Thursday, November 1, 2012
And I'm back!
And glad to see you, too. Head on over to "Bets Davies" on Facebook if you still can't get enough of me. Come on. I like you. Like me? We can stick our fingers in each others' pockets when we walk down the halls. Sorry about my extended absence. My car rolled down an embankment two years ago and a concussion and herniated disks and whiplash later blah blah blah skip ahead to the end of the summer where, shortly after the acquisition of a cat, I had a humiliating move home to my parents in mind destroying pain, could not look at a computer, had a lot of fun with ice packs and staring at my ceiling, I found out I had a new fun, problem related to the crash--arthritis. Yes. I have no gray hair. Arthritis. So an ergonomically correct keyboard, enough physical therapy so that if I ever hear the words "core strength" again I'll hurl (which is probably good for your core), I am in a test phase for surgery. I'm looking forward to neck surgery. Let's just get that clear. I am counting down the days till I can have neck surgery like it's a hot date. So I hope to be back here to play on a much more regular basis, but sign up for email alerts at the bottom of the page and keep checking back if I check out. I don't know the recovery time for my exciting surgery. So let's reel it back till before that whining started. I acquired a cat. No one ever really needs to buy a cat. Look around. There's one somewhere. Like dust bunnies. This one was crying and trying to get into my parents' place up north, scrawny and desperate. She'd been spayed and knew how to use the litter pan, so she was dumped. It happens a lot. For some reason on busy roads up north a lot. Dogs, too. I know this because my family has a knack for finding them there. Maybe we look too hard. I don't even want to go into what I think should be done to the people who abuse animals this way. Technically, this cat is my mother's fault. She opened the door and let the cat in. I was due up there to meet them, however, and the cat likes me, and my parents already have three cats and a fat mini doxi. And we all promise each other we'll give this one away. We take it to the vet. But it is a really good cat. You have to bond with a stray to make sure they know how to bond before giving them away. No one we reach out to wants a cat. We can't give it to the human society because who knows what kind of screening process they have? Then you let the cat out of the room you've been keeping it in so it can meet the other pets. Then the cat is "she" instead of "it". And you can't call it "stray cat" forever (my parents have a cat named "Black Cat") or that will be her name. Then you start bouncing around names. Then one sticks. Once you've named a stray, you are doomed. That animal is yours. So I now own petite but now fat Lucy Lui. These things happen. Now was that another diversion, or does the tale of Lucy Lui have a point? The closest I have ever come to living without animals was two years of undergrad. But my parents were near, and our mostly golden was getting older, you know. It was very easy to visit. Go home vacations. I was still miserable. I felt as if someone had taken a vital element out of the air I breathed. I mention this because I while back, I had a blog about what was up with all the animals in fantasy? I still don't quite get the wider connection. I know there simply pet people and non-pet people. Almost all my friends are pet people. We cluster in our insanity. Fantasy readers cluster in our insanity. I still don't understand how they meshed, but I can't get animals out of my writing. The one book I tried so hard to keep animals out of still has a fat cat named "Rosencrantz" near the end and the central image, the title, in fact, is Sheep that Stray (peer sideways to get a view of the book and a chance to buy it). But writing without animals appears to be as unimaginable as not having picked up Lucy Lui. What is interesting is that when I write characters I start from scratch. I do not model them after famous people, or roles, or people I know, or me. Most of them (humiliatingly, always a wide array of versions of me) get in anyway. But when I write animals, I steal shamelessly from animals I have known. Here's a for instance of someone you get a brief hint of in Weaver's Web, but get to know better in the sequel, Wooden Weft, is Sam's sidhe (fairy) dog, My Girl. So this is a sidhe (again, picture the scary, big kind of fairy)dog. I'm trying to decide who would bond with Sam, and who would have an intact personality after what they've been through together. Sam is forced to fight My Girl when he is young and on his own (yes, I did just spoil something from Weaver's Web. Sidhe are traditionally cold, nobel, ethereal, ruthless. The "ruthless" word caught me up back when I was sucking on a pen and first filling My Girl out. At the time, my eyes rested on my runt Pit Bull, Jobi. Yes, I just like that name, for you have read Rebirth. Plus, as the female version of "Job", and meaning "One has been through many trials," it fits my pit Jobi perfectly. I did go out of my way to get Jobi. I drove to the humane society on a damp night slightly after my birthday "just to look". Which is why I made sure I brought my hound mutt, Chloe, because I know in order to be adopted all other animals in the family have to be met. But I was just looking. Jobi curled in a pathetic lump in her cage. She would only give me the slightest of glances before staring at some, unknown horror. All around her dogs jumped and barked to be petted (I was in pit bull alley. Apparently the pit bulls weren't something to put out there with the sweet retrievers for the families to see). Jobi had been there for months, and was currently named "Bubbles". I asked for several other dogs, but they didn't really hit a sweet spot. I asked for "Bubbles". The staff didn't even know her by name. I stood out in the damp November wet in a patch of grass often utilized by dogs. Jobi came bounding around the corner, her grin wide, her tongue flapping, hoarse from yanking so hard at the lead. All of my cells lit up. I knelt. She got the better of the attendant and launched into my lap to bowl me over with kisses. Chloe loved her, too. They were playing so hard on leash we could barely get them to the play enclosure. These things happen. Jobi is black, sixty pounds, and her lunk head has to make up at least ten of those pounds. She knows she's a lap dog. Her response to almost any new stimulus is to lick it. She is terrified of water, especially storms, but really, if she's barking too much, you can spit on her to cow her completely. Yet when I walk her, many people are in the pit bull club, but some walk across the street. People get scared when she barks at the window because they can't see her tail wagging. To them, she's a Pit Bull. She's anti social fight dog. So looking at My Girl, quite a bit above average dog intelligence, with a history of fighting, and I don't want her to be that grim fight dog. I don't want her to be that nobel, shimmeringly other sidhe average. I want her to be Jobi. I want her to chase her tail when denied something she wants. I want her to still chase sun spots. I want her to sit in laps and embarrass the other dog and the wolves. I want this dog that should be so formidable, and even could be so formidable, to have an amiable sense of humor and dexterous, often kisses.