joys of cats

Mnewtost people can print any time they want if a printer is connected to their computer … but when a cat or cats are involved, such convenience can change.

The feline fur children have defined our laser printer as the neatest thing since canned cat food. ‘Tisn’t a printer don’tcha know, ’tis a cat bed and our favorite since it is right next to one of our humans.

Printing, therefore, occurs when: (1) the human becomes adamant about using the printer and forceably removes said cat from sleeping on the machine, (2) the human goes to the kitchen and shakes the cat-treat container luring them off the machine, or (3) when the feline has awakened and discovered it is in need of food, drink or facilities and vacates of its own volition (this generally only occurs when no one wishes to use the printer or when the computers are turned off). [#1 or #2 are the most frequent methods – when printing is needed that is.]

7 Tips for participating in on-line writing groups

Some thoughts about good manners, common sense, and courtesy to practice and/or cultivate when participating in on-line writing groups. The internet may seem impersonal – but slights, insults, and thoughtless behavior are still noted by those you interact with–and people have long memories.

  1. Say “thank you” to anyone who spends their time energy and effort writing a critique of your writing.
  2. Return critiques – If someone spends their energy and time offering their best effort to (in their opinion) help improve your work, respond in like manner. Critique theirs with your best effort. ‘Tis how each of us learns and helps another. Not returning critiques can be interpreted as rude and selfish. Not a genre you generally read – critique anyway. You don’t like their novel – critique anyway. You might possibly be surprised to discover that they didn’t like your novel either – but they tried to help you anyway.
  3. Keep your promises – If you’ve specifically requested a person to critique your work/post and promised or implied that you would return the favor/critique – keep that promise. See the intro comment above. Paybacks can come in strange and unexpected ways.
  4. Remember those who helped you. – Did someone critique your entire work (novel etc)? Then return the help they gave you. Don’t move on to your next phase (i.e. become inactive in the group or whatever) and forget the help you received.
  5. Participate in the social aspects of your on-line writing group. If a forum thread/discussion catches your interest. Post your thoughts – but consider NOT responding to each successive post which presents an opinion different from yours, especially don’t respond insultingly or negatively. Don’t try to brow-beat others into agreeing with you.
  6. Practice common sense if you use the social media (specifically twitter). Don’t use it to spam tweets about you or your friend’s books, blogs, promotions every two seconds. Overall, that practice turns more buyers away from the things more than it attracts them.
  7. Keep a lists (if you need to) so that you don’t forget who you owe a critique, who helped you when asked etc. A list or lists will facilitate the tips above.


you know how dangerous it is when I start thinking.  My spouse normally ducks scroll_quillpenand runs for cover if I respond to: “Whatcha doin?” by saying: “Thinking”.

I don’t normally read YA however I have recently (during the past year) had the opportunity to sample portions of multiple YA novels in process. I became fascinated with a trend that seemed to appear in many of the works. In all but a few the parents were portrayed as one of the following: ignorant, incompetent, inept, child-beating, or totally absent. The young person is portrayed as smarter than the adults and views his/her parents with disdain, disgust, or dislike. If they relate to or trust an adult at all, it is usually an outcast, homeless etc.

I have no idea (1) if this is truly a trend, or (2) if it is a trend whether it is also currently prevalent in published YA books. In addition, my sampling was probably not large enough to claim accuracy, but the overall preponderance of this theme bothered me.

Since these stories/novels are aimed at a group who are at an impressional stage in their development, my undergraduate studies in both history and sociology surfaced. I wondered what impact such writing (if it is as predominant in published works as it was in the novels-in-process that I sampled) has had, is having or will have on family structure and our society overall.

If the novels/stories that a group reads impacts them, are these stories encouraging the development of a generation who is encouraged to dismiss parents/authority as irrevalent in their lives. Do they grow up to become those types of parents? Or do they grow up to strive to NOT be parents like those portrayed in the novels/stories?

Unwept, unhonored, and unsung

Ages ago, when I was a young thing – probably before high school so you know it was a LONG time ago – I discovered Sir Walter Scott and his poems. I have many of his that I enjoy tremendously but for some reason the portion of Lay of the Last Minstrel below has always been one of my favorites. No matter how often I read it, it makes me sad. I’ve never read the entire poem for fear that, placed within context, this excerpt would lose its magic for me.

I’m not quite sure why this rings such a chord – perhaps because of when I read it/found it.

Breathes there the man with soul so dead

Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonored , and unsung.
[by Sir Walter Scott]



If you were thinking of self-publishing, how would you, did you, or are you deciding which editor to hire/use?

There are so many on the internet offering their services, claiming to be ‘professionals’. How can the “customer/writer” sort through them to determine if they are really qualified or not?
I ask because I belong to multiple writing groups. Two of which have at least one member who edits for an indie publisher and who also submits their writing to the group for critique. [There are other editors in the groups but I’ve not read anything they’ve creatively written (if they write).]

I’ve read a novel by each of them. I critiqued the novel for one. (definitely wouldn’t spend my $ to buy it when/if it is published. I purchased a novel of the other and had to force myself to finish it. Always hoping it would improve.

Would their writing indicate their ability to edit?

If they were hired to edit a manuscript, would they (consciously or unconsciously) try to make the writing more like theirs? Any experience out there? Please comment.


08/29 – Roundup

I’m currently engaged in a multi-flavored stint in reading. My nightstand currently holds Georgette Heyer’s Regency World, Her Little Majesty, and Collaboration, all of which are in process of being read.

I’ve embarked upon the “social platform” development “thang” with great reservation. [Old dogs, new tricks and all that.] If you happen onto this website – visit my page [Facebook link top right.] and click like (please and thank you).

Quote of the day

by Dianne Feinstein

Dianne Feinstein: “All vets are mentally ill and government should prevent them from owning firearms”    Some times even the L. A. Times gets it rightKurt Nimmo: “Senator Feinstein insults all U. S. Veterans as she flays about in a vain attempt to save her bill.”

 Quote of the Day from the Los Angeles Times: “Frankly, I don’t know what it is about California, but we seem to have a strange urge to elect really obnoxious women to high office. I’m not bragging, you understand, but no other state, including Maine, even comes close. When it comes to sending left-wing dingbats to Washington, we’re Number One. There’s no getting around the fact that the last time anyone saw the likes of Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Maxine Waters, and Nancy Pelosi, they were stirring a cauldron when the curtain went up on ‘Macbeth’. The four of them are like jackasses who happen to possess the gift of blab. You don’t know if you should condemn them for their stupidity or simply marvel at their ability to form words.” — Columnist Burt Prelutsky, Los Angeles Times