My brain is melting...

Posted by Max | Posted on 9/26/2016 05:53:00 PM

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I can't think of any other reason for forgetting to do my Ask Max Monday column last week. We've been working a lot, some days spending 12+ hours writing, but I didn't think it was making me forget what day or even what week it is, though. Seriously, if you had asked me a couple of days ago where the column was, I'd have sworn I uploaded it.

This week's is there, though.

Last night we finished working a little early so the Woman decided to go to bed at a normal-people hour. She was almost asleep, but a noise outside startled her, so she was wide awake. And it happened again... =this= close to being asleep, and then =bam= a noise outside. So she gave up, got out of bed for a few minutes, and waited until she was good and sleepy to go back to bed.

Lookit that face. Who can be made at that?
Now, I have a habit of talking to her at intervals during the night, so she closed the door, hoping for some peace and quiet. This was about 2:30, and by 3:30 she was finally asleep.

Good for her, right?

Well, I thought so, too, and at 4:40 I crept out from where I'd been hiding under the bed and was going to congratulate her on a solid hour of sleep, but when I jumped onto the bed near her head, she kinda lost her chit and had a little bit of a pretend heart attack.

Well...it's not my fault she didn't check under the bed before she closed the door.

And it's not my fault she's so delicate that she has sleeping issues.

I was gonna be NICE, dammit, and all it got me was kicked out of the bedroom.

Well, rush it is, then...

Posted by Max | Posted on 9/22/2016 03:46:00 PM

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We kinda sorta sold out of the hardback books yesterday, but the Woman saw it coming and placed an order for more the night before. We were worried because it took freaking forever to get the hardbacks in in the first place, but she paid an extra $13 for rush service, and doods...rush service must work, because the books are shipping today. Which means we'll have them probably by Monday, because they were sent from Las Vegas and that usually doesn't take too long.

We've also been working really hard...book two has elevated itself from Vomit Draft to First Draft status, and it's gotten to the point where we're letting a beta reader have a crack at it, because we need fresh eyes looking for mistakes and seeing if there's something missing. The Woman worries that there is, because this thing went from notes to Vomit to First Draft in about six weeks, and that's pretty fast for us.

Thing thing is, we started this one with some pretty comprehensive notes and knew exactly what the story was and where it was going. The whole concept has been simmering in the backs of out brains for a couple of years, so it's not like we pulled the story out of our asterisks. We even have notes for the next one, and ideas for any that might follow. So she's probably worried for nothing. Sometimes a book damn near writes itself.

Actually, that's probably because it's my book. Her books tend to take a lot of time because she's limited by that puny human brain.

The thing that has surprised both of us with book one?

Y'ALL ARE FREAKS AND WANT NASTY THINGS TO BE DONE TO THE EMPEROR!

I mean, seriously. More than one of you has asked about a more adult theme for future books with the Emperor...and that kind of took us by surprise. This was always intended to be a teen/young adult thing, but that doesn't mean that there can't be a grown up story to spring from it. If we do that, it probably won't be considered part of The Wick Chronicles, but a stand alone kind of thing. We're not discounting it.

That said, we're pushing right up against the edge of the YA genre this time, I think. Nothing graphic, but there are more mature elements to the next story, because face it: there are teenagers in Wick's world, and two of them are planning a future, so...there has to be some realism. Not to mention the King and Queen. They might be old married grunts but they still like each other.

And we still don't have a title. That might wind up being the hardest part of all.

My new Facebook cover image. I kinda like it.

I got some books

Posted by Max | Posted on 9/20/2016 05:38:00 PM

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All righty, it took freaking forever, but I finally have a shipment of both paperback and hardback copies of THE EMPEROR OF SAN FRANCISCO.

If you would like a pawtographed copy, this is how you get it.

Paper or Hard back
It's probably cheaper for you to get it on Amazon, especially if you're not in the U.S., but if you want my sterling signature and paw print, this is the only way.

