I’ve Been Tagged!

Kathi tagged me this morning.  Read her blog and get a preview of my Blog Hop Blog by clicking the blue text.

I’m excited to be part of the Blog Hop and to be working on my novel again. I really am going to finish it this time.  No more excuses.   If nothing else, I will have a completed manuscript safely stored on my iMac for all eternity.

Two fabulous writer friends have graciously agreed to let me tag them when I post my Blog Hop Blog on Friday, March 29.  (Yes, you do need permission to tag someone.  A surprise tagging would not be fair.)    You’ll be able to read their profiles next week.

Meanwhile, it’s a beautiful  morning in my neighborhood.  I normally don’t start writing until mid-morning/early-afternoon, but I could start right now except I have an appointment that I need to get ready for.  As soon as I get back, though, I am pulling out the old, old files that hold bits and pieces of my work-in-progress and getting busy.  I’m looking forward to falling back into it.

The Blog Hop is Coming, The Blog Hop is Coming!

I am part of a “blog hop”.  What is a blog hop?, you wonder.

Well, it’s pretty simple.  A blogger tags two bloggers who tags two bloggers who tag two bloggers…eventually we should reach every novelist/blogger in the world and live in peace and harmony foreverafter.   There’s a theme to the blog hop, and the theme of this one is “My Next Big Thing” aka “What Are You Working On Now?”   Tagged bloggers will blog their answers to a series of questions about their next (or in the case of some of us, first) book.

Here’s a blog, Just Scribbling, by one of our participants.  Julia tagged Kathi Holmes, who will be tagging me this Friday, March 21.  Kathi has a book out, I STAND WITH COURAGE. Her inspiring story details Kathi’s sudden paralysis and how she learned to walk again.  She self-published this, her first book, and now does speaking engagements and book signings to support it.

The book I’m working on is a novel and I feel like I’ve been thinking about it, working on it, or feeling guilty about not working on it for my entire life.  You’ll get more details when my Blog Hop Blog comes out on March 29.  Meanwhile, if you are working on a book project, thinking about a book project, AND you are a blogger, and wish to take part in this fun event, please let me know. I could tag YOU!   My email is celaynejones@gmail.com.

We want to keep the momentum going, so you’d need to commit to your Blog Hop Blog to post no more than a couple of weeks after I tag you.   Other than that, I will make no requirements and you can go on freely with your writing life.

Complimentary Coloring

The cushions on my couch have never been the same since Buster came to live here, but I admit they have got quite a bit of use as cat beds before his arrival.

Isis is a princess, with her bright, impeccable coat, clear green eyes tastefully ringed in eyeliner, and an entitled air. She’s a commanding little presence in the household.

She always held herself aloof from the other cats — until the first foster kittens showed up. Isis was about three by that time and it was the first time I’d seen her act like a kitten with other cats.

She had always been more of a dog kinda cat, she and Daisy the German shepherd forming a tight bond almost instantly. Isis was the only cat not terrified of the six week old puppy and the pair quickly formed a Trouble Club, joyfully chasing one another through the house, disturbing the other cats and secretly shredding the underside of a couch. That must have been their Initiation Ritual.

On Buster’s first night here, Isis indicated her approval with a regal nod of the head. That and the fact that she calmly regarded him from her perch on the couch (not THAT couch) with no hint of unease, and let him stick his curious nose in her face without a swat or a hiss let me know he doesn’t have a ‘cats are prey’ drive.

Typically, you might find that the cat would be on the back of the couch, and the big dog would be down below on the cushions, but you know already that nothing plays to the norm in my house.


Write the Day Away

Today I am going to engage in shameless self-promotion and tell you about a new page on my website.  But isn’t shameless self-promotion what blogging is all about?

The  new page is called “Write the Day Away” and it’s my writing and editing service.  Click on the tab next to ‘Home’ and ‘About Me’, above the animal photos to get some specifics.

“Write the Day Away” was the name of a blog I wrote for about four months a couple of years ago.  At the time, I was trying to write three blogs.  Ideally, I would post every day on one of them, so a new post would appear every three days. Piece of cake, right?  Not for me.   You’ve undoubtedly noticed the sporadic blogging output on this one single page.  Having three was so distracting that I spent most of the time I could have been blogging thinking about how I had three blogs to fill and not actually blogging whatsoever.  So self-defeating, so easy to do.

I promise if you hire me through my “Write the Day Away” page, I won’t sit staring at the computer screen with idle fingers, fretting that I have too much to do, missing your deadlines, or giving you nothing at all.

Click here if you’d like to go to Write the Day Away, the blog.  Who knows?  I may start blogging there again.

