Did Someone Say Friday?

Silly goose looking directly at cameraThe end of the week is a great opportunity to look back over the past several days and take measure our accomplishments. Unfortunately, mine were close to nil. :(  I did manage to eke out a single scene on my WIP, but considering the goal was a chapter, the results are pathetic.

In my defense, the week has been unusually chaotic. I’ve had a work crew at my home since Monday, installing new zoned heat and a/c units. The job is supposed to be finished today—hooray!—but the weekend I wanted to spend writing will probably be spent cleaning. You can’t have a work crew without dust. Lots of dust. Guess what I’ll be doing tomorrow?

I’m not the only one running low on patience. Raven has been forced to spend eight hours each day in the basement while servicemen tramp in and out of the house (I won’t risk her sneaking outside if someone accidentally leaves a door open). We’ve tried to make her confinement as inviting as possible, arranging a “snuggle area” with one of her beds and a blanket. I elevated them on chairs so she’s not on the floor. She has water and food, and I even added a few toys and her red “cube” for lounging.

black cat in pink cube with cat toy

Raven in her pink cube. Besides this and the red cube, she also has a blue one. Can we say spoiled?

Bribes aside, she is NOT a happy camper. She can’t watch birds from the basement, sprawl in the sunlight, or stretch out in the bow window. A rough week in catdom.

The only benefit she’s enjoyed is the daily fussing we do to make up for her morning and afternoon exile. You can see why this Friday is more welcome than usual—I want my house back! So does Raven!

In the meantime, I’m at Story Empire today sharing the weekly Curated Writing Content gathered by the SE authors. While you’re celebrating Friday in the blogosphere, drop in and see what we’ve collected. And in case you missed SE’s earlier posts, Staci Troilo took a fabulous look at Fictional Fathers, and I trotted out My Problematic Word.

Happy Friday!

Cat Toys and Author Tools

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I spent half of mine visiting with family and the other half trying to be productive on my WIP (more on that project in a later post).

Of course, I had to make time for the Kentucky Derby, something DH and I never miss. It was a rainy day in Kentucky with a muddy track, and and equally rainy day in PA.

I bought some new play toys for my cat, Raven, called Neko Flies. They’re by far and away the best cat toys I’ve ever purchased, sheer genius on the part of whoever designed them. Picture a fishing rod with a life-like lure on the end. I bet the inventor was fiddling around with tackle one day when his or her cat went crazy.

Raven loves to stalk and hunt and turns into a predatory demon anytime she sees a bug, so as soon as I spied Neko Flies, I knew they were golden. Has anyone else tried these for their cats?

I picked up the Kattiepede and Kragonfly. The Kragonfly has beautiful iridescent wings (the picture on the website doesn’t do it justice). Next up, I’d like to get the Katarantula. You can order online or through Amazon, but I found Neko Flies at my local pet store. I have the regular wand, but want to get the telescoping rod, which looks like a small fishing rod. It’s currently out of stock at the store and online. What I don’t do for my cat—she is so spoiled—but, boy, is she getting her exercise! Including performing complex aerial acrobatics on a regular basis.

And speaking of being spoiled, it’s time to spoil yourself with today’s resource material on Story Empire where Staci Troilo shares Part 3 of her series on Author Media kits. Her topic is One Sheet and Author Biographies. As always, Staci delivers an information packed post with guidance, examples, and suggestions on implementing. Enjoy!

Writing and #Cats

Raven is helping me introduce my post today. For those of you who are new followers, Raven is my rescue cat, adopted the end of September. Recently, it’s been brought to my attention (ahem….you know who you are 🙂 ) that my blog has suffered an appalling lack of cat photos.

So, today Raven is the guest presenter for my post at Story Empire. She was camped out on my desk when I wrote What’s Your Preference? and thinks it’s pretty good. But then Raven likes ripping apart stuffed lobsters (and I don’t mean the gourmet variety).

This is my predatory hunter with a cute red lobster I found on Amazon. See it peeking out from beneath her belly?

