Tag Archives: cats

Got Pets?

I have two cats, a dog, and two goldfish.

My best times for writing are early in the morning and late in the evening, primarily because I have other obligations during the day. So if I need to get some writing done, I either need to wake up with a few hours to spare, or I need to go to bed a bit late – or both.

This schedule works fine because it forces me to break up my writing times, and I never begin to feel burned out with a story. However, this schedule apparently does not work for my pets.

Sprocket is easily the most needy.

He’s a small dog, so he has to ask to go outside pretty regularly. My husband helps with that most of the time, but the high-pitched whining and scratching at the door can really pull me out of a story. Also, most of the time Sprocket seems to think I simply shouldn’t be working. He’ll bring me his toys, he’ll plop down on my lap, or he’ll just sit next to my chair and sniffle at me about what a sad, little, lonely puppy he is. (it should be noted that Sprocket gets more adventures than most people; he goes for daily rides in the car, he plays with any of about twenty toys, and he runs around outside like a jack rabbit on speed).

Coretta is a little sweetheart, and she often seems to want to leave people to their own devices.

However, if I need to do some research about a topic for my story (or if I’m just taking a small break), I may play a short video on my monitor. She loves this. Apparently there is nothing more exciting for Coretta than getting to snuggle up in the crook of my arm, watching TV with me on my computer – she does it every time. The problem is trying to type after she’s planted herself in my way.

Then there’s Othello.

Twenty-plus pounds of snuggly love, this cat Can Not get it through his head that he is not supposed to sit on the keyboard. It makes no difference how many times I tell him to get off of my computer; he’ll be right back within minutes, soaking the comfy warmth of my laptop up into his belly.

The goldfish are generally accepting of my writing times.  🙂

That’s what I face each time I sit down to write. Annoying though it may be, I’m glad to be surrounded by love instead of ringing telephones or screaming neighbors. My furry friends are just cheering me on, in their own way.

What challenges do you deal with while you work? Are there any ferrets or boa constrictors sneaking up your monitor to say hello?   🙂

Love and Vomit

Being married is great.

How come authors never tell you what happens after the happy couples ride off into the sunset?

There are so many wonderful things to report about married life. The plans, the trips, the surprises, the jokes, the support, the fun.

Oh, and there’s also the easily nauseated cat barfing on the wooden floor while the wife is scanning her mind for the perfect first year anniversary gift. And the puke is of such a repulsive volume that the wife has to abandon her anniversary ponderings to decide which towel is expendable, and then slide up the partially digested cat pellets into the poor towel and decide whether it should be washed or just thrown out. And then the wife thinks, Oh, what a waste. We shouldn’t throw this away. So she puts the towel in the bathtub and tries to clean it out — only these enormous barf chunks keep floating up into her hands, and she realizes she’s not going to finish eating her oatmeal that morning.

Ah, happily ever after.  ☺

Maybe this is what the authors choose to leave out.

As I said, being married is great. Just keep an eye on your cat.

Living with Winter

For Florida, it’s pretty cold. There aren’t tons of winter clothes available in this state, so, for the week or so in the early part of each year when temperatures actually drop down to the 30s, most Floridians wander around with bewildered, slightly irritated expressions on our faces, frozen to the bone by the wind that cuts right through our thin shirts.

Tonight’s one of those nights. I walked out to my car and felt as though bits of ice were forming on my arms. My dog Sprocket (who recently had a haircut, poor thing) hides in the electric blanket and refuses to go anywhere else unless it’s absolutely necessary. The cats, Coretta and Othello, are equally as snuggly.

There is one benefit to the uncomfortable cold – though the weather here never has enough manners to at least bring us a single snowflake – and that is that we can see our own breath. For a few days each year, Floridians return to the thrill of being seven years old and comparing icy breath with their friends. Since it happens so rarely, it’s a fun event for us each time.

Or maybe just for me. ☺

In any case, tonight I’m wrapping up with blankets inside and pets and writing.

What is living with winter like in other parts of the world?

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Favorite Author: Mario Kluser

Mario Kluser is an author from the Netherlands.

1. What is the most interesting experience you’ve had as a writer?

When I got a very long e-mail from a reader of Loser – Director’s Cut, telling me that the only time she could lay it down was when she had to cry. The other great experience whilst writing ‘Loser’ was when I came to my girlfriend’s place and found her sitting on the sofa, crying after reading some excerpts. Immediately I thanked her for the compliment, then I asked her why she was crying. She said that she never read such a intense description of loneliness. I know this may sound silly, but this was very motivating for me to go ahead.

2. Do you own any pets? If you do, tell us about them!

I have a 13 year old cat (Upke) that has cancer. She seems to be happy, so I don’t consider to bring her to the vet for the final pinprick. Her sister (Dupke) died in my arms 4 years ago. Gosh, I thought I could never be happy again. It’s so intense when you look into those kind
eyes for the very last time. I have a rabbit with long ears that reminds me in one way or the other of a Rastaman. That’s why I call him Bob, referring to Bob Marley. Never told this anybody.

3. Describe your most recent main character. Compare his or her appearance to celebrities or other fictional characters we know.

