Wednesday, December 09, 2009

What's a cat got to do with writing?

At my house we have a new kitten. Essla is about thirteen weeks old. We decided to get her as a companion to my older cat, Isis. In true writerly fashion, we named her after a character in one of my books. But her name isn't the only thing she has in common with writing. She's become an inspiration in her own little way, when she's not chasing the mouse pointer on the screen or trying to sleep on my chest while I'm typing. Yep, that's where she is now.

There's just something about her fearlessness with the world. She's not afraid to take risks and to stretch her skills. Scary things like the burning fire popping and crackling in the fireplace are interesting. She may approach them slowly but she never fails to draw near. I watch her and wonder where I've learned to be fearful? Why does committing to a story project of 80,000 words or more seem so daunting? When did I begin to dread sumitting my work? Why does the idea of revision keep me awake at night? Like Essla jumping up on the bed, I must dig in my claws and pull myself up until I reach my goal.

She has that child-like wonder of everything. Even specks of dirt on the carpet are worth examining. Pillar candles become trees to hide behind and pounce out at Isis from. I find myself recognizing her pretending as she plays. I can't help notice the ordinary in new way and realize I've become blind to the little things which can enrich a viewpoint or scene--how things taste, what they look like upside down, the sounds they make or whether they're snuggly enough to sleep on. I have to thank Essla for reminding me.

Is it because I am a writer that I find renewed inspiration in a kitten? I'd like to think so.

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At 1:10 PM, Blogger Shelley said...

Essla sounds like a wonderful addition to your family. Tapping into that child like wonder is how I live every day. Glad your new Kitty inspires you :-)

At 6:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kittens are always inspiring! I'd have a dozen, if the darn things didn't have to grow up and become snooty cats. lol

At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geeze, this joint has scheduled a fed agent for the next Sunday!

Please don't talk to that one about me -- I'll get busted. What about bringing in some obvious crooks so we can actually learn something?

--E.D. Easley


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