Thursday, March 23, 2017

What are they thinking?

Pablo and Henry

I had one of those fierce days yesterday; the kind that leave me clutching a bourbon bottle and showing the cabbie my passport so he could see my address; no longer sure of my own name let alone where I lived.

Ah yes, a day of meetings and proposal revisions.

At 8:21pm I realized I had not even started a blog post, let alone written or revised one.
Writing a blog post was beyond my grasp at that point. Beyond by a country mile.

So I hunted around for content and found the pet photos from last August.
There's nothing more restorative than a stern cat gaze (see what I did?) is there?

So, here are Pablo and Henry.
Tell us what they're thinking.

Post in the comment column of this blog post.
Comments are closed, results are posted!

I'll be under the duvet watching The Great British Baking Show purely for medicinal purposes.


Colin Smith said...

"Gaze... Scapegrace... Scram... You got anything?"
"I got nothing."
"Me neither." *sigh*

Hope you have a wonderful day today, Janet, with lots of great news, excellent reading, and laughs. :)

Hermina Boyle said...

Pablo: Did you know aloe vera has many medicinal uses?
Henry: Yep.
Pablo: That the gel of the aloe vera can be used to treat acne, dental plaque, and dandruff?
Henry: Yep.
Pablo: And the yellow latex beneath the skin has been used on a variety of conditions such as diabetes, hepatitis and asthma?
Henry: Yep.
Pablo: And of course aloe latex also contains chemicals that act as a laxative.
Henry: (silence)
Pablo: You've been nibbling again.
Henry: Yep.
Pablo: Glad we have separate litter boxes.

Hope you can catch your breath today, Janet! Hang in there!

Susan said...

I had a rough health day yesterday that left me feeling dispirited. But someone on Facebook posted a video of a cat getting a bath, and I just sat and watched it. The cat looked so content, so peaceful, it was hard to be anything but. There's that joke that says the world is at our fingertips with the internet, and yet we watch cat videos. But, man, those animals know how to lift a low spirit.

Sorry to hear yesterday was a rough one. My thoughts go out to you and anyone else feeling lowly. I hope today's restorative.

(And those cats are adorable, whomever they belong to!)

Lisa Bodenheim said...

“Wouldn’t you agree, Dr. Strifen?”

“Where’re my glasses. Ah, there they are. Well, Blanco, it does indeed look like she’s seen too many tropes, somewhere. At her meetings or in the manuscripts or in the contracts. That glassy-eyed stare is a dead giveaway.”

“Poor soul. Hand me the Bourbon.”

Dear Janet, hope you recoup.
And…the Great British Baking Show?!
*dashes off to search for the tv remote*

Rakie said...

"No, I agree the heatlamp was a great idea, and I know the seed-box SAID catnip, I just think the guy selling it off the back of that truck might've misled you."

Kitty said...

Henry: “Ever wonder what it’s like
outside this apartment? How about
Pablo: “No. When she hauls out
the cat carrier, I
exit. I hide under her
on top of the frig. I
don’t ever want to
leave this sanctuary. {stretch} Not

E.M. Goldsmith said...

You may not know what we're thinking but we know what you're thinking.

And you are disturbed little puppies.

Why are they all thinking about gaze, scapegrace, and scram? It's weird.

Amy Johnson said...

Is it Visigoth or Visogoth? Hmm . . .

Janet, Hope today is better.
Susan, Feel better soon.

Kregger said...

Henry: She hasn't fed us...again.

Pablo: She's hitting the sauce pretty hard.

Henry: And hiding under the bed.

Pablo: Wait till she passes out.

Henry: I have dibs on her toes.

The problem with the view from under the bed is you have to reach up to turn off the alarm clock.

Brenda Buchanan said...

They are thinking there is no way those profiteroles taste as good as they look.

S.P. Bowers said...

I love the great British baking show. Best watched with a bowl of mint ice cream. You may not want to be under the covers for that.

Julie Weathers said...

I actually know what happened yesterday.

