Miss Missy Elocutes


Jack is busy finishing the paperwork for his town council run, so we appreciate Missy stepping in to write this week’s guest blog.

Good afternoon. My name is Missy and I am Foster Cat in Residence at Tales of the Lonesome Pine Used Books. They have invited me to live in their efficiency apartment while I sort my circumstances.

Nothing sordid, mind you, but I was living with a family of six cats and one human staff member up until November of last year, when our housekeeper’s big heart finally gave out. We were all very sad; she was such a good woman.

Of course we had no idea what was in store for us, but we were quickly split up and sent to stay with relations. My companion Smudge and I wound up here. I wouldn’t say a word against Smudge, but let me assure you, we shared nothing but the bills and housekeeping chores.

missy sittingSmudge was quickly adopted, but I’ve been here at the bookstore’s Hostel for Distressed Gentlecats about a month now. My time has not been idle. I’ve run up a pair of curtains for the windows and given the hardwood floor a good scrubbing. I’ve also improved the manners of the staff, and let me tell you, they needed some work. There seem to be four cats in permanent residence, and they had let things slide considerably. I even had to put up a fuss until a clean white towel was arranged under my food service area.

They are kind people, and I know they mean well, but the heart longs for a home of its own, does it not? I would like nothing more than to pack my (clean) ramekins and fluffy pillow, put on my good hat, and go out the door to a quieter, gentler place. While I don’t mind dogs as such, they do make quite a lot of noise. Really, I think it would be ideal for me to live in a home with a couple of younger cats. I could teach them deportment, and the finer points of life, like keeping one’s sleeping area clean, and how to brew a perfect cup of catnip tea. In the afternoon, as they dozed on the verandah, I could read them stories of a morally uplifting nature.

missy walkingAnd while a lady hesitates to discuss private matters, I am of a certain age (oh, all right, seven) and have been… {ahem} seen to down there.

So really, I’m only waiting for the right home to come along: quiet, calm, and with a housekeeper who is prepared to brush my fur at least twice a day. As I say, the people here are kind, but they do seem busy, and I really cannot abide missing a brushing. If you think you could provide these simple needs, do please stop by so we can discuss room requirements and mutual expectations. Thank you for this little chat, and I look forward to getting to know you better soon.

The Between Books Blue Funk

dull bookWell, it’s happened. The miasma is upon me. After a string of really enjoyable reads, I am Between Books.

I know you’ve been there, that unhappy head space where you’ve got high, high expectations from having just finished a really enjoyable book (or, if one is lucky, a spate of three or four) and you’re tired when you go to bed because a bunch of new real-life projects are in the works, and you turn to your bedside table piled high with great choices ….

… and go flat. I like Sarah Allison’s writing–that matchmaking apple-flinger tree was one of the most lovable romance characters ever–and I admit readily the reason I can’t get into The Peach Keeper is me, not her. Or The Rebel Bookseller. It’s a great book with important things to say! So is Big Box Swindle. Each of these waits on the table by my bed, weeping softly. All of these are books I’ve looked forward to reading.

Sarah Nelson discusses in her memoir So Many Books, So Little Time how your mood and recent life moments must align in some way with what you’re reading, or you can’t get into authors even though you want to. Wise readers put them down and return later.

Usually the catalyst for breaking my Between Books Blue Funk is to read something completely different from what I normally choose. So the other night I grabbed a post-apocalyptic young adult novel, and settled in.

It didn’t work. The novel was awful, but not even awful enough to trigger the horrible-writing-response that lies dormant in all of us, inciting print-blood lust to rip the thing apart. This was more the toss-aside casual disdain of “oh, please.” In a badly-crafted amalgam of  Hunger Games goes on The Road, literary crimes are just way too obvious to ignite passion.

And so I sit, stuck. How could this happen to a bookshop owner, you ask, spoiled for choice an’ a’ that? Perhaps that’s part of the (first world) problem; too many choices reduces one to making none. Or perhaps this is the consequence of binge-watching the whole Season Four of Downton Abbey in one week. (Yes, we know, but we won’t spoil it for you.) I’ve let my reading muscles go slack.

Although I did get quite a lot of crocheting done.

Whatever the combination of reasons that have led to this winter of my book discontent, I hope it’s over soon. There are so many new writers and worlds to explore, I hate to fall behind.