Hello, all. Skye here, for another, later than usual, Feline Friday. Today, you get a beloved classic picture of me, because I am hiding. There are two reasons why I am hiding. One, some humans are working on the road near our house, and they have loud trucks and loud equipment. Two, it is going to rain here, probably soon, and rain always makes me want to hide. I go under Anty and Uncle’s bed, because that is the safest place in the world. I have not been wet from the rain once since I started hiding there, so I know that it works. Technically, I have not been wet from the rain ever since I got rescued, but hiding under the bed makes me double extra sure. It is a good thing Anty keeps almost all of her pictures of me, in case things like this happen. Anty is smart.
Anty is also talkative. This week, at Buried Under Romance, she talked about how readers can best celebrate the life’s work of favorite authors who are no longer with us. Anty’s post is here and it looks like this:
I am going to paw it for today’s blog, because Anty is mostly keeping her head down and eyes on her own paper with the writing stuff. She asked me to let you know that the promised flash fiction is being formatted, and you can read it on Monday. She wants to get this draft of Her Last First Kiss written all the way to the end, because A) it is time to get this story baby out of her already, B) she actually likes the rewriting/revising part of the whole book thing, and C) once she gets to The End, she can probably start using Hero and Heroine’s actual names when she talks about them, but not before that. Even so, she does poke her head up every once in a while, like when somebody mentions gummi bears. Gummi bears always get Anty’s attention.
It is not gummi bears that got her attention today, though. While Anty was at the Laundromat this morning, she checked her mail on her phone, and found a notice from RT Book Reviews, her favorite magazine for a very, very long time. Like the cat before the cat before me long time. With time between cats, that is how long. Anyway, she opened the email and got quite the shock – the issue she plans to go out and buy later today will be the very last print issue. Anty did not authorize that. Anty is, in fact, very much against that, because A) it is her favorite magazine, and B) this means that there are now no print magazines devoted to the romance genre. (That is apart from Romance Writer’s Report, the magazine available only to RWA members.) If Anty were independently wealthy, she would probably look into immediately starting a new one (and probably very shortly thereafter be found in a fetal position under the dining room table, clutching a notebook and mumbling something about cupcakes, because starting a magazine is a lot of work and Anty already has a lot in her bowl…um, on her plate. Because she is a human.) Sadly, Anty is not independently wealthy (yet) and so she is going to have to deal with this.
Anty’s reaction was much more subdued than it would have been if this news had found her at any other time, because she is going through a lot of changes, and this feels like it fits right in with all of that. The e-publishing revolution really has been a game changer (if cats can have their own blogs, then anything is possible) and publishing, in general, is a business, and the way people use media like magazines is changing, so while she is surprised, she can see the logic behind the decision.
Because Anty is Anty, some things really aren’t “real” until she can talk about them (this is true of many extroverts,) and the friend she would normally talk to first about things like this has become a once-upon-a-time friend, so that will not be possible exactly the way Anty’s first instinct would like, and that is an adjustment on top of an adjustment. On the one hand, Anty can now call her collection of all the issues of the magazine from the time she started reading it, until now, complete. She can still look into hunting down a few years’ worth of print magazines from before the time she was allowed to read it (she started when she as an almost-almost-grownup) so there are still new-to-her issues to be found, though it will take some hunting. There will still be the website and she can even get a subscription to VIP content, but, still, she will miss the thrill of seeing the new issue on the newsstand, or in her mailbox at home.
There will be a little mourning involved. Anty has very special memories of drinking in every word of each issue, especially when she first started getting the magazine, making special trips to stores to get it, and even one time, when she and Uncle lived all the way out in California, Uncle making a very long car trip just so he could get Anty the new issue because he knew it was important to her. This is one of the many reasons Uncle is Anty’s Real Life Romance Hero. There will probably be petting of the issues Anty has in the apartment, and she will likely want to get some special magazine files to keep this last batch in good shape and close at hand.
Anty admits she is disappointed that she will never be able to pick up a copy of the magazine with her books on the cover (that was a longtime goal of hers) but she has seen her name inside it on multiple occasions, in the letter section and in the memorial to Bertrice Small. She remembers screaming so loud the first time she saw her name and her letter in the magazine that Mama swerved into a different lane. She remembers convincing a store or two to carry the magazine, and recommending it to others. It’s going to be a loss, but not the gone-forever sort. More of the taking on a different shape sort, as there is already the website, and all of the content will still be there, that way.
As a kitty, I understand not liking changes in routine. That is perfectly normal and natural. For humans, though, changes in routine can often come out of growth. Like going from a tiny kitten to a big, majestic mountain lion like me. (I am really a Maine Coon, but Uncle says I am his mountain lion.) The in-between stages are sometimes not the most comfortable (I spent a lot of my in-between stages at the vet, so I get it) but believing that the end result will be worth it puts things in perspective.
Anty says it is now time for her to work on her draft (and sniffle about the magazine a little) so that is about it for this week. Until next week, I remain very truly yours,
Skye O’Malley Hart-Bowling
(the kitty, not the book)