Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The New York Times weighs in

Yesterday's Op Ed page had this to say about mandatory spay-neuter laws. Usually, I adore Verlyn Klinkenborg. He is a wonderfully lyrical writer on other subjects. But this time, I think he may have missed the point. What do you think?

Musetta's fifteen minutes

Musetta, with her editing hat on (metaphorically speaking, though wouldn't that be cute?) has made it into Galleycat today. She's not alone, and it's a toss up whether this book-industry blog is forging some kind of a comment on the popularity of pets as authors' animal companions or simply making a shameless bid to have people like me link to it. But hey, I've got a blog called "Cats & Crime & Rock & Roll," so who am I to talk?


PS - thought I'd post this here. When I read the rest of the Galleycat blog, I felt that I wanted to respond to Lissa Warren's first point (about the commercial nature of cat books). I won't argue with her that such books make the publishing of poetry and first authors (especially literary authors) possible. But I do know what motivates at least some authors of cat books. Anyway, this is what I wrote her and Ron, one of the Galleycat bloggers. Thoughts? Comments?

{my email to Lissa Warren and Ron Hogan}

Please don't think me disingenuous, but it's not simply the commerce (though my "Feline Mystique" is my best selling book to date). It's the coming-out nature of our admission. We love our pets. If we're rational, literate adults, we're a little embarrassed by this fact. But every time we post a picture of our cats or buy a copy of "Catmas Carols" or spend any time on mycathatesyou.com, it's an admission of that fact. Takes the pressure off.

I honestly believe that writing about my screwed-up mentally ill family ("Mad House") freed me to come clean about my love of cats ("Feline Mystique"). Which then freed me to at least temporarily abandon serious, depressing nonfiction and write the kind of fun mysteries that I truly enjoy reading. I am serious about my writing, just not about myself.

Just a thought. Gotta go now, Musetta is staring at me.
cats & crime & rock & roll

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Death Cat of Providence

Meet Oscar, the death cat of Providence. A cat who roams the halls, cuddling up to those who have reached their final hours. Sounds spooky, doesn't it? But in reality, the Providence mentioned is simply the capital of Rhode Island, which while nice is not divine. And the story of Oscar is sweet, rather than evil. But it does lead one to wonder about the paranormal sensitivities of our feline friends, doesn't it?

Globe staff photo/Dina Rudnick

And for more on Oscar, check this out! As some of my friends know, I'm working on a slightly paranormal (yup, "woo woo!") story of a ghost cat. Do you think Oscar should make a cameo appearance? He is a handsome devil!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Murder in the stacks?

Why do writers love libraries? Maybe a better question would be: how could we resist? All those books, all that quiet, all those lovely little corners to hide away in. I recently found that I could get a limited pass to Harvard University's storied Widener Library and, boy, am I having fun. My excuse is that my current work-in-progress features a grad student who just happens to stumble across a body. The body belongs to her roommate, and the stacks are her refuge. But having spent a few hours in the quiet, narrow passageways, with floor-to-ceiling books making everything feel very private, I have a feeling things may change... not sure I want to put a body in there. But maybe... hmmm...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Okay, so it's jazz and cats, and no crime...

Jazz great Charles Mingus's greatest contribution to the world at large may just have been the following detailed instructions, in his own words, on how to train a cat to use a human toilet. . Yes, really.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Summer Mystery Reading Challenge!

Do you feel like you're in a rut? Want to discover some new authors this summer? Take the Summer Mystery Reading Challenge. Hosted by Liz Clifford on her blog Reviewed by Liz, the challenge dares you to read six new authors by summer's end. Not sure where to start? Well, every day this summer, Liz will be introducing a different author -- and many of the authors will be on hand to answer questions. I'm honored to be part of the challenge. Check it out now -- and see me there on August 15!