2018 A to Z challenge

Y is for Yowl

We are now on our second to last post and I realize that I have been terribly remiss. While I have had a fabulous time talking about Everything I Love about Writing, I have left out an important part of my writing. My critics, cough, I mean, my cats. Whenever I sit down to write, they wake up and decide that it’s time to mess with me. Also, as anyone with cats know, you can learn great nonverbal body language from them which can be useful in writing. Did you know that cats do not meow to other cats, only to humans? I’ve watched my cats carefully after learning this and its the truth 🙂

So without further ado, let me introduce you to my writing assistants.

First up is Beni Tetu


She is the oldest of our kitties, coming in at four years old. One night in July four years ago, one of our dogs started her fear barking. We live in the country, so we were naturally concerned. Was it a coyote? A rattlesnake? Something else? We run out to look and to our surprise it was a tiny kitten that had her spooked. We live out in the country, so we had no idea where she had come from. After much discussion, she ended up being named Beni which means Blessed, and Tetu which means stubborn. She is our most independent kitty and comes and goes as she will.


Next come the boys, Indiana Jones and Valentino


Although they weren’t the prettiest kittens, they have grown into handsome Toms. At three years old, they are our biggest cats, weighing in at around 18 lbs. The black one is Indiana Jones, he was named that because he is an adventurer. The striped one is called Valentino because he’s a lover, not a fighter. Both have turned out to be incredibly sweet toms. Surprisingly enough, they are quick on their feet and are great hunters.


Next come the Ginger Girls, Lea and Munca


The girls just turned two last month. My brother’s cat got pregnant and because he has four little ones we took in the kittens to foster. 3 out of 5 went to other homes, but I simply became too attached to these two to give them up. Lea was originally a Leo until we found out that he was a she. Like how Calico cats are predominantly female, most orange tigers are male, with the ratio coming out to about 80/20. However we ended up with two females. Munca on the hand loved to climb across the top of her cage on the inside like she was doing monkey bars. We named her Monkey, but it is usually shortened to Munca. As seen in the above pictures, Munca loves to sleep in bowls while her sister Lea prefers the softer option of fleece. However, they love to snuggle together and get into trouble together 🙂


Rounding out this age group is Zazzles.


Around the same age as the gingers and a suspected half brother, Zazzles has a special story. My brother was driving home one night and found a kitten in the middle of the road injured. He brought him home and gave him a bath (and didn’t die for his impudence). His tail was broken but he was in good spirits and had a sweet disposition. My brother was unable to keep him as he was in a pet free rental, so he brought him out to the acreage. His tail healed up and other than a slight crook, you can’t even tell that it was broken. He is the most vocal of all of our felines and loves to love on all of us. I don’t know if you have ever watched the Big Bang Theory, but that is where we got his name from. “His name is Zazzles because he’s the Zazziest” – Sheldon Cooper


Finally, we have Duckie


Another rescue, Duckie is only 6 months old. We got her in October. Something happened to her mother and as it was around Halloween, some kids were talking about hurting her because she was a black cat. She was just a bitty thing when we first got her, only a few weeks old. She had obviously been crying for her mother and her throat was distressed, so when she meowed, she sounded like a duck. Although her throat has healed up, the name stuck. Although the smallest and youngest of the pride, she has no fear and loves to mess with all of her siblings. As you can tell from the picture above, she’s a sassy one. She is currently very unhappy with us as she was recently fixed and is being kept indoors until she is completely healed. However, give it a week or so and she’ll be right back to terrorizing the world, both inside and out 🙂


Also, I can’t write this post without a special mention.

Sassy 1

This is Sassafras T. also known as Sassy II a.k.a. Sassy. We sadly had to say goodbye to him this winter. He was my writing companion for 17 years and is sorely missed. However, he had quite the eventful life, full of fun and adventures, raised lots of puppies and kittens.


So tell me about your special writing companions 🙂


D is for Dedication

So I’m going to be real for a moment. I love almost everything about writing (editing is another matter, but let’s not go there right now). Even when I’m wondering why I gave my character a name that’s a pain to write or spellcheck is upset for the umpteenth time about I word that I created and have added to the dictionary multiple times. But sometimes, writing is hard.

This is where dedication comes in. There are days when I’m sick, when I’m exhausted, when the whole world just seems to throw every roadblock they can in my way. There are days when I am so frustrated with a character that I sit at my keyboard and literally cry. I have spent hours looking at a blank page and blinking cursor because I have written my book into a corner and there is literally no way to proceed. I live through my characters’ emotions as I write and there have been days when I’ve been emotionally depleted and my family still expected me to be a functioning human being. I have argued with my family about how much time my writing takes, I have argued with my characters, I have argued with my family about arguing with my characters. After all, I’ve created them, I should just be able to write whatever I want to happen.

Then there are the physical problems. I’ve had computers restart themselves, losing everything I just spent hours typing. I’ve had cats step on my keyboard to the same effect. There is also the ongoing battle between the cats and my writing for attention, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dropped cats off my lap only for them to levitate back less than two seconds later. I’ve also lost track of how many times I’ve told them to get their paws off my keyboard.

So with all of these obstacles, why do I write? I write because it fulfills a part of my soul. When I write, I can become anyone or anything. I can go anywhere and do anything. There are literally no limits for what I can do, see, feel, or think. Also, it’s a duty. These characters have entrusted their story to me and it is my job to make sure that it is not forgotten, lost to the grind and stress of daily life. And in a way, I write because it’s magic. Because not only can I become anyone or experience anything, so can people who read my words. They can share the experience, but with a totally unique filter to them. A thousand people can read the exact same thing, but it will be retold in a thousand new ways. That is why I write.

What is something that requires dedication in your life? How do you overcome the daily stresses that life throws at you?