The Journal, Saturday, August 18

Hey Folks,

A few days ago, for some reason, the RSS feed for Kristine Kathryn Rusch failed, on my end or on hers. You’ll remember I referenced this in “Of Interest” when Dan Baldwin told me of a great new post.

This morning I explored her site a little more. Finally, on the Contact Kris page ( I scrolled down and found two subscription forms.

One is to “Subscribe to Blog via Email” and the other is to “Subscribe with RSS.” (Both of these are only for the overall blog. She also writes several smaller occasional newsletters to which you can subscribe for particular series, etc.)

I recommend doing so. I disagree with her about many things, but she is still an incredible source of valid information on the business of writing. And if you want to learn the craft of writing fiction, you’d be hard pressed to find better work to study.

Most of you know I dote on my little girl cat. I don’t see her as a “pet.” Our relationship is more that of father/daughter.

Though at 7 years old, she’s a grown little woman cat, and more and more often she rolls her eyes when I call her “baby” or “little girl.” She finds it condescending I guess.

Still, I’ve learned a great deal from her. She communicates in the only ways she can, with rubs and tail whips or taps, her tiny voice and her pleasant purring (two distinct types), and occasional touches or pats of her little hands (claws retracted). When she wants to make a definitive point, of course, her teeth and claws are available. And she uses them occasionally, but never harshly.

Through the use of all of those, she tenders all the various emotions, and more lessons than I can list here. Most of the lessons are based on respect, and all of them transcend species. Things like

Personal space is important — If I’m in a bad mood, she’ll still come by to nuzzle me and let me know she’s there, but then she withdraws. If I pet her and she growls or meows in an irritable tone, I withdraw but hope she’s all right and wait it out.

Personal contact is important — Though we each lead our own human and cat lives during much of the day, she makes time to find me and rub past my leg or jump up on my desk and touch my cheek, and I find time to locate her and pet her and show her she’s important to me.

It’s all right to want things done a certain way If I want to provide her morning dose of cranberry stuff (urinary tract care) on my desk and she wants it on the floor, well, it doesn’t break my back to set it on the floor, now does it? If I pick her up toward the end of the day (against her will, but for a good reason, like darkness and owls are coming) and carry her inside, she doesn’t complain.

It’s all right to disagree — She’s a cat and cats are far and away free spirits, so sometimes she hops over the gate. I’m a dad, so to keep her safe, I retrieve her. Neither of us gets upset, and both of us understand the other’s motives.

Being stoic in the face of pain — All right, I learned a lot of this from Pope John Paul II (whom I see as a truly great man) but I also learned a lot of it from my girl. She can accept and wait out personal physical pain better than anyone I’ve ever seen.

Being stoic about things you can’t change — This is important, and something I learned entirely from my little girl. I couldn’t reciprocate with my own lessons to her on this one. And I’m still learning.

and the biggie…..

We’re all much more alike than different — Whether two legged or four or six or eight or none, whether clad in hair or fur or feathers or scales, we’re all sharing the same physicality and coping with one thing or another, some good, some bad, in our own unique ways.

I also learned, mostly from her, that neither of us is greater or lesser, only different. And for the most part, the differences are cosmetic and the result of fear. We’re all just living our lives, most of us to the best of our ability, and trying not to revert to dust until we absolutely have to.

And a great deal more, but I’ve probably already gone on too long.

Not sure what the day will hold, other than some mowing and then a fun trip to Sierra Vista for an estate sale. My human love and I enjoy poking around in those, looking for things we can’t live without for another day.

Then probably some copyediting later. Probably won’t get back to the novel until tomorrow or the next day. But then, that’s become my new norm. (grin)

In fact, I’m going to post this early so I don’t forget.

Of Interest

See “Being Clear On Rewriting and Other Stuff” at Short and worth the time to read.

See “Hometown Mysteries” at Not only the post and its ingredients but the writer’s response to (or assumption about) them.

Talk with you again soon.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 850 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 850

Writing of Nick Spalding 1 (novel, tentative title)
Brought forward…… 17778 words

Day 1…… 1449 words. Total words to date…… 19227
Day 2…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 37346
Total fiction words for the year………… 285643
Total nonfiction words for the month… 12270
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 110556
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 395949

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 6
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 2
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 11
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 32
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 6
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………………… 193