F is for “feempf-nempfner”
When my husband was a silly pre-teen he and a buddy of his got a kick out of a sign in front of a corner convenience store. Peanut butter was on sale—but you’d almost never guess. The sign was constructed haphazardly with cut-out letters. The person who put the sign together must have had a shortage of letters but an overflow of determination. Whoever it was used whatever they had in the stack to write the words “peanut butter.” But when my husband and his friend tried to read it out loud, it read, ‘feempf-nempfner.”
When he told me this story while we were dating, he made sure he used his geeky-voice to say “feempf-nempfner,” which made my side split with laughter. I already had a crush on him, I admired his wit and charm, but there was something about the sound of “feempf-nempfner” that threw me into hysterics every time he said it. After twenty-six years of marriage, I still make him feempf-nempfner sandwiches, feempf-nempfner and eggs, feempf-nempfner on apples, and we laugh like we’re still dating.
When a side-kick in a novel has a gimmick, it helps endear the character to the reader. I fell in love with Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy. His one-line gimmick, saying only “I am Groot,” made him the favorite in the bunch for me. So, when I revised my novel, looking for a way to make some of the secondary characters stand out, I decided that my husband and Groot would assist me in my endeavor.
Meet Kyle, a member of the Light Brigade—an albino Skyborn friend of one of our main characters, who developed a speech impediment after a wild boating accident when he was a child. He’s got spiky hair, wears sunglasses, is handy with a laser lights, swords, orbs, and general magical mayhem, but he can only say, “feempf-nempfner.” It doesn't stand for peanut butter, but only those who read this blog will know the origins of Kyle’s lone utterance.
Tomorrow…G is for Grimmer.