The cats and I

It’s just the cats and I this weekend as others in the family have jetted off overseas (well, over the North Sea). Some people think cats are ideal pets for a writer. This is only partly true. It’s almost impossible to concentrate on writing when the cats want to go in or out, or want something to eat, which happens all through the morning when I’m at home. They seem to have a siesta in the afternoon most days. If you don’t jump up and let them out when they ask to go out, they play at getting round the room without touching the floor, clambering all over piles of stuff and causing paper and book landslides. I suppose we should have asked the nice man who built our conservatory to put a cat-door in it after all. Only then they would just have brought in mice and voles on a more regular basis.

Dogs are better for writers in some ways – taking them for walks is not only a very healthy occupation compared to sitting in front of the computer checking book sales on Amazon every ten minutes, but also a good opportunity to mull over plot-lines and scenes in your latest novel. On the other hand, dogs can be five times more demanding than cats and infinitely more messy and annoying. I think it’s their efforts to get people to like them I find particularly irritating, balanced as they are by activities which seem designed to make people hate them, such as destroying and eating things and trampling plants in the garden.

I’m hoping to get myself out this afternoon to write in a café in town for a while – this is one of the steps I’m taking to prepare for NaNoWriMo next month. Other steps include viewing online movie footage from the 1950s, reading as much as I can about the Festival of Britain, and generally mulling over plots and characters, having realised that  I  need more than the two central characters and a vague plot-line about the protagonists trying to recover something that’s been stolen some time in 1951. One further step is to try and complete my edits for ‘Song of Vanora’ so that I can get 14th century Scotland out of my head before the 1st of November. I need to think myself back into the 1950s. This may turn out to be an impossible task. Watch this space for further details!

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