Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Interrogating the Cat

Me: Who did this?

The Cat: Did you ask the dog?

Me: We don't have a dog.
The Cat: Oh. Well, then, I have no idea.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gilda and George (NaNoWriMo Vignette #3)

This one made the cut to be read aloud. Please keep in mind, all vignettes were written using Write or Die set at 500 words per 15 minutes. They have only been very slightly edited for spelling and readability.

Gilda and George

The grass was a lovely shade of green. Gilda could smell the crispness of it as she and George spread out the picnic blanket and laid out the food. A little rabbit rushed by them. No need to follow him though since a little blond girl in a blue dress with a white pinafore was already chasing him and getting ready to follow him down a hole.

"Should we do something about that?" Gilda asked.

"About what?" George had been looking at Gilda the whole time except for when he was spreading out the food. Then he was looking at the food. There were chocolate chip cookies, and fried chicken. Cold of course, but still tasty! At least he assumed it would b tasty. He could smell the chicken through the plastic food storage bag Gilda had zipped them in, and the chicken smelled great! There was also some potato salad, and crackers, and some kind of soft cheeses. Gilda liked to try out different kinds of cheeses. George thought that some of them kind of tasted like feet, but, hey, as long as he got some of that chicken and the cookies, he would be fine. Oh, and speaking of fine, there was that wine, too!

"That little girl...she just followed that bunny rabbit down that hole over there," Gilda pointed in the direction of the girl's last known whereabouts.

"I don't see any girl."

"Well of course you don't, now! She's gone!"

"So then what am I supposed to do about that?"

"She has gone down the hole, George! Maybe she's hurt!"

George stifled a sigh and closed his eyes to hide their rolling around from Gilda. She would be very irritated if she knew he was rolling his eyes at her Very Important Suggestion.

"Okay, I'll go check." George started to get up.

"I'm coming with you." Gilda followed.

They walked toward the direction of where Gilda thought she saw the rabbit and the girl go down. There was a fairly large hole. Large enough for a young girl to fit, but not quite large enough for an adult man or woman --unless they were small for their age. Perhaps if they had smaller frames, well, maybe not George. He was fairly tall. But maybe Gilda. She was petite, but she was still too big to fit in the hole.

"Hello!" George cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled into the hole.

"Hello!" Gilda did the same. It went like this for about a minute or so, both shouting, "Hello!: into the large gaping hole in the ground. Oh, did I mention there was also a tree by this hole? So it looked like the roots of the tree were framing the hole. It was actually quite lovely, almost as though someone had purposely trained the roots to grow around the opening in the hole.

"I really don't think there's anyone down there," George said.

"Well, I'm not crazy! I saw a little girl chasing a white rabbit down this hole!"

"I'm sure you're not crazy, but why don't we go sit down and have out lunch now?"

"Okay," Gilda seemed hesitant, but she slowly followed George back to their picnic, still looking behind her toward the hole.

"Oh, here, honey," George held up a baggy with a variety of tablets, pills, and capsules, and handed it to Gilda, "You forgot your vitamins."

"Oh, thank you, sweetie!" Gilda smiled. That George, always thinking about my health. What a sweetie! 

As they finished their meal, and were beginning to eat their cookies, George turned to Gila, "What a lovely day for a picnic!"

"Yes!" Gilda nodded, "Oh, and I think I saw a little bunny over by that tree there. Did I mention it earlier?"

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Visit to the Doctor's Office (NaNoWriMo Vignette #2))

This is the second of my NaNoWriMo vignettes. This didn't make the cut for reading aloud either.

