Old Tom

Careful, mustn’t fall.

Old Tom heard the click of the latch open before he saw the front door swing wide. Front paws pushing against the window frame, back arched, letting the sun warm his old joints.

The old wooden door slammed shut.

What’s that? Forgot something did we? Second breakfasts perhaps? One last scratch behind the ear would be a nice good bye.

Through the living room and dining room with something in arms went the human.

Hmm, food?

Crinkle crackle of the food bag, and the sweet tinkle of the hard bits hitting a porcelain bowl.

What’s this, double breakfasts? Now we’re talking good service!

Tom leapt down and meandered indifferently around the living room furniture, zipping between legs of dining chairs to end up sitting next to the human’s feet in the kitchen doorway. There in the middle of his kitchen, head bowed over a bowl of dry food was a small scruff of fur. It was a very dirty, thin scruff of fur. It was a very hungry skinny kitten.

Well, you at least had the decency to not use MY bowls.

Tom looked up at the human and then purred and nuzzled the legs in praise of doing something right. Sauntering over half way to the fur ball, Tom sat. Tom eyed the mongrel as he waited to be noticed and bid the respect a cat of his age and stature was due.

The kitten continued to eat devouring the meal as if it was the last and only meal to have ever been eaten by any living breathing creature. Looking back to the human, Tom saw they were enamored with this show of devastation and heartbreaking scam.

Humph.

Tom lost the last bit of patience in him.  He flicked his tail and strutted up to this mornings center stage, fully prepared to regain his headliner status with a stellar performance. A few inches from the kitten and the small head removed itself from the bowl of food and turned to Tom. Neither feline moved.

The small kitten and the old cat moved at once mirroring defensive stances as if on cue. Backs arched, tails straight and true. Baring teeth they both hissed in unison followed by well orchestrated spits. Then sat in synchronized motion.

At the Olympics, they would have scored a ten. They sat, each staring the other down. The human bent to kneel and watch from a safe distance. Tom raised his head ever the slightest, the kitten lowered it’s and began a slow stalking crawl towards the old grey cat. Old Tom waited until the head was within paws reach.

Old Tom reached up and out over the small head and thunked it. The kitten rolled inward into a ball and yowled in mock pain. The human was not confused. “Tom! Did you have to set it to making noise?”

Over Tom’s shoulder he looked back, “What did I do?”
Rolling around the kitchen floor the kitten made its way within reach of Old Tom’s tail and pounced. Tom grimaced. Tom sighed. Tom flicked the fur off his tail and stood on all fours over the small attacker. The kitten mewed and purred.

Tom tried to maintain his sense of serious domination as the kitten mewed and purred AND rubbed up against him .
“So I can leave it to you to take car of him and show him the ropes while I am at work?” the human requested of Tom.

“Ya- owl”

“Good, I have to get going.  See you at five,” The human locked the door on the way back out.

The kitten continued to mew and purr, returning back to the bowls set out for its consumption. Over and over between the bowls and Old Tom interrupting the route with a little mew here and a purr there.

“It is strange how these being live, yes?”

“Meow”

“Yes, we have the better life, we who learned early on to stay down on all fours.  They never realized their error in standing up.”

“Yowl!”

“What, their language offends you?”

“Ya- OW- l”

“I keep it up merely as a curiosity. Your mother was a purest then?”

“Meow”

“No, I find it an inscrutable language. What was that? Dogs? Oh, yes we have them here.  They are as incorrigible as any other dog, though more easy going than some.”

“Mew.”

“Do you speak at all?”

“A little, we, my litter, and I were separated. The being who took me was unacceptable.  No where near as well trained as mother’s. I aim to find either members of my litter or mother; which ever comes first.”

“Well, if you so choose to remain here, this is as compatible as any other, but I think you may find it better than most.”

Advertisements

We Have To Have A Talk

Not long ago, after a particularly long week, we tried to put the puppy outside to frolic with the big dogs in the yard. It was a lovely fall day, not too hot, not too cold. The grass was still green. We, the humans of the house, so wanted to enjoy a morning sleeping late. The dogs wanted to be fed and let out. The puppy, used to the morning routine wanted the food, but refused to go outside.

