Monday, 28 June 2010

Random thoughts on a hot night

How would I address Lady Gaga if I met her? Lady, Gaga, Steph, Stefani? It’s probably not likely that I’ll see her in the local supermarket queuing for courgettes, but, you know, just in case. Would you treat ‘Lady’ as a first name, go straight for ‘Gaga’, or go the whole hog on the grounds it is like a double-barrelled first-name? It is the sort of thing a singer can get away with, giving yourself a title. I don’t think an author could although it would be fun to style author names like singers.

King Stephen
Lil’ JK
Princess Stephenie M
Dan Diddy Brown
Lady Jackie Collins

I miss making my own summer collection of songs on cassette tapes. I used to weigh one song against the other very carefully, make lists in exercise books of songs that I felt worked together, and then record my own collection. This would then be the tape that would be my soundtrack to summer – it would accompany me on beaches, it would be played thin on car journeys, it would be the background to lazing in the garden watching butterflies. My holiday hand luggage would consist of a sandy walkman and piles of cassette tapes, as well as books. The bag straps would leave red grooves on my shoulders, but I would have a song (and a book, and a grain of sand) for every eventuality.

I’ve been writing a short story idea, on top of polishing my query covering letter and my synopsis. I’m a bit in love with it. I absolutely hated it on Saturday morning, though, but I think me and it have come through the hard place and now we are holding hands again. I’m also in the holding hands again phase with my covering letter. Getting there!

What do cats think? Cats can sit in absolute stillness and look totally content with their world. Do they think as we do?

This looks a good spot. I’ll sit here. Grass tickles. Nice and warm. Bit hot, actually. Won’t move though. Watch it, bub. Buzz any closer and you’ll be a snack. Although I am too regal to move. Where’s my minion? Oh there she is, bothering the flowers again. What’s that she is saying? Something about me, looking good. Of course. I’m a cat. Cats always look good (and when we look bad we don’t like to dwell). Oh, here comes her camera again. I won’t pose. Well, perhaps a little bit. There. Perfect. Now if you don’t mind, it’s nap-time. Cats don’t need beauty sleep but we like to sleep beautifully.


Piedmont Writer said...

I've always thought cats to be the holders of the mysteries of the universe. They always seem to "know" something.

mise said...

It reminds me of the faraway days when the nicest thing your college friends could do for you was make you your own cassette music-mix. Somehow an iPod playlist isn't the same.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I enjoy making my own playlist, although I have no problem placing it on my iPod.

Rose said...

I love the ginger kitty so much! the other one is lovely too but I am totally obsessed with the red ones.

I think she likes to be called GaGa- but lady G might be fun

I love short stories- they whisk you away without stealing whole days! (when done well anyway)

It's SO hot

Aubrie said...

Short stories are the best! I'm glad you are "holding hands" with your again. I hate mine sometimes, too. But the whole process of writing short stories has helped me write my novels better.

Cute cat pictures! I have no idea what they're thinking.

Joanne said...

It is so hot here too. And the humidity is out of sight, really stifling. All anyone feels like doing is lounging, kind of like your cats! Happy query and short story writing ...

Kathy said...

I love your brief dip into the thoughts of a cat! I think you've hit it just perfectly.

Old Kitty said...

What beautiful wise and sage cats! They so rule!!! :-)

Good luck with your querying and synopsis writing - glad to know you are in love with them! Yay for you! All the best with it!

I used to make my own cassette tapes too - I've still got them - but I never realised how badly I recorded them (off the radio! LOL!).

If I saw Lady Gaga in Waitrose, I'd fall at her feet and say "I'm not worthy"!! LOL!

Take care

Rachna Chhabria said...

The cat pictures are very cute. I like the way you have entered into the cat's mind. Happy querying and its great that you have become friends with your story. It makes a huge difference when you befriend your story, it really works wonders.

ElegantSnobbery said...

Haha, I choked on my coffee when I read Dan Diddy Brown!! Hilarious!

I've never tried writing a short story... I've always wanted to, though. Maybe it should make myself a summer music mix for inspiration and try my hands at writing one.

Glad you and your story are holding hands again :)

Jayne said...

Anne - Cats definitely 'know' a lot more than me!

Mise - I agree, the ipod playlist takes so little effort. I remember a past boyfriend making me a cassette tape of pretentious mournful ditty's - I should have got the hint!

Alex - I think I need to make playlists again, I think I am missing them! Or I am just missing a beach holiday, that could be it as well.

Rose - Aw ginger kitty is my cuddle cat, despite his tendancy to drool with happiness on occasions. They are both lovely. :)
And I agree - short stories done well are amazing!

Aubrie - Thanks! It's nice to switch my mind into a different gear with short stories.

Joanne - Believe me, I am doing a serious amount of lounging!

Kathy - Thanks!

Old Kitty - Hee! I used to tape off the radio as well, and have many songs that have my Nan asking me whether I want a cup of tea in the middle of them!

Christine said...

'Dan Diddy Brown' - brilliant!

Hope you continue to be loved up with the short story and synopsis.

Ed Pilolla said...

i love that top photo of your cat, with her paw stretched out and the sunlight on her hindquarters. clearly, she napped in the full sunlight and now the sun has shifted and she has woken up and is contemplating dragging herself up in order to get more fully in the sunlight again:)

Talli Roland said...

Hot! Hoooooottttt!

Good to see ginger kitty making an appearance.

As for Lady Gaga - I'd go with Lady G. 'Coz I'm down with it. Or whatever the appropriate expression is.

Anonymous said...

I love your cat!thoughts. They (the cats) always seem so bored and self-satisfied. :)

I really like the pics!

Jaydee Morgan said...

Those sure are cute kitties :)

I miss making my own's something I should do for myself again soon.

February Grace said...

