The first day of NaNoWriMo 2017 was a success!

Well, it was for me and my region. We had a midnight virtual write-in in our ChatNaNo room with four to five people in there starting off the month with word wars and chats. Then a really well-attended write-in at Greenville Technical College’s Barton Campus library. It was our first time there and the librarians and English professors made us feel very welcome!

The Kick-Off was last Sunday at our usual park pavilion and it wasn’t as well-attended as I’d have liked–possibly because it was Sunday afternoon and probably because it was cold and windy out! Still, we gave out 10-12 goodie bags and had lots of food (there’s still lots of pumpkin dip here but we finally finished up the pumpkin chocolate-chip mini-muffins. Those are addictive!)

My superhero novel, entitled Superhuman Resources, is coming along. I still need names and powers for quite a few cast members, but my main character is shaping up nicely, I think. No one has been able to create character art for her yet; most of the artists in the NaNoWriMo Artisans forum do younger people, as most of the novelists write about younger people. Having a middle-aged superhero is something different and hopefully unique.

Speaking of superheroes, the theme this year is exactly that and I got my daughter, stripeysharpie, to do a superhero mascot for our region!

We’re still looking to name this character.

And… after all this great, gushing news, something that has put a definite crimp in my style as a municipal liaison: three broken toes and a Lisfranc injury. I’ve been told to “baby” my foot (the right one, as per usual) and I have a wheelchair to pick up tomorrow. Yes, you heard it. A wheelchair. I won’t be able to drive for at least four weeks and probably much longer. Which means the family will have to chauffeur me around for the foreseeable future–and I can’t make any daytime write-ins, which is really frustrating. They also are responsible for the housework, which is frustrating in a totally different direction. Had to print out a “how to wash your wife’s clothes” for Hubby after he put my favorite embellished jeans in the dryer (the tag says “line dry” for a reason!). So, the only thing I’ll be doing during the month of November is letting the dog in and out and keeping the cats from following (besides my usual sedentary stuff like paying the bills). That should leave me plenty of time to write, right? We’ll see.

Anyway, word count for Nov. 1st: 2226.

Quite a bit behind

But plugging away at it. I didn’t write the first two days. The first day is understandable; I had to put down our elderly black cat, the last of four I wove into one of my Thunderbirds story arcs. It was sad but, to be truthful, it’s also a relief. We’ll miss him. The second day, not so much. So, day three saw me starting to write.  Today has been far better in terms of getting words down and so, you all get an excerpt!

Continue reading “Quite a bit behind”

Some interesting Tumblr blogs

I’ve submitted an OC profile–that of Rhea Allison Tracy, from Moonstrike!–to a couple of OC blogs on Tumblr. The latest, Simply Original Characters, seemed to like the profile. She did point out the number of hobbies Rhea has, which I hadn’t even thought about before. The number could be seen as excessive, I guess, given how driven Rhea is as a character. Still, I have her doing at least two of them in the story so far, so I can work the others in at later times.

The owner of SOC has also started a new blog called, Hook Me. Writers who are still considered amateurs can submit the first three sentences of their stories to see if they have a good “hook”. I submitted the first three from Dawn of the Hex and Knights of the Hex. The second one needed a bit of revision to make it a better hook–something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. I still have so much to do in the background of both stories, but I’ve been doing a lot of other little projects to distract myself from writing at all.  I hate myself for doing that, but then, getting the little projects out of the way should open up time when I can do nothing but write. Thursdays are particularly good right now as two family members are gone all day, leaving just me and my daughter (and the dogs). Getting to bed earlier would also be a boon, as long as I fall asleep and stay asleep. Here’s hoping I can do it!

The hole in my heart.

My skinny, sweet, tortoiseshell cat, Tika, was hit and killed by a car today. She was 8 years old. It was an accident; she ran out in the street at the wrong moment. The driver was nice enough to stop and find out who the owner was, and even wrapped her body up in a towel and put her in a big shoe box for me. My next-door neighbor, who was the one to break the news to me, cleaned up the blood on the street. The driver brought his teenaged son by a little later, and the son buried her for me. I tried to call Hubby, but he doesn’t have his cell phone on. I left a voice mail. He’ll at least see the number and call home.

Tika came into my life in the summer of 2000. We had just adopted a cat for the Girl, a promise we had made for her birthday after we’d moved into our house. Hubby saw how much I loved having a cat, and I had hinted I would have liked one of my own. So, one day he brought home the telephone number from a "kitten, free to good home" ad he’d seen posted all over the place. We discovered that the kittens, of which there was only one left, had been dumped in a tree in someone’s yard, and that the yard owner had taken them to a vet for boarding. So, off we went to the vet to see the kitten.

