The cold shoulder

Olive the cat wanting attention
I tried to write my morning pages, but Olive had other ideas.

Olive has structure to her life. She has a routine that she closely follows.

5 a.m. She munches a bit of dry food.

5:10 a.m. Olive jumps on the bed to snuggle in and sleeps with us and stays on the bed after we get up.

9 a.m. She goes to her grassy patch and watches birds through the sliding glass door.

10 a.m. She sleeps on the rug in the sun.

11 a.m. Olive enters my husband’s office to jump on his lap.

2 p.m. Olive walks into the casita and wants me to stop writing. She wants me to read or watch TV on the sofa so she can lay down on my stomach.

4 p.m. It’s time for Friskies ‘Lil Soup. It’s a treat I give her after I call “Kitty Soup” and she answers “Meow-oup.”

And on it goes.

Yesterday there was no kitty on our bed. She didn’t snuggle us. She didn’t try to get on my lap while I wrote my morning pages. She wasn’t on her grassy patch or in my husband’s office.

She walked nonchalantly into the Casita a few hours later and stood under the end table by the sofa. From there she stared at me. Then she walked away and we haven’t seen her since.

I feel like I’m getting the cold shoulder from our cat. I wonder what did I do wrong to be treated with indifference? Or, perhaps she is reminding me that she’s a cat.

What are your pets’ routines? Do you think something is wrong when they vary from routines?

Motivated by bloggers

cat on SwimSwam magazines
Olive hanging out on top of magazines with my stories inside. She doesn’t want anyone to read them.

I literally dusted off two picture book manuscripts that I wrote 20 years ago — thanks to my blogging community.

I was motivated again by blogger LA for her leap entering a writing competition. In her comments section, I lamented that I had not fulfilled my dream of having a book published. Another blogger along with LA encouraged me to keep going.

Although I’ve won contests, been published by magazines, websites and newspapers — that elusive book deal hasn’t happened.

I realized that it won’t happen — because I quit submitting to agents and publishers two years ago.

When I said I dusted off two picture book manuscripts, it’s because I discovered they aren’t on my laptop, nor are they on icloud. They’re on backup devices that no longer work with my current system. It has been 20 years since they were on my computer or backed up. That’s a lifetime in nano years.

I wondered if I had thrown out all my manuscripts when we moved? If so, my work would be lost. After searching the house and garage, I found two notebooks that I used to keep copies of my manuscripts, a spread sheet of submissions and a bevy of rejection letters. It wasn’t sad to look at the rejection letters, some had personal handwritten notes and were encouraging.

Long gone are the days of the snail mail submission with an SASE (self addressed stamped envelope). I won’t receive hand written notes or form letters in the mail. Everything is done online and many publishers and agents don’t send rejections. If they aren’t interested, they don’t respond. Fortunately, some do reject via email, so I’ll know from those agents and publishers if my submission got lost in the ethers — or not.

I quickly typed the two manuscripts into my laptop and I’ll be off pursing my dream once again.

What are your goals or dreams? Have you stuck with it or did it go by the wayside?

VRBO views

stone lion with Christmas decorations
I saw this nicely decorated lion on a morning walk around the corner from the Christmas VRBO.

We’ve left the VRBO and we’re headed home slowly. It took a ton of energy and hard work to pack 12 people and to get the house in shape for the housekeepers. I’m waiting to hear that my son’s car has arrived safely to the Bay Area. They were the last car to leave along with us at noon.

We decided to spend the night with our dear friends who live in the Santa Barbara area and get up at dawn to make the nine-hour trek home. The packing and cleaning left us too tired and too late to make the drive. Plus, I’m hoping for better weather tomorrow. Another storm is currently walloping the coast.

I miss Olive the cat and hope she’s not too angry with me for boarding her. In our new home and her new career as an indoor cat, she’s become very affectionate. I have bonded with this lovable kitty more than ever. The goal is to stop on our way home to pick her up from cat jail before they close.

views of Santa Barbara marina from the Christmas house.
The view from the master bedroom deck in our Christmas VRBO.
View from master bedroom of Santa Barbara VRBO
The master bedroom French doors to the patio with spectacular views.
Santa Barbara sunset.
Sunset

Happy New Year! I’m ready for 2022. How about you? Are you looking forward to saying goodbye to 2021?