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Who am I?

I am Kate, Destroyer of Universes.

Yes, I know that sounds kind of… well… overblown, but it isn’t really. See, in my day job I test software. The company I work for does business to business applications that have a naming theme that’s kind of stellar (and all our servers are named for stars or constellations). And I make it explode. Add to that I have an innate chaos magnet effect that means I can guarantee that I will find something weird doing what I would think is normal and sensible (and get asked “What did you do that for?”).

The effect carries over, too. So far this week, I’ve caused severe damage to a customer’s expectations (I pointed out how long it would take to get them what they said they wanted), discovered that Windows 7 does not play nice with critical hardware and software I need to use for my job, and blew up the official software in several different spectacular ways. Oh, yes. And wrote (cough) Overlord fanfic as well as somewhat disguised Overlord tribute fiction. While pulling insane hours because some twit forgot to press the button. And dealt with the Bugger-cat pissing where he shouldn’t because he’s still battling his terror of teh ebil in teh basement. Why he thinks Basement Cat is going to get him I don’t know. Seems to me Basement Cat should be worshiping the Bugger-cat.

This is why I do not do “time management”. Like I said last week, I do priority management because things like this are my normal, and have been for quite some time now. If it’s not the Bugger-cat cowering at the basement door, it’s the Shani-cat hairballing, or a critical piece of hardware blowing up (my writing computer has spent more time in a state of kablooey than working), or something that everything says ought to work outright refusing to do so. Then a crisis rolls along so it’s drop everything and get the crisis sorted so I can go back to normal chaos.

This is why I positively adore theory. It’s the only universe I haven’t been able to destroy – and the only one where everything works as intended. Maybe one day they’ll let me visit… nah. I’d probably make it implode just by being there. After all, I can walk into a room and find the one huge problem no-one wanted to think about, and point it out without ever realizing people didn’t want to hear that. Social ept. I no can has.

And yes, this is why I stink to high heaven when it comes to things like marketing my books. For me, zero clue would be something to aspire to: I have negative clue.Facebook I mostly read with occasional comments and very rare actual posts. Ditto the assorted forums I follow. Actually trying to publicise something of mine is at the same level of wrong as… oh, pick something you find really horribly gross, and magnify it. So, I don’t. I work on the assumption (or possibly faint hope) that if I hang around, contribute as I see fit, and don’t hide that I write, people will check my stuff out and if they like it, they’ll do the marketing for me. Yes, I am prepared to let this be glacial. Trust me if I tried to promote myself I’d make “Authors Behaving Badly” look like something you’d do for pleasure (and having seen a lot of authors, that thought is just… EW).

So. Destroyer of Universes. Writer (which implies creator of universes). Chaos magnet. I’ve been told I’m scary but I don’t see that – I see deceptively ordinary (deceptively because I have the ability to fade into the background when I want to). Would possibly be more than passable if I could find a way to get about 100lb somewhere other than my body, which would require said body not hoarding every last calorie as if it were more precious than gold, or possibly work that did not involve spending 9-10 hour workdays parked on butt with major leisure activities in a similar posture). I even know who I’d give the pounds to. Pity I can’t put any of these in an official biography. They’re much more interesting than the real one and they have the added bonus of being true.

5 Comments
  1. JP #

    For whatever spark of happiness it might grant you, I saw you being interesting and charming at a con (which a lot of people might call marketing). Then I went home and bought IMPALER (which a lot of people might call successful marketing). Just saying.

    August 9, 2012
    • Kate Paulk #

      Thanks! It does help to know that what I do isn’t falling into a black hole 🙂

      I guess you could call cons marketing – I try to work on the principle of being an interesting person rather than trying to sell my books, mostly because the authors whose every second sentence is “buy my books!” really, REALLY turn me off.

      August 9, 2012
  2. TXRed #

    Well, I just spent the afternoon sending blood and body parts flying, does that count for partial credit? On paper, I assure you, on paper. Choreographing and then describing sword fights can be quite stress relieving.

    I attract chaos but it is other people’s chaos. Apparently I radiate stability waves that summon frazzled, distressed, or infuriated individuals. Maybe my ability to contain my panic until after the event has something to do with it. Or I could be too dumb to realize that there is a crisis/disaster/ rabbit with sharp pointy teeth looming. *shrugs*

    August 9, 2012
    • Kate Paulk #

      Ooh. Flying blood and body parts. That sounds wonderful.

      People tell me I’m rather good at staying calm in a crisis. Stuffed if I can see it – all I’m trying to do is not let my chaos blow back on some poor sod who didn’t do anything to make it happen.

      And now I need to go get a cloth and wipe up the water the cat just knocked all over the desk.

      August 9, 2012
  3. You ought not let others define your are, e.g. developers. As a software tester you break nothing. You are the canary in the coal mine. You are the messenger bearing the bad news that the developer’s manure does indeed stink. You merely disclose hidden damage. You are the voice of Murphy spoken in a whisper so that it won’t be heard in a customer’s screams. (I’m a developer. Really.)

    This extends to letting people define your marketing/promotion eptness. There’s stuff to learn to do and you just have to do it. You have mastered harder things. When you get that done, be sure to post it b/c I need to learn it, too.

    August 10, 2012

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