Archive for the ‘cats’ Category

Come to Visit!

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Flash here. On the advice of our agent, Cindy has let me start my very own blog. It's called I post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I hope to see you there. A cat like me can't have too many friends!

Flash, Back on the Job

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Flash here. Guess what? I don’t have to stow away in Cindy’s suitcase after all! She said I can come on the retreat with her today as long as I behave myself and don’t bother the other main characters who might be tagging along with their authors.

Who me?

I think I know why she’s letting me come. She’s working on my story again. See, we finally got the revision letter from Scholastic. For about a week Cindy stared at a big piece of cardboard covered with sticky notes, mumbling words that made no sense at all. Structure. Catalyst. Midpoint. All is lost.

Hel-lo? I’ll tell you what was lost—her brain. I mean, come on, we can’t sit around playing with color-coded sticky notes when we’ve got work to do! The Scholastic editor is waiting. Could we please get writing already? Finally, she sat down at the computer and I curled up on her lap.

I have to say she’s made good progress since then, but she wouldn’t have gotten nearly as much done without my help. Maybe I should change my name from Flash, Feline Extraordinaire to Flash, Feline Extraordinaire and Professional “Mews.”

Get it? Like a muse? Ha! Sometimes I am so clever I amaze even myself! No wonder Cindy can’t do without me while she’s gone on this retreat for four days. Well, I got a plane to catch. I’m still hoping one of the other authors’ main character is a sweet green-eyed GIRL cat. I won’t bother her. Cross my whiskers.

Available: One Feliine Extraordinaire

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Flash here. Itís springtime in the Rockies, a bit early if you ask me. Of course, thereís still plenty of snow in the mountains, but here in town green things are shooting up from the ground, squirrels are cavorting in the backyard, and Iím feeling frisky.

A month from today, Cindy will be getting on a plane to fly to Austin, TX for a retreat with a bunch of her fellow clients from our literary agency. You guessed it. Iím planning to stow away.

Why wouldnít I? Itís a chance to meet my agent in person. This lady just loves my VOICE. Iím not sure what that means, since sheís never actually heard me meow, but whatever.

I wonder if any other main characters will be tagging along with their writers? Do you think anyone else wrote about cats?

Like maybe a girl cat? With perky ears and long whiskers?

Just wondering . . .

Never Cut the Cats

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Flash here. Donít believe what Cindy said last time she wrote. I was not in a snit. I was BUSY coordinating† an important mission, thank you very much. Someone had to provide the inspiration for the felines in the plot of her new story.

Then we heard from our agent who said there was too much unconnected stuff going on in the story. She told Cindy to decide what was vital to the storyline and cut the rest. She gave Cindy a whole list of possibilities, including the cats Iíd worked so hard to inspire.

Cut the cats? Can you imagine? I mean weíre talking about felines here. What could be more vital to the story? Of course, these particular characters are not nearly as cool as me, but still. You donít just go cutting cats out of stories willy nilly!

Where would we be if The Cat in the Hat, Garfield, and Puss in Boots had been cut from their stories, huh? Just thinking about it makes my tail bristle.

Cindy was sympathetic, but she told me, ìWhatís the point of getting an agent if youíre not going to listen to her advice?î

ìAnd what about your feline muse?î I shot back. ìIsnít his advice important? Iím the one who got you that agent!î

Cindy laughed and patted my imaginary head.

So I held my breath and put my claws in standby mode. Iíd worked too hard on my creations to give them up without a fight.

Cindy got busy over the next few weeks. She cut the evil government agent. She cut the parentsí death. She even cut the robot climax scene. But she didnít cut the cats.

Instead, she molded and shaped the cats until they were vital to the story. I let out my breath, thinking catastrophe had been averted.

Then she got another idea. One that changed lots of things in the story. One that made my cat characters less vital . . .

Stay tuned. I havenít given up yet. After all, I am Flash, Feline Extraordinaire. And everybody knows you should never, ever cut the cats!

Flash on a Mission

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Itís been weeks and weeks, and we are still waiting to hear from three publishers. I have to tell you, curiosity is making my whiskers itch like crazy. Iím constantly checking the e-mail while Cindyís not looking. You canít blame a cat for being curious. Itís part of our natural feline charm, like taking naps in the sun and shedding on the furniture.

Meanwhile, the good news is that Cindy worked on my sequel, adding a brand new ending and several new scenes. Of course itís greatóonce again I save the day! Well, maybe I have a little help from my team, but not much.

The bad news is that as far as I can tell, sheís not going to write any more about yours truly until the first book sells.†

I donít think she realizes how bored I am sitting around doing nothing. A feline extraordinaire such as myself needs to stay busy. And donít bother getting me one of those stuffed felt miceótheyíre for sissy house cats. No, I want to get back to outsmarting butt-sniffers, defeating scar-faced men, and protecting secret inventions.

