Tag Archives: authors and cats

#WW Writer Problems 6-10

13 May

#WW Writer Problems 6-10

We like to believe that writing is all fun and games (and the worst thing that can happen is battling a thesaurus.) But writing is so much more than that, and because of all the work that goes on behind the scenes, writing often consumes the writer entirely. It lurks in the night like a good ol’ villain. It distracts us perfectly like a cheeky sidekick. It overcomes obstacles—not often as smoothly as we’d like—but it overcomes them like our heroes. It’s moments like these that remind me why I love writing, but these moments also bring up the awkward truth behind all-that-is writing, and I like to share these moments as my #WriterProblems. Last month, I shared 1-5, so this month, I’m sharing 6-10. Be sure to like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter because I share these cards there first. This is just the additional stories that go along with the cards. And—of course—feel free to take these cards and share them around. Just please don’t crop my name out. :]

Writer Problems #6

Trying to Find Inspirational Photos for Writing.

6

For all of you Pinterest lovers out these, I’m sure you can relate to this one. Trying to find a normal male teenager with dark hair is nearly impossible. Everyone is either famous, naked, or both. And who wants that on their Pinterest board (if it’s not erotica)? Considering the billions of photos that are on the Internet, I’m often surprised at how difficult it can be to find a person who looks similar to the description of a character or even in a place in a novel. In fact, this card can be taken literally. While my cover artist and I were trying to find a male model for the cover of Seconds Before Sunrise, we stumbled upon this beauty. And yes. That’s a nearly naked man, wearing armor made out of bread. It took us an additional three days to find a male model with dark hair who had clothes on.

Writer Problems #7

Cats…We Love You, But Please Get Off The Keyboard.

7h

I have three of them. Trying to get them off my laptop—let alone out from under my desk where all the tempting wires hide—is a daily task I fail at. In fact, Boo-Boo is slaughtering my cell phone cord as I type this.

Writer Problems #8

When You Can’t Find Your Pens

8

Perhaps you no longer use pens. In this day and age, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if a writer never used a writing utensil to write. But I still do. I have to. I love my pens. I’m rather protective of them too. And I only write with G-2 pens…and they often go missing. This either goes back to the cats, my roommates, or the writer goblin…a secret creature who lies in wait to prevent any more words from being written. Oh, wait. No. That’s my hair. Not a goblin.

Writer Problems #9

Writing in Public and Playing Your Writing Music Too Loud

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You’re writing. You’re music is playing. You’re sitting in your favorite coffee shop. Your words are flowing. You reach the end of a chapter and pause to take a sip of coffee. That’s when you look up and realize everyone is staring at you. Everyone. And you take off your headphones to see if someone will explain…when the noise explains it already. Yes. We heard your Taylor Swift and Michael Jackson. We heard it all. You were practically dancing too.

Writer Problems #10

Pen marks.

10

This happens to me all too often—so often that I wonder if I can ever be one of those authors that only uses computers. I…just…can’t. But this card was inspired by a recent outing. My roommate and I went everywhere. EVERYWHERE. The grocery store, the coffee shop I always go to, the hardware store, the diner. And the day was fantastic. It truly was. Until I went to the bathroom to wash my hands and saw it. I had black pen smudged all the way down my left cheek and part of my nose. And no one told me. ::facepalm:: Sometimes, though, a nice barista says something, and I can clean my pen off with dignity.

So how about you? What did these writer problems remind you of? Share your story below, and be sure to check out 1-5 if you missed it. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter too so we can talk about these as they release…because we all know more are to come. So many more.

~SAT

P.S. My latest YouTube video on my channel – Coffee & Cats – went up yesterday! We’re talking about book boyfriends. 

#SATurday: Interview with Bogart, the author kitten

18 Apr

#SATurday: Interview with Bogart, the author kitten

First and foremost, I would like to thank The Acid Oasis for asking me to interview Bogart. I immediately knew that I HAD to do it, and today is the day I share the results. But – first – a little background on this fuzzy little (okay, he’s a bit chunky) feline.

A little over four years ago, a terribly horrible person ditched Bogart and three other black cats. In a closed box. On the side of a highway. He was two months old. Thankfully, a person who was the opposite of the first person (meaning, this next person is an amazing and wonderful human being) pulled over on that highway and saved the kittens by taking them to Wayside Waifs. Two months later, Bogart became my family, and here we are today – catlady and cat – writing stories together every day.

bogartcharacterprofile

Bogart: A lovely introduction. Thank you, Shannon.

