Sunday, November 18, 2018

NaNoWriMo with Her Grace, the Duchess of Yowl

Chez Yowl, early morning.

Her Grace, the Duchess of Yowl: What do you mean, you're going on a reading retreat? Are you abandoning your duties here?

Me: You think I'm a useless tailless twit.

DoY: You have occasional utility.

Me: Well, far from leaving, a retreat means I will be reading on the couch here, not going to the office.

DoY: Excellent, I will sit on your head. Nice and warm. A little dense.

Me: I can't read with this fur windshield wiper going back and forth.

Doy: I want to read too. Turn on the text to voice enabler.

Me: *clicking*

VOICE: The cat in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed.

DoY: Surefire best seller!

Me: That's the first line from a Stephen King novel.

DoY: But better! Now it's about cats.

Me: You need permission from him to use it.

DoY: He couldn't possibly object to my improvements!

Me: I think I'm going to the office after all.

DoY: Wait, don't you want to hear my improvements to Cujo?


Amy Johnson said...

Fur windshield wiper--ha! Have a great reading retreat, Janet (and DoY).

MaggieJ said...

I look forward to Sundays with the Duchess of Yowl. She always makes me laugh.

I know all about the furry windshield wiper from my own little black moggie perching on the top of my recliner. (Jenny is not of royal blood like DoY, but she is almost as imperious.) The windshield wiper I can deal with, but when she starts lashing it like a whip, I draw the line. Thank goodness cats have nine lives and not nine tails.

Thanks, Janet, for the Sunday smiles and all the excellent advice you give us.

Brenda said...

There are no doubt aspects of your job that suck bilgewater (because everybody’s job has something) but reading for a living sounds sublime. As does hanging with book people...going to conferences...chatting about writing (with people who’s eyes don’t glaze over)...legendary alcohol consumption (referring to the industry as a whole not to you personally).
My life is tame in comparison. I might have to kill off a couple of characters to cure my fractious mood.

Emma said...

I know I'm a day late and a dollar short, but interestingly enough, Anne Rice just posted this in her facebook feed, speaking about exactly Janet's observation, but in reverse!

From Anne Rice (the other queen (note the lower case 'q' tho..))

In the last few days, I watched "Young Mr. Lincoln" starring Henry Fonda, and the 2012 film, "Lincoln" with Daniel-Day Lewis. Found them very satisfying and intriguing, and relevant to my preoccupation with the history of the novel in the last four or five decades and what I feel I've seen as the deliberate renunciation of the heroic in "serious literary fiction" in favor of pedestrian realistic novels about typical people of the middle class. ---- Hollywood obviously satisfies the need for tales of heroes, as well as tales filled with plot and suspense. Hollywood always has. --- I also read a number of essays by Leslie Fiedler in a 1983 collection, "What Was Literature?" in which this flashy and often brilliant critic said, among other things, that the novel was dead. ---- Of course we novelists do not need to understand literary critics and their pronouncements. All we need to do is write the best books that we can write. --- I wonder if more novelists might revolt against the constraints imposed on "serious literary fiction" today and choose to attempt great novels in prohibited genres. --- Help me with this. --- When was the last time we were offered a serious literary novel involving the figure of an American president, a man rising say from rags to the White House, pondering all that he has witnessed, demanding greatness of himself --- written in a brilliant and accomplished style? ---- Or when have we seen in recent years a deeply serious literary masterpiece about a mighty film star, following a similar rags to riches trajectory or a rock musician rising from the working class -- with such protagonists examined for their unique and heroic achievements and their isolation and their subsequent moral decisions under pressure? --- Have we been offered a literary masterpiece in recent years about a Silicon Valley billionaire, or an Army general? --- I honestly don't know. ---- American life has certainly provided us with plenty of living breathing examples of heroic individuals, hasn't it? It's not unthinkable as "realistic" literary fiction subject matter. Or is it? What do you think? --- I hope fiction writers will be bold in writing whatever they want to write --- in blasting the rules to hell in the fury of their irresistible passion and obsession. --- Talent must never surrender to those who seek to contain it with rules.

AJ Blythe said...

No need for a beanie with DoY in residence.