Adventures of Hamster Girl by S. L. Witt

17 Aug

S.L. Witt

Note to GSW readers – Today’s guest blogger is an old friend of mine . . . how old? Well, we met at a high school event in the very late ’70s (ack!). We were from different states and took different paths, but . . . we keep crossing said paths again and again. Please welcome S.L. Witt who blogs using clever and touching cartoons depicting the ‘Adventures of Hamster Girl’.

Some people have an alter ego with superpowers, like Spiderman or Superman.  My alter ego is a giant hamster; a big, fuzzy, harmless, nervous, hamster.  It suits me, actually. We have the same build, hamsters and I, and we both spend endless hours on the wheel.  Hamsters run on wheels and chew on their hands in their cage.  I do it in my head.

After a few years of doodling cartoons of the hamster, I started a blog to highlight the ridiculous and, sadly, mostly true things that a hamster mind can do: The Adventures of Hamster Girl.  Hamster girl is not particularly lucky in love, and has some, well, “boundary issues” she’s working on, but mostly she’s just nervous. 

Most of the cartoons arise out of things happening in my own life, but sometimes I hear something in a 12-step meeting that cracks me up and I draw something up based on that story.  Twelve-step meeting?  Yep, nothing cuts the edge off of a nervous hamster’s anxiety like alcohol.  Until it doesn’t work anymore, which explains the 12 step meetings.  Most people are shocked to learn that there is a lot of laughing in 12 step meetings.  A lot.  People do funny, silly, sad things learning to be humans.  Here is a cartoon I did after hearing a woman say this in a meeting:

There’s something therapeutic to me about seeing my own misadventures drawn out as a Hamster Girl cartoon.  After drawing about how hamsters are not very good at looking out for their own self interest I actually did look out for my interests in a couple of relationships where I never had before!

When I took my first foray into the world of online dating, I drew a couple of cartoons that captured my anxiety about describing myself:

While I’m certainly not an artist, I ‘ve enjoyed playing around with the drawings. 

It gets me a bit closer to my lifelong dream — to one-day write something that’s actually interesting.  In graduate school they taught me how to write in uninteresting ways.  In fact, if you write things that are too interesting, or, God forbid, “popular” you will be shunned from the academic community and definitely not tenured.  Having been safely tenured now for years, and having produced my share of uninteresting academic things,

I’m enjoying the chance to turn to other kinds of writing.


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12 responses to “Adventures of Hamster Girl by S. L. Witt

  1. Liz Fredericks

    August 17, 2012 at 7:11 AM

    Thanks for blogging with us today, S.L.! Hamster Girl always reminds me of Charlie Brown – resilient and optimistic.

    • SL Witt

      August 17, 2012 at 8:11 AM

      Thanks, Liz! And thank you for introducing me to the Gem State Writers blog. Impressive set of writers and so heartening to read about your writing processes and experiences.

  2. Janis McCurry

    August 17, 2012 at 7:19 AM

    “Able to turn meaningless details into GIANT problems using only the power of her mind.” Uh, yeah. So funny, and yet so true. S.L., this IS creative. You just need to be around more people who recognize it! Thanks for guest blogging at Gem State Writers.

  3. SL Witt

    August 17, 2012 at 8:13 AM

    Thanks, Janis. The phrase, “my magic magnifying mind,” is actually from the book AA members use. I find it to be so true!

  4. ramblingsfromtheleft

    August 17, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Liz, thanks for introducing us to S.L. … Welcome to GSW S.L. … one of my must stops in cyber space each week. Love, love, love the little guys. I think your hamster kept the humor in you alive and kicking while you wrote those “safe” papers for tenure. Now that you can cut loose you can write the stories she’s been keeping safe in her little cage for you all these years.

    Great post 🙂

  5. SL Witt

    August 17, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Thanks! I don’t mind writing the ‘safe’ papers anymore now that I know I get to go write the stuff I want to write. 🙂

  6. Suzanne McCorkle

    August 18, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Steph: Love the blog. I have some questions: Are academic reviewers mostly secret hamsters–gnawing away at manuscripts with their little pencils–or maybe they are lemmings?

  7. SL Witt

    August 18, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    I think the lemmings…

  8. Clarissa Southwick

    August 19, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Thanks for guest blogging for us. I’m so glad you’ve kept your sense of humor through it all.

    • SL Witt

      August 20, 2012 at 9:46 AM

      Thanks, Clarissa! I hope I don’t forget not to take myself too seriously 🙂

  9. Peggy Staggs

    August 20, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    S.L., love the hamster. I think it’s very cathartic to add art to your writing.
    Thanks for blogging with us.

  10. SL Witt

    August 20, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    Thanks, Peggy. To be honest, I was terrified when Liz suggested it. I very much appreciate the kind and warm reception I’ve had from you all!


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