This purring guy is Bud, a presence in the book. Lanky, cranky, and imposing, Bud’s taken over as feline editor and he’s had a heavy paw in the writing. Mostly, he wants readers to know he’s a big fella, in fine fettle, near bobcat size, and mighty handsome.
My husband photoshopped the background. As a computer latecomer, I am just now venturing into photoshop – see next picture!
Author’s note, although I felt I might be done with the book at the time this was posted, I actually wasn’t. There was much more work to be done on the way to publication. The book was published in July 2019, and is now available at Amazon (see left picture) and at the Borgo Publishing and Ernest and Hadley sites. For links, see the “Order the Catwoods Book Online” page above.
This confetti shake of a story has drifted together, becoming a memoir of our life with cats over forty years, surprising me. I can only hope the particles landed with symmetry. It was sort of like building a quilt, or a collage. I wrote from the ‘inside-out’, tinkering details into the interior. The work flow was nonlinear; the time sequencing, dicey. I slapped out a ‘big picture’ framework first. The components surfaced any time but especially mornings: ideas, memories; when humor bobbed up, I might wake up laughing. Not that I didn’t have to just sit down and do, and work really hard. That’s always part of any writing process.
For awhile I didn’t think I could write a book, because of a twenty plus year chronic illness that messes with concentration and causes fatigue, among other neural mishaps. I just decided to jump in and be stubborn about it.
The tentative title is, Meow, Y’all! Our Home in the Forest with Chattering Cats and Clamoring Critters. The book is part story and part study. UPDATE JULY 2019. Now that the book is out as of July 2019, the title has morphed into Catwoods, Stories and Studies of Our Feline Companions. It’s available on Amazon, Borgo Publishing, and Ernest and Hadley. At the upper right corner of the post there’s a clickable link to Amazon.
Along with Bud, our other recent kitties:
Little Buddy, a trilling virtuoso, is now 18 and a half. His eyes gleam! He enjoys sleeping and chowing down big time, and moves at astonishing speed – especially in the direction of another cat’s food dish. He’s featured in this post about black cats, a condensed section of the book: https://catwoodsporchparty.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/black-cats-in-sun-and-shade-a-painters-eye-view/
I did the green around Little Buddy myself. Lots of work and I’m far from having mastered the technique; precision work is difficult with impaired fine finger coordination. But it was fun to feel like I was almost painting again! In fact, I went back in and redid the cat photo at the end of this post: https://catwoodsporchparty.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/cat-inspected-art/
Sweet little former feral, Anna, who snoozes across the header of this blog, has recently gone to the Rainbow Bridge. When we met she was all like ” don’t y’all come near me” but later became all “don’t you dare move, I’m settled here for a spell with you, length to be determined by myself”. To her, every evening meant snuggle time. She had the same pale green eye color as her kitten, Bud.
A few weeks after we lost her, I took this picture of ‘cloud iridescence’ on January 27th, the night before the snow/ice storm here. It’s a natural, but infrequent, phenomenon. Refraction of sunlight by water droplets or ice crystals in the upper atmosphere causes the effect. Sometimes I think the sky performs in honor of the transitions of our beloved ones. So I’m naming this sky event, Anna’s Iridescence.
Madame Curious, talkative feral about town. We’re keeping her fed, and we made her a cold weather shelter. We’ve tried to coax her into the house but she’s having none of that! We hope we can bring her inside one day. She was TNRed and ear-tipped by former residents of my late Mom’s neighborhood, a few years back.
I can promise a deeply skewed, some might say flawed, work, in perhaps unexpected ways, LOL. I like to break the rules and have fun with language, otherwise, why bother? I kept the outmoded lavish writing quirks of some earlier decades when writing about those years. For more recent times, I employed the sparser style of today. I evolved to include more of the cadence, structure, and expressions of humans actually talking, not just in dialogue, but as the narrator. The book’s mood ranges from light and conversational to completely goofy to seriously scholarly, to feeling sad about history, and life events. Cats, too, have their own ways of being lighthearted, or studious, or gloomy. There are blissful, giddy moments, and somber moments as we look back. This is the way real life is – humans, and animals, having moods and phases.
Along with the cats I observe the wildlife we’ve seen since first moving to the forest; I track the changes in area fauna to the present, the declines and imbalances. There’s a more elaborate description of the book at this link: https://catwoodsporchparty.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/announcing-my-cat-book-meowyall-a-feline-centric-memoir/
This has been a long time project, partly because I’ve learned, from the cats, to scan things carefully. Tons of careful research went into this book. When on my own book turf, I’m being more forthright about my opinions than I usually am online. I’m hoping everyone will be cool with that.
I meant to get the book out and available the year I posted this, one way or another, but that didn’t happen until July 2019. I did still have to complete footnotes and photos.
I was still waking up every morning with a few items to slip in, leftovers from the busy night brain. But I called myself, done with the book. In reality I was far from done, although it did feel like it was really coming together when I wrote this, hence this celebratory post.
I want to take a moment to wholeheartedly thank all those who have viewed, followed, liked and/or commented on this blog. I really appreciate your support, and I am so sorry I have not been able to come to all of your blogs to say thanks and make comments in return. That’s been entirely due to my health, which hasn’t exactly been going gangbusters for the last few months. I will try to do better in the future, and will slowly try to get around and do some commenting. I get very little active time a day now. Clicking ‘like’ is something I can usually do, but composing comments and posts often demands more mental energy than I have these days. However, I hope to do more of all these things this year. I greatly appreciate comments, although for awhile I may be slow to post and reply to them.
Though it’s unlikely there will ever be profits from my book, I can promise that in case of profits, a portion will go toward the well-being of my own cats.