Saturday, December 14, 2013

Finished the draft of my novel #JIHADI, with #cat Paprika's help. (And a #flashfiction piece about her.)

(Alhamdulillah! Crossed the finish line at just over 123,000 words. Cut about 300,000 over six years. You can read an excerpt from the first chapter here. If you would like to be one of the beta readers who help me as I begin my December and January revisions, drop me a line. Meanwhile, here's a flash fiction piece I did about Paprika and her weirdo roommate.)


"But I won't go alone."

Paprika, the cat, was telepathically agreeing, after a period of sulking, to go to the veterinarian for a routine checkup. Last year's visit had been traumatic.

She had never (Yusuf replied telepathically) been EXPECTED to go alone. If she recalled, she hadn't been alone last year. They don't even let cats IN doctors' offices without their humans. The implication that Yusuf would allow her out of the house alone, or drop her off at the vet's without staying with her, or in any other way withhold his help and support, was insulting.

In addition (he pointed out) it was generally considered poor form to begin a sentence with a conjunction like "but."

Cat-sigh.
"That's human syntax," Paprika said. "Don't bother me with that. You're getting fussy over nothing again. This is what the therapist was talking about. It's getting worse, not better, as you get older, you know."
 
Just don't accuse me of abandoning you when I have never done that.

"NOW who needs a visit to the doctor?" Paprika asked from the square of sunlight that had penetrated the study. "A HEAD doctor."

Take that back.
 
"No. You make drama out of anything. Correcting a cat's grammar. Who does that? I'm not kidding. You need to see a therapist."

I've already seen one.

"Then you need to see another one. And apologize. Grammar Nazi."

The sound of an argument in suspension.

I'm sorry.

"Good. You'll make an appointment?"

Yes. But I won't go alone.