Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Girl With The (Almost) Three-Legged Cat

Just a few years ago, an extremely successful novel by Dan Brown called The DaVinci Code moved from hardcover to paperback to an upcoming feature film starring Tom Hanks and directed by Ron Howard. At the time, everyone seemed to have read this book, even people who claimed they never read books, but I managed to hold out for the paperback edition, which was a long time coming. I thought I was the last person in the world to read the book, and while enjoyed it, I quickly moved on to the paperback edition of Angels and Demons, which I felt was much superior.

US Weekly magazine has a delightful regular feature called "Stars--They're Just Like Us!" wherein humorous captions are applied to photos of celebrities going about the mundane business of filling their gas tanks, shopping at Target, or pulling parking tickets out from under expensive windshield wipers. It is definitely the guiltiest of pleasures, and remains the only reason I sometimes miss working at a salon that subscribes to US Weekly. In any event, months after I had completed my own delayed read of Dan Brown's breakthrough novel, a picture of actor Toby Maguire--wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap and probably walking to his car in Silverlake, holding a copy of The DaVinci Code--appeared in the "Stars--They're Just Like Us!" section, with an arrow pointing to the book and the caption "Better Late Than Never!"

Even now, I still laugh when I think of this photo. Don't ask me why.

This is a long way of getting to the news that I am now reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (on Kindle Library Loan), and *loving* it, approximately six years after everyone else in the world has read it. I am racing to complete it: A) before my library loan expires in two days, and B) before I allow myself to see the David Fincher film starring Daniel Craig, who is another of my celebrity crushes.

I apologize for being away from my blog for a couple of weeks; my beloved cat Kiki (pictured above) became seriously ill, and I was unfortunately occupied with daily vet visits and all-consuming grief. There is a non-cancerous growth on a nerve cluster in her right hip that is causing her extreme pain, which is now being managed by steroids and pain meds. Further biopsy results are due next Thursday, then I suppose a plan can be made for either surgery or longterm pain management.

In any event, life as I knew it ended two weeks ago with Kiki's illness: what followed were many days of tears and confusion, and times when, groggy after four hours' sleep, I would wake up to a vet calling to ask if I'd like to have Kiki's leg amputated now, or after a biopsy. I chose the biopsy first, and things have lately returned to as close to normal as I could have hoped, even a week ago: Kiki is using the litterbox on her own, is eating and drinking, is walking around and meowing and purring when she wants attention. She is as close to her "normal" self as she has been in two weeks, and has gone right back to being at home after almost a week in the hospital. I know this might just be a charmed interlude--her nerve growth isn't going away, and while we might be able to control its size with steroids and its effects with pain meds, it'll be something we have to deal with for however much time she has left (she just turned 16, but please don't tell me how long a life that is for a cat (their lifespan can be from 18-23 years), or ask how much longer I could have expected her to live; I know you mean well by saying these things, but I don't want to hear it. I can't *not* try to help her get better/stay alive, we're not yet at a point of complete system failure. And just like Lorelei Gilmore often said of her daughter Rory, Kiki "is special," like a cat/angel hybrid).

Now that Kiki is more stable, I will be able to get back to my routine and do things like keep up with this blog. I am looking forward to a quiet Christmas week (had to cancel my trip home, to take care of Kiki) where I will be able to indulge in several movie matinees like Mission: Impossible, Sherlock Holmes, Young Adult and Hugo. And Twilight: Breaking Dawn!!!! In fact, I think my next post will be a review of Twilight...

Okay--hope this catches everyone up and maintains their interest in this blog! OH--I do have some publication news: two of my stories will be published in the next two issues of Storylandia: The Wapshott Journal of Fiction

"See You There" will be published in Storylandia 5 (Winter), Feb 2012
"The Deepest Crease Visible" (the story I read at Cheap Beer & Prose in Fall 2010) will be published in Storylandia 6 (Spring), April 2012.

Talk to you soon,

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Life Does NOT Include Jeremy Renner

I tried to post a permissioned-photo of Mr. Renner on this blog, but it didn't work took over everything! Will have to hope that all y'all already know what he looks like--he's still a super-fox, and my first pick to play Pieter in the movie of my book, Biloxi Suite Trapeze.

I am at the climax of my book!!! This probably sounds a lot more exciting than it actually is, and is actually causing me a lot of stress.While I do have a concrete endpoint for my novel--i.e. the last scene--I don't actually know what happens between now and then, so every day is an "adventure" (i.e. stress-fest), and the demand of producing daily pages is seriously cutting into my karaoke time. Karaoke is fantastic, because you get to both sing, and the lyrics magically appear before you on the teleprompter. Writing, on the other hand, involves an iTunes soundtrack (Muse, for me right now, since that worked for Stephenie Meyer, and they do kinda rock) and a bunch of sitting around typing in sweatpants. Not the sort of thing Kate Hudson would find sexy, to go with our Muse analogy.

I am writing, and neglecting my dishes, and hoping to wrap this book up in an imaginative way....