Exactly one year and one day ago Emma came to stay. Not a whole lot has changed since then, except that we still haven’t mastered not-blurry photos of her AND elder-dog Zoey now has one more “damn millennial” to shake her head at AND cat-brothers Loki and Marcel have mostly put aside their differences to join forces against the high-energy pupster AND strangers now stop Zippy and me on the street to inform us that Emma is so very cute.

As if we hadn’t noticed.


#Caturday story

(The curtain opens to a calm scene. Woman reads in bed with Loki (black cat) on lap and Marcel (white cat) against her leg.)

Loki’s tail begins to whip Marcel in the head, which Marcel can ignore for only so long.

Marcel: CHOMP!

Loki: YEOW!

Woman: Come on, you two. Really?

Twofer Tuesday: lounge lizards


Marcel up top, watching me closely while Loki, down below, does his best impression of a narcoleptic. A much better photographer than me would be able to balance the harsh sunlight with the white fur and black fur. Makes me long for the days in the darkroom when I could dodge and burn the image. But because I should be working on my writing project rather than messing with this, I’ll let it go.

Apologies for the glare. (HA! I made a pun.)



Here comes 2017

I wanted to end the year with a photographic image I’d created on the last day of the year. So I grabbed my camera and in the fading daylight, captured this image of Loki:
Whoa, that’s kinda scary and weird. Slightly disconcerting. An image that overstays its welcome fairly quickly.

And then I captured this:
geranium-bloomAhh. Delicate beauty that evokes peace and calm. An image that grabs my attention without gimmicky extra eyes or blurred pink tongue.

And that about sums up the philosophy I want to carry into the coming year. Every day is going to have its bizarre-scary-weirdass-infuriating-heartbreaking-unjust moments, but there will always, always be moments of beauty. It’ll be up to me to notice them.

Here comes 2017.




Chair sharks

This morning I settled into a chair to work. A while later, I got up for a coffee refill and returned to find an interloper:


Loki bares his teeth to keep me from reclaiming the chair. (Actually, his black fur makes him ridiculously difficult to photograph which results in lots of these blurred “action” shots.)

In my family, we call that getting sharked. As in, “Loki just sharked my chair.”

Anyway, I was feeling generous so I moved to another chair, one that actually suited me better because it’s next to a window and big patch of warm sunshine, and worked there for some time. I then left to take care of something in another room and when I returned, found this:


Marcel claiming my seat in the sun.

Sharked again!

Maybe I should bring the rocking chair up from the basement. I’ve heard that cats get real nervous around those . . .




One of those days

Oddly enough, this seems like a fair representation of today:0017

I was very tired and so didn’t accomplish much. I felt a bit, you know, pointless. So it’s weird that this is the photo that jumped out at me from Morguefile.com when I went cruising for photos. But somehow these pointy-headed mannequins capture my mood.

Two positive notes regarding today:

  1. Loki and Marcel took turns curled up on me as I read and napped on the couch.
  2. No one used my head to play Ring Toss.




The ins and outs of editorial voices

Every writer knows about the internal editor,
that yammering
that says
Your story sucks
Your writing sucks
You suck so why don’t you give it up already?

I utilize different strategies for getting past my internal editor,
but without a doubt
the most effective approach is to keep writing.
Head down, pen moving.
Guaranteed, that voice will eventually shut up.
At least for a while.

In my experience, the external editors are sometimes harder to ignore.

Marcel and Loki insert themselves into the process.

Marcel and Loki insert themselves into the process.




With a Little Help From My Cats

I am revising and needed an aerial view of two chapters.
I was making progress with that birds-eye view until . . .
Cats and revision pages 013


Cats and revision pages 005

Cats and revision pages 011

Scattered pages and chewed pens are one thing,
but clawing at my words brings “critique” to a whole new level.
Cats and revision pages 017“Animals are such agreeable friends―they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.” ~ George Eliot

Whatever you say, George.

Tough Love

A couple weeks ago Zippy and I had a bunch of people over. As is true of many things in our house, the front door doesn’t work as well as it should. In this case, it doesn’t close all the way unless you force the issue. Guests aren’t expected to know this and we weren’t paying attention.

Our two cat brothers, Loki and Marcel, are indoor cats. They’ve seemed quite content with that status. Until a couple weeks ago when that front door was left open and Loki escaped to the front yard (that is bordered by a pretty busy street, yikes!)

Following that grand adventure, Loki has taken to fits of crying at the door.
Loki 022  Loki 026  Loki 033  Loki 027

Loki 025

His looks of yearning, frustration, and disgust won’t sway me. The squeaking cries won’t break me. I love him too much to let him go. I only wish he understood.