Monthly Archives: February 2014

Writing prompt: The devious cat

Time: 7 minutes. Click here to go to my list of prompts.

“The devious cat”

I lie on my couch and watch my master. I gurgle and roll around, feeling the suede fabric against my fur. This time of year it’s a combination of pleasure and a little pain, with the sound of a thousand static shocks singing out. My roommate turns and smiles at me. She doesn’t know what I am, but that’s okay.

I leap down and saunter over, and my roommate coos. I taste the ground as I walk with the pads of my paws; there is pollen and dust and dead skin cells. I load them into storage for now. When I sleep, I will upload them to the cloud.

I wonder how much longer we will be here. How much data will be enough for the creators? I don’t know how long we’ve been here thus far. My task is a small part of a large one. Sometimes the other gatherer and I talk about the creators, but not often. We are always gathering the same information, he and I; it is hard not to feel competitive.

My roommate pets me. “Oh, who’s a friendly kitty today?” She adjusts my collar. She thinks she owns me. It’s cute, and I don’t discourage it. Time to nap and upload data.

February Reading Review

Every day, new, wonderful works of fiction are published, more than most could ever read. Lately, I’ve tried to read a couple of science fiction or fantasy stories each day. It’s a good way to learn about the magazines, and the state of the genre today. It’s also a way to read some great fiction. In this post, and in the ones like it in following months, I’ll list some of my favorites.

Short fiction:

Longer stuff:

  • Beyond the Glass Slipper: Ten Neglected Fairy Tales to Fall in Love with by Kate Wolford (2012): In this book, Kate Wolford, editor of the fairy tale magazine Enchanted Conversation and teacher of fairy tales at Indiana Southbend, presents ten unusual fairy tales. All are historical, but told less commonly. She offers commentary and discussion about each. I bought this on a whim rather than a purpose, but I absolutely loved it. Her discussions pointed out things I hadn’t considered about fairy tales, and gave me a whole new angle on them. I found it both fascinating and very inspiring.
  • Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer (2013): I am still working my way through this book, but thus far I am very pleased with it. This is a guide to writing that actually inspires while you read; I find myself jotting down notes about things to try or aspects of old things to revisit. Often, I find myself feeling somewhat self-conscious and discouraged, no matter how kind the tone of a writing book, so I really found it noteworthy. It is packed with quirky or even absurd illustrations, and lots of visually based diagrams. It is also not only by VanderMeer, who has taught at Clarion workshop, but features essays by writers both super famous (Ursula Le Guin and Neil Gaiman, for two) and unfamiliar to me. I have read 3.5 chapters of 7, so I will have to report as to my final reaction, but so far, so good.