3 Baby Kittys saved!

I was out at the smoking section early this morning at work. Having a cigarette. (no i don't plan on taking up smoking again. This was hopefully only a one day relapse,) when I heard a familiar yelping sound. A distressed kitten.

Curious as to where the sound was coming from I looked around. It was a cold and rainy morning, an oddity in the desert. On first look I could not find the source of the crying, so I called in reinforcements. Another coworker and cat lover, came to join the search and we quickly found two shivering little balls of fur. They were both tiny and extremely young little kittens that had appeared to be abandoned by their mother.

We couldn't leave them out there in the cold so we took them into the warehouse to warm them up. Thankfully the NSPCA is right around the corner from our office so our next step was to take them there to have them looked at. They were estimated between 3 and 4 weeks old. One kitten, a cream colored long hair, was feisty and did not take too well to being handled. He tried to take a finger with him when he was being inspected. The other a smaller looking torti with severely gummed eyes was glad for the rescue and went along with everything willingly. The NSPCA workers informed us that the kittens would do better being cared for in a home environment and suggested to us that we could foster the kittens and later adopt them.

Their foster program allows us to take them home and give them individual care, while the NSPCA covers their medical expenses, shots, as well as spaying and neutering. Once the animals are healthy and fully vaccinated, we as the foster parents, would be able to adopt the kittens at a reduced fee. Not a hard sell to two animal lovers.

We quickly agreed, filling out forms as the kittens were inspected and given medicine to start their healing process. We were also given a shot schedule, a date to have the kittens fixed, and some starter food and carrying boxes. They gave us a quick run through of proper kitten care and sent on our way.

Back at the office, the kittens were a hit. everyone wanted to see our little babies. The torti, my new kitten, was named lucky, because if it hadn't been for her powerful little voice, we would have never found her. The other kitten, the feisty little cream colored one was given the name Creamsicle.

But I said 3 kittens were saved...

A few hours after the discovery of our two little babies, another kitten was found. A beautiful little Grey girl. One of the service guys spotted her as he was heading out to his truck. She was a beauty and looked to be the healthiest of the bunch. A warehouse worker quickly scooped her up and we gave him the info about the NSPCA.

By the end of the day we had saved and found homes for 3 precious little baby kittens.

I had worried that my husband would be a bit upset at me for bringing home another pet since we had originally agreed that 2 was it. All it took was a few minutes of holding her and he melted. Ally was easily won over the instant I mentioned a kitten, and she is doing a wonderful job of being gentle and understands she can't see the baby kitten unless mommy or Nick is present.

For the time being, until Lucky has gotten over her eye infection, she is in isolation in her own private space in my walk in closet. Our other curious kitty's will have to wait to meet the new little ball of fur.

What a great way to start the Thanksgiving weekend, participating in the saving of three adorable baby kittens.

Thoughts and a Review.

I am usually hopeful when movies are made of books I read. It's wonderful to be able to see the world I so vividly imagined, recreated by Hollywood. Sadly Hollywood never gets it right.

I wonder what the author feels when their works is optioned for film and they see someone else’s vision of their work created. No matter what, they smile and always stand behind the film studio. They call the movie wonderful, no matter how it turns out, even if the movie hardly resembles the book at all.

Long ago I fell in love with Anne Rice's vampires. Then Interview with a Vampire came to film. It was beautiful, and a very close adaptation to the book. I was quite happy to add it to my movie collection. Years later Queen of the Damned came out, another Anne Rice Novel made to film. This movie however, seemed to me, like a Buffy the vampire remake. The only resemblance to the book that was used, was the character names. They completely rewrote the story as they saw fit, changing makers, and ignoring the most important flashback about the legends and the beginning of it all. They removed the interest and bottled it up like a silly teenage angst tv show.

Next we move on to Harry Potter. Those wildly popular books turned movies. Again I watched hopeful. The first two were close. They had the right look and feel and kept to the story rather well, but then they too began to fall off, taking more creative license and less from the popular series.