Awwww, such sweet kitties!

I am still doing the 'summer soundtrack' thing only with playlists on my iPod! Right now I'm listening to "Summer 2010 list 2" cause this summer just needed two lists.

I don't miss having to haul the cassette player around- even the walkmans were huge by today's standards! Playlists still rule!


The Words Crafter said...

I loved the word/name play. Also the cat pics. I love cats! Good luck with the story!

Barbara Scully said...

Cassette tapes... ah the memories. And what about trying to write the song list on the card insert - in your neatest writing!

As for cats... I am reminded of the saying
'I have lived with many Zen Masters, all of them cats' I live with 4 and often wonder what they are thinking about. But now I think they have just mastered living in the moment and are not thinking about anything but how relaxed they are! However when they are sitting up looking out the window, they are definitely mulling over what the neighbours are up to!

Boonsong said...

I think that you have it right about cats - and beautiful photos too. Thanks for that.

I don't carry recorded music around with me - I always seem to have flat batteries.... - but I do keep carry music around in my head. I'm forever downloading song lyrics from the internet. learning htem by heart and then singing them beneath my breath to myself, or occasionally quietly to Mrs Somboon when we're out walking. I would recommend it as a marvellous way to 'feel' the wonder of the world.

Have a nice day
All the best, Boonsong

Clara said...

Loved the names inspired by Lady Gaga! Is her real name really Steph?? Wow...oh and hey, there's an award for you at my blog =)

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

I have often thought that cats do hold the knowledge of the universe. *giggles* I'm not sure how you would adress the LadyGaga and I had no idea her name was Steph. Love the inspired names ;)

Kittie Howard said...

Oh, Jayne, I adore your cats. And your line about cats not needing beauty sleep but sleeping beautifully is purrfect! At the risk of sounding a bit off, I must say that I think cats understand much more than we think they do. There were times, when I was stressed over something foolish, that our Chena would look up and go Meow in that way that cats have that says Oh you poor humans, let it go.

Jayne, if you feel good about your query letter, then I know results will be positive. What you write contains depth, a way of reaching beyond the mere word, and pulling the reader along, very interested. I particularly like how your verb choice enables the reader to paint a picture.

Speaking of which, I want to thank you for your fabulous comments. You're inspiring. There are times when I think, oh, these are just a bunch of silly stories. Then, I read your comment and think, Wow, Jayne liked my story. And I type on. So, thank you, Jayne...and I'm delighted I was finally able to access your blog. Cheers, girl!

Watery Tart said...

Hey, thank you for stopping by my blog today! I think I would have thought you were another Jayne I know except the reference to your nan, and I'm glad I stopped in!

I figure authors ought to be able to self title, if singers and actors can. I mean seriously WE are the ones who are supposed to be known for our creativity! (Li'l JK *snort*)

Glad you're happy with your short! I can't write them to save my life... way too hard to get to the point. And what GORGEOUS kitties!

Anonymous said...

Aw, I'm always wondering what cats think! It's likely very similar to us, but more about basic needs and wants, and less about deep thinking.

I used to wonder what language they thought in (meows?), but I don't think any of us really think in a language. We think conceptually.

Sweet pictures! :D

- Corra

The Victorian Heroine

Mystica said...

Love both cats equally.

Jayne said...

Rachna – You’re right, it really does work wonders.

ElegantSnobbery – I was scared stiff of short stories for some reason, but am friends with them now. *swings story’s hand happily*

Christine – Heehee! Thanks.

Ed – All that is true, except my ginger cat is a ‘he’! Both him and his sister nap with their paws straight ahead, must be a family characteristic.

Talli – Cooler today, thankfully! Ginger kitty sends purrs (and dribbles)

Sandy – Cats know the secrets to the universe, I reckon.

Jaydee – Aw thanks!

February – I really must do some playlists like that on my ipod. And yes – walkmans were huge! I don’t miss lugging around billions of cassette tapes either.

The Words Crafter – thank you!

Barbara Scully – Oh yes, I remember that! I used to write on the boxes in silver pen (as I was so cool) and would draw flowers on my card insert. I’d also try and call them all something ‘groovy’, such as the ‘marvellous melodious mix’ tape. Alliteration ruled even then! I love that saying about cats being Zen masters – yes, they definitely have that moment thing down pat.

Boonsong – Glad you liked the pictures! I do often sing, but not when anyone else is around... at least, not intentionally! Sometimes a song just slips out though when I am not looking.

Clara – According to wiki her name is really Stefani. And thank you for the award – yeay, awards!

Erica – Cats know EVERYTHING.

Jayne said...

Kittie – Aw Kittie. Your comment warmed my heart! That is so very nice of you. How lovely to be thought of as inspiring. Funnily enough, a few people have said that to me before, and I never quite believed them, usually as I was a bit down in the dumper with myself and so couldn’t think of myself in that way, but it is good to hear it from you, and think oh, maybe... :)

Do type on... your stories are a fascinating slice of life, and there is lovely humour there, alongside every other human emotion. You see things from a nice vantage point – it is good to have that eye on the world. As for your lovely comments about my writing – well, I am smiling here in London. Thank you so much, you really have made my day.

Jayne said...

Watery Tart – Very glad you stopped by (and found me!) The kitties preen at the compliment!

Corra – I have just been sitting here mind-boggling at cats thinking in meows! I rather like the idea that they have Deep Thoughts, but you are right, they are probably more ‘in the moment’ – feeling warm, safe, full, content.

Mystica – Thank you! They are both rather gorgeous, aren’t they?

Palindrome said...

Yay for short story work!!

I'm allergic to cats so anyone who comes around me is just thinking about ways to torture me. I know it!!

Jayne said...

Palindrome - allergic to cats, oh no! My worst nightmare. :)