Sorry to out you, Janet.

You can tell Sham gets serious about this run when he pins his ears. Oh, dear.

Now, I'm off to babysit, but I shall return! Never fear.

Timothy Lowe said...

"Facinating, ain't it?"
"What the hell you talkin' about?"
"The paint. It's almost dry."
"Yeah, so?"
"Hey, I'm pretty proud of my job."
"That what you call it?"
"Lay off, Henry. I ain't no Picasso."

Brigid said...

There is a tiny baby on my lap. She is wearing a sleeper covered in anthropomorphic milk and cookies, and making goat bleats so noisily that she keeps dropping her breakfast and getting outraged.

Brigid said...

Sorry no caption, but I hope this glimpse into IJ's world makes you smile.

Anonymous said...

"What if the hokey-pokey really is what it's all about?"


Mister Furkles said...

I want cuddles and petting. Come here and do you duty!

"It's so hard to get good help these days", said Pablo.

Janet Reid said...

Our first comment with Ilaria Jacqueline!
Now THAT makes me happy.

For our new people, Ilaria Jacqueline is our youngest (I think)
reader. She's Brigid's brand new baby.

Sherry Howard said...

"She left the water running. Should we tell her?"

" Nah. When she grabs the brown bottle, she ain't in no mood to play."


"Come on. The closet's open. We should take shelter."

A friend of mine told me about a music CD COLOURS, instrumental. It's like a miracle. I can turn it on and feel the stress leave. I think everyone should have something like that. The Great British Baking Show did that for you. Days like you had make us appreciate the run-of-the-mill days, don't they?

Claire Bobrow said...

Pablo: Is this Bourbon Week?

Henry: Tuna.

Pablo: You made that up!

Henry: A boy can hope.

Pablo: She's pulling the pie from the oven now...

Henry: Soggy bottom.

Pablo: Keep your trap shut!

Henry: What's the big deal?

Pablo: She's threatening to make Langues de chat!!!!

*Janet - I hope you have a better day today, a great day, a Star Baker kind of day!

Craig F said...

"I told you not to get spiteful because she was late. Now we have to guard the Aloe."
"Is she going to feed us?"
"No, she need us rubbing on her to remind her of it."
"Then, let's go and do that."
"No, again. We need to guard the Aloe until she passes out."
"So she doesn't notice the turd you left in the pot. Damn it stinks."
"Not as badly as British Baking does."

Julie Weathers said...

All right, I am returned.

Janet, I'm sorry you aren't feeling well and yesterday slammed you.

I'm bummed about the news in London yesterday, but glad all our friends are safe.

Logan the Wonder Child and I are baking cookies today. I told him he could watch game videos for a little while this morning before we embark on adventures.

Re the cats, I have nothing. I watched a video someone posted on facebook last night of a woman posting to a dating site. She loves cats. She kept crying because she was thinking about cats. How cute they are, with their little noses and whiskers, and their slanted eyes, and she just wanted to hug them all and put them in baskets and take them home, and whaaa, why can't she just have more cats, and "Oh, my God! I just need cats." She broke down uncontrollably sobbing, thinking about their cute little paws.

I think I'm catatonic in the presence of cats now.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

"WTF, she's slackin' off again. Where's our tuna?"

french sojourn said...

Henry: "Hey Pablo, wanna play guess my sickness?"
Pablo: "No!"
Henry: "Damn U."
Pablo: "Seriously?"
Henry: "Fuk'n A."
Pablo: "That's classy."
Henry: "Ass O"
Pablo: "Tourette Syndrome!"
Henry: "Shit-E guess."
Pablo: "Grow up, Henry."
Henry: "Fuk'n I_diot."
Pablo: "Alright, I give up.
Henry: "Irritable Vowel Syndrome."
Pablo: "You wasted all my time for that? Now shut up and let me finish watching 'To Kill A Mockingbird'."
Henry: "You know they never do show you how, don't you?"

Lennon Faris said...

"Look. The human is staying to serve us."

