The ROW Check-in that never was!

Widget 5

As you may have noticed, I have not checked in for ages! I haven’t blogged for ages and this isn’t really a check-in either. In the time I’ve been away, my beloved cat Widget has died (boo hoo), I have been selected to go on Mastermind, I have been to Ireland and visited my parents and my sister has finally set a date for her wedding. Also, I sent Emily Swann off to an agent where it was promptly rejected! The rejection of Emily Swann and the death of my Widget upset me greatly and so I retreated from the writing world for a bit.

I do have periods where I stop writing, usually when I’m upset but I always wander back into the fold eventually. I’m not working on any particular project at the moment. My specialist subject for Mastermind is Sitting Bull and so I’m reading and taking notes on his life like mad and as I’ve always wanted to write a book about him, the plan is that when Mastermind is over I can use all the research I’m doing now for that.

Goals; what goals? My goal at the moment is to get through Mastermind without making a fool of myself and that’s all for now. But enough about me; how have you guys been getting on?

ROW80 Check-In 30/01/2013

???????Been a slow week this week. Have made a bit of progress on my goals but not much. For the link to my original goals, see here

Done a few more pages on my numerology book. Haven’t been reading most of my library books and have realised that I don’t like at least two of them so will probably be taking them back unread. I use the library as a testing ground for books and authors I don’t normally read and sometimes I find great new things and sometimes I don’t.

Haven’t put any new work out and am still spending too much time on Facebook.

Got some very sad news from my mother today. She e-mailed me to say that her cat Littley had to be put down. The poor thing had cancer, she had two huge tumours, one in her throat and one in her tummy. She will be much missed.

The Further Adventures of a Widget


This is our cat Widget, otherwise known as Widget Bongle.  Yesterday she had to go to the animal hospital to have some teeth taken out.  We knew she had a problem with her teeth because her breath was really smelly!

Anyway, we dropped her off yesterday morning after signing the consent form (which I hate doing!) and then fretted all day (as you do!)  Finally the hospital rang us just after five to say there was a problem.  My heart dropped.

Now Widget had had diabetes but she recovered so well that it looked like the diabetes had gone away.  But the hospital said that they’d done a routine blood test before the operation and found that her blood sugar was very high!

So it looks like her diabetes is back.  I have to give her injections of insulin twice a day, its only one unit of insulin so it’s obviously a very small amount.  It’s a good job that she is very good about taking her injections.  She squeaks a bit before but she never plays up much.

One of the things we both love about Widget is that she is a very gentle cat.  She never bites or claws; it’s just not within her.  If something is happening that she doesn’t like she just runs away.  She doesn’t like being picked up but she just wriggles like mad when you do it.  Again, she is never aggressive.

She is such a loving cat and she loves to be stroked and petted.  That’s one of the reasons we adopted her from the Rescue Centre is that she came straight over to us and cuddled and purred and she was so affectionate right from the beginning.

Today she looks fine, her eyes are bright and her nose is cold and damp and she’s moving around fine.  She looks well and she’s eating okay and drinking her water.  She won’t drink tap water so we have to buy mineral water for her to have!  The things we do for that cat!  So her diabetes is back but it looks like it’s under control.

ROW80 Check-In 13/01/2013

Warning!  1

Well so far so good, sort of!  For a list of my original goals read here.

Progress Report.

1.  I have been getting on very well with my numerology book.  It’s turning out to be longer than I thought but I’m on course for finishing at the end of January.

2.  Epic fail.  Have not only been buying more books but went to the library and got a load out so now I have to read them before they become overdue.  The ‘To Be Read Pile’ just keeps growing!

3.  My sister is reading Emily Swann and she says she’s about two-thirds of the way through and she seems to be enjoying it.  She’s a historian and so far she’s only spotted one anachronism.

4.  Have cut down my Facebook time a bit but probably not as much as I should have.  Still waste lots of time every day sharing photos of cats!

I won an award!

Ooh exciting!  For the second time I have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award.  I’m not sure if my swelled head will fit through the doorway now!

So thank you Shah Wharton for nominating me!

Now for this you’re supposed to nominate fifteen other bloggers to receive the award but I’m going to cheat and nominate everyone who’s a member of the ROW80 writing group (excluding myself).  So if you’re a fellow ROWer, then congratulations you’ve won the Versatile Blogger Award!

Now I have to say seven things about me.  Hmmm.

1.  I’m a witch/shaman/practising occultist/astrologer/into all things mystical and magical.

2.  I did my degree in history and my dissertation was on George Armstrong Custer and The Little Bighorn.

3. I’m planning (some day) to write a book about Sitting Bull.

4. I have the loveliest husband in the world and his name is Gary.

5. My lovely hubby and I are the staff of our diabetic cat and her name is Widget.

6. My favourite band is Led Zeppelin.

7. The first book I read that I really loved was A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuinn.

ROW80 Check – In 06/05/2012

A pretty productive week, especially towards the end.  I feel as if I’m getting into my stride again.  Did three and a half pages yesterday and about three today and have finished chapter four on my typewriter.  Still have to edit it on to the computer, then I print it off on to a hard copy, read it through and use a pen to mark mistakes, typos and things I don’t like.  Then I go back and edit it again on the computer.  So each chapter gets typed on the typewriter, then on the computer, then printed off and read through and then typed again.  Hopefully this will make Emily Swann the best novel I can possibly make it.

