Remember when you were younger and you had that one pet that was a little… over-friendly? I had such a pet – a grey and white cat named Shadow. He was a… simple creature. Very affectionate for a cat – always greeted me in the morning when I walked into the living room with a friendly meow (it could have been a demand for food, but indulge me in my memories). Whenever I sat down to watch TV or read a book, he would hop up in my lap and nuzzle my hand. When I was feeling down, this would be the prefect tonic for me. His gentle purring and the warm weight of him on my lap would help me to shuffle off the woes of the day. He never clawed, bit or scratched at me. He was a very good kitty.
Until I tried to read or do schoolwork, then it was a little different. Reading for pleasure was different – paperbacks can be held with one hand and turned with a minimum of fuss. Schoolbooks? Not so much. Even when I did my schoolwork at the dinner table, I would feel the inevitable pressure of four paws and kitty belly (there was no such thing as feast or famine for our cats, it was either feast or ‘this again?’). When I would eat dinner, I’d have to shoo Shadow out of my lap and scoot my chair in as close I could and still breathe. 85% percent of the time, Shadow was a welcome part of my day, but that 15% got rather irritating.
What does this have to do with my writing? Well, new plots that come up are like Shadow – they immediately hop into my lap and start nuzzling my hand. Sometimes, I can indulge them to their fullest and other times I have to set them down and say later. Sometimes, they go along and quietly wait on the floor to be picked up and petted. Other times, they leave for another room.
Then there are the Shadows. Those plots that hop in my lap regardless of where I am to snuggle down and gently put their paw on my hand. I got one of those right now, so I am going to work on it, since I am only doing the re-writes on the weekends and planning one novel in the morning and writing another one when I get home (for those of you playing at home: The Quietest Heart; Out, Out Brief Candle and I/O Error). This new idea I think would actually work as a script for a series. Given the advent of Netflix and YouTube, this could be a practical project. The idea? A cult deprogrammer goes toe to toe with a cult leader who always seems to be one step ahead of him as far as hiding certain people and making which ever subjects the main character can get to a little harder to crack than others. The deeper the main character does, the further away he seems to drift from his support and family. Is it a battle of wits, or a subtle trap?
Right now, I’m doing the background research about cults, deprogramming and the such. So, I am fairly certain I am appearing on some database. I wonder if they’ll let me have a cat to pet affectionately?
Oh, well – I must shower, shave and plot. Have a good day.