… and I’m back.

Whenever I go a long time without posting on the blog, it feels like I should have something really important to say when I get back. Something newsful. Something portentous.

But I don’t. I’ve just been hanging out, catching up on my sleep, reading about a gajillion books, and spending some time with my family.

Let’s think… what news do I have to share…

Cutie is walking now. And he can say “mam” which is kind of like “mom” but about ten thousand times cuter.

We’ve started the vast packaging that is the prelude to shipping out all the prizes for Worldbuilders this year.


There’s a *lot* of packages this year. A super lot….

And… that’s it. I’m just trying to remember what it’s like to have a normal life again, where I get up, spend time with my family, and get writing done every day.

It’s not a bad time. But it just doesn’t make for great stories. In a book, this is space of time that I would gloss over by saying something like, “It took me about a month to get my life straightened out after Worldbuilders…”

But if you’re looking for news of a smaller, more comfortable sort of the kind I usually post up under the hashtag #OotSays, here’s a little story.

*     *     *

Last night at bedtime, I’m reading to Oot. Instead of the two chapter books we’re reading: On the Shores of Silver Lake (With me) and Mary Poppins (With his mom) he wants a picture book, one of Richard Scarry’s.

I’ve read it before, and I don’t deal well with boredom. So:

Me: Do you know why they call it a library?

Oot: No.

Me: Because every book has one lie hidden in it. It’s right in the name: Lie-brary.

From where she’s laying in bed, I feel Sarah suddenly become alert.

Oot: What does ‘brary’ mean?

Me: It’s called that because “Brary” was the name of the first person who ever built one.

Sarah lifts up her head and gives me a scowl. That’s my payoff right there. I only do these things when she’s around. Ever since Oot was little that’s been true. It’s no fun giving an pornographic ad-lib reading of Fox in Socks to a 5 month old if there isn’t an adult around to be horrified about it.

Oot, however, is his father’s son. Which means he has a finely-tuned bullshit detector. He gives me a bit of a narrow-eyed look.

Me: I’m just teasing you. It’s a joke. It’s called a library because “Librum” is an old word for book. Libr-ary.

Oot’s face light up, and he asks me to make up jokes for all the other pictures in the book, which I happily do.

More news and musings soon,


This entry was posted in Oot. By Pat43 Responses


  1. Posted January 15, 2015 at 8:53 PM | Permalink

    And yes, I know that it should be “Libre” not “Librum.” It’s not like my 5-year old is going to call bullshit on my poorly conjugated latin.

    Not until he’s 8 or 9, at least.

    • SporkTastic
      Posted January 19, 2015 at 1:11 AM | Permalink

      At least. He’s a sly one, though. Might surprise ya’. ;-)

  2. felinecannonball
    Posted January 15, 2015 at 9:04 PM | Permalink

    My niece and nephews saw right through my story about the turtle-dove hybrid that was traditionally placed in the christmas tree to protect the presents over night. Something about a pre-zygotic barriers to reproduction between distant unrelated tetrapods. Kids these days.

    Happy New Year.

  3. Phaedron
    Posted January 15, 2015 at 10:07 PM | Permalink

    I pulled that kind of crap on my kids all the time when they were little. For example, once (and this was 20 years ago), I took them with me to my office because I had to work late. I had to work late to help my staff (who were also staying late) stuff envelopes for a big important mailing that HAD to go out and the envelope stuffing machine was broken. So I put my kids to work (in violation of FLSA and God knows what else) with one of those bingo marker-type envelope sealers full of fluid and had them close up the envelopes with them. I told them, “You are going to be working with these artificial tongues. People at the artificial tongue factory spend all day spitting into these little bottles so the envelopes can get licked without you having to use your own spit.” They goggled at me. But I don’t think they doubted me. Until, years later, when they confronted me about the “artificial tongues.” Apparently, it weighed upon them. All those years…

    • Posted January 15, 2015 at 10:15 PM | Permalink

      Yeah. I’m worried I have a few things like that lurking around in Oot’s head…

      • Phaedron
        Posted January 15, 2015 at 11:00 PM | Permalink

        My inspiration for such deviltry was a series of old Peanuts strips where Lucy is “teaching” Linus all kinds of interesting “facts” about trees… Like, they walked up to some generic deciduous tree and Lucy says, “This, Linus, is a palm tree. It gets its name from the fact that the average person can put his hand clear around it.” Charlie Brown looks on with abject stomach pain.

      • Robert N
        Posted January 16, 2015 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

        I think the intent of the lie is important here.

        If you lie to anyone but especially to children you basically teach them that curiosity is a bad thing, they should just accept what mom or dad tells you.

