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I have just been made aware of Caturday! How the heck did I miss this for so long?!


Now that I know about this glorious day I will join the millions of other cat owners and contribute to the mass of cat photos online (you may want to run!)

Please let me introduce Miss Emma Peel:


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Get the Cat His Own Contract

WP_20130328_002Living aboard a sailboat is more fun than I had ever imagined. However. It is a fact of life that space is limited. Let me reiterate: L I M I T E D. Also? The chores are endless. Thus, faced with unending temptation  to procrastinate by pulling up floorboards to scrub bilges or polish the exterior stainless fittings, and with four cats who seem to think I exist solely to fill every empty moment of their lives, I like to get the hell out of Dodge in order to concentrate on getting word count each day.

Two miles from the marina is Miro Tea. It’s nestled in the historic part of Old Ballard. (Old being relative – this IS the west coast.) This is where stone and brick buildings built in the very late 1800s are still standing – and have all been redone to bring them up to earthquake code. Lots of ancient wood floors, funky stone or brick walls and exposed steel I beams reinforcing the structure. This is the artsy district in an otherwise blue collar part of town.  This is the long way of saying, that to write, I require tea. Lots of hot, good quality tea.

And music. I pipe the playlist of my choice directly into my brain via a pair of stereo ear buds. Looking for moody, nay — *creepy* music by which to compose your latest Great American Novel? Check out Nox Arcana. Just one example. There are SO many more. Ping me.  I’ll hook you up. I collect creepy and then etch it into my gray matter whilst composing. Only one book has no playlist and that one is because the heroine is deaf. For some reason, it seems to matter that I work in silence on her story.

All this said – that I want to be in a part of town I like, surrounded by other people sipping tea and working on *their* thing du jour, nursing a pot of whichever elixir I’ve chosen for the day – I’ll write anywhere, anytime. A few minutes of boredom are all that are required. My brain starts spinning and characters start talking.

The biggest challenge if I write on the boat, is keeping the felines from ‘helping’. My editor has sent back manuscripts with a slew of nonsense highlighted and a note in the margins saying, “Tell the cat to get his own contract.”

What are you doing New Year’s Eve?

So I’m REALLY late blogging today because I didn’t go to bed until 3am. With today being New Year’s Eve you’d be forgiven for thinking I was out partying, but it sounds a hell of a lot more exciting than it really was, since I was up desperately trying to finish writing a book! In years gone by I definitely would have been out whooping it up, since back home the month of December, from beginning to end, is one big party. House parties, parties in nightclubs, street parties, you name it, Jamaicans are there, dancing, drinking, eating and generally having a wild time.

New Year’s Eve is the time when everyone pulls out the fanciest dress or suit and really gets their groove on. A good friend of my brother used to have THE party of the night to go to, and I still have fond memories of dancing, flirting and drinking the night away. We’d have breakfast there at about 7am on New Year’s Day and then going home to change into swimsuits and head to the beach. Fried fish and “festival” (a fried bread made from flour and cornmeal), Red Stripe Beer and chilly dips in the rough January sea followed until, exhausted, we’d head home at about 3pm. Sometimes, after crashing for a few hours, we’d head out again. Sometimes, if we’d really tied one on, we’d wake up and realize it was actually January 2nd.

Unfortunately, as an uncle of mine used to say, “What used to was cannot are.” (Think about that for a moment. No, I don’t mind… *crickets*) Now, with work, family, all the various responsibilities of life, days like that are just a fond memory. No doubt if I were still back home I’d be a lot more frisky than I am now. It’s different for me when going out involves not only venue and time but how many layers of clothing I have to wear! No one looks or feels sexy in long underwear, LOL!

Yet, I still love the turning of the year, the sensation of the unknown just around the corner, a fresh, clean slate to scribble all over. I know realistically I could wake up every morning and feel the same way—after all, what’s the difference between, say March 31st –April 1st and December 31st –January 1st?—but there’s definitely a sensation of anticipation attached to the beginning of the year.

So, in the spirit of that anticipation and with 2013 just hours away, here’s to us all, to health, happiness, love and romance, to peace, prosperity and dreams coming true. From me to you, stay safe, have fun and ring in the New Year in whichever style you love best!

See you all in 2013!

Oh, and Moe sends flowers LOL!


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