Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Guest post: "A Regular Day in my Writer's Life," by Children's Author Anne K. Edwards

What a subject. A regular day in my writing life contains many things, but little time I can actually say is spent in writing.  The interruptions are irregular and many.  Ninety-five percent of the breaks in my writing process are caused by cats.  It is like living in a zoo where all the animals run free and it is up to the keeper to ‘keep’ out of their way.
I share the computer table with a couple of large gold cats, a brown and white cat, and a long hair for starters.  Each one feels privileged to sit or lie between me and the monitor no matter where I put it.  There is then no room for the mouse or keyboard.  I try many things to dissuade this behavior, but in the end I came to believe it is their “affection” for me or more likely, their way of keeping track of what I’m doing and being sure I’m available if they should want anything.
Also, in line with that complaint, the days are too short and my ambition suffers as there are so many other fun things to do that don’t require much self discipline. Writing is the strongest disciplinarian I have ever encountered. It requires being alone, sans cats, silence which is something a cat really knows little about as they yowl when the mood hits them, race back and forth in a game of tag, jump on my lap when they want a scratch, start fights with one another if only to make me jump up to put an end to it. A cat upsets anything sitting on the floor, tears papers left about, sleeps on the keyboard or mouse, often adding strings of letters or blanks to what has been written or deleting what was written. 
Outside of this, my day is spent trying to reread what I write with little success since sitting means there is a lap available and a cat just waiting to use it.  I mean, a human can’t sit on their own lap and a cat can always put one to good use. A good nap is more important than their human trying to write by hand or type.
One good thing that comes from such a day is that a writer learns to type fast in the few minutes that a cat doesn’t find out about.  It’s the only way to get anything down on paper or a computer screen.  Don’t forget to save each page at least twice or the cat may decide you don’t really want it and use the delete key for you. They are cognizant of being helpful that way.
This reads more like A Day With Cats and to be honest, that is exactly what it is.  Every day is like that.  The best time to write is after all the cats fall asleep after a big meal.  It isn’t a long period, but it is the only one I have.  ` `
So, except for a few household chores, that is a day in the writing life of Anne K. Edwards.

ChangingPlaces kindle cesEbookCover1Two real-life characters and a startling incident in their lives are the basis for Changing Places. Imagine that you are sitting on your front porch on a warm summer day with your black cat that loves to groom his fur on the rough texture of the cement. This means a lot of rolling about without looking how close to the edge of the porch he’s getting. On this particular warm day, our black cat went through his routine of enjoying the cool feel of the cement. The cat rolled and rolled right off the edge of the porch to land on a seven-foot black snake sunning itself coiled in the flower bed below. Both were so startled by this unexpected event, they fled immediately in opposite directions.  It was nearly a full day before the cat could be persuaded to return to the house and nearly a month before he’d go out onto the front porch again. The cat that inspired this story did not appreciate the sound of laughter the incident provoked, nor, I’m sure, did the black snake as it a was a while before we saw him again. However, their collision did give me the germ of an idea for a short tale about what the result might have been if the cat and snake had been able to talk things over instead of running away. I enjoyed writing their story that shows the reader even if things don’t work out after talking something over, different people from different backgrounds can be friends.
Anne K. Edwards resides on a farm with her husband and a bunch of cats who rule the roost.  When she’s not arguing with them about using the computer, she is dancing attendance on their demands. Anne enjoys reading, meeting new people,
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