Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group for August 2013

Bamse, the kitten, born June 28th, 2013

Anna Nordeman


Pelle, the kitten, born June 28th, 2013

Rosetta, the kitten, born June 28th, 2013

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for starting Insecure Writer's Support Group.

This is my sixth post for IWSG.

Once again, I am NOT going to share my list of how-to-write books, but for those who would like to see it, please go here

For my August edition of IWSG I would like to return to Phyllis A. Whitney's delightful how-to-book, Guide to Fiction Writing (1982). See page 11f. She writes about working habits:
Men writers who are married to non-working wives - that is, wives who stay at home - have a certain advantage. Every writer needs a wife! - someone to stand guard, to cook meals, to deal with immediate problems of house and children, and keep them out of their husbands' hair. It's more difficult for women writers, who have to do all these chores plus their writing.

Amen Phyllis! I have reached a point now where I feel I'm drowning. I have too many practical problems to solve and the end is not in sight.

It started on the 9th of June when I found one dark kitten lying on the floor of Elisabet's bedroom. At first I did not know who the mother of that kitten was. But it became clear that Lill-Kajsa had given birth to one single kitten and hid it from us for perhaps as long as a week:

A secretive Lill-Kajsa and her kitten, Elsa

Kalle-Mathilda helped baby-sit her sister's kitten. 

Two sisters sharing the first kitten.

Kalle-Mathilda would soon have a family of her own. My daughter, Elisabet, woke me late at night on June 28th. We suddenly became midwives to Kalle-Mathilda, when she gave birth to her five kittens. Even Lill-Kajsa helped out by nursing the new-borns, while Kalle-Mathilda gave birth to more. 

Pelle, the kitten, with eyes closed and navel string still intact.

Kalle-Mathilda as the new mother of five.

In this recent photograph, lying on the kitchen floor, are six reasons why I have not been able to get much work done this summer. And very little creative writing. 

Kalle-Mathilda and her five kittens born on June 28th, 2013

Suddenly we had eleven cats to take care of instead of only five. And since I am the only adult in our household, I am also the only one who sees that the litter boxes are clean and that there is fresh water and proper food for all of the cats. I am also the only person who can cook meals and wash dishes, clean floors and do laundry.

We have the added problem that the cats declared war on July 12th. 

Lars, the cat, born August 21st, 2012

Since then, we have had to keep certain cats isolated in separate rooms. The children were very helpful when the cat-war broke out. Suddenly, Kalle-Mathilda went crazy and attacked her sister Lill-Kajsa as well as the ginger boy-cats, Lars and Sigge. At the same time the ginger twins attacked the other male cat, Peep. We had to act fast. We did not want any cat to be injured. So I grabbed Kalle-Mathilda and put her in a closed room. Erik deposited Peep into my bedroom/workroom because he is the only cat who is reliably house-broken. The girl-cats literally squirted urine as they fought. 

Sigge, the cat, born August 21st, 2012

Kalle-Mathilda bit my thumb as I was moving her into her new quarters, but it could have been worse. My son, Erik's hand was also bitten by one of the cats -- we don't know which -- and his hand became so swollen and infected, that he had to take antibiotics for ten days. Even though both Elisabet and I were bitten and scratched, we were, happily, not infected. 

I don't know why this happened other than that the cats probably felt that it was getting to be too crowded in our four-room apartment. But why did this happen when we had taken the ginger males to be neutered? The war broke out when we came home with them from this procedure. Or did the females suffer some kind of post-natal [post-partum] depression? I am going to ask the vet about this.

Kalle-Mathilda looking up at me while I am holding...


... her daughter Sara II.


In the meantime, I have put an ad in the local newspaper. As much as we love all of our cats, we have decided that we have to sell some of them - very fast. (The older cat, Peep, is staying temporarily with my former husband, the children's father.) The first to go are these two wonderful ginger boy cats, Lars and Sigge. Hope we can find a good home for them. They are really lovely and warm-hearted cats.

Elisabet and one of the ginger cats

This is why my post for RFW's Challenge 'Honeymoon' was so slim, only 60 words instead of a thousand!

The children and I have been working hard trying to solve our practical problems. I haven't slept well. But it will not always be like this. We will find solutions. It's just that it takes time and summer is so short.  And summer is so precious in Sweden. It's the time of year that everyone longs for and dreams about. Here in the North, it is in summer, that you plan to do all of those creative activities like crafts or photography -- anything that requires daylight.  Summer is the lightest and the most pleasant time of year. In the winter, when it is cold and dark, I just want to hibernate. I'll have almost nothing to show for at the end of this summer. A waste of good weather and sunlight!

How do all of you wonderful and inventive people deal with practical problems? Do you still find the time and peace of mind to sit down and write and be creative when things go wrong? What are your strategies?

Best wishes,

[P.S. Wrote this text during the night between July 31st and August 1st, 2013]

First Commenter:
Duck and Wheel With String

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