This situation called for some serious thinking, so I morphed into grooming mode. While working on my left hind leg I came up with the best idea ever. Why couldnít I provide the inspiration for the cats in her next story? Itís not as fun as being the star, and they canít possibly be as cool as I am, but it would be something to keep me busy while Iím waiting.

So I pawed through some of her notes and it seems her new idea doesnít have any cats at all.


My mission is clear. I must correct this unacceptable state of affairs. Everyone knows all fine literature should have at least one cat. Starting today, I will use all my persuasive powers to convince Cindy to work a cat into her plotline. I mean, how hard can it be?

A Feline Guide to Stress-free Living

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Flash here. In case you were wondering, Cindy came up with a new book idea since the last time I wrote. Oh, sheís really excited about this one, and has spent many hours at her computer, typing away with a smile on her face.

Iím sorry to report that this story is also missing Flash, Feline Extraordinaire, the best, most amazing, character ever. If she would only stop long enough to think about what sheís doing, maybe sheíd realize the error of her ways.

But no.

And itís not just Cindy. Humans in general have no idea how to live their pitiful little lives. You people continually have to DO, DO, DO. You never take time to BE.

On the other hand, your average feline is born knowing how to BE. And look at us, we donít suffer from any of the stress related ailments you humans do, now do we? Let me give you a few pointers. Read and learn:

Lie in a sunny place and watch an ant crawl across the ground. Whack it with one paw. Take a quick power nap to get your energy back after so much grueling exertion.

Amble to your food bowl. Itís important to keep up your strength with proper nourishment! Flop down for another nap.

Wake up and yawn widely. Lean back on your haunches and s-t-r-e-t-c-h, this really gets your blood flowing.

Stalk one of those infernal squirrels scampering across the lawn, chittering insults at you. Yowl, ìYouíre going DOWN, Tail Flicker!î and chase him up a tree. Slide down the tree trunk while your quarry escapes, laughing hysterically. Curse your humans who insist on trimming your claws down to little nubs.

Sorry. Forget that whole squirrel thing. I meant to say, close your eyes and meditate on the grass growing and the sounds of worms working underground.

See how easy it is?

Of course, there are situations where BEING isnít enough. Situations where you have to make a stand and DO something. Something like creep to the computer and get certain peopleís attention by hitting the delete key on any stories without yours truly in them.

Ahh. I feel better already.

Back to the Drawing Board

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Hi, itís me, Flash. Cindy is catching up today after being away from home for a week. Writing this blog was WAY down on her to-do list, so I thought Iíd use this opportunity to get something off my chest.

See, last week after dropping off a group of kids at church camp, she used the time as a writing retreat. Seeing as Iím her favorite main character, I knew Iíd be needed. Plus, an exotic vacation away from our little bay window writing nook sounded like just the ticket.

BUT, this retreat was not held in the mountains, near a gurgling brook, like I expected. It wasnít held at the beach, either. No, Cindy never bothered to mention our plush accommodations were going to be at the Super 8 in York, NE. Donít worry, though, it was better than it sounds. We scored a nice corner room with a viewóof the parking lot.

Now, York itself is a nice little town. American flags line the main street and big old houses overlook the charming brick streets. Cindy was so enchanted by some of these houses, she probably would have spent the week in jail for trying to peek in the windows if it wasnít for me keeping her in line.

But we werenít there for houses and brick streets and walks on the trail along the river. No, we were there to write. So when Cindy fired up her laptop, I was surprised to find her starting a new storyóminus yours truly. At first I thought maybe Iíd appear a little further in, but by Friday and page 72, I was still nowhere to be seen. Needless to say, I was ticked. Iíd come all this way and spent a week in a dumpy motel for nothing?

About this time Cindy started to have doubts. The story wasnít panning out like sheíd hoped. She didnít buy the main characterís motivations, the whole thing seemed like too much of a stretch.

Well, duh. You tell me, if you were eight years old, who would you rather read about? Milly, the perky kitten, or FLASH, Feline Extraordinaire?


Just because Iím a figment of her imagination doesnít mean Iím stupid. If she had only listened to me to start with she wouldnít have wasted a whole week of undivided writing time.

Next time Iím insisting on the beach!

It's My Turn

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Cindyís been a little busy lately, so I thought I would help out and take her turn on the blog this week. See, she won second place in the big Pikes Peak Writing Contest and all she can think about is what she should wear to the awards ceremony.

Now that I think about it, you should say I won second place in the contest. After all, Iím the main character in ìThe Secret of the Legacy.î Without me, her little story wouldnít stand a chance. In case you donít know, my name is Flash and Iím a cat. Himalayan to be exact. Personally, I wouldnít have a bit a trouble with what to wear to an awards banquet. My bright blue eyes, chocolate brown fur and seal point markings are elegant enough for any occasion.