Brigid - that did make me smile. Mine are only a few years out and still that time seems so long ago. I miss the tiny, volatile-little-creature stage.

Julie Weathers said...

On to writing, but I'll leave you all with the quote of the day and it's something I've been thinking about. A critiquer reminded me of this yesterday. I have worried that Rain Crow will never find an audience because it's not PC, enough. We do this too often, worry about things we have no control over when we should focus on nothing more than the story.

The critter said, "In an excerpt in Wall of Shame and Glory a Union captain asked her (the mc) why she was fighting them and she replied, 'Because you're here.' I believe you need to get to her becoming a spy and why she did so sooner."

It's another example of some good advice from a critiquer.

First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!
-- Ray Bradbury

DLM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DLM said...

Susan, I think the world of cats at our fingertips really transcends the joke; animals ARE so restorative. I favor a clip of a chihuahua dancing, it just feels good, and the pup looks so *earnest*.

Hermina, that is FANTASTIC, love love love it. Elise and Rakie and Kregger, hee. Brigid, aww! Oh thank you everyone for your lovely comments. What an uplifting day.

Many of y'all know Gossamer the Editor Cat (see Chum Bucket photo), but he and I have another pal, Penelope the pup. I have been attempting to teach Miss Pen to cuddle recently; it is not, for some reason, something that seems to come naturally to her. But she seems to like it. If I can get her into it, maybe someday she and Goss will canoodle up. Heh.

We all have dreams ...

To those in or with loved ones in London, please know you are in many prayers. Peace be with you.

JD Horn said...

Sorry for being part of the avalanche! :)

Amy Johnson said...

Julie, I found the dating video with the woman who cries over cats. That was hilarious! Can hardly wait to show it to my family. Thanks so much!

Donnaeve said...

"This TV watching thing doesn't seem all that bad today."
"Huh? It's turned off, ya know."

***Julie, that clip was hilarious, thank you for the laugh. I recently fell (bruised only) right in the middle of the street - while on a run. I imagine I sounded a LOT like the man who was thrown. Lots of ugly grunting noises.***

Thinking of London and all who live there.

Dena Pawling said...

"A poodle skirt? Really?"

"You take the left ankle. I'll take the right."

"Good plan."

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

Henry: Why is the mailman kissing Mrs. Clark?
Pablo: Why do you think Mrs. Clark sends Mr. Clark to Home Depot on Thursday mornings?

Casey Karp said...

There's a cat sprawled on my office floor as I type this.

It doesn't have the cachet of a baby, admittedly.

But this is L Rufus Alexander, the Formerly Feral Feline, and he's on his back, paws tucked in close, demanding a tummy rub.

How's that for a reminder that your life can change for the better in an instant?

Laura Moe said...

My babies! I've thoroughly enjoyed all the comments.

Joseph S. said...

Totally off topic question, but today seems the right day to ask.

The question is how do you get the idea or theme for your novel.

I ask the question because I was intrigued by explanations I heard from four authors (two male, two female) at the recent Southern Voices Festival (in separate sessions). I don’t know if it was a male/female difference or just coincidence due to small sample size, but the two men started similarly and the two women started similarly.

For the men, the idea starts with an issue or a concept. One man became fascinated with Sleepwalking, and from that came his latest book. Another said he started with the latest issue being discussed in his state (Wyoming).

The women, on the other hand, said they built their story around an image. One, for example, said she had this image of a woman and a girl (the woman’s daughter) standing on a train platform. The author said the image stuck with her. She had no idea what the woman and girl were doing there, whether they were waiting for someone or waiting to get on a train, leaving a town, or going home. She just knew she had to tell their story.

The other said she had an image of a little girl holding doll. Like the first woman, that image stuck with her so much she wrote a novel inspired by that image of that girl and her doll.

So I’m curious: What inspired you to write what you did?

Claire Bobrow said...

Laura: you've got a couple of cool cats there. Love the photo!

Rita Monette, Writer said...

