Maritime folklore claims that cats bring storms on their tails and many a tempest has been whipped up by one of the feline persuasion. In my experience, you don’t have to be out at sea or even in a boat for one’s feline family members to reek havoc. Especially if you are attempting to write. And that’s what I was trying to do, about the sea no less.
Just when I thought I had my next book all plotted out, someone came along and changed it. How did I plot my next novel? Dozens of Post-it notes carefully stuck to an opened up brown paper bag (no expense spared here!) Hours of moving around scenes to get it just right. Days of head scratching, adding scenes and taking them away until I had amassed a pile of sticky notes like the left over screws from an Ikea bookcase. Those were either reintegrated or tossed. Yes, even at this stage I was proud of following Stephen King’s advice to “Kill your darlings.” But as they say, pride often comes before a fall…
Pleased with myself, I shuffled off to the kitchen in my bunny slippers to brew a celebratory coffee.
And in those brief moments, she came. The one I affectionately call my literary assistant – and for good reason, she loves books and anything made of paper – Miracle, my three-legged cat. Editor extraordinaire and the embodiment of shameless.
With a swish of her tail and swat of her paws, a tempest whipped up in my living room and my story was rewritten.
OK, that’s a stretch. Try utterly destroyed.
Painstaking plotting unravelled in a whisker. Carefully crafted scenes scattered to the four winds. Characters drowned in a sea of cat hair.
Returning with my coffee, I was confronted by flotsam and jetsam. And atop the destruction, sat Miracle.
Clearly, she thought she could do a better job!