If you were one of the people who asked the Woman to hold a copy or two and arranged to pay via check*...don't use this link. You're already covered.

And y'all know how we were talking about the vomit draft? Or maybe the Woman did that on her blog, I dunno. But by working 14-16 hour days a whole lot of the last couple of months, we've gotten past the vomit draft and the first draft of Book 2 of The Wick Chronicles is actually written and will be going to beta readers soon. We know it need some work--we're at that Well I like it but I know something is missing stage--but dang, doods, there's a chance it could be out by Christmas.

The problem is we have no title. We always have at least a working title. But not this time.

*She's only doing this for people she has a personal relationship with, because she knows where they love and can go break some of their toys if they don't pay.

Okay, not really, but you can see what I mean, right?


A request...

Posted by Max | Posted on 9/16/2016 11:33:00 AM

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The Woman has been away watching that Damned Dogs Butters and his sister Lady, so I haven't been able to get online much, because the Man just doesn't turn the laptop on for me that often. But, today we're making do, because it's important.

Y'all remember Ginger the Cat, right? I still miss her. She was awesome. And so are her mom and dad, Rita and Fred.

Bluntly... Fred has cancer. It's aggressive. And because it's draining him, he can't drive to appointments and the like, and it's costing an arm and a leg to get him there. Right now he's in the hospital trying to get stabilized so he can go home, but holy hell, this is going to be a hard, hard fight, and the last thing they need to worry about is the costs of just getting him where he needs to be.

Insurance isn't going to pay for it. And it can cost over $600 just to get him to a single appointment.

So. Jasper McKittencat's people started a Go Fund Me page so that we can all pitch in. Any little bit will help.


These are truly amazing people, and if I could, I would actually go outside in order to help them, but this is the best I can do.

Click here to donate.

And doods...thank you.

I'm just gonna sit here and stare...

Posted by Max | Posted on 9/08/2016 10:49:00 PM

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...until she gets up and opens a can for me.
I will win.
I always do.

FAN MAIL! Sorta. LOL

Posted by Max | Posted on 9/03/2016 03:34:00 PM

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Dood.
What do you want Wick to look like?
There's your answer.

But I want it NOW...

Posted by Max | Posted on 8/31/2016 09:43:00 PM

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See the shiny TARDIS?


It's mine.

The Woman ordered it a couple of weeks ago, and said it was for me, but I won't actually get it for a long, long time. Until then, I just get to look at it nestled among some of her Doctor Who toys.

Oh yeah...she has a lot of those now.

She also has several plastic TARDISes, but this one is ceramic. And some day--she says not for a long, long time if she gets her way--it's where my remains will rest while I go off onto the next great adventure.

She said she felt a little creepy buying it, but she wanted to get it while it was still available.

In the meantime, I get to enjoy it while I lounge on the desk during work hours. And there's been a lot of those lately. Sometimes 12-14 hours a day.

(Not complaining...we're having fun. Maybe too much fun, because when we get to the final draft of this book, a bunch of stuff will have to be cut because there are some adultish things that need to be toned down.)

((OTOH, there might have to be an R rated version, because honestly? Bouncy things through a cat's eyes is...interesting. And funny.))


I'm also trying to talk the Woman into buying a 2nd ceramic TARDIS because doods...it could hold a TON of crunchy treats.

Randomness

Posted by Max | Posted on 8/21/2016 02:06:00 PM

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♦ The Woman put pants on today and went outside--I know, right? PANTS!--and when she came back she had a plastic bag in her hand, so I asked her of she bought me anything. Doods, she totally did! She bought me a bag of Fancy Feast dry food, because that's what goes into the treat machine. And I didn't even have to work for it; she put some in the machine but then also dropped a handful down onto the plastic base so that I could just eat a bunch.

♦ I learned this week that the Woman has a friend named Honkers McBonkers. And it really doesn't surprise me.

♦ I still have not see a printed copy of the hard back version of my book. The printer is supposed to send me a proof copy, but every time I check it's still "in printing" so I ordered one off Amazon and it'll be here Monday. Go figure. You guys might see it before I do.