"Is she drunk again?"

Claire Bobrow said...

Joseph: I'm writing picture books, not novels, but my ideas come from words and phrases that pop into my head. Images start to flow from there. I'm a pretty visual thinker, and it's a fun challenge to see what I can do with all these random thoughts. What if...

For me it's kind of like the "We can pickle that" skit from Portlandia. But just like the skit, sometimes the pickles are awful...

Julie Weathers said...


I had planned to write a Civil War story for some time, but I thought it would be about Captain and Henrietta King of the King Ranch whose love story and adventure could not be imagined.

I was poking around doing some research for the game company and ran across General John Pegram and his eventual wife Hetty Cary.

They were considered the golden couple of the south. She was toasted by many as the most beautiful woman of the Confederacy.

While visiting her mother in Baltimore, a Union army troops by and she gets out a Confederate flags and boldly waves it from an upstairs window of her mother's townhouse. An aide wants to arrest her, but the captain regards her for a moment and then says, "No, a woman that beautiful may do as she wishes."

They were engaged three years before her Yankee mother finally consented to allow them to marry. Gen. Pegram was killed three weeks later.

Hetty also ran contraband for the Confederates until things got too hot for her.

I didn't want to write a biographical novel about them, but their characters provided the inspiration for Rain Crow.

Craig F said...

I write what the voices in my head tell me to write.

Unknown said...

Due to your recent behavior, we have made an exeCATive decision: it's time to take up knitting

Julie Weathers said...

Again to Joseph

Cowgirls Wanted is the story of the lady bronc riders. I lived 60 miles from the Greenough sisters who are the two of the main characters in the story. My father knew them well as well as several of the other ladies and used to talk about them. I just always admired them and wanted to tell their stories right.

La Patrona is languishing somewhere. It's the personal story of Captain Richard King and Henrietta of the King Ranch. I thought the story of the great cattle baron should be told from the perspective of the love and the woman behind the legend.

Far Rider was inspired by the teenaged Jewish resistance fighters during WWII. I know, an odd inspiration for high fantasy.

Susan said...

Thanks, Amy and Diane. Today is marginally better.

Brigid: Welcome to the reef, little one! I hope she'll get her feet wet and swim along with mama someday.

Joseph: That's an interesting distinction between the male and female authors. I'll be interested to see if it continues to hold up. I almost always start with characters--I don't see them, necessarily, so much as I hear their voice and feel their spirit, and then I'm sucked in and along for the ride, wherever they want to take me. A few weeks ago, one character began talking in the middle of the night and wouldn't shut up. I finished writing her story in three weeks--faster than anything I've ever written ever. The Damn Novel--set in WWII-era France--began with an image of a small town on the harbor, but I quickly found my character waiting for me on the docks. I followed her to find her story, too.

My books are coming-of-age stories that are really character studies at the heart, so I'm not surprised to see where those ideas come from. I do have some high-concept ideas that I would like to see as books, however...I just know I'm not the person to write them.

DLM said...

Laura Moe, you have some lovely fellas there. :)

Joseph, with me it may be different as I write historicals with real figures, so my stories follow them. The Ax and the Vase came to be because when I was a kid I hated my middle name, Louise. It was my grandma's name, though, and as I grew older I grew to treasure my link with her; I am the only Louise in my generation, and we were legion. Then I learned the etymology of my name ("famed warrior"); and I came across its most famous early bearer, Clovis I (Hludovechus-->Clovis-->Louis-->Louise). When I learned about him, I was arrested and HAD to write a novel about him. My WIP came about during research for Ax; it is tightly related, but a very different work indeed.

I suppose, like Susan, I go with the characters. Thinking about my non-historicals, I do have two shorts that very definitely began with concepts; but I have not been able to finish either one, which now intrigues me for new reasons. So thanks for the food for thought!

Beth Carpenter said...

"The calendar says it's National Puppy Day."

"That explains the cupcake show and the glassy stare. When is National Shark Day?"

RachelErin said...

