Today I have a guest visiting to talk about the relationship between herself and her beasts: Michelle Muenzler. To be fair, when I asked for potential names for this series, she suggested the title: By the Paw and the Pen. Although I chose not to change over to that title, feel free to mentally think of her post as one of those.
Michelle is, BTW, one of the writers with whom I meet regularly, both as a member of Future Classics and as a group that meets bi-weekly at a local coffee shop. She’s a great sounding board for me, and you might just spot her name on the Acknowledgements page of my upcoming novel, Dreaming Death.
So without further ado, here’s Michelle Muenzler!
1. Tell us about your pets.
Despite my husband’s allergy to cats, we have found ourselves adopted by four of them. Smokey is an old soul, a touch diabetic now in his dotage, and prone to licking sweat from my husband’s beard. Nin believes herself to be half cat, half bird, half baby seal and in no way a deadly ninja secretly plotting to kill us.
The ever-fretsome Persephone used to love long walks around the outside of our house meowing at us through every window until we agreed to adopt her (and her growing belly) but now prefers to laze about inside unless I am exercising, at which point she is quite convinced I should exercise my hands to pet her instead.
And her son, the lithe kitten Vibur–whom I must point out is several years past official kittendom now–spends most of his time spooning with Smokey and making some of the most pathetic mewing noises you have ever heard. He also loves destroying toilet paper, but oddly only if the toilet lid is left up.
2. How do they help/hinder your writing?
So long as it isn’t too close to their feeding times, my goons generally sleep peacefully about their various claimed territories in the house. Come feeding time, though, they excel in monitor blocking techniques and dragging the router off the desk. Occasionally, Smokey lets it be known that he intends to own my lap, and no amount of dissuading him will work, so I try to make do. Less do is made when he and Vibur are spooning in my writing chair–sure I feel guilty disrupting their cuddle time, but a woman has to write…and they can spoon in my husband’s chair just as well as they can in mine.
3. Do they appear in any of your works?
Out of sheer terror, I almost said no to this question, but then I remembered that my cats are illiterate, so it is safe to share information that might not otherwise be shared. While none of my cats are specifically named in any of my works, it would be remiss of me to not point out one of my recent publications, “The Cats’ Game”
, over at Daily Science Fiction. If that doesn’t summarize all cats, I’m not sure what does.
4. How does being a pet owner affect your writing (philosophically)?
I find writing to be much like cleaning out the litter box. It can be challenging to convince myself to do it every day, but life is much less stinky when I keep up with it.
Michelle Muenzler, also known at local conventions as “The Cookie Lady”, writes fiction both dark and strange to counterbalance the sweetness of her baking. Her fiction and poetry have been published in magazines such as Star*Line, Daily Science Fiction, and Apex Magazine, and she takes immense joy in crinkling words like little foil puppets. You can find her at: https://www.facebook.com/michelle.muenzler