That Damn Cat…We love him!

So, those of you whom have been following this blog – hey thanks by the way I nearly fell through the floor when I saw the stats (#TwitterWorks), will recall that Chris and I were due to adopt a cat…

Introducing Pepper (he came with that name and we didn’t want to confuse him!)

I always said that if we were going to have a cat I hoped it wouldn’t be a boring one. Oh how kismet is making me pay for that now! Because the energetic little bugger takes great delight in walking up to me all friendly and purring when I’m trying to be asleep at 4:10 each and every morning. Within a few seconds the demons are upon him. He wraps his claws around my hand – that I had been using to stroke him, and bites. At the moment, his bite is not at all painful, it just invokes a “you cheeky bugger!” response. In essence, he is practising killing – it’s what cats do! As he is an indoor-only cat then he will never need to learn this skill but we are fighting against hundreds of thousands of years’ worth of evolution in the form of limbic hardwiring here – he’s meant to be like this. He’s just a pain in the arse when he wants to play fight / practise killing at the ungodly hours of the day. So much so that I’m thinking of renaming him to P.I.T.A.

What I’m currently reading: April

21423336You don’t remember her, but she remembers you by Harriet Lane

I first started reading this deeply psychological thriller about two years ago. At the time (just before Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train hit the headlines) I thought this might be useful as research into writing from a female perspective, it still might be. The narrative is in the first person as seen from both lead characters, Emma and Nina. I have to say I have issues with some of the content. Child abduction, no matter how briefly is a touchy subject, but then some of my books and most of the ones I read have murders in them. Given a choice I think I’d rather be abducted! Anyway, it is a compelling read. Last time I got to roughly halfway when I decided to put it on hold for a while. Here’s hoping that I finish it this time around…unlike the secret history of Twin Peaks which I am still reading. If the cat lets me I will try and make some more headway into that tome this weekend.

As an update to this, I’ve still not finished this damn book. I did a search on reviews for the book and quite a few people seemed to have the same issue with it that I do: Practically every chapter is repeated. You get Emma’s version of events and then Nina’s – and Nina is a bit of a crackpot to be honest. I’m no closer to finding out what exactly pissed Nina off to such a degree that she feels the need to infiltrate / violate Emma’s life but I’m thinking Emma might have shagged Nina’s dad! Anyway, I swear I will finish it…one year. I even found my old copy that I thought I had thrown away, so now I have two. I bet not even the author could say that!

El año de mierda, la conclusión

Well it just sounds better in Spanish!

So far this year has been a bit tumultuous, on a personal front that is. I know that on a global scale my ramblings are just that, ramblings, bleatings of a western world person who would not know real hardship if it walked up to him, kicked him in the balls and I really must stop talking about myself in the third person as that’s the stuff of craziness.

Losing Joe Carson from my facebook feed was like life saying to me, ‘so you got used to something, cool, watch as I now take it away!’ Obviously the people most affected by the passing of Joe will be those who saw him on a day to day basis, I wish I had seen him more often in the last few years, I especially liked his openness and down-to-earth direct manner of speaking. He wasn’t impressed by me working in a university (it’s not like I’m one of the lecturers!) and he took umbrage at me looking down my nose at Breightmet – my roots, I think I deserved that!

Also, we lost Mike, I had only known him since 2001 but in all honesty I did really enjoy his company, even when he was banging on about cars and as for Formula One tactics – aysh. It still feels very invasive sitting in his spot on the sofa, not that he was at all like Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory, he wasn’t defensive of that place, just y’know, it’s weird to sit there.

For the sake of my trying to claw back some integrity, I can’t mention the other thing that has upset the applecart this year. Because some things don’t need to be put on social media if they mean a lot to you. So, onwards!

Then Mikey the Fish (female fish) goes and checks out on us. To be fair, this was a Molly, and they don’t live long in domestic aquaria, three years was a good age, given that she was already a couple of months old when we got her. I’ll miss her frantically charging at the Platys at feeding time (and probably shortening their lives) and attacking me at each water change. But from the original four, she survived to a relative ripe old age. And as a mark of respect I have refrained from breaking down and crying like a big baby. Soft head!

So that’s it, I’m putting a deserved end to this tumultuous year that I’m having. Why? Because it’s me that’s making it tumultuous with my harrassing of companies on Twitter and falling out with people etc (I did promise that I wouldn’t bang on about that!). Because these things are trivial, banal compared to real world problems. I’m so lucky in that I do know how to express myself so that others understand me, not everyone is so well equipped at getting their point across, I should count my blessings, not abuse them.

The next blog post will be more entertaining, and more book-related. I had to just get this off my chest.

See you when the fog clears…hopefully it should have started by now.


What’s the most frustrating thing in your life?

For me it’s when I cannot control something. With regret, this can apply at any point throughout our existence, for example:

  • When your cat has a complete meltdown and decides to literally vanish before your very eyes.
  • When someone tells you a secret that you’d rather not have known.
  • When you give a perfectly logical and balanced reason for doing / saying something and the other person simply refuses to acknowledge your point.

There are many, a myriad of course, and they are obviously not just confined to me and my own personal crazy. We all experience them, and to a lesser or greater degree, they do grey our hair for us, for a time, then there is some kind of resolution: the cat reappears in his own good time, you forget that secret or the person who told it you leaves your life (that could also be the solution for the third bullet point).

So how does this relate to my writing. Well, this is what I want to try and get across from Charlie’s point of view in The Calling, he remembers Lisa and then can’t seem to get her out of his head. Frustratingly so (see what I did there, talk about a seamless segué). I frequently re-read what I have written so far, and, I don’t think I have yet managed to convey that oh-so-bloody-annoying-frustration-feeling when something penetrates, then dominates our waking thoughts. I’m going to have to have a read-up on this, hmmm but how?

Elsewhere, there’s a new impetus with regards to Black Lights. Take a step forward Josh, Tyler and Nicholas, three junior tearaways with a penchant for trouble and a way of developing the sinister plot. Even I would admit it’s sinister and I’m writing it! The chapter featuring this trio of terror (they are not that terrible) is enjoyment itself to write, who wouldn’t revel in the opportunity to regress to being an eleven-year-old boy once more, if only for an afternoon?

See you when the fog clears!

P.S. don’t get me wrong, there are seldom that many things that I do want to control…I’m a bit lazy that way, but I am very proactive, which brings about it’s own issues.

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