Joseph - I start with an what-if based issue question. My current WIP was inspired by my commute (on a moped) and wondering what would happen if the internet became so insecure we couldn't use for anything important. But mostly I wanted to write about a motocross racer in a near-future sci-fi.

My first book started with a question, as well. (I used a fantasy setting to explore that one.) Usually the question has to do with difficult personal or ethical choices.

They are both basically teenagers answering the question: what am I going to be when I grow up? Sometimes they have to quest across worlds and sometimes they have to overcome PTSD and master AI algorithms.

(I'm a woman, by the way).

Casey Karp said...

Joseph, I'm all over the map. My first novel started with a couple of sentences that just popped into my head one morning. The second came from a character who wandered in, sat down, and started complaining. The WIP started with an old joke ("I don't know. I've never kippled.")

And The RagTime Traveler got rolling when Dad said "I want to do a time travel story." (OT: TRTT just got a positive review in Kirkus. So I'm just a bit stoked.)

Julie Weathers said...


To expound. I had to get cookie dough in the fridge or we wouldn't have time to bake them.

Stories behind characters intrigue me. The Russian night witches, Werner Molders, Boudica and her daughters I would surely write a story about one of the daughters, a murder mystery involving a legionnaire in Britannia, A Gibson Girl mystery, Tutankhamen's wife--what happened to her after he died,a story told by U.S. Grant's horse Cincinnati, stories told by an old Indian to a young crippled boy he wants to replace him as the next tribal storyteller.

I'm interested in characters, not issues. Issues may wend their way through the story, but I couldn't care less about them as a writer.


I hope you're feeling better. It's the pits when you have bad days.

Joseph S. said...

Thanks Claire, Julie, Craig, Susan, DLM and Casey. I really enjoyed reading your responses. I’m an idea and concept man. I have three or four books for E.J. Sniegorski (after “Escape from Brazil”), and three or more for a yet nameless young lawyer type in a small town. I just have the concepts and ideas but not a plot or list of characters (Although I think I’ll name an atheist in the third Sniegorski book “Christian” (If I get that far.))

Craig, do you worry those voices in your head will get you locked up? (just kidding).

Julie, the sheer size and magnitude of the King Ranch conjures up hardy, strong willed, powerful people from a time Texas was still Texas. It’s easy to romanticize about it (and I know very little about it except its general location (and that they name trucks after it in Texas)). It never occurred to me reading Far Rider it had anything to do with WWII and Nazis. (Speaking of beautiful women, I Googled Hetty Cary images, and included on the page of her images was one of Queen Elizabeth soon after she became Queen of England 60 or 70 years ago. She was beautiful (at least to me).)

DLM, my mother is a Louise (originally Luiga) and my uncle (father’s brother) is Louis. I’d put my mother in that ‘warrior’ or at least domineering and survivor camp. Her small town was burned to the ground in WWII when she was 12 or 13, and she and her parents were taken as forced laborers to a German farm. She survived that, and has beaten (survived) two rounds of cancer. (P.S. I love “The Ax and the Vase” as a title).

RachelErin, I‘d put you in the concept or issue camp. My three novels still in the foggy this-might-be-a-cool-series stage are what-if ideas. (The third in series if I get that far asks what would a young small town lawyer in real life America do if a beautiful woman comes to him because she wants to marry a Reptilian (like from outer space) soldier.

Yay, Casey. I love good news. I’m vicariously stoked. Also, If I ever kippled, I didn’t know it. Kipple is yet another word I must look up and add to my vocabulary. I’m up to a 645-word vocabulary now.

Anonymous said...

"Do you think she's going to finish that?"
"Nah. She's watching a lady bake a cake inside that black box."
"Should we?"
"Patience Padowan. It's already ours."

angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

That dumb cat sitter thinks we're called Pablo and Henry. Won't even give us our fix.

Let's teach her a lesson. You knock the plant off the table and I'll spray the book.

Yeah, then she'll know who Iceberg and Slim are.

