Saturday, July 30, 2011


My cats have a special radar. They can sense when I'm being productive, and they spring into immediate action.
In the foreground is Marvel, and in the background is Wildman. My legs were propped up on the coffee table, so he was using his nails to balance on my knees. Marvel crammed onto my chest between my face and my computer.

Sorry for the quality- taken with my camera phone.

I'm curious- what are your biggest distractions (kids, TV, attention-grubbing pets)? And how to you resist the temptation to set your work aside?



The writing class that I had been looking forward to for months was rescheduled and I won't be able to attend. I got a nice little refund (technically, all I've gotten so far is the receipt, but I'm sure the actual money will come through in the next few days). That's how the cookie crumbles!

I'm going to see about signing up for it again when it's offered in the fall, but for now I'll have to keep meandering my way through this. I'm setting a goal for myself to share my work (at least the first few chapters) with one person by the end of August. I need to do it. Get it over with. Rip the band-aid off, but I'm on the uphill of the roller coaster and I don't want to take that first drop.

Thursday, July 14, 2011



One of my least favorite things about being a "grown-up" is that it gets harder and harder to find things to look forward to. (Crap. I ended that sentence in a preposition. I'm in edit mode, so I'm trying to be better. Let's try that again.)

One of my least favorite things about being a "grown-up" is that finding things to look forward to gets harder and harder. When I was in school, I loved counting down the days to the next break- Spring, Summer, Winter, whatever! And birthdays! Oh how I looked forward to my birthday. Now, birthdays are just another day (except I do get to eat cake without any remorse). And summer feels like any other season in my windowless office.

I get the occasional vacation, but only when I save my days like a Western Scrub Jay hoarding peanuts. So instead I've got to find other things to fill my heart with eager anticipation. And I've found one such thing. And it's writing-related! I signed up for a five-week writing course at Emory. I'm pretty excited, because the class is being taught by a published author whose website describes her as a scientist turned writer, with no formal training (like me!).

Emory also offers a certificate program, which I could decide to do at a later time. It involves something like 40 hours of classes over two years. The grand total is $2000, which is pretty hefty. Not sure I'll do that, but I'm not ruling it out now. First things first, we'll see how this class goes.

I thought about signing up for this for the class for months, but I wasn't sure if it would "do anything" for me. Seems like if I want to write a story, I should just write it. And if I want to edit a story, I should just edit it. But after spending almost three years writing the story and months of editing the same five chapters, I'm realizing that things need to change. I'm ready to learn, and not too proud to admit that I need some help. Maybe the class won't solve anything, but maybe it will. I'm willing to try!

Back to school! If it doesn't work out, then I'll have the end of the class to look forward to. (Crap... I'll look forward to the end of class.)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Smelly Cat

I have been singing the song from Friends for the last few weeks.

On May 27, we decided to foster a semi-feral senior cat from the cat rescue I volunteer with (despite considering myself a very logical person, I occasionally make very strange decisions). He's adjusting very well, and it has been a learning process for all of us.

A little back story: I've known the cat for two years- he was a resident of the room I clean regularly. When I first started cleaning, he was very wild. He'd been brought in as a feral cat. Probably already about ten years old and very much "intact." The group had him neutered and tipped his ear, with the intent being to release him again to live out his life, but he had bad infections in his right ear, which led to repeated hematomas. So, they kept him at the shelter to make sure that he go the care he needed. 
In the room, he liked to hang out on the top shelf, a place where most people couldn't reach him. But I'm tall enough to get to the cats that try to hide up there. I was hand feeding one of his friends, and he would take a piece of food from me. But he always let me know that he didn't like it. I remember once he was hissing so much that he choked a little on the kibble.
After a year of working with this wild cat, we got to a good place. And in the last few months, he would come to see me when I came into the room. He'd let me pet him without hissing or cringing. Sometimes, he would even reward me with a purr! I wanted to help him turn that final corner- from feral cat to happy pet. I thought bringing him home would be the best way to do that.

He's been in our home for over a month now, and we had a rocky start, but things are going great now. He has his moments, and his first instinct is always to hide, but he sleeps next to me every night (sweet, until you remember that he really smells). The hematomas caused that ear to curl up in what is called cauliflower ear that emits a funky odor...

Which leads us to today. I'm taking him to the vet. He's very food motivated and not familiar enough with cat carriers to be scared of them. I think I'll be able to get him there , but I'm nervous to see how he reacts to the vet. I have a feeling I'm going to have to put drops into his cauliflower ear. He barely lets me touch it now.

He also inspired me to add a cat into my amnesia girl story. Which I have been working on instead of Power Trio... bad!

'Men have forgotten this truth,' said the fox. 'But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.'
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery