It’s been on my mind for about a month now. I couldn’t write something “proper”, but I’m sure I can do a list of little (and bigger…) things I owe to Terry Pratchett.
• Languages have never been my forte in school, but I began reading seriously in English because Discworld books weren’t all translated in French at the time and I needed more. It’s amazing what the right motivation will help you accomplish.
• For the very first time, my “odd” tastes in reading and other stuff had a chance to really be shared by other people, so I sought them out (thanks Internet too on that one)
• Some of the people I found then, twelve years ago, are still my friends, and in such meaningful ways that I stupidly forget that’s where our friendship began
• I married one of these people eight years ago (hello Fifo) and we have a 5yo son (hello Perco)
• The first time I planned to go somewhere “like an adult”, by which I mean spend several days on my own (with brand new friends, and a future husband) – it was for a festival in Nantes where Terry Pratchett was invited. Also, said friends and I managed to invite him for a drink one evening. IT WAS AWESOME and one of my best memories ever. We have pics. On one, he does bunny ears to Fifo. That’s how I try to remember him.
• The very first time I went to England was for a Discworld Convention (in 2004? really?? … I feel a bit old.)
• … okay now. Change of tone. You know the foodstuffs you keep in your freezer or cupboard so you won’t starve in case you run out of everything else and can’t go to the store or order something? We call these useful but usually not-very-tasty stuff “dwarf bread” (you’ll do anything rather than eat that.)
• All of my computers have been given a Discworld character’s name for, uh, quit a while now. The current one is Granny Weatherwax. (And it’s an apple, not an onion.)
• The only pets me and my husband have had are rats. We’re allergic to cats, so sadly that was out, and there were lots of other reasons rats were the best choice once we decided we really did want pets, but… on the other hand, TAMAHER. Our first two rats were named Sardine and Haricot (French for “bean”) Since then, they’ve all had names in relation to food, to keep the sort-of reference going. Last month, we were in the process of adopting new ones after a long interruption, and I decided they’d be named Banane, Daiquiri (do I have to explain?) and Patate (aaah, potatoes, Rincewind’s favourite food.) Fifo approuved. (Don’t tell him I can also see the “other DW” – Doctor Who – references in there. Just… don’t.)
• When we still had our first two rats, someone lent me an electronic piano for a while. I nicknamed it Maurice, of course.
• Ook! Ook ook eek.
• … also, I learned lessons reading Discworld and other Pratchett books, that I’m still drawing from when I (try to) write. The only problem is that these great stories set an incredibly high standard for worldbuilding, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be satisfied enough with what I do for submitting it to a real editor.
I’m sure I could find other examples, but it would get more and more obscure and boring to anyone who wasn’t there. Also, like the friendship “problem”, there are things so ingrained in me now that I would have difficulties remembering that’s where they originated (like the “dwarf bread” thing; it took me by surprise the first time Fifo casually mentionned it after Pterry passed away.)
It’s all just there, part of me, and you know what? I’m incredibly fine with that.