I recently sent my fourth middle grade novel to my agent, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. Even if it never evolves into anything beyond a collection of pixels on my laptop, I’m amazed it exists. But now I’m in a book hole, debating which of several different writing projects to dive … More Cutting and Pasting the In-Between
The air’s getting crisp, the cicadas have fallen silent, the pumpkin spice is flowing freely. All the signs and omens point to one thing: it’s Pitch Wars season! The submission window opens soon, and I can feel the vicarious excitement all the way over here on the other side of the Pitch Wars experience. What … More Pitch Wars Advice
[No one]: I wonder if Maria will ever make a new blog post. [me]: I’m so glad you asked! [Literally everyone in the universe]: [me]: I can feel your anticipation and enthusiasm. It’s electric! [Literally everyone in the universe]: [me]: For today is the day I shall post to this poor, neglected blog! Friends, a … More Pitch Wars Life
There are many fine arguments for not allowing your cat-guru to be an indoor/outdoor pet. Chief among them is that your cat will drive you insane as she follows this piece of cat wisdom: Whenever a door in your life closes, you end up on the wrong side of it.
We humans try to impose our rules on the cat-gurus who share our homes, but felines answer to a higher law. You would do well to heed their Catvice: There are places of mystery and wonder in this world—places you are not allowed to tread. But if you visit these forbidden territories when no one … More Advice from Cats #6
If the cat-guru you serve ever displays a bit of an attitude with you, don’t take it personally. She’s merely trying to convey some great Catvice: An ounce of disdain outweighs a pound of aggression. Next time, try to be more prompt with the kibble.
Cats are mysterious creatures. They sometimes behave in strange ways. But that strangeness is a mere illusion. Everything your cat does will make sense once you give in and take your cat’s advice on how to live your best life. For example, in our home, any item that falls to the floor—dirty laundry, a reusable … More Advice from Cats #4
Groom unto others as you would have them groom unto you.
Prepare yourself, for our wise catguru has descended from on high (i.e., the top of the kitchen cabinets) to bestow upon us another piece of wise Catvice: It is only within the confines of a cardboard box that you will experience what it is to be truly free. Our cat Smidgen has mastered this principle.
I have trouble comprehending a lot of things in this world. But what puzzles me most–what’s more difficult for me to understand than rocket science, or calculus, or someone with a really thick Cockney accent and a mouth full of peanut butter-and-honey sandwich—is human behavior. I’ve been doing some character sketches on my work-in-progress lately, … More Advice from Cats