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Dexter’s Law: Animal abuser registry bill on the table in Florida.

Dear Florida:

DO THIS.

Also, there are not enough FUCK YESes in the world.

Animal abuser registry bill on the table in Florida

This, otherwise known as Dexter’s Law for the tiny black and white kitten beaten with a baseball bat by a woman and her two children to the point of having to be euthanised, really cannot happen soon enough. It should have happened a ridiculously long time ago, and there should never ever be another Dexter and never should have been in the first place.

But the most important thing is that it does happen, and spreads, and becomes commonplace all around the country and hopefully all around the world.

If Dexter’s story (and the thousands more like it) don’t break your damn heart enough as it is, well, use common sense. Would you be comfortable knowing that the sort of people who can bludgeon small defenseless creatures with baseball bats could be living right next door, with you and your family completely unawares?

That is what this bill, and others like it, can help prevent. (I myself once used to live next door to two charming gentlemen who went by the names of ‘Big Bub’ and ‘Lil Bub’ and apparently had quite the fondness for killing neighbourhood cats. Sadly, I am not making this up, and would have sorely loved a law like this then.)

So raise your voice. Take thirty seconds and make yourself heard — because they can’t.

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Hippie posts: The greatest people of the day.

When I idly go about sifting through the news, I typically do not expect to find much of anything positive or inspiring at all.

Tonight, however, managed to prove me rather soundly wrong.

At first, I stumbled across an article called “Lessons from Sharing the Story of My (Possibly) Gay 6-Year-Old Son”, and all I can say is how very very glad I am that this woman is raising a child. If more mothers were like her, this world would be one hell of a less shitty place.

And I wish I could tell all of these kids to keep their heads up. That even if their own parents might not love them the way that they deserve to be loved, there are at least people out there who would. ♥

(That story also reminds me of this wonderful little boy who is forever wandering about the childrens’ department of my store — his parents leave him with nannies, who then turn and dump him into said department and ignore him while instead he latches onto us. The first time I encountered him, he quite sincerely complimented me on my glitter nail polish, and then followed me around asking for books on both Rapunzel and sharks. On one of the most recent times I saw him, he flagged me down to inquire as to how he could go about watching Lady Gaga videos. He is probably all of five, and I sincerely hope that when he gets older, his parents will at least support him in liking whatever and whoever the hell he may like, and not just freak out over the fact their son enjoys glitter and princess and Lady Gaga right alongside his awesome sharks. Hey, doesn’t every parent claim they want a well-rounded child?)

And the second story then somehow made me even happier!

Tom Wargo is the greatest person of the day, indeed.

Tom Wargo is another of those people that the world desperately needs more of — he runs a pet food pantry by the name of Daffy’s. My default emotion is generally just “oh my god I must go scoop up all the homeless animals” anyway, but Daffy’s story sent that emotion right into overdrive, and I cannot thank this man enough for what he does.

(I’ve been on every side of this coin, myself. All of my cats were originally homeless — and for a time I actually ended up homeless with my cats, too. But we found each other and we stayed together and I do not hesitate to say that doing so was the best goddamn decision I ever could have made. ♥ It goes without saying that I want other people to be able to make that decision, too.)

So there you are. A little bit of positivity to help get you through your day. Now go help make things a little bit less shitty yourself. :)

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On finding the meaning of life in science-fiction writers and cats. (Translation: Yeah, I’m still a hippie nerd, and proud. ♥)

Dear Ray Bradbury:

Where the hell have you been all my life?

With sudden but-not-really-surprised love,
Me.

I finally had my first taste of Bradbury today — The October Country. (No, not Fahrenheit 451.) And even my boycat was almost instantly delighted:

I was sold from the very beginning, myself, from the forward about writing that spoke of May I Die Before My Voices. I sympathised and agreed and just continued to fall steadily more in love…at least, when my cat wasn’t using it as a pillow, anyway.

Reading Bradbury almost reminds me of some of the things I love best about reading Stephen King, only more polished. Poetic. With less man-eating cars.

Needless to say, I am a happy happy girl, and will undoubtedly produce more squee on this subject forthwith.

But the happiest discovery of the day was this:

Meet Halo and Nell, Boycat and Girlcat #2. (And please do ignore the incongruous smatterings of pink smeared about the bed; such things tend to inexplicably happen when I am involved. Please don’t ignore my puppy pillow-pet and beloved stuffed kitty Smokey, however, because they are cute and I would be sad.)

Now, Halo and Nell do not normally get on. At all.

It’s not through any fault of their own, really. Nell was a stray, declawed in all four feet and then dumped by some even-I-don’t-have-enough-profanity-to-fill-this-void into a goddamn New England winter. Needless to say, it’s a wonder she managed to survive at all, and did so with injuries to the face and head that I think damaged both her sense of smell and hearing, making her even more skittish and afraid than she was doomed to be regardless.