Shannon: Well, you did help me write it. How are you doing today?

Bogart: Hungry. As usual.

Shannon: We just ate.

Bogart: I get a treat for this, right?

Shannon: (pause) Sure.

Bogart: (finally sits) Great. Let’s get this started.

Shannon: What is it like to be an author cat?

Bogart: It’s tough work! I sit in Shannon’s lap most of the day, and when I’m not in her lap, I’m next to her. Even when she doesn’t know it, I’m watching – making sure she doesn’t make a mistake, critiquing every word she types, and let me tell you, there are A LOT of words, and I keep Shannon in check.

Shannon: Why are you referring to me as Shannon when I’m right here?

Bogart: It’s for dramatic effect. (pause) And this is exactly what I mean. Without me, you wouldn’t even understand the meaning of drama. And who can have literature without drama?

Shannon: (blinks) Fair enough.

Bogart: So, as I was saying (yawn mixed with a meow), this is tough work. When Shannon makes a mistake, I jump onto her laptop. She doesn’t like it very much. I get thrown off a lot, you know? But the best partners have to have disagreements sometimes. Still, I think she knows I’m right because she ends up staring at her computer for a long while after. Sometimes, she even shuts it down altogether.

Shannon: So, what happens then? When you’re off the laptop?

Bogart: The inspiration, of course! Recently, for instance, I acquired two new friends, Boo Boo and Kiki. I’m sure you’ve seen us on Instagram. (leans in close, rubs face on recorder) We’re famous. (leans out) But Boo Boo and Kiki have been a great help. We set everything up, and the second Shannon comes into the room, we begin our masterpiece. There’s fighting and yelling and cuddling and sharing. An entire collection of emotions just for one plot, let me tell you.

Shannon: And how do I – er, I mean – how does Shannon react to these pieces?

Bogart: She loves them so much, she trips. (stretches) Sometimes, over Boo Boo, but mainly over me. I’m the star of the show, the big guy, the spark. (licks paw) It’s tough work, but the fight scenes in The Timely Death Trilogy wouldn’t be here without me.

Shannon: I thought Shannon wrote that before you two began collaborating.

Bogart: (ignores) What’s your next question?

Shannon: Ah. Right. (flips through notebook) Do you have any works of your own you’ll release? Anything by Bogart?

Bogart: Now that. (long purr) That is a great question. (sees water glass in front of him for the first time. Eyes go wide. Paw lifts up. He knocks it to the floor. Purr deepens.) I love the sound of water glasses hitting the floor. It’s the musical soundtrack of inspiration. Don’t you think?

Shannon: (stares at the mess) I need to clean that.

Bogart: Not now. Not now. (sits in lap and looks up with big, begging eyes to prevent movement) We were talking about my own story.

Shannon: (pets) Go on

Bogart: I do have my own stories. Many stories. Stories I’ve been piecing together for four long years. Stories of purr-fection and cat-astrophe and mew-tovation. But these things take time. A lot of time. And for now, I am enjoying my place – as a muse, a confidant, a kitten cat.

Shannon: Kitten cat?

Bogart: It’s a new spelling I’ve come up with – in reference to a cat that keeps their kitten qualities despite hardships – a cat that maintains their dreaming selves through adulthood, a cat that never gives up. (lifts face) I’m a kitten cat, and without me, Shannon would have a more difficult time with her dreams. Someone must encourage her – just as she encourages me with treats. (long pause)

Shannon: (throws treat)

Bogart: (eats treat) But, you see, we work together, and that’s a precious thing: an author kitten cat and his author, writing into the future. (pause) You could write a whole story on that.

Shannon: I already made a note.

Bogart: Great. We should get back to work.

Shannon: Agreed. (pets) Thank you for your time, Bogart.

Bogart: Thank you for the treat. (jumps down) Now open that laptop. We have books to write.

After the interview, Bogart and I got to work on the latest piece of fiction that will, hopefully one day, hit the shelves for readers. We worked all day and all night, only stopping for dinner, coffee, and treats. He purred and slept, but I know he kept his Halloween cat eyes on every word, just waiting for the opportunity to jump onto my laptop (to prevent mistakes, of course). When we finished our long day, we celebrated by talking some more. Bogart told me of the birds that taunted him, of the sunshine that warmed him, and of the toys he found beneath the couch. In his spare time, Bogart appears on Facebook and Instagram. He also models for donations. But he mainly looks forward to another day, full of writing and kitten cat adventures. It didn’t need to be said, but I found myself stating it anyway. I love Bogart very much.