        I believe this has a severe psychological consequences because once your child catches you in too many lies they will stop believing you.

        But even if they lose their trust in you its not just the relationship you have with your child that is affected it will affect them throughout life. I mean if the two people you should be able fully trust at all times lie to you constantly you will have a hard time trusting anyone else.

        The thing is that I don’t think it has to be like that and we should be open and honest about our shortcomings as adults we know that no matter how smart you are, you will never know everything. So next time they ask you something give them a honest answer and “I don’t know” is a perfectly acceptable answer especially if you follow it up with “want to find out?” and you can either open a book that might hold the answer or look it up online, together.

        This will teach them to ask questions and look for answers and I think it is actually a good and healthy sign if you child catches you in a lie. It means that they deduced with the knowledge that they have what you’re saying is not true or unlikely.

        So if you lie to your child with the intention of testing their ability to catch it is actually not a bad thing to do every once in a while. Of course if your child doesn’t catch the lie you should tell him giving them the real answer (preferably with proof) or go look it up together.

        You end up spending more time with your kids while you both learn something new. And you would be surprised how much of the seemingly random questions/answers you kid will remember throughout life.

        anways I’m rambling :)
        I think you’re doing great Pat your kids seem to be just getting smarter and smarter, a good sign!

      • srboyd
        Posted January 17, 2015 at 7:59 AM | Permalink

        I wouldn’t worry too much, since my brother and I was also raised by parents who gave really outrageous lies as answers before correcting it with the true answer. It was for two reasons:

        1) We learned to think about a question we had in order to see if we could figure it out for ourselves

        2) It taught us that just because someone is an adult, does not mean that they knew everything and you were just supposed to accept what they said with no problem.

        The result: My brother and I can tell some really tall tales. :)

    • QueenieBee
      Posted January 16, 2015 at 8:16 PM | Permalink

      Yeeeeeup, we both still do remember that, Dad! I’m sure if I thought about it some more I could come up with some other things you told us that we weren’t quite sure we could believe, but did anyway because you’re the one who said them. Things that we would discuss the logistics of late into the night… Haha! You made life fun~

  4. tim1724
    Posted January 15, 2015 at 10:15 PM | Permalink

    You were right. “Librum” is the word for book. “Libre” is not a word. (Well, not in Latin.)

    Librum is a 2nd declension neuter noun. They end in “-um” in the nominative/vocative/accusative singular. The only 2nd declension forms that ever end in “-e” are the vocative singular forms of (most) masculine 2nd declension nouns.

    “-arium” is an ending tacked onto a noun stem that means “a place where you find X”. (It’s the neuter form of the adjective ending “-arius/-aria/-arium” which means “pertaining to X”.) So “librarium” is a place where you find books. An “aquarium” is a place where you find water. (In Latin it actually means a watering-hole for animals.) A “solarium” is the part of the house where you find sun. And so on.

    Oh, and nouns are declined, not conjugated. Conjugation is for the verbs. :)

    • tim1724
      Posted January 15, 2015 at 10:17 PM | Permalink

      As for why English changes librarium into library but doesn’t mess with aquarium or solarium, I have no answer.

      • SporkTastic
        Posted January 19, 2015 at 1:15 AM | Permalink

        I would *love* to spend time in, near, or with an aquary or solary. I think we missed out here.

    • Cantoredombre
      Posted January 16, 2015 at 3:52 AM | Permalink

      Actually it is

      Just to give what is due to my old Latin teachers :)

      • Cantoredombre
        Posted January 16, 2015 at 3:55 AM | Permalink

        Actually it is
        Liber, -bri
        (wrong tag sorry)

        • tim1724
          Posted January 16, 2015 at 12:50 PM | Permalink

          fuck. Librum, -bri must be weight. (duh. The plural is scales. of course.)

          Usually I get Liber, -bri (book) mixed up with Liber, -beri (child) or with Liber, libera, liberum (free). Too many similar words.

          But Libre still isn’t a word. :)

          I always better at grammar than vocabulary. I remember one test where for some reason I blanked out and couldn’t remember any of the words for “woman” … not even “femina”! (Not remembering “mulier” seems reasonable. But “femina”? No idea what was wrong with me that day.) I think my high school Latin teacher was convinced I was a misogynist because of that.

          • Posted January 16, 2015 at 4:57 PM | Permalink

            I love you guys. I love it that my readers know this sort of shit.

