Adventures with Words, February 2023

Adventures with Words, February 2023

Sad News

As many of you know, tragedy struck my household about a week ago. Percy, our sweet fluffy boy, was hit by a vehicle and killed. We only know that because of the kindness of strangers who gathered him up and took him to Animal Services. Because he had a chip, I got a call. He’s been laid to rest with other cats our family has loved and mourned. In the wake of this horror, I’ve decided that Tyson will be an indoor cat from now on. He does not like it, of course. And I can put up with his whining so that I won’t have to go through 48+ hours of agony not knowing why he didn’t come home one night. 

RIP Percy, Persums, Mister Fluffybutt, Bubbah

Elephant Ears Excerpt

In happier news, I’m ready to share some morsels from the mystery novel, If Elephant Ears Could Talk:


“I thought we told you to stop with this ‘investigation’ nonsense!” Dad said. “The police are handling it. Interfering with an investigation can get you arrested.”

“What investigation am I interfering with?” Erika’s voice rose. “They’ve already decided it was an accident and won’t even consider that it wasn’t, even though it’s obvious someone was involved in his death. Someone killed him! Don’t you care about that?”

Georgia, who had been trying to get a word in, stepped forward to stand between them. She turned to Erika, “Honey, your dad – the two of us – just don’t want to see you get hurt or have anything get in the way of your future plans. Does that make sense?”

In this moment, Erika hated their mother’s appeal for sense almost as much as their dad’s unwillingness to consider the police were less than competent. 

“You’re just like them. No one cares about the truth, they just want an easy answer. He was old anyway, right? He would have died soon anyway, right?”  Erika turned away from their parents and hurled themselves toward the stairs. “Well, I care. It matters to me. I wish the police would do their jobs, but they’d rather harass people who aren’t doing anything.”

Before either adult could respond, they stormed up the stairs and into their room. Slamming the door behind them. Face down on their bed, they cried until their eyes and throat hurt. They were vaguely aware of a heated conversation happening downstairs. The house grew quiet and they fell asleep. Waking as the sky began to dim, they sat up, staring at the drawings they’d pinned to their wall, most of which featured elements of the amusement park. 

I don’t care what they say, Erika thought, I’m not going to let the killer get away with it. I owe that to W.W.

Upcoming Writers’ Chat

The next Writers’ Chat at Northwest Beerwerks will be held on Monday, February 27th, starting at 5:30.  As always, I’m looking forward to the unique assemblage of folks who gather on that night.  

Recently Read

I’ve converted Spawn2 into a Murderbot fan. In case you don’t know, you really should.  I found number 7, Network Effect, at the library and read it with the haste of a stoner going through a bag of chips. Not that I’d know, of course. That’s just artistic license right there. Anyway… you really should read this series. Martha Wells is a brilliant and entertaining author.

Sometimes I get books and then later realize they’ve been recommended to me. The Bruising of Qilwa has been touted multiple times in a discord server I frequent and maybe that’s why it caught my eye as I was looking through freebies I can get through my Prime membership.  This novella by Naseem Jamnia is at once chilling and affirming. Affirming because of the trans and nonbinary characters and range of pronouns being used without tokenizing or gasping at the novelty. Maybe I’ll get over being thrilled by this at some point, but I’m not there yet. The chilling? One person’s decision that the needs of the many indeed outweigh the needs of the one, or a few, and specifically immigrants that dominant culture doesn’t really care about anyway. What’s the loss of life if a cure for an even worse threat can be found? 

Another book I read on my ancient Kindle is Legends & Lattes, about a female Orc adventurer who has lived by the sword long enough and wants to start a new chapter in her life. It’s another queernormative fantasy with just the right amount of swords, sorcery and found family. Read it when you want a warm, welcoming hug of a story.

And lastly, I’ll report that I’m finally reading all of the Rita Mae and Sneaky Pie Brown authored mystery novels my mom gave me in the ‘90s.  These cozy mysteries are just the thing to read when I need to lower my heart rate and get ready for sleep. In one of the books, Rest in Pieces, the second in the series, I found a newspaper article – I know, how quaint! – about a Disney movie, Murder, She Purred, starring Ricky Lake and based on Rest in Pieces. I know it’s going to be sappy and I’ll probably hate what they left out or changed, but I found it on YouTube and yes, I’ll definitely watch it.

Self Care

This month, self care isn’t a luxury, it’s been necessary just to keep doing the usual. For a few days after we lost Percy, I didn’t want to eat anything or make anything or do much of anything. I didn’t want to take care of myself or anyone else.  Fortunately, my appetite and desire to feed everyone has returned. I made an artisan style sourdough loaf, paired with homemade chicken noodle soup.  A couple of days ago, I made rhubarb crisp with a blind baked pie crust and a thick layer of sweet crumble on the top. Dinner tonight is a tuna casserole – a comfort food loved by Spawn2 and me.

What else? 

I don’t want to say anything yet, but I will have big life news to share in the next issue. Until then, be kind to yourself and anyone within your orbit. Take naps, stare out the window, close your eyes and breathe and relax your neck and shoulders. Until the next time… byeeeeee.

Making Contact

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