Tag Archives: cats

One of those days…

The internet has been pretty quiet this week. I noticed the number of posts in my reader is down, and other forms of social media are less active too. Blogging usually slows down for the summer, but Twitter seems to never end. Whatever the reason it’s observable.

I’m in kind of a blue mood. These happen every once in a while. I’d like more sales, more reviews, more of everything. This isn’t unusual, but the summer slowdown seems to be hitting Yak Guy kind of hard. I should have released it a month earlier than I did, or held it for Fall. What’s done is done now. I think it’s a good story, and hopefully folks will read it and feel the same way.

I’ve also been fighting with finances again. This seems to be a recurring battle, and I ought to be used to it now. It makes me have strange ideas about whether publishing my stories is worth it at all. The dream is just to pad my retirement a bit in about eight to ten years. I could easily write my stories and park them in a box somewhere. They make me happy, I feel creative, but it kind of kills the improvement. Readers help me whet the edges and raise my game. Publishing costs money, even if it’s just a cover, and that creates a vicious circle.

My daughter has taken a new job that will send her back to Sun Valley. She loves it over there, and it’s a supervisory position for more money. I hope she can find a place to stay, because Sun Valley isn’t like the rest of the planet. Things are expensive there.

I kind of like Jackson the cat, but he’ll be moving with her. There is one small benefit to this too.

I need to get over my crappy mood and get ready for the weekend. I have piracy to write about, and don’t want to spend the weekend pouting. I found this somewhere on the Internet and it helped a bunch.

Mayhaps I should searcheth around and see where I can buy this needlepoint when I have a few bucks. This is a powerful message, and would look great on my wall somewhere. It’s a good reminder to get over myself and get back to work. I WILL get back to work and put the evil thoughts behind me… by Friday… Saturday at the latest.

 

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Riding the wave

Life seems to come in waves. If you’re on a roll with a project, it seems to build it’s own momentum. Projects at the office seem to go that way too. When things go wrong, they seem to keep going wrong.

I’ve completely given up on my WIP for now. This is the pirate story, and I’m desperate to get back to it. Even the determination to set it aside makes me feel better. It’s one less thing I have to worry about.

I have company this weekend, and that comes with it’s own challenges. I elected to stay home with Dad while my wife and mother went to town. I don’t need anything from town anyway.

Dad and I talked a bunch yesterday, but today he wants to stare at the Golf Channel. I took the opportunity to work on things that don’t require deep thought.

One of those things is The Yak Guy Project. I wrote two more advance blog posts. Since I know this story so well, I don’t have to work in total silence. Putting together a unique promo post isn’t that hard.

I also sent Yak Guy to my formatter. I’ve convinced myself that summer releases suck, at least in my genres. May isn’t quite summer though, is it?

The dogs woke me up early this morning. I took advantage to write up one shtick for Lisa Burton Radio and got it sent to the author. It wasn’t two or three, but even one is forward progress.

Honestly, I never expected to get this much done, so it’s kind of a bonus.

In other news, it looks like we need a new battery for my wife’s car. That’s not a huge deal, but it’s about par for the course lately.

This is a wave, and I’ll ride it out. There will be another wave, and hopefully it has a pirate ship and a few monsters on it.

I feel good about moving Yak Guy forward. This means two releases in 2018, and that isn’t bad. I don’t feel the need to complete my current project for a 2018 release. It could happen come winter, but if it happens in 2019 that’s fine too.

On a fun note, when my daughter got a cat, I was worried about Frankie wanting to kill him. She has a different attitude about such things. There was some careful monitoring of their relationship along the way.

These days, Frankie and Jackson the cat are best buds. Good enough to eat from the same dish.

Frankie has more of an underslung jaw than Otto. She tends to flick kibble out of her bowl when she eats. Jackson likes to bat them around the floor before eating them himself.

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Reasonable day, considering

Today was my flex day for the week. I had a lot to do, and feel like I accomplished everything I needed to. My daughter went to work early, and her cat cried behind her bedroom door. I had a choice to make here. Either listen to the cat yowl all day, or let him out and keep an eye on the dogs around her kitten. I told her to leave her door open so Jackson the cat could come and go. The dogs are getting close to understanding they aren’t supposed to be upstairs, so it gives him kind of a base.

All good. Maybe the dogs will hang out with him and leave me a bit of peace.

Yeah, didn’t quite work that way. All three of them decided to share my chair and workspace. Otto is the one with his back to the camera. Oh, and cats like to type – who knew? I suppose I should be impressed, I can’t even get the dogs to read my books. This cat wants to write one.

Still, I got some things done that didn’t have a lot to do with my keyboard. I started the process of waking Tituba the sourdough starter up. I also broke in the new oven. (Don’t get excited, I toasted a bagel under the broiler.)

I also paid the bills after I got a few cat wranglers home from work. This is one project I didn’t get finished during my trip to Nevada. Now it’s done.

On the writing front, I got the shtick out for a Lisa Burton Radio interview. We’re still working on it, but it feels productive. If you’re interested, Lisa needs guests. I’ll have time to work on them over the weekend if you catch me this week.

I also managed to add words to my current project. There weren’t a lot of words, but the characters hid some bodies, and a new character started making a shrunken head. Oh, and they recovered some old equipment that was hidden away, and it includes a couple of small black powder mortars. We’ll be blowing things up in no time.

