Gathering information

When I was at the Dogwood Writing Conference the weekend before last, I sat with Tara Taylor Quinn on Friday night. She asked me all sorts of questions, and I thought is she interested because I'm interesting, or might I make it in some future book? As an author, I find myself thinking at times, "Now, THIS should be in a book." Like, for instance a certain man-let us call him Huey-who has wrestled a bear and who will kill any man for hugging his wife. Or, might we consider writing about someone's dad who supervises work release prisoners, and that dad has said he'd rather work with murderers over drug dealers because the murderers are more honest? Or, maybe there is a person who has eighty cats, and she dupes a family member into "taking care" of the cats.

Now, see, any of those make for an interesting story. And maybe I could weave all three into one story. Something like this: The cat woman has a nephew who happens to be a drug dealer. The nephew owes money to Big Dan, but can't pay him because the cats in his aunt's house mistook the 40 pounds of weed for catnip and ate it. High on drugs, the cats eat the cat woman's furniture, so she tells her nephew she will pay him a large sum of money to "take care" of the cats. Though he isn't sure what she means, he does understand that she wants the cats out of her house before animal control arrests her. The nephew has to decide what to do with 80 cats. He doesn't want to kill them, but he also doesn't want to drive them a thousand miles to the cat retirement facility in Shades Valley, California. The last time he did that, he nearly got killed by Huey (the owner of the facility) because Huey's wife got choked on a hair ball, and the nephew did the Heimlich on her. Huey hired a hit man to do in the nephew, but because of the hit man's honesty, he confessed to the nephew that he was not actually there to buy drugs from him, but to "take care" of him.

And, see? this is working out to be a suspense-type novel. Not really my genre, but I think there is some potential here.

The cat lady has a story. I want to write that story. There's actually a house in Mississippi called the cat house because a nice lady left her estate to her cats. Now, we have three cats. Three cats are too many. I love our cats, but I don't really like cats as a species because they aren't humble enough. They don't agree as to who is the boss in the household. Everything has to be on their terms. Someone like me who has control issues does not like this characteristic in cats. Now, a dog, I like. They know they aren't the alpha dog in the pack. They're always sorry for whatever they did when you're fussing at them, even though they would do it again if they got the chance. Dogs are happy to see you when you get home. My cat waits at the door and dashes out when I open the door as I get home. Does she care that she almost tripped me? Heck, no. It's MY fault for getting in her way. And I get the evil eye if there isn't fresh food and water in their dishes. How could someone endure that torture with 80 cats in the house?

My 3 cats act like they are ready for a coup any day now. When I wake up at night sometimes, they are sitting there staring at me. When I walk down the stairs, they run under my feet. I think they are trying to kill me. How is it that someone with 80 cats survives the mind games and dangerous feats of that many cats? Are cats in numbers over ten more timid and humble?

Well, I have no clever ending for this blog. In fact, this whole cat exercise seems a little disturbing. Perhaps I should go back and reflect on Huey and his bear-wrestling, anti-wife hugging character, and see how dark I can go with that.