Iris Carver is a Monster (Said the Peppy & Opinionated Eighty-Four-Year-Old Woman)

by - May 23, 2018

Our washing machine died. It was like any sudden death. Unexpected and uninvited. It croaked and I stood in front of it like the left-behind spouse: lost, grieved, desperately sad as I pulled the sopping wet clothing from its guts and dumped them in the bathtub.

We called in the repairman with hope he could shock it back into being. As he worked, he told my husband that his mother had read The Church in the Wildwood and she hated Iris Carver so much that she'd been waking up angry in the middle of the night.

This might be my favourite reaction to my book EVER! I'm counting it a high compliment that a character created from my imagination could raise such an emotional reaction in a person—I mean, such power I have *she says as she wickedly taps her fingers together and cackles with glee...*

I don't share this same opinion, and though I do accept and respect it, I love Iris with the kind of love that can cross oceans and scale mountains and fix washing machines.

So the repairman replaced the belt and voila! Good as new! Turns out that old sudsy beast was only mostly-dead...

...Until a week later when smoke began pouring out of the top during the spin cycle. (😭)

So the man with the feisty mother returned. "You know what would be really funny?" he said. "If you called my mom and told her you were going to put her in one of your books."

"No no," I said. Because leave the poor woman alone!

But then he called her anyway and told her: "I'm at Alanna Rusnak's house and she wants to put you in one of her books!" And then he handed me the phone.

"Hello dear," she said, and I immediately pictured myself sitting across the table from Marilla Cuthbert.

"Oh, that Iris Carver! She's such a hateful woman! How could she do that to that poor boy? Lock him in his room like that! And how stupid does he have to be to let her lock him in there? And what's wrong with that minister? So stupid! A stupid man! I don't understand why everyone is so in love with her—hateful woman! How did you even come up with such ideas?"

She went on to make me promise to never put her or any of her family members into one of my books. "If you promise to never use my name, I promise to read your next book. And if I don't like it, I'll be sure to let you know!"

It's nice that I got to enjoy a good laugh because the official word of the day was: Washing Machine = Dead. Mostly-dead was only good for eight loads. I put that thing through the ringer and it kicked the bucket for the final time.

The repairman left with a signed copy of The Ghost of Iris Carver, joking(?) that he was going to take it to his mother's house and read it to her, replacing every mention of Iris' name with her own.

Mother's have a name for people like him and it's spelled B * R * A * T *

If you want to decide for yourself what kind of monster Iris Carver is, pop over to Amazon or buy directly through me by clicking here.

In other news, the fine folks at Kobo (those same darlings who shortlisted The Church in the Wildwood for their $10,000 Emerging Writer Prize) invited me to write an article for their blog—an encouragement for aspiring writers and it goes a little something like this...

[Click here to read the rest]

Now, if any of you know how to wish a washing machine into existence...?

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© Alanna Rusnak