Doctor's Office

Julie sat in the doctor's office. The decor was Southwestern even though the year was 2011. Southwestern pastels. Even the chairs were upholstered in a Southwestern print. It reminded Julie of the sectional sofa her parents used to have when she was growing up --in the '70's.  she looked around. There was a stack --if you could call it a stack-- of magazines on the table next to her. Parenting magazines, news magazines, skiing, home decorating. Nothing that really interested Julie. Her phone was almost dead. Why didn't I think about charging it before I left? God, I hate having to sit waiting with nothing to do. The door opened and in walked a giant rabbit holding a squirrel. Julie looked around to see if anyone else was seeing this. No one seemed to notice. Great, I'm having hallucinations. Well, at least I'm in the right place. Except not really, since this is a gynecologist's office and not a psychiatrist's. The giant rabbit hopped up to the sign-in window and asked the receptionist, "Excuse me, but is there a Maria Cosgrove here?" The receptionist was on the phone and held up her index finger to indicate to the rabbit that she wanted him to wait just a minute. Julie began to count to herself, one Mississippi, two Mississippi...to see if it would be a real minute or a metaphorical minute. Forty-five Mississippi.."Okay, how can I help you?" The receptionist didn't bat an eyelash. While she did indeed see the rabbit--giant rabbit standing in front of her, she seemed unfazed. "Do you have a Maria Cosgrove working here?"

"Yes, she's here. Do you want me to get her?"

"Yes please."

The receptionist got up and walked away from her desk for a few seconds and returned with what was presumably Maria Cosgrove.

"Maria Cosgrove?"


The rabbit began singing a song to the melody of Al Jolson's "You Made Me Love You.":  "Some bunny loves you! He didn't wanna do it, he didn't wanna do it, but this bunny loves you you true, ya know it's true, yes you do, indeed you do! Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme what I cry for, ya know you got the kinda kisses that I'd die for, you made this bunny love you!


The rabbit got on his knee Al Jolson style and held the squirrel he was carrying out to Maria.

"Maria, will you marry me?"

Maria began to cry.

"Oh Jeremy! I love you so much, but there's something you need to know about me first," Maria reached around behind her neck and began pulling at something, bringing the hair on the back of her head to the front  and peeling off her face --which turned out to be a silicone mask-- revealing the head of a ferret.  she pulled at her arms and they became the forelegs of a ferret.  A giant ferret.

"Jeremy, I love you and I want to be with you forever. Now you understand why I'm a vegetarian, but my parents...they aren't vegetarians, and they will eat you alive. Literally.

Monday, December 05, 2011

"Ferrell" Cats

I belong to a Yahoo Groups community bulletin board. People post announcements, items for sale, etc., and these emails show up in my inbox. Today, this was one of the posts:

Subject: Looking For Farm For Ferrell Cats

If anyone is looking for ferrell cats for their barn, we
have captured ferrell cats and they have been spayed or
neutered and checked out by a vet. They just need a place
to live out their lives. Let me know if you know someone
who has a barn and would like one or more ferrell cats.

Sooo... are we talking about something like this?: 

Or maybe this?:

I'd ask if they meant this too:

But to be honest, Colin spells his last name, "Farrell." Okay, to be more honest, I just wanted to post a picture of Colin Farrell.   MeOW! ........Too much?

While I hesitate to label myself as a member of the "Spelling Police," I just wanted to use this post to get something off my chest:

It's FERAL cats! FERAL, FERAL, FERAL!!!!!  Gaaahhhh!  Sure, it's just an email, and sure, we make typos from time to time, but this email gets sent out to hundreds of people. It made me wonder if the person who sent it was perhaps a feral person? Am I being mean? Well, hopefully the person who wrote this email doesn't read this blog. Odds are, they probably don't. Also, I only think I'm being mean if the person who wrote that was truly trying their best, but they are newly literate or learning disabled.  So really, I'm just assuming they are being lazy.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Long Way From Southern California (NaNoWriMo Vignette 1)

I made it to slightly over 30,000 words for NaNoWriMo 2011. My original story was going to be about a girl who gets kicked off the school newspaper due to what she she writes in the advice column. She begins an "underground" advice column, and things were supposed to get bizarre from there. The trouble was, I had a hard time making decisions about story specifics. I might discuss that in a  later post, but not right now. In spite of my frustration with my original story, I wanted to keep writing. I wanted to make it to 50,000 words even if I  wasn't going to work on my original story idea. After a few false starts (all of which remained in my manuscript--gotta keep the word count going, right?) I managed to come up with several vignettes, or flash fiction pieces. All of these were written with the help of a wonderful program called "Write or Die" which can be found on the Dr. Wicked website. I set the timer for 15 minutes and the word count to 500 words. For reasons that I hope I don't need to explain, these pieces might be more or less than 500 words. I plan on posting at least one piece per day for several days. I haven't decided if I will post them every day till I run out --which will be in about six or seven days--or if I will post them in between my other non-fiction posts. Some might be ever so slightly edited for easier readability --at least hopefully that will be the result. Here is my first one (after the brief introduction):

