Monthly Archives: November 2013

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Crazy cat lady musings: There’s either a lizard or a liar in the house

Crazy Cat Lady versus The Cat

I was writing peaceably at my desk (honest), and that is when I heard the noise: Thwap, thwap, thwap, thwap, thwap.

It was kind of hard for me to ignore, since it was happening right next to me. It was my cat Thai-Thai, pawing at her basket of toys.

At first, I thought it was part of her daily attempt to turn me into a crazy cat lady. But then I thought some more: There have only been two other times in recent memory that Thai has done this. And both times it is because she has trapped a lizard in her toy basket and she wants to torture him and leave his corpse for me to clean up. I am actually thankful for this service, because Thai is mostly retired, and she takes on these lizard projects on an ad hoc basis.

But, she has stopped thwapping, and I am afraid she is losing interest. So, I get my brave facThai looks innocently at the crazy cat ladye on (I hate lizards – they are just snakes with feet) and grab a cup from the kitchen to trap the lizard and fling it out into the yard. (I have done this before, but not enough times to make an all-star lizard catch-and-release sports team.) I dump her basket of toys over really quickly and scan the area, ready to capture.

And, no lizard.

So, I clean up the mess and put the cup away in the kitchen. When I return, Thai is sitting on my desk! Fuzzing up my keyboard! She is SMIRKING at me!

I shoo her away.

About 30 minutes later, some religious people ring my doorbell. Against my better judgement, I answer my door. They want to give me a tract about the battle for my soul. I tell them that they are interrupting an epic battle that I am having with my cat over the right to work at my desk and they should RUN and save themselves. (I’m not really not that kind of crazy cat lady, so I don’t really say that, but I ask them nicely to go away.)

When I return to my desk, Thai is seated on my chair. I shoo her out of it.

I start to write again, and there is that noise: Thwap, thwap, thwap..

This is why I am a crazy cat lady.

Writing Contests: Mom memoir contest

Pull out your quill and enter some writing contestsWriting contests sometimes hit on a topic near and dear to my heart: Mothers.

Oh, we mothers are full of stories – some are funny, some are inspirational and some are how we find beauty in everyday things. Enter one of your non-fiction mom stories in Good Housekeeping’s Every Mother Has a Story Memoir Contest. Entries are due December 15, 2013 and the details are on the link above.

Scroll through this page for the latest information on a variety of writing contests.

Good luck!

My story: The End of Jealousy

My story today is about jealousyMy story today is a bit more literary than usual.

In Othello, jealousy drives the main characters to acts of deceit, betrayal and violence. At the most extreme end of the spectrum, Iago is a man no one wants to become. In The End of Jealousy, Hannah regards Iago and the other characters as a pipe dream. She teaches the words of Othello over and over again, but can’t relate to the emotion behind them – jealousy is an emotion that only exists on paper.

Tomorrow her students will face the death of Desdemona and, eventually, of Othello, too. Hannah will do her best to answer their questions about motives, but she will end the day with the same bittersweet sense of triumph and failure as she does every year. In two days’ time, her students will be happy to return to reading Walden, or at least as happy as her students are to be reading anything, and Hannah will return her beloved copy of Othello to her nightstand shelf at home.

That’s my story. Tell me one of yours.

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Writers block or All your sunshine belongs to us!

writers block is when writing is just out of reachSo, today, my cat Thai-Thai was resisting all of my relocation efforts so that I could record my podcast without her snoring in the background. It’s bad enough she causes writers block. Now this.

The problem is that the sunshine is all located in the back of the house near my desk, and when I tried to move her, she came back to her spot, plopped her butt back in the sunshine and glared at me with a defiant look of “all your sunshine belongs to us” on her face.

I decided that I really didn’t want to hear her wheezing in the background and moved her again. She came back. (I have no problems writers block and my stories, just my kitty cat.)

I texted my problem to my husband, but he only came up with the solution of “you could record elsewhere.” No! I told him. And that is when I declared war. On my cat.

At first I threatened her with the removal of the vacuum cleaner from the closet. She is a pretty smart cat and knows the phrase “vacuum cleaner,” but she is also a typical cat in that she believes our vacuum cleaner is a monster whose sole purpose is sucking out her soul. Showing her who was the boss, I removed the vacuum from the closet, but she stood her ground. She stared at the vacuum cleaner and then at me – calling my bluff because she knows I cannot run the vacuum and record a story at the same time.

I texted all of this to my husband, with no response from him. Guess he was in a meeting, because there is no way he would ignore a battle of this magnitude.

Eventually I bribed her with some treats (she is on a diet and will do anything for extra food). Future note: Her price is four cat treats.

VICTORY IS MINE! I texted my husband. (I am sure he was happy for me. See? I have no writers block issues over text.)

But, no. I celebrated too soon. I used the restroom and when I got back, Thai was sitting on my desk! DIABOLICAL! She was quite pleased with herself, purring loudly and fuzzing up my keyboard.

Well, played, Thai. Well played.

If nothing else, she is a good solution for writers block. What do you use to solve your blocks?

Writing Contests: The Christopher Fischer Short Story Contest

Writing contests require your final draftWriting contests for the month of November now include this one: Short story writers of contemporary fantasy, horror, history, paranormal romance, romance, young adult or mystery (wow – that’s a lot of categories) should check out the short story contest at Christopher Fischer’s site. There is a short window of time to enter (November 15-November 30), so better get started. You can find all the contest details and submission guidelines here.

Scroll through this page for the latest information on a variety of writing contests.

Good luck!