Archive for December, 2010

Angus has been acting very sneaky lately.  I thought he was getting me a present.  Everyday he’d clippity clop across the street, after looking both ways, first right then left even though I’ve told him a million times we’re not in Scotland anymore.  Then he stands under the mailbox and start kicking his football (soccer ball to those in the States) around.

I was sure he waiting for a present for me.

He wasn’t.  The day he got the box he came clippity clopping into the house, pulling a package behind him and kicking his ball forward, up the steps, and into the house.   He had some trouble with the package.  It took him a few minutes, like a half hour.  Once he got it inside, he collapsed on it a while before asking me to open it.  According to him I have ‘weapons of mass destruction’ – my claws, knives, spears, bows and arrows, etc.  I used a knife ; one of my claws is a bit wobbly.

“Tis me mobile, Pawnee Kitty,” he said as he buried his head into the package to haul out a cell phone about half the size of himself.  A few peanuts, the edible kind, fell out as well.  He had lean back into the package to retrieve his balloon hat out too because it fell off the first time.  “And ‘tis a fine mobile for a smart sheep like meself.  I can text and email my magazines and Hamish and any potential sweeties I find.  Like the last ewe I saw in Open Pasture.”  His eyes kinda glazed over.

“The one who doesn’t like football?”  On hindsight maybe Angus didn’t like to be reminded of that.

“The other one.”

Like I don’t know there wasn’t another one.  I keep up with Open Pasture myself even if its sheep oriented. 

Angus opened up the cell phone and began setting it up.  This looks a lot fancier then mine, but then he has more money then me.  He builds ‘crofts’, i.e. fancy bird houses that people pay a lot of money for.  After he donates to my causes he stocks the money away for future endeavors such as travel to New Zealand to meet potential sweeties.

“It has Internet access too.”

“Can you make a phone call too?”  He ignored me, opened up the text feature and began typing, his fore hooves flying.  I don’t know who he texted first, but I know who he texted next, and next, and next.  Me.  I got tired of getting texts and phone calls from Angus.  Two days ago I found him doing the Highland Fling on the keyboard.  It turns out he can dance his texts with his hind hooves just as well as his fore hooves.  Who knew sheep were so talented?


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Christmas Stories

Over twenty years ago I started my annual Christmas story starring my then kitties, a bossy Maine Coon and a playful, shaggy seal-point.  I started with a poem ala It Was the Night Before Christmas.  The next year I did a cat version of The Christmas Story with a MacScrooge and a Teeny Tom (a huge Great Dane pup).  At first I made alternate versions of stories I already knew then I slowly graduated to original stories.

Over the years, I’ve gotten the main characters closer to the personality of the original cats.  The Maine Coon, the boss of the house, was shy of people, while the seal-point had to greet stick her nose into everything and ‘help’. 

With my Christmas stories I’ve been able to experiment with different ways of writing.  I wrote and drew a Graphic novel.  I have a story that’s become two Christmas stories, each the viewpoint of one of the cats when one moved next door to the other.   I’ve used the cats to write an epic poem.  Two things I’ve wanted to do, but haven’t yet is create an animation project and a write and illustrate a picture book.

Throughout the years I’ve often wondered if I’ll run of out new ideas or if I’ll have to dip in my cache of unused stories.  This year I managed to write two and did so the same week.  Usually I wait until I’m at a conference and during my free or bored time, write something down.

I don’t know how long I can continue with this tradition, but I hope to write them as long as I can.

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Okay, this school year I was going to start looking for an agent or publisher for my manuscript.  I haven’t gotten very far.  It’s not that I don’t want to do it or am scared to do it.  Its come down to having not so good a time these last few months.  In May my father had a massive stroke and in August he died.  Thank goodness I work in the education field and have the summer off so I could be with my Dad as much as possible and help my mother out.

After my father’s death I had to do all the stuff that comes after a funeral – probate and that and help my Mom out and there went my weekends.  I have dust drifts in my house.  One day I’ll wake up and they’ll have covered me.

Last Monday I got a call from the hospital: my mom had been admitted the night with heart issues.  I felt like a free falling elevator.  The night before I had been telling myself: this is what I’m going to do in the next three weeks – finish my annual Christmas story, finish scanning my mother’s photos, write all the Christmas cards, and …  Hah.  See what happens to me when I set goals.

Somehow I am going to have to find a way to achieve my goal.  I don’t know how yet and I’m scared to set my goals again like that Sunday night.  I don’t need another call like that.  My mother, by the way, is back home.  She had a stint put in.  That part went well but she had a reaction from medicine/being in the hospital/stress whatever and thought terrorists were going to blow up the hospital.  I thought she was going to die.  She now knows what really happened.

I do hope that in January things will calm down so I can make a fresh start.  We shall see.

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