After trying to lure the puppy outside with the grown dogs, my husband chased the puppy into our room. The puppy yelped burrowing under the covers with me, to hide from the dreaded outside.

My husband asked, “She hiding under there?”

“Yes. I don’t think she wants to go outside.”

“You think? Hold on to her, she and me have to have a talk.” While he went to get coffee I reached down to ruffle the ears, pulling the furball out from under the covers. Furball and I cuddled while we waited.

Returning with two cups of coffee, he sat them on the table and settled sitting up in bed. Then we exchanged. Me the puppy for my morning cup of coffee. He the coffee for a squirrel-ly fur ball, with little trust. He sat her on his lap and sighed. This was going to be good, thought I. So I turned curled up with my coffee to watch the exchanged between the two.

“Little girl, we have to have a talk,” he began.

I could hardly hold back a smile. The puppy sat looking up at him with anxious attention, anxious for some ear scratching. The man looking down with a grimace.

He continued on, “Little girl, you are not human.”

He scratched the tip of one ear, “You have pointy ears. See, no pointy ears,” running a finger of his other hand around the curve of his own ear while still scratching hers.

He reached for her paw holding it between his fingers, “See this, it is a paw, a furry paw. See this hand, it is not furry.” In front of the little face he put his free hand wiggling his fingers.

“Paw, hand” He compared the two. Trying to show the puppy the difference. She just licked his hand holding her paw, and tried to wiggle under the other for a belly rub.

“Another thing, we humans? We walk on two, you furballs walk on four. Two, four. Get it. We are different.” First two and then four fingers wiggled in front of a tiny pink tongue trying to make contact. Undaunted that little ball of fur wiggled and waggled up his chest until she was licking his nose. talk’.

“You are not human. You are a dog. Dog’s go outside. They play outside. Outside is a good thing. Here let me show you,” his serious tone voice was in contrast to the playful puppy oblivious to ‘the talk.’

He rose carrying the wriggling fluffy fur to the yard. I followed behind watching him put her down in the yard. The big dogs stopped their play with a stick and watched as he raced to beat the puppy to the door. I quickly returned to bed to claim my space. Seconds behind me, he returned to the bedroom doorway.

“She burrowed under the covers?”

I had to laugh as she squirmed closer to the foot of the bed, her fur tickling the bottom of my feet.

“Think the talk worked?”

“Do you?”

“Not really,” I giggled.

He grabbed our cold coffee to the kitchen to warm up. At the sound of his footsteps leaving the room, a furry head poked out from under the covers and jumped off the bed to follow her human daddy down the hall. 

Sunday

This week pictures previously drawn on a tentative picture book about dragons were in my hands twice. Nothing more than moving them from one place to another, but they were ‘active’ for brief moments twice. That is far better than the last six months.

It occurred to me that my places to work on illustrations as well as writing have diminished over the years. I have tried desperately to make this passion a business. Set myself up with work hours and spaces that really have confined my creativity instead of blossoming it.

This has got to stop. Now! We made some changes, for now and in the future about that critical ingredient to creativity – environment. Something as simple as the chair you sit in, the ability to move, have all your accruements within easy reach. One aspect we haven’t quite gotten right is sound.

When I wrote Snowball, it was on my computer, sitting at a wooden student desk crammed in the utility room, “ala Stephen King.” Bad Dream was written and drawn all over the place. No room in the house or even state in the union was off limits. It was written, rewritten, revised, even sketched in doctor’s waiting rooms and some ideas came to me laying in the hospital recovering from repair surgery on my arm.

Both took two years of work to get from written to published. This next tale is dragging along just like the first two, only I have set my own date of October this year to publish. Whether or not that will happen is solely put to me.

While some my say my work ethic has a play meeting that release date, truth is so much goes into that. For years my husband has been determined to return to performing illusions, magic – but he didn’t seem to be making as much headway and was so frustrated. We shared that. In the last few months we had taken to discussing why neither of us was making headway with our plans for making our passions our business. His enlightened observation was he missed a key piece of equipment that would make not only practice but performing easy. A traveling box/table combo that had eluded him. Not something one wants to buy sight unseen, yet the supply stores we visited from Virginia to California and Texas to Illinois had non to be seen- until Maryland.