Craig F said...

Only on alternate Thursdays. That would be next week, no, this we...

Actually I started on the road to attempt publication when a friend asked me to immortalize her. It started as sci-fi, the first people to a new planet.

Then I saw the trail to explain how it all came about as a neat thing. I went back and wrote a couple of thrillers that started as the MC as a business man. Those headed toward the speculative end with each new piece.

Then I got paranoid of getting an agent who didn't do sci-fi and went back to the start again. I recently realized that I had put too much into the first sci-fi, ASHES OF SUNSET. I am currently breaking that into two pieces and fleshing out the first part.

Short story and other little things just kind of worm their way in and emerge half written.

roadkills-r-us said...

Cat 1: "Listen, Q'Shark. Have you any idea how much it hurts to bite a halogen lamp that's been on any length of time?"
Cat 2: "Mmm mmmmm mmm mmMmm MMMMM!"[1]

[1] Tranlsation: "My teeth and tongue MELTED!"

roadkills-r-us said...

Joseph first, then Julie...

My first novel- which I wrote entirely in my head and has yet to be transferred top a physical medium- came from playing "what if?" games about Texas seceding due to the results of a specific election cycle (not the current one). Somewhat Tom Clancy-esque.
My current series came from a dream. When I woke up, I recalled only the beginning and the end. I set out to write a short story, glossing over the middle. Two books are out, I have the first draft of the third out to early readers, and I have written the ending of the series. All based on two scenes remembered from a dream. Not Clancy-esque at all.

Julie: We used to have neighbors who were part of a class action lawsuit (or one that was planned- I'm not sure) against the King Ranch owners. They said their family (of Mexican descent) had been cheated or chased off the land they had ranched and farmed for several generations. Sadly, I don't recall the details.
I look forward to your book!

Theresa said...

Joseph, for me it's all about the people. Since I write history, they are real people whose stories intrigue me for a variety of reasons. My second book happened because of a photograph I couldn't stop thinking about. I decided it was important to explain the historical forces that made it possible.

Theresa said...

As Pablo and Henry gaze at the television they wonder, Is this the day Laura will finally marry Luke?

Casey Karp said...

Joseph, don't look up kippling. You won't find anything useful.

A young man is reading on the bus, occasionally casting a lingering glance at the attractive member of his preferred sex seated next to him. Finally, he closes the book, and asks "Do you like Kipling?"

"I don't know," the AMoHPS replies, with an oh-so-cute look of befuddlement. "I've never kippled."

Julie Weathers said...


There have been many lawsuits against the King Ranch and heirs.

When King's partner died, the widow demanded half the profits from the ranch. As a court settlement, she was awarded $5,000 for her share of the 15,000 acres and given title to 240 acres. Keep in mind this was in Kingsville, TX where it takes 3 acres per jackrabbit to survive.

This went back and forth for 128 years until the Texas supreme court decided she had been compensated fairly and there was no conflict of interest.

King bought up lots of land over the years. People would get into financial straits or decide to do something else and he would buy land. It always amazed me that the heirs would not have minded if the banks had foreclosed on their ancestors, but because King bought them out, and they wound up with money in their pocket instead, they feel 130 years later they need to go to court and sue.

When King died, he owned over a million acres, he was also a million dollars in debt. Henrietta King had to deal with bankers who didn't want to deal with a woman. She had to start selling off land before the wolves moved in. One of the first pieces she sold off was Padre Island. It would be like her heirs suing the people who bought Padre Island and saying they took advantage of a distraught widow.

Gingermollymarilyn said...

The weird scene going on in my house right now: A platypus getting it on with a rabbit. Picture that for a second, it may be a small escape, alleviating your worries.

DLM said...

Joseph (please feel free to call me Diane if you like - though DLM is fine as well!), Frankish names are a fascinating study. Everyone's a famed sword or the like, all shining and violence-inspired. Your mom definitely fits, it seems. Hludo and wiga, the roots of the name, are ancient Germanic (yes, Virginia: if you go back far enough, the French are German) cognates of the modern words for "loud" and "war/warlike/warrior". I adored that "loud" meant famed and was a good thing, though of course the lines of translation are not so direct nor clear. But yeah, I wrote a book because of an ancient word for loud.

