Saturday, November 30, 2013

A thanks to National Novel Writing Month.

November is National Novel Writing Month. This is the month where writers around the globe attempt to write a novel in 30 days. The goal is to reach 50,000 words in the month of November.

I have not reached that goal, not once, although I tend to observe NaNoWriMo every year in some way. It is when my writer friends go into hiding. It is when I get daily postings to my email that are meant to be inspiring, remnants from the year I actually signed up for the program and miserably failed to meet 50K words in a month. I see writers in forums and on Facebook post their word counts, which make me feel like an unproductive heel.

It also turns out to be one of my more productive months for writing. Must be due to the peer pressure, or the fact that writing is top on the mind for a month, rather than the 7,000 other things associated with the upcoming holidays.

As this month of November comes to a close, I want to congratulate my comrades for completing the challenge, or even attempting the challenge. I dipped into a rewrite project that reached the climax tonight. While I didn’t reach a word count, I did some great work this month. I thank the creators of National Novel Writing Month for bringing this isolated craft workmanship to the fore.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Otis on the Lam

Otis the cat went missing on October 25 and hasn’t been seen since. We miss him so and hope he comes back. He is a VIP (very important pet) in our lives. He isn’t our first cat, or our last, but he is one of the more memorable ones.

We found Otis almost 12 years ago at an adoption fair. While Dean and I argued the merits of two other cats, our son, little two-year-old Carter, was playing with this gray tabby cat through the slats in his cage. We were told Otis was previously adopted with a brother, but they returned Otis. I’m pretty sure they gave us a discounted price and ushered us out the door to be rid of that cat.

Otis was six months old at the time and 14 pounds. He drove us all crazy eating plants, knocking things off tables and trying to drink my water…..for the next 12 years. True to our first impressions, he loved kids. When we hosted play dates, he would run to the door to greet little two year old guests and their little brothers and sisters. Before Otis, I had not seen a cat so drawn to getting his tail pulled and eyes poked. I think he preferred children to adults, unless the adults were coffee drinkers.

Brewing coffee in our house was akin to brewing catnip. Otis would go bananas. His favorite snacks were tuna fish and coffee beans. He once broke into my mom’s suitcase while she was visiting and ate a hole in the bag of her coffee bean stash.

Otis was not to be ignored. He was a big cat who insisted on sitting on guests whether they wanted it or not. He wouldn’t sit in a proper, polite way, but that annoying cat way of walking back and forth while dragging a tail across the chair holder’s face. He would mess up my puzzles and knock everything off my desk while I was trying to work, then everything off my nightstand while I slept. He terrified the vet with an unnaturally vicious reaction to routine checkups, so much so, that I drugged him before getting shots.

It was the only time I heard him hiss. It was all he had the energy to do on the kitty Valium was to produce a long, silent hiss in protest to the manhandling at the vet.

Now Otis is gone. He disappeared from his foster home (my mom’s house) during a big move. The theories of where he went are running rampant, but the truth is that we don’t know where Otis has gone.

We only wish he would come back.