Musical Monty

Here’s my baby-cat, Monty, at about eight weeks old.  He was pretty darn good at pounding the ivories.

He was so malnourished when I rescued him from the impound that his fur was sparse for  what seemed like forever.  In reality, it was only a couple of months before he grew a thick, glossy black kitty coat.

And here he is today

Cuddling with big sister Cleopatra. She’s the one at the top of the picture.

What ever happened to…?

What happened to the girl who went out no matter what the weather was like?  Who defied blizzards, -20 wind chill, whipping winds, searing heat?  Who walked out the door on a night the day temp was -20 in a dress and four inch heels, unbuttoned coat, no hat (they muss up my ultra-fine hair), parents’ worried admonitions following me, ignored and scoffed at?

Okay, so that girl lived a long time ago, like the late 1970’s, but her character traits stayed with me for a very long time.  Until maybe a couple of years ago.  Suddenly, I found that I’d become what I’d always scorned: A Weather Wimp.  Even with a reliable All Wheel Drive car in my garage, I think twice, thrice, before venturing out on a foul weather day.  Even after due consideration of the conditions and a determination that it’s not that bad out, I might decide to stay home.

As long as I have some food, both for me and the animals, a couple of beers in the fridge, I will often decide it’s just not worth going anywhere.  For years, I would be frustrated when more sensible friends would cancel a dinner or other fun because it was cold, or snowing, sleeting, there was a tornado warning.  Maybe I was brave, maybe foolish, or perhaps I just plain didn’t want to sit at home.  I was never going to let anybody, including Mother Nature, interfere with my evening plans.

There’s not a feeling that Mother N is penning me up inside the house, not anymore.  I enjoy holing up in the house for a day, or two, or three. It’s cozy here, with the gas fireplace going, good music playing, the animals napping the afternoon away, me writing or researching or watching nature course by the office window.  The world with its malls and theaters, its offices and restaurants, will keep until another day.  I’m out of the weather and in for the night.

And the Trouble Begins…

I officially adopted Buster a couple of weeks ago.  He’d been with us since the end of November, and we seem to know each other pretty well.   The adjustment period for a new animal is around two months, give or take a week.  Buster’s adjustment period was short.  Within five minutes of his arrival, he and Luna were racing around the yard together, chewing on each others’ necks, all that fun dog stuff.   Buster fit so easily into the household, it was almost as if he’d always been here. Except for some inappropriate chewing episodes (the woodwork ledge by the patio door, the ballpoint pen enthusiastically destroyed on my bed) and a persistent interest in stealing cat food from the kitchen counter, he’s really been no trouble at all.  I’ve had two or more dogs for a long time.  Never have two of them been great friends like this.  Luna’s the more dominant dog, but only slightly.  Theirs seems to be an equal partnership.

Once I signed the adoption contract and wrote my check to Carver-Scott Humane Society, something changed.  I think the animals know once you have committed to them forever and ever.  Take my cat Cricket, for example.  I fostered her for months after she came to me with her brother and sisters as a family of four-week-old orphans.  I regularly trimmed the kittens’ nails, because it’s good to offer for adoption a kitten who already knows how to get a pedicure.  It makes it less likely that the adopter will want to declaw the cat, and its just a good idea to start the young ones off with good habits. So Cricket got her nails done, surprisingly with a minimum of struggle or strife because I am not the most coordinated lady on earth. Shortly after I signed the adoption papers and paid the fee, I got my clippers out, happily thinking it was good that at least one of my cats had proper nail training.  Our life together would be a snap.

How wrong I was!  Miss Cricket writhed and flipped and in general let me know that she was not interested in a pedicure, that day or ever.  How did she know that she was here for good, whether she had neatly trimmed nails or not?

Buster has shown his appreciation for my lifetime commitment to him by ripping the stuffing out of not one, but two, comforters.  I was secretly hoping something would happen to one of them, because it had a nice Rorschach ink blot right in the middle of it (see paragraph one, above, about Buster’s chewing adventures).  The other one had been with me since before the Flood and I was used to seeing it folded neatly at the end of the bed, ready to warm me on those ‘two quilt’ winter nights.  So sad to see an old friend go.

Special Investigator Luna gives the ruined comforter a final check before it goes to Quilt Heaven.

But, life goes on.   The new extremely inexpensive one I bought yesterday at Target is still intact and -bonus – it brightens the room up.  If he can just keep his mouth off it for another couple of months, I’ll be happy.

Double Agent Luna lends an ear to Buster’s secret plot to damage the new bedcover. Will she come to the authorities before it’s too late?