My most recent character is Andrew (Andy) Williams, the MC of ‘Loser’. As this book is written in semi-autobiographical style, I wrote in the first person and hadn’t any celebrity in mind. It was like giving myself the leading role in a movie.
Another MC in my first book is Jack Acers. It was the first time that I wrote, and it was easier to do so when I imagined the whole story on the big screen, and in my mind I gave every character the looks of a celebrity. In the case of Jack Acers it was Nicolas Cage. Thus, if there
is any Hollywood producer out there who wants to make a movie based on this book, please cast Nicolas Cage for the the leading role.

4. What is your favorite book to read, and why?

There are so many. My first thought goes to Harry Potter 1 – 7, even though I’m absolutely no fan of fantasy. Other books that are coming into my mind are Tokyo by Mo Hayder, Immoral by Brian Freeman and Wicker by Kevin Guilfoile.

5. How do you decide on the names for your characters?

Honestly, I don’t know. It’s just like they fall from above into my lap. But the reason that I named the MC of my first book (Het Orderboek) Jack was that I had Nicolas Cage in mind and thought on his role as Jack Campbell in the movie The Family Man.

6. Do you listen to music while you write?

Most of the time, though it’s necessary that the music has a supporting character to the scenes and chapters I’m writing. Some scenes in ‘Loser’ were musically supported by “Lose Yourself” and “When I’m Gone” by Eminem. I mentioned it in the acknowledgment because this was very important to me.

7. What is the strangest way you’ve come up with an idea for a story?

For my first book it came over night. I was busy daytrading on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, and in the past I worked as a programmer. One day I found out that under certain circumstances, there was the possibility to manipulate the orderbook if you have the right people in the right place.
Because I was considering writing a book for a while, I nurtured this idea and one morning I woke up and had the complete plot from the beginning to the end in mind. The only thing I had to do was write it down.

8. What is your favorite city in the world, and why?

This is such a mean question! It always was London. London is such a amazing city. I love London. When I visited Ilaria Papini and her family last year in New York, I found out that NY fits my needs as well. I met so many friendly people and had such a big time and felt at home there. This is the reason that New York and London are sharing the first place ever since. But I have to admit that if I had to choose where to live, it would be New York.

9. Describe what your plotting process is like.

In the first case (Het Orderboek) I described earlier it grew over night around the possibility of manipulating the orderbook of the stock exchange.
For ‘Loser’ the proces was different. I knew how it had to begin and how it had to end. So I wrote the beginning and the end first. As there are two different timelines (one in the past and one in the present) that are switching in every chapter, I wrote a couple of ‘even’ chapters and then a couple of ‘uneven.’
For my third book that’s still not yet finished, I just started writing and don’t have a clue where it is going to in the end.

10. When you aren’t writing, what do you like to do for fun?

I think that the fun part at that moment is writing itself. So I’ll write for fun whilst writing.

Rabbit Hole Day, 2012

Posted December 22, 2012:

Looking back on life after the events of 2012 is a bit like looking down into moving water; everything is blurred and confusing. It’s not clear what was real and what wasn’t.

The day it all happened, my dog came home with no more hair on his body. Once a bouncy puff-ball, he was suddenly a long, thin, ferret-looking creature, and the cat was terrified.

At first sight of him, her tail grew extremely large, and she stood on her tip-toes hissing and spitting. The dog was visibly alarmed to realize that he was not actually himself anymore, so he spent the rest of the day on the couch, his little face hidden beneath his paws, and his bald body shivering under the ceiling fan.

Then the worlds ruptured.

As I was trying to comfort my dog, I looked across the room at my TV and saw a strange image – it wasn’t like a television show; the set wasn’t even turned on. No, this was more like staring through a window that had cracked open. Only the window was shaped very strangely. There were several triangular shapes all put together in a circle, almost forming what looked like a pinwheel.

Through this odd window I could just see into another world. I stood, adjusting my glasses and peering into the television. There was something there. I saw people wandering to and fro through a market square, only they didn’t appear to see me. As I sometimes do with reality shows, I automatically assumed a passive interest in their lives. Where were they going? What were they doing?

BONG, BONG, BONG, BONG, BONG, BONG, BONG, BONG, BONG, BONG, BONG, BONG

It was twelve o’clock, according to their town tower. With a shock, I saw every member of the town stop and turn to face the tall clock at the center of their village. They didn’t move. For several minutes I watched them watching the tower.

And then, at 12:12, one person – the one who seemed near enough to touch – turned and focused his eyes straight on me. I jumped back and caught my breath.

He pointed into my house. The rest of the villagers turned to face me, as well. They pointed.

I cleared my throat and tried to calm the pounding in my chest. “Wh-what do you want?”

My dog stood up from the couch. He barked three times and then leapt through the television, into the alternate world.

“Sprocket! Come back here,” I called, but it was too late. He had entered their dimension, and the window had disappeared.

Later the next day, I awoke to the sound of my cat crying. She was pacing back and forth at the front door, meowing so desperately and pitifully that I was certain she’d broken a bone. I picked her up. She was fine.

But she continued to cry, and she began to reach out at the door as though she were trying to open it herself.

I opened the door.

Instantly her cries ceased as my dog bounded inside, with just a little more hair on his body this time, and he licked the cat right on her face. She purred.

What a strange day.