Its time consuming and it would be quicker if I edited it less but I want to do a really good job.  I would hate myself if I rushed it and produced something that wasn’t the best I knew it could be.  So I’m continuing to do it my way and it seems to be working.  Only have another thirty two chapters to go!!!!!!!!!!!

I should mention that I have already written/typed out Emily Swann three times before doing this edit so at the moment it seems never-ending.  Have being having fun fiddling with my new phone; I might even learn how to work it if I keep trying.  Still haven’t figured out how to send and receive texts but I did manage to switch the flash on on the camera.  One step at a time.

Oh, in case I forget, Widget is well.

ROW80 Check – In 25/04/2012

Oh no!  For the first time since I joined ROW I missed a check-in!  On Sunday I kept thinking “Oh I’ll do my check-in later” and the net result was that it didn’t get done at all.  Been really struggling with Emily Swann.  Have done the occasional page but not nearly enough.  I’ve just been feeling really apathetic.  Everything seems too much effort.  Thankfully, felt better today so I finished typing up chapter three.  I just have to revise it on the computer now.

Also my printer cartridges finally arrived so I was able to print out chapters one and two and spot all the typos I’d made!  But at least I think I’m making progress again.  Its funny that in the last round of ROW I gave myself more goals and in this round I have less but I’m achieving a lot less as well.  I stopped blogging every day but I think I might start doing that again.  I used to do my blog for about half an hour and then spend about an hour on my novel.  I guess I used the blog as a kind of warm-up which seemed to work.

I’ve stopped writing my diary every day as well so I think I need to start doing that again.  I’ve also reduced my amount of reading to one poem a day; not sure about changing that.  Before I was reading two poems a day but I found I was just skimming and not really taking them in so I might just stick with the one for now.

So the changed goals are every day I will: work on Emily Swann, read at least one poem, write a blog post, read at least one chapter of a book (any book) and write my diary.

On a very positive note, my cat Widget had an appointment at the animal hospital today and her temperature has gone down and her blood sugar has gone down as well so she’s well on the way to recovery!

ROW80 Check – In 15/04/2012 Struggling with a sick cat!

This week started great but has deteriorated really quickly.  On Friday our beloved cat Widget was sick three times during the day and by Wednesday night was so poorly she had to struggle to get upstairs.  So Saturday morning Gary and I took her straight to the vet.  The vet said she was so poorly she needed immediate hospital treatment so we rushed her up to the animal hospital.  They said they needed to do some blood tests and they’d ring us when they had the results which should take about an hour.

I was weeping when I handed Widge over to the vet at the hospital and Gary was crying so hard on the way home he could hardly drive.  When the vet rang I leaped on the phone.  They said that Widget had pancreitis and possibly diabetes as well.  She was very ill and had to be put on a drip.  On Saturday they just kept her on the drip to get her fluids up and they said they’d start the treatment today.

What happens next depends on whether she responds to the treatment.  The vet said that she might not respond to the treatment which would leave us only one horrible alternative.  Hopefully that won’t happen.  Obviously we’re both hoping she makes a full recovery but we mustn’t delude ourselves to the difficulty.  She is not a young cat either.  The vet kept saying the treatment was going to be very expensive and it made me want to scream at him “I don’t care about the bloody money; I just care about the cat!”

Because of all this I have not got much writing done.  I managed just over a page yesterday but that was all.  Not surprisingly, I was not in the mood.  Have done bugger all today as well.  I can’t really concentrate.  As you probably know, I can’t have children but its bad enough having a sick pet; I don’t think I could cope with a sick child!  The worry is just so stressful!

An orbituary.

This is a picture of the cat that belonged to my sister’s ex-flatmate and best friend Melanie.  The cat’s name was Jelly and she was a lovely little cat.  Unfortunately she got cancer and she died yesterday morning.  She had a tumour in her stomach, poor thing.  My sister and her fiancee battled through appaling traffic on Sunday to see Jelly one more time.  Almost the moment after they left Jelly seemed to give up.  She had some sort of seizure and died early on Monday morning.

I believe all cats are psychic and I think Jelly was hanging on just to say goodbye to my sister.  Jelly was a lovely little cat who loved chicken and shiny baubles.  Every year my sister would put the Christmas tree up and Jelly would bat all the baubles off the tree with her paws and chase them round the living room!  I looked after Jelly for a short while when my sister and Melanie were on holiday and Jelly acted as if she was afraid of me until I came back from the fish and chip shop with freshly cooked fish.  Then she mobbed me!  And mewed so piteouslyly that I ended up giving her most of my fish!

She had many nicknames including skitty kitty, jelly cat and, my personal favourite, Jellicle Cat, from the T.S. Eliot poem about Jellicle cats.  If you know the poem, you’ll remember that it says Jellicle cats are black and white just like Jelly was!

Goodbye Jelly!  Everyone that knew you loved you!