Last night was the opening of Twilight, another series of wildly popular books. Yes this is a YA series so it will have the teenage appeal. I went knowing it would be a little young. I waded through the sea of teeny boppers and giggling kids, wondering how they were out so late on a school night.

I thought it would be fun to do the midnight show and see if the movie would live up to the hype. What I ended up seeing was a low budget, made-for-tv version of emo vampires, somewhat resembling the characters I had read about.

I was surprised, given the popularity of the books, that the film would be so cheap looking.

To be fair of course, The characters all looked the part. Casting did a wonderful job. Also the setting was good. The scenes were all very close to what I had pictured in my head. The story, while taking some creative license, did follow the book.

The acting however, left a bit to be desired. It affected the feel of the story.

There are some specific gripes I have with this movie.

Edward seemed like he would burst into tears at any moment. He did not exude the strong silent type as he should have in the beginning. In all of his emotional scenes He appeared as if he wanted to throw up and cry.

Jasper, though having very few lines, (If you sneezed you might not hear what he says.)looked as if he walked around with a stick shoved somewhere it shouldn't be. Sad, because the actor had the right look just the wrong expressions. If they choose to make another I hope they correct this problem.

All of the school kids seemed to be way to dramatic, almost over-acting all of their scenes. It was really hard to suspend reality and believe they instantly flocked to her in the way the movie portrayed it. They instantly acted as if she were their best friend. Not a one seemed casual and real about their interaction. Then again maybe it has just been so long since I was 17. Maybe that is how the kids are acting these days.

I really wish they had taken a slightly more serious approach to this movie. I think they could have made it great. Sadly I must say, I find it lacking.

I wonder what Stephanie Meyer thinks of it? No doubt her public Blog will tout the wonders of this film adaptation, but I wonder if somewhere inside she really wishes it too could have been done a bit better.

Office Politics

I wish I were a published and well known author. I would love to spend my day happily clicking away at my keyboard, creating and solving the problems of fictional characters.

I can't stand the daily grind of cow towing to stuffy, self indulgent, pompous, overlords. I hate having to watch what I say or be careful of who's toes I step on. I know one wrong move can destroy my tenure with my current company. The relative comfort of my current position is always in such a fragile state. One wrong move or misinterpreted phrase could send it all crashing down and return me to slavery.

Its annoying to build such fraudulent alliances knowing how easily they can be destroyed.

Of course I wouldn't be blogging about this if what I had feared hadn't already come to pass.

One misinterpreted phase was all it took. I attracted that scrutinizing spotlight of the office shrew to myself. As a punishment for speaking out of turn, I have been relegated to one of the most menial task in our office.

I must remember never again to open my mouth. Nothing good ever seems to come from speaking my mind. I was warned, in this tumultuous time, that it is the one who takes on the task no one else wants, that continues on...

A not so thinly veiled threat, and one I have to take seriously as cut back and layoff season approaches.

I so wish I could escape to my fictional world right now. I hate being here in this office, knowing the bosses are laughing at me.

Thick skin helps

A few days ago I received what was probably the best critique I could hope to get on my novel.

No it wasn't overflowing with gushy phrases like. "Its wonderful, the best story I have ever read."

It was filled with suggested corrections. It pointed out all the faults I needed to see but couldn't. The critiquer basically told me to go back and rewrite the whole thing.

My first reaction was one of horror. I had just spent the last few months finishing my draft, all 70,000 words of it. I didn't want to listen to someone who I obviously thought just "didn't get it." Everyone else liked my story, why didn't she?

After a day or so, I calmed down and re read the critique. Once calm, I could see where the suggestions would actually help improve the flow and readability of the story. The critiquer wasn't attacking me or my work, she was trying to help me make it better.

I saw a quote not too long ago that said something to the effect of, "the best critiques are the ones that hurt." It's true. While it is great to hear how wonderful your story is, it doesn't so anything to help improve it, and while it remains unpublished, it probably needs the improvements rather than the gushy compliments.

Time to grow some thick skin and go back to the drawing board. Time to take my story and go through it with a fine tooth comb and make the recommended corrections I have received thus far.

Sex sells, or does it?