Anyone who's ever met me in person would understand that name ENTIRELY, for me. Only my ex husband ever called me a dainty, fragile thing, and he was joking. He also called me a Bag of Wonderful Things. Reasons I still dig my ex; he does have the nimble brainmeats.

If you Google "Vase of Soissons" you will see the reason for the title. The ax was the weapon from which the Franks took the name (francisca), and the vase is a famous piece of very old, very effective propaganda. Or legend, if you like!

Casey, that's a great joke I must steal for my limited joke repertoire. I've never kippled myself, but one of my favorite novels includes a men's club called The Grinning and Ogling Tipplers Union ...

Beth Carpenter said...

Roadkill, I had a story that started from a dream as well. The story wasn't about the dream, just waking up and not knowing where I was.

My ideas are usually characters that pop up in my head. I ask what they want, and what would keep them from getting that, and who would stand in their way, etc. Most of the time, I decide not to pursue their conflict any further, but every so often a book is born.

DLM said...

Ginger ...


And then, I think: my.

Anonymous said...

If these darlings are anything like my Boyfriends pair (who I am allergic two and who have their own Cat mansion out the back of the house) They appear to be plotting your eventual demise. I mean - look into their eyes...

RosannaM said...

QOTKU's dictionary's definition of gaze.

Gayle Carline said...

Pablo: Did you see that guy's flan? He completely over-beat those eggs. It's gonna scramble.

Henry: Amateurs. It's always the one who says, "I got this."

Casey Karp said...

Diane, of course you know the Boston variant of the joke, right?

Man climbs into a taxi and tells the cabbie to take him someplace where he can get scrod (note for those who think this is one of those jokes: linky-linky).

The cabdriver, apparently an import from the Bronx, looks him up and down and says, "Buddy, I been ast that a t'ousand times, and youse the foist to put it in da past perfect tense."

Joseph S. said...

Roadkills-r-us, Congratulations on having novels out there and getting nice reviews on I’d put you in the concept and issues manly camp. Being in Texas (and almost in the Hill Country), you have an advantage over most writers. As Guy Clark, explained, Texans grow up hearing wild tales and storytelling comes natural to them, if not a birthright. “Escape from Brazil” bounced around in my head for two years before I put pencil to paper. Often I felt like all I was doing was reproducing a story I read previously without looking at the source material.

Tereza, I’d tentatively put you in the image category. I‘ll take this opportunity to remind folks Thereza’s “Angels of the Underground” about the Philippines under Japanese siege and occupation during WWII with an emphasis on four American women’s activities there is one the two best nonfiction books I’ve read in the past three years (the other being The Boys in the Boat) .

Too late, Casey. I looked up kipple and read various stories about it. I also found a more modern use. Philip K. Dick used it to describe (and I copy and paste) “useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match or gum wrappers or yesterday's homeopape. When nobody's around, kipple reproduces itself. For instance, if you to go bed leaving any kipple around your apartment, when you wake up there is twice as much of it. It always gets more and more.”

DLM (or Diane). “Loud” fits my mom, too. As does “Center of attention.”

Beth, I'd say you join the women authors in the image inspiration camp.

Kate Higgins said...

H, "Ok so it says here JR had a fierce day and sought comfort from something called purrban"

P, "Yeah, so what?"

H, "And it says she couldn't find her tail so she handed a cabbie a pussport."

P, "I'll bet she meant 'Tabby' ."

H, "Then she posted a couple of cats in a photo that really look like us."

P, "Really? There are no other cats that look like us?"

H, "Maybe – she says "there is nothing more restorative then a cat".

P, "Well, that is in our job description, so what?"

H, "She must of had a very bad day. She called us Pablum and Harried"

Timothy Lowe said...