I guess I should have warned people.

You might cry when you read it.

You might not, but you might.

You also might go out and adopt a kitten just to name it Wick.


You also might notice--especially if you're friends with the Woman on Facebook--that we used a few names of people she knows.

Last year, her friend Rider was all Oh I want to be a princess! and because she's a super nice person, she got to be a princess.

And the whole royal family was named for a super cool dood named Jeff, but the Woman probably should have told him that before the book went to print, because what if it pissed him off?

And Wick...well, his name came from one of the sweetest people the Woman has ever met.

♦ I don't know if we'll do the same thing in the next book, unless you have a burning desire to have someone kinda douchey named after you.

♦ The Woman's birthday is next week and the Man is not going to go pass gas, so I don't know how much writing we'll get done. It sounds like they want to go places and do things WITHOUT ME so who knows?

♦ I was going to take a picture of the spiffy new office spot I have, but someone needs to clean some crap off the desk first.

♦  Instead, here's a picture of me looking down on everyone. Well, not YOU. You're awesome.


WE HAVE BOOK!!!

Posted by Max | Posted on 8/17/2016 04:34:00 PM

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All righty, doods. The book went live on Amazon for the Kindle about an hour ago, and it's in the distribution system for print and can be ordered, though Amazon says it'll take a couple of extra days. I have not yet seen a print copy, just the e-proofs, but I'll see one tomorrow (I think the hard back, but I'm not 100% sure) and if it looks sucky I'll tell you.

BUT YOU CAN GET IT!

Clicky here for Kindle version.

Clicky here for hard back.

Clicky here for paperback.

I had really expected it to be available like a week ago, but there was a hiccup with the cover of the hard back, and then just silence from the distributor (no idea what was going on there. Maybe too many tacos at lunch and they were all stuck in the litterbox room) but once they got rolling, they got it moving pretty fast.

I am 23 kinds of excited about this book because it was so much fun to write, and I am 698 kinds of nervous because I've never written anything like this.

But doods...you're gonna love Wick.

When I grow up, I want to be Wick.

In fact, I wish I had my fun bits, so I could spawn, and I would name him Wick, so that Wick could continue on. But I don't, so there will just have to be more Wick books. Next one is pretty much outlined to the end (except a few parts) and the vomit draft is half done. Oh yeah, I have found my calling, and it is Wick.

We'll get to space sooner or later

Posted by Max | Posted on 7/30/2016 01:45:00 PM

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Ok, so now that the book is pretty much out of our hands and we're taking notes for the next one, I revisited the idea of Cats in Space, with Feline Overlords. The Woman flipped through the considerable volume of notes we have and said, "Well, I don't think it will fit into this book, but I can see it working in the third book."

This is how I tell her what I want to do
Now, that sounds all right; just be patient and my Feline Overlord story idea will come to fruition. But do you know how long it takes to write and then get a book published? I'm 15 now. I'll be 16 when the second book is done, which means she expects me to hang around until I'm 17 years old.

I mean, that's doable, but not bloody likely.

So while she's taking notes for the next book, I'm also making her take detailed notes for the third, and maybe even the fourth. Seriously, doods, this thing has legs...Wick is super fun to write for and I kinda hope she takes my ideas and runs with them.

Gotta get the first one out, though. It's in the printer's paws, and as soon as we see a clean proof, we'll click on "ACCEPT" and let it fly into the public's hands. Looks like you'll get your choice of Kindle book*, trade paperback, and hardback.

A HARD BACK, DOODS!!! That's how much the editor liked it!

I haz an excited.

Okay, back to work. We have book two of The Wick Chronicles to write.

*If you read on another type e-reader, I can arrange for you to buy a copy. We just have to do the conversion here, at least for now.

While we wait...

Posted by Max | Posted on 7/23/2016 09:02:00 PM

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...for the final proofing so that corrections of typos can be made, the Woman and I are plowing through and starting more copious notes for book #2.