A big thank you from my heart to yours Denny Haney. Denny & Lee’s Magic Studio had just what he had been searching for so long. Since the apparatus had arrived (had to be shipped – too large for our travel plans) Friday and once the hubby was home from his paying gig, the man has been piddling and practicing.

Now, if I can just set myself up to do the same for my side of things, this might be a happily ever after story.

 

Happy March?

Hello, my faithful followers!

I have sad news.

I could not verify either of the comments that Aksmet caught as spam, so maybe it really was spam, or they live in a country other than the U. S. (A stipulation in the rules on the about page at the bottom)

Since I couldn’t give away those five audiobook links, I have started another run at it and placed the post as a sticky so that any newbies to the site will see the information about the Snowball giveaway.

It has been a busy year thus far. I have started work on a more grown up project, and am still doodling on another picture book – I learned a lot about putting together a picture book with BAD DREAM, so I hope the second one is much better than the first.

One thing in particular, I started learning to drawn digitally! It is really different from using pencil and paper, but my understanding is that the images will be much sharper and brighter than a digital photographed images, and possibly easier to work with print on demand software. There is always something new to learn, which is really neat!

Bad Dream still holds a special place in my heart because the struggle to complete it was pretty daunting sometimes. I debated over holding off the publication, sometimes don’t we all need to turn something in and move on? You struggle, do the best you can but it still isn’t perfect. That for me was Bad Dream. I needed to finish it and put it out there regardless of how it compares to how I imagined it would look and read. Given all that was going on, it means just as much as Snowball to me.

Just getting started writing is hard, but doing a second book after all the emotional ups and downs and frustrations of the first – the second was harder than the first in some ways. I haven’t given up on this writing thing yet! Now I am working on the third children’s – another picture book and a first grownup (my fourth book) at the same time.

Boy at the first of 2018, I thought about what an adventure the year will be. Here we are starting the third month and it already has been for me! More will come on that later in the month. Until next post –

Thanks for reading!

Julie

Snowball

Friday March 30, 2018 to Tuesday April 3, 2018 Amazon Free Kindle E Book !!!!

SNOWBALL and BAD DREAM BOTH!

 

The story starts off –

Chapter 1

Mom was usually the one sitting on the bed as Aimee ran around the room pulling clothes and things to pack into the two bags she would take with her to her Other Gs. A week of summer break from school would normally be spent at the Other Gs with her cousins.
Not this year. This year, the week everyone could make it was not the same as anyone else’s. Some had scout camps, sports camps, or extended family vacations. There was no way for everyone to be there the same week. This year, everyone was still going, but for a different week — boring.
Aimee sat on the bed to put the items her Mom was busy picking out for her to pack. This was not going to be fun. What was there to do without her cousins? That was the only thing on Aimee’s mind.
There wasn’t even going to be much time with her Uncle Tyler. He was going to be either working or taking college classes, plus he had football practice, too. There would be no one to play hide and seek with. No one to chase around the yard with squirt guns.
Sure the Other Gs would be willing, but they are, well . . . , old. They don’t move fast; they are easy to catch. And Grumpa? He cheats at squirt guns! He uses the hose! That is all well and good when you have cousins to team up with. Someone distracts him while another sneaks up behind him with the hose from the back yard. When you are all by yourself, how can you be in two places at once?
Aimee listened to her mother talk about what fun she was going to have as they finished putting the last few items in the suitcase. “Really, Aimee, it won’t be that bad.”
“That’s what you say.”

An audiobook snippet –

Snowball, for those just coming to my website is a story about a granddaughter and her grandparents mischievous puppy that keeps escaping the fenced in back yard. Aimee is enchanted by the scruff of a pup and makes it her mission to help keep the puppy, Snowball, safe.

It is available as an ebook, print book and audiobook at this link, click here.

Or, if you would please comment, (which requires your email address to do so) you can enter to win a drawing for a free download link with 5 winners. (An email is necessary to send the download link and instructions to the winners.)