~SAT

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 9.05.55 AMP.S. I was a guest blogger for Little Birdy Book Blog yesterday, and I talked about 5 lessons I learned since becoming an author. What was number 1? Being a reader is much more complicated now. Check it out by clicking here.

#SATurday: What Scares Us

10 Jan

#SATurday: What Scares Us

At night – more accurately early morning – I crawl into bed to sleep, and my little (Okay. He’s fat) cat companion follows me. We cuddle up to one another, and I pretend to sleep. I say ‘pretend’ because this is the eternal mode of an insomniac.

If I had to describe this bedtime ritual more accurately, I would have to explain how I curl up on my left side – facing the window in case I get bored – and Bogart the black cat stretches out behind me, paws pressed against my back. He falls asleep quickly – with the kind of timing I envy – and I only know this because of his feet.

It starts slowly at first. His bottom paws puts pressure on my lower back, and then, his front paws twitch. He sometimes whines, but not every time. When he does whine, it’s not very long until the pressure increases. His paws move and tap and push and I know he is dreaming.

He is running.

My panther.

My panther.

Still, I can’t exactly ask what he’s dreaming about. Since he’s been an indoor cat most of his life, I often wonder why he is running, but I mainly wonder if he is running to something or away from something. If he’s anything like me – and I’m told pets are often like their owners – he’s probably running away from something. It might even be a Jurassic Park dinosaur. (I will probably write about this phobia of mine in the future.) But it does sadden me to think he might have a phobia of his own, one he can’t even talk about. Although he often startles out of his sleep with a loud meow, I can’t imagine it’s the same comfort I got when I was a child since I could explain a nightmare to a parent or a friend. He’ll definitely never get the advice I received from my mom:

Turn your nightmares into stories. If they don’t make sense, explain them. If they scare you, become the heroine and face them. If they defeat you, let them but grow from them – a.k.a. get them next time. But most of all, embrace them. And if you fail, it’s okay that you ran. In the end, you could’ve run so far you ended up in a new world entirely – filled with adventures you would’ve never experienced otherwise. Running could’ve put you exactly where you were supposed to be all along.

What scares us can be the very thing pushing us to truly live.

~SAT on #SATurday

P.S. Want your OWN photo of Bogart the cat? Donate today and get a custom photo, taken just for you, of this furry feline. (He loves modeling.)

bodonate

The Story of Bogart the Cat

7 May

Don’t forget! I am being interviewed tonight LIVE on Whispers in the Dark radio from 9 to 11 p.m. (EST) Click here to join, and call in to speak with me:  (347) 884-9923. Until then, check out four of my horror poems the host read for his site by visiting my Other Poems page and clicking the links at the top – OR you can click the links below: (I highly recommend listening to at least one. Not because they are my poems, but rather because Viktor Aurelius is a chilling reader.

In-sum-knee-ah (Insomnia)

This Waiting Place

Her Button Collection, Now Mine

Glitter Rain

After announcing Take Me Tomorrow and sharing the cover, I wanted to share a fun post about my life with everyone – and nothing is more fun than my most trusted companion, Bogart the Cat. You’ve seen photos of him, you’ve read about him, and you’ve even read a blog post by him, but I’ve never explained how Bogart and I met to grow into the cat-friendship we have today.

Before I explain the moment I met Bogart the cat, I want to clarify how I came to the decision to get a cat.

I hated cats. Despised them. Why?

  1. I grew up with dogs – one husky and two malamutes to be exact
  2. When I was seven, my neighbor’s cat scratched me across the face, and I had to wear an eye patch to elementary school – a lasting impression on child me.

I swore off of them. A decade would pass before I would be opened to the wonderful world of a cat lady.

This is a real picture of Lucifer when he was forcing his love on me.

This is a real picture of Lucifer when he was forcing his love on me.

It was 2010. I was a sophomore in college. My roommate agreed to watch a friend’s cat for a while. His name was Lucifer. Yes, Lucifer. And – to my horror – the cat attached itself to my room of all places. (We later found out that the girl who used to live in my room had cats, so this explains why every animal we ever let inside our house gravitated to my room at one point.) At first, I tried to fight him. I kept my door closed – even when I went to the kitchen for a snack – and I avoided him as I went to and from class, especially when he peered at me through cracked doors or parted blinds.

