cat / childhood / exploration / family / fantasy / love / Short Story / writing

Birth of the Kittens

Our cat Friday had kittens three weeks ago… they are reaching maximum cute stage.

Our cat Friday had kittens three weeks ago… they are reaching maximum cute stage.

Sometime in 2011, I recall, my oldest daughter Gladiana read a book she really, really liked. Being a dutiful mother-librarian, I helped her find the next one in the series. She absorbed every one of the books by this author she could find. And, because she loves me, and knows I love to read and write science fiction and fantasy, she forced me to read the first book in the series.

Confession time: I rarely read young adult novels. I haven’t read juvenile literature since I convinced the librarian in Tok, Alaska, to let me get books out of the adult collection when I was twelve. I loved some children’s books and have fond memories, but it’s been a very long time since I read any. I’ve written a few children’s stories to amuse my four kids with, but that’s all.

I sat down and read this book about demi-gods and children who found out who they really were, with all the mythological creatures hiding out from the real world, and it took me about an hour. First, I thought, Yay! Finally, a way to get kids interested in mythology and history. Then I thought, “You know, I could write something better.”

I don’t know if I have succeeded in better, I gave up on that concept pretty quickly and just went for “different” which I believe I’ve succeeded in. I was inspired to mix and match my mythologies by Dave Freer and Eric Flint’s Pyramid Power, which I highly recommend. While the daughter who made me read the book was at camp for two weeks, I wrote and sent a short story about Linn and the kittens to her in several sections. She loved it.

I had all but forgotten about the story, moving on to my other tales that are older, darker, and more science fiction. But in October of that year, she came home from school bubbling over with excitement. A teacher had told her about National Novel Writing Month, and she had an idea. She wanted me to take the story and do NaNoWriMo, and make her story into a full novel, and publish it.

I was dubious about this, fifty thousand words in only a month? I’d never tackled anything of that length before, I am a short story writer. Also, fifty thousand words wasn’t enough for a novel, I thought. She was so eager… so I did it. I won NaNo, and a little more. And I had a manuscript for my first novel, thanks to my daughter’s belief in me.

So I hope you’ve enjoyed this story about Linn, who is a lot like the author at that age – not a normal girl at all – and the kittens, who live because of Gladiana. There is more story coming, because like your life, Linn’s life is going to be messy for a while before she figures it, and herself, out.

 

 

and of course, if you haven’t already, buy my book, too!

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