          • Posted January 20, 2015 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

            “Libre” is book in Spanish, isn’t it? So it’s a word. :)

          • linnealouise
            Posted January 28, 2015 at 5:57 AM | Permalink

            “Libre” is free in Spanish. The word for book is Libro. :)

          • robtucci
            Posted February 13, 2015 at 1:43 PM | Permalink

            I promise I’m not making fun of you for a typo. I make typos all the time. But the timing of it couldn’t have been better. “I always better at grammar than vocabulary.” ha

    • Posted January 16, 2015 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

      Wow, I’m so impressed that people actually still study Latin.

  5. Posted January 16, 2015 at 3:09 AM | Permalink

    Welcome back!
    It really is tricky to get back into it, once the blog has lain dormant for a while. Good to see you break out of the Christmas / New Year’s (belated happy new year, by the way) inertia and post again.
    I wish I had your speed reading abilities, I only managed to finish one book over the Christmas break.
    Hope you are well and all the best,

  6. Posted January 16, 2015 at 4:40 AM | Permalink

    You know a funny thing?
    For ancient Romans:
    Liber: book;
    Liberi: children;
    Libertas: freedom;
    Ancient Romans, more than building bridges and smiting Carthaginians, since 753 BC

  7. Sandhya
    Posted January 16, 2015 at 4:52 AM | Permalink

    And just when I really, really need a laugh you gave me a belly one with this! Thank you fine sir.

  8. firebird
    Posted January 16, 2015 at 7:53 AM | Permalink

    Anything you can say about the tv show?http://www.newregency.com/mobile/television

    If you’re on mobile hit the three lines on the top right then hit television and scroll down. Looks like NBC bought the rights.

    • firebird
      Posted January 16, 2015 at 7:55 AM | Permalink

      Oh Um sorry if that brings a shit storm over at /r/kingkillerchronicle people are a bit upset, however I’m optimistic.

  9. Blarghedy
    Posted January 16, 2015 at 8:07 AM | Permalink

    I did that to my youngest sister all the time until she was 10ish. I even had a name for it: “The game where I lie to her and she believes me until I tell her I was lying.” She and I thought it was hilarious. Other people tended to find it to be very weird.

    “Hey, did you know water skiing was initially invented as a form of warfare?” “What, how?” “Well, they’d have people on the water skis holding guns to shoot at the other boats.” At this point, my older sister and her husband, who were both quite experienced water skiers, looked at me like I was an idiot. I don’t remember quite how I revealed that it was a lie, but we were both pretty amused.

    A few days before that, if I remember correctly, we were driving somewhere and saw an oxygen plant. “Well, without that, we’d lose too much oxygen to space, so we have those scattered around the world.” Etc.

    • Posted January 16, 2015 at 8:05 PM | Permalink

      My older sister told me that the TB test (the old 4 poke thingy – they don’t do this anymore) was a TV test, and the little pokes would get red bumps if I sat too close to the TV.

      Funny thing is, I think she believed that.

  10. sconzey
    Posted January 16, 2015 at 9:40 AM | Permalink

    It’s no fun giving an pornographic ad-lib reading of Fox in Socks to a 5 month old if there isn’t an adult around to be horrified about it.

    Related: dirty extra verses to ‘the wheels on the bus’. I’ve had to stop because my daughter’s just reaching that age where she’s picking up new words off my wife and I every day. We’ve already had one heart-stopping moment when she pointed to her socks on the radiator and shouts: “hot sex!”

    I literally cannot wait until she’s old enough for ‘proper’ books. We have an hardback copy of Alice in Wonderland with beautiful watercolour illustrations on every other page which I’m trying to persevere with, but sometimes only ‘Goodnight Moon’ will do.

  11. cynrtst
    Posted January 16, 2015 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

    I took Latin in high school (Do they still offer that?) The only thing I remember from this is:
    Ubi o ubi,
    Est muem sub ubi?
    Where o where,
    Is my under wear?

    Yeah I know it’s where but my teacher was a wise cracker and we weren’t supposed to notice that…

    • tim1724
      Posted January 16, 2015 at 12:52 PM | Permalink

      My teacher liked “semper ubi sub ubi”

      But I always found it more annoying than funny when she wrote what appeared to be random nonsense on the chalkboard.

  12. xxtayce
    Posted January 16, 2015 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    Welcome back, Pat :)

    Lovely to see the holidays treated you well!

  13. crowder
    Posted January 16, 2015 at 11:26 AM | Permalink

    A book of outrageous lies like this (with the truth on the next page) would actually be a fantastic kid’s book.

    • Kimberlyand
      Posted January 16, 2015 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

      Oh man, that’s a great idea!

  14. colinthom89
    Posted January 16, 2015 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

    Your stories about Oot are my favorite posts! If he enjoyed your silly lies he may also enjoy this book:

  15. Samtastic
    Posted January 16, 2015 at 7:42 PM | Permalink

    Ah yes, and now I am fondly remembering my own mother’s gleeful pack of lies! Chicken nuggets, it turns out, are not made of baby chicks. I have never lost my healthy skepticism, or my desire to read evidence from reputable sources before forming my opinion.

    She inadvertently prepared us for the modern age: Fact Checking Shit on the Internet Before Sharing With Your Friends.

  16. Jeroenvdzee
    Posted January 16, 2015 at 8:18 PM | Permalink

    ‘Mam’ means ‘mom’ in Dutch. Have you considered the possibility that Cutie might be Dutch? You should probably take some Dutch lessons yourself otherwise it will be hard communicating with him later on.

  17. luigi23
    Posted January 18, 2015 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

    Hey Pat, I don’t know if you are familliar with the band Nightwish, but they just released the tracklist for the upcoming album. check out track # 8 :)
    01. Shudder Before The Beautiful
    02. Weak Fantasy
    03. Élan
    04. Yours Is An Empty Hope
    05. Our Decades In the Sun
    06. My Walden
    07. Endless Forms Most Beautiful
    08. Edema Ruh
    09. Alpenglow
    10. The Eyes Of Sharbat Gula
    11. The Greatest Show On Earth

  18. Remault
    Posted January 19, 2015 at 7:31 AM | Permalink

    Hello Pat, and all posters. New here, and new to posting, so bear with my as I find my voice. Your story telling to Oot made me smile and remember. I too suffered from boredom when reading the same children stories for the 111th time, and so raided my own history and told them the adventures of my life.

    I think it was and is the freedom it grants (despite being constrained to telling a true story). And it turned out to be a wonderful way to share life experiences in a digestible form.

    Without knowing it, I found I had a talent for telling a good story (qualify that, my two children found them exciting and interesting), and spent many hours telling and retelling them down the years. And this was often on request ‘Tell us about the giant spider’ or ‘ what about the time you got lost on the mountain’. Like you, when my wonderful wife was within earshot, I took liberties just to make it all a little more interesting – the payback of seeing that skeptical face was worth it. As the years rolled by (they are 18 and 21 now), I had less new stories, but less editing took place – and the more risque stories made there debut, to the delight of my teenagers.

    Through their eyes, I came to connect and love the stories. It allowed me to gain a remarkable degree of insight into certain periods of my life. Of course, in the telling, I allowed myself poetic licence, within some grey rules: no outright lies, but embellishment of emotions and events are allowed. I hope this was and is in the grand and ancient traditional art of story telling.

    Many of the stories have been revisited and dissected down the years, as both of them developed a sophisticated bullshit detection system. The stories by and large remain intact, and have stood the test of young minds finding their own balance. Not least, I feel I have imparted the sense of drama that pervades all of life, and showed them how an ordinary person can have extra-ordinary moments. Even during the dethroning of Dad era (which sadly happens to all parents), with typical rather unceremonious knocking Dad off his hero pedestal, the stories backdrop things and remain constant and real.

    In more recent years, with shared adventures, they have seen how I have related these to third parties, and come to appreciate how telling the tales of life plays a part in who you are, and how you are. I am a typical parent, I got parts of their upbringing right, but much of it wrong – but here is one bit that has not only stood the test of time, but is now part of the families shared behavior. the wonder that is life…


  19. Posted January 19, 2015 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

    I told my kids that “pencil” is the short form of “pennsylvanium,” which is derived from sylvan “wood” + pen “writing instrument.” The manufacture of pennsylvania is centered in one of the eastern U.S. states, which takes its name therefrom.

  20. Posted January 20, 2015 at 1:44 PM | Permalink

    My little one (10.5 months) shouts “MAM MAM MAM” when he wants something (often milk). And “DA DA DA” when he likes something. Makes my husband joke that the kid likes him more than me.

  21. CrimsonMoose
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

    Ya, I’m not looking at any of your work until book 3 is out man, it’s been too long.

  22. LKS
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 3:59 AM | Permalink

    Hi Pat,
    I hope you read this because I’ve read a lot of your Oot stories and I think this song will mean something to you
    “Letters to My Daughters”

  23. AlexDemian
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

    Pat, dear genius pat who made my really way to real life as a doctor in Munich much sweeter by adding secrets and magic to it…
    It is in fact “librum”. Latin is this amazing, beautiful language almost all of our communication origins from. Don’t forget what you know of it. You know, Kvothe wouldn’t.

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