Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday. Here I am, practicing my begging face. Are my eyes big enough? I am next to the refrigerator, so that Anty will know I want food. My food is not in the refrigerator; that is where they keep people food. My food is in the pantry, but I figured Anty was smart enough to make the connection. Today is also the day before young humans put on costumes and go begging for treats. I beg for treats every day (and I get them) so I feel sorry they only get to do it once a year.
I was not born yet when this happened, but I have an interesting Halloween story to tell about Anty. This happened back when Olivia was our family’s kitty, and Anty worked in a place called the mall. The store where Anty worked sold accessories, which was very fun for Anty. They also said that workers could wear costumes for Halloween if they wanted. Anty thought that sounded fun, but she was also very busy that year and did not have time to put a costume together.
That is not the end of the story, though. While Anty was at work, people from the mall gave her a prize for wearing an especially imaginative costume. Anty was very confused about this, because she was wearing her regular clothes. Well, regular for Anty, that is. She had on a long patchwork skirt, suede boots with zippers, a pirate shirt and a black vest. She also had a Star Trek: The Next Generation style communicator pin that she wore as regular jewelry. The mall people said that they loved Anty’s costume as a member of a Star Trek landing party in disguise. Anty figures it was very creative of them to come to that conclusion, and maybe she had subconsciously worked in that direction, so she thanked them and accepted the prize.
She also went back to sorting through the pretty toy coins the mall people gave her to hand out to trick or treaters (they could not give out eating things because of rules) because those were not toy coins at all. Anty did not know how the mall people got those coins, because those coins were from a big big party called Mardi Gras in Louisiana, and the mall was in Connecticut. What Anty did know was that some of those coins could make parents of the trick or treaters angry, because some of those coins advertised places and activities that are not okay for young humans. Places where only grownups can go, to get drinks that are only for grownups, and places where grownups can watch other grownups, um, I will say dance. I do not mean ballroom or ballet, if you catch my drift. Anty took those kinds of coins out of the basket and did not give them out.
Those are really the only two Halloween stories I know, but I know a lot about being scared. Anty likes TV shows like The Walking Dead and Sleepy Hollow. Those are only pretend scary. I will tell you what is really scary. Research is really scary, at least according to Anty. Her first book, My Outcast Heart, was set in the town where Anty was a people kitten. Her hero was a hermit and her heroine was a subsistence farmer. That meant that the expected income for that job was food. That sounds like a very good job to me. I like food.
For this book, Her Last First Kiss, Anty is not on such familiar ground. That means she has a lot of research to do. Her previous books have had what some might call outliers as main characters. That does not mean they were very good at not telling the truth. That means that they were not a part of mainstream society. The heroine of Never Too Late started out as part of society, but she left, so she falls into that category, too. Anty says I do not need to know what a mistress is, but she needs to know how one got paid and how much and how much it would cost to keep somebody in a special hospital in 1784, and what her boy story people would have studied at Oxford and how far it is from Point A to Point B..and C and D and E, and how long did it take to get a special license to get married and other things as well. I am pretty sure I heard the exact moment her brain broke yesterday. That was a very scary moment for a kitty, because Anty was the only human at home, and I still needed food. I think she is better today, but she has a big binder out and is muttering something about something about maps. She is irritated with the Romans for putting London all the way at the bottom of the country, because that does not leave her a lot of room for characters to — Anty says I should not be talking about things like that before she has them firm in her mind.
One thing Anty has learned from all the books she has started to write but did not make it all the way is that she needs to have the foundation in place, and research is part of that. When she wants to know what her people could do in that time, she can look at what people actually did in that time. Anty is writing a romance novel, not a textbook, but she also needs to know what her people’s world was like and what they could do. If she does not know what her people could do, then she gets overthinky and that scares even Uncle, so she has to find these things out.
Anty needs the computer back, so that is about it for this week. Until next time, I remain very truly yours,
Skye O’Malley Hart-Bowling
(the kitty, not the book)