About Writing on Wednesdays: Updates on To Touch A Unicorn and First Snowfall

Well, I’m here in Maryland and have been for nearly two weeks. I was supposed to go home last Friday but the car broke down in Virginia. Fortunately it was late in the afternoon so the heat wasn’t too bad for humans or dogs. Thank goodness because Rex has a hard time in very hot weather. Still, it was hot enough that he whined a bit.  As a matter of fact I whined, too. Belle Amie and Paul did pretty good. Hot, thirsty, and in Paul’s case very dirty from working on the car, we all survived.

The editor from Buzzy Mag contacted me last week while I was here in Maryland about To Touch A Unicorn. I have to admit I was a little intimidated and put off reading her comments until this week. But honestly? When I finally read them it wasn’t bad. Everything she pointed out was dead on and I have no problem with making the changes. My feelings are not hurt and it is a lot like working with Beta Readers. I love working on the story to make it a great read.

Diane and Terry both beta read First Snowfall for me and loved the story. They tell me it’s creepy. Yay! I finished the edits they suggested in the middle of the night this week. There was no else around except me, Rex and Belle Amie. My own story creeped me out. Belle Amie kept barking and shaking at nothing. I’m pretty sure I just made this story up in my head. Didn’t I? o_o

After the story marinates a few days I’ll read over it, during the day, and send it off to see if anyone wants to publish it. I’m crossing my fingers. Many thanks and much appreciation to Diane and Terry for their time, critiques and encouragement.

The sequel to To Touch A Unicorn is in the works. I had to trash most of it although I hope to salvage some scenes. The fact I was having such a hard time moving forward in the story should have been a big clue I was writing in the wrong direction. I like the new start better and hope to have the story finished soon. It may end up being a novella. I’ll find out once I sit down to plot a few scenes. I should have done that to begin with anyway. I do know better.

Moonfire is calling to me. You know? My writing has grown and I might just be ready to get back to that story and get her done. One thing I’ve realized is that I was trying to write to an agenda. There are certain elements in the story that make it easy to cross a line and sermonize instead of telling a great story. I have enough maturity as a writer now to recognize that fact and hopefully fix it.

 

 

Peace.

 

References:

The clip art used is from ClipartPal.

 

In Memory of Spooky

First I have to give the official definition of spooky from dictionary.com:

World English Dictionary

spooky  (ˈspuːkɪ)
— adj  , spookier spookiest
1. ghostly or eerie: a spooky house
2. resembling or appropriate to a ghost
3. US ) easily frightened; highly strung
     Spooky passed unexpectedly on July 23, 2012. He was Holly’s cat so I didn’t know him that well but I what I did know, I liked. He was a sweetie. No, he wasn’t a black cat and yes, I’m going there.
     Holly got the six-year-old Spooky from the pound in N.C. long before Rex came into the picture. He had health problems. He wasn’t cute and cuddly. All strikes were against him when competing against healthy cats and darling kittens. But my daughter wasn’t looking for those things. She was looking for character. An animal that would get a long with her then boyfriend, soon to be husband, who never had a pet. Spooky turned out to be perfect.
     She posted this on Facebook:
My first kitty as an adult, Mr. Spookybutt passed away today. I remember when I went to the animal shelter to find a cat-he was laying on his back with his paw out the cage purring. I took him out of the cage and he nudged my cheek with his head and I fell in love. He kept me warm in bed when John was not home, he kept me entertained with his cuteness, he stayed off counter tops and loved being brushed. He was my first baby and I will miss him.
          However, please review the definition above, in particular number three. He was easily frightened and hid a lot in the first weeks, hence the name. I never saw the cat, except for once, even though I often took care of him while Holly and John were out-of-town. The one time I did see him was when Tracey saw the bump under the covers on their bed. I carefully lifted the covers and beheld Spooky for the first time in the months Holly had got him. It was also the last time for a long while. He hid every time I visited.
      Why the fuss over the name? It’s not my fuss but evidently others have taken a perfectly good word and used it with racist overtones. Holly had no clue and neither did I when she named him. I raised my kids to look at people’s hearts not their outsides. Sure, we know there are differences in culture, etc., but so what? I try to understand those differences and expect the same courtesy in return. I’ve tried to teach my kids this and I think I’ve succeeded.
     When Holly started talking about her new cat the soon to be inevitable question came. Is he black? Holly was bewildered so her friend Jill, who is black, explained to her the connotations. Well. To say we were surprised was putting it mildly.
     Holly was at a loss because she’d been calling her cat Spooky and had him registered at the vet with this name. She took to calling him Spookybutt or Mr. Kitty. Really? She had every right to name him Spooky but she also wanted to be sensitive to other people’s feelings. I’m not sure who I’m calling out here…the idiots who started using the word in a negative or racist way and maybe everyone else who lets the idiots dictate the use of a word in a way that was never intended.
     So here I’m taking the word ‘spooky’ back. It means what the dictionary says it does and nothing else as far as I’m concerned. I vote Spooky’s picture should be put beside the definition just to remind everyone spooky is a beautiful word that could quite possibly be a cat…a slightly ragged, grey cat. Who’s with me?
     Over the years Holly shared stories with me about her kitty. Once when I asked how John and Spooky were getting along she described John and Spooky sleeping together. John at the top of the bed and Spooky sleeping at the bottom. Both with their paws, er hands, er arms? over their faces and snoring in harmony. I love that story, it’s a great one.
     Since Faith was born I have been in Maryland quite a bit. I guess Spooky got resigned to my presence and started making his known. Although he was still easy to spook, he let me feed him chicken, pet him and even tolerated my Belle Amie. While I was cuddling Faith, he cuddled with his mama. When Faith was put down to sleep he curled up beside her on the rug in front of the crib.
     When he died Holly felt guilty because she hadn’t spent a lot of time with him since Faith’s birth. I told her not to feel guilty because he never felt neglected. Not once. All he cared about was that he had one more person to love.
     RIP, Spooky. You are missed. Spooky was fourteen when he passed.
Holly used a great poem on her Facebook page I want to share here:
The Gift of Animal
The animals that share our lives
enrich them beyond measure.
They show us that there is joy in
simplicity and that love can be
communicated without words.
They help us understand that life is to
be lived in the moment without regrets
over the past or worries about the future.
They teach us about companionship
and trust and about giving of ourselves:
our time, our attention, our affection.
Animals bring out our humanity and
help us become better people.
All we need do is open our hearts
to what we can learn from them.~ Mary Montgomery
Peace.

