Update #1: the publication of Moon Shine, the next novella in my Slaughter Chronicles series, will be delayed a few weeks because one of my beta readers isn’t finished giving me feedback yet. I want this book to be the best that it can be so I have to wait a bit.

Update #2: I have put up all my books (excepting the Prolific Works Exclusives) on Kobo. They were live there before but I was distributing them with Draft2Digital. There are a few pros and cons to using a publishing service to “go wide” as they say, I may discuss them with you later but for now let me just say that Draft2Digital is awesome and I have no problems with the service, I just want to do the distributing myself. So I have. New Kobo links to all my books will be available shortly.

Update #3: TINY RICK IS BACK WITH ME!

Tiny Rick, our Feline Immunodeficiency Virus cat, is living with me now as Mr. J prepares for the next phase of job traveling. I am still living with my mom and Leela and Titain who, excepting my mom, are not pleased by his arrival.

Note: Yes, he’s named after the Rick and Morty episode 🙂

Note the second: We are well aware of the risks of adopting a FIV positive cat and introducing him (in this case) into a pre-existing healthy cat environment. I can report right now that Leela and Titain are FIV negative and have been living with Tiny Rick since 2017 without any problems. We try to make sure everyone is as healthy and safe as possible while keeping in mind that Leela and Titain (and Tiny Rick) are all elderly cats now and they will die eventually from something so FIV contamination isn’t really a big deal for us.

Stretched in the sunlight

crowning Calypso’s shore

the big cat dozed,

small blue crabs drown

in a capsized silver urn, cream

filled and slopping beside him.

Why long for plump

tuna steak and cheesecake

crumbs when Apollo

scratches behind your ears

and no storm clouds

threaten tender olive saplings

with shaking? That

rural, stone hearth

plucked from the heart

of the hill your paws pounded

daily is miles away.

Waves lick gingerly

against the pebbly shore

the lambent royal blue of

Penelope’s summer dress.

He is still listless as

he is lifted up by

roughened driftwood hands

and tossed back into the sea.

It’s late at night and we’re snuggling in bed.

Me: I love you. I’m so glad you’re my best friend.

Mr. J: You’re my best friend too. You and Tiny Rick. Except for when Rick sneezes in my whiskey. Which happens more than it should.

(Explanation: Tiny Rick has feline immunodeficiency virus so he coughs and sneezes a lot. In spite of this he’s an amazingly friendly and loving cat. But he also loves torturing Mr. J by sneezing in his alcohol.)

Mr. J (opens the door to go to work): Hey there’s a new cat outside!

(We live in an apartment complex with lots of stray cats.)

Me: Yeah.

Mr. J: Yeah!

Me: Yeah (Not the happy, enthusiastic “yeah” but the uncomfortable, defeated “yeah” of a person who all cats know will do anything for them and will ultimately suffer the displeasure of her inside feline overlords because the outside cat made big eyes at her yesterday and she doesn’t know how long she’ll be able to go without paying homage to the outside cat by giving him/her the inside feline overlords’ treats. And once they find out I’m giving an outside cat treats there will be HELL TO PAY!)

Me (again): Yeah.

Disclaimer: Mr. J loves my cats. But he came into my life many years after they did. They were here first. They don’t understand why he’s here now. They hate him. He does not understand why they hate him, or rather he does but he doesn’t care. Also, we are both vulgar people and swear at our pets just as much as they swear at us in cat language. No cat feelings or human feelings were harmed.

We were watching Master Chef.

Me: Describe the spirit of Tiny Rick if he were food.

Mr. J: A really good stew that you crack a raw egg all over at the last minute.

Me: What?

Mr. J: Because he sneezes all over everything.

Me: Okay, what about Leela?

Mr. J: Tiramisu but you dumped the entire jar of cinnamon over it.

Me: Why?

Mr. J: Because the core is good but if you scrape away the top it’s just overwhelming and slightly annoying.

Me: Okay, Titian?

Mr. J: Chocolate pudding. Because she’s a fat piece of shit and slightly runny.

Note: Titain weighs 18.5 lbs. which is big for an American shorthair.