Four-Legged Friends and Associates

This week’s photo challenge topic is companions and for me that means the four-legs in our household.  I’ve already posted a bizilion applicable photos (tags dogs or cats).  Okay, at least half a bizillion. So now, make it a bizillion plus six.

A decade ago, Bop and Luna were kittens and my son (now 6'2) was shorter than his twin sister (now 5'10").

A decade ago, Bop and Luna were kittens and my son (now 6’2) was shorter than his twin sister (now 5’10”).

Bop grew up to disdain other four-legs, with one exception. She enjoyed our rabbit Cookie, a bold and aggressive rescue bunny. Bop loved to hang out in Cookie's cage. An extreme sport. Cookie would have killed anybody (not an exaggeration) she caught in her cage.

Bop grew up to disdain other animals, with one exception. She enjoyed our rabbit Cookie, a bold and aggressive rescue bunny. Bop loved to hang out in Cookie’s cage. An extreme sport: Cookie would have killed anybody (not an exaggeration) she caught in her cage.

Cookie liked living with cats. She learned all sorts of tricks that rabbits should never do, such as climbing fences. When we first got her she was indoors in a cage but soon had the run of the backyard. She chased the cats whenever she could. She chased the neighbors out of their backyard. Fortunately they found this charming. For all of that she was very affectionate.

Cookie liked living with cats. She learned all sorts of tricks that rabbits should never do, such as climbing fences. When we first got her she was indoors in a cage but soon had the run of the backyard. She chased the cats whenever she could. She chased the neighbors out of their backyard. (Fortunately they found this charming). For all of that she was very affectionate.

As a kitten, Luna appointed our two older cats as his parents. For the rest of her life, Boink (right) groomed and cuddled with Luna.

As a kitten, Luna (left) appointed our two older cats as his parents. For the rest of her life, Boink (right) groomed and cuddled with Luna daily.

Red, a gentle giant of a tomcat, became Luna's dad. They spent endless hours playfighting and exploring together.

Red, a gentle giant of a tomcat, became Luna’s dad. They spent endless hours playfighting and exploring together.

When Cookie the rabbit succumbed to lung cancer, we lost a special individual and my key excuse against getting a dog. Enter Shadow, who lets the kids mess with her.

When Cookie the rabbit succumbed to lung cancer, we lost a special individual and my key excuse against getting a dog. Enter Shadow, who lets the kids mess with her.

(Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge.)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting – Ghost Son

Attempted to snap this photo of my teen son during a Mom don’t take my picture phase. This phase lasted longer than most childhood phases, but in retrospect they were all quite fleeting.

For many years, whenever I aimed a camera at my daughter, her hand whipped up in front of the lens. My son recently pointed out that, had I saved all those shots, we would have a complete chronicle of the palm of her hand as it matured from elementary school to college.

Share dinner with me - okay. But don't take my picture!

Share dinner with me – okay. But don’t take my picture!

 

Typical photo of my daughter.

Typical photo of my daughter.

 

(Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge.)

Do Grown-Ups Get Bored?

Childhood was long ago but I clearly remember the pain and horror of boredom. Nothing to do, no one to play with, can’t go outside, and so forth.

I can’t remember the last time I was bored (except at certain work meetings or airports). Have I learned to embrace the moment and appreciate every day? Or have I dropped my expectations?

I no longer remember boredom but surely I must get bored. Tedious conversations and situations abound. I mean I drive in southern California, people. I must get bored but the boredom is no longer memorable.

Or maybe there’s a guilt component. I can’t be bored, I have too much to do.

Or maybe I remember childhood boredom because it was such a novelty. Maybe nowadays it is my status quo.

Maybe the boredom at work meetings is a key to understanding.  Maybe what underlies boredom are issues of choice and control. Surely I still stream boring movies, start boring books. But – ha and aha – nowadays I don’t have to finish them. And if the opening act is no good I can always go play with my phone  in the lobby.

I don’t seem to be coming to closure on this. How about for you? Are you more bored or less bored than you were 10 years ago? Than you were as a kid?

A Movie I Wish I Could See

Just remembered the day my kids got a video camera, maybe a decade ago. (As our read-aloud bedtime book we had just finished Lord of the Rings.) They began to plan the filming of an epic, and stitched felt into a fetching, jerkin-style vest for our most easy-going cat.  The movie was entitled “Fellowship of the Bug”.

Much planning ensued, although I believe an actors’ strike immediately terminated production. I’ve got the storyboards somewhere. I’ll post if I find them.

PottedLuna.small

The star of “Fellowship of the Bug”.

When Anything Could Be Anything

I loved the days when my kids could take just about anything and convert it to something fun to do. For example,

giant-boxes-on-board-screwed-into-two-sets-of-skateboard-wheels +  gentle-incline => tandem go-cart race

StartPoint

On your mark…

AwayTheyGo

And awaaaay they go…

 

I probably thought this was horribly dangerous. If only this had remained the pinnacle of risks that my now 19-year-olds would ever undertake.

The Idea Aggregator that Produces a Novel – Case Study

My novels apply a filter, sieve, microscope, and paintbrush to my life, with the occasional fun-house mirror or handful of feathers thrown in.

Scar Jewelry evolved through disparate experiences and observations that gradually connected inside my head:

  • When my twins were toddlers, a friend would look to incite reaction in me by stage whispering to them, I know things about your parents.
  • A decade later, I was hanging around with other parents at our kids’ track practice, when one mom came over to introduce herself. Her husband had pointed me out and said, She’s wearing a Billy Zoom t-shirt. Zoom was the guitarist for an obscure but legendary punk band, X, which we had all loved long before. From that point we became friends – and I looked at the other parents differently, wondering who they were before they were parents.
  • We set aside so much of ourselves to become parents. Some of us never regain those set-asides. Most children don’t much care about the non-parent parts of us and can be so dismissive of what matters – or used to matter – to us.
  • As parents, we don’t always appreciate what matters to our children. We make decisions that can dramatically and permanently change their lives, yet we rarely consult them as we decide what’s best for them. Hey, we’re the grown-ups, right?
  • I am adopted. As an adult I was lucky enough to be contacted by my birth family. It turns out that after I got adopted away, my birth parents married each other and had five more children. Meeting them transformed my views on many things and they’ve been a part of my life ever since.

By the way – though it may seem otherwise – nothing I’ve said here gives away Scar Jewelry‘s secrets!

The Resurrection of C.R.I.M.E. Science

CRIMESCIENCE_cover

Cover art by Lars Huston.

So. I’m a writer who didn’t write for a couple of decades. Life is short and I’ve squandered a lot of it. But let’s just say I went in other directions. I tried other things. Certainly the hiatus was worthwhile. I became the mother of twins and completed graduate school in earthquake science. Bu the reality is that I fashioned a life where writing fiction became well nigh impossible, and for a long time I didn’t even try. At the beginning of that long hiatus – before I admitted defeat and succumbed to all the non-writing demands of my existence – I wrote a novella, envisioned as the first book in a detective series. I wrote it, and I shelved it, and I mostly forgot about it. Rhetorical Q: What kind of writer doesn’t even try to get a book published and/or read?

The thing is that I really liked the characters and they kept poking me for attention. So, now that I have resumed writing, I have also unshelved the first book in the series C.R.I.M.E. Science, about a misfit group of scientists and techno whizzes who solve crimes and right wrongs. As of today, it is available on Smashwords in every common ebook format.  Coming soon to additional venues.