My good friend and fellow ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) member, Susan M. Baganz, interviewed me recently for her website. Interviews are tricky, especially if the interviewer tosses some oddball questions into the conversation.
Susan asked me “What’s your pet peeve?”, and I had an instant motherhood flashback to the day one of my sons mentioned “a pet peeve.”
Me: What is a pet peeve? (yes, I knew the answer.)
Him: It’s something that really bugs you.
Me: But what makes it a pet?
Him: It’s something that bugs you whenever you see it.
Me: Like what? What’s your pet peeve?
Him: People who complain all the time.
I am generally uncomfortable with the concept of a pet peeve. Most of the time, it’s complaining or something we have given ourselves permission to criticize.
When something makes us peevish, we should examine our hearts. Usually, when I find myself in that state, I like to re-label it. I say I am frustrated or irritated. If I track it back to its source, however, I usually find a root of selfishness: discontent, anger, wounded pride or some other form of arrogance.
The antidote for that kind of peevishness is almost always one of two things: grace or gratitude. Has someone stepped on my toes? Are other people doing stupid things? I should extend grace. Am I not getting what I want? I should give thanks for what I have.
And then one day, as I grappled with the grumbling question, I realized that some things do bother me – and they should! Injustice, bullying and things that harm other people are valid and reasonable fodder for peevery. (Go ahead… say it aloud. You know you want to.)
Pete’s Pet Peeve
In Snow Angels, Pete’s pet peeve (you can say this one, too) is people who are condescending to the homeless vets and other struggling people at the Unity Plenkiss community center. He does need to extend grace to Lisa as she tries to help them, but he is also right to confront and correct her on occasion. He tries to improve the situation instead of condemning her. Pete’s a good guy. And Lisa means well.
I did think of a pet peeve for Susan’s interview. If you want to know what it is, go read it on her website HERE! Oh, and for those of you whose pet peeve is finding errors in published writing, I’ve given you the gift of using a noun where I should have used an adjective. You’re welcome. 😉
If you want to read more about Pete and Lisa, you know where to find them: in Snow Angels, in the Christmas Lights novella collection. Christmas Lights is just 99 cents. That’s a quarter per book! You won’t find better entertainment value than that.