And she only did survive because some family happened upon her and took her in, giving her to their older mother to look after and take care of. The woman did so, getting her medical attention and giving her as much general attention as she could — but as it turned out, the woman was unknowingly allergic. No one else wanted Nell, but neither would the woman just dumb her off again, so Nell ended up mostly confined to a back hallway, where she couldn’t set off the allergies as badly, but she couldn’t be properly socialised, either.

But she also ended up on Craigslist, and I saw her, and I couldn’t say no.

I emailed the woman, who was bizarrely surprised — she hadn’t even thought of putting Nell on the site herself, and it was done by a vet assistant without her knowledge. But while she was surprised and intimidated, she liked me, and so we arranged a meeting.

Long story short (we’ll ignore the bit where she pulled up outside my flat and indicated I should meet Nell in her car, and I then willingly got into a car with some stranger from Craigslist because holy shit there’s a cat, shall we–), I liked Nell, too, and she stayed home with me that day. ♥

I can’t say that Nell liked me too, not then. Understandably, Nell didn’t like too much of anything, and had moodswings to match any hormone-addled teenage girl. (Ever hear a cat purr and hiss at the exact same time? Ever been viciously bitten and then immediately sweetly groomed? No? Then you haven’t met Nell.)

So I employed the patented Jacey Kitty-Taming Method, and gave her lots and lots of hugs anyway. (You think I’m kidding. I am not. Much like I will wander into cars with strangers from Craigslist for the sake of a cat, my reaction to a cat attempting to maul my face off is in fact to just give it a giant hug.)

You will also think I am kidding when I say that the patented Jacey Kitty-Taming Method works. But Nell is an entirely different kitty, now. ♥ She is still nervous and mood-swing-tastic, yes, but she both accepts affection and the fact that she wants it. She sleeps in bed with us — alternating sides to be nearest the one of us who is most awake, and more likely to give her pets. She sits and sleeps in my lap. She happily smashes her face into mine to purr. She grooms me more than she gnaws me. She lets me scoop her up and dance around with her in my panties to K-pop. (Which I do in fact do. I admit it. I’ve no shame.)

The one major issue still left unresolved was Halo.

Halo, bless him, is an extraordinarily stupid creature. He’s the apple of his mommy’s eye, to be sure, but even that kind of maternal adoration will not stop me from admitting that, yes, he really is that dumb. (His favourite hobby is eating curling ribbon, for the love of god.)

And so when Halo decided that Nell was a shiny and thusly deserving of being his friend, he went about making her acquaintance by stalking up behind her, attempting to shove his nose into her bum without warning, then crying at me in piteous confusion when her immediate reaction was to growl. And the more she rebuffs him, the more he cries, which probably just annoys her even more too. Then Extreme Pattycake ensues.

Lather rinse repeat. Every bleeding day.

She’s too nervous to trust other cats, and he’s too stupid to catch onto the fact he really ought to let her alone or at least approach her in a somewhat less obnoxious way, so you can understand my concern about these two.

And you can understand how happy I was when I wandered into the bedroom this afternoon, and saw what I did. :)

Because at the end of the day, what can matter more than things like this?

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Writerly Wednesday: The greatest inspiration of all.

Sometimes, the most important thing to have while writing is just a little inspiration.

And what ever could possibly be more inspiring than a kitty? :)
 
 
Ever since my boycat Halo (see header above!) was a tiny little baby and not the inexplicable behemoth of a furball that he has grown into today, he has had an irrepressible desire to Help Mom.

Mostly, “Helping Mom” seems to entail chewing on my fingers. Or my elbow. Or attempting to eat my hair. (Which I suppose at least prods you into working faster…)

But sometimes, he actually almost manages to get it right! ♥
 
 
One of his very first favourite places to explore were my bookcases — clearly, he was ready and willing to start learning the craft! Or something.
 

Tolkien seemed especially fascinating. Halo always did like shiny things.

The sleepiest Smaug impersonation of all time.

But mostly he just knocked everything over.


 
Then, Halo discovered his very first writing tool — Pansy, my own first laptop! (Halo being a pansy himself, they were a match made in heaven.)
 

But his grand discovery tired him greatly, and so he just went to sleep.


 
And more recently, Halo has rediscovered his love of yet another writing tool: Pens!

He’s always loved them, really — they’re so fun to chew on when Mommy moves them around, and if you make a loud enough snorking sound while doing so, she may even stop just to stare at you!

But now, he is learning how to repurpose them as well! Specifically, entire cups full of them, standing on their ends.

Apparently, said ends also make for a really awesome pillow.
 

Maybe the stories will come out if you just find something pointy enough to poke holes in your brain...


 
And who am I to argue with a cat?