I mean, we HAVE notes, but these are a little more involved and we're hoping it means the second book will get done faster than the first. Like, way faster, given that we kicked this story around for 2-3 years before I was able to staple her asterisk to the chair to get her started with the actual writing.

Tell ya what, though, I don't think I've ever had more fun writing something or liked it quite as much, even if I am nervous about it. I think the Woman is enjoying it, too, because the notes for book two are keeping her awake at night, as the story percolates in her brain. This is perfect for me; I get to sleep, she gets to think.

And doods, trust me, she needs a lot of practice doing that.

WHOEVER SENT THIS TO ME

Posted by Max | Posted on 7/11/2016 10:41:00 PM

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THANK YOU!!!

Enjoyment shall commence... NOW.

Why I'll never be on the New York Times Bestseller's List:

Posted by Max | Posted on 7/08/2016 03:46:00 PM

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Me: I have an idea for the next book.

The Woman: Let's finish this one first.

Me: But it's a great idea!

The Woman: Let's finish this one first.

Me: But we should at least take notes so I don't forget my idea.

The Woman: Let's finish this one first.

Me: CATS IN SPACE! FELINE ALIEN OVERLORDS!

The Woman: Let's finish this one first.

Me: But we'll save humanity!

The Woman: Let's finish this one first.

Cripes almighty, doods, this book is essentially done. We're just doing some minor revisions and proofing. She could set it aside and take copious notes for me, but nooooo.

Oh...and for your viewing pleasure, here's a little preview of the very much unfinished cover mock up.


The Woman's name is on this one but probably won't be in the final version. I mean, who gives cover credit to their typist...?

Holy Birthday Box, Batman!

Posted by Max | Posted on 6/23/2016 03:15:00 PM

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Doods, check out the birthday stuff I got from my friend Mighty Kitty. I GOT A WHOLE BOX FILLED WITH STUFF!!

Ok, it's really for both Buddah and me, but it was sent for my birthday so it's technically all mine, but I'll share it with him because I'm not a jerk.

Buddah will probably get most of the treats since my tummy is particular, but I get to try them all anyway. But first up...I'm getting into the Silvervine, because, NIP!!!

Oh. I need to get into it and then help the Woman work on my book. We worked yesterday and if you ever doubted that I dictate to her...well, here's the proof.


We were having a discussion about the word "horrible" because she said I had used it too many times on one page and needed something else, and I was pretty firm that horrible was the right word, trying to work with her.

We're on the home stretch with the book. Revisions are nearly done, and then it needs to be proofed. We are WAY ahead of the deadline, so if we get finished and it gets proofed and the editor says ok, it may go to print long before expected. And we have tons of notes for the next one, so we might jump onto that, too.

This is gonna be a fun, nipped out, story-writing summer!

The Big Onety-Five

Posted by Max | Posted on 6/20/2016 12:00:00 AM

25


Yep, it's the annual Max-Turns-Another-Year-Older Day.

I have to admit, I was not expecting to reach this milestone, but I'd damned glad I did. I still have things to do and people to annoy, so I'm not ready to shuffle off to the next big thing.

Today I am hoping for 5 naps in different places around the house, some real live fresh dead shrimp (which I have been getting for the last couple of days, because I'm that awesome), and maybe some real live fresh dead steak, too.

Everyone celebrate with me.

NAPS FOR ALL!!!


Y'all need pretty things to look at today

Posted by Max | Posted on 6/12/2016 01:41:00 PM

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This has been a horrible day for people, and for that I am truly sorry. When a day like today happens, with people dying needlessly at the hands of someone who cannot be in their right mind, it's too easy to see nothing but ugliness all around.

But this is a beautiful world, people. It's more beautiful than it is ugly, and that includes people.

Click on image to biggify...go on, it's magnificent
Just look around. The people doing the ugly things are broken people; there are more of you that are whole and wonderful and so breathtakingly beautiful, and you need to remember that. There are far more good people in the world than bad, but it's the ones doing awful, horrible things that get noticed most.