I still have to get one more central character into the story, and she’s coming soon. I just have to figure out how they’re going to come across her.

Back to the office tomorrow, but I feel like it was a pretty good day.

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A wonderful new Christmas novella

I recently bought, and read, a Christmas romance novella. Yes me. I firmly believe writers can learn something from all genres, but we have to be willing to leave our comfort zones to do it. Here's how I came to choose this one:

  • I've read the author before, and thoroughly enjoyed her book.
  • I'm really getting into short form stuff, and this is a novella.
  • This story has a paranormal element, which is in my comfort zone.
  • I write a lot of animals into my stories, and I wanted to see how this author handles an animal character.

There you have it. A thread or two of common ground, and a desire to learn something. This was more than a dissection of a fellow author's work. I wound up really enjoying the story, and I think you will too.

I'm going to let the author, Mae Clair, tell you all about it.

Cats, Christmas, and Romance by Mae Clair

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is looming just around the corner. I have no complaints though, because Christmas is my favorite holiday. Not only do I enjoy December 25th and Christmas Eve, but I love the entire month of December. It’s like one long holiday with all the merriment, festivities, and spirit of goodwill that leads up to that very special day. I’m a Christmas sap.

So it stands to reason I’d eventually get around to writing a Christmas story.

Those who know me also know there are two things (other than writing) I’m passionate about: folklore and cats. When it came time to dream up a Christmas story, I decided to weave both elements into the tale. The result is FOOD FOR POE, a short Christmas novella that is also a tale of sweet romance, twined with the paranormal, and even a wee smidgen of horror (just a smidge, I promise!).

Take a look:

BLURB:

When a blizzard strands Quinn Easterly at a handsome stranger's house on Christmas Eve, she doesn't realize her newly adopted cat, Poe, is the catalyst responsible for bringing them together.

Breck Lansing gave up on relationships after his wife, unable to cope with their daughter’s illness, left him. But the pretty blonde he rescues from a snowstorm has him rethinking his stance—especially when Quinn’s arrival coincides with a dramatic change in Sophie’s health.

Unfortunately, that change also attracts something only whispered about in folklore. Together, Quinn and Breck must defeat a sinister creature intent on claiming the ultimate payment.

Warning: A clever black cat, Christmas magic and paranormal trouble

~ooOOoo~


I’m happy to announce that FOOD FOR POE has just released. YAY! In celebration of the holidays, you can grab a copy for $.99 at Amazon. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download a FREE Kindle Reading App for your PC, MAC, iPad, iPhone, Android or tablet here. Cats and Christmas. What could be better?

Merry Pre-Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Mae Clair Bio

Mae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back. Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars.

Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with mystery and romance. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about cryptozoology, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.


Discover more about Mae on her website and blog at MaeClair.net
Sign up for Mae’s newsletter here

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:

Website

Blog

Twitter (@MaeClair1)
Google+

Facebook Author Page

Amazon Author Page

Kensington Books Author Page
Goodreads

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Purchase FOOD FOR POE from Amazon

 

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One more tidbit

I heard from my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. These are the same ones that painted our room.

Cat circles really work. In one of my older posts I linked to an article about how cats are attracted to circles. They looped an electrical cord on the floor. Their cat crossed the room, entered the circle, and stayed there.

One of my readers was going to test this and post photos, but I don’t remember who. My relatives vouch for it working.

The next time you can’t find the cat, loop your belt or something on the floor and wait.

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The Idea Mill #6

Regular readers know that I save cool articles and make posts about them on occasion. These articles are to get your creative juices flowing. Some of them are just cool story elements, some of them might become the basis of an entire story. Let’s jump right to it…

Once upon a time, scientists experimented with creating genetically modified humans. This actually happened, but they are few in number. This article informs us that this small handful of people are going to graduate high school soon.

These people actually have one father and two mothers. We really have no idea what this means for them, or their future offspring. Remember that modern man crossbred with Neanderthals at some time, and most of us carry small snippets of Neanderthal DNA. These people will reproduce someday, and the result could change humanity as we know it.

This could be the basis of an entire story. One of these folks would make a great main character. It could involve living with a secret, torturing herself about what her pregnancy will reveal, or even an X-Men style story.

The next one is about a smoking mountain in Alaska. They say it isn’t a volcano or fire related.

This could become a great dragon story, or maybe you’re more into Mole Men. It reminds me of the gas in Cheri Priest’s Boneshaker. I suppose it would fit in well with a shamanistic story too.

This one is a list of lost treasures. I like it because it involves Maguffin style items that aren’t all made of gold.

Maybe your plucky heroine needs to go on a treasure hunt to find a lost patent. She has a higher purpose, but is up against glory and money seekers. Can she invent the whatchamacallit that saves whatever, or will the bad guys defeat her, plunging the world into darkness?

This one is just a story element. Have any of you ever heard of cat circles?

Apparently cats are attracted to circles. They get inside them and stay inside them. This works really well for a witchcraft story, because circles are important, and cats are prevalent.

It isn’t limited to witchcraft though. I wonder if Indiana Jones could use his whip to make a circle before the temple tiger eats him?

Have fun with these. If you use any of them, stop back and tell me what you came up with. Let me know if you experiment on your cats too. I know you will.

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