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Six Sentence Sunday: Meet Desdemona!

Several Sundays ago, for Sample Sunday, I introduced the world at large to Anchor, the equine of my WIP who was the first to make my own acquaintance.

This Sunday, for Six Sentence Sunday, it’s the feline’s turn!

(Of course it is. It is always the feline’s turn.)
 
 

Cats can read, of course.

It’s an unnecessary skill, when one is already so close to being omniscient, but we’re practical creatures all the same. If we’re going to be sleeping on something, we may as well make the most use of it we can.

(Personally, I prefer Shakespeare. My humans called me Darling, but in my heart I answer to Desdemona — pointless and silly to many people, perhaps, but they’ll still talk of me for years after I’m gone. I’ll see to that.)

 
 
She’s a determined lady, this cat. Even shredded all of her peoples’ toilet paper before they drove her out, just so she could make a statement.

She regrets nothing.

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Writing Market: A Quiet Shelter There Anthology.

If there are two things in this world I love, they are writing and animals. (And caffeine makes three, but that is both a given and not at all relevant to this post.)

And so I come to share a market that is the best of both worlds!

A Quiet Shelter There Anthology, from Hadley Rille Books, will directly benefit an animal shelter, the Friends of Homeless Animals servicing the Washington D.C. metro.

Which means that not only do you have an opportunity to get your writing out there to the world at large, but you can help some very deserving cats and dogs in the process!

Really, what could be better?

(One of my WIPs, I think, would even suit perfectly for this, so I am both doubly excited and even more inspired to get working on the thing!)

Every one of you writers reading this ought to submit something. What’s a few thousand words to help save animals, after all? :)

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Sample Sunday: Meet Anchor!

Today is Sample Sunday!

And so, I’ve decided to share the beginning of the piece I am currently working on for LiveJournal’s fantasy big bang — which is a sort of fairytale, but turned on its side.

Enjoy! :)
 

 

They began to forget, when they opened the box.

Their metalworks rusted, and magic ate rust; it fed on fantastic city-sprawls as opalescent ivies crept up sky-scraping walls.

But the screams faded swiftly to soft gasps of awe.

It was in essence a trade: Unasked for, perhaps, but seemingly fair.

Their black spiderwebs, built for sharing speech, all fell in a shower of sparks; but the word telepathy wove its way about the streets instead. The shiny-topped treethings came tumbling down with the webbing as well; but then fingers snapped and spheres suddenly glowed. The loud moving boxes clattered to stops and so clogged up the roads, yet the humans just laughed as commonplace rugs took on lives of their own and rose up high above.

And if we animals, the pets and the parklife and the populations of farms, all shied away or snarled in fear —

Well, by then, the eggs had appeared.

They found them in bushes, in the tops of the trees, and put them by the fires that they’d had to relearn. (The humans, I’d noticed, seemed ironically closer now, moving closer to base instinct and farther from brains.)

And I say it ended when they started to hatch.

A matter of perspective, that, I suppose; but then who’s around now to argue, or tell me I’m wrong? (Or, indeed, who’s willing to listen at all?)

So yes. It all ended with the eggs.

Seasons change; rebirth is perhaps the most natural of all things. But nothing about this was natural at all.

The eggs cracked open to cries of delight, and shining beaks poked forth, or long swirling horns, or eerily-dry feathers in a rainbow cascade — once I saw fire and a sliver of scale —

They stopped caring about us entirely, then.

These were creatures moulded to the new world, or perhaps the world had been moulded for them. It was the same end result, either way.

Leave them to their own devices, the humans said of us with their eyes. They won’t obey, they’re hateful now, we’ll all be happier if they just go away

Doors opened in tandem, and there was enough unearthly singing to drown out our cries. To drown us out or drive us out; one or both, I’m still not sure.

So we left, and again they forgot.

(I still hear the children crying sometimes, in the deepest of sleeps, and calling out a litany of once-familiar names; but the parents soothe them with baubles and these moments too pass.)

 

 
My name was Anchor, and I was born on a farm. I think I was beautiful once, before; I had a shining black coat and a long flowing mane. These days I have brambles and ribs etched on my sides, but I am still alive.

I suppose that’s a beauty in its own right.

And in a way I am one of the luckier ones. I never had a person, not one for me alone. I was cared and provided for, and if everyone was sufficiently kind, so too were they impersonal.

Strictly speaking, now, I have no one that is mine to miss.

(Although perhaps that is a burden all its own. I have no one to miss, nor any proper memories to tide me through. I don’t know whether to pity or envy the others I come across, and this sort of confusion isn’t befitting of a beast.)

I’ll simply say I miss the world.

The world, as it was, and not just a dream.

Humans never did see what was right in front of their noses, and maybe we are the only ones who were ever really awake.