instead of imagine Wendelin Van Draanen lying there, I imagined Sammy.
You really are a lot like Sammy! Which is saying something because its not like authors are usually LIKE their characters.
Like, I'm SOOOOO sure Stephenie Meyers is like Bella Swan.
YEAH, SURE, UH-HUH, STEPHENIE. Her husband's name is PONCHO...she WISHES she had a vampire dude.
BUT I see you in Sammy...or Sammy in YOU?
I also think I see myself in Sammy...or Sammy in ME? Idk, but I think me and Sammy are very similar in some aspects.
I think it's mostly because of HER. I grew up reading the books, and loving--um, I mean OBSESSING over them, so obvious she has influenced me in more ways than I probably know.
And, duhhhh.
In Caeser's basement.
Lena: "They won't bother you if you leave them alone"
Marissa: "SAY WHAAATTTT!?!"
Well, thats not really how it went but Marissa reacted the same way I would have reacted, and YOU would have reacted based on my knowledge from this post:

AbaGayleb said...

Snake Eyes!
First Sammy Keyes book I read♥

Optimistic4ever said...

I'm going to go with Sammy Keyes and the Search for Snake Eyes, what with the whole black widow thing. Can't wait for next week! I can already tell this is gonna be fun.

N3WYORKD3VIL said...


I wanna see the spider...


I blame my spider obsession on my dad. He's the one who brought Spiderman home on DVD and got me obsessed. But dude... ITS SPIDERMAN.

My dad wanted a boy...

Now I reallyreally wanna see a spider.

=\ now I feel like going to the zoo to see spiders...

Anonymous said...

Just reread the post.
I <3 You WVD

Anonymous said...

oh snake eyes...gotta love marissa!!!

Anonymous said...

and i'm so stoked to hear about where all these little things were inspired from!!!!!

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Yes! Snake Eyes! I love all the comments, thank you :-)

There is also a BWS that drops onto Nolan from an air conditioning unit in Shredderman: Secret Identity. I was probably 11 years old and (h-hm) climbing on the portable classroom roof to get my wayward dodgeball one Saturday when the biggest BWS I'd ever seen came dangling down toward me. FREAK OUT! (Which is what Nolan does, too, of course--even superheroes don't like BWS--even Peter Parker, I'd bet!)

There are also the spiders in Hotel Thief, but they're of a Marissa-freak-out variety. You know, tiny? That was pre-Snake Eyes, so hopefully she now knows what a REAL spider is.

Don't even get me started on tarantulas.

Actually, BWS are worse.

Did I say sleep tight?

x0x0xx0! W

Hope none of you are sleeping in garages tonight!

Yusa said...

Snake eyes... Marissa... whta everyone else said.
But anyways i live your books of course so i tell all my friends to read them.
So i went to my friends house and shes like 10 and she had just coem from school with 2 sammy keyes books in her hands (hollywood mummy, and sisters of mercy). Her brohter whos like 9 was reading shredderman and he had 3 of the books. I told her about Runaway because like me she really like Holly. She got really excited. I was really happy thta she like the books (who wouldn't?).