Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mickey Mantle Was A Natural Righty With A Plunger

While it's true I'm spending every waking (and a few sleeping) hours obsessing over The Shade Of The Moon, other aspects of my life do slip in when I'm not looking.

For starters, Scooter is now eating the new shower curtain. This is my 3rd or 4th since he entered my life. He nibbles more towards the faucet side, but will chomp on the opposite end as well. I'm positive this is why my bathtub drain is so slow moving.

I had been particularly pleased with the current shower curtain. First off, it was so toxic I kept it opened on the patio for more than a week before its heinous new shower curtain smell wore off enough to hang it up. I was cautiously optimistic the scent would be bad enough to keep Scooter from devouring it. Well, that didn't work.

The other reason I was so happy is it's a shower curtain with a map of the world, and since the world has changed a great deal since my last map of the world shower curtain, I figured I'd finally learn where all those new countries I keep hearing about are actually located. I like educational shower curtains (although I saw one during sleepover weekend that was rules of grammar and I draw the line).

Alas, Scooter is now digesting his way from south of Tonga to the very border of New Zealand. Should this turn into a Twilight Zone episode, my apologies to everyone in Tonga and New Zealand. I really thought the toxins would keep you safe.

On a more (or less) literary note, I finally provoked my agent into letting me know what she thought of The Offering. No fool she, she had two other people in the office read it. They all basically said the same thing, some variant of Oh My Goodness! This, alas, is not the same as Oh You're Good! although I did try to convince myself they were practically identical in spirit.

They all suggested (and quite rightly) that my poor martyr of a heroine needs to suffer a tad less and that the romance needs to be stronger. They might have suggested other things I've forgotten about (like Put Down That Keyboard And Get An Honest Job), but I'm not going to think about it until after The Shade Of The Moon has made its merry way through the publishing process.

Oh, speaking of The Shade Of The Moon and my obsessing thereof, yesterday morning I came up with a whole new scene that I love (I love it so much I may even write part of it this afternoon, although I really should be assembling my new vacuum cleaner, since I plan on cleaning the apartment tomorrow morning). The great thing about this scene is it simplifies the motivation for something truly significant in the book. Before I thought of the new scene, this is how things went: A does something to B and because of C's response, A does something to D. That's a little clunky, so now it's B does something that provokes A to doing something to B and because of B's response, A does something to D. In other words, I leave C out of it, or I will when I get around to writing all that, which will be sometime in July.

Meantime, I'm back to being concerned about my lefthanded/righthandedness. I guess it was going to the Yankee game with Todd Strasser got me thinking about it again. I can never figure out if I'm a natural lefty or righty. This time I took a flat piece of plastic (the bag my new cable box came in), and grabbed the plunger that I always keep right by the bathtub because of Scooter's shower curtain issue, and set myself up. After multiple swings, I confirmed that at least with a plastic bag as home plate and a bathroom plunger as a bat, it's more natural for me to swing lefthanded than righthanded, although it's definitely more natural for me to throw a ball (not that I have one) or hold a pen (which I definitely do) righthanded. And no, I have no idea how that piece of personal insight will in any way improve the quality of my life.

Finally, on a more personal note, my brother found the most wonderful blog entry that mentions our father, and on Father's Day no less. It's about books that influence people's lives. I'm really thrilled my brother found it; it gives enormous pleasure to him, my mother, and me.

Alas, the only thing that gives Scooter pleasure these days is the chomping down of New Zealand!



ya fisrst commennt at 1;12 pm. i love your cat! the whole romance thing to mutch romance makes it very adult and wont appall to kids like me. because i found the the first book at a school book fair they may take it of if its not approprit. but i dont want to tell you how to do your job

Gillian said...

Should you wish to stop Scooter from devouring any more of the world, try spraying the shower curtain with lemon oil or orange oil based furniture polish (ie Pledge). Cats hate the scent of citrus, and this should deter him. Anyway, it keeps my Simon kitty out of the dried flowers on the mantel, which he otherwise uses as chew-toys.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Thank you Youryoungestbiggestfan! and Gillian-

I'll try to remember both pieces of advice- not too heavy on the romance and very heavy on the citrus!

Mr. Cavin said...

Rats! I was really looking forward to reading the Offering (long-winded title or no) sooner rather than later. And with all the suffering the artist originally intended. Like you, I have no problem with bleak. Course, I don't mind romance much, either.

I like Scooter's wicked smirk in that last picture. But keep that cat away from Bosnia-Herzegovina, okay? Based on an analysis of his shower curtains-per-year statistic, he'll be gnoshing my house long before I leave it. Assuming that he's not too lazy to jump for it, that is.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Greetings Mr. Cavin-

Scooter comes by his name honestly; there isn't a lazy bone in his overgrown kitten body.

And he only nibbles on countries I can spell!


my garndma wants to right a book, any advice?
p.s its non fiction book

Fear Death By Water said...

I thought the same thing Mr. Calvin.

Scooter is saying 'what, you hung a new shower curtain and you didn't think I'd find it tasty? ...omnomnomnom'

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello to YourYoungestBiggestFan! and Fear Death By Water (not my oldestbiggestfan I'm sure)-

All the writing advice I have can be found by scrolling down the right side of my blog, where I have links to entries I wrote on the subject (but they're all fiction related, I think).

Scooter finds the following things tasty- food, my flesh, and shower curtains. I'd rather he nibbled on shower curtains than on me!

Anonymous said...

My Siamese cat, Sunshine, doesn't eat the shower curtain, she just pokes if full of holes with her teeth. Sort of like tin art, but with plastic. The bottom of the curtain, opposite end of the drain, has an area a foot across covered in tiny, tooth-sized holes. This is the third curtain she's done this to! She does the same thing to the roller blind in the bedroom.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello Sunshine's Anonymous Person-

Cats are so weird. I've had quite a number of them over the decades, but I think Scooter wins the weirdest of them all award (at least in this household).

It sounds like Sunshine could give him a run for the money in the shower curtain department though!