She was 11 weeks old, the same age as my daughter’s cat, Callie, was when we first adopted her. She was skinny and scared, purring and shedding from the uncertainty of the strange people now handling her. But I fell in love, and we took her home. From then on, Callie had a sister, one who she could run the length of the house with and wrestle with. They got along very well, and Tika settled into our home. She wasn’t the friendliest of cats back then, but she learned not to fear us. When it came to choosing her name, I had a hard time. I chose "Speckles" at first, for her speckled fur, but it sounded so lame. Instead the word "Tika" popped into my head. So that became her name. I even wrote a story about it for FanLib.

Then came the winter when she broke one of her hind legs. She was limping around and we had no idea why. So we took her to the vet and found out about the break. Instead of putting her down, we decided to fix it, and she went to the vet every week for a new cast to be put on. The vet, a woman, put designs on the cast. The one I remember most clearly was the red cast with the green Christmas tree on it. It didn’t take long until Tika had conquered the back of the couch with her cast on. Eventually, her leg finally healed, but she walked with a slight limp from then on out, and for some reason, began losing weight.

She had some strange quirks, like drooling whenever we went to the vet. (I was told it was car sickness.) And she developed allergies to fleas, necessitating visits to the vet for cortisone shots. She was also the one cat who felt she had to mark her territory by spraying… for which she was often scolded. I never could quite figure out just how she could do that, seeing as she was spayed quite early.

Her favorite toys were things she could bat around. Jingle balls, and the little pieces of plastic left from opening milk jugs were the best. Watching her play with the latter was really amusing. And unlike Cotton or Ink Jet, who hunt mice, she opted for birds, being light and limber enough to climb trees. Whenever there was an explosion of feathers on the lawn, we all figured that Tika had been there. She even brought a live one into the house once, which the Girl managed to shoo out to safety after it flew around the dining room for a bit.

She eventually became our skinniest cat, still healthy, but not plump like some of the others. She knew that I belonged to her, and had the habit of coming into the bathroom while I was in there, jumping up on the side of the tub and talking to me. She had a very loud and distinctive "mayow" and often trilled her queries. I liked to imitate her, which would make her talk even more.

And she loved my husband, too. Out of all our cats, she was the one who would approach him and beg for attention, reaching out with a paw or making a demanding cry when he stopped scritching her head and ears. She loved to curl up on our bed during the winter. At the end, she had made peace with Lacey, the dog. I wished I’d gotten pictures of her as she walked under Lacey’s belly and between the dog’s legs, or as she submitted to Lacey’s sniffing. Sometimes, when they stood side by side, they’d look in the same direction, and at the same angle – it was so cute.

Over her short life, she had many nicknames, the most prominent and well-used among them being "Tikatu". This is the name I chose when I began publishing things online. It’s the name I chose for this journal. And it’s the name I’ll keep, in remembrance of my sweet Tika.

An interesting ten days

Well, the Hubby is getting better, if you don’t count his cold. Two of the cats, Tika and Cotton, have been to see the vet (finally!) and now have been dewormed and given shots for their itchy skin (and flea treatment, as well). Boy #2 has been busy. He won his second basketball game 16-10 and was very happy. He also got a special t-shirt for scoring Advanced on the state achievement test last spring (one of five in his school to do so). He’s seen his first live hockey game (a friend took him), and was in his school’s talent contest, doing a comedy routine.
 
Report cards came out yesterday. The boys both got all As, and the Girl had six As and 1 B for the quarter, and 5 As and 2 Bs for the semester. We’re very pleased that she brought up her Geometry grade from a C to a B.
 
We got our federal tax money back (did the RAL with H&R Block). We’re waiting for the state taxes, too. Hubby thought it would be good to get me a new tower, and I’ve ordered a refurbished one from TigerDirect. My brother has had good experiences with them. I’m also getting a new, flat panel monitor. I hope it opens up some more room on my desk! With the state taxes, I want to order the rest of the fencing and finish up that project.
 
In writing, I’ve finished my love story, and need to help Hobbeth and Quiller with betaing theirs. I also have to make the changes on my own. I’ve started the next chapters to both Overtures and The White Winds.
 
For those of you who might want to know, Thunderbirds World is down and has been since last night. I have put in a support call to MSN Groups and alerted the site owner as well. I wish I knew what was going on; I’ve been demoted to an assistant manager, and that’s odd. When I hear what the problem is, I’ll let people know.

It’s up!

Chapter 19 of Masquerade is now up! And I got a good night’s sleep without any hassle from my muse. I’ve started chapter 20, but I really need to go back and work on The White Winds, too.

Tika’s a bit skittish right now. There are bottle rockets going off down the street and those are upsetting, to say the least. I’m sure the other cats will be antsy for the next few days, too.

The Hubby has taken the kids to the library for a little bit so I’ve got some peace and quiet. Let’s see what I can do with it.