I understand Cindyís dilemma, though. Being a human, she lacks even a marginally adequate fur coat. Have you ever seen a naked human? Exactly. No wonder they wear clothes!

Anyway, sheíd better hurry up and get her mind back on writing my adventures. Weíre working on the sequel and Iíve still got super-villains to defeat, inventions to protect, and bloodhounds to outsmart. Donít worry, I can handle it. Itís all in a dayís work for a multi-talented Feline Extraordinaire like myself.

You know, if I put my mind to it, I bet I could write the sequel myself. I mean, how hard could it be? I whipped out this blog easily enough, didnít I?

Why should Cindy get all the glory anyway? Just because sheís real and Iím a figment of her imagination? How unfair is that? Maybe Iíll crash this whole awards ceremony thing and insist on more recognition for us main characters. Actually thatís not a bad idea, Iíve already got the outfit. Thereís only one teensy weensy problem . . . be honestódoes this collar make me look fat?

Drat. Thatís what I was afraid of.

What If?

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

On a recent sunny afternoon, my neighbor swore she saw the ghost of my dead cat sitting in my driveway. I donít believe in ghosts, feline or otherwise. But donít you love when something happens to make the Twilight Zone music play in your head and you ask yourself, ìWhat if?î

Maybe youíve wondered ìwhat ifî about Stonehenge, time travel, or Area 51. How about the Easter Island statues, telepathic communication, or long lost pirate treasures?

Hereís my personal favorite: getting up in the middle of the night to find my computer screen lit up. Is it a coincidence that one of my cats sits nearby, looking guilty?

Thatís what I love so much about books. For as long as you linger between their pages, you can teeter on the edge of infinite possibility. Ghosts are real, cats watch YouTube videos when weíre not around, and aliens live among us.

All you have to do is fire up your imagination and keep turning the pages!

Inspiration Extraordinaire

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

A little over nineteen years ago I invited a scraggly, abandoned cat into my life. Little did I know the profound effect that decision would have on me.†

I wanted Snickers as soon as I saw his picture in the newspaper as the local Humane Societyís featured pet of the week. Besides convincing my husband I had to have this cat, I needed written permission from our landlord. All this took time. Time in which I feared someone else would adopt him before I could.

Once the hurdles were finally cleared, I dragged my husband out the door. The short drive to the animal shelter seemed to take forever. I rushed inside and scanned the cages. ìWeíre too late!î I wailed.

The woman at the front desk assured us Snickers was still in residence. We looked again and found the enclosure with his name. The dirty, matted creature huddled in the cage did not look anything like the picture Iíd seen in the newspaper. Turns out, the photo had been a close-up of his face, strategically taken not to show the bedraggled state of the rest of his body.

ìAre you sure you want this cat?î my husband asked. ìWe could get a different one.î

I stuck my fingers between the wire bars. Snickers rubbed up against them and purred. He had a gravelly meow, bright blue eyes, and beautiful seal-point coloring beneath all the dirt. ìIím sure,î I answered. We filled out the paperwork and took him home.

Our new cat was all weíd hoped for: intelligent, playful, and affectionate. He was also bossy, opinionated, and continually voiced his viewpoint in a loud insistent meow that virtually ensured he always got his way.

When I decided to write a childrenís novel, Snickers helped by curling up on my lap and rubbing his chin on my pencil while I wrote. It soon became our tradition. Heíd hop on the couch as soon as he saw me settle in to work. Somehow, staring into his deep blue eyes seemed to help the ideas flow. Not surprisingly, my main character had a cat who tagged along throughout the story.

ìCut the cat,î my critique group said.

ìI canít. Heís important,î I argued.

ìWhy? He doesnít do anything for the story.î

Why indeed? They were right, of course. But the cat didnít want to be cut. In fact, the cat wanted to take over. He was bossy and opinionated. His cocky personality seemed familiar. Then it hit me . . . He was Snickers!

Any cat lover can tell you the sum of their cat is more than its parts. Their aura of mystery is legendary. I found myself completely captivated by imagining my catís secret life.

I ditched my first book and started over. The main character of my new adventure story is Snickers, the hero who saves the feline way of life.

Not long after Snickersís twenty-first birthday, he stopped eating. After a phone call to our vet who is also a personal friend, I knew it was time. That night she came to our house and put Snickers to sleep on my lap while silent tears streamed down my face.

I canít help but think he lived so long because he was holding out for our book to hit the shelves. Like me, he fantasized it would be a run-away best seller and he wanted to see his name in print alongside of mine. Because of course, he knew that without his influence, Iíd never have found my story.

Someday our book will be published and Snickers will live on through all the children who read his story. But for now, the dedication page is only written in my heart. ìTo the real Snickers, my old friend and Inspiration Extraordinaire. Rest in peace.î