References used in this post:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/spooky?s=t

About Writing on Wednesdays: News and Buzzy Mag

Happy Writing Everyone!

Long Pause while I think how to start.

Ok. Let me start with the baby shower stuff. I made the diaper cake for this Saturday. I think it came out ok for a first try, there’s a couple of things I would do different but overall I’m pleased. Tracey said it was cute and that’s high praise indeed coming from her. Pictures were taken and I will share if not this Friday then the next depending on how I’m feeling.  I may just wait until after the shower because I’ll be taking even more pictures so I might as well do it all together. Right?

What else? Oh, y’all remember me talking last year about how much I admired Allen Wold?  Well, I got up the courage to friend him on Facebook. Oh yes, I did. I wanted to thank him for the help he gave me during the workshop last year. I really tried to make the workshop this year but I was running late, there was a car accident (I was not involved with that) and well, it just didn’t seem meant to be. Next year, maybe.

Remember how gracious I said he was? He still is. I’m such a fan. Anyway, he friended me back. Ahhhhh! Just a little scream. Lol. He sent me a very nice message saying he was glad to help. **Sigh** So nice. I think I read in the Stellarcon paperwork that he’s working on some stuff and may have some new work coming out. Yay! Can’t wait.

The other piece of writing news I’d like to share is Buzzy Mag made its debut on Monday.  Double yay! Please go take a look around. There are all kind of interviews, the short stories (under the heading for Fiction) and other things to enjoy. I still don’t know when To Touch A Unicorn will be out but you can be sure I will let y’all know.

I’m a bit behind on everything including my email. I’ve well over 2,000 emails right now in my box. If you’ve emailed me or if I’m on your blog and haven’t been in a while it’s probably going to get worse. **Wincing** Sorry about that. I will answer or get there eventually. I have a lot to do between now and when Faith’s born so I hope you’ll forgive me. I’ll catch up as soon as I can.

Oh, let me also update you on Merlin. He is eating like a toothless ole pig and has gained some weight back. Lol. His fur looks really good, he still has a bit of a snotty nose but otherwise he is doing a-okay.

Next on the agenda is Hero, the little stray cat that has been running around here for a little over a year. I am not sorry to report his bachelor ways are soon to be ended. He has an appointment with the vet for a makeover next week. Shhh! Don’t tell him.

Rex will also be with me by the end of the week when Holly and John come in. He’ll be with me for about ten days before Paul and I take him back to Maryland. We’ll help Holly with a few things, come home for about a week or so then I’ll be heading back up there, somehow, to wait out Faith’s arrival. Can’t wait.

That’ s all the writing and otherwise news for today.

Here’s some music cause, dang, I just realized I need to relax.

 

 

 

I’m a little more relaxed how about you? Are you waiting in anticipation for something to happen? Do you keep secrets from your animals or kids? When have you gotten the courage to do something new or different? What was it?

Peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curio’s Past, Shhh.