But look around. You'll see, this world is a wonderful place.


I'm happy to be in it, however few the years I'm given might be.

You're a big reason why. I see you out there, going about your people-lives, the effort you make in getting from day to day and the good you do without even thinking about it.

But...sometimes, on a day like today, people need to be reminded that they are wonderful and special, and to not let the ugliness that swirls in microscopic mists drown them out.


Weep for the dead and the people who loved them, but never forget...there's all this awesomeness around us.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

I haven't blogged the last couple of weeks because my routine has been turned upside down. The Man had to go to the stabby guy, who is apparently a stabby lady, and she did stabby things to him, and it included someone else passing gas on him, which I thought was both ironic and funny.

But...while I popped onto Facebook some, the Woman has been distracted and not helping me with my blogging. I can't complain too much, because she has been helping with revisions on my book, which looks like it will be done way ahead of the September deadline.

Ya, I have deadlines.

In any case, the Man is healing spectacularly and even though he'll be off work for a couple of weeks still, the Woman is not nearly as distracted and should be more willing to help me blog in between bouts of helping me write.

If not...I'm on Facebook, you can find me at my "official" author's page

I'm CONSIDERATE, dammit!

Posted by Max | Posted on 5/28/2016 10:37:00 PM

7

Okay, so the Woman doesn't always sleep very well. This makes her cranky and, frankly, a sub-par can opener, so lately I've been trying to help her. The other morning I woke her up at 5:45 and then kept bugging her until she got out of bed, because it made sense: if she got up early, she would be tired at night, and would then be able to sleep.

She was not grateful.

But did I let that stop me? No. It occurred to me that perhaps her sleep issues were related to a cold head, since that's never covered at night. So I jumped up onto the bed at 5 or so, and curled up next to her head, trying to send warms her way. Then I realized it might work better if there was direct contact, so doods, I was super thoughtful and climbed onto her pillow and wrapped my body around her head.

Still, she was not grateful.

Then last night, I wanted to just check on her, so I jumped up onto the bed and simply watched her. Four times she opened her eyes and said "Jesus!" so four times I had to jump down to go see if he was maybe at the front door or something, but no. It was just Buddah and me home with her. I wetn back to report that, and she got up, put me out of the room and closed the door.

Not grateful at all.

In fact, she was so not grateful that she told the Man about it, and you know what she said? SHE SAID I WAS CREEPY AS PHK LAST NIGHT! All I did was stare at her while she slept. I didn't even lie down, I sat there fully upright, except for my head, which I may have had a few inches from her face, and strained my neck in the process.

I might not even bother trying to help her tonight. Just let her see how she sleeps without me. I bet it sucks.

Dangit, Woman...this is MINE!

Posted by Max | Posted on 5/25/2016 02:38:00 PM

5

Seriously. The Woman shared this on HER blog and HER Facebook page, but IT'S MY BOOK.

Today, she printed out a copy because the Man is going to hunt for typos, and she also emailed the digital file to the editor.

Now, the editor is a mean, mean, mean lady who takes her red pen and writes mean, mean, mean things all over a manuscript. This makes me wonder how many monitors she's gone through, because I'm guessing she has to mail those to her writers when she's done, but that's beside the point. She likes to write 37 things on every page, and because it's in red even the nice things like This made me laugh! look angry.

She's liked the Woman's stories but has always had a lot to say about them and has had exactly 34.9 metric chit-tons of suggestions to improve those stories. She's been way nicer about my stuff but this time it's fiction, and I have a feeling she's going to have a lot to say about it.

The Woman says we need to relax now, and start taking notes for the next book, because the first editing pass takes time (that lady is going to read it like THREE times!) and because Tracy the Editor is 6 million years old, it might take a little extra time.

Oh, don't look at me like that. She knows she's old. She used to ride a dinosaur to school for Pete's sake.