So, anyone still listening, I have to just say this. I finished "The Nix" today, and I have to say, if you haven't, READ IT! It's the kind of book that makes you delighted, amazed, and agonizingly jealous that somebody could write something so beautiful.

(I have a 16 year old student reading it too - not because of my recommendation but because she follows Sarah Jessica Parker on Instagram and said she was raving about it - she loves it too. It really resonates with multi-ages!)

BJ Muntain said...

"She did it. She really did it. She ate four pints of Haagen-Dazs chocolate chocolate chip. And she did even give us a taste."

Steve Stubbs said...

In the cat world staring is an invitation to a fight. I have watched them stare at each other for a minute or so and then suddenly go at it. I suspect cats get a kick out of staring at some human who is much larger and getting away with it. They don't want to fight you. They just like saying with their body language, "Hey, you. Whaddya think about this?" They probably think we're too stupid to know what a stare means. I know what it means but I'm too scared to take on such a ferocious beast.

I'd rather practice my king fu skills on a wilding pack of drugged out skinheads in Central Park.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what they're thinking, but I'm thinking we found the long lost twin sibling of my cat, Cauliflower, aka The White Ninja.

Joseph, I start with character. So neither image nor concept.

Susan and Janet, hope today is/has been easier on you.

BJ Muntain said...

Joseph Snoe said: "So I’m curious: What inspired you to write what you did?"

For me, it's the juxtaposition of a character and an idea. Sometimes I start with the idea, sometimes the character, but I can't write much until I get the other.

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...


I have read "The Nix" as well and you are absolutely right. Such a gorgeous book, entertaining and heartbreaking at the same time. It's now one of my favorite books of all time. It doesn't have the literary panache of the other 10-years-in-the-writing books like All The Light We Cannot See or The Goldfinch but I find that it cast the same magical spell over me.

I second Timothy's recommendation. Read it!

Megan V said...

"I'm telling you it's me."
"Dude, it looks NOTHING like you."
"Are you kidding? It's a purrfect representation. A hissing image!"
"You mean a spitting image?"
"No No, a hissing image. Something so mewtiful, it makes other cats fur rise as they hiss with envy."
"...mewtiful? Really?"
"Of course! And why not? It is a portrait of moi, after all."
"Dude. Your eyes are where your ears should be."
"Mepft. What do you know about art anyways?"
"Enough to know you are not the next Picasso, Pablo."

DLM said...

Casey, oddly enough, I do know that from way back. Though when I read it as a kid, it was the pluperfect subjunctive. Swear to Maud.

Steve Stubbs, I've blogged a few times about Gossamer telling me he loves me. He closes his eyes. As with dogs *and* cats showing their vulnerable bellies, this is an expression of extreme trust - "I trust you not to piss me off and/or hurt me in the moment I can't see you." I always, always greet cats slowly, not approaching them, and I usually will blink slowly. I close my eyes at Goss probably dozens of times a day, we have little chats this way. It's when he closes his eyes when Penelope is near my heart leaps and melts.

Megan V. - hee!

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Joseph I never could bring my inspiration down to one specific thing.

However, I did just now write words that always fill me with both elation and terror. I wrote

"The End"

I never do that with a first draft. And the end is not what I imagined it would be when I first wrote a last chapter for my WIP. It broke my heart, this ending. I wonder if it will survive revision.

Timothy Lowe said...

Cecilia, thanks for dropping those titles. I may be the most unread person here (except for thesis papers) but I am enjoying getting caught up! Those are next on my list.

Anonymous said...

Since we're all sort of off-topic today, some of you might find this article over at Jane Friedman's blog interesting. It's written by Donald Maass, about three ways to "produce" (I'd say provoke, but whatever) an emotional response in readers:

(I deliberately did not make that a live link, as her blog shows pingbacks and I didn't know whether Janet would appreciate that. So, just copy and paste it if you're interested.)

Julie Weathers said...

Thanks, KD. Another Maass book to buy now. The post was very good.