Reviews have come back from a couple of beta readers and there is a small divide on the sexual nature of a few of my characters.

One reviewer was all for the passionate relationship between my main characters and found it necessary to assist in pushing the plot in the right direction.

Another reviewer, however thought that the bedroom scene was a little too much. Her argument was that making the book more "R" rated would thin out my potential audience, ( kids read horror and vampire stories too) and eventually hurt book sales if and when I get to that published point.

My original reviewer had a different take on it. Sex sells. Porno, Erotic Novels and Romance are all huge sellers and there is nothing wrong with adding a little romp in the sack to give my work a little naughty edge.

Now I am left wondering what to do. Do I leave in the sex, do I tone it down to a more PG-13 level, or remove it completely?

Floating on Cloud Nine

Nothing makes a writer feel better than to see his/her work appreciated. It could be something as simple as a few encouraging words after a reading, or the outright excitement as your reader exclaims, "I love your story."

Yesterday was my day, I received that happy exclamation and approval of my writing. I was sent to coud nine, feeling vindicated for my months of laboring over conflict situations and character development.

Today I am renewed with new energy to get back in there and polish those chapters up to a brilliant shine.

Maybe my work will be agent worthy soon. Dare I allow my self to dream of one day landing a publishing contract?

Giving my Characters a day off.

Its a dirty little secret that I do my best writing while I am at work. Perhaps it is because my wonderfully active four-year-old isn't shouting "Mommy, Mommy Mommy," in my ear every five seconds, or maybe it is because my Husband isn't hounding me to listen to his stories of the daily grind or questioning what I am making for dinner. Maybe its because the office thermostat is set permanently at 60 degrees, making my shoe box size office feel like Antarctica, that causes the creative juices to flow (or the constant need to keep my fingers moving to stave off frostbite). Whatever the reason, I do my best creative writing while I am at work.

Really I should be working, that is what they pay me for, but what fun would that be?

Today however, I just don't have it in me.

I'm sick...

Not sick enough to actually miss work. No, that would be silly. If I can manage to sit here long enough to get paid for the day I will. Sniffles, Sneezes, Headaches and all, I'll tough it out and file a few things if it means no hit to my paycheck. My writing isn't good enough yet to afford me the luxury of staying home on days like these.

So instead of calling in sick to work, I'm calling in sick to writing my book.

At least that is the excuse I am allowing myself for the day. Normally I try and get in some book time each day. Stories don't write themselves you know. Today I just don't have it. I just can't feel it.

Lysander, Nicholas, Alyssa... They just aren't speaking to me today and I can't seem to think clearly how to help them through their adventure.

Instead, I am goofing off and hitting the Blogs and catching up on some of my internet reading.

I do hope my characters won't mind the day off.

Beta Readers / Critiques

Friends are the worst when it comes to critiques.

Not that they are bad at finding our faults, its that they are too worried usually about hurting our feelings to give us the real information. If the story sucks they have a hard time telling us so, because they don't want us to feel bad after putting our hearts and souls into whatever it was we wrote.

I've finished my second draft of Immortalis and sent it to three friends to read. All three started the piece and now more than a month later only one has finished. The other two while giving glowing reviews of the pages they have read so far, have found many excuses, claiming they just can't find the time to sit down and read. This leads me to the obvious conclusion that there is a problem with my story. Perhaps it doesn't flow well in some areas. Perhaps I have droned on about something that shouldn’t belong in the story. Whatever it is, I need to know in order to fix it.

When questioned, these friends hem and haw about just needing more time. They tell me the story is wonderful and they promise to read it soon. Of course the end result is the story doesn't get read and a few more weeks go by and the cycle of lies continue.

While I appreciate their attempt to spare my feelings, no amount of feeling sparing will perfect my novel to submit to agents.

Its time to find some new beta readers. I need a critiquing circle of strangers who aren't afraid to rip my work to shreds and help me see where all of the problems are.

I've been searching around the internet and found a few places online that might suit my needs.




I'll be looking at these a little more closely in the weeks to come. I need someone with an honest opinion and a really big red pen to look over my work.