In other news, if you haven't read There Once Was a Cat From Nantucket... yet and you have an e-reader with a Kindle app, it's gonna go on super-sale soon. Like, free for 3 days. I don't know the dates yet, but as soon as I do, I'll let ya know.

Ok, I think I need to celebrate tonight. I told the Woman this would be a good night for some real live fresh dead steak and some shrimpy things, but so far she hasn't moved fro her chair, so we'll see. But I really do think a brand new bouncing baby book calls for noms worthy of all my literary efforts.

Really. She needs me.

Posted by Max | Posted on 5/18/2016 07:21:00 PM

5

"Mr. Max," the Woman said, "I've been going over the book so far, and dood...it's a whole lot of dialog."

"So? It's got people in it. People talk. A lot."

"Yes, but novels typically have a narrative. Too much dialog can bog a story down and is often better changed to fit into the narrative."

"I've read your books, lady. They're all dialog-heavy."

"Touche."

"Wick has a lot of lines. I don't want to cut his dialog. In fact, I want him to have more."

"Maybe. Wick is the narrator, so he technically has the bulk of the story. And as cats go, there's not a lot of verbal back and forth with other characters."

"He has the best line. Dry food is for peasants. Keep that one. It's important that people understand that."

"Hey, I saw you eating dry food just ten minutes ago."

"Yeah, well as a snack. Not as my primary source of nutrition. Make sure that Wick gets lots of real live fresh dead things."

"You want me to include his dietary preferences in a novel?"

"Novels have to have some real life in them, right?"

"Yes, but people don't want the minutia of real life. It's boring. Everyone poops but I'm not putting that into the book."

"You should. Pooping is glorious."

"No. And none of this addresses the volume of dialog in the manuscript. You need to start picturing the words in your head, and then showing those same things in the narrative."

"That's what I have you for."

"But the book will have your name on it."

"Well it's my story. My thinks."

"That might be the problem. You're thinking as if this were a script."

"Again, I've read your other books..."

"Fine. We'll leave it like this until the last draft, but then it has to change, okay?"

"This, what we're doing. This is real life dialog, right?"

"It is."

"You're right. This chit is boring. You go back to work and I'll start polishing my thinks. I have no idea how you ever managed to write without me before."

This is glorious!

Posted by Max | Posted on 5/14/2016 06:43:00 PM

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Y'all know I'm a senior kitty, right? I turn 15 in about a month. Now, I'm a healthy senior kitty, as evidenced by my recent stabby guy checkup (new stabby guy, I might like him because he gives me drugs and I don't remember being there, but because of the drugs I don't really know) so the people aren't especially worried about me. I'm slower than I used to be, and I nap more, and the Woman thinks that a lot of the time I just look sleepy.

And that's okay. I've earned my naps and tiredness, and even my cranky times. But the Woman noticed that I ask for dinner a little early more often than I used to, and I want food at 4 am when I used to just be happy to sing in the hall. So sometimes I get dinner early because I ask nicely, and if someone is awake at 4am--it happens because the Man works nights and sometimes stays up that late when he's off--I get an extra dinner.

Tonight I asked for dinner half an hour early, and the Woman was all "Okay, Big Guy, it's not too early," and she opened a can for us, and while we nommed the People stood in the kitchen (I have issues getting the food unstuck from the dish sometimes, so she waits and unsticks it for me a couple of times) and I heard them say that because I'm an older guy, maybe I should get food when I want it and not just because of what time it is.

Yeah, that'll work for a while, then they'll look at the clock more often again.

The glorious part? The Woman said that maybe it's time to let me have gravy food again. And the Man said that maybe I should also get to have the special gooshy stuff, Fancy Feast Medleys, because I do love them, and...I am fifteen.

DOODS THERE ARE PERKS TO OLD AGE!!! WHO WOULDA THUNK IT?!!??

I'm really hoping the Woman goes to the store tomorrow and gets me some, because I haven't had that in years.

My life won't be awesome again until I do.