Living Write

My Cat Hates My Writing

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Poe is my 15 year-old black cat. We named her after the writer, Edgar Allan Poe, because of our love for his story-telling, especially his tale, The Black Cat. Poe and I have this love-hate relationship. I love her and she hates me. Really. She spends most of her day hanging out on or near my desk, often positioned between me and my keyboard. She purrs. She flops over onto my arm. She acts as though she desperately wants me to pet her. She doesn’t. If I try, she bites me.

What she truly hates, though, is my writing. Not the actual stories – though I’m quite certain she would show her disdain if she could read – but what she despises is my physical presence in front of my word processor. Not only does she intrude on my typing, but as soon as I get up from my chair (to refill my coffee or such) she jumps into it and “falls asleep” by the time I return. Getting her out requires a sincere attempt at petting… and usually getting bit. Also, I’m pretty sure she’s swearing at me in kitty-cat language. She meows like a sailor.

Today I have been preparing for my November novel, Bare Essentials, which I will write (first draft at least) over the next thirty days. I have my outline all ready. I’ve been looking over my research and character notes. I’ve checked off nearly everything from my weekend to-do list. My desk is cleared and ready to go. My husband and I went out for a few errands this afternoon, and when I returned, I found cat puke in my seat. Nice. Poe’s perfect commentary on my chosen vocation.

For some, this might be a sign of doom, a dark foreboding, a disaster in the making. But what Poe doesn’t know is that her little gift is positive reinforcement for me. You see, every novel I’ve written has one common element. Someone throws up, yarks, unswallows, pukes – whatever you call it – it happens, and it happens in all of my stories. Gross, I know. You might say that it’s my way of facing one of my fears. And so Poe’s little critique mess is somehow a very appropriate way to start my next adventure in writing.

She may hate my writing, but I love her.


 

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Living Write

A Wild New Adventure

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Shooting Stars Traveling Circus is my new YA (young adult) Sci-Fi Western adventure project.

When the government attempts to confiscate their horses, Annie and Cody Birchfield are forced to flee Earth for the untamed outer regions of the galaxy. To pay their way, and to keep one step ahead of the law, the young siblings use their natural talents of riding, roping, shooting, and singing to bring attention to the corruption that has all but destroyed Earth, and to prevent Authority’s iron fist from taking hold of the entire galaxy.

My characters, Annie  and Cody Birchfield, are inspired by the real historical figures Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill Cody, stars of Cody’s Wild West Show. Many other characters have historical inspiration as well, and then there are a few unique little creations like Ingrid, who I hope you will love as I do.

So here is my proposition to you, as a reader. I have a general outline of my story – a loose guide for direction. I have several of the characters put together, and I have a few chapters written. What I want from you is feedback. Tell me what you like, and where you’d like the story to go. I’d love to see some of your artwork, hear some of your music, if you’re so inspired to share.** I plan to release one new chapter a month here on my website. (Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter, which will include a direct link to the chapter.) Once the book is finished, I will publish it, offering special shout-outs and freebies to anyone who contributes to the final product.

If you’d like to keep up with my Shooting Stars Traveling Circus inspiration board on Pinterest, click HERE.

Thanks in advance for your participation in this adventure. I ‘spect it’s gonna be fun!

Click HERE to read Episode 1: I’ll Fly Away.

**All contributors of fan art, fan music, quotes, etc. must confirm that their work is their original product, and must provide a release statement allowing it to be used in the final publication without expectation of monetary compensation. I will credit all contributors, and promote your music, artwork, etc. as your creation on my “THANK YOU” page.

Cinema Toast

I Have a Theory

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This last week I watched the 1957 movie, Attack of the Crab Monsters, starring Richard Garland, Pamela Duncan and Russell Johnson, as researchers studying a strange shrinking island.

This film is a B-movie in just about every sense of the word. Sets, acting, “special” effects, and script all epitomize the standard of a classic (classically bad) sci-fi horror flick.

Click to see and purchase!

But it was Monday night, and there was really nothing better on TV, so we pulled up the Netflix menu and decided to give the monsters a spin. We knew it had to be good, because the only actor we recognized was Russell Johnson, who later became the “Professor” on Gilligan’s Island. (I suppose I’ve always loved geeks.)

My oldest son, my husband, and I all watched intently. We gasped in “horror” when the first sailor had his head pinched off by the giant sea creatures. Radiation is never good for crustaceans that carry a grudge. We chuckled throughout the film as each of the main characters asked Dr. Karl Weigand, played by Leslie Bradley, what could be causing the noises, earthquakes, and destruction. Each time he would respond with, “I don’t know, but I have a theory.”

He would then proceed to explain exactly what was happening. He was an amazing guesser.

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We laughed, we cried, it was better than Cats. Well… it was. And all because it was completely terrible.

Why do I love these silly cinemas? I have a theory. I believe it’s because they are a somewhat skewed window back to a simpler time, technologically. In a world where every little aspect of life is controlled by gadgets and computers, a film about irradiated crabs causing whole islands to sink into the ocean is somehow fun.

Relationships were easier. The one woman in the movie had a choice between the two good-looking men. The monsters were overpowering, but easily defeated. Just a little zap of electricity turned them to ashes. The technology was simple. Just fix a radio. I’ve seen the Professor do it thousands of times with nothing more that a fish and a couple coconuts.

It was fun. Good writing? No. Great story-telling? Maybe not. A nice evening with my family? Absolutely.

That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema. Thanks for reading.