When does the yelling stop?

When does the yelling stop?

I need to begin this post with two statements/disclaimers.

1.) I love my daughter. To the ends of the earth and back. I anticipate nothing short of the same for the one I’m currently incubating.

2.) Whenever you finish reading this post, call your parent(s). Better yet, send them a gift. Preferably of the alcoholic variety if they partake, because I can guarantee you at one point during your upbringing, they needed it and couldn’t get it.

This is where my husband and I are this evening.

Pretty much everything out of our mouths for the past 3 hours has been progressively escalating correction. “Stop. Please stop. Monkey, I’m serious, you need to stop. Do you want me to yell at you? Do you think Mama enjoys yelling at you? Didn’t we already talk about this? How many times today? You need to listen.” Until finally, “MONKEY! WHAT DID I JUST SAY?? ENOUGH! YOU NEED TO LISTEN!!”

Like most parents, we hate yelling at our kid. Which is why it takes longer than it probably should before things finally come to a stop. And she’s only five. Then, (and I can’t say if she does it on purpose or not,) she does the sweetest thing her little brain can come up with, leaving us to feel like terrible people.

Tonight, I looked at the Hubs and voiced my sudden realization. “We won’t get to stop yelling every night for like, eighteen more years.” Not only that, alcohol is lost to me for the foreseeable future.

Nothing like parenthood to drive you to drink. (Now is when you need to do #2 from above.)

Any ideas on how to get through to a deceptively smart, sweet, five year old with the attention span of a goldfish and selective hearing? I need to hear from you.

How I Write

How I Write

Even though my book is far from the NYT Bestsellers list, I still have people say to me, “I just don’t know how you did it, wrote a whole book.”

I mean, what do you say to that? “Well, I opened Word one day and started typing…”

And don’t even get me started on the fact this was during my first pregnancy and after Monkey was born. You’d think it was next to impossible.

It wasn’t, obviously. And now that I can look back at Second Death and say it’s not half bad, albeit five years later, I find myself wondering the same thing. I have a couple of ideas I’ve been excited about for some time, but how the hell did I get from there to a novel I’m not embarrassed to pitch?

(On a side note, it has been brought to my attention I can’t take compliments. I’m not asking for one. Saying I’m not embarrassed of SD is as close as I’ll ever get to saying I’m proud of it. But I digress.)

Looking back and not knowing how I got here is the thing (in my opinion,) that has taken me so long to get SD ready to go and figure out what’s going on in the sequel. It’s like going to sleep in Texas and waking up in London. Am I happy to be there? Hells yeah. But damned if I could tell you whether I flew, took a cruise, or was abducted by aliens. And how the hell am I going to get home?

So I’ve been reading some writing craft books. I never finish them. I subscribe to a number of writing blogs. I read them occasionally. All they tell me is that I probably flew, either commercially or in a spaceship to London, because if I’d sailed I’d still be somewhere in the Atlantic after one night.

My beloved editor tells me I’m a pantser, as in I write by the seat of my pants and see where the story goes. But even she says I have to outline some, just so I know where I’m going. My big issue with that is that by the time I fill in all the blanks, I don’t like it anymore, thus leaving me in the Bermuda Triangle of plot revision.

Trust me, it’s not near as cool as it sounds.

And then today happened.

After self imposed exile to my bedroom due to the overwhelming feels of pregnancy, (it’s been a rough week,) I started reading my latest writing craft book. Or I tried. At the bottom of my home screen, dear, sweet, Amazon suggested a few other craft books. And that’s where I found it. Write Your Novel from the Middle by James Scott Bell.

It’s $2.99. It’s 72 pages. It was as if I walked into a psychiatrist’s  office for the first visit and the doctor outlined all my hangups, the cause of them, and then sent me on my way to fix them.

The guy knows me. Better than I know my writer-self.

As soon as I started reading it, I was like, “Holy crap! That’s exactly what I did! How did he know when even I didn’t know?”

In a nutshell, Bell tells you there’s this one moment, a “mirror moment,” where your character evaluates themselves and makes a decision in regards to what they find. Once you have that, it keeps you grounded enough to fill in all the other blanks, however you want. Pants or outline, or some hybrid outpants type thing.

And I didn’t even know I did that. But it’s there.

One of the first really solid, knockout, “yeah, this is it,” scenes I wrote in SD is the warehouse scene. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned, it was brought on by a road rage incident.

No, I didn’t start it.

But I did go straight hyena mom on that stupid m-fer’s ass. (See, it still pisses me off.)

Alas, because for a rare occasion the Hubs was the one who kept his temper, I was not able to rip that dude’s eyes from his sockets and squish them to jelly between my little angry fingers.

So instead, after the shaking had worn off and I had a good cry, I wrote him into my book. Then I killed him three times, until I felt better.

If you’ve read SD, you’ll know what scene I mean. It’s the scene where my heroine decides she is fed up with being a helpless girl/victim. You mess with her people and she will end you.

And for her, finally, it’s not just talk.

This is her mirror moment.

It’s also the part that my mother didn’t like,  (“I just couldn’t believe my baby girl wrote that.”) And the part that made my husband a little afraid of me, (“Jesus. You’re kind of scary, you know that?”) Which probably explains why it’s my favorite scene too.

Because, no, I’m not always the sweet baby girl you knew, or wanted me to be. And yes, you’re damn right I’m a little bit scary. So don’t forget it. ; >

Now, while you’re shaking in your boots, might I suggest you read this little gold nugget of plot development? You and I both know you have an inner badass who’s been dying to get out. If you want to write (and actually finish) a book, maybe it’s time you let them.

A Tale of Two Easters

A Tale of Two Easters

I started this a status update to commiserate with other parents about their kids’ Easter egg hunt experiences. Then it got kinda long, so I decided to just put it all down, let you all get the whole picture and relate.

Saturday: Day 1 Easter celebration

In out neighborhood there is a local church that throws carnivals in our neighborhood park for Christmas and Easter. There are bounce houses, train rides, a zip line, and the food is all free. Short of listening to a loop of Christian rock, (not my personal favorite, and awfully loud,) and leaving with multiple flyers for their services, it’s a pretty good time. Yes, the longer it goes on the more crowded it gets, but what do you expect. IT’S FREE. I’m also fond of how genuinely willing the members of this church are to just make sure you and your kids have a good time. That’s the most important part to them, not filling the pews. And that’s super cool.

So, Monkey is having a great time. The Easter egg hunt is about to start. We go line up at our (somewhat) designated spot. (Turns out they broke up K & Pre-K into over and under 4 as well, but that information didn’t make it past the second row of parents.) There are lots of eggs, and lots of little roped off areas, with the oldest being 5th and 6th graders. Parents are lined up around the roped off area as well, some holding babies that may or may not be able to sit/stand/walk by themselves. In front of us are about 4 rows of parents with their little and not so little ones. Monkey is 5. She has made it very clear I am not needed to help her with things her height and below, and given my current 30 weeks gestation girth, I’m inclined to agree. Next to us, I see a family with an adorable little boy, who is probably the same age as Monkey, but has down syndrome.

His parents are going with him, which is what I would do. But I’m not sure if Monkey is aware of the differences between her and this kid, or the smaller ones that are in this group with their parents and can barely walk. So I say to her, “Listen, Monkey. It’s important for you to remember not to knock anyone over or take anyone’s eggs, especially the little people. Okay?”

“Okay, Mama.” A furrowing of eyebrows and distracted nod is all I get. It’s almost time to start.

She counts down and starts her hunt for eggs. Immediately she is having to dodge parents, most of who I thought would be standing back like I would because, you know… they’re kids are 4 or 5. Knowing I’m pregnant and crazy, (not and exaggeration, and definitely worse than last time,) I back up a little and wait for the hubs to find me. I don’t need to see the gory details. Egg hunts have long since transitioned from being fun into a lesson about teaching your child to snatch whatever they can by whatever means necessary for themselves before someone else does. Ah, the true meaning of Easter.

Eventually, Monkey returns from the crowd. Many children, especially the older kids and the babies/toddlers who went with their parents, have baskets filled to the brim with eggs.

My child has zero.

“Mama, I didn’t get any. I just found this piece of candy that fell out.” She holds up one sad tootsie rolls pop; chocolate’s consolation prize. My heart breaks. “But I did what you said! I didn’t take anyone’s eggs and I was careful of the little people.”

Damn I have an awesome kid. She wasn’t even that disappointed.

Meanwhile we are surrounded by kids (and parents) digging through their eggs for one of the special prize eggs. Turns out there was money in them. Maybe that’s why all the parents around the sides threw their children under the rope because, as we all well remember, Jesus said on the cross, “Thou shalt not wait in line at a kids egg hunt, if thou feelest privileged enough and there art money involved.”

At that moment, I both hated just about every person there, and felt so beat down knowing that this egg hunt attitude had been going on since before I was a kid, and would probably continue long after I was gone. Why was a holiday making me hate humanity?

On the way out, a church member handing out flyers asked Monkey if she had a good time and if she got some eggs. She was so excited to tell him about all the fun rides she went on, she only mentioned the eggs as an afterthought.

“I didn’t get any eggs, just this one piece of candy.” Once again she displayed that P.O.S. tootsie roll. I explained the “little people” rules.

And that was when my faith in humanity was (partially) restored. The man immediately went over to fellow organizers, who found some candy to put in her basket. Then another parent came over and gave Monkey five or six eggs from her son’s basket. He was one of the little people from my rules, and hadn’t found any either. At which point other parents filled his basket.

While the Hubs stewed on the way home, convinced that Monkey would grow up to be a doormat, I felt differently. Yes, there were way too many asshole parents at that and every other egg hunt this weekend. Way to many. And I think the importance for having eggs for a million kids under ten far supersedes that of making sure moody, pre-tween-whatever-the-hell-their-called get baskets full of candy filled eggs. You want to teach you kids something on Easter? How about pairing them up with the tiny kids? They will still get to hunt eggs, give parents a break (or keep them from being tools,) and maybe realize before adulthood the world doesn’t revolve around them. Then give them an egg with $20 in it.

All that aside, I was happy that at least this one time, Karma for my daughter was not a bitch. She was in fact exactly who she was supposed to be. And so was Monkey.

WHEW! Rant over. Now for the really funny stuff!

Sunday: Easter celebration part deux.

On Saturday afternoon, we had packed 48 eggs with candy. Why? Because we all knew from repeatedly watching Legend of the Guardians, that the Easter Bunny brought beautifully decorated eggs. Not candy. And while Monkey, Hubs, and I appreciated the effort, there was some concern about a lost egg that started to smell, or maybe too much protein and not enough good, old-fashioned, rot-your-teeth sugar.

So to make his trip easier this year, we filled up the candy eggs and left them out for him to hide. We also left a special golden egg out for him to leave a surprise, and two carrots on a Peter Rabbit plate. Why should Santa be the only one who gets snacks?

Flash forward to 7am this morning. Above us, I hear the tiny thundering of running feet. The sounds galumphs down the stairs and quickly approaches our bedroom door. The closer it gets, the more I can pick up a high-pitched squeal, possibly words… it’s just too hard to tell.


The Hubs jerks awake with a yell, ready to do battle with the unknown intruder. Had our bedroom door been kicked open by the SWAT team? Oh, no wait… it’s just Monkey!


Needless to say, in our confused state it took us awhile to make all that out. But yeah, the Easter Bunny had been by for a visit, and Monkey was not disappointed. We were able to get her to get into bed with us for all of three minutes to explain everything that was going on. Then we sent her to get dressed, as today’s hunt was on like Donkey Kong. It would be delayed no longer.

(Fifteen seconds after she leaves our bedroom.)


Monkey once again hurls herself on our bed. “He brought all my favorite candy and surprises and he knows me! He knows everything I like!!!!!”

Many exclamation points later, Monkey was dressed and we finished her egg hunt. I say finished instead of started, because on her way downstairs, she had grabbed everyone she saw and made multiple piles on the way to wake us up. It looked like the Easter Bunny had pooped little piles of eggs from the bottom of the stairs to our bedroom door.

Monkey don’t play.

Eventually, the golden egg and plate with munched on carrots were found in the downstairs storage closet. As far as we could tell, E.B. was munching on the carrots when Daddy got up in the middle of the night, so he hid. Her golden egg contained the long-awaited “Turtle Necklace” (word to the wise, don’t ever take your daughter to a jewelry store until you are willing to spend that much for jewelry on her,) and the bonus of three little sparkly rings. None of them have come off.

Looking back on this weekend, and the trials my family, (and many of those I’ve seen on facebook today,) have gone through, I think I’ll be doing my own Easter egg hunt next year. Maybe not in my backyard, (it’s not that big,) but somewhere, probably on the Saturday before.

I can’t keep the world free of assholes, nor can I keep them from procreating. What I can do, is make sure that my kids, and those of like-minded parents, can enjoy the fun of egg hunts and become the next wave of non-crappy adults.

That’s me. Changing the world, one egg at a time… now where are my Cadbury’s?

Touched With Fire Cover Reveal!!


badge Welcome to the TOUCHED WITH FIRE cover reveal! This fabulous historical fiction has received a new look and it’s going to blow you away. Now before we get to that, let’s talk about Touched With Fire, a novel of the Civil War inspired by the true story of Ellen Craft.

Ellen Craft is property; in this case, of her half-sister Debra, to whom she was given as a wedding gift. The illegitimate daughter of a Georgia plantation owner and a house slave, she learned to hate her own image, which so closely resembled that of her “father:” the same wiry build, the same blue eyes, and the same pale—indeed, lily-white—skin.

Ellen lives a solitary life until she falls, unexpectedly, in love with a dark-skinned slave named William Craft, and together they devise a plan to run North. Ellie will pose as a gentleman planter bound for Philadelphia accompanied by his “boy” Will. They make it as far as Baltimore when Will is turned back, and Ellie has no choice but continue. With no way of knowing if he is dead or alive, she resolves to make a second journey—South again. And so Elijah Craft enlists with the 125th Ohio Volunteers of the Union Army: she will literally fight her way back to her husband.

Eli/Ellie’s journey is the story of an extraordinary individual and an abiding love, but also of the corrosive effects of slavery, and of a nation at a watershed moment.

The story tells of how a brave and resilient black woman went to great lengths to gain not only her freedom, but that of the man she loved.” – Amazon Reviewer Kelley McCormick

“[A] deliberate and sincere historical fiction wends its way through this abject time in our nation’s youth…Touched with Fire is a welcome addition to the ever-increasing canon of Civil War fiction.” – E. Warren Perry, Jr., author, Swift to My Wounded: Walt Whitman and the Civil War

Celebrate this great new cover with us by entering our giveaway below and spreading the word!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Read an excerpt:

Late Evening of September 20, 1862
Warren, Ohio

Ellie rolled up tight in her blankets, as usual sleeping in the upper hayloft of the stable on a bed of straw. She stared out the open hayloft door at the stars glittering in the moonless night sky, her breath condensing into white mist in the cold September air. Only at this time of the evening did she allow herself the luxury of becoming a woman again. She thought about William, as she always did before sleeping. Was he still alive? If he was, was he right this moment gazing up on the same stars? She missed him every minute of every day, but she missed him the most as she lay waiting for sleep to take her to him in dreams. Her cousin Ann had tried to help after William was left behind at Baltimore, yet there had been a barrier that Ellie could never quite overcome, that never let her feel comfortable around Ann. She was white, and Ellie was black. It was simply not in her to trust a white. She could not help it, her fear and loathing of that race rooted in a lifetime of hard experience with its cruelty, starting with and most particularly including her very own father, the man who should have cared the most for her happiness and welfare and who instead kept her as property.

Ann offered to buy William, and Ellie appreciated that. But out of sheer spite Miss Deb bought William herself to stop the sale. Even worse, she sent slave hunters north to find Ellie and bring her back.

Foolishly not expecting Debra Collins to stoop so low, Ellie was caught off guard and nearly taken. The fugitive slave act required Mrs. Henderson to turn Ellie over to the authorities, and the slave hunters brought local police with them to Mrs. Henderson’s home, demanding she surrender Ellie, who was no more than stolen property in the eyes of the law.

It was a narrow escape. Dressed as a man again, Ann sent Ellie through a hatch in the roof. From there, she stole across the tops of several adjacent row houses until she found a balcony she could safely drop down to. She nearly broke her ankle doing it, but from there used a fire escape to climb down to the street and disappear. She walked right past a policeman posted at the end of the block, but he was on the lookout for a woman. Once again, becoming a man saved her.

After that, Ellie determined to stay disguised as a man. The slave hunters searched for a woman. As a white man, Ellie could go where she pleased and do what she wanted without arousing suspicion. Even a white woman did not have the freedom she now had. She blended in and covered her tracks so well it made her impossible to find. At least, she hoped so.

With money Mrs. Henderson had thrust into her unwilling hand as she fled through the roof, she caught a train west, eventually stopping in Warren, Ohio, nearly broke. She started working for Mr. Craig as a stable hand, tending horses and fixing wagons. She slept in the stable except on the coldest of nights, and spent little of the money she earned. She had no desire to socialize and kept to herself, which suited Mr. Craig fine since he also had little use for mixing with folk
outside of his business dealings.

But every day she thought of William and the bitterness grew and burned inside her until she felt consumed by it. What she feared most, her separation from William by the white masters, had come to pass, and she hated them for what they did to her in the name of preserving “their way of life.” Most especially she grew bitter toward her white “family,” her father and her half sister Debra. She wanted so much to make them pay for their plain low-down meanness.

She spent every night thinking on how to free William. She saved what she could against the time when an opportunity might present itself, and had accumulated five hundred dollars, but rack her brains as she might, nothing realistic ever came to her.

But today what this Wilkins fellow said kept running through her mind. The only real hope she had of rescuing William was in the defeat of the South. At the opening of the war, from all she heard, Lincoln was perfectly content to let the South keep its slaves if it would preserve the Union, and she had set no hopes on the war bringing William back to her. But perhaps that was changing. If it was true Lincoln would soon make this a fight to end slavery, then maybe there was hope after all.

But she doubted it. She found little support for the abolitionist movement here in Warren. Northern whites, on the whole, did not care one way or another about the welfare of Negros; they just wanted them gone. Even if Lincoln declared this a war against slavery, the North, she believed, would go back on its word in a heartbeat if keeping slavery reunited the nation.

And then a thought suggested itself. Maybe the North would not, in the end, free the slaves, but the one thing the North had to do was to conquer the South. From one end of that infernal pest hole to the other, Union troops would have to strike down and occupy every inch of Southern territory. Ellie pursed her lips in the dark, thinking hard on that fact. She could join the army and fight her way into Georgia. At the head of an army, there was nothing any planter could do to stop her. And once she found William, they could easily escape to Canada where the slave hunters could never reach them no matter how the war ended.

She jumped up, clutching the blankets close around her shoulders and pacing before the open hayloft door. Wilkins said the 125th Ohio was recruiting volunteers. She could join. What was to stop her? Her fevered mind thrilled at the excitement of finally having a plan, until all the reasons why it could not be done rained down on her like a thunderstorm on an open camp fire.

It was one thing to play a man while escaping North, which had been for just three days and with the help of William to guide her, and quite another to be a man in the army. Of course, even now she managed it well enough, but she lived a solitary life. She had plenty of time by herself in the evenings to let her guard down and take care of womanly things as required. Even with that, Mr. Craig once found a bloody rag she discarded during one of her flows, and demanded to know where it came from. Had she injured one of the horses? She made up a
story about losing a wisdom tooth. Concerned, he asked to look in her mouth to see, but she was able to attend to a customer who fortunately appeared at that moment.

Being in the army would give her little to no privacy. Living in the constant close company of men, she would have to be a man all the time and never let down her guard. How would she bathe? How would she manage her cycles? What if she was wounded? In the army, the odds of being discovered multiplied a hundredfold. She sat down on a bale of hay, holding her face in her hands, despairing.

She had looked at it a thousand different ways. If she slipped back into Macon on her own, even disguised as a man, she would certainly be recognized eventually. Even if she was not, and she found William, how could she free him? No white Southerner would dare take a slave North for any reason now. Everyone she met would demand an explanation she could not give.

Joining the army was her only chance. She could not just wait for the war’s end and hope the North won, and in winning also abolished slavery.

She lifted her face from her hands. She was tired of being alone. She was tired of feeling powerless to change her life and William’s. She was tired of despising her half sister and her father and the entire South without having the means to punish them. A grim determination filled her. She would join the army. She would carry a gun and she would fight. She would find a way to keep her identity secret, and if they found her out, she was no worse off than now. All they could do would be to send her back to Ohio. All she could do was try and trust to God.

She stared up at the night sky, hoping William also looked up at those same stars, and she suddenly was sure of it. She could feel him reaching out to her, and she held out her hand to the lights in the sky, reaching back to him.

“I’m coming for you, William,” she said out loud, her hand clutching into a fist. “I’ll find you, and as God is my witness we will never be slaves again.”



This is how I feel right now. (Also, this is from my favorite episode of Too Cute! on Animal Planet. But I digress…) Why? Well, because here is my big announcement: I HAVE A BOOK COVER!!

Would you like to see it??




Thank you to Mallory Rock for holding an awesome contest and creating such an amazing cover for me. It’s perfect.

So… what do you think? I’d love to hear from you!




I’d like to take a moment to apologize for the sudden absence in blogging. I have a really great excuse. It’s one of two big announcements, and the bigger of the two at that.

This happened:photo

If we connect through Facebook, this is old news, but it’s worth mentioning again. : )

Now just to confirm I’m the worst parent ever: I abhor being pregnant. The only thing that makes it easier the second round is knowing the end result. Which is pretty cool. Monkey has named kid 2 either Nugget (a boy) or Noodle (a girl.) The husband hates these nicknames, but it’s probably already too late.

But Emily,” you say, “lots of women don’t like being pregnant. That doesn’t make you a bad parent.” You know what, you’re right.

This does:


Given the foreseeable un-funness awaiting me for the the next nine months, and the fact that the awesome payoff is going to take for-ev-er to get here… I’m more excited (today) about my other awesome announcement.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s not as awesome as the addition of a new family member, however — it was painless and offered nearly instant gratification.

There’s a joke there somewhere, isn’t there? Ah, well. Pregnancy brain is strong with this one. I’m full of stupid.

Check back Thursday for the other awesome stuff!

Genocide: Only for Mosquitoes

Genocide: Only for Mosquitoes

I know that most things, even ones I don’t like, are here for a reason. Do I hate things that fly and sting? Absolutely. Are bees and their evil kin useful for flower pollination, thus maintaining the floral circle of life, giving herbivores stuff to eat and almost everything air to breathe? Well, yeah. Dammit.

Then there is the mosquito. Other than population control due to all diseases they spread, what do they bring to the table? Significant cursing? Keeping the calamine lotion and bug spray industry going? The answer is: nothing that can’t be replaced or will be missed.

Why all this sudden vitriol? How’s about eight freaking mosquito bites in five days! Not only that, for some stupid reason, they always go for my feet. I could have a head wound gushing blood and Nature’s A-holes would still bite my feet. God, I hate them.

But back to my point, if we got rid of every stinking one of the species that drink blood, what would happen? Occurrences of diseases like Malaria and West Nile would drop, and because humans are AWESOME, we’ll find new, more fun ways to kill each other. Same goes for population control on critters. We invented the wheel; between us and nature, plenty of things are still gonna die. What about all the creatures that eat mosquitoes, you say? Turns out that mosquitoes are either not the main source of food and won’t be missed, or there are plenty of other little critters to supplement their diet.

Not only that, there’s someone who agrees with me. Janet Fang. Not only is her name awesome, but she maintains we could eradicate them and be just fine. No really, it’s SCIENCE! She did the research so I didn’t have to. Read here.

So now the only question is:

Thank you Seth Macfarlane

Thank you Seth Macfarlane

My Neurotic Pug and my Two Year Old Puppy


This week has been… eventful.

This time last week I was herding in a stray that had been running around my neighborhood for a few weeks. Now “Tank” is passed out cold asleep on my couch. We now have four animals in our house… not counting Julia the Beta. (I know the beta is a male, but Monkey insisted his name was Julia.)

Just to make sure I’m not the only one with weird pets, similar to my weird food issues, I’m going to share, and I hope you will share your kooky pet stories as well.

Wonder Pug or not, this balloon is flippin' creepy.

Wonder Pug or not, this balloon is flippin’ creepy.

We’ll start with Zoe the Wonder Pug. She is a HUGE pug, but we’re working on that. She will eat or try just about anything. She loves people, but is somewhat aggressive with her affections. She demands attention and will jump and bark to get your attention. She is indifferent about other dogs, excluding her “family pugs.” (The woman we got Zoe from has Zoe’s mom, and two rescue pugs, one of which was fostered by me.) Cats are fun to chase, but they’re awfully fast. Classic pug, right?

Here are my Zoe’s weird quirks. She takes forever to go to the bathroom. Not only that, she has to turn circles to warm herself up. I counted once. Seventy-five circles before a pee. When she is in she tries to chase her tail. Problem is, she’s so thick and stocky, even she knows she’s not going to reach it. So instead, she sits and turns circles on the ground in hopes of finally catching that bastard of a tail. She has yet to beat it. And finally, she’s paranoid. Not of aliens or break-ins, but of the other animals in the house, especially the cats. For a reason I have yet to discover, Zoe is convinced that someone is out to steal her toys. As if the cats care. When the mood strikes her, she will take a toy and start searching for a hiding place. She goes from place to place, hiding the toy, covering it, standing back to admire her work, decides she’s unsatisfied, and picks it up again. Rinse and repeat. The funniest part is the furtiveness with which she searches. As if to say, “Aww, shit! Gotta hide this! Gotta hide it from the cats! Out to get my Precious!” (If you don’t fill in for the voices for your pets, then you’re either lying or in denial. We all do it.)




If the human head weighs 8lbs, Tank's is a solid 10.

If the human head weighs 8lbs, Tank’s is a solid 10.

As for Tank, he is all contradictions. He is big, muscular, and scary looking. His skull is probably the same width as mine. He is also a little dainty. Tank tip toes in wet grass because he doesn’t like to gets his footsies wet. He also has to “wipe” his face in the grass after eating, as opposed to trying to lick it off. The vet thinks he’s about two, but when he plays, he’s a 60 pound puppy. He wasn’t comfortable playing at first and I don’t think he was really able to do that in his early years. But a few times a day, he will “galumph.” Like from the Jabberwocky poem. He runs after a toy with his paws spread out and his back feet coming up to his ears. I’ll have to tape it, it’s so cute. He runs the way a horse runs, all legs out, all legs in kinda thing; except significantly less graceful. I’m just glad he can play. All the scars on his body tell me he didn’t get to be a puppy when he actually was one.

What silly things do your critters do? Enough comments, maybe a few videos from your phone, and we could have a winning YouTube channel or Meme!