It is a Tradition during our Riverside County Wrimo's Thank God It's Over party, for everyone (or most everyone) to bring a small sample of what they wrote during NaNoWriMo and read it aloud for the group, who will then applaud, no matter what they actually think of the piece. Of course, in our group, the applause is always genuine as we only have amazing writers who only ever write amazingly each and every time we write. Stop rolling your eyes.
In preparation for the reading portion of our festivities, I printed out several little pearls (perhaps more the "freshwater" variety than the "cultured.") and had my husband help me pick three. This is one that didn't make the cut. A possible title for it could be, "A Long Way From Southern California"

I don't know what he was doing there. He just stood by the counter and smiled at me. I gave him a look of acknowledgment, but he still just stood there. I walked over to him as asked, "So, are you going to just stand there, or are you going to sit down and order something?" He appeared to be a bit startled. He looked at me for a moment as though he was trying to figure something out, then, without a word, he climbed on a bar stool and picked up a menu. I went back to my other customers. I had flapjacks to deliver. I don't know why they call them flapjacks here. I grew up saying "pancakes," but then, they have grits, hush puppies and serve waffles with their fried chicken, so who am I to ask questions? I'm a long way from Southern California.I walk over to him and ask him if he's ready to order. In a quiet voice, he answered, 'Yes. I will have the flapjacks with bacon and eggs and grits." His voice was quiet. He didn't sound like he was from around here. Not that I sound like I'm from around here either, though when I call my sister back home, she swears I've picked up a Southern drawl.

"So how do you want your eggs?"

He looked a little surprised, but it passed quickly. "I'll just have the the usual way that everyone has them."

"Everyone has them different. do you want them poached, over easy, over medium, over hard, scrambled?"

"I guess the easy one will be fine."

"Great. That's two eggs over easy, with bacon and flapjacks. Now did you want the buttermilk or the buckwheat?"

"I guess the buttermilk?"

"Okay, coming right up. Oh, and would you like some coffee too?"

"Oh, I don't think that would be a good idea."

"Would you like anything else to drink then? Orange juice? Apple Juice? Tea? Water?"

"Water will be fine."

"Okay, I'll be right up with that." I put the order in, then poured him a glass of ice water.  He thanked me, smiled a little and just stared at his glass. Now, I wouldn't say there was anything creepy about him, even if he did start off by just staring at me. He's not the only man who's come in here and tried to have a staring contest with me. I think he was from maybe the mid west? No. Not there. He sounded kind of business like and a little bit emotionless, like a scientist. Not that scientists are emotionless, but I guess more like how they are sometimes portrayed on TV.

When I go to give the guy his food, he is still staring at his water. He doesn't even move when I put his plate in front of him. "Enjoy your meal," I say. That's when he slowly looks up at me, then he looks at his water glass. He points to the ice cubes floating in the water ans says, "Ice." Then he sort of gives me a short nod like we're conspirators sharing a piece of information known only to us. I decide to humor him, "Yes, ice," and I nod my head, "I have to go tend to the other customers now. You enjoy your meal and I'll check back with you in a bit, okay?"


I went to see if any of my other orders were up yet. They weren't, so I checked my tables to make sure the natives weren't getting restless while waiting for their food. I refilled waters and coffee and made small talk with Malcolm. He hangs out here most days through breakfast and lunch and works on his laptop in between meals till dinner. "So how's your story doing?"

"Ah geez. I can't seem to focus on the story that I'm supposed to be writing. I feel like I'm just blocked."

"But I see you typing on here all day long. What're you doing, playing Farmville?"

Mal laughed. "No, I'm just typing whatever comes into my mind so I can just keep on typing.


(The beautiful drop cap was designed by Jessica Hische. I found it on her Daily Drop Cap site. I found Jessica through NaNoWriMo's blog. She was one of the artists in the 30 Covers in 30 Days entries.)