Tag Archives: writers

Meet our magical wish-granting space cats!

Writers have always loved cats. Is it their mercurial natures? Their ability to take care of themselves (mostly)? The fact that a cat in a lap guarantees a butt in a chair? Perhaps we’ll never know.

Hemingway had a cat (or hundreds). Twain had one, and so did Poe, Bradbuy, Huxley, T.S. Eliot, Plath, Yeats, Dickens, Neil Gaiman, and this poor guy.

Not to be outdone, many of us here at EMu’s Debuts have a cat (or two). In honor of the Felix in Adi Rule’s STRANGE SWEET SONG, we re-imagined our furry feline companions as magical wish-granting cats from space. What would we wish for if they happened to be in the mood to grant us anything? Keep reading…

Josh's cat, Mouko

Josh’s cat, Mouko

Sadly, Mouko is no longer with us in the flesh. He now resides in a lovely urn. If Mouko granted wishes, Josh says, “I would wish to the Mouko Urn that he stop sending dopplegangers to lurk in our bushes and torment our dogs.”

 

Penny's cat, Otis

Penny’s cat, Otis

Penny would ask her magical cat, Otis, “Please grant me (or all the EMUs) pawsitive reviews for my (our) debut book(s).”

 

Megan's cat Lola

Megan’s cat Lola

Megan says, “I wish them many rapt contemplations of their ineffable, effable, effanineffable, deep and inscrutable singular names. (T.S. Eliot, The Naming of Cats)”
Megan's cat Ari

Megan’s cat Ari

 

 

Tara's cat, Quincy

Tara’s cat, Quincy

Tara says, “I thank Quincy for guarding my book contact so carefully, and wish that he would send me (and all of my fellow Emus!) many more!” (Ed. note: Before I GIMPed him into outer space, he was very adorably curled up on top of Tara’s contract!)

 

Donna's cat, Mittens

Donna’s cat, Mittens

Donna would tell Mittens, “I’d like to have nine lives and a remote re-do button for life’s little snafus.”

 

Jennifer's cat Remy

Jennifer’s cat Remy

Jennifer would wish for self-cleaning litterboxes. And self-cleaning bathrooms too, while she’s at it.

Jennifer's cat Coco

Jennifer’s cat Coco

 

Lindsey's cat, Trouble

Lindsey’s cat, Trouble

Lindsey guessed what Trouble would tell her, “I will bless your manuscript by sleeping on it. Now hurry up and write it. I’m getting sleepy.”

 

Laurie's cat, Angel

My cat, Angel

If Angel could suddenly grant me a wish, I’d wish for more time: per moment, per day (and definitely per night), per year, and per lifetime.

 

We’d love to hear about your own furry feline companion(s) and what wish you’d like them to grant you! And remember, if you leave a comment below (or on any other post from this week), you’ll be entered to win a copy of STRANGE SWEET SONG of your very own.
Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule

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Research, Authority and Time Travel

J's time machine - it's a work in progress.

After reading Mike’s charming Monday post, I had this little fantasy in which I went to the garage, cobbled together a time machine out of leftover fencing and lawn mower gas, and zipped off to the thirteenth century to do a little experiential research.

See, I’m a bit jealous of you contemporary and fantasy writers. I’d sure love to be able to do research by wandering down to the aquaponics shop, or better yet, just make something up to explain magic or shapeshifting or human flight.

With historical fiction, the one thing you can’t do is just make something up, and until I get that time machine off the ground, secondhand experience with a dash of firsthand evidence is all I’m going to get.

But here’s the thing about Mike’s experience that cuts across genre: authority.  What gives me the right as a pesky writer – a pesky and obscure writer – to have access to certain information?  And who in their right mind is going to take time out of her or his busy day to accommodate me?

The first time I approached a Special Collections desk in a Major Research Library to ask to see a rare book, I was sure the librarian was going to take one look at me, laugh, and point me toward the door.  I was not a professor.  I was not a scholar.  I was not even a Real Writer.  I didn’t feel like I had any right to that book, even though it had information that would fill in key gaps in my worldbuilding.

Special Collections - I'd live here if they'd let me.

I hesitated for a long time with the call slip in my hand, even with library and archival training of my own under my belt.  At that moment, I felt like I needed a note from someone else giving me permission.  I felt like just wanting to know – just needing to know – for some kids’ book about the middle ages wasn’t good enough.

Of course I handed over the slip and got the book without any drama at all, just like Mike’s WIP will be enhanced by his trips to various comic book emporia.  As writers, and especially as writers for kids, we have a responsibility to get things right, to present rich and detailed worlds inhabited by complicated characters.  That means we need information of all kinds, and that means we have the authority to find things out.  Authority is not something that’s given – it’s taken.  Anything given can be taken back.

For my part, I think I’ll put the time machine up on blocks and stick to books.  Authority is great and all, but I’m not sure I want to arrive bright-eyed in 1294 and bounce up to guys like my rebel leader, Madog ap Llywelyn, and say, “Hey, can you tell me a little about how you plan to feed these guys all winter?  What’s in your bag?  What do you plan to put on that cut?  And hey – what about your underwear?”

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Filed under Research