Turn your volume up loud …


You know Kevin Brennan has this novel …

kind of like chick lit but so much better because it turns chick lit on its head.  Check out Kevin’s post:  Have I mentioned lately that I have a book to peddle?.

If you need more encouragement, check out my reviews of Occasional Soulmates.

My standard, Amazon-style review.

My different (and favorite) kind of review.

Luisa: My Funny Feline

Dear Reader, you see this lovely specimen of a feline in repose.  Reading is hard work, you know, especially of The New Yorker (such long articles!).


Luisa sleeping on a copy of The New Yorker and my husband’s stargazing log.

The girl does love to sleep.  And she deserves to sleep as much as she wants because she is at least 20 years old.

Luisa asleep on the porch

Luisa asleep on the porch

What Luisa doesn’t like is going to the vet.

Luisa at the vet's

Luisa at the vet’s

Unfortunately, we’ve had to take her in twice in less than a week.  Last week, she started throwing up her food.  Nothing terribly unusual.  She often had these spells of puking up food and then begging for more, and then she would be fine for awhile.  But last week was different.  The frequency of her throwing up increased until the point where all she could throw up was frothy liquid because there was no longer food in her stomach.  And of course this was in the wee hours of the morning.  So I laid in bed and told myself that “if she has one more episode, I’m taking her to the emergency vet.”  And of course all was quiet after I made that decision, as if she had read my mind.

Of course, I was in denial and, to a degree, I still am.  I wanted only for the vet to prescribe over the phone some anti-nausea medicine and an appetite stimulant.  Oh, yes, I forgot to mention:  Luisa had stopped eating.

So the first visit to the vet involved Luisa getting subcutaneous fluids to hydrate her, an anti-nausea shot, and an antibiotics shot (her white blood cell count was elevated).  We took her home and observed her, tried to feed her, watched her every movement.  Oh, did I mention that she was also constipated?

By Monday, she had only eaten a spoonful of food that I held in front of her.  She would have no more.  So back to the vet we went.  I saw a different doctor this time, one that I was more comfortable with since she had treated a few of our other cats as well.  It’s very simple:  we can try a few non-invasive procedures and if they fail, well, there’s euthanasia.  We can try invasive procedures and if they fail, well, there’s euthanasia.  Luisa is at least 20 years old.

We found her in a local park almost 18 years ago.  My husband fell in love with her and as days past and she seemed to always be on the top of the restrooms whenever he came to the park to run, he grew more anxious.  There were student apartments nearby so we suspected the usual.  When the nighttime temperatures started to fall, my husband grew even more anxious.  So one day I drove out to the park, coaxed her off the roof of the restrooms, and cajoled her into a pet taxi,  and off to the vet we went.  I left behind info on the vet … just in case, but of course,  no one ever called.  So.  She was ours.  We named her Luisa because we found her in San Luis Mission Park.

It hasn’t been all roses with Luisa.  She is a “crazy tortie.”  Until recently, she wouldn’t tolerate being petted.  She always wanted to be in the same room with us, but we were to look and not touch.  It was hard not to laugh when I would go to pet her and she would hiss and slap my hand.

But in the last couple of years, perhaps you could say now that’s she is in her dotage, she seems to enjoy being petted.  In fact, she sleeps with me, often curled up on the inside of my left arm.  Or on my pillow where her whiskers tickle my face.  She is still with us, as of this writing.  We are trying the non-invasive treatments:  anti-nausea medicine, appetite stimulant, another round of subcutaneous fluids.  But if this regimen fails, we can do no more.  We will do no “heroics” for our aging queen.  All we want to hear her purr and know that she does not suffer.

So, if I seem to be absent from blogging or distracted when I am here, she is my cause.  I don’t want to let her go.  Of course, it’s inevitable.  She’s not getting any younger, and keeping her beyond her comfort zone would not be fair to her.  But right now, she does not seem to be in distress.  She still seems alert.  But she still won’t eat.

For now, dear Reader, understand that I am rather preoccupied because Luisa is still here and I need every minute with her that I can get.  Even if she spends most of those minutes sleeping.

Luisa participating in her favorite activity.

Luisa participating in her favorite activity.

Soul Asylum – Runaway Train [MTV Unplugged]

At the risk of depressing everyone around me … this song won’t leave my head.  It takes me back to my teens when almost all I ever thought about was running away.  Problem was that I lived in the country, and running away would likely result in my dying of exposure in the woods or an open field.  When I was very little, I did run away … to my neighbor’s house.  I think my mother found it amusing in a way (like, “really, Marie, how can I take you seriously when you just crossed the yard, but then you’re only six”).

But this time of year, I tend to reflect on my place in the world and the fact that, even as an adult approaching her “golden years,” sometimes I still want to run away.  I do often wonder “how did I get so jaded.”

For the Lady Ionia, Queen of the Blogosphere

I have shielded my eyes against her bright beauty, her brilliant wit, her shining soul.
I have bowed before her rapier tongue, welcoming the fiery warmth of its lashes against my back.
I have kissed the coal-burning footprints she leaves behind as she tours her universe.
I am but one of her many minions, grateful to be counted among them.

I speak in hyperbole, but I speak with love.
I speak with a sly smile, but my heart breaks.
I speak only a few words, but my mind explodes with all else that I want to say.

I beg the forces that be, let her rise again.
Let me again feel her fiery words as they blaze through the fiber optics of our connection.

The heat of her love purifies me.
Her words sing to me.
Her generosity humbles me.
Her silence is deafening.

I beg the forces that be, bring her back from the ashes,



For context, here are two related posts. Please read Ionia first.


Helen Valentina

Briana Vedsted


photo credit: allspice1 via photopin cc

For Ionia

A beautiful, emotionally charged dedication to our Ionia!


I wish for you a dragon’s fire
To breathe freedom to you
To raise you up on crystal wings
Far away from darker lands

It seems the purest souls
Are tested most these days
As though in exchange for generosity
Come ravages and pain
And so I cry to the heavens
Not this, not this again!
Let this dear friend find
Safe passage home
Victorious and complete

Hear me universe
Hear me now!

The essence of the earth to rise and comfort you
The essence of water, to quench your soul’s thirst
The essence of air, to gift you wide expanses
The essence of fire, to burn away all pain
I invoke all the elements
To be with you now
And bring you back to us safe
And healed in body and soul.

(c) Helen Valentina 2013, All Rights Reserved

View original post


A brave poem by a beautiful warrior about a great loss, a young poet named Shane.

Part-Time Monster

I eat books for breakfast.


Best-selling Author of the Stone Mountain Mystery Series

Lady Of The Cakes

Vignettes from a multi-lingual, multi-cake-eating freelance existence


from the pretty to the gritty


Affordable editorial services for indie writers

William Pearse | pinklightsabre

Writing is learning to see in the dark

Writing Perspectives, Practices, and Proclivities

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

And, for good measure, a bit of Cooking and Eating

S.K. Nicholls


Jackie Mallon

Author/Fashion Designer

El Space--The Blog of L. Marie

Thoughts about writing and life

JeriWB Word Bank

Writing & Editing Services. Make every word count.

Britt Skrabanek

content optimist & life enthusiast

Hollis Hildebrand-Mills

Divine Imagery Is Everywhere™

Kate Shrewsday

A thousand thousand stories

The Writer Within

Inside the world of author AnnMarie Wyncoll


Relationships reveal our hearts.

Kristina Rienzi

Suspense Author

A View From My Summerhouse

Share the view with me, rain or shine...

Busy Mind Thinking

Wait! What?!

%d bloggers like this: