Thursday, January 15, 2009


I'm trying to get the second draft done around the end of the month. It won't be perfect, but I will have to let my sweetheart and a few interested people read frightening as that prospect is. There's a lot of work to be done, and, as usual, life intervenes.

We have a new kitty, Natasha. She's adjusting in seclusion. She's got a bad habit of biting--and drawing blood--without warning while you're petting her. She seems to be terrified of hands (unless they are in a fist). Makes me think someone must have slapped her around in her previous life. I don't want to name names or point the finger here, but I do think the animal shelter pulled a fast one by not disclosing this peculiarity up front, and I also suspect they misrepresented her age. She's not able to walk well and she's not able to jump. Makes me think she's older than the six-year-old figure they gave us. Of course they're trying to avoid euthanizing animals so they try to present them in the best possible light, and I guess it's hard to blame them for that. But I do think they've been less than truthful, and I don't expect to ever adopt from that particular shelter again as a result. All of our kitties have been rescue kitties; but I do think a shelter has an obligation to be truthful about the animals they are placing. There are some other facts I'm not disclosing here because they would give too many clues as to who I'm talking about.

Anyway, we are dealing with the situation and trying to train Natasha gently through positive reinforcement and mini timeouts that biting and clawing are not acceptable. Today we'll let her explore the house a bit while the other kitties are kept in a separate room. I would like to introduce them face-to-face for a brief period tomorrow.

Meanwhile, werewolves... I went by the Elliot Bay Bookstore in Seattle yesterday. They have a window on the side (overlooking the outside entrance to their cafe) which seems to contain a Halloween display, full of books about bats and wolves and some griesly things. (I hope I'm using the word griesly correctly; if not I'll come back and change it to grisly.) One of the books that caught my eye was The Lost Wolves of Japan. I'm being very careful with $$ right now due to the macroeconomy and my personal economy, my microeconomy, so to speak, so I didn't buy it. But it sounds intriguing.

Has anyone out there (out of my many many followers) ever read Ghost of a Smile, by Deborah Boliver Boehm? It consists of stories about ghosts and spirits of Japan, including some of the traditional hauntings that my sweet Japanese mother used to tell me about as I was growing up,
like the Mujina, the ghost without a face. So some of it was sweetly familiar, and terrifying but not too terrifying--and updated for a contemporary urban sensibility. The author did an amazing job here. I recommend this book highly, particularly to hapas like myself. And to werewolf aficionados, one story in particular: "The Beast in the Mirror," which is about a Pacific Islander living in Hawai'i, who goes to Japan to become a sumo wrestler and is turned guessed it...a werewolf.

Another interesting thing to me is how extraordinarily skilled the author is at writing in a male voice. Even though I'm a gay guy, I've not been successful at producing a female voice that sounds true.

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