BAD DREAM –  a picture book about a bad dream and learning that things aren’t always what they seem .

 

 

Winners? Maybe.

As of today, there are only two comments for the blog giveaway. Both of those found their way into the spam folder. The WordPress anti spam settings don’t believe their comments are valid. So I am going to approve them and respond on the post and hope that the individuals are real and will respond back on the blog so that I can verify they aren’t bots or spam ware that posted.

Let’s hope so, shall we?

Reading is a Rule

So, this is the second giveaway I am promoting. I have written and posted the policy on the about page, and I clarified the rules to enter. Already there are some post likes, but unfortunately that does not constitute an entry. Why? Because that doesn’t necessarily give me a good email address to send the download code to. I have in the past had reason to email a blog, resulting either in an undeliverable message back to me, or no response at all because the person doesn’t check their email.

There is no signing in requirement, just an email to comment. (I checked that for those WORDPRESSers who know what I am talking about.) I didn’t want to force anyone to signing to WordPress in order to enter.

So how have giveaways worked for you? I am just wondering. My first went – ok, but the entrants didn’t really follow directions.  And I am cautiously optimistic that about this one. From my own experience, if all I have to do is “like” something I don’t really engage with what I am entering for – it’s just a free thing. BUT if it is something that is of interest to me, yeah, I am going to read and follow directions.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Wanting the entries to be people who are actually interested in what I am giving away versus just wanting something for free?  Or am I just being elitist?

Opinions?

 

Thanks –

Julie

CLOSED

As I have said before, Snowball is now an audio book. Very exciting Christmas for me, getting it all uploaded and available. Now I am finally getting around to playing at marketing. All trial and error on my part, I do not have this all figured out.

But that plays into your hands, because I have free download links to give away.  So for the next 14 days you can enter here at the blog. That’s right the entry time is from February 1 to 14, 2018.

RULES OF ENTRY –There are some rules you have to follow. The more rules you follow, the more times your name goes in to get a code. SO READ THROUGH THEM ALL BEFORE YOU COMMENT.

  1. Comment on the blog – see below how this can be a ‘2for’ by sharing my blog on your blog and leaving me a link to your blog in my comments. (your email address is required to comment so the code to download the audiobook and instructions can be sent to the winner). Without this first entry all others are null and void.
  2. Follow the blog! – WILL NOT COUNT UNLESS YOU DO NUMBER 1
  3. Share the blog –  Tell me where in your comment you shared the blog.  Yes, a lot of checking on  my part, but there will be verification. This can be your comment in #1 but you have to leave your blog link in the comments showing you sharing my blog for it to count as two entries. Not that you can’t also link a blog post of your own you would like to share with others, that would be great as well! And if you just comment and don’t repost or link back to my blog you get an entry but only one. Is that clear as mud for you? WILL NOT COUNT UNLESS YOU DO NUMBER
  4. Conditional entry — Like my Facebook page. You will have to let me know if your name and email address match or not. If I can’t match up your Facebook name to the email address you used to make a comment, you can not get additional entry. Either send a private message on Facebook with your email address that you used to make the comment or link to your Facebook on the comment (great for those of you who have pages and blogs).   (Here is the link JulieKolb).  WILL NOT COUNT UNLESS YOU DO NUMBER 1 AND NOTIFY ME EITHER IN YOUR BLOG COMMENT OR SEND THE PAGE A PRIVATE MESSAGE WITH THE EMAIL ADDRESS YOU USED TO COMMENT.

Giveaway policy can be found on the ABOUT PAGE  at the bottom.

There you go, four times is a charm.

Now about what you can win, a code. It lets you download my audiobook Snowball, narrated by Anna Grace Conover, a really wonderful actress, voice actor, who took a chance on my story and brought it to sound. Here is a little audio taste of what you can expect to hear –

Thanks for reading, and now listening!

Julie

OH! Almost forgot. You do not have to have audible – you can get a free trial offer of audible at the amazon site

If you purchase Snowball as your first Audible membership purchase – we get a kickback (FULL DISCLOSURE).