Raven with lobster (black cat with stuffed lobster toy)

The picture was taken on the day I opened the package. Today, the lobster has no tail and the right eye is barely hanging on, just one of her many toy casualties. What she did to the stuffed mouse is too gruesome to mention, but what can I say? She’s a cat and cats are hunters.

Like any cat, she also knows how to pose. The second photo is the one that was posted on the rescue site when she was placed for adoption. The moment I saw her, I was smitten. Seriously—who could resist that face? She was so tiny! I used to be able to hold her in one hand.

The final photo is Raven now. Look at those eyes! Her birthday comes up the middle of May when she’ll be a year old.

Raven on rescue site, black kitten

And now that you’ve had a chance to see what a gorgeous girl she is, I hope you’ll join me at Story Empire as I ruminate about writing habits, CPs and professional organizations.

Who knows…there might even be a cat photo or two :)Raven Eyes black cat with legs tucked under body looking at camera

When #Cats Rule Your World by Mae Clair

Those of you who’ve been following my blog or a while know that I’m a cat fanatic. It’s been almost five years since I lost my last cat, Onyx, to cancer. I never thought I would last five years between felines given my OCD (obsessive cat disorder), but if I’d gotten another cat sooner (or later) I wouldn’t have met Raven.

Say hello to my latest companion.

cute black cat lying on a white and blue blanket, looking at cameraShe’s four months old and is a rescue from Castaway Critters. I’ve been prepping my house for her for weeks. Rather, I should say I’ve been prepping for “a cat.” I’m a planner, so I had completed an application to CC ahead of time, supplied references and a vet check, all so that I could get a cat the first week of October, after a brief visit to the beach. All neat and tidy, planned out perfectly—NOT!

I was approved ahead of time and started looking at the Castaway Critters website early. Big mistake. My willpower was shot by that point and I was in uber cat mode.

I knew I wanted another black cat. Why? Because they’re often left in shelters due to old superstitions, something I addressed in my novella FOOD FOR POE. I saw Raven online, went to meet her prior to my beach trip, and was immediately smitten. Once they put her in my arms, she started purring, and buried her nose in my elbow, I was a goner.

Hubby and I brought her home before our trip, but I made sure she had everything she needed while we were away.

I’m pleased to say she’s settled in just fine, passed her vet check with flying colors and has pretty much taken control of the house. Yeah, she rules my world.

Check out these photos of her lounging on my desk, and playing on her climbing tree. She has boatloads of energy, but she will curl up for an hour or three on my desk when I’m composing. Otherwise, it’s racing through the house in the morning and demanding play time at night.

Cute black cat lying in a circular bed on top of desk beside a computer screenClose up of a cute black cat in a circular bed
cute black cat on a indoor climbing pet tree with a small ladder at the bottom and tiers for laying at the topShe also has a fun pink “cube” that my cousin picked up for her. She absolutely loves the thing and uses it as play-time central. It’s springy, so she can crush it in all kinds of shapes (see second photo), zip in and out, and roll around like a tumbleweed (which she does frequently). Whoever invented this thing deserves his own private island–which I’m sure he has from profits.It’s quickly become her favorite toy, next to her Jackson Galaxy feather wand (not pictured) and her pink feather ball (that’s what she’s clutching in the cube).

A flexible pink cube cat toy with a black cat insideA flexible pink cat cube toy with a cute black cat lying on its side

Raven loves to be held, loves to snuggle (especially at night) and has boundless amounts of energy. When I took her to the vet, rather than hide timidly in her carrier she immediately hopped out, explored the whole room, then promptly plopped down and started grooming herself like she hadn’t a care in the world. She was found in a town not far from where I live called Steelton. Around here we say people are “Steelton tough” and I think she inherited some of that toughness despite the sweet exterior.

Given it’s October, and she looks like a Halloween cat, I thought would be the perfect time to introduce her. I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of Raven on my blog now and again. Now I just have to explain the Mothman to her 🙂