Then, time passed. I started petting him. He purred – which was cool – and he liked tuna as much as I did. Overtime, I settled. I let him in my room, and he watched birds from my window. What can I say? He grew on me. But there was one moment in particular that convinced me to love cats again.

He was sleeping in my bathroom sink. I shared the bathroom with my roommate, and at first, he would leave if we turned on the sink. Then, eventually, he stuck to his guns, and he would sit in the falling water with a smug grin (I swear – an actual grin) on his cat face.

He reminded me of the Cheshire cat from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. 

I laughed so hard that I cried. Even I had to admit it: I liked cats again. I liked them a lot. They were different from dogs, but I liked different. (I still like dogs, of course.)

That’s when the owner came and got him.

The house was quiet. No more cat in the sink. No more cat begging for tuna while I used the can opener. No more cat scratching at my door. No more cat anywhere.

It was lonely.

After careful consideration, I decided I wanted my own kitty cat. In fact, I bought all of the cat’s supplies before I even looked. The last thing I wanted to do was to get a cat and be ill-prepared. I had a climbing tower, a litter box, a pound of food, and even more toys. All before I looked for a kitty. In fact, I had so much stuff for a cat that visitors thought I had a cat, even before I actually had one.

So I was a little bit ahead of myself…but it worked out, because there was a Christmas sale at Wayside Waifs.

In this fantasy, Luna would bring me magical, writing pens.

In this fantasy, Luna would bring me magical, writing pens.

I was just going to look. I swear. My dad was driving, and I still remember what he said on the drive up there, “You will know her when you see her.” (He said “her” because I was set on a female black cat that I could name Luna – after Sailor Moon, of course.) I laughed off his cheesy advice as just that – cheesy. I didn’t know how right he would be.

We entered the cat part. I remember seeing a tabby cat and one grey one that walked around like he owned the place. Then, we turned a corner.

I’m not even kidding when I say this: We met eyes, and I knew.

I practically flew across the room with excitement. I didn’t know if he was a girl or a boy. I just knew that the little kitten was the “one.” I was filled with absolute delight. Bogart – at the time, he was named “Mikey” – just stared up at me with a mixture of confusion and horror. (But don’t worry. He warmed up to me.)

Bogart at Wayside Waifs the day I adopted him. He was four months old.

Bogart at Wayside Waifs the day I adopted him. He was four months old.

I played with him, and I still knew. Wayside Waifs made me play with three other black cats (his siblings) but I still knew. “Mikey” was mine. I signed the paperwork, and his name was officially Bogart. (Named after Humphrey Bogart, of course.)

Now – for the sad part: his past.

Bogart was found in a box on the side of a highway with his three siblings – two girls and one boy. His ears were badly damaged, and the kittens weren’t in good shape. It took four months for them to heal up well enough (and get big enough) for Wayside Waifs to put him and his brother in one cage and his sisters in another. I was the second person to play with Bogart, and the only person to take him home. We had to wait a few weeks because Wayside Waifs was waiting for him to gain enough weight for neutering. (They neuter and spay all of their animals.) But that Christmas was pretty fantastic.

Christmas time

Christmas time

Since then, Bogart and I have been through a lot together. 

We’ve made friends, went on walks, and hung out with family.

fafgr

We’ve moved, and then we moved again.

move

We’ve blogged. (No, seriously, he has blogged on here before.) And we’ve worked so hard that we’ve passed out on my laptop.

work

So we took a break and drank a lot of coffee. (Okay. So I drank the coffee.)

coff

And before we knew it, we got published. (That is a paperback of Minutes Before Sunset beneath him.)

Bo

And even though we got nervous and hid,

nerv

We found a way to smile and celebrate together.

smile

But – most of all – we became best friends. He is my pal. My buddy. My black cat. My Bo-Bo, Fatten, Bo-kitty, Bogie, little panther – my Bogart. And now you know the story behind the little (okay, 18 lb.) cat that I share on here.

~SAT

Remember: I am still accepting questions and comments about my latest novel, Take Me Tomorrow. If you ask a question or comment, leave your website in the commetns below, and I will link to you on Friday’s post when I announce even more!

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