The Great Ant Invasion of 2005 and Answers for Carter

Quote Du Jour:
And still of a winter’s night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
A highwayman comes riding-
A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard,
And he taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred;
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.
–The Highwayman, Alfred Noyes

I love the imagery of this poem. It’s truly wonderful. I also love that Loreena McKennitt set it to music and did a haunting and beautiful piece. It’s on The Book of Secrets CD and I highly recommend it.

It’s been very dry lately. We haven’t seen a hint of rain in a long while. The ground is starting to crack into yawning black chasms to the pit of hell (that’s what I imagined they were when I was a kid). Our lawn is brown and crusty.

So in an effort to avoid foundation problems at a later day, we started watering around the foundation of the house. The earth was pulling away from the concrete at least two inches. That’s bad. We began our Foundation Watering Regiment on Tuesday. (Incidentally, it took three days to get the ground back near the house just by our bedroom window. Sheesh)

Anyhoo… Husband put the water hose under the dining room last night and started the usual trickle. He went out at dusk to move it and a moment later he hollers for me to come outside.

There are a swarm of ants going up the side of the house, around the windows of the dining room.

Now, let me back up for a moment. Last Saturday we had Ant Invasion #1 in my son’s room (which is upstairs). For whatever reason, there were ants on his bed, on his favorite blankie and he got bit on the ankles and legs. So at 9:30 that night, I had to strip the bed, wash all the linens, and vacuum the entire upstairs while Husband sprayed down the baseboards with ant poison. My son is fine, though the ant bites looked like fire ant bites (but the ants did NOT look like fire ants.. they were larger.. anyway..)

Fast forward to last night and the swarming ants up the bricks. He steps into the flower bed, finds it mushy. Turns out there is a 5 foot long by 2 foot wide fire ant bed! I’m not exaggerating either. It was the biggest fire ant bed I’ve ever seen in my life. We used every ounce of poison we had and then he went and got his fire ant killer and put it in the mound. Apparently, when we watered the foundation, we disturbed their bed and they were swarming up the house to get away from it. That’s how they got inside in the first place on Saturday. They were going into a small crack in the bricks, getting in the wall and went upstairs.

There’s another ant bed on the side of the house. They were mad as hell and swarming too.

Fire ants are nasty little vile creatures and it seems our flower beds are optimum for their survival. We’ll be keeping a close eye on those ant beds from now on. We certainly don’t want them in the house again. Especially with a little one around.

So that was out excitement for the evening.

In other news, the AC is fixed. Hoorah!

Answers for Carter
Here are the answers that Carter posted on his blog “interviewing” me.

Here are the rules: If you feel like playing, leave me a comment asking to be interviewed!

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”

2. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

1.) What is your motivation as a writer? What drives you forward and carries you over the rough spots?

The desire to succeed and the need to see my name on the cover of a book (is that vanity?). Besides that, though, I love writing. I love getting the words down on paper and carrying readers away. I hope my stories touch people. There a sense of accomplishment there. When I hit those rough spots, I turn to my writing friends for support. Also just making myself do the writing, whether I want to or not. I may only write a word or two, but I keep butt in chair, hands on keyboard. And a lot of chocolate and coffee helps too. 🙂

2.) What other arts besides writing (music, paintings, sculptures, etc.) do you draw inspiration from in your writing?

Music, definitely. I have a large (and growing) library of music that inspires me on a daily basis. I find inspiration in movies and paintings, too.

3.) What would you like your epitaph to say?

“Here lies Mik. New York Times Bestselling novelist.”


4.) What one genre would you like to write in that you haven’t tried yet?

Gothic. I would really love to do something dark and romantic. Something along the lines of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. Or like that really old movie “The Spiral Staircase” (anyone remember that one?). Or even something along the lines of Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher”. Yeah…something like that.

5.) What scares you most about writing?

Success. I’m terrified I’ll run out of ideas. In fact the question, “What if I never have another idea again?” comes to light a lot, so I write then down the moment they surface.

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.