Yes, it seems my recent posts have fallen into a bit of a pity-partying pattern of reasons–excuses–for my lack of writing productivity over the last couple years. For any newcomers, here’s a brief recap:
First there was the Year of the Wedding.
Okay, that was true, and a joyful event. No regrets.
But here, ranked in order of most influential, are the rest.
1. A crazy full-time job that sucks my time and energy.
2. Lack of focus
3. Followed closely by focusing on business during my “creative time”
4. Losing my writing voice (probably from lack of writing)
I think there was another one in there (overall fatigue maybe?), but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that except for having to work full-time for financial reasons, these are all fixable conditions, and they’re in my control to fix. But before I move on, I’d like to wrap up this unintended series with one final roadblock.
I almost hesitate after reading Chris’s heartbreaking post about losing her beloved cat Shikari, but I hope this will give her a chuckle and help her remember the fun times they shared
Because my fifth (sixth?) and final excuse is none other than HERCULES THE CAT.
It’s been some time since I’ve written about Hercules, who is fast approaching his second birthday, and he's even bigger than he was then. Son No. 1 describes him as a “30-pound brick.” (He might not actually be that heavy, but he sure feels it when he’s sprawled across half the bed in the middle of the night.) The Plot Master (TPM) has nicknamed him “Thunderfoot” for the thuds he makes when he jumps and lands on something. (On a positive note, we generally know where he is!) He runs down the stairs down in a two-legged gait, but not the usual two legs. Instead of left/right, he vaults down front/back, like a bunny rabbit!
|Hercules will celebrate his second birthday on May 15!|
He hasn’t been a cuddler since he outgrew my lap about 15 months ago, but he is a people cat. He rarely spends time alone, and will follow us from room to room. He loves playing tag, fetch and catch, and is quite the outfielder with miniature tennis balls!
Unfortunately, his favorite time to play is 4:30 a.m., which, as I recently discovered, is my “creative” time. This has resulted in a standoff between the two of us since I altered my morning routine.
Where previously I got up and exercised first thing–while he watched–now I get up and start to write (sitting on the couch in the blessedly quiet living room). This apparently bores him, so he starts wreaking havoc everywhere he can within my vision and earshot.
He jumps on TPM’s sacrosanct (and overly neat) desk in the corner and starts swiping things onto the floor. Pens go flying, as do neatly stacked notebooks and folders. Once he actually got his claws on our checkbook and sent it tumbling into the narrow space between the desk and wall. (That was NOT a fun morning.)
|He's watching and waiting to make his move.|
When he tires of the desk, he starts attacking what little artwork remains hanging on our walls (after we purged the walls of anything he could reach except for a few larger pieces I refuse to take down). Or he jumps on me.
|In the tiny space next to the couch (where I'm sitting), poised to snag me!|
This behavior goes on until TPM comes downstairs for the day to guard his desk and the artwork, but that’s a good 60 or 90 minutes of Hercules’ playfulness to work around. And usually by then he’s tired and ready for his first nap of the day.
After a few frustrating weeks of that, I moved to the dining room where the worst he can do is rip apart my printed outline and story notes while I’m trying to read them. Have I mentioned he eats paper and cardboard? Like a billy goat? He doesn’t actually swallow, just rips with his fangs and spits the pieces out. I think he likes the shredding noise. Maybe Son No. 1 should have called him Shredder instead of Hercules.
|He is NOT liking this new setup.|
So that’s where things stand now–an uneasy truce with me stationed each morning at the dining room table and Hercules waiting and watching for an opportunity to get some attention. I’m counting my blessings since I never know when he might find a new method of torture–I mean fun– to try!
And I should mention, he's giving me some great material! In my current WIP, my heroine has a black cat named Romeo. I might need to give Romeo an expanded part!
Leah writes stories of mystery and romance, good and evil and the power of love–-that is, if Hercules lets her. She blogs here on the 6th and 22nd of each month. Learn more at leahstjames.com or visit her on Facebook.